Transatlantic trade relations are still tense

AS RECENTLY AS a week ago, a big transatlantic bust-up seemed inevitable, with the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland the most likely boxing ring. America had taken offence at France’s digital-services tax, which hits the likes of Amazon, Facebook and Google, on the ground that it discriminates against American companies. The French had insisted that the tax was only a temporary measure and would be repealed as soon as governments were able to reach a multilateral agreement on tax reform. The Americans, unconvinced, were poised to whack duties on $2.4bn of French champagne, beauty products and handbags.

But then on January 19th America’s president, Donald Trump, struck a temporary truce with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron. France would suspend the collection of revenues from its tech tax, and the Americans would suspend their tariff threats.

A love-in at Davos, then? Not quite. Soon after the apparent ceasefire, tensions began to rise again. The elite assembled at the Swiss resort were treated to plenty of theatrics. Steven Mnuchin, America’s treasury secretary, warned the British government that its version of a digital-services tax would not escape punishment. When Sajid Javid, the British chancellor of the exchequer, informed the audience that Britain would prioritise a trade...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

Why are rhodium prices on a roll?

WHEN ANNA SCOTT left her Honda Jazz in a commuters’ car park outside Oxford on January 10th, she had little reason to think that criminals would take an interest in the 12-year-old car. Yet the next afternoon a group of shifty characters were spotted sawing off its catalytic converter. Such incidents have become more frequent across Britain as prices for palladium and rhodium, metals contained in the devices, have rocketed. The price of rhodium has risen by 63% in the first three weeks of January alone, to $9,850 per ounce, around six times that of gold. There is no telling when it will fall back to earth.

Demand from carmakers is surging. More than four-fifths of global demand for rhodium comes from the automotive industry. The metal, together with platinum and palladium, helps convert toxic gases in a vehicle’s exhaust system (such as carbon monoxide) into less harmful substances before they leave the tailpipe. Facing stricter emissions regulations around the world, carmakers are taking even more of a shine to these metals. Although the price of palladium has reached a record high, that of platinum has stayed relatively stable. The contrast reflects a shift in production towards petrol and hybrid cars, which tend to use greater quantities of palladium in their converters, and away from diesel engines, which use more platinum.

...

via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

Why it can make sense to pay exorbitant asset-management fees

A SURE WAY to irritate a private-equity manager is to say the “T” words: two-and-twenty. Their eyes roll: this again. Two-and-twenty (or 2-and-20) is, or used to be, a common fee arrangement for a certain class of asset managers. It comprises a 2% annual fee and 20% of the profits. With a sigh, the manager tells you how it really is. He gets paid a 20% performance fee only if the returns clear a hurdle rate. The typical management fee is in the low to mid ones. And big investors get fee-free stakes in a fund’s portfolio companies (“co-investments”).

High management fees are avoidable. You can build a diversified portfolio that includes developed- and emerging-market stocks and bonds, plus commodities, using low-cost index or exchange-traded funds. True, it is a bit harder to get cheap access to assets that truly diversify your equity risk or are reliable hedges against inflation. But you could always simply hold more cash.

Yet it is quite wrong to insist, as many do, that the only good fee is a low fee. There is a case for paying more for access to a stream of cash flows that is genuinely different from those you already have. The asset manager may not deserve the fee for his efforts. It may just be a pure rent. But sometimes it is best to suck it up. After all, it is returns net of fees that you should care about....



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

Is low economic growth a sign of success?

Fully Grown: Why a Stagnant Economy is a Sign of Success. By Dietrich Vollrath. University of Chicago Press; 296 pages; $27.50 and £20.

BETWEEN 1950 and 2000, GDP per person in America grew at an average annual rate of 2.3%. In 2000-18 that pace fell by roughly half. Often this slowdown—also seen in other rich countries—is taken as a sign that economic policy has failed, and that policymakers must inject stimulus or somehow restore capitalism’s lost dynamism. But for Dietrich Vollrath of the University of Houston, low growth is reason for cheer. In a new book he argues that America’s growth has slowed because so much in the economy has gone so well.

A big chunk of America’s economic advance in the 20th century was driven by improvements in “human capital”, the size and the skills of the workforce. In 1910 only a tenth of Americans completed high school; by the 1970s four-fifths were graduating. Many more now go on to college. A baby boom after 1945 increased the workforce; women piled into paid work in the 1970s and 1980s. All this added nearly a percentage point to annual per-capita GDP growth from 1950-2000. Since then, however, human capital has shrunk, reducing growth by 0.2 percentage points a year. It is the chief culprit behind the slowdown.

Human capital started...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

The costs of America’s lurch towards managed trade

STANDING BEFORE the global glitterati at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos, President Donald Trump bragged of a “transformative change” to America’s trade policy. The newly inked “phase one” deal with China, he said on January 21st, would lower trade barriers and protect intellectual property. He crowed about China’s promise to buy an extra $200bn of American services, energy, agricultural produce and manufactured goods over the next two years. He was not exaggerating. The agreement on a level of purchases, rather than on the rules of trade, does indeed mark a fundamental shift in American policy. But not one for the better.

America has embraced outcome-based rules in its trade relations before. Mercantilists like Mr Trump manage trade in two ways: either by restraining foreigners’ sales to America, or by encouraging them to buy more American goods. In the 1980s American negotiators spent most of their efforts on the first, as they faced political pressure to contain a burgeoning trade deficit and became convinced that Japan’s trade practices were unfair. At their peak, these “voluntary” restraints affected around 12% of all exports to America, including cars, steel, machine tools, textile products and semiconductors.

Voluntary import expansions, where a trading partner agrees to import more...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

Investors at home and abroad are piling into American government debt

IN THE GOOD old days, America’s budget deficit yawned when the economy was weak and shrank when it was strong. It fell from 13% to 4% of GDP during Barack Obama’s presidency, as the economy recovered from the financial crisis of 2007-09. Today unemployment is at a 50-year low. Yet borrowing is rising fast. Tax cuts in 2017 and higher government spending have widened the deficit to 5.5% of GDP, according to IMF data—the largest, by far, of any rich country.

It could soon widen even further. President Donald Trump is thought to want a pre-election giveaway. Fox News is awash with rumours of “Tax Cuts 2.0”. This month the Treasury announced it would issue a 20-year bond, which would lengthen the average maturity of its debt and lock in low interest rates for longer. All this is quite a change for many Republicans, who once accused Mr Obama of profligacy, but now say that trillion-dollar deficits are no big deal. Democratic presidential candidates, meanwhile, are talking about Medicare for All and a Green New Deal. A new consensus on fiscal policy has descended on Washington. Can it hold?

