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Archive for January, 2019

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If you’ve been in business for a while, you would know by now that mistakes are part of the process. New businesses and start-up companies are slowly learning this. Nobody is perfect, but some mistakes happen on a larger scale than others.

Lots of these mistakes can be avoided. Brands are making these mistakes only because they don’t see them until it’s too late. Realistically, there are hundreds of mistakes different businesses make each day.

However, I am going to talk about specific types of mistakes which can be avoided easily. Your business always needs to be growing. If sales start to drop off, it’s going to be a major problem for your company. But you can prevent this by avoiding few common mistakes I’ve discussed below. Use this as a reference to correct any of the mistakes you’re currently making or to avoid making them in the first place.

  1. Forgetting about the customer: Your business will live and die by your customers. All of your decisions need to be profitable. These two statements don’t always add up. But you need to find a balance between them if you want to grow. On one hand, a decision you make could reduce your operational costs and ultimately drive up your profit margins. But if that cost reduction impacts the quality of your products and services, it’s not going to benefit your customers.

As a result, sales will start to drop. So if you forget about your customers, it will be easy for them to leave and go to one of your competitors instead. If you put more emphasis on making your customers happy, the rest will take care of itself. Don’t cut cost just to turn a higher profit.

  1. Overlook sales: Shockingly, this is a major issue. Sometimes brands start to lose sight of why they are in business. You’ve got to be making money. This money stems from sales. That’s the best way to make sure your company will grow and won’t stall in a plateau. If what you’re doing doesn’t translate to conversions and transactions, it’s not helping you. Running out of cash is one of the top reasons why start-ups fail.

If you can focus on new ways to generate sales, you’ll always have a steady cash flow. You may have many other areas of your company that require attention. However, you need to have priorities. You can’t let sales take a back seat, or it’s going to be a problem for you in the future.

  1. Neglecting data: Another common issue is that companies ignore the metrics completely. I’m talking about factors such as:
  • Website traffic
  • Conversion rates
  • Click-through rates
  • ROI

These are just a handful of the top metrics every marketing manager needs to track. Without this data, how can you know if your campaigns are successful? How will you know what decisions to make? Another common issue is business owners are clinging to the wrong data. Here’s an example to show you what I mean.

Let’s say your business has website traffic that is increasing exponentially. You can’t just assume that it means your company is successful. If your sales and conversions aren’t increasing at the same rate, you’re not actually growing, which should be a major concern for you. That’s why you need to track your data and know how to analyse it properly as well.

  1. Saying no to new technology: Adapt or die. This sentiment can be applied to nature as well as business. Resisting to change will be the downfall of your company. That’s why you need to educate yourself about new technology trends such as:
  • Live chat
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Automation
  • Machine learning
  • Beacon technology

These are all things that can help your business grow. Many business owners are stuck in their old ways. But just because something worked for you back in 2005 doesn’t mean that strategy will work in 2019. To be successful in the future, you need to look beyond today, tomorrow, and next year. You need to be prepared for technology advancements coming in 2022 or 2025.

Keep up with the latest trends. You don’t need to apply everything right away, but you have to start somewhere. Have an open mind moving forward, especially when it comes to technology advancements.

  1. Not analyzing your competitors: Your business doesn’t operate in a vacuum. There are outside factors that will have a direct impact on your success. You need to keep an eye on your competitors. Otherwise, they’ll steal your customers before you even realize what happened.

Compare yourself to them to see how you stack up. It’s simple but very effective. It forces you to see where your business stands on paper. Just saying things like “we’re really good at what we do” doesn’t give you any benefit. When you put things in writing, any mistakes or areas where you can improve will be more obvious.

You can also take advantage of helpful tools to monitor your competitors. One of the first things you need to do is identify whom you’re competing with. You should analyse competitors locally, regionally, and online as well. Compare your prices to them. Look at their websites. Check out their advertisements and social media campaigns. What’s working for them? What needs improvement? Then, you can apply what’s working for your competition in your own business. Avoid their mistakes. See what customers are saying about your competitors online.

