first_imgKolkata: A meeting called by West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi with four political parties to create a harmonious situation in the state riddled by political violence remained “inconclusive” on Thursday. Emerging out of the Raj Bhavan, state BJP Vice President Jay Prakash Majumdar said that the Governor came up with a five-point set of suggestions but the representative of the ruling Trinamool Congress said he could not endorse it before talking to Chief Minister and party supremo Mamata Banereje. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata Majumdar appreciated Tripathi’s initiative and said his party would support any step that would stop the ongoing violence and bring peace. However, he said the very fact the Governor had to convene the meeting proved there was no peace in the state. Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee, who attended the meeting, did not speak to the media. CPI-M politburo member Mohammad Salim alleged the Trinamool and BJP were trying to vitiate the atmosphere in the state. The move came after Tripathi had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday and apprised them of the situation in the state. Chief Minister Banerjee has accused Tripathi of misquoting the number of dead in the post-poll violence in the state and claimed eight people, out of 10, from her party had been killed in clashes after the recent general elections.last_img read more


first_img Brought to you by SCORE Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 6 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. December 6, 2005 Enroll Now for Free 5 Tips about Electronic ContractsTake note: federal law now makes electronic contracts and electronic signatures as legal and enforceable as those on paper.Consider what advantages e-contracts might have for your business. Some companies will be able to conduct their business entirely on line, often with great savings.Be aware that if you start using e-contracts, you have to let customers know whether paper contracts are available and what fees might apply for the paper agreements.Proceed with caution. The law doesn’t define what an electronic signature is, and e-signature technology is still evolving.Visit this website for more information: the American Bar Association , a site that specializes in legal issues.5 Tips for Ensuring Your Customers’ PrivacyUnderstand that protecting customers’ privacy is essential to maintaining and increasing sales and profits online.Develop a privacy policy, post it on your website, and live by your policy. For guidelines, visit these websites: www.privacyalliance.org and www.privacyrights.org .Put top-notch security systems in place to make sure customer data isn’t lost, misused, altered or stolen.Require that third parties with whom you deal provide similar data security.Don’t provide personal information collected from customers to third parties unless you have explicit permission from the customers to do so.5 Tips for Improving Your WebsiteVisit the sites of other companies to find out what you like and dislike. Do some sites seem to “work” while others don’t?Decide what objectives you want your site to meet. Do you want it to be fun, funny, educational, “cool,” or all of those things?Consider your corporate culture and your company image. Your site should support both.Design or re-design the site to meet your objectives. Unless you have a real expert on staff, hire a consulting firm to do the job.Get feedback. Ask customers how your site can be made more useful to them, and keep making improvements.5 Tips for Marketing Your WebsiteThink strategically. Your website should be a part of your overall marketing plan.Choose a ebsite address (URL) that’s intuitive and easy to remember. Your company’s name (if it’s short) or the name of your main product might work well.Put your web address on all your printed material, including business cards, letterhead, press releases and invoices. Include it in all your advertising.Don’t forget offline media and traditional publicity techniques. Send news releases promoting your site to newspapers, broadcasters, and magazines.Speak at conferences and trade shows, and write informative articles for trade publications. When you do, mention your web address.5 Tips for Getting Noticed OnlineGet your website listed on major search engines, such as Google or Yahoo! Two sites, Search Engine Watch at www.searchenginewatch.com and the Web Marketing Info Center at www.wilsonweb.com/webmarket , offer guidance.Join a “banner exchange,” and trade advertising banners with other websites. Look under “banner exchange” on search engines.Visit sites similar to or related to yours and offer to exchange links with them.Write useful articles for other sites and include your web address.Get more online marketing help from such sites as www.zdnet.com/eweek/ , workz.com and www.bcentral.com .5 Tips on Getting Closer to Customers with TechnologyUse your website to build solid, trusting relationships with customers. Trust helps bring customers back.Enhance communication with customers. Some small business CEOs put their e-mail address on the company website so customers can contact them directly.Don’t forget the basics: Post your company’s address and phone number on your website.Remember that the internet is educating your customers and making them smarter buyers. Keep pace with their knowledge.Respond to e-mails promptly.5 Tips for Managing Virtual RelationshipsMake sure you’re up to speed. Good hardware, software and training are the tools you need to make virtual relationships work.Structure your workday so information can be easily shared, discussed and exchanged.Don’t let the technology get in the way. If e-mail technology isn’t working, quickly default to the phone or a letter.Remember, people do business with people–not machines. Always keep up with your networking contacts.You’ll need another set of skills when you use nontraditional means to communicate: writing must be concise and thoughts must be closely linked.5 Tips on Meeting the Demand for SpeedRealize that the swiftest competitor, not necessarily the smartest, is often the winner in today’s marketplace. Speed is increasingly of the essence, no matter what business you’re in.Respond to sales leads quickly. One small business requires staff members to follow up within the hour, by e-mail, fax or phone.Get comfortable with rapid, strategic decision-making. Five-year planning horizons are out the window.Compress your timetables. One internet startup rolled out its expansion efforts in a reduced-time span of 45 days instead of the originally planned year, beating out competitors.Make speed a part of your corporate culture. Reward employees’ swiftness with stock options, bonuses or other perks.5 Tips on Running a WebsiteFind