Fiscal hawks worry that continued high levels of government borrowing will lead to economic chaos as the engine overheats. Many of them felt vindicated by the turmoil last year in the repo market, through which financial firms lend to each...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

Closed Sales of Small Businesses Drop, But Values Up, Report Says

2019 BizBuySell Insight Report

In 2019, closed sales among small businesses decreased by 5.5% from 10,312 deals in 2018 to 9,746. The median sale price of a business sold in 2019 increased by $1,000 to $250,000 compared to 2018.

2019 BizBuySell Insight Report

The data was unveiled by BizBuySell’s Annual Confidence Index, a nationally-recognized economic indicator that tracks the health of the small business economy in the US by analyzing statistics from transactions reported by participating business brokers across the country.

The 2019 BizBuySell Insight report research found that the median sale price of a business sold in 2019 was up by 7%, increasing from $531,653 in 2018 to $567,000 in 2019.

The median cash flow of a business increased by 2% from 2018 to 2019, reaching $122,506.

BizBuySell’s findings are important for small business owners and entrepreneurs as they shed light on the top performing markets by sales, the industries that are performing the best, and the overall financial health of small businesses.

The index also explored leading concerns among small business owners, insights that can be useful for anyone operating a small business to be aware of.

More Information from the BizBuySell Poll

The opinion poll indicates the rising minimum wage concern small business owners greatly. The presidential election results and tax regulations come in close behind.

Furthermore, 42% of small business owners claim tariffs on Chinese goods continue to increase their business costs. And of that 42%, 64% plan to increase prices of their goods or services in order to stay afloat.

One such small business owner is Richard Williams. He owns Franklin Transmission and Auto Care in Massachusetts.

“The steel tariffs with China have increased my parts cost an average of 35%. This is reflective in my bottom line and it’s not like I can raise prices by 35%. It would cause me to go out of business,” Williams told BizBuySell.

The industry that witnessed the strongest financial growth in 2019 was retail. Restaurants also fared well in the report. Manufacturing experienced significant drops in performance.

A Look at the Best Performing Markets

In terms of the best performing markets, Richmond, Virginia saw the biggest increase in activity, with 53% more businesses being sold compared to the previous year. Baltimore, Detroit, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston all reported business sale growth.

The index shows that there were 9.746 closed sales reported by brokers in 2019, which equated to a 5.5% drop from 2018. However, it is important to note that 2018 set the BizBuySell record for the highest number of closed sales.

Transaction activity slowed in 2019 compared to 2018 for the whole year. But the fourth quarter showed that sales were beginning to bounce back. And more positive growth trends and levels remain historically high.

Do you own a small business or are you thinking about starting a small business in 2020? Use the BizBuySell Annual Confidence Index as a marker of the overall business climate in the US. You’ll also learn what business owners’ concerns are. This helps them determine which industries and in which locations are performing the best.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Closed Sales of Small Businesses Drop, But Values Up, Report Says" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Closed Sales of Small Businesses Drop, But Values Up, Report Says

2019 BizBuySell Insight Report

In 2019, closed sales among small businesses decreased by 5.5% from 10,312 deals in 2018 to 9,746. The median sale price of a business sold in 2019 increased by $1,000 to $250,000 compared to 2018.

2019 BizBuySell Insight Report

The data was unveiled by BizBuySell’s Annual Confidence Index, a nationally-recognized economic indicator that tracks the health of the small business economy in the US by analyzing statistics from transactions reported by participating business brokers across the country.

The 2019 BizBuySell Insight report research found that the median sale price of a business sold in 2019 was up by 7%, increasing from $531,653 in 2018 to $567,000 in 2019.

The median cash flow of a business increased by 2% from 2018 to 2019, reaching $122,506.

BizBuySell’s findings are important for small business owners and entrepreneurs as they shed light on the top performing markets by sales, the industries that are performing the best, and the overall financial health of small businesses.

The index also explored leading concerns among small business owners, insights that can be useful for anyone operating a small business to be aware of.

More Information from the BizBuySell Poll

The opinion poll indicates the rising minimum wage concern small business owners greatly. The presidential election results and tax regulations come in close behind.

Furthermore, 42% of small business owners claim tariffs on Chinese goods continue to increase their business costs. And of that 42%, 64% plan to increase prices of their goods or services in order to stay afloat.

One such small business owner is Richard Williams. He owns Franklin Transmission and Auto Care in Massachusetts.

“The steel tariffs with China have increased my parts cost an average of 35%. This is reflective in my bottom line and it’s not like I can raise prices by 35%. It would cause me to go out of business,” Williams told BizBuySell.

The industry that witnessed the strongest financial growth in 2019 was retail. Restaurants also fared well in the report. Manufacturing experienced significant drops in performance.

A Look at the Best Performing Markets

In terms of the best performing markets, Richmond, Virginia saw the biggest increase in activity, with 53% more businesses being sold compared to the previous year. Baltimore, Detroit, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston all reported business sale growth.

The index shows that there were 9.746 closed sales reported by brokers in 2019, which equated to a 5.5% drop from 2018. However, it is important to note that 2018 set the BizBuySell record for the highest number of closed sales.

Transaction activity slowed in 2019 compared to 2018 for the whole year. But the fourth quarter showed that sales were beginning to bounce back. And more positive growth trends and levels remain historically high.

Do you own a small business or are you thinking about starting a small business in 2020? Use the BizBuySell Annual Confidence Index as a marker of the overall business climate in the US. You’ll also learn what business owners’ concerns are. This helps them determine which industries and in which locations are performing the best.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Closed Sales of Small Businesses Drop, But Values Up, Report Says" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

15 Field Service Management Software Solutions

15 Field Service Management Software Solutions

Field Service Management (FSM) software help businesses to conduct a wide range of business processes. From job orders to managing personnel, collecting payments, fleet tracking and more.

FSM software enhances coordination between headquarters, warehouse and staff in the field by saving both money and time. Simply put they help capture data in a meaningful way, increase automation while reducing manual processing and errors, and help improve tasks.

If your small business services customers and clients in their homes or offices, then field service management software can help take you to the next level. Besides being instrumental for utility companies, FSM has benefits in the health industry, plumbing professionals, pest control services, cleaning services and other service sectors.

Field Service Management Software

In a world that is increasingly looking for sustainable solutions, FSM software provides a great alternative. They help curb costs with paper, printing, fuel, energy, shipping and packaging costs. They also come with features that tackle multiple aspects and can be customized to suit your business model.

The benefit also extends in organizing workflow, electronic dispatching, tracking employees, inventory management and centralizing your information database. All these tools come are especially useful for businesses working in the service sector.

The goal of field service management applications is to help bring about productivity and collaborations in your business. With FSM software you can cut back on hiring more people or spend more hours on service calls. This will ultimately help you raise your customer service game.

