June 2024

A Buddy’s Franchise is Built for Success in a Recession Resistant Industry

A Buddy’s Franchise is Built for Success in a Recession Resistant Industry

A Buddy’s Franchise is Built for Success in a Recession Resistant Industry

For decades, Buddy’s has built its business in a recession resistant and essential industry that keeps growing. Since 1961, Buddy’s has worked every day to provide rent to own furniture, appliances and electronics that you can own Faster For Less. Today, Buddy’s operates over 300 Franchise and corporate locations nationwide.

3 Benefits of owning a Buddy’s Home Furnishings franchise:

  1. Established brand with over 60 years of industry presence.
  2. Recurring revenue model from rent-to-own services.
  3. Comprehensive support including training, marketing, and financing.

Buddy’s Home Furnishings franchises offer an opportunity for entrepreneurs to operate businesses providing rent-to-own home furnishings, electronics, and appliances. With over 338 locations, Buddy’s has a proven business model benefitting from decades of brand recognition and a robust rent-to-own market. Click Here to to learn more about Buddy’s Home Furnishings.

Show Me More Franchise Options

Key Facts:

  • Minimum Initial Investment: $375,650 – $797,540
  • Initial Franchise Fee: $39,900
  • Liquid Capital Required: $200,000
  • Net Worth Required: $750,000
  • Veteran Incentives: 20% off the franchise fee.

Source link

A Buddy’s Franchise is Built for Success in a Recession Resistant Industry Read More »

Mark Zuckerberg Reveals the Future Meta AI, Tech Industry

Mark Zuckerberg Reveals the Future Meta AI, Tech Industry

Mark Zuckerberg Reveals the Future Meta AI, Tech Industry

AI may soon become a part of our everyday lives, but in a new interview with the YouTuber Kallaway, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggested we may be thinking about the technology all wrong.

Zuckerberg spoke about most major companies and their desire to build one main AI, using Google’s Gemini or OpenAI’s Chat GPT as examples. But for Meta, the strategy isn’t to develop one central AI — the company wants to create multiple programs.

“Our overall view is that this isn’t the type of thing that there should just be one of, people want to interact with lots of different people and businesses and there need to be a lot of different AIs that get created to reflect people’s different interests,” he explained.

Related: Meta AI Unveils First Two Versions of Llama 3

Meta is focusing on building the underlying technology (called Llama) for businesses and creators so that these entities can create their own AIs to reflect the needs of their businesses and communities, Zuck explained.

He also pointed out that the idea of working towards an almost “all-knowing” AI is offputting to him, and while he’s heard from other tech leaders who like this approach, he doesn’t agree.

“I don’t think AI technology is a thing that should be hoarded,” he said. “I find it a pretty big turnoff when people in the tech industry kind of talk about building this one true AI. It’s almost as if they think they’re creating God or something, and that’s just not what we’re doing. I don’t think that’s how this plays out.”

Related: What Is Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Salary, Security Costs?

Meta is currently testing a beta version of its Creator AI, which allows creators, like Kallaway, to test the software and see what a streamlined AI built for their specific audiences would be like.

Llama 3 was released in April 2024.

Source link

Mark Zuckerberg Reveals the Future Meta AI, Tech Industry Read More »

Warren Buffett Changes His Will, Gates Foundation Donations

Warren Buffett Changes His Will, Gates Foundation Donations

Warren Buffett Changes His Will, Gates Foundation Donations

Warren Buffett revised his will and gave his biggest yearly donation yet to five charities.

Buffett told The Wall Street Journal on Friday that almost all of his fortune, valued at about $130 billion, will now go into a new charitable trust upon his death. Buffett’s children, Susie, Howie, and Peter Buffett, will helm the organization together and must unanimously choose where the money goes.

“I feel very, very good about the values of my three children, and I have 100% trust in how they will carry things out,” Buffett told the Journal.

