Indian Cities Now Plan To Buy Thousands Of Electric Buses
With the launch of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles (FAME-II) scheme in India, numerous cities are planning to bring in thousands of electric buses over the next few years.A lot of large and small Indian cities are planning to acquire electric buses through the FAME-II scheme, with the continued push to reduce dependence on petroleum imports and reduce air pollution. The sudden jump in news stories about planned procurement of electric buses is the result of a financial subsidy worth Rs 2,500 crore (US$360 million), offered by the central government.In March, India’s capital city announced plans to add 1,000 electric buses into its public transport fleet over the next few years. The first batch of 375 electric buses is predicted to arrive by the end of this year; a tender for this has already been floated. Electric buses are critical to Delhi’s long-term efforts to reduce air pollution. Other measures include a ban on aging diesel vehicles and the introduction of fuel that causes lower vehicular emissions.Yet another metropolitan city, Mumbai, is also considering to buy a large number of electric buses. The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) plans to procure 500 buses over the next year, including 80 buses by this year’s end. The transport authority already operates six electric buses. India’s Silicon Valley, Bengaluru, announced plans to remodel its entire fleet of public transport buses to electric by 2030. The city right now operates nearly 6,500 buses powered by internal combustion engines. The medium-term target is the induction of 1,500 electric buses. The city plans to procure 500 buses within a year.Another southern state in India, Andhra Pradesh, also proclaimed plans to procure 350 electric buses to be implemented across five cities. Delhi’s neighboring city of Gurugram also plans to acquire 100 electric buses while Ahmedabad, Gujarat, is planning to issue an expression of interest to acquire 300 electric buses. Ahmedabad already operates 12 electric buses.All these cities are looking to take advantage of the subsidy being offered by the central government under the FAME-II scheme. The central government plans to disburse subsidies worth Rs 10,000 crore (US$1.4 billion) to aid procurement of electric vehicles for commercial use. An expression of interest issued by the Department of Heavy Industries in June called upon up to 40 cities submit proposals to avail subsidies for the purchase of 5,000 electric buses.CLEAN TECHNICA
How to Design Landing Pages to Suit Your Business Goals
How to design landing pages to suit your business goalsLanding pages are webpages that appear in response to a marketing or advertising campaign. They are usually the first page that viewers see before they visit one’s website. Once on said landing page, users are then encouraged to do an action, such as clicking to learn more, joining an email list, or buying products. Many entrepreneurs with websites often create a landing page as their home page, making it both the flagship of their website, and an easily marketable website page. However, making a landing page isn’t as easy as it seems. Landing page designs should be clear and concise, but it’s possible for amateur designers to mistake “more” as “better”.Imagine one’s website selling a product. On their landing page, they advertise said product. Then, the website invites users to visit the blog page. Then, to check out five different social media channels. Then, to read about the company’s brand. With every differing Call To Action, the chances of the user buying the product has grown smaller and smaller. Before landing pages are designed, there are a few key elements to take note of:RelevanceA landing page must be relevant and specific to one’s goals. Pages that fail to show – or incorrectly show – promises in marketing and advertisements can lead to discouraged and frustrated customers. For an all-too-common example, a shop advertises a 10% discount, but their landing page states a 5% discount. This disparity in relevance can lead to potential customers closing the tab instead!To The PointA page full of words will lose a viewer’s interest. Don’t stuff a landing page full of words. Concise landing pages allow for viewers to quickly know what they hope to gain from your brand, and if they stuck around long enough to be impressed, they’re more likely to be potential customers! Long paragraphs and explanatory videos should be used for customers that are already keen on learning more about your brand.ImpactAbove all else, despite being creative and clear, a landing page must not lose its impact. Impactful landing pages enhance information rather than laying it out for viewers to sift through, with a clear Call To Action and instructions to how a potential customer should follow it. This results in high conversion rates and potential leads!With these in mind, let’s take a look at some types of landing pages that will help you, a fellow website owner, achieve your business goals.I want customers to sign up for my memberships/ email/ phone list!This is a common landing page for brands providing services, such as catering or exercise centres. Organic email lists and phone numbers can be regularly checked up on, which can be beneficial to one’s business. Because of how this page is used to gather quick details and information (such as emails, phone numbers, and interest in memberships), these pages are often known as squeeze pages.For this type of landing page, it is better to keep the landing page simple, and detail the key benefits of being a member. Eliminate all distractions to create an account; most viewers that make it to this type of landing page already have your brand’s pros and cons in their head sufficiently weighed, and they want to join as soon as possible. In the image below, note the can’t-miss-it account creation form. The patterned background contrasts nicely with the form field so it’s the only thing that stands out. I want customers to know more about me!These are a tricky landing page to create. Long landing pages painted with words can steer viewers clear from your site, but sometimes your services are complicated. How can you make a landing page feel short?In the example image below, there is a prominent Call To Action (CTA), sticking out from the professional-looking background. The arrow encourages scrolling, and customers that are keen to learn more can easily digest the short paragraphs, rich in content but straight to the point. Bold words and fanciful colours draw attention to titles and content that matters, and the Call To Action at the bottom is strategic, bringing customers away to where the first CTA button led. I want to capture leads and convert them to me!These sorts of landing pages are informally known as lead capture pages, with how these pages are intended to capture more in-depth information about potential viewers. Names, company brands, job titles, and industries are usually not given without a certain degree of trust between website and viewer. Because of this, they are different from a typical squeeze page, that looks like this: Compared to this: Lead capture pages generally possess more information, and are usually used for following up when a viewer has shown real interest in your products or services (like a viewer who had already installed two free e-books off your site.) In this scenario, lead capture pages are useful to ask for more information and easily direct these viewers to better satisfy their needs.I want viewers to remember my site!Sometimes, there are pages that can be linked with seasonal advertisements or social media content. These are informally known as splash pages, which act as intermediary pages to share announcements, like “We’re going to have a flash sale on April 1st!”