Before investing in a field service dispatch software, field service scheduling software or any other FSM application you will need to identify your needs. Because of the diverse offerings in the marketplace, you will need to pinpoint which application suits your particular needs.

If you are looking for field service dispatch software look to see if your particular sector is being served by the provider. If your priority is field service scheduling software, you will have to check whether they can be synced with your other business software. You can get FSM software that is open source, free or is subscription-based.

Before you commit, read the fine line for any additional costs or service level agreements. Additionally, find out if has a low learning curve and quick implementation times. After all, you don’t want to spend more resources and time to make it work for you.

Below are some field service management software providers in the market.

AI Field Management

AI Field Management is a cloud-based solution that helps both small and large enterprises to manage and collaborate with field employees. This AI based platform allows teams to track customers’ information such as name, contact numbers, locations, email addresses, credit cards and even how they prefer to communicate with businesses.

It also includes a customer website portal, inventory/asset management, time tracking, payroll reports and job management. It enables users to track sales revenue/commissions and create customized reports based on your business requirements.

In addition, it comes with mobile applications for Android and iOS devices, which lets managers engage with field employees in real-time conversations, facilitating productivity across operations.

BuildOps

BuildOps is an FSM platform popular among plumbing and electrical service businesses. As a mobile and web-based application, it helps to streamline communication between office staff and field technicians – improving both operations and customer experience.

It helps automate jobs, projects, and recurring services in under 90 seconds without ever leaving the dispatch board. Businesses in return are provided with automated real-time reporting to identify trends, monitor technician success, and make better business decisions.

The system is completely web-based and can be deployed on Mac and Windows devices.

GeoOp

GeoOp focuses on streamlining operations for businesses across the board. It has features that include real-time scheduling, job status monitoring, GPS tracking, automation, timekeeping, and profitability reporting.

The platform also supports audio and video files as well as SMS for more effective communication between managers and field employees. In addition, it can integrate with a number of third-party software solutions.

HouseCall Pro

HouseCall Pro is another cloud-based FSM that helps businesses manage different facets of their business. It is equipped with a native mobile application, which provides over 30 vertical offerings for home service professionals and can be applied for all corporate environments as well.

HouseCall can help streamline your company’s operations and workflow through easier dispatching, estimating, invoicing, and others.

Jobber

Jobber is an FSM solution that allows companies to manage different aspects of their business. It comes with combined capabilities for field services and personnel.

Jobber is touted to be ideal for businesses in the general contracting, lawn care, HVAC, and cleaning industries. Some features Jobber offers include CRM, work scheduling, team management, and invoicing.

Kirona Field Service Management

Kirona Field Service Management is designed to help businesses cover all aspects of their field service management life cycle. It is equipped to support a variety of sectors that include social housing, central government, facilities management, retail, home services, and others.

Kirona bridges the communication gap between managers and their field team through real-time updates. It offers solutions such as giving your field team information on the fastest routes, customers, and other relevant data.

The platform can seamlessly connect with your workers to ensure that your customers receive the best possible experience. This FSM software comes with tools for planning and forecasting, work management, scheduling and dispatch, mobile tracking, and more.

ProntoForms

Trusted by more than 3,500 businesses, ProntoForms is an intuitive platform offering a secure and scalable interface that helps to mobilize business processes with ease.

ProntoForms automates workflows, collect data in real-time, make company data accessible in the field, as well as synchronizing information in back-office systems. The platform has API functionalities, making it easy to configure it to meet the needs of your operations when it comes to inspections, auditing, maintenance, and asset management.

Salesforce Field Service Lightning

Salesforce Field Service Lightning is a centralized knowledge hub that helps businesses stay on track with their deliveries while letting them personalize the service they provide. This FSM offers real-time visibility in your operations and uses AI to increase your first-time fix rates.

Salesforce Field Service Lightning also connects your workforce enabling you to deliver intelligent on-site service. With this FSM you are able to boost productivity, resolve field service calls faster, and save time with automated appointment scheduling, inventory management, and asset tracking.

Service Autopilot

Service Autopilot is an intuitive service management suite catering to the needs of businesses of all sizes. It drives business growth through advanced scheduling, call tracking, job costing, and invoicing.

The solution also tracks service requests, performs sales and CRM functions, and summarizes all the company information you need into one convenient dashboard. This FSM software comes with calendars and to-do lists that all your team members can access allowing everyone to keep track of orders that need to be done at a given time.

SingleOps

SingleOps is an all-in-one business software for green industry businesses, including landscaping, tree care, lawn care, landscape supply and sod. It comes with features such as CRM, estimates, scheduling, work orders, timesheets, invoicing, inventory, job costing, Quickbooks sync, and others.

It also integrates your sales, back office, and field workforce with one single app.

Trackerpal

Trackerpal is a cloud-based field service management platform. Its features include GPS tracking, route optimization, reporting and analytics, employee scheduling and work order management.

Trackerpal’s platform allows users to view the route, distance traveled, geo-fence, call logs and escalations such as mobile and GPS status, low battery strength and more in both historical and real-time status.

Another useful feature is its ability to capture the location and clock in and out time of your employees in the field. They can also submit expense claims for real-time approval from managers.

Verizon Connect

Verizon Connect is a fleet management and optimization software. It can help companies increase their bottom line by improving asset utilization. The platform comes with tools that can help businesses monitor their workforce and vehicles and moderate fleet expenses.

As it is equipped with field service and scheduling solutions it helps make sure that all field employees are being maximized at all times and all work orders are attended to as soon as possible. It also includes a Work Mobile app where employees can get signatures, new work orders, updates and more in near real-time.

Visual Planning

Visual Planning offers tools and functionalities such as project management, construction scheduling, human resource management, field service scheduling, fleet management, customer relationship management (CRM) and more, which help them to allocate resources, manage projects, budgets and workloads and update reports and graphs in real-time.

It comes with functionalities for mobile devices that allow them to access the software and manage their activities remotely. It also supports integration with various databases. This includes MySQL, SQL Server and Oracle databases and with data formats like CSV files and spreadsheets.

WorkHeld

WorkHeld is an on-premise FSM software popular among businesses working in the construction and maintenance industry. It is a holistic software solution aiming at improving productivity by enhancing communication between managers and employees.

The tools it offers include time tracking, defect management, expense monitoring, project planning. Its user-friendly interface, makes it ideal for small businesses who are implementing FSM for the first time. Allowing for easy access to real-time information, scheduling work orders, and delegating resources easily.

Wrike

Wrike is a cloud-hosted field service management software. A mobile-ready interface caters to the needs of project and field service managers.