Warren Buffett. Photographer: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The new will ensures that more than 99% of Buffett’s estate will go towards philanthropic efforts, per a Berkshire Hathaway press statement. Buffett signed the Giving Pledge in 2006 to give more than 99% of his wealth to charitable causes during his lifetime or death.

Related: Warren Buffett Answers Succession Question at Annual Meeting

Buffett currently donates yearly to five organizations: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the Susan A. Buffett Foundation, and the NoVo Foundation.

The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation is named after Buffett’s late first wife and chaired by his daughter; the final three are run by each of his children.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation received the bulk of the donation, with 9.93 million shares. Buffett donated 993,035 shares to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and 695,122 shares each to the remaining three.

Buffett disclosed to the Journal that his annual contributions to the five organizations will only occur across his lifetime.

“The Gates Foundation has no money coming after my death,” Buffett, who resigned from the Gates Foundation board in 2021, told the publication.

Related: Melinda French Gates Resigns From Gates Foundation

Buffett began giving to each of these foundations annually beginning in 2006. His contribution this year was his highest one yet, coming in at 13 million, or $5.3 billion, of Berkshire Hathaway class B shares.

In the past 18 years of giving to these organizations, Buffett has donated over $55 billion.

The record $5.3 billion contribution on Friday brings Buffett’s net worth down to nearly $130 billion, making him now the tenth richest person in the world instead of the eighth, per Forbes estimates.

Source link

Warren Buffett Changes His Will, Gates Foundation Donations Read More »

Wells Fargo Analyst Buys 75 Chipotle Bowls to Test Size

Wells Fargo Analyst Buys 75 Chipotle Bowls to Test Size

Wells Fargo Analyst Buys 75 Chipotle Bowls to Test Size

Chipotle has been under scrutiny by customers who accuse the chain of skimping out on portion sizes.

A new trend even emerged on social media, where customers will film themselves ordering at the fast-casual chain to encourage Chipotle employees to give them fuller bowls.

Related: Chipotle’s Robots Can Make Almost 200 Burrito Bowls an Hour

Now, a group of Wells Fargo analysts decided to settle the debate — by ordering 75 of the same bowls at eight different NYC Chipotle locations.

Led by analyst Zachary Fadem, the group of finance professionals ordered 75 bowls of white rice, black beans, chicken, pico de gallo, cheese, and lettuce.

Surprising no one, the results showed that portion size and weight of the bowls varied significantly.

The median weight of the bowls was 21.5 ounces. Some locations offered the bowl at a hefty 27 ounces while another only came in at 14 ounces — all from the same menu and prepared in the same way.

“Consistency varied widely, w/ some locations serving bowls that weigh ~33% more than other locations (on equivalent orders); and the heaviest digital/in-store bowls weighing 87%/47% more vs the lightest,” Fadem reported. “While throughput is improving, order consistency remains an opportunity.”

In May, Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol denied that portion sizes had gotten smaller during an interview with Fortune.

“The portions have not gotten smaller,” Niccol said assuredly. “We always want to give people big portions that get them excited about the food.”

Related: Chipotle Rolls Out New Perks to Attract Gen Z Workers

Chipotle had a strong Q1 2024, with total revenue reaching $2.7 billion, a 14% increase from the same time last year. The chain also opened 47 new restaurants in the quarter.

Chipotle did not immediately respond to Entrepreneur’s request for comment regarding portion size variability.

Source link

Wells Fargo Analyst Buys 75 Chipotle Bowls to Test Size Read More »

The One Secret Ingredient That Turned This Chocolate Bar Into a Success

The One Secret Ingredient That Turned This Chocolate Bar Into a Success

The One Secret Ingredient That Turned This Chocolate Bar Into a Success

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

After college, Jake Karls thought he wanted to be an investment banker. But he never got past the first job interview. Saddled by learning disabilities and a lack of enthusiasm for corporate work, the Canadian was forced to move back into his parents’ house.

