Posts

2020 Analysis: Which Financial Services Sector Saw the Greatest Upsurge in Demand Due to COVID-19

StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective Article | 2020 Analysis: Which Financial Services Sector Saw the Greatest Upsurge in Demand Due to COVID-19COVID-19 took the world by storm, inflicting people across the globe with many health concerns. Its impact was also felt in various industries and businesses, including an upsurge in financial sector demand. A study by Awaken Intelligence investigated how the financial sectors in the US and UK have been coming during the crisis.

The research can be found at www.awaken.io/blog/boom-or-bust and was derived from collecting Trustpilot data. They used this data to determine the demand for various financial sector services in the initial months of 2020 when the pandemic hit and the same months in 2019.

Financial Service Sector Growth in the UK and USA

The two nations have experienced an increase in demand for financial services. However, there is a significant difference between them. While the Uk saw a 175% increase, the US only saw a 47%. Despite this, both rises were sudden and unprecedented, forcing financial service providers to update their business models quickly.

In-person meetings were out of the question, and these services typically rely on them. Switching to new procedures was imperative if they were to deliver high-quality assistance to customers regardless of the pandemic. Customers flooded support centres with calls and messages, and many found it difficult to adjust to the demand.

As a result of the nature of the COVID-19 enforced changes, even the most traditional businesses had to embrace modern technology and recognise its value. With the increased availability of self-service websites and application, pressure on customer service agents was lightened. Through the use of technology tools such as voice analytics, it has minimised the average call handling time while enabling satisfactory customer service provision.

Banking & Money

Banks and other loan businesses in the UK readily offered clients a break period and holiday payments on credit cards, loans and mortgages. Banks also reduced rates on new loans in an attempt to attract customers and generate revenue. With certain branches being closed, banks would provide great emphasis on their online and mobile platforms to be used during the pandemic. Banks wanted customers to remain safe in the knowledge that they could still access a variety of services on their online platforms and still receive additional help regarding any queries that they may have.

The UK people took advantage of these offers, and the sector saw a 204% rise. Though the US experienced a 148% rise in demand, this reflects a need to borrow additional benefits did not facilitate that.

Real Estate

In March, the UK placed the conveyancing process on hold. This prevented completion form taking place and home viewings were against COVID guidelines. Surprisingly, the nation still has an 87% rise in demand for real estate services.

Due to the initial pause in the sector, there was a backlog of eager buyers and sellers. When the government reopened markets in June, demands poured on. Another factor that facilitated the rise was eradicating stamp duty by the Uk government, which is to remain until spring 2021.

The US witnessed a nominal 3% growth. Different states had their regulations guiding competitions and home viewings. Still, the main factor was that new listings became rare because property owners were unwilling to sell in a period of economic upheaval.

Insurance

One of the things people cherish about the UK is the National Health Service. Unfortunately, its services were quickly stretched because of the influx of COVID-related health issues. Scheduled appointments and procedures had to be pushed back to since healthcare providers needed to prioritise coronavirus patients.

Numerous individuals were compelled to seek private healthcare to reduce the NHS’s pressure while ensuring they received the best care. This shift resulted in a 311% increase in insurance demand in the UK. In the US, a rise took place, but it was only 26%.

The hike in demand in the US was relatively low because many Americans already have health insurance and did not need to purchase any because of the pandemic. Those who do not have insurance likely lack access on account of affordability. The pandemic did not suddenly make insurance coverage affordable.

Health insurance was not the only form that witnessed growing demand; travel insurance grew in popularity. Usually, only a minority of travellers claim their insurance, but the numerous cancellation resulted in a flood of claims.

Credit & Debit Services in the UK saw a 52% rise, but they dropped by 16% in the USA. Investment and Wealth experienced a 30% rise in the US and 119% in the UK. The financial sector is currently bracing itself for another impact as a second wave hits the two states. The uncertainty of these times holds the danger of rising unemployment rates and financial struggles.

Was the State of the Public Cloud Being Used Effectively by IT Managers in 2020?