Time tracking, interactive Gantt charts, workflow automation, and reporting tools are some of the features. It makes scheduling, prioritizing tasks, tracking inventory, tracking productivity, and keeping track of progress in real-time relatively easy.

It also comes with analytics options that allows users to glean in-depth insights into their operations.

How Technology is Improving Small Business Field Services

In today’s marketplace technology is giving small businesses a leg up in terms of their competitive edge. More and more businesses are looking into Artificial Intelligence to make intuitive business decisions.  Key to these is that technology now simplifies tasks and automates them to run seamlessly.

In addition to bringing about efficiency to your small business, it also helps reduce costs by helping take on tasks that previously would have been covered by people. With the right technology for your business, you can improve engagements, scale-up knowledge retention, enhance collaboration across departments and ultimately increase productivity to grow your company.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "15 Field Service Management Software Solutions" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

India’s economy risks swapping stagnation for stagflation

MUMBAI’S CHEFS were quick to spot the latest threat facing India’s economy. As they foraged for ingredients in Crawford market, where hawkers sell fruit, vegetables and other kitchen staples, they began hearing prices quoted not per kilogram, but per quarter-kilo—a forlorn attempt to mask price increases. Returning from a recent shopping spree, one prominent chef checked off the items rising sharply in price: tomatoes, cabbages, aubergines, fish, spices—almost every ingredient, in fact, in the Indian cookbook.

The hawkers had some plausible excuses. The weather has been erratic, and delivery systems unreliable. But although an increase in inflation was widely foreseen, the severity of it was not. Consumer prices rose by over 7.3% in December, compared with a year earlier, the biggest jump since July 2014. Onion prices, up by 328%, contributed 2.1 percentage points to the headline figure all by themselves.

But India’s inflation is not only or everywhere an onion phenomenon. A Mumbai tea-vendors’ association recently recommended a price rise because of the increased cost of sugar and tea leaves, as well as the gas that fuels vendors’ stoves. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority allowed sharply higher charges for 21 drugs, including treatments for leprosy, malaria and tuberculosis, which were in short supply...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

15 Field Service Management Software Solutions

15 Field Service Management Software Solutions

Field Service Management (FSM) software help businesses to conduct a wide range of business processes. From job orders to managing personnel, collecting payments, fleet tracking and more.

FSM software enhances coordination between headquarters, warehouse and staff in the field by saving both money and time. Simply put they help capture data in a meaningful way, increase automation while reducing manual processing and errors, and help improve tasks.

If your small business services customers and clients in their homes or offices, then field service management software can help take you to the next level. Besides being instrumental for utility companies, FSM has benefits in the health industry, plumbing professionals, pest control services, cleaning services and other service sectors.

Field Service Management Software

In a world that is increasingly looking for sustainable solutions, FSM software provides a great alternative. They help curb costs with paper, printing, fuel, energy, shipping and packaging costs. They also come with features that tackle multiple aspects and can be customized to suit your business model.

The benefit also extends in organizing workflow, electronic dispatching, tracking employees, inventory management and centralizing your information database. All these tools come are especially useful for businesses working in the service sector.

The goal of field service management applications is to help bring about productivity and collaborations in your business. With FSM software you can cut back on hiring more people or spend more hours on service calls. This will ultimately help you raise your customer service game.

Before investing in a field service dispatch software, field service scheduling software or any other FSM application you will need to identify your needs. Because of the diverse offerings in the marketplace, you will need to pinpoint which application suits your particular needs.

If you are looking for field service dispatch software look to see if your particular sector is being served by the provider. If your priority is field service scheduling software, you will have to check whether they can be synced with your other business software. You can get FSM software that is open source, free or is subscription-based.

Before you commit, read the fine line for any additional costs or service level agreements. Additionally, find out if has a low learning curve and quick implementation times. After all, you don’t want to spend more resources and time to make it work for you.

Below are some field service management software providers in the market.

AI Field Management

AI Field Management is a cloud-based solution that helps both small and large enterprises to manage and collaborate with field employees. This AI based platform allows teams to track customers’ information such as name, contact numbers, locations, email addresses, credit cards and even how they prefer to communicate with businesses.

It also includes a customer website portal, inventory/asset management, time tracking, payroll reports and job management. It enables users to track sales revenue/commissions and create customized reports based on your business requirements.

In addition, it comes with mobile applications for Android and iOS devices, which lets managers engage with field employees in real-time conversations, facilitating productivity across operations.

BuildOps

BuildOps is an FSM platform popular among plumbing and electrical service businesses. As a mobile and web-based application, it helps to streamline communication between office staff and field technicians – improving both operations and customer experience.

It helps automate jobs, projects, and recurring services in under 90 seconds without ever leaving the dispatch board. Businesses in return are provided with automated real-time reporting to identify trends, monitor technician success, and make better business decisions.

The system is completely web-based and can be deployed on Mac and Windows devices.

GeoOp

GeoOp focuses on streamlining operations for businesses across the board. It has features that include real-time scheduling, job status monitoring, GPS tracking, automation, timekeeping, and profitability reporting.

The platform also supports audio and video files as well as SMS for more effective communication between managers and field employees. In addition, it can integrate with a number of third-party software solutions.

HouseCall Pro

HouseCall Pro is another cloud-based FSM that helps businesses manage different facets of their business. It is equipped with a native mobile application, which provides over 30 vertical offerings for home service professionals and can be applied for all corporate environments as well.

HouseCall can help streamline your company’s operations and workflow through easier dispatching, estimating, invoicing, and others.

Jobber

Jobber is an FSM solution that allows companies to manage different aspects of their business. It comes with combined capabilities for field services and personnel.

Jobber is touted to be ideal for businesses in the general contracting, lawn care, HVAC, and cleaning industries. Some features Jobber offers include CRM, work scheduling, team management, and invoicing.

Kirona Field Service Management

Kirona Field Service Management is designed to help businesses cover all aspects of their field service management life cycle. It is equipped to support a variety of sectors that include social housing, central government, facilities management, retail, home services, and others.

Kirona bridges the communication gap between managers and their field team through real-time updates. It offers solutions such as giving your field team information on the fastest routes, customers, and other relevant data.

The platform can seamlessly connect with your workers to ensure that your customers receive the best possible experience. This FSM software comes with tools for planning and forecasting, work management, scheduling and dispatch, mobile tracking, and more.

ProntoForms

Trusted by more than 3,500 businesses, ProntoForms is an intuitive platform offering a secure and scalable interface that helps to mobilize business processes with ease.

ProntoForms automates workflows, collect data in real-time, make company data accessible in the field, as well as synchronizing information in back-office systems. The platform has API functionalities, making it easy to configure it to meet the needs of your operations when it comes to inspections, auditing, maintenance, and asset management.