. Often found with big, bold words surrounding a CTA, and minimal information except those necessary to the specific event, splash pages stick out in a viewer’s head.However, splash pages should not be used as a main landing page, as they provide too little information to be beneficial for long-term consumers. They can be used to gather information on potential leads during seasonal holidays, such as the example image, where summer fashion and discounts come hand in hand to provide the company with email addresses of prospective consumers. Another type of splash page would be a “coming soon” page, that gets potential viewers excited about upcoming events and announcements. Esports teams and event space managements use this splash page to great effect, as the viewers that often land on these landing pages are already keen on the services they provide. Now that you’ve got a few landing pages in your website building arsenal, there are a few questions to consider before launching a landing page:“What are my audience’s goals when they land on my landing page?”“What are my competitor’s goals and how are they achieving them with their landing page?”“What are my end goals with my landing page?”Satisfying all three of these goals would be optimal for one’s landing page. Here’s an example:Audience goal: Understand more about your site. Your end goal: Create more conversions and boost sales.In this case, a lead capture page would suit the purpose well. One could then survey their competitors’ lead capture pages, take notes on how they structure their pages (Are they putting information concisely? Are they keeping information details easy to input and securely stored?) and implement them into your own landing page.Now that you know what landing pages are and how to use them, why not try creating one? Build your own page with Tronserve today.
How to create a stunning website
How to create a stunning websiteBy reading this, you have either acquired a web domain of your own, or are interested in creating a website of your own. That’s great! Websites provide numerous advantages, such as 24/7 advertising, easy accessibility for business opportunities, and unconsciously rank your brand higher in search engine queries.Either way, a website is one’s best way to put their foot forward in the online world, and it makes sense to want to have the best look for one’s site.In this blog, you will learn a few ways of how to begin creating a website with all the bells and whistles, so you can make a good first impression.Define your goals Before designing a website, one should first clarify what purpose their website should serve. Maybe your website could be a simple landing page, and contact details for consumers to ask more questions about your services. Maybe your website could be a shop page, where all your products can be listed, sold, and shipped. Maybe your website could be informational to educate the masses about how to use your products. Maybe it’s a mix of all three.But without an idea of how one’s website should look, the designing process will become much harder. Think about these points:- What is the target audience of the website? - What problems can viewers solve from going through the website?- What goals can the website achieve, through informing, selling, email signups, or Calls to Action?- What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors’ websites, and how can you reference them for your own?These can become a great foundation for a website’s conception.Prepare a name This is a small, yet significant part of one’s website building journey. The domain name.Choosing a domain name can be tricky. Online, there are helpful blogs that can solidify your choice on how to choose the perfect domain name. A domain name sets many things in stone, such as brand image, customer expectations, and even how well one’s website will rank in search engines. This also comes with the added hurdle of choosing a domain suffix. “.com” is primarily hailed as the best, most professional suffix, but there are also other suffixes that have undergone a rise in popularity, such as “.net” and “.co”. A domain should also not have long, spammy names. A name like “CheapGamingFoodForGamers dot com” feels like a scam site, whereas a more respectable brand name like “GFuel dot com” will be more likely to warrant respect within one’s customer community.Besides that, a good domain name will translate well into your business email. Something unprofessional like “[email protected] dot com” will raise eyebrows, whereas a short, succinct name will provide a better first impression for curious consumers.Do it yourself (or with someone else) Website design is a complicated hurdle, and there are often many professionals that have years of experience that will sell their skills to piece together your desired website in the span of a few days. Often requiring programming or coding knowledge, website building back in the day used to be reserved for those that had the money to spend on web designers.But what of the majority that don’t possess web programming skills?That’s where website builders come in. Ever since it’s invention, website builders have been a large part of online websites’ successes, with 75 million sites based on website builders (and counting!).This is due to pre-made, fully customizable templates, that are made easy-to-use, and easy to pick up, even for the less technologically savvy. Furthermore, there are tools and widgets such as shopping carts, video embeds, and even FAQ lists that can be done through simple drag-and-drop, so one’s programming, technical, or design skills do not have to be top-tier. Stock images usually come with the package as well, so some companies’ landing pages can be beautifully decorated before location-specific pictures are taken.All the