  1. Disregard customer reviews

In addition to reading what people think about other companies, you need to see what customers are saying about your business online? There are lots of different places you need to check, such as:

  • Reviews on your website
  • Third-party sites, e.g., Google or Yelp or Glassdoor
  • Social media comments

Respond to reviews. Take notes about what customers are saying. Make the necessary changes based on this information. Group common reviews together. If all of your customers are having the same problem then try resolving the issue as soon as possible. In addition to harming your relationships with existing customers, unanswered bad online reviews will have a direct impact on future sales. In fact, 92% of people read reviews before making a decision. Further, 88% of consumers say they trust an online review as much as a recommendation from someone they know. This impacts their buying decisions. Furthermore, 35% of people are less likely to buy if no online reviews are available.

This means you need to take this strategy to the next level. Not only do you need to read and monitor reviews, but you also need to encourage your customers to write reviews to improve your online reputation. Ignoring this will be a costly mistake.

  1. Not accepting more payment methods: This relates to the point about forgetting the customer. I know it’s more expensive for you to accept certain forms of payment compared to other options. However, everyone has different preferences. The days of just accepting credit and debit cards are over.

As I said before, you need to adapt to new trends and technology. Digital payments are becoming the way of the future. Today, 19% of consumers are using digital wallets. You would not want a customer to change their mind about a purchase because you don’t accept their preferred payment method. Don’t expect them to just reach for another card. Instead, they’ll go find what they’re looking for from another business.

  1. Never offering value: Why should people buy from your business? It may sound like an odd question, but think about it for a minute. You need to create a highly effective value proposition. This will make it clear to everyone why they should buy from your business. You need to understand the wants and needs of your customers. There’s a big difference between what consumers want and what marketers want:

Today 72% of consumers want to see posts from brands on social media related to discounts and sales. However, just 18% of marketers post those things. There is obviously a major discrepancy here. Even if you don’t want to offer discounts all the time, you still need to come up with ways to add value to your brand. Otherwise, consumers won’t have a reason to buy from you, and sales will eventually decline.

Conclusion

Nobody is perfect. Every business makes mistakes. However, you can reduce the chances of making these errors if you know what to look for before it happens. Some of you may already be doing some of the things I’ve covered on this list. But now, you can identify those mistakes and make changes before they get out of hand. If you can stay clear of the blunders I’ve outlined above, it will help your business avoid a plateau or a decline.

So as the famous quote says “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself”, learn from your mistakes as well as from other companies in the market. By doing so you can continue growing.

What types of mistakes does your business need to fix to stimulate growth? Do tell us in the comment section below. And if this helped you in any way then do not forget to share the blog with your friends on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms to amplify its reach.

Pragna is a young and dynamic company determined to make a mark in HR and Recruiting space. We provide and deliver a wide range of HR solutions and quality software and services for businesses of all sizes. Click here to know more about us.

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Future Jobs

Robot

Do you remember what life was like before the internet or the iPhones existed? Or can you imagine actually having to look up a word in the dictionary? Probably not, but the truth is your most useful tools didn’t even exist 15 years ago. Yeah, you read it right. Want to know something even crazier?

By 2022, we’ll lose over five million jobs to automation. That means that future jobs will look vastly different by the time you graduate university. Don’t worry, though! The jobs of the future will actually be more interesting than those of the past.

Gone are the days of factory workers and physical production. We’ll let the machines handle that. Instead, future jobs will involve knowledge and innovation. Machines are actually doing you a favour. They’re freeing you up to explore experiment and find interesting solutions to complex problems, like pollution.

Say goodbye to a desk job and hello to the world of creation!

Future Skills

Although no one can accurately predict what jobs will look like in the future, there are seven skills that will be essential to your future success.

