Categories
Business Money & Finance

AML Compliance: A Baseline for the Success of Legitimate Businesses

What are the key steps for businesses that grips its foundation and system reliability? The business maintenance processes and security measures vary from business to business based on the services it is providing. Working with a huge network of businesses, vendors, third-party intermediaries, customers, and end-users, it is critically important to screen every group or party that interacts with your system directly or indirectly. For this, there is a primary checklist against which each business should be sifted to ensure the policies and business compliances. Among this checklist, AML compliance is one of the most critical and mattering points for every business.

The baseline of success for every legitimate business is to avoid dirty money inscribing into the system. Dirty money includes all the illegal ways and means through which money is being earned or transferred. This could be the money from political corruption, terrorism, criminals or money-launderers. Such sneaking activities can ultimately decline the value of a business.

For the resilient and reliable systems, money laundering checks should be implemented not only to avoid ill-gotten money to be part of the system but also to comply with the local regulators. The malevolent activities have some hidden incentive at their end which is the reason for such involvements. But, this should be eliminated in order to introduce soundness in the businesses.

Concerns of AML Compliance Laws

1. US’ Bank Secrecy Act (BSA):

The US companies are ought to comply with the AML criminal ordinance. According to 18 US code sections, specifically, section 1956 and section 1957, it is important for the businesses to continuously monitor the transaction flows and discard the bad actors from the system.

Section 1956: This section focuses on the unlawful activities and transactions that take place within the system and the identities that are involved in conducting or even know such activities and hide it. Section 1956 explicitly mentions the penalties which represent criminal activities under the premises of a certain business. The criminal would be subjected to a fine of less than or equal to $50,000 or twice the value involved in the transaction, among them whichever is greater. If not the fine, then the imprisonment of about twenty years will be the cost of such intent.

Section 1957: This section states that any monetary transaction that is conducted and is greater than the amount of $10,000, is considered illegal if it is known to be the property derived from illicit activity. The court can impose an alternate fine of the amount twice than the transaction being performed.

2. EU Fourth and Fifth Anti Money Laundering Directives (AMLD4 & AMLD5) 

Al the legal entities that are operating in the European Union are the major focus of money laundering directives. The main purpose of these directives is to secure the EU’s financial system from terrorist and money laundering activities.

AMLD4: It allows companies to introduce high-level secure tools, for example, e-KYC and online identity verification systems. This will be helpful in reducing online fraud and payment scams while providing a benchmark at the national level by authenticating the users remotely.

AMLD5: It is the extension of AML 4 which assures transparency, electronic PEPs record to verify the identities against that database, Customer Due Diligence (CDD), and electronic money laundering records. Not only this but to grow a number of online industries are also on the agenda of AMLD5. AMLD5 will effectively come into practice on the 10th of January 2020.

3. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) 

FATF has set the standards for the global AML compliance laws according to which the countries shape their systems and introduce security tools to monitor terrorist financing and money laundering activities. FATF counsel’s legal entities to Know the Customer ID verification in the onboarding process. According to FATF, the accounts should be continuously monitored to circumvent any unexpected deed to happen in the system. In case of any suspicious activity, FIUs should be reported immediately to prevent serious loss. Entities must go through the sanction lists to avoid the entrance of identities that have already failed to comply with the CTF/AML requirements.

Businesses need to comply strictly with the local regulators to avoid the possibility of such fines and reputational damage. The system should be secure enough to detect the spammings taking place inside the system and monitor the proceedings. The laundering of pecuniary instruments can be reduced with stringent AML checks. This would be helpful in streamlining the system processes providing security to the system side by side. AML checks may include the records of PEP (Politically Exposed Person) or money launderers, or it may involve deceitful transactions, illegal gambling, and their transfer to someplace that are restricted.

AML Compliance: Steps Businesses Can Take

1. Identity Verification 

Identify the beneficial owners who are part of your system. This can be done through paperwork and online identity verification. It is important to verify that trusted and actual people are the component of your business. A large number of financial institutions are adopting innovative ways and replacing it with traditional identity verification ways. These seem to be more efficient in terms of performance and remote verification. 

2. Perform CDD 

Scan identities through the watchlist which covers the questions related to the honesty of a particular person. Customer Due Diligence (CDD) ensures the complete information of a person and his funds. The source of funds, identity screening against electronic records, business nature, etc. are the requirements of CDD.

3. AML Screening 

The ownership of the identity can change with time, therefore it is not enough to check the customer once he enters into the system. There should be a constant screening of customers against sanctions lists, electronic databases, and records to ensure scrutiny. Also, background AML checks should be implemented at the backend of the system that verifies each onboarding customer against those security parameters. 

4. AML Monitoring

The continual ongoing activities need to be monitored on a regular basis. This analysis would be great with respect to the check of exceeding transaction threshold, the number of transactions taking place in a certain time span, suspicious activities, employee surveillance, communication records, transfer details, etc. Any discrepancy in such activities can result in harsh fines for the business.

Categories
Blockchain Technology Business

Data & the Supply Chain: How Big Data Is Impacting Business

In this article, we are going to be examining how big data is impacting several industries, especially the distribution chain, and how it can be used to create an agile supply chain management.

Big data refers to extremely large data sets that can be analyzed using artificial intelligence or computer systems to reveal patterns trends or associations, often relating to human behavior or interactions. So, it’s no surprise that big data is an incredibly useful analytics tool and is currently having a significant impact on commerce across the globe.

In today’s article, we’ll be shining the spotlight on the supply chain management sector to highlight how big data and the advent of artificial intelligence is transforming the way they operate. From informing decisions on buying trends to streamlining order processing and logistics, we’ll examine just how this innovation is impacting the industry and how it can be used to create agile supply chain management.

