Posts tagged with "businesses"

Oscar Stone illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Oscar Stone LTD

By: Emily Bunn x Vaughn Lowery

Oscar Stone LTD is a family-owned jewelry firm based in the Bronx, New York. Oscar Stone sells timeless jewelry, including customizable earrings, watches, bracelets, pendants, chains, and mouth grillz, which are all created from the beginning to the end internally. Oscar’s most popular article, baguette diamond earrings, dazzle his clients with their blinding beauty. Oscar Stone recognizes the value of using durable diamonds and jewelry from the Bronx community.

While lockdown created a lull for other companies, Oscar used the downtime to bolster his burgeoning business. His reach on social media via Instagram featured Oscar to many celebrity customers, including Jojo Simmons, Young Dirty Bastard, and Kid Capri, among others. Oscar Stone‘s jewelry exudes a true dedication to his craft, which is why his extensive list of clients keeps expanding.

The last authentic district of New York, the Bronx, houses the next largest jeweler in New York. Oscar Stone LTD stands apart from other jewelers such as Jacob the Jeweler, Greenwich Street Jewelers, and Martin Busch Jewelers because of its innovative approach to bespoke jewelry and sustainable practices and inspirational dedication to their craft. Oscar’s relentless pursuit of fine diamonds and customer satisfaction during the pandemic has allowed his business to flourish more than ever. Looking to the future, Oscar aims to continue creating custom designs for his customers and grow his business to become a familiar name.

We talked with Oscar about his background in gemology, his favorite custom orders, and his business expansion plans in the Bronx.

How did you get started in making jewelry and performing gemology for Oscar Stone?

I’m a G.I.A. accredited gemologist. Basically, growing up my whole life, [my] family– aunts, uncles, cousins– we all just did jewelry. So getting the jewelry was the easy part. It’s a family trade, really; it’s one of our best-kept secrets.

How did you build your clientele when you began in the jewelry business?

I knew about jewelry; gold wasn’t something crazy new to me. It’s like all your aunts and uncles own auto repair shops–you fix a couple of the tires, do a couple of oil changes, and you just kind of figure it out by yourself. When I had my own spot, building my clientele did really start from scratch. I didn’t have any celebrities or influencers, so I just had to open up shop and see what I could do. Before I did that, I actually did go to GIA (Gemological Institute of America) diamond school. I knew that GIA offered courses for this type of stuff. I spent a couple of months educating myself–[even] just [concerning] diamonds; there’s so many things about diamonds.

Once I finished the education, I decided to really bring in some clients. I was in business for about three years, and then I just started going heavy on social media. Once I started publishing my work on social media, the followers started coming. You know, not[hing] crazy yet, but I started getting a couple thousand [followers]. That’s when the business started taking off. I started hiring friends of mine and a lot of people, [and] my staff grew from four or five people to like twenty-five people. Business exploded when I started getting people who were verified on Instagram and had 300–400,000 followers. Once I started getting those clientele, the ball really started rolling. And that’s where we are now, about a year later.

What celebrities/notable clients have you done jewelry work for?

I would say the biggest guy that I’ve done work for would be, Jojo Simmons from RUN–D.M.C. I’ve done work for Young Dirty Bastard, who is the son of Old Dirty Bastard from the Wu Tang Clan. [Regarding] household names, I’ve done guys as big as Tonio Skits and Darius D.K. [Also,] I’ve done work for [Kid] Capri.

How do you source the best diamonds/gems for jeweling?

I don’t always get the same diamonds from the same supplier. The reason is, once you start working with somebody for diamonds and you guys get comfortable, then they start sending you lesser quality parcels. A parcel is basically like a bag of diamonds, [which come in] a lot of different sizes. They should all be the same clarity, and you sort through them to see that the quality is consistent.

I can buy 50 carats of diamonds this month [or] this week, and then I’ll run out by making all the jewelry. And so, I need to reorder. If the quality starts to become inconsistent with the price that I’m paying, I’ll switch over to another diamond supplier. Most of my diamond suppliers are in India, so I’ve had to fly out there a few times and look at some parcels, look at some factories, and see how they’re all doing it.

[Or, for example,] if I have to build a watch and do it three weeks, and [clients] don’t give me enough time, I have to get [diamonds] local[ly].

What is your favorite jewelry design you sell?

My favorite designs [are] always the custom pieces I make. I always love doing custom work, I just love like how intricate they are. I just did a piece for a client of mine–it’s this huge custom piece that spins when you spin it. I’ve had the most fun working on it, that’s my favorite piece right now. I’m working on another one that might top it, but we’re gonna keep it under wraps for now.

What is your jewelry specialty?

My signature I would say is the baguette earrings, that’s what most people know me for. Out of all my followers, I would say 20,000 of them might have been from the baguette earrings.

I do really, really good with the baguette diamond earrings that are on my website. I could sell as many as 20 pairs a day. A lot of people [who] are from out of state buy that. A lot of people [come] in store as well. The baguette diamonds are just such a popular thing for me right now. I have to make hundreds and hundreds of pairs just to keep up with demand.

