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Bitcoin And Blockchain For Business

Many entrepreneurs find e-commerce and everyday business is easier with Blockchain and Bitcoin. Bitcoin and blockchain were created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, an alias, whose real identity remains a mystery.

Small businesses can benefit from:

  • Faster transactions as in same-day and sometimes even same-hour payments transferred into your company’s bank account.
  • Lower to no fees attached. Bitcoin transaction fees are usually between 1 percent and zero per transaction. You can send or accept bitcoin payments without any fees attached.
  • No conflicts over bitcoin payments since they are final and cannot be contested.
  • No international business hassles, as bitcoin isn’t associated with any one company, country or government.

Regarding business transactions, companies usually have to wait for payments to be transferred into their bank accounts. But with Blockchain the digital ledger transactions are recorded on, taking care of all of the transactions with no bank involved, bitcoin payments are speedier than credit card payments. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, though several others are now available.

You can purchase bitcoins through your bank account and a bitcoin exchange, such as Coinbase. You can also buy bitcoins with Paypal or a
credit card at websites like Virwox. Some companies use bitcoin payroll services, while other businesses, such as Amazon, Starbucks, Microsoft, Dell and Overstock.com accept bitcoin payments.

  • In your business
  • Personal investments
  • Fundraising for your business

First, regarding investing in Bitcoin, the CEX 10 exchange has seen a surge of activity in November 2017. On November 28, Bitcoin hit $10,000 for the first time after a 1,000% increase in its worth this year. Bitcoin’s rise in value exceeded the predictions of several high-profile economists. If the trend continues, the cryptocurrency may reach $25,000 within the next 5 years.

In addition, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission recently approved bitcoin futures trading on three exchanges. CME, CFE, and the Cantor Exchange. So, individuals can now bet on the value of the cryptocurrency without investing in it directly.

Also, over 100 cryptocurrency-focused hedge funds have been created in 2017, which are acting as a conduit for large amounts of fiat money
being converted to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Even traditional hedge funds and investment institutions are getting in on the action, to the extent that there are services that allow them to safely do so.

The recent fluctuations in bitcoin’s price are the result of a combination of several developments. In late October, CME Group, the world’s largest exchange owner, opened up to bitcoin trading. Additionally, a controversial bitcoin blockchain hard fork was suspended in early November, and Bitcoin Classic ended up shutting down in favor of Bitcoin Cash. However, I must caution, if you do invest in bitcoin, do not invest more than you can afford to lose. Most experts warn the market could turn at any time and bitcoin’s value could plummet, causing huge losses.

Secondly, many Start-up companies are using bitcoin to raise money and avoid the transparency needed in a stock market float. Consider Bitcoin if you want to start a digital-currency-related business but you don’t want to bother with venture capital. Right now, it’s remarkably easy to fund a startup that is related in any way to digital currency, thanks to ICOs (initial coin offerings). Essentially, ICOs are crowdfunding campaigns for anything bitcoin related, for example, if you decide to start a company and sell digital tokens in your company to anyone online.

Unlike equity crowdfunding or traditional IPOs, ICOs aren’t regulated by the SEC. And unlike traditional venture capital, entrepreneurs raising money through ICOs don’t have to give up any ownership of their startups to the people who buy their tokens, which is one reason they’re so popular. Since there’s no regulatory oversight, they’ve been used to raise funds for unusual projects such as a dental industry blockchain solution and offerings with names like TulipToken, BananaCoin, and Jesus Coin. ICOs have become a huge method of startup financing, though they are still controversial, and China has banned them.

Thirdly, if you have a startup in the financial or the related technological industry, blockchain can be faster and more reliable than the current systems banks and governments use to move money around the world. There are many people who are skeptical about cryptocurrency but do believe in blockchain.

IBM began processing payments over its own proprietary blockchain between banks in the South Pacific. The tech giant plans to include 13 banks in its network. IBM blockchain transmits money in the form of Lumens, a virtual currency created by the non-profit Stellar.

For the first time, Mastercard is offering the ability to send money over a blockchain rather than by swiping a credit card. After developing its own version of the bitcoin technology Mastercard is opening up its blockchain to specific banks and merchants as an alternative, and potentially more efficient, method of paying for goods and services. Mastercard is also targeting cross-border payments between businesses as the primary purpose for its blockchain, which can only be used by invitation. Mastercard’s blockchain operates independently of a cryptocurrency and instead accepts payments in traditional local money.

