Big data is the term used to describe the enormous datasets that have grown beyond the ability for most software to capture, manage and process the information. But volume is not the only way to define big data. The three Vs generally used to describe big data also include the multiple types – and sources – of data (variety) as well as the speed (velocity) at which data is produced.
If you need more perspective, think about this for a second: According to IBM, 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created over the past two years. That amounts to 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being created every day.
How can big data help me?
Big data may seem to be a bit out of reach for SMBs, non-profits and government agencies that don’t have the funds to buy into this trend. After all, big usually means expensive right?
But big data isn’t really about using more resources; it’s about effectively using the resources at hand. Take this analogy from Christopher Frank of Forbes who likened big data to the movie Moneyball:
Keep your people safe against Bluetooth hackers
Bluetooth is best known as the wireless technology that powers hands-free earpieces. Depending on your point of view, people who wear them either:
a) Look ridiculous (especially if shining a bright blue LED from their ear);
b) Appear mad (when apparently talking to themselves); or
c) Are sensible, law-abiding, safety-conscious drivers.
Here are a few examples of the mobile security threats in which Bluetooth makes us vulnerable, along with tips to secure your mobile workforce devices.
General software vulnerabilities
Software in Bluetooth devices – especially those using the newer Bluetooth 4.0 specification – will not be perfect. It’s unheard of to find software that has zero security vulnerabilities.
As Finnish security researchers Tommi Mäkilä, Jukka Taimisto and Miia Vuontisjärvi demonstrated in 2011, it’s easy for attackers to discover new, previously unknown vulnerabilities in Bluetooth devices. Potential impacts could include charges for expensive premium-rate or international calls, theft of sensitive data or drive-by malware downloads.
To combat this threat: Switch off your Bluetooth when you’re not using it.
Bluetooth – named after the Viking king, Harald Bluetooth Gormsson, thanks to his abilities to make
Keeping users safe
In an ideal world, users would be perfectly security conscious. These mythical users wouldn’t:
- Click on suspicious links.
- Open file attachments emailed by criminals pretending to be their friends.
- Respond to phishing messages that appear to be from a bank.
- Disable software updates because warnings and reboots are annoying.
- Disable a security product because it slows down their PC.
- Install free software from an untrustworthy developer, because their friend “liked” it on Facebook.
Sadly, our world is less than ideal. Much, much less: A recent report said that 86 percent of U.S. businesses surveyed had lost sensitive data during the previous year.
User awareness training helps, but it isn’t sufficient. That’s why your endpoints need securing. Doing so helps prevent your users from accidentally exposing sensitive business information, such as your banking credentials, secret-sauce recipes or future product plans.
Save time and money on endpoint security
Your challenge is to protect your users while minimizing costs: How do you save time and money, while keeping your company safe?
Look for a modern endpoint security solution – not one thrown together from an old antivirus program
Parents of school-aged children on sports teams want lasting records of their kid scoring the winning goal or hitting a home run. Most times, the best they can get is a blurry action shot on their smartphone or digital camera. As a sports photographer, you can work with amateur teams to capture stunning photos of each player and sell them to proud parents. Knowledge of the game and a good single-lens reflex(SLR) camera are essential for this business. Photography retailerDigitalRev offers tips for beginners.
In addition, game footage is a much sought after skill for coaches and media outlets alike. If you’re a skilled videographer, consider freelancing; teams require gameday film to prepare and local media often reports on high school sports.
Sporting goods retail store
Opening a retail store is a great way to get involved in the sports world. Whether you sell professional team paraphernalia, equipment for amateur athletes, or both, you’re sure to find a great customer base just about anywhere. You may want to scope out potential locations for nearby mega-competitors like Dick’s or Sports Authority, and open up in a spot with high demand.
Just because you’re no longer alive doesn’t mean your tattoos can’t live on. The National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art (NAPSA) hosts a website called Save My Ink, which is dedicaed to preserving tattoos of the deceased and leaving them in the care of their next of kin.
The tattoo preservation community isn’t just for the recently deceased; the living are so interested in the process that NAPSA is retooling to offer their services directly through funeral homes. The move comes just in time, as Americans are getting record number of tattoos. Will the future homes of millennials be commonly decorated with the ink once worn by their loved ones?
