What is Machine Learning? A definition

Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning focuses on the development of computer programs that can access data and use it learn for themselves.

The process of learning begins with observations or data, such as examples, direct experience, or instruction, in order to look for patterns in data and make better decisions in the future based on the examples that we provide. The primary aim is to allow the computers learn automatically without human intervention or assistance and adjust actions accordingly.

Some machine learning methods

  1. Machine learning algorithms are often categorized as supervised or unsupervised.
  2. Supervised machine learning algorithms can apply what has been learned in the past to new data using labeled examples to predict future events. Starting from the analysis of a known training dataset, the learning algorithm produces an inferred function to make predictions about the output values. The system is able to provide targets for any new input after sufficient training. The learning algorithm can also compare its output with the correct, intended output and find errors in order to modify the model accordingly.
  3. In contrast, unsupervised machine learning algorithms are used when the information used to train is neither classified nor labeled. Unsupervised learning studies how systems can infer a function to describe a hidden structure from unlabeled data. The system doesn’t figure out the right output, but it explores the data and can draw inferences from datasets to describe hidden structures from unlabeled data.
  4. Semi-supervised machine learning algorithms fall somewhere in between supervised and unsupervised learning, since they use both labeled and unlabeled data for training – typically a small amount of labeled data and a large amount of unlabeled data. The systems that use this method are able to considerably improve learning accuracy. Usually, semi-supervised learning is chosen when the acquired labeled data requires skilled and relevant resources in order to train it / learn from it. Otherwise, acquiringunlabeled data generally doesn’t require additional resources.
  5. Reinforcement machine learning algorithms is a learning method that interacts with its environment by producing actions and discovers errors or rewards. Trial and error search and delayed reward are the most relevant characteristics of reinforcement learning. This method allows machines and software agents to automatically determine the ideal behavior within a specific context in order to maximize its performance. Simple reward feedback is required for the agent to learn which action is best; this is known as the reinforcement signal.
  6. Machine learning enables analysis of massive quantities of data. While it generally delivers faster, more accurate results in order to identify profitable opportunities or dangerous risks, it may also require additional time and resources to train it properly. Combining machine learning with AI and cognitive technologies can make it even more effective in processing large volumes of information.

Protect Your Startup From A Cybersecurity Attack

You’ve probably poured everything you have mentally and financially into your startup. There’s an area you’re likely overlooking, however, and that’s cybersecurity.

Anytime you’re using technology, you are at risk of being the target of a cyberattack, and the way these attacks occur is always evolving.

For example, one of the big threats right now are the different types of DNS attacks, and as is the case with so many other types of cyberattacks, it doesn’t matter how small you are. You could be a business of one and still be the victim of a cyberattack.

A study from the Ponemon Institute found that 55% of SMEs experienced some form of cyberattack leading up to the collection of the data for the study. If you use the internet, have a website or have cloud accounts, you’re at risk and SMEs may be more at risk because they don’t always have the resources or knowledge to deal with threats.

As a startup, you probably don’t have the budget for a dedicated IT team, but the following are steps you can take regardless.

Educate Yourself

If you’re at the helm of your startup, whether you have employees under you or not, you set the tone, and you are the leader. You’re also the person who can make or break your cybersecurity policies and implementation.

Even if you don’t have the budget to bring a security professional on with your company, learn as much as you can.

Get a feel for what the current threat landscape looks like and what you can do to protect your business.

Some things are simple—for example, making sure you understand phishing scams and how to be safe when you open your email.

Another thing you can learn about it and implement with no money at all and very little time is the use of strong passwords. If you’re using the same password across multiple accounts, you’re more likely to be a target.

Use a password manager on all of your devices so that you can mix them up but don’t have to worry about remembering them. With a password manager, all your stored passwords are encrypted.

Another simple step to put in place?

Enable two-factor authentication on all of your accounts.

When you’re storing backups, don’t do so on your own network. Store them somewhere that’s not connected to your company network, such as the cloud. Then, if your data and network are compromised, you’ll have copies of everything elsewhere.

Train Employees

If you do have employees, even if just one, train them on cybersecurity best practices as well. An estimated 90% of company breaches stem from phishing attempts, and in these cases, a cyber attacker will pose as a trusted person, such as a bank representative. Then, you or your employee would theoretically give the attacker sensitive information.