Mastercard has one advantage that the bitcoin blockchain doesn’t have, that is their settlement network that includes 22,000 banks and financial institutions around the world. Mastercard hopes to provide the benefits of blockchain technology, including a more secure and transparent way of making and tracking payments, within the existing financial system, without the hassle of digital currency. Businesses could cut costs by using the blockchain to send cross-border payments, which usually pass through several foreign banks on their way overseas, racking up fees along the way. Mastercard’s blockchain, however, could cut out those middlemen and connect a purchaser’s bank directly to that of the supplier, remitting the payment more efficiently. Although the transaction itself will register on blockchain instantaneously, the funds are still moving through the
same system Mastercard uses now.

Also, Visa partnered with the blockchain startup Chain to develop its own system for similar business-to-business payments.

Today blockchain is in an embryonic stage, but tomorrow it will be mainstream along with IoT (internet of things) and AI (artificial intelligence). Blockchain is paramount for the financial sector. So, CIOs need to improve their understanding of the impacts of cryptocurrency and Blockchain and the other big generational technologies that will revolutionize financial services.

By Myeshi Briley,MS,HS-BCP
President of Spring-Klein Chamber

THE DO’S & DON’TS OF PURCHASING A FRANCHISE

THE DO’S & DON’TS OF PURCHASING A FRANCHISE

By; Myeshi Briley,MS,HS-BCP

If the idea of launching a business from scratch seems overwhelming, a franchise with a well-established company might be more appropriate for you. With a franchise, you’ll gain the practical experience necessary to one day run your own company. However, there are a few Do’s and Don’ts to think through before deciding if a franchise is a suitable option for you.

Do your homework.

Buying a franchise is a piece of cake, it’s picking the right one that’s tricky. Stay thoughtful and alert when investing. To minimize risks, obtain as much current information on the franchise as you can. As the Spring-Klein Chamber President, I’ve learned how vital it is to research the franchise and ensure proven turnkey operations with a productive operating history are currently in place. Decide if you have the kind of capital needed and if you’re willing to take any risks that come your way. With thousands of franchise opportunities available, the only tactic for choosing the best one is by studying your preferred pick in full. Go to trade shows held by the franchise or get in touch with a franchise agent. Look for a franchise where both owner-operators and absentee owners are successful, because that demonstrates that it’s concept is strong and sustainable. Talk with and observe other franchise owners to discover how their franchise is doing, if it has it been a good investment for them. Find out what their profit is like. What kind of training does the franchise offer? What level of support, technical and otherwise, do they offer. Ask the owners as many questions as you can, without getting on their nerves, of course. And, compare as many franchisees as possible. Also, if you already own a business don’t pick a franchise that would compete with your current clients.

Don’t rush your decision.

All sound business decisions entail planning and accurate computations of the risks involved. Take all the time you need to make an informed decision. Don’t let anyone pressure you to rush through a franchise process. Ethical franchise consultants proceed at the pace you set, not the other way around.

Do develop a business plan

Before you buy a franchise, you need to create a feasible business plan. You can access information online to help you get started such as the business plan resource pages of the U.S. Small Business Administration or their video on franchising.

Don’t shy away from Memberships

Many consumers like using membership subscriptions, paying a flat monthly fee in return for unlimited services. Membership-driven businesses decrease cash flow issues and help you build customer loyalty with your core customers.

Do find a franchise offering above-average profitability.

You want a profit in the double digits, but are realistic, don’t expect net margins to span 30% or more.

Don’t just choose a regular transaction-based business.

Find a franchise that fulfills a need and lends itself to repeat business. In other words, go with an ongoing, necessity-based business that focuses on the consumer experience. You want to provide a unique, memorable experience not readily available elsewhere.

Do get professional help.

Get a good lawyer to review the legal documents, don’t do it yourself. And, have a good accountant review the franchise’s financial statements and projections. Check for any pending litigations, lawsuits or cases against the franchise. Also, make sure you fully understand the UFOC and your purchasing contract. And, read your Franchise Disclosure Document thoroughly, it’s there to protect you from unknown variables.

Don’t buy a franchise that demands an initial franchise fee of $200,000 or more.

The one-time initial franchise fee might be as low as $5,000 or higher than $100,000. The average fee for a single unit is $20,000 to $30,000. Make certain there is minimal build-out time. Low cost and fast speed-to-market are crucial. Don’t spend more than you have. Though well known established franchises have less risk, the investment costs are high. You need to know if you have that much money, and if you do, then you need know when you’ll be able to make it back.