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | Was the State of the Public Cloud Being Used Effectively by IT Managers in 2020?When Netsuite and Salesforce launched in 1998 and 1999, respectively, experts generally considered the cloud to be a fad. Since the early 2000s, the industry has experienced unprecedented growth. The collection, storage, and securing of data is a priority in the business world globally. Cloud-native technology has shaped business operations remarkably in the past decade.

Contino recently released the result of a study that can be accessed in full on www.contino.io/insights/infographic-public-cloud-report-2020. Within it, curious minds can gain enormous insight into the public cloud’s state in modern enterprises. IT managers in businesses with more than 5,000 members within the UK, US, and APAC were questioned to arrive at its conclusions. The survey took place at the start of 2020 to investigate the applications of could-native technology.

These are some of the study’s findings.

The Public Cloud Has Widespread Usage

Among the surveyed, 77% stated that their organisation used the cloud in one form or the other. Another 50% of these IT managers made use of the hybrid cloud. Only 1% of the professionals said they were using on-premise solutions at the time. The rest of the respondents made use of a single public cloud, single private cloud or multi-cloud.

Business-Wide Public Cloud is Uncommon

Only 13% of IT managers reported that their businesses had a fully-fledged public cloud system. Those who said that the most common application of the system was for projects or multiple apps (42%). 24% of businesses were experiencing progress in their public cloud usage, while 18% were still developing.

Most Respondents intend to Expand Cloud Programs

83% of the companies are currently trying to increase their cloud program usage. Out of these, 48% want to proceed cautiously. However, 36% think the best way is to move quickly. A minor 4% are interested in returning to on-premise solutions and mentioned that they were in no haste.

Security & compliance are the Main Obstacles

Security and compliance are vital to businesses. This is why business owners and directors are concerned about the risks of using public cloud since the two factors can vary significantly between industries.

The survey found them to be the biggest barriers. 48% of respondents talked about security concerns, while 37% were apprehensive about compliance. However, most IT professionals stated that these two issues were far from being the only barriers to implementing cloud technologies.

They cited a lack of skills, resources, and the hassle of integrating existing systems as the other issues that obstruct a switch to the cloud. 19% expressed eagerness to get with the cloud, but lack of leadership buy-in stopped them from going ahead.

The Public Cloud is Considered to be as Secure as On-Premises

64% of respondents think that on-premises offers even less security than the cloud. This belief comes after previous security concerns about the cloud. 29% said that they had not noticed any security-related differences between the two systems. Only 7% felt that on-premises provided better security.

Company is More Important than Location When Expanding Cloud Programs

Across the businesses surveyed, Contino found that location played little to no role in determining responses. Instead, the nature of each company that factored into cloud-related decisions.

The Cloud Facilitates Innovation

While 81% of IT managers stated that using the cloud-accelerated innovation, no one expressed any belief that the cloud was hampering innovation. 5% reported that the cloud increases their business expenditure. However, 79% said that the system helped them minimise expenses.

Vendor Lock-In is A Serious Concern

Though 23% reported that they had no worries about vendor lock-in, 63% expressed reluctance to commit to the cloud due to concerns with vendor lock-in that ranged in severity.

The Most Significant Advantage is Aligning IT with the Business

100% of the respondents reported many ways of switching to the public cloud was beneficial to their organisation. 72% found that compliance related to business data was easier, while 4% thought it was trickier.

Many modern organisations have implemented the public cloud in varying forms. The majority of respondents are committed to these programs in the foreseeable future. While security and compliance are the most significant barriers to cloud usage, they were also cited as the most remarkable benefits of switching to the cloud.

How To Start Your Own Small Business!

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Start a small business|How To Start Your Own Small Business!Yes, after the pandemic, a lot has changed. A lot of people lost their jobs because of the pandemic and had to move to other countries to find employment, or came back to their homelands full of hope to find what they really want. But sometimes you have to see the light even from the most bottomless hole and from the worst situation. Be wise and a little bit cunning! Every question has its solution because it is the 21st century. Digital work is everyone’s salvation. Here you can find a job or start a new business.

If you are wondering how to create a small business or you are just searching for business ideas, go on reading the article till the end!