One of the most important things you can do for your business in terms of cybersecurity, no matter what your size is, is to learn how to recognize phishing attempts.

Have the Fundamentals In Place

As your budget grows, so might your cybersecurity protections, but in the meantime, beyond educating yourself and training your employees, you need to have at a bare minimum the basics of cybersecurity in place.

First, conduct a cybersecurity audit. This is important because it will show you where you are versus where you need to be. It will also give you a baseline so you can measure the success of future strategies you implement.

Beyond that, have a firewall. Anytime you have security software, make sure that you update it as you’re supposed to, and patch devices and firmware.

A good option for some startups, even with a small budget, is to consider managed IT services.

As a business owner at the helm of a startup, you might not have the time to put into cybersecurity. Managed IT is often an affordable way to get features like constant network monitoring, IT support, and device updates.

What’s especially good about managed IT for a startup is that there’s an inherent sense of scalability available from most providers so you can grow as you need.

You’re busy when you’re running a startup, and your time and attention are being pulled in countless directions, but that doesn’t mean you can overlook cybersecurity. Cybersecurity can be make or break for a startup, and there are things you can do today to make your business more secure from threats.

Selecting The Right Domain Name For Your Business

Take a moment to think about your favorite brand. How long does it take you to find their company website? Is theirs the first name that comes up in a Google search? If it’s a well-known brand, they probably have an easy-to-find website with a memorable domain name.

Picking a domain name for your business – in essence, your digital home – is a lot like buying a physical home. You need to find the perfect fit and it has to be available.

While you might think you have the perfect name already picked out, chances are you’re going to have to get creative. There are already nearly 360 million registered domain names.

Why is a domain name so important? Simply put, it is the heart of your online identity. And while domain names can be changed at any time, doing so could have a negative impact on your brand and your SEO. Choose the best possible name from the start and stick with it.

To help you understand the ins and outs of purchasing and maintaining a domain name, we’ve put together a list of six tips to help you make an informed decision.

Choosing the best domain name.

Choosing a unique domain name is an important part of your online marketing strategy. Domain names should be unique and easy to remember so your customers and prospects can easily find you online.

Your domain name should reflect your core products or services. As many of the obvious names are already taken, it’s important to make sure your name stands out.

When choosing a domain:

  • Keep it simple – Customers expect speed and convenience, especially when they’re searching for a product or service. Keep your domain name short and easy to type, remember and refer others to.
  • Use common keywords in your domain name – Always consider SEO. Use your business’s main keyword phrase(s) in your domain name to help your site’s ranking on search engine results pages (or SERPs).
  • Make it relevant to your business – Your domain name must be relevant to your products or services. At the same time, avoid locking yourself into a box if you’re considering expanding your offerings.
  • It doesn’t have to be a “.com” – The most commonly used and recognized domain extension is .com. However, search engines treat other domain extensions, such as .net, .site or even .club, the same as .com. Create an exact match domain (a domain that includes the exact keywords you want to rank for) and the search engines are likely to rank it higher than a domain name that’s less descriptive.

Trademarking your domain name.

If your domain is the same as your brand name, trademark it to protect your business. Trademarks provide legal recourse if a person or business infringes on your brand.

Changing your domain name.

If your business is going through a rebranding or if you want to capitalize on SEO opportunities, domain name changes can be beneficial. You can change your domain name whenever you like, and most registrars offer a process to migrate from one domain name to another.

Renewing your domain.

Don’t forget to renew your domain. Domain names are rented rather than purchased. The more domain names a registrar has under its management, the greater the operating costs. ICANN, the international governing body of domain names, wants to ensure that businesses can accommodate for this inflation over time.

Most registrars offer automatic annual renewal for domains. Automated renewal ensures you don’t lose your preferred domain name and won’t have to worry about remembering to renew it every year.

Redirecting traffic to social media.

A redirect automatically takes a user from one URL to another. 301 redirects are typically used to make sure users end up in the right place. This redirect tactic may be used by a business that has purchased a domain name but doesn’t have a website set up. In this case, they could redirect their domain to a social media page.

While this strategy is a good solution for companies who don’t yet have a website to go with their domain, redirecting to social media isn’t a long-term solution. Having your own website enhances your brand’s credibility and allows for greater control over your content. Setting one up should be a priority.

Private registration.