Do have an exit strategy for your franchise Have choices in order such as willing the business to a family member, selling it or expanding to multiple franchises.

Don’t…ignore your instincts.

Trust your intuition. If anything doesn’t make sense to you, ask questions until its clear. It’s your future and your hard earned money, go the extra mile to protect yourself during this intricate process.

Do think into the future with an open mind

Be creative, choose a franchise with the potential for synergistic product line additions, and think of what the concept could evolve into.

Don’t Trust people too easily.

It’s your money and time. Don’t just listen to what other people say, make sure you thoroughly understand the business you want to get into. Also, don’t settle; don’t jump at the first opportunity that comes your way. Choose a business you really want with a concept that speaks directly to you.

Do give back to the community.

Franchises that give back to the community have the best chance of lasting. Franchises that are involved in their local Chamber of Commerce do very well. Choose a franchise that is socially responsible, consistent with the needs and interests of your target demographic. Look for one that encourages activities like volunteering, and sponsoring programs like youth sports teams, and charity fundraising marathons and other events.

These guidelines will help you make an informed franchise decision. Without thorough research and preparation, you can run into unexpected obstacles and risks. It’s important you understand what you’re getting into and believe in your franchise concept. Franchising isn’t for everyone, but if you do your homework, and know what to expect, owning a franchise can prove to be a rewarding experience both financially and professionally.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO CREATE A BUSINESS EMPIRE

By; Myeshi Briley,MS,HS-BCP So, What does it take to create a business empire? Most millionaires and billionaires didn’t inherit wealth. They labored over the course of a lifetime to build a remarkable and enduring business empire. Here are eleven vital steps to take to read more

HOW AI WILL CHANGE WORK

By MyeshiBriley,MS,HS-BCP, Spring-Klein Chamber President Artificial Intelligence will transform our work and our world. Major changes have already taken place. Manufacturers rely more and more on AI technologies. Software and computers now handle numerous clerical task read more

THE BUSINESS OF AI

By Myeshi Briley,MS,HS-BCP The latest keep calm slogan I saw was — “Keep Calm and Focus on Artificial Intelligence.” I definitely think all entrepreneurs and small business leaders need to focus on what AI is and what it can do for their enterprise. It’s 2016 and we nee read more

UNDERSTANDTING THE YOU ECONOMY

By; Myeshi Briley, MS,HS-BCP It’s life changing to discover the You Economy is where the world is going. And building the wealth in your world is based on more than a 401K plan at a job where you worked to help others realize their dreams instead of following your read more

ADULT BULLYING

BY MYESHI BRILEY Adult Bullying in the work place is a persistent emotional assault that endangers people’s health and careers. It’s relentless hounding and sabotage by bosses and co-workers. If you’ve ever worked with grown-up bullies, you know they’ll turn a dre read more

RT is the new SUCCESS

By Myeshi Briley,MS,HS-BCP Are you a risk taker? Do you play it safe or take the long shot? You’ve got to fall or fail to get great. Sounds crazy but it works. Not all ventures pay off, not all risks are good risks, and even wisely calculated risks can fail. It’s read more

Millennials have a lot to offer & CEO’S/ Presidents Diverse in Business know it

Millennials have a lot to offer & CEO’S/ Presidents Diverse in Business know it

By; Myeshi Briley,MS,HS-BCP

President Spring-Klein Chamber of Commerce

Millennials today make up most of the labor force (one in three American employees). Consequently, corporate leaders need to start today to develop the leaders of tomorrow are their companies won’t have much of a future. Most upper executives reached mid-management positions by their mid-thirties, which fast-tracked them to C-level roles later in their career. These same top leaders must in turn develop the talent of millennials, who possess the ability but not the experience. Engage senior leaders to align millennial talent with a shared cohesive vision and direction for your organization.

Millennials Want Mentoring

Millennials would rather be leaders than followers. They find the opportunity to learn from a mentor enticing. By teaming upper management with millennials in ‘reverse mentoring’ you offer the younger generation career path guidance directly from senior executives. They gain a precious peek into the world of top-level management. Plus the firm gets a chance to transfer corporate knowledge to their younger talent.

This generation is eager for training. Consider assigning projects to millennials that allow them to network. Another thing is cross-training on a quarterly basis. Invite professors or business coaches for presentations on various types of management or leadership fundamentals. This will help employees understand the company’s strategic course and its organizational issues.

