Category: Uncategorized


5 Ways to Use Fitness to Reach Your Entrepreneurial Goals

Photo by David Iskander on Unsplash

Going down the entrepreneurial path is an exciting prospect, and if you stick to your goals and make some smart decisions, you could very well become a millionaire in the near future and build a thriving business. However, this is often easier said than done, and many aspiring entrepreneurs will abandon their dreams early on for a number of reasons – some of which include stress, financial troubles, or the sheer strength of the competition. 

Needless to say, you have to be one tough cookie both physically and mentally if you are to overcome the challenges that your new career path throws your way, and one of the best ways to do that is to adopt a fitness lifestyle. Being healthy physically is a powerful way to enhance your mental fortitude and capacity on all fronts, so let’s take a look at the five ways you can use fitness to reach your entrepreneurial goals more efficiently and effectively. 

Use exercise to stay energized

It might seem counterintuitive, but vigorous exercise actually improves your energy levels and keeps you from burning out during a particularly stressful day, especially if you’re running all over town from meeting to meeting and you have to maintain a hectic schedule throughout the week. The last thing you want to do is to sit at a desk all day long or to refrain from exercising altogether in fear that it will negatively impact your energy and zeal, because regular exercise can improve the production of endorphins to give you that energy boost when you need it most. If you want to get the full benefits of exercise, make sure to work out early in the morning before you take on the challenges of the day.

Stay stress-free with meditation and yoga

Photo by Carl Barcelo on Unsplash

Of course, fitness is not just about lifting weights or doing a lot of cardio, it’s also about learning how to take care of your body and mind from within, and how to center and ground yourself so that you can banish stress and anxiety. Staying calm and calculated is one of the biggest challenges that aspiring entrepreneurs struggle with, simply because of the stressful nature of their vocation.

This is why you should look to introduce mindful meditation into your day, and a quick daily yoga session to loosen those tight areas in your body and tune out the stress and the noise. It only takes ten to fifteen minutes for a quick meditation or a few yoga poses, after which you will be able to come back to the fight more powerful and focused than before.

Get your nutrition in order

A big mistake business leaders and new entrepreneurs will often make is that they will focused solely on one aspect of fitness – the workouts, instead of focusing on their nutrition as well. Fitness is a lifestyle, and it encompasses exercise, diet, sleep, and various other important factors, of which your nutrition can make all the difference, so you need to eat healthy if you want to succeed.

If you’re running on a pretty hectic schedule, then let healthy supplements lend a helping hand, and choose a good whey protein powder to make sure you’re getting enough protein throughout the day to fuel your body and mind. You can add a multivitamin in there as well, and make sure to get enough magnesium and zinc in your diet or in supplement form to stay sharp and energized at all times.

Build confidence and resilience

One of the biggest benefits of sticking to a fitness lifestyle is that it helps you build the confidence and resilience you need to keep pushing towards your goals, to overcome every obstacle, and to simply stick it out when the going gets tough without burning out. When you lift heavy at the gym or when you set a new running record, you will feel like there is nothing you can’t achieve, and most importantly, you will feel like a true winner – as all successful entrepreneurs are.

Don’t forget about sleep

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Last but not least, you shouldn’t forget or neglect the importance of quality sleep. Sleeping for eight hours every night and going to bet at the same time (and rising at the same time, as well) can do wonders for your overall health, your mood, and your energy levels. Be sure to commit to a strict sleeping schedule and you will have no problem managing your entrepreneurial lifestyle with ease. 

Wrapping up

If you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, or if you’ve already begun your entrepreneurial journey, you should consider adopting the fitness lifestyle to achieve your goals faster. Remember, the key is to stay healthy mentally and physically so that you can continue growing your business, and enjoy your new-found fortune for years and decades to come, so let fitness help you get there.


Why Your Business Needs Digital Marketing Services

With the onset of the novel coronavirus, times are strange. The coronavirus has changed the way we live and work, and the way that businesses are reaching their customers. Since the pandemic began and people have been forced to stay in, online sales have been steadily on the rise in all corners of the country. For many businesses, staying relevant and adapting to the new normal is crucial for survival. Ramping up your business’ online presence is going to be the single most important thing you do during this time. Here’s some tips for using digital marketing to your advantage in pandemic times.