  1. Creativity:

Worried about robots stealing your job? The more creative you are, the less likely you are to lose your job to a robot! While robots may be better than you at calculating and diagnosing problems, they aren’t very good at creating original content, thinking outside the box or being abstract.

  1. Critical Thinking:

Technology may be able to automate many of the jobs that currently exist, but you probably wouldn’t trust it to do your critical thinking for you; as such your future career will require you to have excellent critical thinking skills. You’ll constantly need to be analysing various situations, considering multiple solutions and making decisions on the fly through logic and reasoning.

  1. Mental Elasticity and Complex Problem Solving:

The future is going to bring problems you’ve never seen before in a world you’ve never experienced. In order to solve these problems, you’ll need to have the mental flexibility to think outside of the box, see the big picture and rearrange things to find a solution. Luckily, this skill is highly develop able and simply takes practice. The more difficult problems you tackle, the more bendy your brain will get.

  1. STEM:

Even though Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths jobs are super-hot right now, don’t expect them to go away in the future. As technology progresses, you’ll need to have more advanced STEM skills to keep up.

  1. SMAC:

You’ve heard of STEM but you probably haven’t heard of SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud). Catchy, right? Learning all of these skills/platforms will make you stand out in the future job market.

  1. Interdisciplinary Knowledge:

Your future career will require you to pull information from many different fields to come up with creative solutions to future problems. This skill is easy to work on as well. Start by reading as much as you can about anything and everything that interests you. Once you get to college, consider double majoring or minoring in completely different fields. Trust me, it’ll pay off in the long run.

  1. People Skills:

Listen, machines are going to take over eventually and technology is going to get much more advanced, so humans have to stick together. If you want to succeed in the future job market, you’ll have to learn how to manage and work with people and robots, which includes getting in touch with your emotions, having empathy and listening.

Now that you know what skills will make you successful in the future, let’s take a look at some future jobs.

  1. Waste Management/Trash Engineer

This may be the oddest future job but it’s totally necessary. Humans produce 2.6 billion pounds of trash annually, and what do we do with it? There is no way this practice is sustainable so we have to think about something else to do with all of our rubbish. You could turn our rubbish into clean gas or figure out a way to make it strong enough to construct buildings with. The possibilities are endless but it’s up to you to come up with the award winning ideas.

Average Salary: $25,425 – $87,178

Skills Needed: Strong STEM skills, critical thinking and mental elasticity.

Best Undergraduate Majors: Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Trash Engineering.

  1. Alternative Energy Consultant

People cannot survive on fossil fuel forever, so alternative energy sources are the only hope. I’m sure you’ve heard of solar, wind and hydroelectric energy. The question is, which one is right for your home, your community and your city? You’ll be an expert in all energy forms and go from city to city around the world assessing the best sustainable energy source for each place. Believe me, you’ll be in high demand very soon.

Average Salary: $35,561 – $86,162

Skills Needed: Strong STEM background, mental elasticity and people skills

Best Undergraduate Majors: Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Renewable Energy Engineering, Environmental Studies, Physics, Mechanical Engineering

  1. Organ/Body Part Creator

Ever heard of the organ black market? Well, it exists, it’s illegal and it’s a huge problem. Why? Because many people around the world spend years on medical waiting lists praying that their name will get called for the next eye, kidney or even heart available. Eventually, they get sick of waiting and they discover the deep, dark world of the organ black market, where they can buy whatever they need for a price.

Every 12 minutes a new name gets added onto the already gigantic waiting list and every day about 21 people die because they didn’t get the organ they needed.

With those kinds of stats, it’s not surprising that people turn to the black market. However, in a few years, it’ll be up to you to create organ and body parts from stem cells and other materials that is not yet known or don’t yet exist.