important details can be laid out in the span of a few days as well, and you, as the website owner, will have full control over the design.Do some testing! Before a website goes live, one should always test it first. Screen sizes are vastly different for desktops, mobile phones, and even tablets, which can result in shifted letters, images cropped out of place, or colours clashing. Tests regarding the interface and its functionality is a must in order not to alienate potential consumers using different platforms.Besides that, functions such as security have to be tested too, to ensure that viewers are not at risk when viewing one’s website. Functions such as buttons, hyperlinks, and videos have to be tested to ensure they work as intended, or it may come off as unprofessional.Rule of thumb: squash 85% of bugs before launching websites, and sort out the minor 15% after. Most bugs don’t show up despite tireless testing, and a good customer service protocol and a keen eye will make catching the remaining bugs easy as pie.Then, it’s set for launch.Keep maintenance But your work isn’t over after launch! When a website has been published live, it is not the finish line, but rather, a milestone achieved for one’s online presence. To keep the website up and running for as long as you need, a permanent live server is necessary (and often provided by the domain hoster.) Besides that, maintenance also means resolving minor issues (and the remaining 15% of bugs!), keeping the site up to date with the latest information, such as phone number and email changes, and monitoring the site’s performance to gauge user traffic. Many websites come with analytics to help one understand where their audience is coming from, and a shrewd website user would be able to use the information to their advantage.Above all else, user-experience matters! User feedback and customer service can save you a lot of time in maintaining the upkeep of your website, so a easily accessible method of communication, such as a work-related phone number or open social media messages, can be a great benefit to a website with frequent viewers. Broken links should be noted and replaced with quick efficacy, and pages that are found to be lagging should be optimised.Creating a stunning website will not be as easy as 1, 2, 3. However, the role of the website builder is to make one that suits themselves, and their user’s experience as well. Sometimes, websites that are creative and unique will be stunning enough on their own.Take the first step to creating your own website with Tronserve today.
Gourmet Gulf Partners with Finesse and Salesforce To Transform Dining Experience
UAE-based hospitality firm Gourmet Gulf has partnered with Finesse and Salesforce in a bid to convert the diner experience.The firm says that the alliance will help it increase its guest platform and brand portfolio as well as enhance customer loyalty. Partnering with software systems integrator Finesse and CRM professional Salesforce, Gourmet Gulf aims to build electronic business features that drive higher customer engagement.“To be successful in the fourth industrial revolution, businesses must implement agile, scalable platforms that can adapt easily to growth and changing business and customer needs,” said Thierry Nicault, Regional Vice-President Enterprise Business Unit (EBU) for Middle East, Africa and Central Europe Salesforce.“Gourmet Gulf is an instance of being a regional innovator in the food and beverage retail industry with its omni-channel strategy that will break through the limitations to customer satisfaction.” Elsewhere, Sunil Paul, Co-Founder & COO of Finesse said that the firm will support Gourmet Gulf to become the “best-in-class when it comes to the Diner Success Platform, customer service and ensuring loyalty.”“We will always continue to invest our best in this association with them and navigate Gourmet Gulf in its digital transformation,” he added.Gourmet Gulf Company is a UAE-based food and beverage retail firm which runs brands such as Yo! Sushi, Morelli's Gelato, Panda Express and California Pizza Kitchen.CEO of Gourmet Gulf, Joe Teixeira, said that after an involved review process, the firm chose Finesse and Salesforce to carry out the proposed solution as it “resonates with our vision and will help to leave a distinctive experience with our customers.” “By embracing the solution, we wish to transform the restaurant industry with a technology that shall enable Gourmet Gulf to be the leader in providing a seamless dining experience.This article is originally posted on Gigabitmagazine.com
China Has A Massive 5G Network but Without The Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories
If you happen to wander into certain corners of Facebook and YouTube these days, you might hear that 5G makes your hair fall off, kills birds and causes cancer. More recently, you’ll also find out that it’s somehow connected to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Misinformation like this has turned the next generation of mobile connectivity into fodder for conspiracy theories in the West, culminating in attacks on 5G masts in several cities in the UK at the beginning of April. But in China, the country with what’s said to be the largest 5G network in the world, those fears seem to be largely absent. In fact, public perception of the technology is so different in China that 5G was recently turned into a viral marketing gimmick for McDonald’s. The fast-food chain reportedly drew a million viewers for the live-streamed launch of a “5G product” which, in the end, turned out to be a piece of chicken. 5G is a popular topic in Chinese media. It’s lauded as the technology that will help develop everything from the Internet of Things to driverless cars to artificial intelligence, according to Zhu Wei, professor of communications law at the China University of Political Science and Law. This seems very different from what is happening in the rest of the world. Although the 5G conspiracy theories are being pushed by a small number of users, they’ve gained more traction than most. They’ve been picked up by some popular media outlets and in some cases are being promoted by celebrities -- despite the overwhelming scientific consensus against them. Why did this happen? Experts and media pundits alike have blamed the rise of 5G conspiracy theorists on different factors, including existing (unfounded) fears about the effects of mobile networks and WiFi. Three organizations researching disinformation have recently found that the anti-5G sentiment may also be fueled by a coordinated campaign, according to Bloomberg. The media has also played a role. Alarmist headlines from tabloids, along with outlets like Russian television network RT and US right-wing outlet Infowars, have been hyping up the alleged dangers of 5G. In China, on the other hand, state media doesn’t shy away from promoting the country’s success in deploying 5G: The country had 130,000 5G base stations as of the end of 2019. That’s because 5G is a big part of the Made in China 2025 initiative, the government’s plan to turn the country into a tech powerhouse, said Zhu. “China hopes to lead the curve by overtaking 5G and leading the development of science and technology,” he says. China’s tech industry has changed rapidly over the past 20 years, earning the country a reputation for adopting new tech quickly. 