Salesforce Field Service Lightning

Salesforce Field Service Lightning is a centralized knowledge hub that helps businesses stay on track with their deliveries while letting them personalize the service they provide. This FSM offers real-time visibility in your operations and uses AI to increase your first-time fix rates.

Salesforce Field Service Lightning also connects your workforce enabling you to deliver intelligent on-site service. With this FSM you are able to boost productivity, resolve field service calls faster, and save time with automated appointment scheduling, inventory management, and asset tracking.

Service Autopilot

Service Autopilot is an intuitive service management suite catering to the needs of businesses of all sizes. It drives business growth through advanced scheduling, call tracking, job costing, and invoicing.

The solution also tracks service requests, performs sales and CRM functions, and summarizes all the company information you need into one convenient dashboard. This FSM software comes with calendars and to-do lists that all your team members can access allowing everyone to keep track of orders that need to be done at a given time.

SingleOps

SingleOps is an all-in-one business software for green industry businesses, including landscaping, tree care, lawn care, landscape supply and sod. It comes with features such as CRM, estimates, scheduling, work orders, timesheets, invoicing, inventory, job costing, Quickbooks sync, and others.

It also integrates your sales, back office, and field workforce with one single app.

Trackerpal

Trackerpal is a cloud-based field service management platform. Its features include GPS tracking, route optimization, reporting and analytics, employee scheduling and work order management.

Trackerpal’s platform allows users to view the route, distance traveled, geo-fence, call logs and escalations such as mobile and GPS status, low battery strength and more in both historical and real-time status.

Another useful feature is its ability to capture the location and clock in and out time of your employees in the field. They can also submit expense claims for real-time approval from managers.

Verizon Connect

Verizon Connect is a fleet management and optimization software. It can help companies increase their bottom line by improving asset utilization. The platform comes with tools that can help businesses monitor their workforce and vehicles and moderate fleet expenses.

As it is equipped with field service and scheduling solutions it helps make sure that all field employees are being maximized at all times and all work orders are attended to as soon as possible. It also includes a Work Mobile app where employees can get signatures, new work orders, updates and more in near real-time.

Visual Planning

Visual Planning offers tools and functionalities such as project management, construction scheduling, human resource management, field service scheduling, fleet management, customer relationship management (CRM) and more, which help them to allocate resources, manage projects, budgets and workloads and update reports and graphs in real-time.

It comes with functionalities for mobile devices that allow them to access the software and manage their activities remotely. It also supports integration with various databases. This includes MySQL, SQL Server and Oracle databases and with data formats like CSV files and spreadsheets.

WorkHeld

WorkHeld is an on-premise FSM software popular among businesses working in the construction and maintenance industry. It is a holistic software solution aiming at improving productivity by enhancing communication between managers and employees.

The tools it offers include time tracking, defect management, expense monitoring, project planning. Its user-friendly interface, makes it ideal for small businesses who are implementing FSM for the first time. Allowing for easy access to real-time information, scheduling work orders, and delegating resources easily.

Wrike

Wrike is a cloud-hosted field service management software. A mobile-ready interface caters to the needs of project and field service managers.

Time tracking, interactive Gantt charts, workflow automation, and reporting tools are some of the features. It makes scheduling, prioritizing tasks, tracking inventory, tracking productivity, and keeping track of progress in real-time relatively easy.

It also comes with analytics options that allows users to glean in-depth insights into their operations.

How Technology is Improving Small Business Field Services

In today’s marketplace technology is giving small businesses a leg up in terms of their competitive edge. More and more businesses are looking into Artificial Intelligence to make intuitive business decisions.  Key to these is that technology now simplifies tasks and automates them to run seamlessly.

In addition to bringing about efficiency to your small business, it also helps reduce costs by helping take on tasks that previously would have been covered by people. With the right technology for your business, you can improve engagements, scale-up knowledge retention, enhance collaboration across departments and ultimately increase productivity to grow your company.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "15 Field Service Management Software Solutions" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Commonly Asked Questions Rgarding Personal Loans

If you are planning to get a personal loan, there will be a lot of questions revolving in your head. You no longer have to worry. The below personal loan faqs will help you out to clear your doubts.

Taking personal loans for business purchases

Can you get the loan with a bad credit score?

Personal loans depend upon the credit score. The better your credit score is, the better the rate of return you will get. However, if you do not have a good credit score, it may be a struggle to find the perfect platform for you. There is Magical Credit that is offering loans even for bad credit.…

The post Commonly Asked Questions Rgarding Personal Loans appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.



RSS Business Feeds

Simplified Way to Expense Computers, Phones and Other Items

In order to use the de minimis safe harbor, be sure you follow IRS requirements.

There’s an easy way to write off the cost of computers, phones, and other modestly-priced capital equipment. Usually, when you buy an item, you have to capitalize the cost, which means adding it to your balance sheet, and then taking depreciation (an annual allowance) over a number of years. This is so regardless of the cost of an item. But instead of doing this, the IRS has created a de minimis safe harbor that allows small businesses to deduct up to $2,500 per invoice (or per item as substantiated by invoice).

Expensing Versus Bonus Depreciation?

At present there are two other ways in which to write off the cost of items in the year they’re bought and placed in service rather than having to depreciate the cost over a number of years:

  • Section 179 deduction, referred to as first-year-expensing (up to $1,020,000 in 2019; $1,040,000 in 2020).
  • Bonus depreciation for 100% of the cost in 2019 and 2020.

The law allows you to write off the cost in the first year using either of these options. So why use the de minimis safe harbor? After all, any of these write-off options produces the same tax result. You get a full deduction for the cost of equipment in the first year. Well, if you buy a lot of low-cost items, using the de minims safe harbor rule simplifies recordkeeping considerably. For example, say you own a small motel and buy a new iron costing $25 (costs for hotel/motel-use irons range from about $9 to $40) for each of your 40 rooms. Instead of keeping financial records of these 40 capital expenditures, you can elect to deduct $1,000 ($25 x 40) under the de minimis rule and avoid this recordkeeping.

What You Need to Do

In order to use the de minimis safe harbor, be sure you follow IRS requirements.

Use of the de minimis safe harbor must be consistent with how you treat items on your books and records. You don’t need a written accounting procedure (this requirement only applies to large companies with applicable financial statements such as SEC filings or audited financial statements), but you do need to be consistent. The items are not assets on your balance sheet.

Attach an election statement to a timely filed income tax return. Look for the statement entitled “Section 1.263(a)-1(f) de minimis safe harbor election.” The statement must include your name and your taxpayer identification number. It should also contain the statement that you’re making the de minimis safe harbor election.