What’s So Special About Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing offers new abilities that are not possible with most traditional marketing avenues. Taking your advertising online not only opens up a world of new channels for customers to find you on, but also creates a sustainable way to obtain information that you can use to bring in new customers. Digital data collected from online advertising channels can be used to paint a better picture of who your customers are, what does and doesn’t resonate with them, and how to get them thinking about your product again. This customer data makes it possible to retarget customers and reach them at various touch points of the sale cycle, which is pivotal in helping them make a purchase decision.

Tactics You Should Be Using to Your Advantage:

Digital marketing strategies can have as many or as little tactics as you want, but a unified, exhaustive approach tends to work best. Think of digital marketing as an ecosystem, each aspect feeds into the others to create an experience. Some of the most common tactics include:

Paid Media & PPC

One of the most effective ways to raise awareness of your brand and encourage purchases is through a PPC campaign on Google. Whatever your conversion goals are, you can track and optimize with PPC. The data gathered from these campaigns can also be used to retarget users who may have viewed your site or even a specific product, so that they can be served relevant ads to keep your brand top of mind. As customers spend more time online, using PPC campaigns is a great way to stay in front of them.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is noted as the first digital marketing tactic to ever be used. It’s come a long way from where it used to be, and is a powerful tool when used correctly. Since more people are forced to stay home right now, more emails are getting read and opened than ever before. Emails allow you the space to tell customers about new products, projects, or news from your company. The only catch is that you’ll need to already have collected emails to reach these individuals, so it’s a good idea to put an email sign up on important pages of your website and to collect emails when a customer checks out.

Social Media

The best part about social media marketing is that it’s free (unless you choose to use paid advertising on social, which can be another great tactic). All that’s needed to get started with this is to write some captivating posts and find engaging pictures to share with followers. It’s important to be hyper-aware of what you’re posting right now since COVID-19 is affecting so many, so just be sure you’re being sensitive to users. Social media is a great tool to raise awareness for your brand, and often acts as the first touch point for many users.

SEO & Content

It’s likely that your business already has a website. So what’s important now is to start writing content for it. Your site should have content on it that users find helpful, such as well thought-out product pages and even blogs. This content not only helps users on your site, but it helps your ranking on Google as well. Again, since people have more time due to lockdowns, they have more time to perform research. You want to make sure you’re giving customers the tools they need to make a well-informed decision, and Google the resources it needs to rank your page. And as a bonus, this content can be used on social media and in emails as well.

Staying Relevant in a Changing World

One thing is for sure, the way that the world does business will never be the same. Now is the time to experiment with new things and find what sticks. Digital marketing tactics are fairly easy to roll out and can be the lifevest your business needs as we navigate these strange times. And if you’re not sure where to start, that’s okay too. Reach out to an expert for guidance and implementation. However you get started, don’t miss out on all the great things digital marketing can bring to your business.


How to Build Your Own A-Team

So you’ve got your hardware all sorted out, and the Xerox c75 shipping notification just made your cell phone vibrate. Now it’s time to assemble a dynamite team. When you’re trying to do so, you could do worse than look to the popular 1980s television show called The A-Team. While you will want to give focus to diversity in your actual hiring practices, let’s take a look at what each member of the NBC show brought to the table.

The Leader

Lieutenant Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith, played by George Peppard, was the leader of the team. Chances are, this is your character, too. You’re the leader of a startup team hoping to take over the world–or at least save it. As you well know, a startup company is different from an established one, and the rules of play are different. Hannibal knew this; he was in your shoes. The A-Team operated outside the box, and Hannibal’s strategies were unconventional. So you, too, might benefit from thinking outside the box. Leadership is crucial, especially when managing a group willing to take on an enormous challenge.

The Smooth-Talking Second

Next up is Lieutenant Templeton Peck. He was characterized in the TV show as a smooth-talking con man, and as a result, he was the one sent out to gather supplies for the missions. How does this translate to your team? Your second-in-command should have a gift for talking to people; perhaps a background in sales or management should be a priority. They should be able to give presentations, resolve conflicts, convince investors to stay, and convince customers to come aboard. This may sound like a tall order, but it is. 