ways to attract customers. Link up with a variety of search engines so when potential customers are searching for your product, they’ll find your company listed.Make it easy for people to “navigate” your site. Hire a good website designer.Help customers trust you. Provide information on the company’s history, mission, and values.Enable customers to get in touch with you easily–via e-mail, phone and regular mail–and respond promptly.Provide top customer service along with the speed and good prices technology offers. Think about how you’ll keep customers coming back.5 Tips for Taking Your Small Business OnlineYour product line should be able to be delivered economically and conveniently through the mail or over the internet.The web allows you to market to customers outside your geographical location. Your product should appeal to people nation–or–continent-wide.Compare new “technology” costs to current bricks and mortar costs, e.g: rent, labor, inventory and printing costs.Realize that the internet levels the playing ground–you can look like a big company with a great website.Draw visitors to your site cheaply. Establish and grow alliances that’ll hotlink to your site for free.5 Tips to See Whether Your Website Is Up to SnuffSimple, clear and fast–think of your homepage as a billboard. Tell them exactly what they need to know up front.Leave plenty of white space around text. A simple font on a light background works best. Separate wide blocks of text into columns.Sub-headings make for quick reading. Make sure pages are easily skimmed.Let your best customers sing your praises. Display their testimonials prominently on your site.After each update, click through your entire site. Mistakes or broken links will only send visitors away.Brought to you by SCORE , “Counselors to America’s Small Business.”last_img read more


first_img Editor’s Note: In this series, we take you inside the mind of Nicolas Cary, CEO of the popular Bitcoin wallet service Blockchain.info, for his expert insights on the latest Bitcoin news and trends.It’s been a rocky road for Bitcoin over the last few months. Mt. Gox fell. Hackers hemorrhaged Silk Road 2. The feds taxed it. Dark Wallet cast a pall.    Now what? Leave the bad Bitcoin news in the dust and charge ahead on the good foot.  This seems to be the optimistic, fighter attitude of Nicolas Cary, the ebullient CEO of Blockchain.info, a U.K.-based Bitcoin wallet and block information service.Related: Why Bitcoin is Better Than Other CurrenciesThe Denver, Colo., native sees a bright, “bullish” future for the world’s first digital currency, even if it’s still widely misunderstood and regularly garners negative headlines.Bitcoin’s future is so bright, Cary says, that many of us will save money because of the controversial cybercurrency in the near future — even if you don’t own a single BTC.We talked to Cary about the pioneering, widely misunderstood digital cash and why he has such high hopes for it, particularly as a frictionless payment network. Here’s what he had to say.  Entrepreneur: What are your predictions for what’s next for Bitcoin, over the next year or so? Cary: Over the next year, a lot of people may start using Bitcoin without necessarily even knowing it. The way that will work is, you might be someone working really hard in the United States and you want to send some money to your family down in South America, so you might go to a local store and hand over some of the hard-earned cash you’ve made and they will actually use the Bitcoin network to transfer the value across the border, but basically for no fee, which will save you in the cost of doing that. If you were to use Western Union or MoneyGram today, sometimes they take 15 to 20 to 30 percent.Related: Outer Space: Bitcoin’s Final Frontier? Even though you might not be in possession or custody of bitcoins, the currency, there are going to be services that most consumers end up using in the future that are relying on the Bitcoin payment network itself.For people who are interested in Bitcoin, they can certainly go and buy some, but I think the technology itself, the network, is part of the value proposition. It will allow people and businesses to use it without, and kind of obfuscate, the complexity of some of the things that are intimidating to folks.But the reality is the software has to get better. Bitcoin was successful very early on because it catered to a very technically forward audience, but the utility and need is very big, and I don’t think that anyone would debate that they’d rather be saving money if they could, and Bitcoin presents an option to live in a world of greater financial empowerment.Related: Why Bitcoin Is ‘Like Email For Money’We have to build better software as an industry. We’re getting there. User interfaces are getting better. I want to get to a place where, if I wanted to send you a payment because we went out to dinner and we split the check, I just press on a picture of your face on my phone and it instantly sends you money. That’s where we have to get to and we will get there this year.Entrepreneur: How soon will everyday commerce be powered by Bitcoin? When will we see Bitcoin as a payment system reach critical mass? Cary: It’s still tough to say. You have to look at the momentum. A year ago today there were maybe 4,000 or 5,000 merchants on the entire planet that accepted Bitcoin. Now there are probably 40,000 to 50,000.The story of ecommerce and Bitcoin is going to be a big one in 2014. You’ve already seen OKCupid, the world’s largest dating site, accept Bitcoin, WordPress, the world’s largest blogging platform accept Bitcoin, TigerDirect, and and now DISH, one of the larger cable companies in the world, have announced that they will accept Bitcoin.Related: 3 Celebs Jumping on the Bitcoin Bandwagon (and One Who Says She’s an ‘Idiot’ For Missing It)They’re going to do this because it allows them to receive a payment, basically just like cash, where they don’t pay any fees. All of these online retailers are constantly fighting to win that margin battle.Because Bitcoin payments are like cash, merchants don’t have to surrender 2 to 3 percent fees to Visa, American Express, etc. It can mean the difference between huge profits and a loss when you consider their volume.I think throughout 2014 one online retailer after another is going to start to accept Bitcoin and there are some really fantastic projects that are going to come online this summer, too. Lots of really smart entrepreneurs are coming into this space, really qualified teams, and I’m excited to see what happens.Related: SecondMarket CEO: Wall Street Will Put ‘Hundreds of Millions’ Into Bitcoin Register Now » 5 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalscenter_img June 3, 2014 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right.last_img read more