What is the most popular order you receive from clients?

The baguette diamonds are just like something you really don’t see out of New York. And so, people love them. It’s also my bread and butter…It’s gonna go, it’s gonna sell, and sell classic.

What’s next for you?

I’m going to be moving to another location on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx–I’m true to the Bronx, I don’t wanna leave the Bronx. So, I’m moving to a store that is down the block from me. It has three times the retail space, and a basement attached to it. I’ll be able to really put a factory down there. As long as the people keep loving my jewelry and what I do, I’m going to keep delivering the best I can. To do that, and to give the best prices, you need to do things in-house. I’m going to have a 1500 sq ft basement where I’ll be able to put ten diamond setters down there and set diamonds all day. The second floor will be an office to do all the online [work]. On the floor-level will be retail and the showroom, so people who want to see things in-person, I can show them right there. That is my short-term goal in the next one or two years. Long term, I want to be a household name, but one thing at a time.

Photo Credit:  Anthony Duque

Oscar Stone LTD Baguette Diamond Earrings

Polestar 2 illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Polestar × Circulor

Polestar Announces Partnership with Circulor as an Important Step in Transparency Journey

  • Polestar enters strategic partnership with blockchain provider Circulor
  • Collaboration targets blockchain traceability and CO2e tracking
  • Progressive in scope and ambition, partnership enables unprecedented supply chain transparency

Polestar, the electric performance car brand, is spearheading a movement for transparency throughout the automotive industry to accelerate the shift to a climate-neutral future. In April 2021, the company announced plans for a climate neutral car by 2030—Polestar now communicates an important step on its transparency journey, announcing a new partnership with blockchain provider Circulor.

Polestar already works with Circulor on the traceability of cobalt in the batteries for the Polestar 2 electric performance fastback. With this new partnership, Polestar and Circulor have set a progressive scope and ambition that aims to entail a range of raw materials, focusing on those with identified risks in either environmental and/or human rights, such as nickel, mica, manganese, graphite and lithium, amongst others.

True climate action needs transparency, and the aim with CO2e tracking is to finally see the embedded emissions that have been created as part of the production process, per facility as well as those inherited from suppliers through the supply chain. The greenhouse gas tracking solution offered by Circulor enables a more accurate CO2e footprint than using generic emissions data from databases.

“Caring about ethics and the environment is key to Polestar. This unprecedented level of traceability means that Polestar can promote sustainable and ethical practices in its supply chain, and provide better transparency for consumers,” says Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath.

“We are delighted to be a strategic partner of Polestar and play a key role in enabling supply chain transparency for Polestar, its suppliers and its customers. Our platform’s ability to dynamically track and attribute CO2e across the supply chain will help enable Polestar’s moonshot goal to create a climate-neutral car by 2030,” says Douglas Johnson-Poensgen, Circulor CEO.

Circulor supports businesses in achieving more sustainable supply chains and works with blockchain technology to trace materials. A blockchain is a digital ledger containing a list of records linked to each other via cryptography. A ‘digital twin’ for the raw material being traced is created and the material is then tracked through the supply chain, creating a digital thread that follows and records the various industrial processes and transformations it undergoes.

This means that the source and the methods by which the raw materials are extracted, processed and transported, can be better regulated, helping to ensure that the materials used in battery production come from the expected mines or recycling facilities. Blockchain technology is already applied to Polestar 2, to support the traceability of cobalt in its batteries.

Polestar is on a mission to drive the shift to sustainable mobility. Supply chain transparency is one big step on the journey. Consumers will be able to follow the journey thanks to Polestar’s Product Sustainability Declaration, which discloses carbon footprint and traced risk materials through labeling on the company website and in Polestar Spaces, setting a unique transparency precedent for the industry.

About Polestar

Polestar is the independent Swedish premium electric performance car brand founded by Volvo Cars and Geely Holding. Established in 2017, Polestar enjoys specific technological and engineering synergies with Volvo Cars and benefits from significant economies of scale as a result. The company is headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, and its vehicles are available and on the road in ten global markets across Europe, North America, and China. In 2021, Polestar is expanding into eight new markets across Europe and Asia Pacific.

Polestar produces two electric performance cars. Polestar 1 is a low-volume electric performance hybrid GT with a carbon fiber body, 619 hp, 738 lb-ft of torque, and an electric only range of 60 miles – the longest of any hybrid car in the world. The Polestar 2 electric performance fastback is the company’s first fully electric, high volume car. The Polestar 2 model range includes three variants with a combination of long- and standard range batteries as large as 78 kWh, and dual- and single motor powertrains with as much as 408 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque.

In the future, the Polestar 3 electric performance SUV will join the portfolio, as well as the Precept – a design study vehicle released in 2020 that is slated for future production. Precept showcases the brand’s future vision in terms of sustainability, digital technology and design.