The information listed on your domain name must be made publicly available per your registrar’s agreement with ICANN. Using false information violates the registration agreement and can lead to the termination of your domain registration.

Ensure your personal information remains private by purchasing private registration, which provides all the benefits of domain registration without exposing your personal information. When you purchase private domain registration services, the WHOIS directory will list your registrar’s name, postal address and phone number instead of yours, while still providing the full benefits of registration (though this can vary by registrar). This means you retain the ability to:

  • Cancel, sell or transfer your domain registration.
  • Turn off the privacy feature, so your registrant details are shown instead.
  • Renew your domain registration upon expiration.
  • Designate the name servers to which your domain points.
  • Resolve claims arising out of a dispute involving your domain registration.

Choose a domain name with confidence.

Now that you’re familiar with the finer details of choosing and maintaining a domain name, you’re ready to take action. Your website is the face of your business online, so use this knowledge to choose the best available domain name. Get started now with our helpful resources.

 

Tips for Young Entrepreneurs

An entrepreneur is someone who attempts to dream with a strong vision and finds ways to actualize it through innovative ideas and hard work. As Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Beginning with courage followed by hard work, strategic planning and ways to execute them systematically is the foundation for business success. Striving hard and not surrendering to failures but instead learning from them should be the motto that every entrepreneur should follow. A successful entrepreneur not only satisfies his creative ideas but also contributes to the society at large.

If you are young entrepreneur venturing into a new business and are looking at what you should know before putting yourself out there, here are five things you ought to keep in mind

Know your market and your product

If you are truly passionate about an idea, the first step is to spend time on market research. Understand your target audience, their needs and challenges. Interact with potential customers to know more about how your idea can help solve a problem. Take the time to understand if your product will stand out in a crowded market. If there are too many competitors, find your niche. Work towards creating a product or solving a problem that’s unique.

Find a mentor

When you are starting out young, it’s easy to get carried away with your idea and lose focus from the larger picture. Find a mentor who can guide you with business strategies, crunch numbers, connect you to the right group of people and provide insights about the market. An experienced mentor can play a key role in the success of your business.

Networking

Networking is a must if you want more people to know about your company or generate business leads. Identify networking events that are specific to your industry and make it a point to attend these events regularly. Participating in these events will help you build connections, identify new trends in your industry, helps you hire the right talent and build visibility for your business.

Transparency

Maintain transparency across all the stakeholders involved in the business especially customers. Don’t fool your customers just to satisfy sales. Be transparent about what your product is good for and what it is not good for. It’s not easy to maintain transparency across all aspects but once you start practicing it, positive results are bound to follow. Additionally, it also helps to build great brand image.

Perseverance

Perseverance is an important trait for an entrepreneur. Never give up on the idea that you are passionate about. When you start out young, you have the advantage of time. If the Plan A does not work, be ready with a contingency plan. The concept of overnight success rarely works in business. There might be multiple rough moments in your entrepreneurial journey, dust it off and keep working towards your goal.

 Marketing

While running the day to day operations, it’s easy to ignore the other aspects such as marketing and branding. A great idea is just an idea if no one knows about it. People are only familiar with a brand if they’re made familiar with it. Marketing is an important and an essential tool for reaching out to the desired market. It’s important to effectively explain why people must buy your product or invest in your idea.

Empowering Women Entrepreneurship in India

The modern era is the era of empowerment and upsurges in the condition of women. Be it the political landscape or the corporate scenarios; women have stepped outside the boundaries of homes and kitchens. They have confidently taken up the roles of leaders and bosses and are rubbing shoulders with the best of corporate leaders in the industry.

In a male-dominated business environment, finding women entrepreneurs with successful enterprises is a real challenge. India has produced some great female entrepreneurs in the form of Indira Nooyi-Chairperson PepsiCo, Upasana Taku-Founder Mobikwik, Neeru Sharma-Infibeam, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw-Founder of Biocon, Vandana Luthra-Founder of VLCC and Shahnaz Hussain –CEO of Shehnaz Herbals. They are great role models for aspiring women entrepreneurs in India.