The IRS doesn’t treat using the de minimis safe harbor election as a change in accounting method. So you don’t need to file Form 3115; only your personal statement attached to the return is required.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Simplified Way to Expense Computers, Phones and Other Items" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

Simplified Way to Expense Computers, Phones and Other Items

In order to use the de minimis safe harbor, be sure you follow IRS requirements.

There’s an easy way to write off the cost of computers, phones, and other modestly-priced capital equipment. Usually, when you buy an item, you have to capitalize the cost, which means adding it to your balance sheet, and then taking depreciation (an annual allowance) over a number of years. This is so regardless of the cost of an item. But instead of doing this, the IRS has created a de minimis safe harbor that allows small businesses to deduct up to $2,500 per invoice (or per item as substantiated by invoice).

Expensing Versus Bonus Depreciation?

At present there are two other ways in which to write off the cost of items in the year they’re bought and placed in service rather than having to depreciate the cost over a number of years:

  • Section 179 deduction, referred to as first-year-expensing (up to $1,020,000 in 2019; $1,040,000 in 2020).
  • Bonus depreciation for 100% of the cost in 2019 and 2020.

The law allows you to write off the cost in the first year using either of these options. So why use the de minimis safe harbor? After all, any of these write-off options produces the same tax result. You get a full deduction for the cost of equipment in the first year. Well, if you buy a lot of low-cost items, using the de minims safe harbor rule simplifies recordkeeping considerably. For example, say you own a small motel and buy a new iron costing $25 (costs for hotel/motel-use irons range from about $9 to $40) for each of your 40 rooms. Instead of keeping financial records of these 40 capital expenditures, you can elect to deduct $1,000 ($25 x 40) under the de minimis rule and avoid this recordkeeping.

What You Need to Do

In order to use the de minimis safe harbor, be sure you follow IRS requirements.

Use of the de minimis safe harbor must be consistent with how you treat items on your books and records. You don’t need a written accounting procedure (this requirement only applies to large companies with applicable financial statements such as SEC filings or audited financial statements), but you do need to be consistent. The items are not assets on your balance sheet.

Attach an election statement to a timely filed income tax return. Look for the statement entitled “Section 1.263(a)-1(f) de minimis safe harbor election.” The statement must include your name and your taxpayer identification number. It should also contain the statement that you’re making the de minimis safe harbor election.

The IRS doesn’t treat using the de minimis safe harbor election as a change in accounting method. So you don’t need to file Form 3115; only your personal statement attached to the return is required.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "Simplified Way to Expense Computers, Phones and Other Items" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Must-have Tools for Growing Your Business

It’s much easier to run a business now than ever before thanks to the technology that is constantly evolving. Many companies are now using tools that help them run their business and make a profit more efficiently. You can choose among hundreds of useful tools for your business and watch it flourish.

Business growth tools

There are so many tools currently available that target different areas of your business. It’s up to you to decide which could be useful and implemented. However, there are some tools that any business can benefit from.

Here is a list of tools that are essential for business growth.…

The post Must-have Tools for Growing Your Business appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.



RSS Business Feeds

How to Become a LinkedIn Thought Leader in 9 Easy Steps

Did you know that 40% of LinkedIn's 500 million members visit the platform daily?

If you're a professional who wants to branch out as a thought leader in your industry, LinkedIn is an excellent place to gain visibility, demonstrate your credibility or expertise, and create valuable discussions within your industry's community.

Why would you want to be a LinkedIn thought leader? Because gaining a presence as an online expert could improve visibility in your industry, expand your network, and result in many more job opportunities.

For example, if you're an entrepreneur and want to gain brand awareness or trust for your own company, sharing tips, advice, or content related to your industry will show your audience that you're a credible expert in your field who works for a trustworthy company.

Even if you aren't a CEO, thought leadership and developing connections on LinkedIn can make companies you work for look great. And, if you leave a company, future employers might identify you as an expert in your field because of how you've contributed to your online community.

It might seem daunting, but building your social presence on LinkedIn is more accessible than you think. In this blog post, I'll show you a few effective ways to build your presence on LinkedIn as a thought leader.

How to Become a LinkedIn Thought Leader

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

1. Optimize your LinkedIn profile so people in your industry can find you.

By now, you've probably created a LinkedIn profile. However -- if you want to be a thought leader with a large following -- just making an account won't necessarily help you get seen by people in your industry. To ensure that you're popping up in search results related to your skillsets or feeds of individuals within your industry, you'll need to take steps to refine and optimize your LinkedIn page.

Below is a great example of a fully optimized LinkedIn header. As you can see, Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson has included his title in the headline area; his geographic location, company, and school in his basic information are. He also includes a thoughtful, but keyword-heavy description of himself in the About area. This description, as well as a well filled-out profile, will make it much easier for those searching for thought leaders in industries like "leisure" or "financial services" to find him.

Richard Branson's LinkedIn profile

Aside from the header area, shown above, you'll also want to get detailed in your Work and Academic Experience areas. While thought leadership is ultimately about the content and thoughts you post, this area will serve as evidence that you are in fact as credible as you say you are.

For each role, be sure to share your daily duties, big wins, and links to projects from each role if possible. Think of this as a resume mixed with an online portfolio. Here's an example of how Larry Kim, WordStream's Founder and an SEO thought leader, highlights his previous role on LinkedIn:

Larry Kim's job description on LinkedIn

2. Use Skills, Endorsements, and Recommendations to Validate Your Expertise

When people read your insights, facts you've noted, or consume your thought leadership content, they might want to ensure that you're an actual expert in your field before taking your advice. While skills, endorsements, and recommendations aren't directly related to creating thought leadership content, they will help you ensure that people will take your expert opinions seriously.

Listing items in the Skills & Endorsements section will allow you to highlight strengths you have expertise in while also optimizing your profile in search results related to your industry or keywords relating to certain skills. Aside from making your profile more searchable to those in your industry, endorsements from past colleagues can also validate that you actually have the skills you've noted.

Here's what Kim's Skills & Endorsements section looks like:

Larry Kim's endorsements and skills on LinkedIn

Visible endorsements or recommendations will show those who view your profile that you're trustworthy and have a solid track record as an employee and thought leader. Although you'll still want to create valuable LinkedIn content to establish yourself as a thought leader, skills, endorsements, and recommendations serve as solid evidence that you have -- in fact -- reached a certain level of industry expertise.

Interacting with Others in Your Industry

3. Connect with other experts.

Connecting with colleagues and other experts in your industry will allow you to build your network and raise your connection numbers. But, it will also allow you to follow what they're doing and learn from their insights as well.

If you have a smaller following, don't panic. All you need to do is dedicate a small amount of time each day to networking with others on the platform. In this blog post, you can find a mini-schedule of networking practices that can be done in under 15 minutes each day.