“I could not find a job, so I literally had no choice but to become an entrepreneur,” he says. “It was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Karls co-founded Mid-Day Squares with his sister Lezlie and her husband, Nick Saltarelli. The good-for-you chocolate bar is non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, and packed with pea protein. But Karls says the one ingredient that really makes it stand out from the pack is its emotional connection with the consumer.

On this week’s episode of One Day with Jon Bier, Karls shares his personal journey from early failure to success, why he believes that authenticity and good storytelling have made the difference for Mid-Day Squares, and what he’s learned about himself and running a successful business along the way.

The secret ingredient

When devising a marketing plan for Mid-Day, Karls looked at brands like Sephora and admired how their customers wanted to be a part of it. They posted photos of themselves on social at the store and raved about how much they loved the brand.

“The food and beverage world didn’t have that connectivity that the beauty world had,” he says. He wanted customers to go to the grocery store and “not just buy a chocolate bar, but actually feel that they’re buying from a friend. Feel part of it.”

So, Karls focused on building a deep connection with consumers by being vulnerable and transparent and telling an authentic story about the brand’s origins and his own personal journey. This allowed the brand to develop a passionate fan base that felt invested in the company’s success.

Related: Don’t Be a Boring Brand – How to Create Brand Distinction That Has Everyone Turning Their Heads

Jake Karls

Playing to his strengths

Initially, Karls took on the company’s CMO role because he thought he needed to take on a leadership position and manage people as a co-founder. However, he quickly realized he was playing to his weaknesses.

“It was 6 to 8 months of complete wreckage,” he recalls.

By stepping back and focusing on what he was truly great at —community building and brand storytelling—the company began to thrive. Karls learned the importance of blocking out noise and focusing on his unique strengths and superpowers.

Related: Building a Community Around Your Brand Is Crucial for Long-Term Success. Here’s How Flex Watches Makes Emotional Connections With Customers.

Overcoming burnout

But the breakneck pace of growth took a toll, and Karls experienced a serious burnout that left him with crippling anxiety and OCD.

“I thought you could keep going at 200 km/hr 24/7, and your body could take it, but eventually, my body shut down on me.”

He decided to tackle this mental health crisis head-on, going through 37 days straight of therapy, eating healthier foods, and undergoing hypnotherapy, which he says “really changed everything.”

“My anxieties have become minimal. And my OCDs are at the level that I don’t even think about or care about,” he explains.

Lessons learned

Looking back on his early struggles, Karls realizes that he was so focused on pleasing everyone else—his parents, friends, and family—that he lost sense of his own priorities.

“There’s too much noise in this world, telling you to be this way, try this, work with this, do this, have this strategy,” he says, conceding that much of this advice comes from people who care about you and love you.

But ultimately, you need to trust your gut and be able to put horse blinders on.

“Once you play to and understand your strengths and start executing on that, you feel a sense of freedom that makes you feel unstoppable.”

In that spirit, he plans to make Mid-Day Squares a $100 million company in two and a half years.

Source link

The One Secret Ingredient That Turned This Chocolate Bar Into a Success Read More »

Swae Lee: From McDonald’s to McMillions in Entrepreneurship and Records Sold

Swae Lee: From McDonald’s to McMillions in Entrepreneurship and Records Sold

Swae Lee: From McDonald’s to McMillions in Entrepreneurship and Records Sold

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Dive into Swae Lee’s remarkable journey, from clocking in at Mcdonald’s to hitting the heights of the music industry. In this conversation, Swae Lee spills the secrets of his winning mindset, unwavering dedication and the vital role of genuine relationships.

More Episodes: Win Big with Clinton Sparks

Here’s a breakdown of all the things we discuss in the podcast:

The Global Impact of Entrepreneurship:

  • Entrepreneurship knows no geographical boundaries. Entrepreneurs around the world are creating solutions to global challenges and contributing to a more interconnected world.

Swae Lee’s Early Aspirations:

  • Swae Lee’s early aspirations were rooted in music, driven by a passion for creating and performing.
  • He dreamt of making a name for himself in the music industry from a young age.
  • Swae Lee’s aspirations laid the foundation for his successful music career.
  • His early dreams and goals ultimately shaped his journey to stardom.
  • These aspirations motivated him to work tirelessly to achieve his musical ambitions.