Women Entrepreneurship in India: an Overview

Estimated total businesses in India 58.5 million
Estimated total women-led businesses in India 8.05 million
Percentage of Female Entrepreneurs in India 14%
Distribution of Women Enterprises in India 33% in Agriculture, 67% in Manufacturing& Retail
Average Employment in Women-owned Enterprise 1.67
% of firms with female partnerships 24%
Employment provided by Women Enterprises 13.5 million Indians
Schemes for Women empowerment provided by current Indian Government/banks Annapurna Scheme

Stree Shakti Package

Mudra Yojna

Mahila Udyam Nidhi

Problems Faced By Women Entrepreneurs in India

Women entrepreneurs in India have their own set of pitfalls and challenges. Only about 14% of businesses in India are run by women, with 57% of these being started by women alone. In a patriarchal society, women face severe restrictions to break the barriers of gender disparity, lack of resources, and inappropriate networking.

Let us explore some significant problems faced by women entrepreneurs in India:

  • Business Loan for Women Entrepreneurs
  • Lack of necessary business inputs like raw material, manpower
  • No or limited family support
  • Limited education and research opportunities
  • Inadequate infrastructure
  • Social limitations.

Reasons for restraint are numerous and call for the empowerment of women to break free first from their low achievement mind-set. An educated, skilled, and ambitious Indian woman will be powered to train her mind in the right direction to achieve her business targets. A little support and motivation in the right direction can work wonders for her and propel her on the right path.

Empowering Women Entrepreneurship in India

  • Providing Capital Access 

The essential element of an enterprise is finance. Women in India generally face financial restrictions as there is no property in their names that can be signed off as collateral for financial loans. An excellent start to an enterprise with a solid financial base can pave the way for steady business. Capital access in the form of fixed and current assets as well as working capital loans or small business loans for women entrepreneurs can make a big difference. With cooperation from the government now, credit lines and business loans for women are made available.

Under the Start-up India Scheme initiative by the Government of India, several programs provide free co-working space for women-led entrepreneurs, with over 50 seats available.

  • Sustainable Women-only Collective Enterprises

Women across all levels of society are capable of being drawn into the economic wave. It should be noted that women entrepreneurs do not belong to the urban population alone. Proper guidance and business initiative to rural women can also make leaders emerge. Women entrepreneurs can come up with sustainable enterprises that deal with livelihood activities like dairy farming, basket making, tailoring, organic farming, etc.

Initiatives for educating such participants in the business know-how should be taken in the form of lectures and workshops.

  • Social Network Build-Up

Women, by default, have a knack of conversations and building up a relation. This skill should be harnessed, and women entrepreneurs should be taught the significance and skill of building up a network with various levels of authority like customers, clients, suppliers, buyers, local government agencies, etc.

Building up a support system cannot be done alone, and women should be encouraged to overcome the fear of rejection and doubt. They should stretch their horizons across multiple channels for visibility.

  • Availability of Role Models and Mentors

Women entrepreneurs who are just beginning their business venture are always in need of appropriate mentors. They can look up to them in times when the business flow is low, and the start-ups face teething problems.  The availability of coaches and mentors who have carved a niche for themselves in the corporate world can provide encouraging relief to them. In the initial stages of a start-up, when uncertainties loom up and doubt clouds the mind of young female entrepreneurs, proper mentorship campaigns can work wonders. Peer networks, industry connect, and investor meets through proper mentorship can help build a robust support system.

  • Business Education

Education is the forerunner for any skill. Educating the women entrepreneur class in business ethics, policies, procedures, and other corporate skills become essential to make the new women entrepreneurs aware of the corporate environment. Knowledge about current market strategies, funding alternatives, supplier chains, marketing, and advertising is necessary for the correct visibility of the product or the service that they are trying to sell.

  • Appropriate Prioritization of Tasks 

Women have the double responsibility of taking care of both work and home. Prioritization of tasks becomes mandatory for them if they want to climb up the corporate ladder. Mentorship workshops and campaigns can be conducted to make new women entrepreneurs from all sections of society. There are hundreds of decisions to be taken daily in the business environment, and only correct prioritization of the tasks can help in proper scheduling and execution.

With the advancement in education and mind-set of the Indian population, women entrepreneurship in India looks up to a bright future. Opportunities are available more than before. Women will have to take initiatives, empower themselves, and make use of resources available to break the glass ceiling and set up their business ventures. Women empowerment in the right direction will not only positively impact the lives of these women, but their families and the society at large as well.

COMPANIES USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE

Social media is a great avenue for companies that want to improve their customer service. We see a lot of brands talking to their clients on social media, ensuring that their customers’ concerns and complaints are properly handled.