Supply Chain Management and the effect of Big DataData & the Supply Chain How Big Data Is Impacting Business

Informing consumer buying trends

By analyzing data using neural network pattern recognition systems, big data is able to identify and reveal customer buying trends within a given period. Using this data, businesses are able to locate their most popular products quickly and easily from a large data set – but the benefits don’t stop there. Using this information startup business can identify the immediate and long term trends within the supply chain both from an overall perspective as well as on smaller-scale factors, for example, which seasons or products performed better.

From there, natural language interaction software can analyze big data to compile sales reports. When in the hands of managers, these reports can influence supply chain decisions to create a more efficient process. Stock purchasers can utilize this data to be better informed on which products are performing well and which products may need more promotion or pulling from inventory completely – resulting in rapid stock replenishment and a procurement process that’s in line with consumer demands.

To extend human insight into the supply chain process, natural language generation can provide reports which can be used for further document analysis, all while negating the risk of human error. When it comes to informing consumer buying trends, big data is able to pull the right information quickly to prioritize the efficiency of the supply chain process, while simultaneously saving time and money. 

Improved demand planning 

Using prediction technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning devices are able to accurately forecast, as well as follow an endless loop of continual improvement in warehouse environments. In turn, this can cut out the requirement for communication between warehouse stockists and purchasers. Gone are the days of traditional stock-taking sessions where data often falls victim to human error, as information technology has provided the antidote to a skill that’s refined beyond our capabilities.

When prediction technology is combined with the intelligence of network pattern recognition programs, computer systems are able to recognize selling trends according to various indicators such as promotional offers, seasons, weather changes and more. By comparing this data alongside forecasting technology, AI systems have the ability to inform inventory buying based on solid data – leaving managers better equipped to calculate appropriate pricing to fuel sales and optimize profit margins.

With big data, businesses are able to cut out the middle-man in the supply chain, leading to faster stock and information turnaround times which strive to maximize customer satisfaction. This can only be a good thing as markets are being increasingly dictated by customer demands. 

Streamlining order processing

Big data can speed up warehouse processes, using image recognition technology to improve security and select items as required. AI technology has developed to allow machinery to recognize a simple logo on a high-quality cardboard box amongst many others on highly stocked shelves – making product picking quicker and reducing the risk of human error. As a result, supply chain businesses can improve order processing time – offering better customer experience in the face of a growing ‘next-day delivery’ demand.

Big data has also allowed managers to view order processing throughout the supply chain in real-time – providing better transparency and quicker troubleshooting to resolve issues. In the face of errors, communication can be sent quickly and directly to the involved party, minimizing the ramifications of delays at any point within the supply chain. Monitoring delivery status can have a larger impact on customer service, too – well-informed customers are more likely to view a brand as trustworthy and reliable, resulting in repeat business.

Boats, Cargo, Container - Streamlining order processing
Big data has become invaluable in the supply chain aspect of world businesses forming a fundamental component to the efficiency and competence of the process.

Big data has become invaluable in the business world as a fundamental component to the efficiency and competence of the supply chain as we know it today. We hope that with our overview, you’ll have a greater understanding of how big data can positively impact the supply chain – saving time, money and streamlining processes across the board.

Categories
CMS Plugins Themes Web Development & Design Ideas

6 Most Prominent Website Builders for Your Small Business: Choose The Right One

Interested in promoting your small business? But, what are your strategies to make it happen? Give me the privilege to tell you.

What about launching a business website?

Don’t let your agitation stop you!! Yes, trying it the first time is apprehensive. But, you can give a shot and test…Right?

Making a digital presence to succeed in today’s ecosystem is important whether it is related to blogs, websites, social media or listings.  

Let’s give you a sigh of relief!! Do you know that you do not need to be an expert to create a business website? All it required is the best website builder to give your business a digital presence with remarkable features and functionalities. 

Adopting this approach will give you a wealth of customers and will open immense business opportunities for you to grow. The website builders are the best option for a small business person following the skills, time constraints and budget as the main factors. Owning a small business website is a great benefit in itself. It permits you to fulfill all your goals at the same time.  

From the above discussion, it can be said that having a website for small businesses is critical for those who want to grow.  Let’s get back to the topic. How you will choose the ideal website builder for the small business? It is only dependent on what you have planned to achieve from your small business website.  But there are some significant factors that you need to consider before finalizing the website builder for your small business website.

First and foremost, the affordability. Prefer the website builder which is economical and will remain economical with the growth of your business. The website builder that has those plans that are best suited to your business needs will be favored.

The website builder which has easy to use functionality is loved by everyone. It should attain the effortless ways to integrate the home page, services page, contact page and about page. Should attain the important elements such as blogs, membership features, online store, and reservation or booking system, etc. 

Lastly, the website builder should be SEO-friendly. Your content needs to appear in the search results with the targeted keywords. This will ultimately attract the targeted customers. 

Now you got familiar with all the important factors that need to keep in mind while choosing the best website builder. Let’s check all the important and useful website builders below.

Table of Content

Here are the best small business website builders:

Best small business website builders

Most Prominent Website Builders for Your Small Business - Choose The Right One

WordPress

One of the renowned CMS is WordPress with outstanding features and customization options.  WordPress as the web builder greatly works for the development of small business websites, web stores, and landing pages.  It shows its versatility and develops the business to e-commerce websites, portfolio websites to blogging. 

Wordpress Is Best small business website builder
WordPress tops the list of best small business website builders you could ever found out there.

WordPress offers endless opportunities when it is about customizing the website. With the best WordPress development companies, you can customize your website according to your requirements. It has an immense amount of themes and plugins with which you can integrate novel functionalities and design options. It has a Bluehost as the website hosting solution to secure your projects. It has three paid plans, which are, Basic, Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro. $3.95 and $ 5.45 for Plus and choice plus plans and $13.95 per month for Pro plans. 