Hard Work and Persistence:

  • Hard work and persistence have been Swae Lee’s guiding principles throughout his career.
  • He firmly believes in the value of consistent effort and determination.
  • Swae Lee’s success is a testament to his unwavering dedication to his craft.
  • The music industry demands hard work and persistence to overcome challenges.

Overcoming Challenges for Success:

  • Swae Lee has faced numerous challenges on his path to success in the music industry.
  • Overcoming these challenges has made him a stronger and more resilient artist.
  • Each obstacle he encountered became an opportunity for growth and improvement.
  • Swae Lee’s ability to overcome challenges has contributed to his rise in the industry.
  • He views challenges as stepping stones toward achieving greater success.

Networking in the Music Industry:

  • Networking plays a crucial role in Swae Lee’s journey in the music industry.
  • Building connections with other artists and industry professionals has been key to his success.
  • Effective networking has opened doors to collaborations and opportunities.
  • Swae Lee recognizes the importance of cultivating relationships to advance his career.
  • In the music industry, networking is more than a skill—it’s a strategic advantage.

Navigating Relationships in the Music Industry:

  • Navigating relationships in the music industry can be complex due to its competitive nature.
  • Swae Lee has learned to balance personal and professional relationships to maintain success.
  • Building trust and managing relationships with colleagues is essential in the industry.
  • Nurturing positive connections has contributed to his career’s longevity.
  • Successfully navigating relationships has allowed him to thrive in the music world.

Source link

Swae Lee: From McDonald’s to McMillions in Entrepreneurship and Records Sold Read More »

Stop Overwhelming Your Online Customers With Information Overload. Hook Them In With This Approach Instead.

Stop Overwhelming Your Online Customers With Information Overload. Hook Them In With This Approach Instead.

Stop Overwhelming Your Online Customers With Information Overload. Hook Them In With This Approach Instead.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Users spend an average of 5.59 seconds looking at a website’s written content. I don’t know about you, but it seems like there is hardly enough time to gain users’ interest, let alone relay the information you want to share — and the information they want to find.

However, following best practices, there is no reason to bombard users with an avalanche of information when they land on your homepage. While there may be a lot of great information about your business, putting it in their faces when they arrive can have the inverse effect, making users feel overwhelmed and pushing them to leave the site.

So, what is the alternative? Thoughtfully crafted messages and content aligned with the customer journey and revealed through a slow, strategic drip known as progressive disclosure.

Related: Your Online Customer Experience Is More Than a Buzzword — It’s the Backbone of Your Business. Here’s How to Optimize It.

But what is progressive disclosure?

Progressive disclosure is about strategically revealing the information a user wants or needs at the precise moment the customer wants or needs it (rather than throwing it at them upfront). This is essentially a strategic approach to planning and releasing content throughout the customer journey to maximize engagement and move a customer through the conversion funnel.

Here’s an example: If you have a product-heavy website, the navigation should direct the user through a seamless navigation. If the navigation is designed strategically to align with the customer journey, then each click is a point on the path of progressive disclosure. As users move around the site, they will slowly but surely learn more about the products and services and find the information they need. This is precisely why websites use a thoughtful navigation system based on logic and integrated into the information architecture that outlines the content and where it should be placed within the site.

Why is progressive disclosure powerful?

The simple answer is that this process is customer-centric. It focuses on what customers want to accomplish rather than what you, the business owner, want to share.

In addition, progressive disclosure accomplishes the following:

  • Reduces friction: Information overload leads to confusion and decision paralysis. By presenting information relevant to the user’s immediate needs, you remove unnecessary hurdles and guide them seamlessly toward their goals.
  • Boosts engagement: Curiosity thrives when there is something more to discover. As users uncover new features and functionalities, their interest remains piqued, encouraging further exploration and deeper product engagement.
  • Builds trust: When users feel they’re being led, not overwhelmed, trust flourishes. Progressive disclosure shows respect for their time and attention, fostering a positive relationship between them and your product.