4. Use LinkedIn Groups or comment threads to interact with your following.

LinkedIn Groups is a feature that allows professionals to create, manage, and post on group pages about a specific topic. In these groups, you might see industry novices asking questions as well as professionals sharing tips. When someone posts something that's engaging, people will discuss it or give advice related to it in threads.

Communicating in these threads or creating your own post within a group related to your industry can help you communicate with others who might be interested in your thoughts and ultimately build more connections or followers.

Not sure which groups to join and participate in? Check out this list of LinkedIn Groups that every marketer should join.

If you're too busy to identify the best Groups for you, you can also make your updates and articles more interactive by including a question and call to action at the end of your content. For example, if you're discussing technology or a new management strategy in an update or LinkedIn article, you could end your content by asking, "How do you inspire innovation at your company?"

By asking your following a question or giving them a call to action, you might enable them to start a deeper discussion that you can then continue to participate in to show off your skill and credibility on the topic.

Publishing Thought Leadership

5. Post updates about your achievements or re-share insights related to your brand or industry.

While people on Facebook might not care about professionalism or career achievements, LinkedIn audiences are there to hear about it. When you share a career achievement or insights on a project your brand has launched, your audience can keep up with you, see how credible you are, and watch you grow as an expert in your field.

In the post below, HubSpot's CEO and Co-Founder Brian Halligan announces the launch of our CRM's free email tool. With a post like this, he is both updating his audiences about his company's accomplishments, and he also includes content that marketers within his industry might be interested in.

6. Publish longer-form insights or thoughts related to your career or industry.

Aside from presenting your skills, achievements, and smaller updates related to your career, you can't forget about the most important aspect of thought leadership: Sharing your thoughts.

Your tips, insights, or big ideas can't always fit well into a small post or update, so be sure to also publish blog posts about topics related to your industry on your profile. You can post through LinkedIn's on Publish feature, or create and share a blog post from your own site or Medium.

TED Talker Susan Cain regularly posts articles about topics related to her business, Quiet Revolution on LinkedIn. In the example below, she publishes a post on the importance of special education during National Special Education Week:

7. Experiment with posting photos or videos on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn isn't just a site for your resume and short text-based updates, like Facebook and Twitter, it's also an evolving social network that's beginning to embrace and prioritize live videos, uploaded videos, and photos in its feeds.

So, when you go to share an update about your career or company, consider sharing a photo along with a text post. Or, if you want to share long-form advice, consider posting a video. Here's an example:

To get even more interactive with your following, you could also consider using LinkedIn's new Live Video feature to host content where you take questions from your audience or interview another thought leader in your industry.

Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck, known in the sales community as Gary V, often shares standard updates and articles on LinkedIn with a mix of text, photo, and video content. This makes content eye-catching, but also gives his followers different ways to consume it. In the post below, Vaynerchuck shares an infographic slideshow about the impact that random acts of kindness can have on work environments:

8. Create cross-promotional content with other thought leaders.

If you work with or have developed a relationship with other LinkedIn thought leaders or brands, consider creating content together and tagging each other in your posts. Not only will this help you network and build connections, but these cross-promotional strategies will help the audience of the other person or brand to learn about you, while you inform your audience of their work.

9. Embrace your other social media platforms.

If you want to branch out and become a thought leader on more than just LinkedIn, be sure to promote your other social platforms, such as Twitter or YouTube. This will help you develop a well-rounded following on all of the platforms.

Here are a few ways you can do this:

  • Announce when you've joined a new platform, share your profile, and let people know what they can expect on this social network.
  • Share links to content, such as YouTube videos or blog posts, from another social platform.
  • Consider writing and sharing blog posts about your marketing strategies on other platforms, like Medium, so your following can both see your insights and know you're on said platform.

Aside from promoting your other social media platforms and building an overall web presence, be sure to share LinkedIn articles and your profile link on your other social channels so your audiences there will join your LinkedIn follower-base.

Navigating LinkedIn Thought Leadership

When it comes to positioning yourself as a thought leader, the key is to highlight your expertise and engage with people in your industry. So, regardless of which industry you're in, be sure to regularly post content or share insights that are valuable or helpful to your following.

To learn even more about developing a winning LinkedIn profile, check out this blog post.



via Business Feeds

How to Get Celebrity Endorsements — Even if You're Not a Huge Brand

From a buyer's perspective, customers tend to feel more obligated to make a purchase from someone they might trust, relate to, or idolize.

That's why celebrity endorsements are so effective. Celebrities can often persuade a buyer to click "purchase" when they otherwise might've hesitated.

Additionally, celebrity endorsements can be highly profitable. A recent study found that celebrity endorsements can increase a company's sales by an average of 4%, compared to its competition.

But, even though it's a great way to grow your business, it can also get pricey and — in some cases — risky. These setbacks are especially tough for smaller businesses and start-ups. So how do you get your product in the hands of a celebrity when you're not a huge brand?

Read on to find out.

How to Get Celebrity Endorsements

Celebrity endorsements look much different today than they did in the past.

Before social platforms emerged, A-list celebrities were used to endorse brands through TV commercials, print advertisements, and other traditional marketing strategies — for instance, consider Justin Timberlake's 2003 McDonald's marketing campaign.

Although celebrities could often attract a large audience, the relationship between the endorser and the brand was often weak at best.

Today, the way we advertise is much different, focusing on the relationship between the endorser and the consumer more than ever.

Consider the smart alignment between Jennifer Aniston and Aveeno, or Roger Federer and Nike. These celebrities weren't "randomly chosen" for these brands based on popularity alone — instead, their lifestyle and career choices made them optimal brand endorsers.

But when finding the right endorser for your brand, there's no one-size-fits-all strategy. Who do you want endorsing your brand? How much should you spend? What kind of audience do you want to attract?

Before you begin your search, here are a few helpful things to keep in mind.

1. Figure out your budget.

Deciding how much you're looking to spend should be determined before you go ahead with an endorsement. Once you've determined a number, it's important to stick to that amount.

To give you a ballpark on how much certain celebrities might cost, check out FamePick. FamePick is a platform that provides a searchable marketplace and connects businesses of any size with celebrities for endorsement.

2. Know your target audience.

Before finding a celebrity, figure out who you want to target your marketing efforts toward. This would also be a good time to research and identify your buyer personas.

What kind of consumers do you want to target? Where is your audience engaging most? Do you want to reach a small or large audience? Consider the type of audience you want to focus on before approaching an influencer.

If you're unsure who your buyer persona is, take a look at HubSpot's Create a Buyer Persona tutorial.

3. Find celebrities who can show a passion for your brand.

Whether it's a top tier athlete or a YouTube superstar, it's all about finding the right candidate to fit your brand's mission.