5G’s popular image is also used by tech companies, with smartphone makers racing to put out more 5G phones. And sometimes it’s even used by the likes of McDonald’s to sell chicken. Still, that doesn’t mean conspiracy theories are absent in China. Social networks inside the country have also been waging war against coronavirus-related fake news. And the Covid-19 spread has, of course, sparked its own set of conspiracy theories. But 5G doesn’t seem to be a part of the theories. Why this is the case would require intensive research to unravel, according to Masato Kajimoto, Assistant Professor at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre of the University of Hong Kong. How fears like this get amplified depends on many factors, including the resourcefulness of relevant stakeholders and the technological knowledge of the public. But historically, Kajimoto says we are not so different: We tend to embrace and fear new technology simultaneously. “It's nothing new, and it looks like history repeats itself,” he says. “Cameras in the 19th century -- many people feared that they would lose their souls if being photographed.” ABACUS
Eaton is Training the Power Industry of the Future
While the future of the power industry may be bright, it’s facing a large labor shortage. “We are seeing many of our colleagues retire and our customers are telling us the same thing,” said Jeff Krakowiak, senior vice president of marketing and commercial operations-- Electrical Sector at Eaton Corp. “This skills shortage is going to be with us for awhile so we have made a strategic decision to invest in long-term training for the industry’s future workforce.” Eaton, a manufacturer of electrical systems for electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power employing 100,000 with revenue of $21.6 billion, has chosen to take the macroeconomic view of the situation. While the future of the power industry may be bright, it’s facing a large labor shortage.“We are seeing many of our colleagues retire and our customers are telling us the same thing,” said Jeff Krakowiak, senior vice president of marketing and commercial operations-- Electrical Sector at Eaton Corp. “This skills shortage is going to be with us for awhile so we have made a strategic decision to invest in long-term training for the industry’s future workforce.”Eaton, a manufacturer of electrical systems for electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power employing 100,000 with revenue of $21.6 billion, has chosen to take the macroeconomic view of the situation."Electrical power is at the heart of what makes our homes, businesses and infrastructure work,” said Krakowiak. “Yet, there are not enough people with the specialized training needed to support the power industry into the future.”To secure that needed talent, Eaton has both internal and external programs. The company collaborates with universities, community colleges, unions -- such as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers -- and associations such as the Independent Electrical Contractors.The company has a long-standing collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh. “We are especially proud of being part of the university’s hand-on Electric Power Systems training facility,” says Krakowiak. The lab provides opportunities for faculty and graduate students to perform advanced work in the areas of AC and DC microgrids, smart grid technologies, power electronic devices and converters, renewable energy systems and integration, controls and communications, automation and relaying, distribution engineering, and other emerging electric power technology areas. The laboratory also integrates new course developments in electric power engineering, focused on these same emerging technologies. Another recent joint effort with the University of Pittsburgh is the Energy Innovation Center (EIC). Developed by Pittsburgh Gateways Corp. the EIC is designed to engage corporate and community leaders, align workforce development and education, develop and demonstrate technology, and incubate businesses to support emerging clean and sustainable energy markets.Eaton also collaborates with San Jacinto College in Houston. For nearly 60 years, the college has trained Houston’s oil and gas students and professionals. Its four campuses throughout East Harris County serve as training hubs to the largest petrochemical manufacturing region in the United States. And Eaton is supporting the new Center for Petrochemical, Energy and Technology which houses electrical training labs and glycol application area. “To build the premier petrochemical training center along the Gulf Coast requires a great amount of support from industry, and Eaton has stepped in toe facilitate as an extended team to ensure that we have the right facility to fill the workforce gaps and keep our region’s competitive edge,” said Jim Griffin, senior vice president of petrochemicals and energy, San Jacinto College, in a statement.This lab in combination with the lab in Pittsburgh has trained around 16,000 people. From an internal perspective, the company is focused on upskilling its current workers. A targeted training program, called Power Up, helps early and mid-career professionals keep pace with codes and technology advancement. The two-day seminar guides professionals through a variety of electrical design characteristics, including power quality, power system design and system protection and coordination. Trainings are hosted at local manufacturing facilities around the United States and at Eaton Experience Centers.At the Experience Centers, courses are offered which range from one-day classes to five-week programs The center offers full-scale demonstrations where students, instructors and industry professionals can see firsthand the latest advances in electrical power quality, energy management and safety. Fully controlled environments enable visitors to observe product testing and participate in live demonstrations. These centers are open to students, those new to the workforce and experienced power professionals alike.While busy training those currently in the field and those at the university level as well, the company is also reaching out to students at earlier grade levels. The company has a number of STEM programs they support and on this past Manufacturing Day, they joined forces with a group called Her Spark to tour the company’s Raleigh plant. Her Spark’s mission is to equip girls with the STEM skills and opportunities to help solve the gender disparity in computer science, engineering and technology careers.“Our goal is to provide curriculum development for people who want to be in this industry,” says Krakowiak. "The more we can train the future generation to understand our industry the better equipped the industry will be to face the challenges of the future.”INDUSTRIAL TRAINING