Related: 7 Ecommerce Customer Experience Strategies for Effective Branding in 2024

Want to rework your website so it’s aligned with your customers?

If you want to rework your website or consider how your content is aligned with your customers, here are a few considerations that will help ensure you are applying progressive disclosure principles:

  • Map the customer journey. Understand the different stages users go through, from awareness to consideration, purchase and beyond. Identify their needs and pain points at each stage.
  • Prioritize information. Categorize features and information based on their importance and relevance to each stage of the journey. Highlight core functionalities initially and unveil advanced features later.
  • Use microlearning. Chunk information into digestible pieces, delivered through tutorials, tooltips, and interactive prompts. This makes learning effortless and avoids cognitive overload.
  • Leverage visual cues. Employ clear design elements like hierarchy, icons, and animation to guide users’ attention and highlight key information.
  • Gather feedback. Continuously analyze user behaviors on your site and collect feedback to understand what resonates. Use this data to identify areas for improvement and implement valuable changes.
  • Use multiple touchpoints to communicate. While this strategy can be applied to a website, it applies to all digital communication channels. Most who visit your website either have a specific reason or are fact-finding. So consider using other digital channels, such as SMS and digital cards, to communicate more important (or urgent) messages in real-time.

Applying progressive disclosure isn’t just about withholding information; it’s about crafting a captivating narrative that unfolds as the user interacts with your brand. Applying this approach can foster trust, increase engagement, and ultimately create satisfied customers.

Remember, we’re not just selling products or services; we’re guiding users on a journey, and every step along the way matters. By unveiling the right information at the right time, we transform their experience from overwhelming to empowering, paving the way for sustainable success.

Source link

Stop Overwhelming Your Online Customers With Information Overload. Hook Them In With This Approach Instead. Read More »

SEO Metrics That Matter in 2024

SEO Metrics That Matter in 2024

SEO Metrics That Matter in 2024

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As someone who has been involved in search engine optimization (SEO) for nearly a decade now, I know how important it is to track metrics. While not every metric has the same value, it is essential to keep your finger on the pulse of your online performance.

From my observations and practical experience, there are a few SEO metrics that really matter in 2024. Specifically, these can be divided into on-page and off-page ones. Nevertheless, they will be crucial for your concerted efforts to ensure you skyrocket your SEO performance.

So, without further ado, here are the metrics I measure and keep tabs on and recommend for highly effective SEO endeavors.

Related: Experts Share The 5 Things You Need to Understand About SEO in 2024

Keyword research and analysis

I’d like to kick off by mentioning the importance of keyword research and analysis. This should be the foundation of any SEO strategy. However, choosing the right keywords can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.

This is where using the right tools comes into play. And once you have these tools at your fingertips, you need to use them wisely. Whether you are creating a sales page or a blog article, you must consider your users’ search intent when looking for the right keywords.

A sales page with informational search intent keywords will flop. The same is true for a blog article with keywords that have a commercial search intent. Match the right keywords with your specific content type. For example, a commercial page should have keywords with commercial search intent and a blog article should have keywords with informational search intent.

After you have narrowed down your list of keywords, created your content and published it, you need to track performance. Analyzing keyword data is essential to inform your SEO strategies. Measure aspects such as search engine rankings, keyword rankings, overall organic traffic and other criteria to ensure you are on the right path.

Page speed and mobile-friendliness

The impact of page speed on SEO is huge. Many, if not most, online users feel a sense of frustration when they click on a page and it takes more than three seconds to open. In our world of instant gratification, people want fast-loading websites that are easy to navigate. Wondering how to optimize your page speed performance? A few tips worth considering include:

  • Compress your images

  • Avoid hosting videos locally

  • Use a quality hosting plan

  • Avoid too many animations

  • Minimize external resources

  • Minimize HTTP requests

  • Optimize Performance With Redis Caching

  • Enable GZIP compression

  • Utilize accelerated mobile pages

  • Reduce the number of redirects

A related page speed factor is ensuring your website is mobile-friendly. Yes, our world is becoming increasingly mobile-first, and if your website doesn’t flow and show smoothly on mobile, you’ve just frustrated your users and lost them to the competition. So, basically, with these strategies, you can keep your website loading speed low and watch user satisfaction increase as you track this metric.

