6 Clever Ways Small Businesses Can Benefit From Blockchain and Digital Currencies by @johnstonaussie

by Mike Johnston Blockchain and cryptocurrencies and are great unknowns for most of the small business owners. They are more often than not, utterly unaware of their ability to create an entirely different business environment. Thanks to its decentralized nature, blockchain’s transformational power lies in the fact that it enables verified and secure transactions between... Read More » The post 6 Clever Ways Small Businesses Can Benefit From Blockchain and Digital Currencies by @johnstonaussie appeared first on She Owns It.

6 Clever Ways Small Businesses Can Benefit From Blockchain and Digital Currencies by @johnstonaussie

by Mike Johnston

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies and are great unknowns for most of the small business owners. They are more often than not, utterly unaware of their ability to create an entirely different business environment.

Thanks to its decentralized nature, blockchain’s transformational power lies in the fact that it enables verified and secure transactions between two parties, without any need for third-party verifications, reducing the costs and risks attached to the transaction. Especially now, when Covid-19 did some serious harm to economies and companies, modern technologies, such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies, can be used for a quicker recovery.

Read on to learn about the ways blockchain and digital currencies can benefit your small business.

 

Reduced costs

As they carry many different fees, traditional payment methods can put a financial strain on your business due to the amount of money you have to waste on banks. Every time someone purchases your services or product using their card, your business is losing money. Over time, this loss can accumulate and reach some truly shocking numbers.

On the other side, digital currencies allow you to eliminate or reduce or most of the fees related to traditional card payments. By using cryptocurrency, your business can averagely save between two and five percent on every transaction. Besides, you will be able to eliminate chargebacks, which will significantly improve your overall cash flow.

 

No need for middlemen

The use of blockchain technology will make transaction intermediaries obsolete. Today’s small businesses rely on third-parties, known as intermediaries, to manage the transactions, mostly serving as a source of verification, making both parties feel secure about the transaction. It’s the way financial transactions function, and the banks make a pretty good profit out of charging fees for their part in the process of connecting businesses and their trading counterparts. Blockchain can make this verification through its own network, without any external verification.

Small businesses involved could avoid all the costs related to intermediaries -bankers, brokers, or lawyers, while still being sure that their transaction is safe. They will also have more control of the process, and the transaction will still be safe, as the consensus of blockchain users will internally verify it.

 

Trust and transparency

Blockchain will be highly appreciated by businesses who will now be able to provide some clarity to their customers, and consumers who are longing for transparency. This is especially the case when it comes to Millenials, the generation with the most purchasing power. Concerned with sustainability, Millenials make their purchasing decisions considering the planet, the society, and finally themselves. They are also ready to pay for this transparency, both with their loyalty and their money.

Millennials, but many other consumers too, want to know whether their food is grown organically or whether their clothes were produced in a textile factory are paid fairly. Small businesses will have no trouble verifying how and where their item was produced or in case of the food, how and where it was grown. Or any other information, whatsoever.

 

There is a high demand

Even though some people are still afraid to use cryptocurrencies, the number of enthusiasts and professionals who are getting into crypto mining is on a constant rise. Because of all the benefits cryptocurrencies bring, many people, especially the younger ones, are starting to live entirely on digital currency, using it to purchase their goods and services.

Furthermore, a recent survey shows that more than 39% of the respondents want Bitcoin as a payment method for their general purchases. By adding a cryptocurrency-based payment system to their list of payment methods, small businesses can easily command additional market space and grow their customer base.

 

Go global

Due to its decentralized nature, small businesses can now follow the most recent cryptocurrency trends and open their doors to international buyers and tap into new consumer’ groups for whom their services or products were once inaccessible. Cryptocurrency has the potential to go global, as it knows no boundaries when it comes to business’s digital assets – it eliminates high costs associated with exchange rates and waiting times needed for processing international transactions.

Many businesses recognize the importance of adapting to the trend to stay ahead of the curve, especially in industries such as IT software and services, hospitality and travel, finance and fintech, and international export and sales.

 

Keep data secure

Our every transaction, and in some cases, our every movement, is an opportunity for businesses and authorities to collect data, and analyze it. For example, during the Coronavirus outbreak, Israeli authorities are using mobile phones location to identify persons who were in close contact with confirmed carriers. In China, authorities are using another technology advancement – facial recognition, for the same purposes.

Even if such data usage can sometimes seem justified, it severely affects privacy and opens up many opportunities for misuse. With blockchain technology, your and your customer’s data will be safe, as it will grant the power over data you want to share, who you want to share it with, and for how long.