Benefits of Blogging for Businesses and Why You Should Start
Benefits of Blogging for Businesses and Why You Should StartEver since the dawn of the internet, there have been people posting their experiences and opinions online for others to peruse. Bloggers opine and review products, explain the intricacies of software and computer errors, and provide fifty different ways to dress on a Saturday. As a compilation of thoughts, facts, and opinions, a lot of blogs provide the first half of the internet’s give-take relationship of information.Despite the trappings of other social media, blogs still remain as prevalent as ever. Chances are, if you are one of the 2.1 billion digital buyers in the modern age, you have benefited from the blogposts of reviewers and trial testers. In fact, almost 77% of internet users regularly read blog posts. That’s a lot of traffic floating around.As an entrepreneur, how can blogging benefit your business?Lead the room Putting up blogs about one’s products and services can lend a hand to establishing one’s authority. By sharing your experiences and knowledge about the goods you offer, this can lead to better trust between brand and consumer.Almost 61% of online users buy something after reading a blog. How many of those could be conversions from your blog posts? It’s highly likely a customer browsing your blogs are already interested in the products that you offer, and a great blog can turn them into a spending customer.Moreover, as an entrepreneur, knowing the finer details of the products you have as compared to the average customer is par for the course. Blog about it! Let the masses know about the intricate machinery that mass produce sinks, or how many hours designers spent on one of your more exquisite package designs. This can make consumers view your brand as not only an expert in your niche, but also as an approachable, transparent brand, which can open doors to more great opportunities.Boost your SEO Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is paramount to your online presence, especially as an entrepreneur in this digital age. Consumers find your website through a few methods:-Typing your website name into their browser. This is an audience that already knows who you are, and it certainly doesn’t bring anyone new to the table.-Through emails. Some entrepreneurs spend money on email lists, blasting emails that may get filtered into spam, and hope that some curious eyes will open and click through said emails. This is not cost efficient, and illegal (in some places!).-Through paid advertising in social media. Despite massive audience coverage, the fees are still costly, and the moment you run out of money, advertising and traffic stops just as fast. Blogging helps solve these problems! With a topic, an hour to spare, and Microsoft Word, any entrepreneur can begin drafting a blog. Tastefully adding keywords (we’re talking stuff like ‘benefits of blogging, blogging benefits, business blogging, and the like,) can help web crawler bots easily identify the content that you create, ranking your blogs higher in search engines. Best of all, it’s completely free.Spamming keywords are obviously discouraged, due to unprofessionalism, and Google can outright ban or lower one’s ranks on the search engines if the site is stuffed full of keywords with nothing of value added between them.Share and be shared Blogging, as a written piece of information, easily accessible and free to browse on the internet, is easily shared. Hyperlinked, attached to messages, sent as a copy-pasted link, a blog has great potential to be shared across the world wide web and reach thousands, if not millions.Since blogs tend to be written more personal and opinion-like, as compared to the polished, unapproachable sparkle that are marketing advertisements, one can engage existing and prospective customers through a way not possible through other marketing techniques. This can raise a brand’s online presence, or how “out there” you can be found by consumers.This allows for immense brand awareness, as blogs can be easily shared, one’s brand can be easily found plastered on many sharing platforms. A well written blog can go viral, bringing in exponential growth as more viewers read it, share it, and their recipients read and share it down their line of friends. Furthermore, as a blogger, it’s also easy to link other blogs with your own, asserting credibility and trust. Bloggers that frequently backlink to other blogs will find themselves more likely to be ranked higher in search engines, as the website crawler bots view reputable blogs connected to a trustworthy website as more valuable. Search engines aim to show the most relevant and highest quality results for any user’s searches, so a blog with a good handful of backlinks is a great tool for entrepreneur bloggers. Keep organic traffic Imagine the power your business can hold if more than 50% of your viewer base comes through your blogs that serve almost 99% of their questions. If the blogs still leave questions unanswered, comment sections below blogs allow for questions to be asked any time of the day, and you can get back to them at your own leisure (preferably quickly!). Moreover, active members of your community can engage with said bloggers, allowing a budding community to grow. This is a prime example of organic traffic, and it’s a golden treasure in a digital world of spambots and AI clickers. Organic traffic creates a plethora of benefits, such as bringing in potential customers, increased reputation to new viewers, and even brings up your website through SEO as well! Blogging provides an opportunity to connect with the most important audience: your consumers. Without the mask of trying to close sales or front a false PR face, blogs allow for a more conversational way to bond with your consumers, creating a community. A strong community withstands the test of time and can begin through a few keystrokes posted online. It would be far too simple to imagine that pasting advertisements over Facebook, Google, social media sites, and forums will be enough to bring traffic to one’s site. However, if properly built, blogs can be made to last for the long term.Start a blog on your website with your own custom domain with Tronserve today.