Images provided by: Taylor Vande Beek (Extension PR)

LGBTQ illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Ten Anti-LGBTQ Bills Sit on Governors’ Desks

Ten Anti-LGBTQ Bills Sit on Governors’ Desks, Poised to Undermine Rights Across the Country

As a fast and furious effort led by national groups aiming to stymie LGBTQ progress made on the national level and in many states continues to intensify, ten anti-LGBTQ bills currently sit on the desks of governors across the country waiting to be signed into law. These bills are only the latest examples of a concerted effort in state legislatures to undermine LGBTQ rights that has already resulted in the passage of several anti-LGBTQ pieces of legislation in recent months.

“State legislators across the country were elected to represent all of us, not just some of us and yet they continue to send hateful and discriminatory anti-LGBTQ bills to the desks of governors to sign into law, threatening the well-being, health, and fundamental rights of thousands of LGBTQ Americans in states from coast to coast,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David. “From anti-transgender sports bans to erasing LGBTQ people from school curriculum, these bills are driven by fear and would have a significant negative impact on the lives of so many LGBTQ people. The governors of these states are responsible for protecting their citizens, and they must refuse to sign these baseless and unconscionable cruel bills into law.  Otherwise, they should and will be held accountable for the consequences.”

These bills include blatant attacks on transgender youth, including prohibiting transgender kids from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity, allow student organizations to discriminate against LGBTQ students under the guise of free speech, erase LGBTQ people from history books, and add substantial hurdles for transgender people who want to change the gender on their birth certificate by first requiring gender-affirming surgery.

Below is a roundup of the ten anti-LGBTQ bills currently sitting on the desks of governors:

  • ALABAMA
    • House Bill 391 – ANTI-TRANS SPORTS BILL
      • The Alabama Senate and House passed House Bill 391, an anti-transgender bill that would ban transgender youth from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. The bill now heads to Governor Kay Ivey’s desk for signature or veto.
  • ARIZONA
    • Senate Bill 1456 – SEX ED PARENTAL NOTIFICATION BILL
      • The Arizona State House passed Senate Bill 1456 – discriminatory legislation that affects not only sexual education material, but all learning materials in the classroom and makes it harder for LGBTQ kids to see themselves in school curriculum.
      • The bill, which would make Arizona’s sex education laws some of the strictest in the nation when it comes to teaching about LGBTQ issues, now heads to Governor Doug Ducey’s desk for consideration.
  • ARKANSAS
    • Senate Bill 389 – SEX ED PARENTAL NOTIFICATON BILL
      • The Arkansas Senate passed Senate Bill 389, a bill which would require a school district to notify parents before “providing a sexual orientation curriculum or gender identity curriculum” in any kind of instruction, including but not limited to education on sexuality.
      • In addition to making it harder for students kids to access sex education, it could also preclude discussion about sexuality more broadly, including in literature and history classes, for example. A district could be forced to notify parents, provide curriculum materials, and allow parents to opt students out of learning about important modern and historical events, from the A.I.D.S. epidemic to the Stonewall riots to even Supreme Court jurisprudence. This bill disproportionately disadvantages LGBTQ youth who may not have supportive families and put children at greater risk of health consequences.
  • KANSAS
    • Kansas Senate Bill 55 – ANTI-TRANS SPORTS BILL
      • The Kansas Senate passed Senate Bill 55, an anti-transgender bill that would ban transgender girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity.
  • MONTANA
    • Senate Bill 280    – BIRTH CERTIFICATE BILL
      • The Montana Senate passed SB 280, a bill that adds substantial hurdles for transgender people who want to change the gender on their birth certificate by first requiring gender-affirming surgery.
    • Senate Bill 215 – RELIGIOUS REFUSAL BILL
      • The Montana House passed SB 215, an expansive religious refusal bill that could grant a license to discriminate against Montanans and visitors, including LGBTQ people, people of faith, and women, across a wide range of goods and services in the state.
  • NORTH DAKOTA
    • House Bill 1503 – ANTI-ALL COMERS BILL
      • Many public colleges and universities have long had “all-comers” policies that require student organizations receiving financial and other support from the institution not to discriminate against students based on race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.
      • These policies allow all members of the student body to participate in student organizations and prevent such organizations from discriminating against students with state funding. The Supreme Court upheld these all-comers policies as constitutional in the Christian Legal Society v. Martinez decision in 2010.
      • North Dakota HB 1503, in part, undermines inclusive “all-comers” policies at North Dakota public colleges and universities, by allowing student organizations to discriminate against LGBTQ students under the guise of free speech.
    • House Bill 1298 – ANTI-TRANS SPORTS BILL
      • The North Dakota Senate passed House Bill 1298, an anti-transgender bill that would ban transgender girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity.
  • TENNESSEE
    • Senate Bill 1229 – SEX ED PARENTAL NOTIFICATION
      • The Tennessee Senate passed Senate Bill 1229, a bill which would require a school district to notify parents before “providing a sexual orientation curriculum or gender identity curriculum” in any kind of instruction, including but not limited to education on sexuality.
      • In addition to making it harder for students kids to access sex education, it could also preclude discussion about sexuality more broadly, including in literature and history classes, for example. A district could be forced to notify parents, provide curriculum materials, and allow parents to opt students out of learning about important modern and historical events, from the A.I.D.S. epidemic to the Stonewall riots to even Supreme Court jurisprudence.
      • SB 389 also disproportionately disadvantages LGBTQ youth who may not have supportive families and puts children at greater risk of health consequences.
  • WEST VIRGINIA
    • House Bill 3293 – ANTI-TRANS SPORTS BILL
      • The West Virginia Senate passed House Bill 3293, an anti-transgender bill that would ban transgender girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity.