In addition to career development, you need to tap into this generation’s strengths. For that, you must encompass the way millennials engage, grow and learn. You need to work with them and not discourage them. As the president of the Spring Klein Chamber of Commerce, I cater to young entrepreneurs in the area. Half of our board is made up of millennials. I encourage them to bring their ideas to the table.

Listening to millennials and taking their ideas seriously is the best way to motivate and retain them. Create activities and venues where they can voice their ideas and they’ll propose inspired solutions to issues. Brainstorming meetings allow them to get to know other employees and gain visibility. Give your millennial employees varied responsibilities, propose projects that include a learning component. This generation works harder when challenged.

Outdated, Rigid Work Styles Hold Them Back

The millennials’ enthusiasm will have a positive influence on your firm. Their connection with social media along with their adaptation to the latest technology is key to your organization’s future. This will prove vital to your company’s development as you look for new, innovative ideas. Keep in mind, they were raised in a digital world and communicate electronically…rather than face-to-face. Relying on mobile platforms: phones, tablets, laptops for work and projects…they collaborate in open gathering spaces and often work from home.

Personal time is important to them. Millennials pursue a balanced life and flexibility. With a focus on results not hours, they don’t have a clocking in and out work style…they might work from home or a coffee house. Set deadlines for them and if they complete their work to your standards, they are finished for the day.

Offer Rapid Progression

Career advancement traditionally depended on seniority, but millennials value results over tenure. Create a strategic plan that illustrates what their future looks like at your firm. Let high achievers, who have the potential to rise up the ranks quickly, do so. Otherwise they’ll get frustrated.

One reason millennials want to rush up the career ladder is compensation, because they begin work with an average debt of $20,000 in student loans. Also, they don’t think they’ll ever see a pension or social security check, so they expect they’ll have to create their own financial independence in retirement. Basically, this generation merely wants to get paid what they’re worth. If you can’t afford raises, offer them more vacation time and flexibility—a day off for a job well done goes a long way with millennials. They are also the most educated generation in history and they are continuous learners, so offering tuition reimbursement programs will increase retention rates.

A Stimulating Career

Millennials want to contribute something to the world and they have a passion for international settings. Most want at least one overseas assignment during their career. They also want to be proud of their employer’s corporate values. They want to work for a company that strives to improve its community. This generation looks for employers with good environmental and social records, and many will leave a company if they find the firm lacks values.

Frequent Feedback

Owning to social media, millennials like instant feedback. A yearly review isn’t enough for them. They require frequent, honest feedback in real time. They expect praise for a job well done. Regularly highlight their positive contributions.

Set well-defined targets for millennials and touch base with them often. A transparent management system, detailing how performance is rewarded gives them a feeling of value, and the motivation to work hard. Millennials prefer open communication, so have an open door policy and make yourself accessible. When employees offer constructive criticism, invite them to present a business solution and give it serious consideration.

The Latest Technology

Millennials assume the technology that empowers their personal lives will drive communication and innovation in the workplace. Update your IT plan and provide state of the art technology. However, this generation is more effective at work when they also have access to their own personal technical devices.

Diversity

The millennial workforce is composed of more minorities and women than any other generation. Consequently, they bring in fresh ideas and contrasting perspectives. Workplace diversity is important to millennials and it helps eliminate challenges stemming from gender and diversity gaps that currently effect many corporations.

Millennials are an asset as they are the future leaders. But their greatest resource is previous generations who went through the same things they are facing: a bad economy and a tightening job market. And the older generation can learn from the younger one as well. Both offer attributes that complement each other. This is important, as the baby boomers leaving the work force will be replaced by the millennials. So now is the time to prepare for that future. As a CEO I have been a huge leader in understanding the market and changing to help support future leaders. Loving change is one of my best qualities, when others hate change.

 

Resources:

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/biz-monday/article78789262.html#storylink=cpy

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2015/06/04/managing-millennials-6-musts-for-ceos-who-want-to-get-ahead/#c79fc7f6997e

http://fortune.com/2015/03/01/the-perks-of-hiring-a-millennial/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/taitran/2016/02/21/a-millennial-response-to-an-open-letter-to-yelp-ceo-takeaways-for-millennials-and-companies/#3dbae339433a

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/biz-monday/article78789262.html#storylink=cpy

How One Gen X CEO Cultivates Her Millennials

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