5 tips for small businesses to survive in a pandemic
5 tips for small businesses to survive in a pandemicThe pandemic has been tough for everyone around the world. Unexpected and unprecedented, quarantine and the shift of the new normal has made it hard for businesses to operate under the pandemic. New rules and regulations have choked businesses, and brick and mortar shops have closed. Some 60% of business closures due to the pandemic have become permanent, too.For entrepreneurs: don’t become complacent! Waiting and hoping the pandemic will not affect your business will end up making your company become the next casualty. Large businesses certainly have the money to cushion themselves during this pandemic, but smaller businesses and startups may not. Because of this, here are a few tips for how small businesses can survive during this pandemic.Learn how to speak online Because of the pandemic, a business’ physical presence becomes scarcer as more people are quarantined at home. Due to this, online conferencing and digital platforms have received a major boom, with the Zoom app’s daily usage up by more than 370% in March 22, 2020. Microsoft Teams also saw almost 95 million users join their subscriptions in 2020, so video conferencing won’t be leaving anytime soon. Entrepreneurs will have to learn how to master the art of video conferencing. Learning how to effectively pitch their sales online, provide informative customer service, and exercise online etiquette when necessary will be important both during the pandemic and post-pandemic, as the benefits of online conferencing becomes more well-known. More potential customers may also be interested to see demos online, so online services such as website builders will have to reinvent physical demonstrations to online screen-sharing. Get comfortable with learning how to chat online, and make sure your internet is strong enough for smooth conversations!A change in attitudeBefore anything else, an entrepreneur should understand what they can change, and what they cannot. Risk and reward have always been a primary factor for an entrepreneur’s sink-or-swim relationship with business, so one must focus on the things that they can control.For example:• The pandemic cannot be controlled. However, you can control how well-equipped your employees and store is to keep yourselves safe from the disease.• Customers have the right to stop going to brick-and-mortar shops due to the pandemic. However, you can provide alternatives to physical goods to still retain their business.• The economy may provide challenges during this time. However, you can put the effort into changing your business strategies and save it from the circumstances.This mindset change can kickstart some new motivation in recently-depressed entrepreneurs, and help focus one’s efforts on solutions, rather than obsessing over the obstacles. Besides this, small businesses that hire employees should take care to safeguard the morale of their employees, such as stringent sanitisation periods, remote working schedules, or by being honest about the state of the business and what plans are made for the future.Now, without further ado, here are the practical tips for how small businesses can survive during this pandemic.Improve and innovate Is there equipment rented that will end up becoming unused? Are there any physical stock that can still be returned? Can bills be put on hold temporarily?During the pandemic, a lot of the norm for businesses are going to be disrupted, such as remote work, terminated supply chains, and stacking invoices. Check whether the vendors you rely on for your business are open to renegotiation, or switch to other vendors that offer more affordable prices. This way, your business can still live off your cash flow before the pandemic.With the newfound expenses, invest the money into other means of service. Restaurants that cannot provide face-to-face table services have implemented more budget into takeout and delivery, in order to keep business going. Event halls have turned to livestreaming and online concerts to keep their reputation going, and to support the local arts.Can your business do the same? Try innovating creative ways to go around the pandemic restrictions, while being safe and maintaining social distancing. For example, KX Pilates, a fitness brand, allows personal trainers to connect and do workouts with their clients through Zoom, which helps maintain the personal relationships they have built, and their customer loyalty. Trainers and customers can find workout buddies together on Facebook, and it has helped create a great overall community spirit.Prioritise your employees A business is only as good as it’s employees. Entrepreneurs simply cannot do everything at once, and good employees can make or break a company. Because of this, take careful consideration before deciding to lay off staff during the pandemic, especially in departments that may be hard to replace in your industry. Entrepreneurs could consider letting themselves and their employees work from home, even if one is sceptical about its effectiveness. Despite concerns about employees mixing personal responsibilities at work or a fall in working ethic, statistics show the opposite, with a 4.4% rise in productivity. A 2015 study in a Chinese travel agency even shows that call-center employees that worked from home had feedback of reduced break times, sick days, and an increase of 13% of performance due to a more comfortable work environment.The topic of “working from anywhere”, or “anywhere with a reliable internet connection”, has also been brought up. Work-from-anywhere (WFA) programs can be found in firms like SAP, a software company, and Akamai Technologies. Remote work seems to work, however, micromanagement by employers work negatively with performance, instead of positively, when it comes to remote work. It “reduces productivity, saps morale, sabotages collaboration and destroys both initiative and innovation.” Besides that, due to the pandemic, it is a good practice to sanitise and wipe everything down in the office for anyone that still works