The Pilot

Thirdly, the pilot. In the A-Team, this was Captain “Howling Mad” Murdock. This is someone who was written off by the establishment. In the case of the TV show, Murdock had been declared unfit for duty and clinically insane. Hannibal, the team’s leader, saw something in Murdock, though. One of the things to remember is that there are gifted and talented individuals out there, but sometimes they don’t do so well in a traditional corporate environment. These employees thrive in a startup but may bounce after your IPO. They start to flounder once there are regular policy emails and the beer kegerator gets taken away. But they’re willing to take risks–all the while taking the safety of their team members seriously. The person you’re looking for wants the team to succeed. They won’t take the kinds of risks that put you out of business, but they’ll work harder and longer than anyone else to see that you make it. It’s not the ego that drives someone like “Howling Mad” Murdock. It’s something else. It’s the need to do something extraordinary with their lives, to seek adventure, to overcome adversity. Eventually, you’ll want to promote your Murdock, but your Murdock won’t want the promotion. They’re a doer, not a leader.

The Strong People

Last but not least: the rest of the team. Probably the first person you think of when you think of the A-Team is Sergeant First Class Bosco, a.k.a. “Bad Attitude.” This guy was played by Mr. T. Now you ask: Who is the equivalent of Mr. T in your modern workforce? These are the rest of your team members, and they’re important. We’re not suggesting you find a bunch of people who are looking to create anarchy in your office. Instead, they’re bad to the bone. They work hard–harder than they have to work. They like to be part of the David vs. Goliath struggles and they’re not afraid of Goliath. They’re fearless. and you want them on your team.

Assemble a dynamite team and your startup will have a fighting chance.


What Is the Impact of COVID-19 on the Real Estate Market?

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every sector of the economy, leaving no industry untouched. One of the sectors that has been hit the hardest is the real estate market. It is easy to see how COVID-19 has impacted the way people search for and buy homes. It is hard for someone to make a decision to buy a house without seeing it for themselves. In the era of social distancing and with much of the country still under some form of a mild lockdown, this makes it hard for someone to get out there and look for homes; however, it is important to delve a little deeper, look beyond the case numbers, and see how COVID-19 has impacted the world of real estate.

COVID 19 Timing: Peak Season for Buying Homes

First, it is important to note that COVID-19 arrived during a time that is usually the peak season for home shopping. During the spring, many people start to look for homes and prepare to buy during the summer. The goal is to make the move during the summer so that this will not disrupt kids who might be in school. Usually, the month of March sees a 50 percent jump in activity when compared to February, with the peak of the season taking place during June and July. Usually, these two months put together represent more than a quarter of all home sales during the course of the year.

Looking at the month of March, some numbers show that the last week of the month showed a 30 percent drop in sales when compared to the prior year. This is early evidence that indicates home sales are dropping as a result of COVID-19. In addition, more evidence from an MBA survey that took place at the end of March showed that mortgage applications dropped more than 10 percent in a single week. When compared to that same week last year, they were down by almost 25 percent.

Low-Interest Rates and Savings for the Buyer

For those who are able to get out and look at houses, this could be a great time to buy. Banks are feeling the sting as fewer people are taking out mortgages. Therefore, this could depress interest rates on mortgages, putting people in a position to lock in a long-term mortgage at a lower interest rate. Over the life of the mortgage, this could provide people with an opportunity to save hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition, this could allow people to buy a home that they would not otherwise be able to afford. These are both important considerations to think about when it comes to the current real estate market.

Real Estate Rebound: Investment Opportunities

Unlike the Great Recession of 2008, which saw another historic drop in the real estate market, it is clear that the pandemic is almost solely responsible for the current state of the housing market. Therefore, as the country gets this virus under control, most people expect that the real estate market is going to rebound quickly. This means that now could also be a great time for those who are looking to invest in the real estate market. The country is known for its resilience and the real estate market is no different. The only question is how quickly the real estate market will rebound. Some experts think this is going to be a V-shaped market, meaning a steep contraction and a steep recovery. Other people see a U-shaped real estate market, which could mean a longer recovery process.