Wide range of businesses and advocacy groups oppose anti-trans legislation

  • More than 65 major U.S. corporations have stood up and spoken out to oppose anti-transgender legislation being proposed in states across the country. New companies like Facebook, Pfizer, Altria, Peloton, and Dell join companies like Amazon, American Airlines, Apple, AT&T, AirBnB, Google, Hilton, IBM, IKEA, Microsoft, Nike, Paypal, Uber, and Verizon in objecting to these bills.
  • The nation’s leading child health and welfare groups representing more than 7 million youth-serving professionals and more than 1000 child welfare organizations released an open letter calling for lawmakers in states across the country to oppose dozens of bills that target LGBTQ people, and transgender children in particular.

The NCAA opposes efforts to limit participation of transgender students

The NCAA Board of Governors released a public letter making clear that it “firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports.” Moreover, “When determining where championships are held, NCAA policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected.” This puts the 30 states with discriminatory anti-transgender legislation under consideration on notice that their actions will have repercussions for their states.

A fight driven by national anti-LGBTQ groups, not local legislators or public concern

These bills come from the same forces that drove previous anti-equality fights by pushing copycat bills across state houses — dangerous anti-LGBTQ organizations like the Heritage Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom (designated by Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group), and Eagle Forum among others.

  • For example, Montana’s HB 112, the first anti-transgender sports bill to be passed through a legislative chamber in any state, was worked on by the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Trans equality is popular: Anti-transgender legislation is a low priority, even among Trump voters

A new PBS/NPR/Marist poll states that 67% of Americans, including 66% of Republicans, oppose the anti-transgender sports ban legislation proliferating across 30 states.

In a 10-swing-state poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group last fall:

  • At least 60% of Trump voters across each of the 10 swing states say transgender people should be able to live freely and openly.
  • At least 87% of respondents across each of the 10 swing states say transgender people should have equal access to medical care, with many states breaking 90% support
  • When respondents were asked about how they prioritized the importance of banning transgender people from participating in sports as compared to other policy issues, the issue came in dead last, with between 1% and 3% prioritizing the issue.

Another more recent poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group revealed that, with respect to transgender youth participation in sports, the public’s strong inclination is on the side of fairness and equality for transgender student athletes. 73% of voters agree that “sports are important in young people’s lives. Young transgender people should be allowed opportunities to participate in a way that is safe and comfortable for them.”

States that pass anti-transgender legislation suffer economic, legal, reputational harm

Analyses conducted in the aftermath of previous divisive anti-transgender bills across the country, like the bathroom bills introduced in Texas and North Carolina and an anti-transgender sports ban in Idaho, show that there would be or has been devastating fallout.

  • The Idaho anti-transgender sports bill that passed was swiftly suspended by a federal district court. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) came out against the Idaho bill and others like it and subsequently moved planned tournament games out of Idaho.
  • The Associated Press projected that the North Carolina bathroom bill could have cost the state $3.76 billion over 10 years.
  • During a fight over an anti-transgender bathroom bill in 2017, the Texas Association of Business estimated $8.5 billion in economic losses, risking 185,000 jobs in the process due to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and professional sporting event cancellations, a ban on taxpayer funded travel to those states, cancellation of movie productions, and businesses moving projects out of state.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organizations working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

Online shopping illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Digital Transformation: ByondXR

Digital Transformation: ByondXR Develops virtual commerce platform used by World-leading Retailers

Web-based Virtual eCommerce: Transforming the Future of Retail

The online shopping landscape is continuously changing, with companies finding new solutions to bring unique experiences to their customers. When the coronavirus pandemic shook the world, brands had to adapt to the virtual landscape, as in-store shopping became nearly impossible quickly. With the fear and apprehension that the pandemic created, naturally, people lost the motivation to shop in-person as much as they used to.

Companies that rely on physical shopping lost their customers and floundered, while companies that already had a significant digital presence increased their business. As businesses struggled to stay afloat, ByondXR, a company specializing in building online virtual storefronts and showrooms, was positioned to assist them in building their digital presence and offering new experiences for customers despite the pandemic.

Industry veterans Noam Levavi and Eran Galil founded ByondXR in 2016, intending to help businesses acclimate themselves to the growing virtual commerce market. Having as much familiarity and expertise with online retail merchandising as they did, after COVID-19 quarantining forced people to isolate themselves and remain in their homes, companies like Lancôme, Target, and P&G turned to ByondXR for their technical know-how.