Average Salary: $34,882 – $130,484

Skills Needed: Strong STEM background, critical thinking, mental elasticity, complex problem solving and creativity

Best Undergraduate Majors: Biology, Genetics, Biomedical Engineering

  1. Memory Surgeon

Here’s where things start to get a bit sci-fi-y. What if there was a way to surgically remove bad memories, mental illness and destructive behaviour? Is it possible? Would it be ethical? Would it rid the world of terrorism?

Only you can unlock the answers to these burning questions by becoming a Memory Surgeon. Your future career is bound to cause controversy but stick to it and you could change the world. Just make sure you’re only removing memories, illnesses and behaviours that actually need to be removed.

Average Salary: $322,568 to $452,703

Skills Needed: Strong STEM background, critical thinking, mental elasticity, complex problem solving and creativity

Best Undergraduate Majors: Biology, Chemistry, Neurobiology

  1. Personal Internet of Things (IoT) Security Repair Person

We are used to calling plumbers or repairmen when something is broken around the house, but who do you call when your smart refrigerator gets hacked and tells your smart coffee maker to continuously make coffee and your smart lights to turn on and off every five minutes? A personal IoT Security Repair Person of course. Dis-functioning of products due to hacking is just one of the many problems that the world is bound to face as our devices become smarter.

As an IoT Security Repair Person, you’ll be in charge of thwarting hackers before they cause any damage and fixing any damage that you’re unable to prevent.

Average Salary: $113,670 – $157,197

Skills Needed: STEM, Critical thinking, people skills, mental elasticity, SMAC skills and complex problem solving skills

Best Undergraduate Majors: Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

  1. Commercial Space Pilot

Elon Musk and Richard Branson are racing to space and soon, civilian space exploration is going to become a reality. However, there’s one little problem, who’s going to fly us around? We can’t possibly all become astronauts before exploring the moon or Mars that would take way too long and wouldn’t be practical at all. We’ll need someone who has the experience of an astronaut but is also trained to handle much larger rockets with many more people aboard.

Sounds like a tough job but if you’re an expert on space and have always dreamed of becoming an astronaut then it’s time to start thinking bigger.

Average Salary: $65,140 – $100,700

Skills Needed: STEM, Critical thinking, people skills, creativity, mental elasticity, interdisciplinary skills and complex problem solving skills

Best Undergraduate Majors: Aerospace Engineering, Astrology, Physics, Computer Science

  1. Personal Productivity Person

In order to compete with the up and coming automated workforce, people have to become as efficient as possible. Think about how many distractions you have in your present life that hinders you from unlocking your full potential: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Netflix, the 24-hour news cycle and more. As technology continues to evolve, the number of distractions we have will continue to grow and if we are inefficient, machines will be looming in the background ready to take our jobs.

Unless, we have Personal Productivity People (PPP). As a PPP, your job will consist of analysing people’s daily lives and teaching them to silence their daily distractions in order to work harder and smarter.

Average Salary: $36,295 – $134,748

Skills Needed: Critical thinking, creativity, people skills, mental elasticity, SMAC skills and interdisciplinary skills

Best Undergraduate Majors: Communication and Media, Physiology, Sociology

So here were few jobs or technologies of future which I could think of but it doesn’t limit only to these. There are many upcoming technologies which are still not known to the world.

Although a lot of the jobs that exist today will be automated in the coming years, we should be excited about the future, not scared of it. The robots will take over all of the boring jobs which will leave more free time for us to explore interesting, creative and important new jobs such as the 7 I outlined in this blog.

However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to the jobs on this list. Dream up your own list of potential future careers that use the essential skills mentioned earlier and who knows, you might create the next million-dollar idea.

Pragna is always involved in development/appreciation of new technology space. Do review the different solutions we are providing to our customers for over the years.

I hope this blog helped you dive into the future. What do you think, what other jobs or technologies would be high in demand in near future? If you could imagine something new apart from what I listed in then do let us know in the comment section below. Also share this blog with all your known ones and help them plan their careers.

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