Wix

It is the most popular and easy to use website builder with its plethora of design templates. Wix has almost 43 million users all over the world and 45000 users are signing in daily to enjoy its features.  It is not about the type of work you are in, Wix will give you the best experience for designing the websites. Wix lets you customize the templates easily, all you have to replace the images and text for your WordPress website.

Wix - Best Small Business Website Builders
Wix prides itself as one of the prominent small business website builders with easy to use interface for non-techy business owners. It has all it takes for a newbie to put up responsive web pages.

It adds the features with the Wix Events and App Market and can create the e-commerce functionality effortlessly.  Its plans start from $11 meant for the combo plan, $14 for an unlimited plan, $ 29 for VIP plan and the business plan, you have to spend $20, $25 and $35 per month per user.

Hibu

Hibu is the website builder (Do it for me) for a small business website and is the best alternative for a website with DIY (Do it yourself) approach.  Hibu follows the fully responsive methodology and fits into every device size. The built-in SEO tools help you to get found on the important search engines, like Yahoo, Bing, and Google.  

Hibu simplifies the process of generating leads to your business smooth and stress free with its UI.
Hibu simplifies the process of generating leads to your business smooth and stress-free with its UI. In fact, it has an attractive page building elements that you can drag and drop.

It has plenty of add on starts from payment and online scheduling to embedded videos and DIY e-commerce services. This website builder gives an immense amount of customizable templates with regular customer support and maintenance. 

BigCommerce

If you want to build an e-commerce website, then you should go for BigCommerce.  It has been designed by keeping the business of handling online sales.  It empowers Skullcandy, Ben and Jerry’s, CamelBak, and several online stores. You do not need to be an expert in the technical aspects to build a small business website with BigCommerce.  Its plans include whatever one needs to develop, run and scale the online store without being technical expertise.  

BigCommerce Small Business Website Builder
With Big Commerce, you can set up a differentiated ecommerce experience for your audience with the industry’s most versatile enterprise solution.

It gives you the privilege to customize the store with the applications it has provided.  You can unlock the advanced functionalities for boosting the online stores, such as built-in customer reviews, inventory, and shipping solutions with email marketing automation tools, etc. BigCommerce has given protection from DDOS attacks and hackers so that you can protect your website from any illegal activity. Though BigCommerce has a 15 days trails period those who want to enjoy its premium plan, they have to pay $29.95 per month.

Weebly

With its simple yet effective user interface, Weebly has a drag and drop interface with which you can build a website merely in some minutes. Weebly gives you robust plans with the templates, several customizable themes, drag and drops environment to make an online presence of your brand.  

Weebly website builder is one of the best small business website builders out there
Weebly website builder is one of the best small business website builders you can rely on out there. It was created basically for starters.

You can start designing with its Free plan and can update the plan according to your business requirements.  If you are planning to sell the products from the Weebly website, the e-commerce option is around $2.99 per month/per user. The professional plan is $ 8.99 per month/per user that permits the user to develop the website that has more amount of pages. 

Site builder

It is known as an all-in-one small business website builder that lets you build a professional website for your brand at economical prices. From its drag and drop option, you can customize the website from its plenty of designed templates. 

Site Builder joins the list of top small business website builders
Site Builder joins the list of top small business website builders. Just like the name; you can use it to build exceptional websites.

It gives hosting and domain name with all its plans, e-commerce options if you are planning to open your online store, the statistics so that you can check the traffic your website is getting. It does not have any free plan, its plan starts from $5 per month (basic) and the e-commerce plan starts from $9 per month.

Concluding remarks

The digital world is overcrowded and you need to set your mark in this market. And, when there are so many easily accessible website builders than I do not think there are any barriers to start the business website. Now, it’s your choice to decide what website builder suits best according to your choice. Analyzing your future benefits you want from the website prior is a must to get your website done. So, what are you waiting for? Initiate now!!

Let’s start building the future with any of these top website builders.

If you have other builders out there that I might have omit, kindly drop them via comment below. I will check them out.

Categories
Business Disruption Marketing Startups

5 Things Tech Starts Can Do Offline to Accelerate Their Business Growth  – No PC Required

If we think of marketing, our thoughts automatically turn to online marketing strategies. Naturally, almost everything we do is done online, however, that is not the only way to grow a tech start business. Of course, online marketing is easy, it can be measured and it can be cost-effective. Despite this, offline marketing is still very important. Some of the top offline marketing tactics can be effective at growing your business and what’s more, a PC is not required to do it. So, what can tech starts do offline to accelerate the growth of their business?

How Tech Starts Can Outgrow Competitors With Offline Marketing

5 Things Tech Starts Can Do Offline to Accelerate Their Business Growth  - No PC Required
If we think of marketing, our thoughts swing to online marketing strategies, but that is not the only way to grow a tech start business.

Seek out Audience Demographics Offline

Using website visitor insights, it makes it possible for tech starts businesses to identify audience demographics offline. Therefore, it is possible to identify their interests, their hobbies, the publications that they might read and the places that they visit. These insights provide businesses with information that can help them to directly target the correct audience offline without wasting resources or efforts. 

Print Publications

Many people believe that print is no longer an effective form of marketing but they could not be further from the truth. So, tech start businesses should pay a significant amount of attention to print advertising because it is still a valuable form of marketing. The figures alone prove just how highly regarded print marketing is because more than 55% of consumers still trust print marketing over any other form of advertising. Through finding relevant placements in the correct publications, tech starts businesses can increase exposure and enhance brand visibility. This ties in with audience demographics offline as it will enable businesses to target the right audience in the correct areas. So, finding the right publications that are relevant is of huge importance.  