Their innovative technology caters to wholesale and retail businesses who seek to improve their digital marketing presence. With their team of experts, they truly revolutionize the virtual commerce market by creating the most stunning visual web experiences that significantly improve conversion rates, engagement, and reduced return rates.

The virtual showrooms allow customers to browse through a store as if they were moving through a physical space. Customers can pan around, viewing colorful and appealing displays of items. By simply clicking on an item or display, an information box pops up where the customer can view more info about the product, interact with the product in 3D, or place the product in their physical space using ByondXR AR capabilities. To close the loop, users can click to purchase the products directly.

Using the full 3D store simulation that ByondXR creates for top fashion retailers, the Virtual Merchandising teams invite VM, store managers, and customers to take immersive virtual tours of their digital storefront. Visitors can view and interact with new clothing and merchandise hanging on racks and displayed on tables or mannequins by visualizing the store, its fixtures, and garments.

This kind of experiential retail provides customers with a far more interactive and engaging experience than simply scrolling mindlessly through pages and pages of products on Amazon or any other retail website. Customers can view items and read product descriptions on a company website as much as they like, but online shopping can rarely be as effective as shopping in a real, physical store. These virtual storefronts give customers the feeling of in-person shopping without leaving their homes and risk getting sick.

The broad range of clients that ByondXR has worked with have found that customers are looking for new shopping experiences, different from the ones that they are used to, especially when over-use of traditional digital shopping venues has rendered them mundane and unengaging. Virtual storefronts like those they have built for Lancôme and P&G are only the beginning of ByondXR’s technological revolution.

Take, for example, 3D visualizers that they have created for home decor companies like CaesarStone. In these online stores, customers can view a realistic 3D room like a kitchen or a child’s bedroom. With a click of a button, they can place down a crib or a wardrobe in this 360 environment, viewing the item in a digital space as if it were actually in their home and use AR to visualize the product in their own home. They can change the decorations and furniture’s colors and designs and pan around, viewing the items with the depth and authenticity that they would get from a physical store.

One of the most important parts of buying a piece of furniture is visualizing what it might look like in a customer’s own home, and with technology like this, customers won’t be left scratching their heads in the middle of a store. No more wondering what a product might look like when delivered to the customers’ houses with ByondXR storefronts, and they get what they see.

The public interest in digital shopping has only grown since its inception, and the global pandemic has only sped up the growth of virtual commerce. The boom in digital shopping has led to such revolutionary techniques as ByondXR’s virtual stores and showrooms seem to have ushered in the future of shopping, where people can browse items and walk-through stores without ever leaving their homes.

As the pandemic continues, both in the US and abroad, the apprehension that people feel about shopping in person has only increased. People don’t want to risk getting the virus and then spreading it to their friends and family, and so they have turned to online shopping in droves to fill their needs. Although the most important aspect of retail business is to provide customers with quality products, the aesthetics and the art of the way these products are displayed play a large role in what brands customers decide to shop with.

With this kind of technology becoming more and more popular with companies and with the customers that they serve, the question arises: Will shopping ever return to the way it was before?

The pandemic has certainly altered the world forever, but many have wondered if customers will return to physical stores once they can safely and healthily do so. With specialized technical advancements in the virtual commerce market like those that ByondXR provides their clients with, customers may decide that they don’t have to visit stores in person to get what they need.

In fact, home decor technology of the kind they built for Caesar Stone is often found more useful to customers than shopping for furniture, tiles, or decorations in person. Why go to a physical store if customers can get the same experience by shopping online from the comfort of their homes while losing none of the in-person stores’ appeals?

There is also another angle to it: while utilizing VR, retail brands can improve brand messaging, boost online influence, and create unique touching points with customers, something that regular eComment lacks.

No matter what the future holds for the virtual commerce market, ByondXR and their CEO Noam Levavi have positioned themselves at the forefront of digital shopping innovation, and they are ready to meet the next challenge head-on.

How Bitcoin can Positively Impact Your Small Business

Bitcoin (BTC) is the most popular cryptocurrency that is present in blockchain technology. This means all the transactions that are made with bitcoin are stored in a ledger that consists of different blocks in the blockchain. The majority of the people only heard about bitcoin, but they don’t know about it in detail. Also, there are plenty of aspects related to BTC which you must know in order to make a deal with it. 

Bitcoin trading is the act of buying bitcoin at a low rate and then reselling it at a higher rate to make profits via the margin. It’s crucial to choose a reputable platform. There are numerous platforms present, and among them, all the best one is the https://bitcointrader2.com. It’s well known for Ethereum (ETH) trade but its facilities also trade other cryptocurrencies. By making a deal with BTC, everyone becomes able to trade it and gains the potential to earn from it. Everyone needs to understand the importance of the platform they use while performing BTC trade.

Major impacts of Bitcoin on small businesses

The main impacts that the Bitcoin can have on small businesses are:

Reduce the risk of transaction fraud

One of the major impacts of bitcoin on small businesses is that by accepting it as payment, the risk of fraud or cyber threats are reduced. The entire payment process is based on blockchain technology which provides high-level security. Also, as it is a digital payment system, so there’s no risk of losing money like when you have cash in your pocket.