Murder scene maids
You’ve heard the expression, “There’s no use crying over spilled milk,” but what’s the consensus on spilled blood? If the idea of mopping up gore makes your eyes water (or worse), don’t worry: There’s a business you can call to tidy up even the bloodiest of messes.
Baxter Restoration, a cleaning and reconstruction company in Orlando, Florida, does something your average maid won’t: It cleans up after the Grim Reaper. Whether it’s a crime
Got a sewing machine, or even just a needle and thread? You can create custom clothing items for customers who want shirts, skirts, dresses or even baby items. Places like JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores sell everything you need to get started, from the fabrics themselves to sewing equipment and patterns. You can also track down free patterns online for some basic items.
Knitting and crocheting
Handmade scarves, hats and blankets are big sellers in the online marketplace. Wholesale yarn is relatively inexpensive, and depending on how quickly you can knit, you’ll be able to build up your inventory and spend more time marketing your store. Once you’ve mastered the basics of this art, you can move on to designing your own unique, colorful patterns. Don’t know how to knit or crochet? Sites like KnittingHelp.com are readily available to teach you.
With do-it-yourself lamp kits available online and in most major home improvement stores, you can make a lamp out of anything from mason jars to wine bottles. A little bit of spray paint or plastic beads are all you need to make colorful, customized lights. You can even create
If you think your potential investors care most about what your new business sells, you’re dead wrong, said Randy Thompson, award-winning founder and CEO of angel investor firm VA Angels.
“Customers are the coolest way to validate that you are onto something,” Thompson said. “This is true for all industries.”
Thompson said the most important thing to him as a potential investor is the customer, and he pays close attention to the information the startup founders have on why customers will want this particular product or service.
“Ideally, they know exactly why the customer is dying to have [the product or service], and is not just mildly interested,” Thompson said.
As an investor, he also wants to see that the entrepreneurs have done their research and created a comprehensive customer profile, including as much detail as possible.
Problems may point to profit
Investors also want to know if the startup’s product solves a problem worth solving.
“The idea [for a solution] is much less important, as the solution often changes as you orbit around the problem,” said Sean Johnson, partner at Digital Intent and professor of marketing at Northwestern University. “Do
Don’t put your idea first — the team is most important.
Your team is what makes your idea happen. Potential investors are looking at the people behind the idea. Do you have a rock-solid founding team? A common mistake is a team presenting itself to a potential investor with a missing link, such as one that’s still looking for the tech guru. It’s also good to note that a startup doesn’t have to be composed of a bunch of young people in their twenties. In fact, you’ll stand out for the right reasons if the people on your team have experience as well as contacts. A diverse team with complementary strengths is what will turn an idea into reality.
Create a simple tagline that clearly shows the benefit of your product or service.
Very often entrepreneurs who live and breathe details of innovation find it hard to distill a concept into a simple idea that grabs the imagination of investors. You need to condense the vision of the business into a clear benefit that is compelling and dramatic. While similar to the elevator pitch, a tagline is even more succinct. Have this worked out before presenting your vision
Women’s health platform
Box subscription services
Box subscription services are popping up everywhere in the food, beauty and even pet product sectors, ready to deliver goods right to your door each month. One of the consumer perks is the idea that these subscription boxes are carefully curated just for them based on their likes and interests, and each month, the boxes’ contents are a surprise.
Find a unique product category that’s still untapped by the box subscription industry, or find a way to put a new spin on an existing service, and you could have a lucrative business on your hands. Keep it as inexpensive as possible — according to LearnVest, offering cheaper products will help you stand out from the competition.
Health clubs for millennials
Health and fitness services are being rebranded to become trendier and
1. SEO consultant
Do you know the ins and outs of search engines and have skills in platforms like Google Analytics? The owners of a lot of smaller companies don’t realize how much of an impact search engine optimization (SEO) can have on their business. Educate those business owners on the power of SEO to help transform their websites into a more SEO-friendly property. Use your skills to show business owners how to read and use their analytics data the right way, and how to properly use keywords and structure content to get more traffic.
2. Business coaching
If you possess a great deal of business experience and knowledge, why not create a business that helps aspiring entrepreneurs find success? You can use your skills to help new business owners get off to a good start and help experienced entrepreneurs keep up with demand. To show off your knowledge and skills and bring in clients, you can also write articles about business on platforms like LinkedIn.