Regardless, it is clear that COVID-19 has had an adverse impact on the real estate market. Now, people have their eyes on the future. Just how is the real estate market going to respond? That remains to be seen.

business featured img 1

The Cost and Payoff of Business Interruption Insurance

Business interruption insurance protects businesses from financial struggle that results from a natural disaster or Act of God. Many business owners may be wondering, is it really worth it? Business interruption insurance provides support in a challenging time due to a disaster and ensures that the business survives in the long run. To learn more about the costs and payoff of business interruption insurance, read below. 

What is Business Interruption Insurance? 

Every business faces unique risks because they’re in different industries and niches. However, one risk that is unavoidable for all businesses is natural disasters. Things like fire, water damage, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes can cause lasting damage to a business. 

Business interruption insurance can cover lost income from a natural disaster or Act of God. Enduring a disaster is difficult for anyone, but it will be even more challenging to recover financially as a business. But, with business interruption insurance, a business can maintain financial stability during a natural crisis. In addition, the insurance can help you rebuild your business to ensure that you become fully operational again. 

Terms You Should Understand

Many businesses choose to get some form of business interruption insurance to protect their operations. Below are some common terms mentioned in business interruption insurance policies that are helpful to understand. 

Business Income

The dollar amount of net income that a business would have earned if they did not incur a natural disaster or Act of God. 

Period of Restoration

The amount of time required to repair and rebuild damaged property thereby allowing the business to become operational again. The period begins when the damage occurs and ends after a reasonable, agreed upon amount of time has passed where the property can be fixed. Usually this period is one to two years. During this period, insurers are responsible for the loss of business income. 

Actual Loss Sustained

The overall loss a company incurs as a result of a natural disaster or Act of God. This includes physical damage and lost income over the period of time when the business is unable to operate. 

What’s the Cost and Is It Worth It? 

The cost of business interruption insurance can vary a lot based on numerous factors. The location of the premise, the business’s ability to relocate, the amount of coverage and nature of the business are a few factors that are considered when pricing out a policy. Business interruption insurance is frequently added onto property insurance. More often than not, you will receive a bundle insurance deal.

Whether or not the cost of business interruption insurance is worth it for you and your business depends on many factors as well. Some businesses are readily equipped to handle a disaster meaning the cost of insurance may not be worth their while. On the other hand, some businesses may not be able to handle the financial stress of an Act of God. 

Before you veto business interruption insurance, consider what it gives you during a disaster or Act of God. At a high level, business interruption insurance pays for your operational expenses while you rebuild and covers unexpected costs resulting from the natural disaster. The financial support from business interruption insurance can save you lots of money and prevent your business from going under. 

What Is Covered by Business Interruption Insurance? 

Insurance can be tricky because of all the definitions and complex terminology within the policies. Below is a list of all the expenses that are covered by business interruption insurance. 

  • Lease or Rent Payments. Even if you’re closed for business, you’ll likely need to continue to make lease or rent payments for property that you don’t own. 
  • Loan Payments. If your business is carrying debt, you’ll be required to meet your loan payment obligations while your business isn’t earning money. Business interruption insurance covers this cost.
  • Employee Salaries and Wages. Payroll is another expense that doesn’t stop when a disaster happens. Business interruption insurance will cover payroll while your business isn’t making money. Most policies cover up to one year of payroll.
  • Taxes. You may evade death during a disaster, but you can’t avoid taxes! Whatever your tax obligations may be, you’ll have to meet them which is possible through business interruption insurance while your business is closed.
  • Relocation Costs. If you’re forced to relocate your business, business interruption insurance will help you cover your moving expenses. There is a chance that the insurance would pay rent in the new location too. 
  • Lost Income. If your business is unable to operate as a result of a natural disaster, the insurance will pay you the revenue you would have made if the Act of God did not happen. This means your business will stay open even if you don’t have any business. 

Does Business Interruption Insurance Payoff? 

Sometimes insurance seems silly because you’re paying for something that may or may not happen. Although, in the event that something terrible happens and your business is forced to close, you’ll be ecstatic that you invested in business interruption insurance. No one knows what the future holds, business interruption insurance pays off in the long run!