 

Whatever the motivation behind your small business is, as an entrepreneur you’re no stranger to challenges. New technologies, such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies, are challenges waiting around the corner, so you better be well prepared to welcome them at the right moment.

 

 

Mike Johnston is an avid blogging enthusiast and experienced content writer with a focus in business, technology, entrepreneurship, and real estate.

 

 

 

 

The post 6 Clever Ways Small Businesses Can Benefit From Blockchain and Digital Currencies by @johnstonaussie appeared first on She Owns It.

Source : She Owns It More   

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Leadership in times of crisis

Perhaps it was no coincidence that in January 2020, just as COVID-19 was beginning its relentless march across the planet, António Horta-Osório was back in the headlines talking about mental health. Read more: Leadership in times of crisis

Leadership in times of crisis

Perhaps it was no coincidence that in January 2020, just as COVID-19 was beginning its relentless march across the planet, António Horta-Osório was back in the headlines talking about mental health.

Horta-Osório, the CEO of the Lloyds Banking Group, sat down for a BBC interview to discuss the intersection of leadership, mental health and business performance. Combining the terms “bank executive” and “mental health advocate” may seem like a non sequitur, but Horta-Osório knows whereof he speaks.

Shortly after taking over as chief executive in 2011, Horta-Osório was hospitalized for what was described at the time as a “stress leave.” In 2017, he publicly disclosed that after five days of insomnia, he checked into a private clinic to stave off a complete mental breakdown.

“I was not used to asking for a lot of advice or showing a lot of (emotion) because I’d been a CEO since the age of 29 and it is a very lonely job,” he told The Times back in 2017. “To go from there to this humble experience and learning to ‘share’ with someone else, yes, it required some learning, I admit.”

Horta-Osório said his experience prompted him to offer a mental health awareness program for his senior executive team and resources to train thousands of employees in mental health first aid. He also ensured that the bank’s employee health insurance included as much coverage for mental health as physical health.

In one moment of candor with a newspaper, Horta-Osório demonstrated that business leaders can play a critical role in shattering one of the greatest barriers around mental health – the unwillingness to admit that there is a problem.

However, even with role models like Horta-Osório, the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace is still very pervasive. And his efforts to convince other leaders to admit to their own mental health challenges do not address other ways that leadership and mental health overlap. In particular, when leaders themselves are the source of mental health problems.

In addition to the stigma that accompanies mental health, the scourge of toxic leadership and a general lack of psychological safety in the workplace continues to afflict workers, even in virtual environments. Toxic or abusive leadership has been identified in many studies and surveys as a major cause of mental health problems and a threat to employee engagement and productivity.

It seems reasonable to conclude that leaders who regularly bully, threaten or publicly demean their employees or colleagues will continue those practices, even during the pandemic when so many of us are working in a virtual environment.

That was certainly the lesson learned from a recent scandal involving Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething, who verbally abused another member of the Welsh Assembly on a Zoom call with 20 other politicians listening in. As Gething launches into his attack, you can see and hear others on the call urging someone to mute his microphone and shaking their head in shock.

Continued bullying in a virtual work environment takes on added importance when you consider that working from home is already an incredibly inherently stressful scenario. Recent polling by the San Francisco-based Kaiser Family Foundation – a non-profit and non-partisan think tank specializing in health issues – found that there is a steady increase in the number of people reporting negative mental health impacts as a result of the pandemic.

In a poll taken March 11-15, 32 per cent of respondents said they were suffering negative mental health impacts. In a similar poll taken March 25-30, that number had risen to 45 per cent.

What does all this mean for today’s business leaders?

“Obviously, the battle against the stigma of mental health is ongoing and leaders must play a crucial role in encouraging a more open dialogue about getting the necessary help when it will be needed the most,” says Nick Goldberg, founder and CEO at leadership development solution Ezra Coaching. “But leaders also need to be cognizant that they cannot continue abusive practices at a time when mental health is already being severely tested.”

Researchers were calling for “urgent studies” as early as mid April in the UK, saying that while it was an understandable priority to focus on physical health services for COVID-19 impacts, mental health impacts from the disease itself, as well as preventative measures such as social lockdown, should not be underestimated.

With this in mind as the world begins to gradually return to work amidst loosening restrictions, the onus is more than ever on good management – and overall leadership – to ease the transition period back to something like BAU for most workers.

Read more:
Leadership in times of crisis

Source : Business Matters More   

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