Related: 8 Ways to Make Your Website Faster (and Why It Is Critical to Your Business)

Content quality and relevance

Measuring content quality and relevance can be a tough nut to crack. Despite this, it’s still important to do so. There are several metrics in this space that I always keep an eye out for. These include:

  • Traffic

  • Bounce rate

  • Dwell time

  • Social shares

  • Backlinks (for more on this, see my discussion below)

  • Conversions

  • Revenue and/or return on investment

Every one of these metrics, when looked at as a whole, will tell you whether your content resonates with your target audience. Another aspect I consider in this regard is not only publishing fresh content but also updating older articles to ensure that my website or my clients’ websites perform optimally at any given period of time. Bear in mind that SEO is a long-term game. It’s an ongoing process that requires continued and dedicated efforts for overall success.

Link building and authority

And now I come to the crown jewel of SEO: link building. Getting backlinks to your website from other authoritative websites has been described by many in the industry as securing a vote of confidence in the quality of your online presence. But there are good backlinks and bad backlinks. That’s why key metrics to monitor when it comes to your backlink profile should include:

When it comes to how to build high-quality backlinks, there are many strategies that you can follow. However, I recommend the skyscraper approach, resource link exchanges and a few subcategories of outreach such as guest posting. Ultimately, you want your online presence to dominate. And to achieve this, you need to show that you are credible, authoritative and importantly — trustworthy.

Conversion rates and user experience

Measuring conversion rates involves a bit of an analytical approach. In a nutshell, it’s a numbers game. However, measuring the user experience goes beyond numbers and ventures over into the qualitative sphere. Both of these metrics are important for SEO. And while conversion rates can be easily measured by the number of new customers your business has acquired, your users’ experience can be measured by using the following approaches:

Ultimately, when it comes to boosting your SEO efforts in order to drive conversions through a great user experience, you will want to implement A/B testing and carry out different experiments to ensure that your approach is as refined as possible.

Related: User Experience Is the Most Important Metric You Aren’t Measuring

And that’s it, folks: the key SEO metrics that matter in 2024. I can’t overemphasize the importance of tracking and optimizing your SEO metrics for your entrepreneurial success. After all, if you have an online presence, you need to build, nurture and grow it to reap the benefits.

With this in mind, if you haven’t yet started tracking some of these metrics, it’s important to do so while coupling the metrics measurements with a combination of the right SEO strategies and approaches. The rewards for your business and online presence will be phenomenal.

Source link

SEO Metrics That Matter in 2024 Read More »

How Small and Medium Businesses Can Help Their Communities by Innovating with Cloud Technology

How Small and Medium Businesses Can Help Their Communities by Innovating with Cloud Technology

How Small and Medium Businesses Can Help Their Communities by Innovating with Cloud Technology

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The term small and medium businesses (SMBs) belies the sizable contribution these organizations make to economies and employment markets. According to the World Economic Forum, “Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which represent around 90% of all firms globally, provide roughly 70% of all employment and, by some estimates, contribute to up to 70% of global GDP.” They are also embedded in their communities, delivering innovative products and services that play a crucial role in accelerating economic development.

However, doing all of this while remaining competitive requires SMBs to perform a fine balancing act between three key goals. They must accelerate speed to market for their products and services, they must build customer trust and at the same time, they must work to reduce costs. So, how are these small but mighty SMBs doing it? And — more importantly — how can they make it easier and do it better? The answer, supported by a recent report from Accenture, lies in adopting cloud services and technologies.