Nike is a prime example. The company’s customer support Twitter account is there to help customers know when they have updates to their products and to answer questions. But since Twitter’s followers are limited, Nike is dealing with most of their customer service on Facebook.

We’re also seeing AvaCare Medical and other smaller companies use Facebook to answer customer questions and even chat directly with customers.

But the rise of social media as an integral platform for companies to offer customer service has also led to a new trend: appreciation through social media.

CONTESTS SHOWING RECOGNITION

Customers want to be recognized, and any boost to their social media following is normally welcomed. Mini did this in a really neat way thanks to a user-generated campaign on social media. The company runs a monthly challenge, through photos, where they have fans do wacky things.

And the winner gets a “congratulations” from the company along with their photo posted on the company’s social media account.

The company also showed appreciation for bestfriends.org, an animal society that the company has supported and promoted extensively on its social media accounts.

MILESTONE APPRECIATION

Companies are thanking their fans when they reach certain milestones, and this may be when a company reaches a certain number of followers or reaches a new sales record. When this happens, a simple “it couldn’t have happened without you” is often posted.

But some companies will also share discounts and new products as a way of saying “thank you.”

GIVEAWAYS

Pizza Hut came up with a very clever way to thank their community in 2013, and this was done through a giveaway program. The program revolved around hashtags, primarily the “#LastMinuteLovers” hashtag.

What this hashtag did was allow spouses and significant others who forgot about Valentine’s Day or decided to get gifts last-minute to have one of 24 gifts sent to their partner before the big day.

Of course, not everyone could win, but 24 gifts were awarded, which included a $20 gift card and pizza-scented perfume.

The giveaway helped the struggling chain pick up new followers and make it into the news thanks to their quirky giveaway program.

CONTROL AND PRODUCT CREATION

Sometimes, depending on the niche and company, it’s possible to show appreciation by listening to your customers. We’ve seen companies take polls, and these polls would dictate the items that the company would create next.

This can also be done with software companies or online portals that plan to add new features.

Appreciating your customers’ feedback is a huge benefit to a company, and it will let a company truly give thanks to their customers and social media followers.

When companies acknowledge their followers, whether through discounts, giveaways or even contests, it strengthens a brand’s image and builds a loyal follower base.

BRAND TRANSPARENCY ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Brand transparency has become more important than ever in the age of social media, smartphones, bodycams and constant connectivity. As you have known since day one, people are more likely to buy products and services from people or companies that they know, like and trust. This is true in the world of sales, but it applies to business at the macro level too.

The most effective way to build trust with your customer base is to be transparent about your products and services and about the way in which you provide them to your customers.

Social media is the perfect vehicle for connecting with your customers and building a relationship with honesty, transparency and trust.

Below are four ways that you can use social media to build trust with your customers and audience through brand transparency.

1. PRESENT CONSISTENT BRANDING ACROSS ALL PLATFORMS

One easy way to build trust up front is to start by performing a social media audit. One of the goals here is to make sure that your branding is consistent across all platforms. You want to make sure you’re using the same profile pic or logo, the same backgrounds, the same business hours, the same colors and the same slogans.

Double-check that your name, address and phone numbers (NAP) are all consistent and up-to-date as well — not just on the major social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, but also on Yelp, Google My Business (GMB) and other review sites.

Perform a search across all platforms to make sure that you don’t have any old accounts that are abandoned. Delete those if you come across any. And also address any imposter accounts that might have crept in without your knowledge. These are fake accounts that people might set up using your business and product names to lure customers away from you. Yes, this is a real thing, and most social media sites will help you take down those accounts if the owners are unresponsive to your requests.

2. GIVE A GLIMPSE INTO DAILY OPERATIONS

One of the most powerful — and overlooked — ways of making a connection with customers and gaining their trust is to give them a look into your business. Social media offers so many opportunities to do this. Short videos are a great way to introduce some of your team members, showing how they contribute to the company and how their impact benefits the customers.

Some executives at larger companies also use social media for personal branding by setting up accounts for themselves that are distinct from the company’s main social accounts. Customers love getting to know the owners and leaders of some of their favorite brands, even if it is just by following them on Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

But this isn’t just for leaders of massive brands like Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Even owners of small, local businesses can use these same methods on social media to connect with their customer base and interact with them on some level. In a world of huge brands and constant connectivity, this can be a great way to restore that good old “Mom and Pop store” vibe that has become so rare in many communities.