Transaction speed is fast, and fees are low

When small businesses invest in bitcoin, they receive low fees on all transactions. Whether the transactions are huge, the amount of fees remains low, and there is no tax required. The transactions made with BTC are also completed fast. They require only 2-3 seconds, unlike in the case of other currencies that require a few days.

Acquisition of new customers

When small business start accepting bitcoin payments, they tend to gain more customers. It’s because the number of people who are investing and trading cryptocurrencies are increasing day by day. They are in search of the best platforms for investing or making purchases. 

Negligence of paperwork of all kinds

There is no need to make a deal with any kind of paperwork which they have to pay with other currencies in the bank, etc. Its because it is a digital payment system, so users only have to require their wallet and the right address at which they have to make payments.

Easy access to the world market

Once a business starts accepting bitcoin payments, it gains access to the word market easily. Bitcoin helps them to save time and money on transactions, which is more time and money to use to grow your business.

Bitcoin can Benefit Your Business

Trading Bitcoin can be a daunting task. It’s important for people to learn about the basics of trading Bitcoin to get top-notch results. Moreover, individuals should take time to learn tips and strategies to become successful in bitcoin trading.

The most important thing for beginners to pay attention to is selecting the most reputed exchange for buying BTC as well as choosing the best trading platform. You need to look for a reputed and reliable platform where you are getting top-notch services. Using this knowledge you can make good profits but easily improve your business. 

2021 Illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

5 New Year’s Resolutions To Make Your Business Culture A Winner

New Year’s resolutions are not only for individuals but businesses too. Company goals leaders set for the year ahead are usually measured in data tied to categories like revenue production and expense reduction. 

After a difficult 2020 due to COVID-19, many enterprises’ bottom-line numbers will take on extra importance in 2021. And business culture will be just as crucial. Any resolutions that company leaders make are an effective way to measure their work environment and help their teams meet performance metrics, says Mark McClain, CEO and co-founder of SailPoint and the ForbesBooks author of Joy and Success at Work: Building Organizations that Don’t Suck (the Life Out of People).  

“Meeting individual, team, and company goals begin with employees and managers working well together in a vibrant environment,” McClain says. “And given the changes and challenges of these times, culture and how leaders pay attention to it have never been more important. 

“The bottom line falls into place when everyone is on the same page. But even if leaders have established a strong culture, it bears constant vigilance to ensure everyone is rowing in the same direction, especially now when a volatile world can threaten to throw even the most solid companies off course.”  

McClain offers these business culture resolutions for the New Year that leaders could consider:

  • Focus on shared values. McClain thinks it’s misleading to frequently state that a “family atmosphere” exists in a company. “The bigger a company gets or the more it grows in capability and value, the less it’s going to feel like a family,” he says. “Creative friction and disagreement on processes and concepts are inevitable. Smart companies leverage broader, shared values as common ground on which workers can connect. I’ve found one of the best places for doing that is through service to the community beyond company walls. If your culture encourages people to work together for some greater good, they’ll continue to appreciate each other as humans and fellow workers.” 
  • Avoid prima donnas. ”Talented people are essential for a successful business,” McClain says, “but don’t fall in love with a gifted person if they are constantly letting you know how special they are. Watching them work can be breathtaking, but not when they’re the ones sucking the air out of the room.”
  • Double down on integrity. “Large legacy companies are often loaded with people who are just taking up space and collecting a paycheck,” McClain says. “It’s a significant issue, and it goes hand-in-hand with integrity. Effective workers know the difference between busywork and producing value. Everybody in the organization must be clear on what success looks like. The role of management is to be clear on objectives and then let people run.”
  • Don’t stop innovating. McClain says many companies stagnate in this area and should learn how to expand their innovations while encouraging the cultivation of new ideas. “Innovation is an amalgam of product marketing and product management skills, of listening to the market, and of engineering people who can take a problem and figure out how to solve it,” he says. “But innovation should apply in every direction – in how a company contracts, how they sell, how they market.”
  • Be the first to own mistakes. “Anyone who has been involved in conflict directly knows there’s always the sense that both parties have some responsibility,” McClain says. “The sooner you own yours, the more likely the other person will own theirs – and the project can move forward.”

“New Year’s resolutions are often easily discarded because of a person’s lack of commitment,” McClain says. “For business leaders and their workforce, they reflect company core values and can create or improve a culture that everyone will appreciate and aspire to uphold and deepen.”

About Mark McClain

Mark McClain, ForbesBooks author of Joy and Success at Work: Building Organizations that Don’t Suck (the Life Out of People), is CEO of SailPoint, a leader in the enterprise identity management market. McClain has led the company from its beginnings in 2005, when it started as a three-person team, to today, where SailPoint has grown to more than 1,200 employees who serve customers in 35 countries.

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, business, illustration, sara sandman

Understanding the Influence of Product Reviews on Retailers

When you think about the power and influence of product reviews, you will notice that it can be both good or bad for your business depending on the review and the situation. Ideally, your business would flourish if you get positive reviews, but it won’t fare so well if there was negative feedback. This is just how impactful any product review can be to retailers. 