Take a Face-to-Face Approach

Too often, businesses will hide behind a website, social media or an email address, giving them a feeling of lacking any sort of human touch or interaction. The art of conversation is still highly effective and meeting people face-to-face is a great way of identifying new prospects, meeting current customers and enhancing the appeal of a brand or business. To achieve this, tech start businesses can attend trade shows where they can create a buzz around their business and get to know people. Building relationships offline is often underrated but it is something that people are still looking for in the world of business and what’s more, it works.

Pick up the phone

Sometimes, building a business requires an element of perseverance and picking up the phone is an offline strategy that can work. Sure, cold calling has a reputation but if businesses have the details of potential leads then a phone call can really make a difference. It provides tech start businesses with the opportunity to build relationships, explain what they offer, find out what the potential client is looking for and then inform them of how they can benefit from the product or service. A simple phone call can take a matter of minutes but it can lead to sales or potential meetings that could lead to sales.

Identify where Competitors are Not Advertising

Every business will have some form of competition and this is where the challenge begins. Any marketing strategy will seek out ways of getting ahead of the competition, which can involve advertising in those places where competitors are not. Whether this is a specific publication, a radio advert or a poster on a billboard, identifying where competitors are not advertising is key. Whatever it might be, finding that gap and exploiting it can help start tech businesses to take a positive step forward to grow their business offline.

Summary

There is no denying that growing a business requires some form of offline marketing strategy. There are many different ways to achieve this and while it might take time, effort and money, there is no doubt that it can all have a huge impact. 

A recent study researched by Ultimate banners identified that for every 1 Euro invested in exhibition advertising, businesses experienced a return of 8 Euros. This proves that taking advantage of using exhibitions to meet people while also making use of other offline strategies can help tech starts to accelerate their business growth.

Categories
Business How to Guide Money & Finance

How Can Law Firms Overcome Revenue Growth Challenges in 2019?

Over time, the landscape of the legal industry has been continuously changing. Technology advancements played a significant role in the transformation of outdated legal paradigms. Gone are those days, when legal research and writing was one of the toughest jobs of all. 

With the help of the Internet, research for any fact or case has become simpler. Lawyers and attorneys are undoubtedly showing more interest in this facet and adopting digital technologies to simplify their work processes.

However, relying entirely on tools is not enough as you have to revise some strategies as well. When it comes to revenue growth, you will encounter many challenges like economic pressure, changing customer expectations, lack of resources, and a lot more. 

That’s the reason, looking back at your previous strategies and making necessary amendments are crucial to staying ahead of your competitors. Today, we’ll be discussing the top three challenges that law firms face for boosting revenue growth and ways to avoid them:

3 Major Challenges Facing Law Firms And How To Overcome Them3 Major Challenges Facing Law Firms And How To Overcome Them

Blowing Off Existing Clients 

Do you know the Partio Principle rule, known as 80-20? It describes how lawyers can earn 80% of revenues from 20% of clients. More so, according to the research by Harvard Business Review, it is five to 25 times costly in acquiring new clients. After being mindful about so many studies and facts, still, many law firms forget their existing clients in the sprint for acquiring new ones. 

Enhancing your revenues from the existing client base requires little efforts that include being in touch consistently with the clients by sending wishes on special occasions, charging them less through discounts, organizing a referral program, etc. 

But when it comes to acquiring new customers, you’ll have to invest in marketing campaigns, lower the prices to attract more customers, and do a lot more. Being an attorney, you love to focus on one client case at a time, then why not apply the same methodology for client retention? 

Countless options are available in the market that may put you in turmoil. So, we suggest that you focus on a strategy that will enable you to enhance your client base efficiently.Legal or Illegal - Law Firms Challenges

Expelling Outdated Routines

It doesn’t matter how big or small your legal organization is, there’s a limit to the number of hours individuals can bill. However, with legal technology, firms can eradicate these restrictions and become more proficient in their work. Technologies like AI help law firms to forget about their repetitive tasks of billing, document management, etc., by simplifying the process

AI has the ability to work and think like a human, which is why legal research has become quite easier compared to other technologies like Blockchain; it has a streamlined contract management process which introduces smart contracts. It also decentralizes all the data from contracts and stores it securely, which eliminates the insecurity for a data breach. 

More so, there are many automated tools available in the market that help law firms to simplify administrative and billing tasks. Some of which are mentioned below:

  • Clio
  • Wolters Kluwer
  • MyCase
  • SmartAdvocate
  • PracticePanthar
  • AbacusLaw
  • Logikcull
  • Smokeball
  • LeanLaw
  • CASEpeer
  • Zelican
  • Needles

Build a Futuristic Milieu

Developing a better work culture in your law firm can help you enhance growth opportunities. You should focus and motivate your business development team so that they can bring more leads and boost the overall revenue. 

With the adoption of new technology, lawyers can build a healthy environment for employees by enabling them to work on managerial tasks rather than wasting hours on the repetitive task. 

Besides the use of technology, the trend of availing legal support for law firms is also becoming popular that allows attorneys to work proficiently by outsourcing their non-core activities. You could find plenty of LPO companies that offer a wide range of legal services worldwide. 

It quickly helps you cut down on the operational expenses by eliminating the need for hiring additional resources or investing in technology. Outsourcing firms are already equipped with the required infrastructure and tools. Their internal teams are always updated with the changing trends in the market.

Working in the right environment boosts employees’ morale that eventually enhances overall business revenue. Allowing them to work on what they are best at will help provide you with better results.

Not Providing Personalized Services

As every business is shifting towards technological trends, clients’ expectations are also changing. Modern customers are expecting services that are easy to access and convenient such as e-commerce shopping, obtaining required information at just one click, and a lot more. 