3. ADDRESS CRITICISM OPENLY AND FAIRLY

A huge mistake that so many companies are making with social media is that they are refusing to address their critics. Or worse, they lash out in a defensive way that is sure to backfire and cause them to lose a lot of business.

When customers leave negative reviews on sites like Amazon and Yelp, those comments are there for the whole world to see. In fact, it seems like customers gravitate toward the negative reviews when they are first checking out a new store, restaurant or service. When they see negative reviews without any response from your company, it gives the impression that you aren’t taking your customers or your reputation seriously.

Effective reputation management includes addressing those customer concerns, so be sure to comment on those reviews with personal replies rather than cut-and-paste responses. Acknowledge the criticism and give the customer the benefit of the doubt. Try to make things right. Don’t throw your employees under the bus and blame them for the perceived problem, but don’t be too defensive either. Otherwise, it just sounds like you’re making excuses.

4. TAKE INITIATIVE IN OWNING UP TO MISTAKES

When a company has a problem that can negatively affect their customers, it’s tempting to try to cover it up so that nobody finds out. This is often a mistake, and in some cases it might even be illegal, such as data breaches involving customers’ private information, defective components in automobiles and food contamination.

If something like this happens at your company, don’t just wait around hoping that nobody finds out. The last thing you want is for consumers to find out about it from some watchdog group or the media rather than from you. Attempts at covering up these problems just make it look like you’re sneaky and dishonest.

Instead, many brands are finding that openly admitting fault and taking immediate steps to alert their customers about problems actually builds trust rather than decreases it. But it’s important that your customers hear about it from you first. The best way to address these issues is to have plans in place ahead of time to minimize the damage and to address the public, rather than waiting for something to go wrong and then end up shooting from the hip and trying to do some spontaneous damage control.

Don’t let your company fall victim to negative publicity, scandals and harmful speculation. Be transparent about the ways you operate your business. Address negative situations with transparency, but don’t just limit yourself to fighting fires. Take the initiative to engage with your customers in positive ways and show them what a great company you are, with a wonderful team of talented people providing excellent services and products at a great value.

 

AVOID COPYING CONTENT ON FACEBOOK

It used to be that marketers, website owners, and bloggers only had to worry about staying compliant with Google’s algorithm and its updates but now it seems that they have to stay in tune with Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms as well. That is if they still want to continue to channel traffic from the social media giant to their sites.

After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has been on a rigorous crusade to clean up its image and show its users not only that their data is safe but that they will only be receiving relevant and original content within their News Feed from now on.

News Feed Algorithm 

As part of its algorithmic clean-up, this week Facebook has targeted its own News Feed and changed its algorithm to get rid of websites that continuously steal content from other sites without sourcing or adding value to it.

The new changes were spurred on by a recent survey the company did which showed that the platform’s users disliked content that was copied and scraped from other sources. Facebook has stated that most of the sites which do such things are low-quality sites that are riddled with cheap ads, clickbait headlines, and spammy landing pages.

The new algorithm will basically limit any site from showing up on its News Feed that appears to be using duplicate content and ads that are irrelevant to the topic at hand. The algorithm will also target headlines that are not relevant to the topic or appear to be over-exaggerated and untruthful.

Improving Content Web Wide 

Facebook has stated that this new change will not only help in producing original and value-added content on their platform but also across the World Wide Web itself as users who currently “steal” content will get less traffic to their site and ultimately realize that they need to come up with either their own story or at the very least add some value to one that has already been produced if they want to continue to receive referral traffic.

Ultimately, this new change is not only good for those who use the site directly and those who produce original and relevant content, but also for Facebook itself, who can now catch any of the scraped data that was stolen during the platform’s recent security breach and stop any URL links pointing to it from appearing on its News Feed.

Less Posts Equal More Quality & Happier End Users 

For a long time, Facebook has been criticized for giving free reign to every and all marketers using the News Feed to promote their site, products, and services whether they be legit or not. Platform users have basically become “numb” to any and all forms of advertising appearing on their feed. The new algorithm will automatically limit the number of posts on the News Feed and so give users a fair chance to go through it without being bombarded with deceptive articles, rehashed information, and spam ads.

