What do marriage, NDAs, and car rental agreements all have in common? They’re all based on contracts that ultimately hold us accountable for our actions (or lack thereof). Whether for love or for business, our lives are composed of a number of contracts that define our relationships and our place within them.
As a small business owner, relationships are especially important. From obtaining and retaining talent to expanding your customer base and running a scalable business, your day-to-day involves too many contracts to keep track of. Luckily, this is where the blockchain comes in. Discover why greater trust and stronger relationships are written in the fine print of the blockchain.
Smart Contracts in Small Businesses
The blockchain has been gaining momentum in recent years and it has got us all thinking a little smarter about business. One such application of that is the Smart Contract. Techopedia defines it as ‘a computer protocol that facilities the transfer of digital assets between parties under the agreed-upon stipulations or terms.’
At BlockCerts, we would define it just a little bit differently. In fact, for us, it’s quite simple. Smart Contracts are about streamlining and securing your business from the palm of your hand. Starting with the BCERTin an app on your phone, you’ll be able to authenticate users, making sure you know exactly who is on the other side of the contract. You can then go ahead and sign, share, store and discuss all of your important contracts with full transparency among those who have a private key, who you designate on your team. Once the terms of the contract have been agreed upon and deployed, the blockchain will even go ahead and automate those terms for you so you can prioritize the things that will really move your business forward.
Five Issues with SaaS Services
1). – Seat Fees
Tired of paying for service after service after service? There’s DocuSign and Dropbox, Salesforce, Mailchimp, Slack, LastPass the list continues. All of these services come with their own set of seat fees that add up and strain cash flow monthly, year-after-year. Meanwhile, you’re left to deal with gaps in communication as you attempt to cobble multiple solutions together.
2). Siloes of Unsecured Data
An even bigger looming issue for small businesses is data protection. Your data, which resides in these various service silos, is in a centralized storage and data hacks are up over 100x over the past 5 years. The most recent attack happened to Capital One, where a hacker accessed over 100 million credit card applications. If Equifax, Capital One, Marriott, Facebook, and the largest breach of all time was at Yahoo! (exposed over 3 billion records), how safe is Centralized Data at other companies?
The Bottom line: your data is exposed and ripe for hackers in a Centralized Storage.
3). Link Sharing Syndrome
All of those individual services use links that can be shared with anyone. Studies by Ponemon Institute showed that up to 85% of small business links are shared unknowingly, we call it Link Sharing Syndrome and you can review more about it on this link. It’s also called “The Dropbox Effect”, you send a link to a Dropbox file, that link is shared with the intended person, that person shares it with another and before long, your important data is shared with the world through social media and emails.
4). Is it Really Your Data?
Have you ever had a credit card change, and be declined for a payment at one of these SaaS services? It’s your data behind their service, but unless you pay, a company can restrict you from your own data. Remember when we used to own our own software and control our own data? Now you have that opportunity again!
5). Individual Silos Don’t Connect
You have company information with Dropbox, with DocuSign and with multiple other services. These individual data silo’s don’t speak with one another and your company’s information isn’t easily accessible between services. There is nothing linking these services, so you log-in for one thing over here, and log-in for another service over there. The whole thing is clunky for small businesses and leaves you with many risks along the way.
With the blockchain, you can place a number of these functionalities together in a secure environment that streamlines time, costs, and communications all in one place. But while services are centralized, personal data is certainly not. That means no more data manipulation and no more centralized data breaches that plague your business as well as the public’s trust in your business. The first-ever solution is BCERTin by BlockCerts Blockchain, a simple download that will set you free! See more here >>
Upwork’s Take On The Blockchain
As a leading global freelancing platform, Upwork knows a thing or two about growing and scaling in business. It is only fitting then, that the platform is fully behind the blockchain. In a recent article, ‘8 Blockchain Applications That Could Help Your Small Business’ Upwork explores the most useful applications of the technology in a small business environment.
Right at the top of that list is of course, the smart contract, a platform that allows no room for ‘censorship’, ‘fraud’, or ‘third-party interference.’ “With smart contracts businesses will be able to bypass regulations and lower the costs for a subset of our most common financial transactions. Additionally, these contracts will be unbreakable,” the article adds.
Looking outside of the Smart Contract, Upwork articulates some pretty compelling reasons to utilize the blockchain. Among them is its most popular application, secure payment, which is especially useful for remote employees in the global marketplace.
The platform later goes on to tout the technology as a means to provide a ‘convenient and inexpensive notary service’ as well as affordable and secure cloud storage. Additionally, the platform considers digital identity to be a major benefit of the blockchain.
After all, for every $3 spent, an entire dollar is lost to ad fraud today. But with the blockchain’s irrefutable identity authentication, your budget will go that much further (and the added trust will be priceless).
In supply chain communications and proof-of-provenance, the blockchain will supply fully auditable and digitally permanent records as well. This will remove the finger pointing process that has become all too common in the space. If that isn’t incentive enough, the technology will assist businesses in developing loyalty programs with all of the rewards and none of the middlemen.
Last but not least, Upwork considers the value of the blockchain in networking and IOT (Internet of Things). IBM and Samsung’s joint concept, ADEPT is a great example of this, using the blockchain to “provide the backbone of the system’ that will “serve as a bridge between many devices at low cost.”
Whether your networking across devices or among your team, the blockchain is there to bring an inherent sense of trust to everything you do. Your life and your business are a contract. Secure it with the blockchain!