Related: 4 Reasons Business Leaders Need to Accelerate Cloud Adoption

Leveraging cloud tools to unlock billions in benefits

The report estimates that by 2030, cloud-enabled SMBs in healthcare, education and agriculture will have unlocked $161 billion in productivity gains. These cloud-enabled SMBs will support 95.8 million jobs, equivalent to 8% of the total employment on average across the 12 countries studied. Meanwhile, SMBs in these sectors in the U.S. stand to gain a predicted $79.8 billion, a 26% increase in current productivity benefits. Within cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are expected to have the most significant effect: 78% of businesses surveyed identified these technologies as the most significant in creating societal impacts in 2030.

Many businesses have already migrated services and computing to the cloud. Approximately 63% of all U.S. businesses (and 44% globally) now utilize cloud technology. Most of these will be large enterprises with the digital savvy and resources to make the move. This means there are many SMBs that are, therefore, missing out. First, on being able to achieve that fine balancing act between the three key goals. Second, on the opportunity to build on current achievements and continue to spearhead positive change across communities and economies.

By utilizing on-demand services and products, SMBs will gain access to the kind of tools and approaches historically restricted to large enterprises. This means they can capitalize on emerging trends by being first to market with new products (addressing key goal number one). They can also deliver secure, high-quality products and services, protect customer data and provide reliable customer support to help build customer trust (addressing key goal number two). Finally, as a result of introducing more efficient processes and better resource allocation and supply chain management, they can streamline operations and ensure they’re financially resilient (key goal number three).

Related: How to Revolutionize Your Supply Chain by Harnessing the Power of Smart Technologies

AI, ML and advanced adoption

The OECD’s definition of cloud adoption levels includes basic adoption, such as web-based email services or cloud-based storage solutions, and intermediate adoption, such as customer relationship management or enterprise resource planning tools. The average rate of basic adoption in the countries surveyed in Accenture’s report stands at 44%, and that of intermediate adoption hovers at 19%. There is clearly a large proportion of SMBs that are missing out, yet it’s in the adoption of advanced technologies that the greatest untapped gains lie. Within this third level of cloud adoption, the OECD includes the likes of AI and ML tailored for sophisticated tasks. The average advanced cloud adoption rate is currently 13%, yet 78% of respondents to the report identified AI and ML as the technologies that will have the most transformative impact on societies.

To realize that vision, this gap must be closed. As it becomes so, what can we expect to see and experience in critical sectors by 2030? In education, SMBs could help make learning more accessible and provide personalized content and individualized feedback to students. In healthcare, they could enable more medics to analyze results more accurately and synthesize high volumes of data for R&D: generative AI is expected to play a role in the development of up to 30% of all new drugs by 2025. In farming, we would see a greater uptake of AI and ML technologies for precision, data-driven agriculture, which uses fewer resources and yields greater results.

Reducing costs, enabling scalability and gaining expertise

This vision and the prospect of adopting cloud technologies will be significant for many SMBs that will understandably want to start small. Fortunately, the nature of the cloud supports this. Instead of investing heavily in new infrastructure, SMBs can use cloud services and virtualized resources on a pay-as-you-go model. Shifting from traditional fixed costs to a variable costs model means organizations only pay for what they use — which can be scaled up and down to meet demands – reducing running costs and freeing up capital. Starting small also means working with a cloud services provider that understands the needs of each SMB it works with and offers tailored support and training.

Of course, just because we start small doesn’t mean we can’t think big. In terms of migrating to new cloud technologies, SMBs should adopt a whole-of-business cloud migration strategy and draw on the knowledge and expertise of other organizations that have already made the move. For businesses operating in any market, these benefits will be attractive — especially to their bottom line. Finally, achieving this vision for 2030 can’t be attained without the buy-in of other markets and sectors of society. Moving towards this goal — and leveraging the cloud technologies required means continuing coordination between governments, educators and other industries.

Source link

How Small and Medium Businesses Can Help Their Communities by Innovating with Cloud Technology Read More »