While this may seem awful for marketers, those who continue to produce good, quality content and advertise in an ethical and upright way should see more traffic as they no longer have to compete with unscrupulous advertisers.

How The New Algorithm Works 

On yet another positive note, Facebook has been completely transparent as to how their new News Feed algorithm works to give all contributors a chance to comply and clean-up their act or get ghosted and possibly banned from using the News Feed.

The algorithm works like this:

1 – Comparison of text with other texts to spot exact matches.

2 – A predictability score is created by AI to ascertain whether the content was stolen or not once a match is found.

3 – Predictability score is matched with the quality of the headline (clickbait or not) and the quality and quantity of ads on the site where users are being directed.

Upcoming Updates 

Right alongside its updated News Feed algorithm, Facebook is also changing its Branded Content tagging system on all creator and brand partnerships (influencer marketing partnerships) in order to make it clear to users that the branded content they are viewing is a form of advertising.

Again, this appears to be just another step by the social media platform to provide more transparency in order to clean up its image and to provide better content and higher engagement among its users.

 

MANAGING SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESSFULLY

If you’ve taken the plunge into owning a small business, then you might harbor dreams of growth and wealth. While ambition is crucial to successfully running a small business, you should use it as a motivator and not as an end in itself. The key to any successful small business is a well-crafted business plan. Playing it by ear will doom you from the start.

Good business planning entails putting yourself on the right footing for losses as well as growth. If you don’t position yourself for growth from the beginning, you might find yourself struggling to deal with it if your business does begin to take off. Considering growth and how to handle it from the beginning might put you in a better position to manage growth successfully.

Start with a Strong Management Model

Even if your business starts out as a one-person operation, you should write a plan that forms the basis for expanding management roles. Knowing how to fragment oversight and accountability can help you navigate growth smoothly.

As a business grows, its internal logistics become more complex. You can’t do it alone, so you’ll need to hire people to help you. You should define their roles from the beginning. Knowing how to implement the fragmentation of roles and responsibilities could make your business operate more efficiently.

Communication is also important in this area. In addition to knowing the roles of your management and their subordinates, you should also make certain that each person understands their roles, too. Communicating these roles can ensure that everyone plays their part without creating confusion or chaos.

Trust the People You Hire

No business can succeed without attracting talent. Employing talented and able people can aid your business through growth. Ideally, these are people who understand your business, how to cultivate consumers, and how to satisfy your customers’ needs. Finding the right talent is important for any business venture.

Equally important is the trust you place in the people you employ. Constantly challenging or undermining them could create a toxic work environment that restricts your employees’ abilities to perform their tasks. It might even prevent them from implementing new ideas, which could stagnate a new business. You must trust their judgement while approaching it with a healthy dose of skepticism. Don’t embrace every new idea or tactic; instead, weight the pros against the cons and give your employees leeway to implement the best strategies and tactics.

Existence, Survival, Success

The three most crucial stages to successfully running a small business entail establishing its existence, maintaining its survival, and managing its success. When you establish your business, you must be certain you’re offering goods or services people actually want. Just because something interests or moves you, it doesn’t mean that it’ll interest or move other people. The best route to establishing a successful small business is to find a need and attempt to fill it. This decision, more than any other, could put you on the right footing to success.

Struggling for survival is another necessary step on the way to success. Once you’ve established your business, you must navigate its early stages. Most businesses expect to operate with minimal funds at this stage. Some manage to break even and some even run at a loss. The point during this stage is to grow your business in increments. If your business is operating at a loss but you are confident in your business model, do not give up.  You can secure financing for things like equipment financing to keep your company running.

If you’ve managed to grow your business in increments, you must tweak your management models, pricing models, quality control, inventory control, and so on to coincide with the growth of your business. The key is to maintain efficiency while growing. You must also understand how to calculate your sustainable growth rate to help guide your business through its stages of growth.

Running a small business entails many duties and areas of expertise. You must consider every possibility before you establish your business. While you should harbor a sense of confidence, you can’t allow any delusions. You’re not a genius. You need other people. They can help you understand facets of business you might not fully understand or appreciate. They can also approach your business with fresh eyes, offering input that you may not have previously considered.

You must allow your position to maintain a level of malleability. As your business grows and changes, so should your approach to it. Understanding the pitfalls of a growing business and how to navigate them can put you on the right path to managing small business growth successfully.