Nowadays, especially after the “huge” results of Covid 19, the digital world is an essential part of human beings’ lives. People using the internet do even impossible. Maybe just a decade ago, no one could think about working or studying remotely, but today it is more than actual. The really colossal chaos and the impact that pandemic had on us, we should use smartly. Everything starts with a good idea!

New tendency

Don’t you think that you should focus on the events going on in the world right now? The most obvious example is online education – real profits online. Have you ever thought that being a teacher someday could become a business? This is not a joke at all. And I am not speaking about traditional teachers.
Of course, both online and offline businesses are necessary. Still, you need to move with the times and prove that a lot of money is no needed, and intelligent people start businesses also without having cash or without serious investments. You have already known the secret, haven’t you? Hmm…

Okay, let’s think about the digital world and the benefits it gives us. Nowadays, digital technology has transformed nearly every aspect of modern life. People “live” using devices. Travel, work, shopping, entertainment, communication… These all are an inseparable part of our lives, and new technology makes it easier to do each of them. This is the most convenient time to start your little business and help others too.

But why online teaching, and what will be your profit?

Importance of Online Presence for a Business.

It is available wherever and whenever you want.

The number of users on online educational platforms has overgrown. Do you know why? People save their time. So, people prefer to buy online courses and learn wherever and whenever they find it appropriate: after work, on the way home, during the breaks, while drinking coffee, and so on.
Just because the internet is always available everywhere, the customers will find your “product” easily. Your video classes will be accessible on a 24-hour basis, and customers can conveniently find and use them. They will buy your video lessons, and you will teach them something, make money and at the same time enjoy the whole process.

Larger audience

The web gives you access to a much wider audience that involves personalities within your location and beyond.
If you can teach hundreds or fewer students in the traditional classroom, in this way thousands of people from all over the world learn something from you and thanks to your video classes, a lot of people acquire a new profession and find a job.

Positive Reviews

Here your work is appreciated, and due to the positive reviews, a lot of people know about your courses. If you have really good video classes and value your students, you can look forward to positive reviews that will result in a broader student base. People often use reviews to make their purchasing decision, and it’s important to prioritize quality service.
Perhaps you have a lot of questions right now. Like how to create video classes? Are there any websites to upload or even how to make educational websites? What to pay attention to, and if there are any details or nuances that you should know before starting your business? Go on reading and explore the answers to your questions.

How to create video classes?

The most important thing – follow the available trends! Have a little but comfortable working area for you even at home. It is really easy to share your knowledge, grow your audience, and scale the business you already love. At the very beginning, you can use the camera of your Smartphone or computer. Write on the paper the content plan to organize efficiently. In this way, you will have a well-developed strategy. Then record the class without forgetting about the eye contact. Look at the camera. This increases engagement.

Are there any websites to upload?

Of course, there are websites where you can share your video classes. You can easily find both free and paid websites—for example, UDEMY (do your research and use the one you like the most). Then quickly upload videos, build quizzes, and organize all your learning content. Set pricing, schedule lessons, and automate your content to curate a learning experience your students will love.

How to make my own educational website?

This is a little bit difficult, but we found a solution for you! You don’t need to spend a lot of time and money to create your own website. There are e-teaching website builders that will help you to do it in a few minutes. Yes, I am about Uteach, which will make your life easier ’cause this allows you to create your website using the domain you want. This is more convenient and has all the tools needed for online education. You save your nerves, have your own E-teaching Platform and make money. So it is your choice, find the most appropriate version, start your new business and make money!

To sum up

For people who love teaching and want to share their education working from home, online teaching provides excellent opportunities and is a perfect alternative for both tutors and students. An online tutor can gain millions of students remotely, and students sitting at home can learn some new things and work thanks to the information and knowledge teachers gave them. Do everything with love, and you will succeed!

How Do I Start A Small Business?

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Start a small business|How Do I Start A Small BusinessIntroduction

Starting a small business and achieving a reasonable amount of success in the same business requires you to follow quite a few steps. All the budding entrepreneurs and business people understand this phenomenon; thus they make the initial preparation and planning very compact, strong, and full-proof.

Apart from conducting detailed market research, finding out fair clientele, performing surveys, retaining target groups, exploring SEO, and researching public data, which are obviously important factors, one must also remain very adaptable to changing situations. That is the key step towards a successful small business.