3. Specialized retailer
There’s an audience for everything, whether it’s making dollhouse furniture or creating organic dog food. With a specialty e-commerce store, you
For when you’re searching for holiday gifts for your clients and co-workers, shopping for the perfect birthday present for your boss, or just looking for business inspiration, here are five companies with unique business models that can help. From mobile gift cards to personalized sweet treats, these businesses put a whole new spin on gift giving.
Now more than ever, the best food often comes from tiny carts, stands and trucks. These 10 food trucks from around the country are serving up so much more than just mobile meals — entrepreneurs can learn a lot from their creativity and innovation, too.
Businesses for kids
These companies don’t just give children and young adults something fun to do after school or when school’s out for the summer. They also help them learn valuable skills, develop their creativity, improve their health and further their education in other ways — keeping parents everywhere happy, too.
The legal cannabis industry is rapidly growing as more states adopt both medicinal and recreational cannabis laws. An industry research group projects that cannabis will be worth more than
Subscription services are all the rage right now, but Jeff Neal, creator of a mud-run series turned project manager and estimator, said box subscriptions — a business where a company sends subscribers a curated box of items every month — will taper off because they are more interesting than practical. Over time, he said, you will end up with way more of a certain product — like coffee, wine or cleaning products — than one person could possibly need or use.
If you run a box-subscription company, you might want to consider finding a “common denominator” with another type of business and adapting, said Neal. For example, you could branch out into retail sales: Subscription services like Julep (cosmetics) and Blue Apron (meal ingredients) allow subscribers to skip their monthly deliveries and instead purchase related products individually from the service’s websites.
The trend of e-commerce “daily deal” websites hit complete market saturation in 2014, said Mike Catania, co-founder and CTO of savings community Promotion Code. However, with so many ties to small business communities, daily deals sites could easily morph into location-based apps that curate retail deals nearby,
Virtual Health Coaching
Are you educated in nutrition but are still looking to get your career to go in the right direction? Turn your healthy lifestyle choices and education into lucrative business decisions by becoming a virtual health coach. You’ll be aided in your efforts by the myriad new health-related apps and devices being developed to help clients keep track of fitness goals and weight loss.
Chore/Errand Service for Seniors
Anyone with aging loved ones knows how hard it can be to care for them without extra help. Elderly people living in their own homes need help with lots of routine chores like cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and yard work. Why not start a business that offers senior citizens and their families the help they need to maintain their households without breaking their budgets? With word-of-mouth endorsements and social media targeted at the overworked baby-boomer set, you could get this business off the ground in no time.
Want to turn your love of beer into a viable occupation? Why not jump on the microbrewing bandwagon? With the popularity of craft beers on the rise in the U.S., the demand for innovative breweries is growing. Take a
Some couples constantly fight over who has to cook dinner, but for others, preparing and sharing a meal together is an enjoyable bonding activity. If you and your partner fall into the latter category — and, of course, you’re actually good cooks — you may want to consider starting your own catering business. Let the resident gourmand take care of most of the food prep, while the other serves as customer service rep and sous chef.
Food truck vendors
For those foodies who also love to travel together, consider opening up shop as a food truck vendor. Whether its music festivals, block parties, or private events, food trucks are a great way to make some extra money while traveling and meeting new, interesting people. For many food truck vendors, the freedom of the open road and the appeal of their favorite activities has led them to strike out on their own; doing exactly that with the person you love might just be the best way to see the world together.
Crafty couples who share a passion for DIY projects can launch a successful e-commerce business on platforms
Cats are capable of taking care of themselves for the most part, minus cleaning their litter boxes and getting fed (in some cases, however, they know how to break into that, too). But what if your cat could use a cat-size toilet? Dream no more. The Cat Genie, is a full-size cat box that looks, and operates, similarly to a toilet.
According to the site, Cat Genie is a full-size, automatic cat box that uses permanent Washable Granules. Unlike disposable cat litter, Cat Genie’s Washable Granules never need changing and are 100 percent dust-free, biodegradable and septic-safe. The self-cleaning product rids itself of liquid and solid cat waste without owners ever having to handle cat litter again.
The cleaning system will run you approximately $244 without the cost of additional supplies.
If leaving your felines alone while you go off to work every day makes you sad, Kittyo might be just the thing you need. Cat owners can use the device and app to interact with their furry friends even when they’re not in the same room.