How to Convert Your Blog Visitors into Customers

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Trying to make a living in this day and age is hard, especially if you’re a blogger. The problem isn’t your passion or dedication – but the competition! There are literally hundreds of thousands of people everywhere in the world who do the same as you, so making a name for yourself and actually earning some money can be quite hard. That’s why some bloggers include an online shop where people can purchase the products they read about. Now it’s all about converting those readers and visitors into paying customers, and you’re done! If that’s something you’d like to do as well, here are a few ideas that might help you.

Be honest

The problem most people have with purchasing things online is being absolutely sure they’re getting the real deal. This may not sound like a huge problem for you, but it’s a real concern that thousands of customers worldwide have every single day. That’s why you need to insist on honesty and be real when marketing your products.

One of the ways to do so is showing reviews and testimonials by people who have already purchased something from your online shop. Ask them for an honest review and make sure all your potential buyers are able to read it. Do this in a visually appealing way, and you’ll surely encourage your visitors to buy something from you.

Insist on brand marketing

Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

When you look at some of the most famous, successful, and lucrative companies in the world – from Nike and Apple to BMW and Facebook – there’s one thing they all have in common: brand recognition. No matter what they do, where they are, and how much money they earn, all of these companies insist on brand marketing anywhere they can, and that’s definitely something you should do as well.

However, this may not always be that easy. You need to learn more about this issue first and understand why constantly talking about your brand is so important. Even if you manage to forget it in the future, you can always go back to a famous brand marketing definition that emphasizes raising brand awareness and boosting brand recognition. This dedication to your brand will pass onto your visitors, and they’ll be happy to spend their money on your products, thus joining your brand too.

Get some help

Doing things your own way is sometimes all right, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to work in all cases. Certain sellers have a problem moving their products using traditional methods, so they need some help. Hiring people who will get in touch with their visitors is one of the ways to make a difference, especially if you insist on a personal and one-to-one approach.

Using various tools and apps is another way to go, especially if you’re managing a huge online shop with lots of potential visitors. If that’s the case, be sure to the best tool possible, such as the amazing social proof tool from Cue that can make your conversion easier. Being able to convert more visitors into leads is crucial for your business, so don’t be afraid to explore these handy little tricks that could boost your sales more than you can imagine.

Offer discounts and promotions

This may sound like the oldest trick in the book – and it probably is – but that doesn’t mean it’s any less effective. Offering your regular customers discounts will make your relationship with them even stronger, and they’ll be happy to know you appreciate their loyalty. Of course, you shouldn’t forget new customers either because both of these groups are vital for your business, so offer discounts to all of them.

Also, use certain times of the year for promotions – Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s, Easter, Halloween, Black Friday, and other holidays are perfect for attracting more visitors to your website. These promotions create a sense of urgency with them, and they’ll be ready to make a purchase before the holiday promotion is over.

Converting blog visitors into paying customers is never easy, no matter what you do and how great your products are. But, if you use these cool techniques, you’ll certainly make a difference in your sales, so just find the ideas that work for you the most and incorporate them into your business plan.


How Can The New RMA Extension Help Improve Customer Service?


Customer service is one of the most important pillars for a successful business. Owners try their best to cater to all the customer queries in the best way possible. They try to make sure that customers value their products and look forward to purchasing more from them. The problem with organizations is that they believe that delivering the item to the client is when their job is done. However, that is probably when the customer care service actually comes into play.

What to do after product delivery?

The client likes your product. They give their orders. You deliver the order at their place. Seems like a good decent job, right? Well, not really. Once the product is delivered at the clients’, there are a bunch of different problems that may arise. The customers might have some queries regarding the product they just received. It could be related to the size, color, design of the product. This is when the customer service department needs to be on their toes to help the clients get their desired return.

Returns management

The customer care of any business is tested when the clients ask for refunds. An exchange might well do the trick, but returns is when the management is heartbroken. It is very important that the management handles the situation professionally and ensures that the customers are provided with the ideal product. They should ask the customers about the possible queries that they are facing and then provide them with the optimal solution. But, at times, it can become difficult to deal with this. It becomes entirely time consuming and cost ineffective.