Attorneys should embrace such tools and methodologies to stay connected with their clients. Video conferencing, billing online, receiving online payments, offering personalized services, etc., are some of the ways to keep your clients contented. 

Bottom Line

Law firms should look back and reconsider their every strategy to enhance their revenues as it is the best option. It not only helps lawyers to identify their mistakes but also helps to overcome the upcoming challenges that one may encounter in their business lifecycle. That’s the reason in order to identify better opportunities, legal firms should revisit their strategies and implement changes accordingly. The days of legal research and writing has gone, we are now in the digital age where law firms can take advantage of emerging technologies

Categories
Real Estate

The Role of Real Estate Valuation in the Economic Development of Nigeria

Today, Real Estate is a cliché in every country. Real Estate property is attributed as a sure-bank investment for persons who can afford this intangible form of assets, and unlike money, it is ranked higher than financial instruments.

This article is not to argue about its societal placement as a form of an asset over other forms of assets but its role through valuation in the economic growth and development especially Nigeria.

There are several determinants of economic development in the world. They include inflation, real estate development, money flow, and interest rates, to mention but just a few. The main focus is on real estate as other determinants evolve around the statistical calculations of demand and supply.

Demand and supply are not really a major factor in valuing real estate, as there are other significant factors such as the people’s purchasing power, the category of the real estate, the soil composition and geographical location of the Land which would also factor in natural and man-made disasters, etc.

Real Estate

Real Estate is synonymous to Land and everything that is permanently affixed to it. This includes buildings, structures, etc.

Real Estate has various categories such as Residential, Industrial, Commercial and Development, and Agriculture. These categories are usually depicted in the Certificate of Occupancy granted to either Statutory or Customary holder of the land for a term of years.

The Land Use Act of 1978 is the primary law governing Land in Nigeria. The Act vests all land in the state, that is, land in its entirety within each 36 states territory and boundary in the Governor of each state.

Just like every profession has its representatives, Real Estate has its representatives and they are called Estate Surveyors and Valuers (ESV).

These set of people provide information, contribute and advise persons (individuals, corporate entities, and governments) on the knowledge and strategies to build infrastructures, maintain infrastructures, and on national development.

Some roles of Real Estate Valuation includes:

  1. Auctioneering: arriving at the initial value which the property will be auctioned i.e. guide price
  2. Evaluating and valuing monetary value for property either for loan purpose, mortgage purpose, Construction purpose, assignment or transfer purpose, business startup, etc.
  3. Consulting on statistical compensation required for the revocation of property for public interest
  4. Splitting businesses based on its assets

Economic Development and Growth of NigeriaThe Roles of Real Estate Valuation in the Economic Development of Nigeria - TechAtLast

Economic growth is defined as the process of growing or expanding a country’s economy geometrically through macro-economic indicators especially gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.

It is also defined as the expansion of an economy’s total output which is measured with GDP to determine the improved standard of living and quality of life among the population. Therefore, when the output per capita is greater than or outgrows the population, there is economic growth.

Economic growth remains sustainable through economic development. Economic development is synonymous to an environment which is synonymous to real estate or land.

As reiterated earlier, there are determinants of economic growth such as Real Estate development, interest rate, money supply, and inflation but the focus is on Real estate development.

The Role of Real Estate Valuation in the Economic Development of Nigeria

The role of real estate valuation cannot be overemphasized. Valuing a property goes to the root of establishing the propensity of appreciations or stagnation over a certain period of time. Property valuation determines the exact value or worth of a property.

This determination gives the owner an insight into the possible returns on his investment or informs a seller on the value of his or her property before sale; likewise buyer.

When valuing a property, an Estate Surveyor and Valuer consider three (3) key approaches: a cost approach, comparable sales approach, and the income approach. These three approaches determine the return on investment on a property in any geographical location.

In Nigeria, Real Estate valuation plays a role in economic development as real estate is one of the contributory factors of the economic GDP. A property rightly valued, can either be developed, maintained or sold.

When public infrastructures or assets are developed or built and maintained to serve the growing populations; especially in urban and semi-urban areas targeting low and middle-income earners.

The outputs generated from these infrastructures will be one of the contributory factors of economic development and growth in Nigeria.

Conclusion

Valuing real estate is crucial for economic development. Several countries in the world turn to experts in the field to consult on the worth of a property and its projected value in future before committing to it.

Categories
Marketing

15 Phone Marketing Mistakes To Avoid That Could Cost You A Fortune

What are the costliest phone marketing mistakes of all time? Why can’t you close the deal even after all the talks? How do you avoid making the same phone marketing mistake over and over while trying to close a deal?

Phone marketing has been an excellent way to sell products and services since the 1900s. Seventy years later, call centers appeared and so did telemarketing. In the 2000s, SMS messaging has changed the world. In the 21st century, smartphones gave birth to mobile marketing.

Regardless of the rich history and formidable experience to learn from, companies still make blunders when setting up phone marketing strategies.

Let’s look at the most common phone marketing mistakes made by phone marketing specialists. Find out what NOT to do right now. 

15 Phone Marketing Mistakes You Must Avoid; Could Cost You A Fortune

15 Phone Marketing Mistakes You Must Avoid - They Could Cost You A Fortune
Understanding the nitty-gritty of smartphone marketing means your business should by be operating at a fast pace above its competitors and you’re attracting sales like a magnet. But, failure to avoid these phone marketing mistakes could spell the doom for your business.

So here’s how not to do phone marketing in this frequently-changing era of commanding customer’s attention.

1. Focusing Too Much On The Product

When you are trying to cram hundreds of words about your products in one short phone call, the listener is overwhelmed. No one wants to hear too much about the excellence of your product. After all, it’s hard to believe without actually using it.