The device, which retails for $249, allows users to speak to their
Imagine making a living finding beautiful works of art and selling them to art enthusiasts. If you have the money to rent space in a high-traffic area, you can open your own art gallery and assist fellow artists get their work noticed. As with any business, building your reputation and niche can be an uphill battle: You’ll need expert networking and marketing skills to get the word out. Use social media to your advantage to show your work and meet people in the business to build your contacts. Once you establish a good client base, you’ll be rubbing elbows with some of your city’s most prominent artists at your gallery parties and exhibits.
Paint-and-sip franchise owner
If teaching a painting class isn’t your speed, maybe opening a franchise like Painting with a Twist or Pinot’s Palette is. With this trendy business model, participants pay a fee to enjoy a fun and relaxing painting class with their friends while sipping their favorite beverages. Become a franchisee and own your own business, while supporting local artists who can teach the classes.
Whether you work on cars, murals or clothing, there’s a
If your teen excels in a specific subject or has exceptional grades, encourage him or her to assist those in need of help through tutoring services. Your child can get paid for his or her knowledge and time spent helping others learn a skill or subject matter. This type of business is scalable, and live videoconferencing and electronic payments can bring your child’s skills online as well.
Social media consultant
Kids are absorbing tons of social media knowledge at a young age. They’re becoming YouTube and Instagram stars with millions of followers for just being themselves. This could be invaluable knowledge for small businesses in your area. Encourage your child to apply his or her understanding of social platforms to consult for local shops and restaurants.
As long as houses come with lawns and outdoor maintenance, there will be a need for landscapers.The simplicity of the job, from mowing the lawn to trimming trees, means it can open doors to college degrees in the field, which can lead to jobs with theme parks or college campuses.
Babysitting or dog walking
Technology has brought traditional job choices
In the “there’s an app for that” era, it may seem like every mobile application under the sun has already been thought up and built. But that’s not necessarily the case, as many people discover when they scour their smartphone’s app store searching for something that doesn’t exist. Perhaps an app you recently downloaded doesn’t function the way you’d hoped it would, or doesn’t offer a certain feature you wanted. To find out if there’s interest in the newer, better app you want to create, ask friends, family and others in your network. Once you’ve done your due diligence, you can use aDIY app maker or, if you have very little tech experience, hire freelancers to build it for you.
If you’ve ever done an exhaustive Internet search for a specific item that returned no results, you have three options: settle for something close enough, give up entirely or do it yourself. If you’re the kind of person who chooses the DIY method (and can do it well), you have the opportunity to turn a frustration into a lucrative business. Check forums to see if others are searching for the same product(s),
Whether you’re an academic or you have a special skill (like computer expertise or fluency in another language), it might be time to get into the tutoring business. First, figure out your target audience of students — for example, are you looking to help high school students with math, or teach computer skills to adults? Once you know whom you’re looking to reach, start advertising your services. If your students are happy with the results, ask them to refer friends or other organizations that can use your help, and build up a clientele from there.
If you’re proficient in a highly specialized software, you can get paid to pass your knowledge on to amateurs and professionals looking to expand their skill sets. Technical manuals are available for programs like QuickBooks and Final Cut Pro, but these are often expensive and difficult for the average user to get through. Schedule small group workshops or private sessions, and charge by the hour for a full tutorial of the program. Patience and a great personality are critical.
Do they call you Mr. or Ms. Fix-It? Starting a part-time handyman (or handywoman)
Business exists to serve society.
Over the past several decades, one of the great discussions within capitalism has centered on defining exactly what a business is and what its obligations are to society at large and to the many stakeholders participating in business systems, including customers, shareholders, employees, suppliers, and communities, to name a few.
The obligations to society have been defined in different ways at different points. For many retailers, including Walmart founder Sam Walton, the focus has been first and foremost on serving the customer. For others over the past couple of decades, the focus was myopically on the shareholder. With the advent of shared-value, double-bottom-line, triple-bottom-line, and related movements, we have seen a broadening of the discussion to recognize the importance of multiple stakeholders and the need to promote social, environmental, and financial value.
Long-term capitalism goes one step further, asking companies to actively reshape the systems in which they operate. Those systems could include the complex of logistical and shipping services that move goods around the globe, the web of overseas contract manufacturers on which companies rely, or the array of energy suppliers that fuel worldwide operations. Long-term capitalism takes a