How can I start a small business?

1. Preparing a Proper Idea

If you are going to start a small business, an all around preparation of a proper idea is very important. Generally, it includes various factors like; 1. What are the products and services you want to provide to your customers? 2. What will be the market where you want to get into? 3. How will be the market where you want to enter? 4. What kind of better offers can you make for your consumers, than the contributions made by the already existing companies?

You are also required to concentrate on few other components, which are;

  • Why are you trying to launch a small business? What kind of needs will you satisfy? Will it be a personal need or a market need? It is important to have these answers before starting a small business.
  • You can consider opening a franchise for any established company where you will only require to find a proper location and arrange funds for your operations.
  • Having a solid ground of reasoning behind your idea
  • Before starting a small business, you are always required to understand how you are going to make your customers’ lives smoother! And what kind of values are you going to add to their lives? In a nutshell, a proper realization of your target customers is extremely important.

2. Conducting thorough Market Research

Detailed end-to-end market research will help you identify your customers upon which you can further perform competitive analysis in order to understand the various advantages of your small business.

Thorough market research will always lead you towards a realization of your consumer behaviour, customer base, and diverse economic trends. Additionally, you can also collect various demographic information of your customers like age, height, weight, preferences, property value, family members. It will provide you with a mixture of chances and limitations of your small business idea.

Once these are completed, evaluate the following gradually;

  • The Market Demand for your products and services
  • The Market Size of your Small Business.
  • The employment rate and income scope of your customer base!
  • The outreach of your business.
  • The living location of your customers
  • What is the market saturation!
  • The price fixation of your products

3. Writing an Effective Business Plan

A proper business plan is a detailed outline of the structure, functioning, and future growth of your business. An effective plan is chalking down the purpose and goals of your business.

There are two kinds of business plans, which are respectively: Traditional Business Plan and Lean Start-up Plan. The former is a standard and detailed structure, while the latter is an uncommon structure with the summarization of the key topics.

However, the traditional business plan is only widely used and includes;

  • Creating an executive summary mentioning the mission statement, vision, services, employees, leadership team, location, products, of your business
  • Sharing an informative company description with the minute detail of your organization like the business solutions, business services, consumer base, competitive advantages, store location, etc.
  • Conducting a thorough market analysis to understand the target market, industry standpoint, business strengths, market trend, market theme, etc.
  • Describing the legal structure of your business and portraying an organizational chart for everyone
  • Describing the offerings of your services, the product life cycles, intellectual properties as well as the research and development procedures of your business
  • Mentioning the entire marketing and sales strategy with its amendments, financial projections, procedures of retaining customers
  • Clearly mentioning the funding requirements with the specified amount and its typecast. You are also required to inform about the usage specification of the funding along with the future financial plan
  • With the utilization of proper charts and graphs, portraying the present and anticipated income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and capital expenditure budgets, etc.
  • Providing supporting documents by means of appendix including credit histories, permits, resumes, legal documents, reference letters, contracts, pictures of the products, licenses, etc.

4. Accurately Evaluating Your Finances and Funding Your Business

When you think of starting a small business, it is a sure event that there will be an associated cost or price. Therefore, you are required to determine what will be your start-up cost.

Before obtaining sustainable revenue from small business, here are the few steps which you can acquire.

Conducting a Break-Even Analysis – As a business owner, if you can determine the price of conducting a break-even analysis, then in the long run, you can anticipate how profitable your products and services will remain!

Fixed Costs / (Average Price – Variable Costs) = Break-Even Point –

Many entrepreneurs and businessmen apply this method as a means of a tool because it helps them to understand the minimum requirement of their business performance for attaining success. It also helps in determining the production goals.

Break-Even Analysis helps you in;

  • Determining the profitability
  • Obtaining information about fixed rates, variable costs, total costs labour costs, etc.
  • Analysing the data properly

Considering the Funding Options 

The available options of funding for your business can respectively come from;

Business Loans – You can opt for a commercial loan or even a small business loan from Small Business Administration.
Business Grants – There are various kinds of business grants which can be secured and do not require to be paid back like minority-owned business grants, grants for women-owned businesses, government grants, etc.
Investor Funding – many investors can also fund your business
Crowdfunding – Crowdfunding is a widely utilized funding option as it doesn’t engage much risk, however, launching an equity crowdfunding campaign can help you in obtaining many small amounts of money from several crowd-funders.