So, let’s dive in and understand a little more about the effects of customer reviews on any business.

Customer’s Trust

Authenticity and customer trust are difficult to come by in the business world, which is why a product review can show customers just how trustworthy a retailer is. Positive feedback and good experiences can prove to people that they should invest in your goods or services, but it would be the complete opposite if the review wasn’t favorable towards you. With enough bad reviews, it could be extremely difficult to try and fix the situation and change people’s perception of your brand. This is why product reviews are so important, especially if they are positive. It would make people rest easy and assured that they are purchasing a product from the right brand. They would definitely come back for more once they’ve established your authenticity and integrity, making their trust in you stronger than ever.

Your Sales 

Product reviews can significantly influence your sales and your exposure might end up being positive or negative depending on the number of favorable reviews available to the public. Your goal is to bring in more leads and boost your sales; product reviews can achieve this for you. The researchers and reviewers at http://radarlogic.com/ state that reliable reviews can evaluate any retailer’s product based on the features, quality, and performance. This gives any customer searching for a product an estimated value for the price of the item they’re after. With enough unbiased reviews that help people get value for money, you can see a significant rise to your sales thanks to positive reviews. However, your hopes and dreams of gaining profits won’t be easily achievable if the feedback was negative, and people won’t see real value in your products in that case. 

Chances To Be Better

You are guaranteed many chances of improving your business and this works no matter how good or bad the review is. If customers deem your offerings attractive, they will still give you feedback on some of the stuff they wish could be there. This will make you adapt and change to their likings promptly. This is the same if the reviews aren’t so favorable. People will give you the insight you need to consider to make the necessary changes to your product and keep the customers happy. Either way, the knowledge, feedback, and insightful comments will help you build a better and stronger brand that can compete with other rivals in the market. You’d be surprised at just how a retailer can turn in a new leaf thanks to people’s reviews. 

The Information Given

People will always want more information through reviews, even if they were good ones with positive experiences. They would want to know why the product was good or bad; lack of details would mean less attention and lower conversion rates. Also, you can’t hope for a product to improve with minimal details. Saying that the product “X” is “good” or “bad” isn’t enough to convince anyone. So, a product review needs to have adequate information to have any sort of influence on your business.

Your Online Presence

Any retailer or company needs a strong online presence because the digital world is how you’d make most of your sales and attract your possible leads. This makes any retailer implement specific SEO strategies that can increase traffic to build their rank on the search lists. If the reviews were nice and people believed that your content and products are credible, then Google will see that and would elevate your rank higher. But if the reviews were constantly negative and people didn’t see any changes, then fewer people will visit your platform. This will create a downward spiral of low sales, traffic, and profits because your rank would be so low on the search engine lists. 

Product reviews can be a double-edged weapon that could make or break your brand. The customer base has the power to lift your business to the sky or drag it down to the ground depending on how good their experience was. Word travels extremely fast online and you should never underestimate the digital world with its different platforms that review products. The effect of any review is stronger than you could possibly imagine.

Lexus ES, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, Harlem, Upper Eastside

Top 3 Corporate Events Where a Pro MC Is Necessary

Almost all corporate events should have a professional master of ceremonies overseeing it. These corporate events are there for a reason. They’re meant to achieve a certain result that the planners had in mind when they were designing them. Whatever type of corporate event, the idea is not only to bring many people together but to encourage certain types of interactions and relationships between people that would not have been possible in the formal office environment. A professional MC is important when it comes to facilitating those relationships and interactions. They are like the secret sauce that makes your event extra special.

So, the next time you’re planning any of the following corporate events, consider getting yourself an MC for hire at cleancomedians.com to spice things up and improve your success rate, no matter what you’re aiming for.

1. Conferences and Seminars

The whole point of these events is to provide the target audience with certain information that is relevant to them. The seminars are much shorter than the conferences, with seminars lasting a few hours or a few days. They have a few speakers or, sometimes, only one and keep everyone together in the same place. Conferences will have lots of different sessions and speakers and will be held in hotels. They also have keynotes followed by topics and breakout sessions 

An MC is necessary at such events to prevent monotony. When you have many people in the same place listening to what is largely the same topic for an extended period, they can start to lose focus and get bored. An MC is important when it comes to giving the much-needed comic relief every once in a while. They are also great for organizing things and making sure every speaker is lined and ready for their session and introducing them onto the podium.

2. Appreciation Events

These events are usually meant to bring about an informal environment where the host can spend time with the guests and focus on building rapport and learning about their mutual interests. These events can be employee appreciations or client appreciations.

An MC is important at such events since they help to build up the informal atmosphere and get everyone to loosen up and relax. That encourages them to open up and network more easily. 

3. Team Building Events

These events are meant to boost employee confidence, morale and goodwill while building on the existing strengths of the company. They are meant to build the team, just as the name suggests. 