Focus your attention on the customer’s needs and desires. Talk about the listener not about yourself. Explain how your product can meet their demands and solve their problems.

Phone Marketing Mistakes - Focusing Too Much On The Product Is Not Ideal for Effective Phone Marketing
Don’t make the phone marketing mistake of focusing all your attention on the product. It is not ideal for an effective phone marketing campaign. What if you put the customer through the experience of what he/she could get as a result of using your product, how does that sound to you? People buy experience, not just features.

2. Relying On Emails

Phone marketing should be about calling. While emailing is an important part of the marketing campaign, emails without a follow-up call can decrease the effectiveness of sale by 98% according to Lisa Calhoun’s post on Inc.

People view calls as personal interaction. It’s much harder for them to hang up the phone than to send your email to the trash or spam folder.

Email Validation - Understanding How Businesses Can Benefit From Email Validators

3. Sharing The Price Too Early

When speaking with the prospect, marketers often hear questions about pricing. By sharing the price too early, you are likely to hear goodbye immediately.

Don’t reveal the price until you learn what exactly the person wants. When you share the price while explaining how useful the product is, the client is more likely to accept it.

4. Spending Time on Buyers Without Conversion Potential

Even if your marketing team has done an excellent job singling out the target audience, it’s still possible to contact a person, who can’t benefit from your services. Spending time trying to sell a product to such people is counterproductive.

Come up with qualifying questions to help you determine whether the person is a potential buyer. You should identify the buyer within the first two minutes of the conversation.

5 Sales Skills That Make a Top Seller
In your bid to become a sought-after sales professional, there are certain sales skills and abilities that you will need to personally develop and incorporate into your daily lifestyle. Ability to spot a POTENTIAL CUSTOMER from the rest is crucial.

5. Calling The Wrong Person

According to specialists at Byteplant, many useless calls are made by companies that don’t use phone validator services.

If you have a formidable list of phone numbers, some of them are bound to be either outdated or wrong. By maintaining your phone list hygiene, you can avoid calling the wrong people and wasting your time.

6. Getting Too Technical

As a good marketer, you know the produces and services inside out. You can spend hours talking about their benefits. However, buyers rarely want technical details. They get bored with such a huge amount of information.

Focus on the most important details and offer them in response to the clients’ needs.

Simplify the Sales Experience - Don't Make It Too Technical
To drive home your points and get the customer to decide quickly, try to simplify the explanation. It must not sound too technical to understand.

7. Not Making Sure The Client Understands

The information about your product can appear crystal clear to you. Meanwhile, the client may be at a loss. Don’t keep pounding listeners with information before you make sure they understand what you’ve already said.

Keep talking about their needs and desires and how the product can satisfy them.

8. Forgetting About The Power of “Yes”

Structure your conversation in a way to get the client to answer yes to the majority of your questions. This can help them say “yes” when you ask them to make a purchase.

Ask the clients what they are looking for. Then offer them a solution and ask if that’s what they are looking for.

Forgetting About The Power of “Yes”
The holy grail of getting the sales locked-in is making your prospect to agree with everything you are saying. That resounding yes, yes, yes goes a long way to open the door for you to close the sale. Don’t make the same phone marketing mistake of just talking without getting the feedback from the recipient of the call. It must be a two-way thing; you talk, you listen!

9. Not Asking To Buy

Marketers often forget to ask the client to make the purchase. No matter how well you’ve explained the benefits of a product, don’t expect the client to say “I want to buy it” immediately.

Make the next step toward making the sale by actually asking the client to buy. 

How to Customize Your E-Commerce Store From Scratch
What is the essence of the call if closing the deal is missing from your agenda? Don’t make this phone marketing mistake of just doing the talking without asking the client to act. Assume your prospect knows nothing about the next line of action.  

10. Avoiding The Follow Up

Follow up calls are often the most important part of the buyer-seller relationship. The probability of selling to a returning customer is a whopping 70%.

Make sure you follow up with the client to find out how they like your products and services. The feedback can be priceless for your future marketing efforts. 

11. Failing to Personalize Messages

Phone marketing specialists, who have to make hundreds of calls per day, often make a phone marketing mistake of saying the same things to each client. However, the generalized messages are less likely to achieve a sale than personalized conversations.

Make sure to learn at least some information about each client, at least the basic demographics.

What do you stand to gain by sharing general data with the same client at the same time? You don’t have to sound robotic, there’s a need for some level of personalizing what you intend to say to a particular customer at a time. Not doing this is ruinous to your phone marketing campaign.

12. Not Listening To The Client

Many marketers think that they are listening to the client, but they aren’t. Don’t rush to answer the question to move on to the next point. If the client is sharing information, you have to process it carefully to use for your further marketing efforts.

Make sure you are fully engaged in a conversation. It’s much more important to answer questions extensively than to share the prepared text.

Phone Marketing Mistakes - Not Listening To The Client Is Bad
Not listening to your client adds to our list of phone marketing mistakes that could be disastrous to your company’s brand image. Discipline yourself to listen more because when you do, you get to the root of your client’s fear and solve them by providing your solutions; the product!

13. Sounding Shy

Sales representatives must sound confident. If you appear shy or timid, the customer is likely to hang up within the first minute of the conversation.

Sounding Shy on the phone
When you mumbled throughout the whole phone marketing conversation, you have a high tendency of sounding shy to your prospective client on the other end. It is one of the costliest phone marketing mistakes. You must sound confident, no matter what.marketin

14. Rushing Through the Call

You may have hundreds of phone calls to make, but it doesn’t mean you have to rush through them. A potential customer may have questions that need explaining. By being brief, you may be saving time but losing a conversion.