RMA for Magento 2

While facing such hard time, the management should look forward to using the new Magento 2 refund tool. The new Magento 2 RMA helps the management to deal with all the tricky processes involving returns and refund management. It helps the business in creating their customized refund policy for various products that can assist their clients too. This in turn increases the overall customer turnover as customers feel that they are given importance and their queries are addressed seriously.

There is an automated system that manages all the requests made by the customers through an add-on. Moreover, the refund policy can also be customized to ensure that it provides all the details as to which products are allowed to be refunded and which are not. The extension tools also helps the business to communicate with the customers via a live chat. This helps in getting instant customer feedback and addressing their issues simultaneously.

Benefits of the RMA for Magento 2

The RMA tool helps the business to stay one step ahead of their competitors. The excellent customer care service attracts the customers to their business and will make sure they stay loyal to them. Furthermore, it makes sure that management can focus on other areas of strategic importance. The function of automated replies can help in ensuring the customers that their request is taken care of. The best part about this function is that it is extremely user friendly and the tools are very helpful in maintaining good business reputation. 


Why is Custom Software Solution Thriving in Toronto?

When it comes to technology, North America can be the perfect choice for booming companies. This is primarily because of the investments taking place in the region to promote technological integration. The United States is undoubtedly in charge. With a gargantuan budget, the country has made a name for itself as the choicest preference for many industries. But many tend to overlook Canada. Only those with the know-how to find the best are well-aware of the emerging tech scenes of the country. It has a huge space for custom software solutions to work on and custom software development is taking full advantage of it. 

In Canada, Toronto is the financial capital. In recent times, the region is witnessing an influx of various tech giants who are developing infrastructures in the region. For instance, Google invested USD 5 million in 2017 to help startups in developing AI. A lot of startups are finding these opportunities beneficial and their concentration in the city is growing. 

Custom software solution- tech-talk 

A custom software solution is something that understands the specific needs of a particular company and provides solutions accordingly. The software architecture, in this regard, has been designed to suit the specific purpose. This is way better than off-the-shelf solutions. Off-the-shelf solutions are cheap, but they can only provide some specific assistance and each company has a different combination of structure and demography. That is why the relationship between companies and off-the-shelf solutions lacks chemistry.

In custom software solutions, the structure of the software has been coded as per the needs of the client with the guidance of experts with in-depth knowledge of the field. These experts are, in a way, seers. They can see the technical lags the company may face in the future and design the systemaccordingly. What they add to the solution as a bonus is agility. The software can mold itself as per the requirement. In fact, it can be modified by an internal IT team. 

It has several advantages as well like: 

· better return of investment
· improved scalability
· the ability to provide the seamless performance and solve previously unsolved puzzles
· interactive features
· provision to develop better end products
· impress customers
· finding a better way to integrate data and sync it with the system
· build a brand value

What makes it better?

The interplay of technologies is creating scope for individual tools to perform better. For instance, custom software development integrates several technologies to provide a smooth experience.

· Open source can be defined as a technology that provides a platform to both public and development communities who can enhance the user experience of custom software solutions

· Cloud-based solutions are providing a cheaper platform that helps in design, coding, testing, integration, and others. Also, it provides opportunities to work on programs from a remote location

· Artificial intelligence (AI) is probably the most valued support system. It can mimic human behavior using which predictive models can be developed and tests can be performed to make the custom software even better

· Blockchain can be definitive in its ability to provide security. Its act as a digital ledger is reliable and transparent. Its ability to decentralize the core can also be used effectively using custom software solutions

· Analytics can be used to translate the vast amount of data sourced from various corners and then create responses accordingly to deliver solutions on time

How can Toronto help?

The custom software solution can thrive anywhere but to make it thrive better space is needed where all would come under one roof. 

Imagine a place where all the leading tech firms are creating a base. Be it AI masterminds or startups, or other companies with Agile technologies, DevOps, and more. In one go custom software solutions would get everything. Toronto has emerged as that one-stop solution. In fact, it has now become the home of several giants like Ecobee, Top Hat, Apple, Ubisoft, Cisco, Oracle, and others. 