Such events need to be highly charged and energetic with lots of games and workshops that require everyone to be engaged. Who better to bring in that energy than an MC? The MC will not only help in the planning of the event but will also add the light touch necessary to get everyone pumped up for the event. 

All of these events are highly engaging and need an MC to sort of act as the “captain of the ship” to bring the program from the commencement to the conclusion successfully, leaving everyone feeling happy and fulfilled at the end.

Getting Rid Of That Online Spam: Best Anti-Spam Services

Every business which goes digital today knows the dangers of spam and its possible impact on the website’s operations. While fake bots write bad reviews or give one’s site bad scorings, there are some heroes ready to save your online presence from being a nightmare. These heroes are nothing else but the anti-spam services which are easy to install and maintain and the results of which usually outstand the client’s expectations.

If you are one of the businesses struggling with the spammers’ attacks and would like to protect yourself against such activities, there is a possible solution. And this is cleantalk.org which is considered to be one of the best anti spam service on the swathes of the Internet. In this article we will talk what makes anti-spam service so important for proper business’s operations in the digital world, so stay tuned!

How To Protect Oneself Against Spam Online

Spam may take a number of forms and manifestations. To begin with, there is an old junk mail which comes into being after spammers hack someone’s list of emails and use this for personal lucrative benefits. There is also a web spam known as a manipulation on the website ranking in the search engine. In this case, no SEO optimization is concerned but rather sneaky and unfair tricks.

Here is how anti-spam service may help to protect your company’s website from unwanted spamming:

•automatic screening of user’s behaviour: by tracing one’s users behaviour, the system concludes whether this behaviour reminds this of the bot or a real person. In the former case, the system will then prevent its activity and thus exempt the website from the potential spammer;

•junk-email filters: in many situations, though, service allows you to access logs of all the processed requests in order to check results of the filters and ensure that not a single of the e-mails was mistakenly considered as a junk one. Such a combination of efficient automatic checks as well as personal scamming through gives almost 100% accuracy;

•statistics analysis: in order to be able to make proper managerial decisions, one should always have figures to rely on. Therefore, for any service it is necessary to give managers the ability to see the data on spam activity for Countries, IPs, IP networks and emails.

To wrap things up, digital world is full of dangers when it comes to spammers and improper website behaviour. However, there are always possible solutions in the forms of specially designed services ensuring spam checks and analysis. These services help businesses which went online to make sure that their online activities are not subject to the interference of the fake bots and foes.

Focusing on People & Data to Distract Hackers

We live in times when it’s become easier than ever for hackers to breach an organization through social engineering. Breaches are primarily caused by phishing attacks, representing a huge security problem for businesses.

But why is this type of cybercriminal so widely represented in the statistics? What is it that makes it so easy and so profitable for hackers? We might not like the answers. The ever-increasing connectivity and focus on people and data is leaving us vulnerable to malicious attacks. To protect your business, you need to start thinking like a hacker. Let’s take a look at how they infiltrate big business and what can be done about it.

How Social Engineering Works

Since social engineering relies on personal information hackers can find online, it’s pretty difficult to counter. Before; that required some digging on the hacker’s part – now all it takes is a data-matching service like Spokeo and PeekYou, and they get all the information they might need and more. Cross-matching public records is one thing, but employees also freely share a lot of information on social media. This personal info is then used to target employees within a company with malicious emails, by posing as a trusted individual. From there, all a hacker needs to do is convince an employee to click on a malicious link or perform a wire transfer.

Are Individual Threats the Same as Company Threats?

As we can see, cybercriminals can efficiently use your social media information to reach their desired target within your company. Does that mean company executives should stop using social media altogether, or ban their employees from sharing any work-related information?

The short answer is yes. The long answer, if not “yes,” is that there should be strict policies in place about the use of social networks and what can and can’t be shared. For example, if a company executive posts about being on a business trip, hackers take that as a signal to try and perform BEC. Anything an employee posts about work projects or people they spend time with inthe office can help cybercriminals construct an elaborate and believable social engineering scam. It is why every employee must assume the whole world is watching them when they want to post anything work-related on social media.

The frequency of Social Engineering and Phishing

It’s no accident that social engineering and phishing attacks are responsible for 95 percent of data breaches. They exploit what will always be the weak link in any company’s security chain – the people who work there. Relying on traditional protective measures such as firewall, antivirus, anti-spoofing techniques, etc. cannot stop all of these attacks. Education is vital for prevention, but with these scams getting more elaborate and difficult to spot, it doesn’t ensure safety.

What Can Protect Your Business?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you didn’t have to worry about phishing? Good news, the worrying stops today. It seems challenging to prevent phish, but Area 1 Security offers an Anti-Phishing Service that finds and eliminates phish through a combination of web crawling and small pattern analytics. With Area 1 Horizon, your business will be safe, and you won’t be adding to the pool of $5.3 billion in losses due to phishing attacks last year.

With the ever-increasing focus on people and data, businesses are leaving themselves wide open to hackers. In those circumstances, there are two options – limiting the information hackers can get about you through social media, or investing in preemptive and comprehensive phishing protection. At Area 1 Security, we stop phishing for good.