Rushing Through the Call
Keep calm and never ever sound anxious through the call. Don’t be in a rush because the end result is to close the sale. Another phone marketing mistake you should be wary of. Smile, be personified and let your client water the floor for you.

15. Being Afraid of Failure

Don’t be afraid of failure. The majority of calls ends up without conversions. However, even 10% of conversations is a good figure for many companies.

You have to remember that hang-ups are an integral part of your job. Don’t feel discouraged when you hear a click. It may affect your attitude during the next call. 

Closing remarks on avoiding phone marketing mistakes

Phone marketing is an excellent way to get conversions and build long-term relationships with your clients. Take the time to structure it in the most efficient way possible by avoiding the above phone marketing mistakes. 

Categories
Application Design and Development (Mobile or Desktop) Mobile App

5 Advantages of Custom App Development For Businesses

Does a perfect app exist? It might. But you won’t find it on the store shelf.

Off-the-shelf software is a good choice for startups, which have a low budget and a small volume of work. When it comes to larger companies that have substantial growth and development in mind, custom software is a must-have.

Creating a custom app is time-consuming and, let’s be honest, costly. Not many business owners are ready to make such an investment even if they realize the size of the ROI.

If you are considering custom app development and need a little push forward, this quick read is for you. Let’s go over the key benefits of such a step. 

What are the advantages of custom app development for businesses?What are the advantages of custom app development for businesses

1. Saving Time Becomes Easier with Custom App Development

Time is money and it must be well factored into your custom app development. Custom app developers consider all the needs of your company to help you save time on routine tasks.

Custom apps usually automate numerous processes, helping your employees move on to other projects without looking back at manual tasks.

For example, a custom app eliminates the need to enter data into different programs your staff is used to working with. By entering the data once, you are making sure it reaches all the necessary databases.

2. Improving Security

One of the biggest problems with off-the-shelf software is its availability. Anyone can buy it. Hackers can too. They get access to the program and sufficient time to look for loopholes. Even though app developers try to close loopholes with updates, sometimes these measures aren’t enough.

If the security of your software is compromised, you can lose valuable data together with clients and reputation.

With a custom app, you are the only company that has access to the program. That keeps the number of security issues to the very minimum.

Essential online security tools to keep your data safe online

3. Enjoying Flexibility

One of the biggest disadvantages of off-the-shelf software is its inability to adjust to your needs. As the company grows or changes, it needs new software. Usually, business owners end up going to the store and buying a new app. As a result, you are stuck with numerous programs, each one of which is performing a certain function.Custom app development advantages - Enjoying flexibility

4. Improving Accessibility

These days, it’s highly important to get fast access to your software no matter where you are. Custom apps give you an opportunity to practice remote work without any delays or downtime.

A custom app for your business can synchronize all your data on all devices, helping you optimize your work at any time.Improving Accessibility

5. Integrating Old Software 

Custom apps can integrate your existing software in order for you not to worry about transferring data or losing important features.

All you have to do is tell the developer which software needs integration in order for the work process to go smoothly.Integrating Old Software Becomes Easy With Custom App Development

6. Getting High-Quality Lifetime Support

One of the worst things that could happen to your off-the-shelf app is the end of support. The company, which develops such apps, can decide to stop supporting a program and go on to other products. In such a case, you are left with software without updates and compromised security.

When you buy a custom app, you get high-quality lifetime support for the product. The only way you can be left without support is if the company goes out of business.

App developers at Entrance share that custom apps are highly flexible. They grow and develop with your company. Respectable app developers offer lifetime support for their products. They make these programs flexible enough for additions and tweaking.

Final Thoughts

At some point, each business owner understands the importance of custom app development. These apps have an impressive ROI and can improve the work process substantially. If you are tired of wasting time on working with numerous programs and worrying about support and security, consider custom app development today.

Categories
Marketing

5 Sales Skills That Make a Top Seller With Tips for Getting Consistent Sales

The stories about technology replacing human talent no longer look like science fiction. As a matter of fact, this process is underway and it has already called forth large-scale automation of jobs in numerous industries, including logistics, healthcare, and retail. However, this trend hasn’t penetrated so deeply into sales. Why? The answer boils down to sales skills, something soulless machines can hardly be taught.

So, what is it specifically that helps top sellers outstrip AI systems or the average layman? It’s a well-balanced combo of soft, hard, and job-specific skills that help close deals. There is so much more to excelling in the profession than mere product knowledge. The modern sales process is about communication, active listening, persuasiveness, customer focus, honesty, resilience, self-motivation, empathy, and many more great things.

5 Sales Skills That Guarantee Consistent Sales

There are a few sales skills, though, that stand out from the rest and make a good sales professional regardless of industry. What are they?

5 Sales Skills That Make a Top Seller
In your bid to become a sought-after sales professional, there are certain sales skills and abilities that you will need to personally develop and incorporate into your daily lifestyle.

Time management

In today’s busy world, respecting your client’s time and yours is a prerequisite for success. This skill increases productivity and helps you prioritize leads to single out the most promising ones, thereby driving the ROI to a maximum. Plus it nurtures punctuality that constitutes the invaluable first impression and makes it easier to build rapport with customers. As a sales rep, you can also optimize your time by employing software automation, such as social prospecting, customer analytics, and business intelligence tools. But always mind the security and do not let rogue software penetrate your systems. 

Collaboration

As per Sales force research findings, 73% of sales professionals say collaborating across departments is absolutely critical to the overall sales process. Lone wolves don’t dominate the sales landscape anymore. If you want to prosper in this profession, learn to coordinate your own efforts and roles with those of your colleagues. The multi-pronged sales process is a matter of collective endeavors nowadays, so be a team player to succeed.