It may seem obvious that choosing a popular celebrity will gain the most attention and — in some cases — that definitely works.

However, finding an influencer who is passionate about your mission can give your brand authenticity. Also, it's much easier to pitch them your idea if it's something they believe in.

For instance, consider Michael Phelps' partnership with TalkSpace, an online therapy platform. The Olympic athlete has been open about depression and anxiety in the past, so his relationship with the therapy app feels both authentic and powerful.

4. Consider micro-influencers.

Micro-influencers (social media influencers with 1,000 to 10,000 followers) are more cost effective than celebrities, and they might even be more powerful when promoting a product.

In fact, over 82% of surveyed consumers said they were likely to buy something a micro-influencer recommended.

Ultimately, micro-influencers are incredibly trustworthy sources within their niche industry. The content they post is usually relatable and direct to their target audience.

For instance, a micro-influencer might be an online fitness coach who shares helpful fitness tips on Instagram. If you analyze the influencer's followers, most likely you'll find people who have a similar interest in staying healthy or working out. If the influencer then decides to endorse a fitness-related product, chances are their audience will trust their recommendation over celebrities with less of a personal relationship with his or her audience.

Think back to your target audience and compare it to that of the micro-influencer's audience. When choosing micro-influencers, you'll want to make sure their audience is similar to your own brand's target audience.

Social Media Celebrity Endorsements

Now more than ever, celebrity endorsements have a greater impact due to the popularity of social media marketing — which is a good thing for small brands.

Why? For one, social media is typically more affordable than more traditional platforms like TV and radio. Additionally, it's often more effective than traditional marketing campaigns. Social media can create a direct relationship between your brand and the consumer.

And, let's be honest, who isn't on social media? 79% of the U.S. population has at least one social media profile. Ultimately, social media is an incredibly powerful opportunity for small businesses to increase brand recognition and reach a larger audience.

Of course, celebrity endorsements can often be risky endeavors, as well — let's explore some examples of bad celebrity endorsements, next.

Celebrity Endorsements Gone Wrong

Celebrity endorsements have proven to be an effective marketing strategy for brands.

But, despite the benefits, celebrity images can change and could harm your brand. As public figures who are constantly under the watchful eye of the public, any mistake they make could negatively impact consumer's perception of the brands affiliated with them.

In some cases, the brand might also be at fault — such as giving the wrong message in an ad. To give you a better understanding of the implications, here are some celebrity endorsements that went terribly wrong.

1. Kendall Jenner and Pepsi

The controversial Pepsi ad featuring Kendal Jenner was pulled shortly after airing due to criticism, as many interpreted the commercial to be "tone deaf" for it's seemingly misappropriation of the Black Lives Matter movement. Although the ad was bad for Pepsi's image, they've since been able to bounce back.

Video Source

2. Oprah Winfrey and Microsoft

Oprah made a deal with Microsoft for their Surface tablet and decided to promote it through a tweet. The only problem was that her tweet — shown as the device used in the message — was made on an iPad.

Image Source

3. Kim Kardashian and QuickTrim

In 2012, Kardashian partnered with QuickTrim and claimed the diet product was responsible for helping her lose weight. However, the diet pill was found to be both unhealthy and ineffective.

Her endorsement resulted in a $5 million class action lawsuit in New York, which claimed the Kardashians falsely praised the product's effectiveness. Since Kim Kardashian has plenty of loyal fans who trust her, this partnership was particularly bad since it ultimately put her fans at risk of purchasing an un-safe diet product. 

Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 1.14.31 PMImage Source

Successful Celebrity Endorsements

Next, let's explore some examples of successful celebrity endorsements.

1. Michael Jordan and Nike

One of the most iconic endorsements goes to the partnership between Michael Jordan and Nike with the release of the Air Jordan brand. Nike and Jordan show how successful a celebrity endorsement can be with effective marketing and the right celebrity.  

The endorsement all started at the beginning of Jordan's NBA career. Jordan was considered one of the top players in the NBA, so it was an obvious decision for Nike, a footwear company, to make a deal with the star player. 

Nike initially produced the famous red and black Air Jordan I, the shoe that started it all. Shortly after the release, the NBA banned the shoe because the colors went against their ""all white" shoe policy.

Jordan wore them anyway, but was fined $5,000 every time he wore them on the court. This quickly gained the media's attention and opened up one of the best marketing campaigns for Nike.

Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 1.02.09 PMImage Source

Because of the controversy, the shoes became more desirable to the consumer and instantly sold out. Even today, you can't think of Michael Jordan without thinking of Nike, and vice versa. The event redefined how sports marketing would look from then on.

2. Gigi Hadid and Messika

Gigi Hadid, one of the most famous models in the world, is also a top celebrity influencer on social media. For someone who is familiar with the runway, it's no surprise Gigi has multiple fashion companies competing to have her promote their goods due to her success.

This includes the fashion jewelry company Massika, who claimed Gigi as their first ambassador. The partnership included a jewelry collection along with other collaborations.

Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 1.05.54 PMImage Source

3. Ed Sheeran and Heinz

One of the more weird endorsements goes to Ed Sheeran and Heinz. Sheeran, a singer/songwriter, partnered with the food company Heinz to collaborate on a limited edition bottle called “Edchup.” Odd as it may be, Sheeran is actually a big fan of their ketchup. So much that he actually has a tattoo of it on his arm.

Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 1.06.30 PMImage Source

4. Michael Phelps and TalkSpace

As mentioned above, TalkSpace is an online therapy platform that partnered with Michael Phelps', an Olympic swimmer, in an attempt to de-stigmatize therapy and prove its worth even for one of the most powerful male athletes.

In various commercials for Talkspace, Phelps has shared his personal story with depression and anxiety and urges listeners to seek support for mental health. Since Phelps has spoken out about depression and anxiety in the past, his partnership with TalkSpace doesn't feel mis-aligned with his own values, making it feel authentic. 

Video Source

5. Jennifer Aniston and Aveeno

Undoubtedly, Jennifer Aniston, an incredibly successful A-list celebrity, has her fair choice of optimal beauty and skincare products at her fingertips. This is why her partnership with Aveeno feels especially impressive and genuine.

In fact, Aniston has admitted to using Aveeno for the past three decades, since she was a teenager. Loyal fans of Aniston, or women who are interested in skincare on-a-budget, will likely turn to these ads as a reliable source for products to suit their needs.

Video Source

No matter the size of your company, celebrity endorsements can be a great addition to your marketing efforts. However, it's important to have a clear vision of your goals and target audience before making a deal.

Ultimately, it's critical you remain authentic to your brand, no matter what partnerships you pursue. With these foundations in mind, you'll be sure to attract others who are just as passionate about your brand as you are.



via Business Feeds