on-site. Keep both yourself and your employees safe, and it builds trust, morale, and even customer trust!Upskill yourself Above all else, despite the world seemingly grinding to a halt in the wake of the pandemic, it doesn’t mean you should too. Learning never stops, and an entrepreneur should always be hungry for knowledge.There are countless courses to be found online for free, with the majority of well-made, informative videos found on sites like YouTube. A lot of young entrepreneurs have documented their rise to success in video blogs (or vlogs), and there are always new skills, strategies, and ideas to be learned from them. Check out the current popular business self-help influencers, or watch some smaller channels, in order to gather as much information as you can and cross-reference them with each other.E-books and literature can also be a great way to upskill yourself, especially if you prefer a more hands-on approach. Almost every entrepreneur has a book that they highly recommend, and I would suggest skimming through the lists and picking out books that are within your niche, industry, or weaknesses, to read online. Robert T. Kiyosaki, author of the infamous Rich Dad, Poor Dad series, quotes: “The single most powerful asset we have is our mind. If it is trained well, it can create enormous wealth in what seems to be an instant.” The pandemic has been one of the worst things that has happened to the world in decades. Everyone is still reeling from its impact despite it being nowhere close to slowing down.There are still countless opportunities in the face of adversity, and small businesses should seize the opportunity to explore them during this time. With time, one should surely see their business flourishing again! Get your small business up and running online with Tronserve today.
U.S. Companies' Message to Trump: Don't Expand China Tariffs
What happens if President Donald Trump carry through his warning to inflict tariffs on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese goods that he hasn't already hit with 25 percent import taxes?A New Hampshire fireworks company says it would have to bring up prices, probably lose business and force some small towns to cancel their Fourth of July fireworks displays.A Minnesota motorcycle maker alerts that it would lose business to foreign rivals that don't have to pay taxes on Chinese parts.A Los Angeles designer and distributor of houseware goods says it would need to extend a hiring freeze and holdup plans to spread out into a greater warehouse.The administration, in the course of the trade war it began with Beijing, had demanded comments on its plan to prolong 25 percent tariffs to everything China ships to the United States.It's getting an earful.Countless businesses, trade groups and individuals have written to protest that the further import taxes would drive up prices for consumers, squeeze profits and leave U.S. companies at a competitive disadvantage to foreign opponents that are typically not susceptible to higher taxes on the vital components they buy from China.They're appealing with the administration to rethink the tariffs — or at least reserve the individual imports they and their customers rely on. Some will appear in person to air their grievances in seven days of hearings in Washington that begin Monday.The typical theme in their pleas is that often American businesses — not China, as Trump often asserts — must pay the import taxes the president is imposing on Chinese goods. And in the end, some of these companies will pass their higher costs on to their customers.Trump has already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports. The objective is to push Beijing to halt stealing American technology, forcing U.S. businesses to hand over trade secrets and unfairly subsidizing Chinese tech companies.Eleven rounds of negotiations were unsuccessful to resolve the dispute over China's aggressive drive to surpass America's technological dominance. Businesses and investors say they hope the negotiations will gain momentum if Trump and President Xi Jinping hold a face-to-face appointment at a Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan in two weeks."Most businesses are almost praying for a solution," said Patrik Berglund, who tracks global trade as the CEO of Xeneta, an Oslo, Norway ,firm that provides data on the shipping industry. "These things will have enormous consequences. We're so connected in this global world."Trump's earlier tariffs largely spared American consumers by working on industrial goods that don't show up directly in the mall or big-box stores. But the new round will inflict financial pain on ordinary households just because it will affect many consumer goods, from cellphones and computers to shoes and silk scarves."We're talking about things that you and I buy and buy in a store, and that's going to be felt directly by consumers," said Neil Bradley, chief policy officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The companies that serve the retail market, he explained, tend to have "much, much less margin to absorb those increased tariff costs."A study commissioned by the National Retail Federation found that American consumers would pay an alternate $4.4 billion a year for clothing, $2.5 billion more for shoes and $1.6 billion more for household appliances.More broadly, economists say the tariffs could deteriorate a U.S. economy that seems to be on shakier footing. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said the increasing import taxes would leave the United States with 900,000 fewer jobs than it would have had otherwise."The U.S. economy will be flirting with recession later this year and early next," Zandi said.Indian Motorcycle Co. in Medina, Minnesota, complained that its international competitors will not have to pay a tax on Chinese parts, giving them to "import the finished motorcycle into the United States — without increased costs."Excluding motorcycle parts from the tariffs, a company lawyer, Paul Vitrano, wrote, would "avoid the unintended consequence of providing foreign-based motorcycle manufacturers with a competitive advantage."Carltons Men's and Women's Apparel store in the Delaware beach town of Rehoboth says the tariffs would force it to raise prices — a $500 suit could cost $625 — and lose business and cut its staff of 15. "If revenue declines, then payroll must, too," said owner Trey Kraus.Oppositions to the tariffs are typically not unanimous. The Bohning Co., a maker of archery products in Lake City, Michigan, asserted that Chinese companies are counterfeiting its products and have simpler access to the U.S. market than it has to China's."The 25 percent tariffs should be put in place," wrote CEO Larry Griffith.And yet most of those who sounded off on the tariffs were implacably opposed to them — and worried."We beg, plead and pray you will use common sense in these trade practices and consider the little guy!!" wrote Alan Chadwick, who imports silk scarves from China and sells them in Wyoming. "We are just ants who get trampled under fighting buffalo."This article is originally posted on manufacturing.net
S. Korea Tries Out Qr Registration for Coronavirus Tracing
A weeklong trial run of QR registration of visitors will take place from Monday through Sunday at three cities in South Korea, to be introduced nationwide starting June 10 amid renewing outbreaks. Korea on Monday reported 35 new cases of the novel coronavirus, which causes the respiratory illness COVID-19. Thirty of the cases newly confirmed in the 24 hours ending Sunday midnight were via local transmission, health officials said, while the other five were recent travelers from overseas -- three from the United States and two from Europe. Seoul and the adjacent areas of Gyeonggi Province and Incheon accounted for over 90 percent of the locally transmitted cases. In the face of the coronavirus flaring up in the metropolitan region, Korea has instituted another two weeks of intense social distancing in Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and Incheon, to last until June 14. Speaking in a Monday press briefing, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Jung Eun-kyeong said transmission routes of recent infections can be categorized into three: religious gatherings, large workplaces such as logistics facilities and call centers, and private tutoring academies locally known as hagwon. In-person congregations are still highly discouraged, she said, urging virtual meetings where possible. “Non-face-to-face manner of interactions is necessarily the ‘new normal,’” she said. In all settings where people gather, steps to reduce physical contact such as maintaining a 2-meter distance, keeping rooms well-ventilated and wearing face masks are needed, she added. “As the crisis prolongs, following through with the precautions can be exhausting. But until COVID-19 goes away, we all have to make an effort to make our homes, workplaces and schools a safe place from infections,” she said. In Incheon, which added 18 patients, an active outbreak was investigated to be linked to a protestant church pastor, 57, who had tested positive the previous day. The pastor had visited 10 churches in the Incheon area while still infectious, sickening 11 other pastors, city officials said. For a week from Monday, 19 venues in three cities -- Seoul, Incheon and Daejeon -- have been designated to carry out a trial run of a visitor registry program using smartphone QR codes. With the new digitized system, those visiting places deemed to be at “high risk” will submit their personal details by scanning the QR codes generated on their mobile phones, information of which is to be discarded in four weeks. The data will be accessible to no third parties and by government officials only. The government has said the digital registry is intended to expedite the contact tracing process, which has been impeded by missing information and dishonest accounts. “A day’s delay in reporting on a patient’s part can put the entire country on hold for a month,” Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun warned after a meeting with health officials last month. After the seven-day trial period, businesses and other facilities considered to have a high contagion risk will be required to digitize the log of all visitors. This includes bars and other nightlife establishments, karaoke lounges and indoor sports and concert venues. In a Monday meeting of the Central Disaster Management Headquarters, Minister of Health Park Neung-hoo said the coronavirus situation was alarming, as patient numbers are “still fluctuating” and untraceable cases continue to rise. The Health Ministry has said about 6 to 7 percent of new daily cases in the past month were from unidentified sources. As for school openings, the minister said students, teachers and other staffers should refrain from going to class when having symptoms. “Stay home when feeling unwell for yourself and to protect those around you,” he said. Seoul has been testing all symptomatic students and faculty members from May 20 amid phased openings of in-person classes. High school seniors were first to return to school on May 20, followed by high school juniors, freshmen, first and second graders and preschoolers on May 27. This coming Wednesday is turn for high school sophomores, third, fourth and seventh graders. The Education Ministry has said in an announcement Friday that schools in regions experiencing ongoing outbreaks will adjust opening accordingly. Since the first case was discovered on Jan. 20, Korea has tested 921,391 people, to find that 11,503 had contracted the disease. Of those, 10,422 have already recovered, while 271 have died. Korea’s massive tracing program has put vast numbers of people in self-quarantine. The Interior and Safety Ministry said as of Sunday, 37,812 people were placed under home quarantine, an increase of 1,600 from the day before. Among them, 28,924 are overseas arrivals and 8,888 are contacts of locally infected patients. A total of 480 people have violated quarantine orders, with 12 of them wearing noncompulsory movement-tracking wristbands designed for monitoring movements of quarantined individuals. THE KOREA HERALD