The art of asking the right questions

When it comes to determining what exactly a prospect needs, no one has invented a more effective way than asking. Appropriate questions help figure out customers’ expectations about the product or service, their priorities, and pain points.

Yes-No questions can be helpful but they may as well turn the dialog into a riddle game that goes on until you hear the sacramental “Yes”. On the other hand, answers to WH-questions tend to be more informative. Being able to combine different types of questions is a precious skill that shouldn’t be underestimated. Complemented with active listening, it can really hit the sweet spot in sales.

Conflict management

Things don’t always go smooth in the sales workflow that might get cutthroat at times. Misunderstandings and complaints happen, and they aren’t necessarily isolated to your relationship with the customers – there can also be conflicts with co-workers you’ll need to sort out. Have a plan B for such scenarios and develop a resilient mindset to proactively fend them off.

Closing grit

According to a recent study, closing more deals is a top sales priority for 75% of companies. The closing skill isn’t about signing the contract – it’s about being good at identifying the subtle moment when the customer realizes your product is exactly what they need. Best-performing sellers strike while the iron is hot. But, they can maintain a trade-off between pressure and patience so that the closing is natural and hassle-free.

Bear in mind that mastering these sales skills is half the battle. The fundamental difference between mediocre and top sellers is that the latter never stop fine-tuning their sales skills and know it pays off to be customer-centric.

Categories
Business Womens

7 Ways Women Can Stand Out in the Workplace

The past decade has seen a shift towards an increase in women in higher managerial positions and in the overall workplace. However, in many industries, it is still difficult for women to stand out. There are many instances where women find themselves as the only woman in the meeting or at the table. This has proved to be major problems in the goals towards moving up in positions or being credited for work. Thus, whilst workplace gender balance is improving, there are still many hurdles to overcome. Here, we explore 7 ways in which women can stand out in the workplace. 

How Women Can Stand Out at Workplace and Gain Maximum Respect

How Women Can Stand Out at Workplace and Gain Maximum Respect
How do you stand out at your working place as a woman?

1. Learn to Say No

There is a huge misconception that the way to gain respect at work and to move up in positions is to accept all work that is asked of you. Whilst accepting to do additional work can earn you brownies points, it does not necessarily make you stand out in the workplace. Oftentimes, it can lead to being taken advantage of. Thus, the concept of quality over quantity is of importance. It is of greater benefit to complete less work at a higher standard, rather than completing more work at a mediocre level. Learning to say no will allow you to build upon the quality of your work, allowing you to stand out and earn the respect of your colleagues

2. Leadership and Management Courses

As the workplace environment is fast-paced and ever-changing, it is important to maintain and develop new skills to adapt to its changing nature. From learning how to manage stress, use new technology, lead a team, to professionally managing others, taking leadership and management course can be a great way for women to not only develop their workplace skills but also to allow them to stand out in the workplace.

3. Showcase Your Work Ethic

Having a good work ethic is the key to having a successful career and standing out in the workplace. Whether it’s staying late to finish a project, going above and beyond to produce high-quality work, taking additional work commitments, or offering your expert skills to other colleagues, having a good work ethic will allow you to shine in the workplace. Working hard and smart will not only allow you to be recognized in the workplace but will also open up greater opportunities for advancement in your career

4. Be Confident

Be Confident - It helps you stand out amongst your peers

Being confident in the workplace, especially in a heavily male-dominated industry can be a difficult task for many women but is one of the most important ways to being recognized for your efforts at work. Being confident not only means being confident on the inside but also projecting it physically. Confidence can be expressed in many ways, through strong posture, showcasing your individual skills and expertise, volunteering to be the leader of a project, or voicing your opinions during meetings. The more confident you are, the more respect you will gain from your colleagues.

5. Speak Up

Hand in hand with being confident is speaking up in the workplace. It can be tempting to keep your opinions and ideas to yourself, especially if your colleagues are on a different train of thought. However, standing out in the workplace means taking risks and speaking your mind when necessary. Voicing your opinions and ideas allows for different perspectives and this can often lead to a more open and well-rounded discussion. It’s worth attending public speaking classes online to keep your speaking skills as sharp as possible. Although your opinions and ideas may not be loved 100% of the time, it is worth the short of speaking up and having your ideas heard.

6. Take Risks

Career growth and standing out in the workplace often mean that you have to take risks. Whether it is voicing your opinions on a controversial topic, implementing new changes, or taking on big projects, taking risks can push you out of your comfort zone and allow you to develop and improve your interpersonal skills. This will not only make you stand out in the workplace, but it will allow for career growth. Illustrating a willingness to take risks will earn you great respect and recognition.

7. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

One commonality between all winners is that they have an in-depth knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses. If you want to stand out in the workplace, it is important to have a thorough understanding of your strengths. Having this understanding will allow you to use those strengths to your advantage. From here, the quality of your work will improve. Good at public speaking? Volunteer to pitch new ideas or to clients. Not only will this allow you to build upon your own skills, but it will also earn you recognition and a positive reputation at work. 

Wanting to advance your career to stand out in the workplace can be a difficult task. For women, it can be even more difficult. Thus, whilst the workplace industry is continually shifting towards greater recognition of women in the workplace, there are still many obstacles to cross. There are many ways for women to stand out in the workplace, and the above tips are just a few of the many ways women can do so. 

Conclusion

The past decade has seen a shift towards an increase in women in higher managerial positions and they seem interested in slowing down the pace anytime soon, and it is an encouragement to be factual. In standing out in the workplace, voicing your opinions and ideas is very necessary. You have to stand up tall for what you believe in – and with tips shared in this post, women of all disciplines can now proudly stand out in their working place without feeling threatened.