5. Choose Your Business Structure Wisely

The correct choice of your small business structure is going to influence all your daily operations, taxes, filing, personal liability, and asset management, .Henceforth, choose it wisely so that you can obtain the right balance of your legal protections and advantages.

You can choose from the below-mentioned options;

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Corporation – C Corp
  • Corporation – S Corp
  • Corporation – B Corp
  • Close Corporation
  • Non-profit Corporation
  • Cooperatives.

Other Steps Associated with Starting a Small Business –

Although the above mentioned are the primary steps associated with starting a small business, however, there are also few other steps, which are;

  • Choosing a Proper Business Location
  • Choosing a Business Name
  • Registering Your Business
  • Obtaining Federal and State Tax IDs
  • Applying for Required Licenses and Permits
  • Purchasing an Insurance Policy
  • Opening a Business Bank Account
  • Choosing the Proper Vendors
  • Growing and Developing an Effective Team
  • Advertising and Branding Your Business
  • Promoting and Growing Your Business

Conclusion
Efficiently and carefully following these steps will lead you towards starting your dream small-scale business.

 


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor |Akash TripathiAkash Tripathi is a Content Marketing Manager at Top Mobile Tech. It is a blog where I cover all the tips & tricks related to Mobile and more related to tech. Stay connected to the rest of the world with Top Mobile Tech. We bring latest and critical news to your mobile and computer devices.

Is Your 5S Process Missing This Critical Step?

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |5S Process|Is Your 5S Process Missing This Critical Step?5S, also known as workplace organization, is a method that’s used in practically every company that implements lean systems. Consisting of a five-step process for organizing work, 5S’s first order of business is called “sort” and entails removing unnecessary items from work areas. For example, obsolete supplies and equipment will be removed to free up space and leave fewer things to organize.

While sorting is a vital first step, there’s a critical issue that often gets overlooked in the process: ensuring a workforce is left with everything it needs to do its job.

Although lean principles imply that a workforce should be provided with the right materials, tools, and information, this step is not formally part of 5S. While some might think this measure goes without saying, assumptions should always be avoided.

To ensure that employees are properly outfitted, ask these questions when assessing a work area:

Are all necessary materials available:

  • When needed?
  • In the right quantity?
  • At the right quality?

Are all required tools available:

  • When needed?
  • In the right quantity?
  • In working condition?

Is all necessary information:

  • Easily available?
  • Accurate?
  • Complete?
  • Understandable?

Obviously, every answer to these questions should be “yes,” or lean efforts will be compromised. While these questions are all important, pay special attention to tool and equipment function. Check whether tools work at all, and be sure to verify:

  • Accuracy: Can the tool maintain its required precision?
  • Safety: Are all safeguards present and functional?
  • Markings: Are tool markings easily accessed and legible?

In addition to equipment function, information is generally a weak link in many operations. Two common examples of information problems include:

  • Blueprints: Are blueprints inaccurate or difficult, if not impossible, to interpret?
  • Work instructions: Are employee directives riddled with incomplete information? Do employees often ask supervisors for clarifications?

Clearly, none of the aforementioned situations are good for productivity, and they’re likely just two of many areas where information might need improvement.

While 5S is powerful, explicitly ensuring that your workforce has everything it needs will take your lean performance to the next level. Provisioning your employees is just one of many overlooked measures that will amp up your business’s performance. With continual improvement of continuous improvement, much can be accomplished!


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Sean FieldsStrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Michael SandersSean Fields and Michael Sanders are co-authors of Quantum Lean: Taking Lean Systems to the Next Level. They are a network member and the co-founder, respectively, of BeehiveFund, a nonprofit organization that assists small to medium-sized manufacturing and service businesses in areas such as production scheduling, inventory control, and quality-management systems. Learn more at beehivefund.org.