The city has added advantages of immigration gains and better government support, which matter for a lot of new companies. Immigrants are making the workforce better and, in some ways, cheaper. This is helping many companies in increasing their profit margins. These immigrants are also bringing in a lot of expertise. A jump in international applicants from 2016 to 2017 would vouch for it. 

This would work well for custom software solutions in two ways. The demographic dynamics would help custom software solution startups in building their infrastructure. Their rise would inspire innovation and back new ventures who are looking for solutions for their workforce. 

What’s more? Toronto is getting lauded as the eighth-best city for tech companies by Dailyhive. Since the last few years, it has also lured in more companies than the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City.


The History of Phishing Scams

Phishing and spear phishing are some of the most common tactics used by hackers to steal information from internet users and infect their hardware with malicious programming that could render it useless.

What is phishing? Phishing is the act of sending fake emails to a large number of recipients at random with the expectation that only a small percentage will respond. These emails consist of scams that attempt to trick the recipient into providing confidential information, like account credentials, to the attacker.

Spear phishing emails take this a step further as they are more targeted to the victim in nature. Hackers select an individual target within an organization, using social media and other public information and craft a fake email tailored for that person. This makes the victim more likely to interact with the email as they are tricked into believing it is legitimate.

Where did this all originate? How did phishing scams come to be? They are considered one of the most prominent forms of cyber threats out there today, which correlates with emails being one of the most popular methods of communication, such as in email marketing.

Origins of the Term

Internet records indicate that the first time that the term “phishing” was used and recorded was on January 2, 1996, in a newsgroup called AOHell.

Some of the earliest hackers in the game were dubbed “phreaks.” It’s no surprise, then, that the term phishing grew from the nickname. The use of “ph” in place of the “f” was common in the telecommunication field back in the day. For example, phreaking refers to the exploration, experimentation, and study of telecommunication systems. Phreaks and hackers have always been closely linked. The “ph” spelling in “phishing” was used to link the scams with these underground communities.

But why “phishing”? When you consider the definition of the term, one can see the metaphor clearly. Hackers capture information from users much like capturing a fish that is lured to a hook by a fake bait. In the context of phishing, the spoofy bait is the email.

Where Did Phishing Originate?

In the early 1990s, dial-up was king and American Online (AOL) was your go-to internet provider. During this time, millions of people were interconnected via the world wide web daily — granted, sometimes not at the same time if in the same household.

But not everyone intended to use the internet for good. Hackers and those who traded pirated software also communicated via the internet, forming bonds and schemes. This community became dubbed as the warez community. The warez community eventually made the first moves to conduct phishing attacks.

At first, phishers would steal users’ passwords and used algorithms to create randomized credit card numbers. These random credit card numbers were used to open AOL accounts, which were then used to spam other users and for a wide range of other things. In 1995, AOL finally interfered by creating security measures to prevent the successful use of randomly generated credit card numbers.

Since their random credit card number generating scheme was shut down, phishers decided on an alternative that would wind up enduring. They decided to send messages to users as if they were AOL employees communicating through the AOL instant messenger and email systems.

These messages consisted of requests for users to verify their accounts or to confirm their billing information. This scam tricked many people, especially since nothing like it had ever been done before. The problem intensified when phishers set up AIM accounts through the Internet since they were outside AOL jurisdiction.

AOL’s solution? The internet provider decided it would include warnings on its email and instant messenger clients to keep people from providing sensitive information on those platforms.

How Has Phishing Evolved?

Soon after the AOL schemes died down and e-commerce rose to the forefront of the online space, phishers turned their attention to online payment systems. The first recorded attack was on E-Gold in June 2001, although it was unsuccessful. By late 2003, phishers registered dozens of domains that imitated legitimate sites like eBay and PayPal to those who were not paying enough attention. They then sent out fake emails to PayPayl customers using email worm programs. These led users to spoofed sites, where they were asked to update their credit card details and other identifying information.

Fast forward to the start of 2004, and phishers are riding a huge wave of success that includes attacks on banking sites and their customers. They began to use tactics like popup windows, which were used to capture sensitive information from victims. Since then, many other sophisticated methods have been developed, including:

  • Links (change your password, click for discount, etc.)
  • Attachments
  • Impersonations of someone the recipient knows
  • Requests for sensitive data

These days, phishing is alive and well. It continues to be a hot topic of discussion among cybersecurity experts as they work to find better solutions to combat hackers daily.


Top Digital Marketers to Watch in 2020

Rand Fishkin, Neil Patel, Barry Schwartz, Jeff Bulas- legends in the sphere of digital marketing. And for good reason. These guys pioneered the industry and have provided the educational framework on which hundreds of thousands of digital marketers have built their careers.

These legends aside, we’ve compiled a list of digital marketers- from solidified veterans to emerging standouts, who’ve shown ninja-like skill-sets in their respective niches.

Eric Sharp (

We recommend checking out Eric Sharp. He’s the CEO and founder of Protofuse, an agency specializing in website design and strategic marketing strategies for big-name companies like Stanford University, the Dixon pencil company, Carefree Communities (a $1.68 billion dollar company), and for many other companies — ranging from 1 Million to 1 Billion in revenue. Check out Eric’s interesting story on his website.  

Juan Merodio ( 

We chose Juan Merodio as our first choice for anyone interested in Spain and Latin American markets. He specializes in Social Networks and Digital Transformation, is a regular speaker at conferences, business schools and universities, and has offered customized training to companies such as IBM and Microsoft. 

Mel Carson ( 

Take a look at Mel’s website, and you’ll see the sheer amount of knowledge this guy has. An experienced digital powerhouse, Mel is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Consultant, Coach, Public Speaker, and author. His consultancy company, Delightful Communications, helps companies successfully implement marketing strategies that focus on Social Media, influencer marketing, Content Marketing, Personal Branding and PR.

Stephen C. Murphy ( 

New Jersey’s Best 40 Under 40 Marketer in 2015, Stephen has 10+ years marketing experience and specializes in Marketing Strategy & Planning, process development, digital training and Digital Foundation Package for Startups. He’s also been featured in Business Insider Magazine, which is awesome on its own. 

Daisy Quaker ( 

Among many other reasons, we chose Daisy for the transparency and quality of her website- a site we favoured over the other marketers on this list. Really, check it out! She has over eight years of digital marketing and specializes in pitching, building and executing customer acquisition campaigns, inbound Marketing, SEO/SEM, Conversion Optimization, Email Marketing, and Social Media Marketing. She’s managed million-dollar digital marketing budgets and driven double-digit revenue and traffic growth.

Errol Vas ( 

We found this guy niched-up and operating overseas in China. Specializing in cross border international marketing, content-driven SEO, data-mining (apparently has a huge 3million+ database of sellers on China’s e-commerce giant Taobao), and running highly profitable email campaigns, his consultancy has helped companies in USA, China, Canada, India, and Australia improve their overall digital marketing strategies for Western markets. Ask him for a free consultation. Top-notch stuff.

Michael Costin ( 

Check out Michael Costin, a digital marketing consultant with 7+ years experience who specializes in SEO, CRO & Ad Words campaigns. His boutique agency has worked with UNICEF, Chem mart, Colgate, Konica Minolta, Netgear and ActronAir and also offers services to smaller local service businesses. He also posts AdWords tutorial videos on his website. Definitely worth checking out. 

Suganthan Mohanadasan ( 

If you’re looking to Europe, then Suganthan is your man. He’s a freelance digital marketing consultant helping medium and large companies around the world. His specialties include SEO, paid search, social and native advertising. Check out his site. He’s worked with some big names and is endorsed by some well known marketers, such as Hubspot’s Matthew Barby. Oh- and if you’re looking to work with him, plan to wait a couple months. He’s in high demand. 

Lisa Schwartz ( 

Experience talks, especially in the B2B marketing world. Lisa has 15 years of professional multi-channel marketing experience from strategy and development to execution and measurement. She currently works for the largest e-commerce and cloud computing company on Earth, but still manages to offer training and services to upper-level managers and marketers. Check out her site. Right now. 

Connor Corzine ( 

Worth checking out is Connor Corzine, a branding and Digital Marketing Consultant who specializes in SEO content writing, website design, corporate and personal branding, and social media marketing. Another marketer who excels in their niche, Connor is a great pick for startups looking to find their footing in the digital world. Check out his site.