Is Mining Crypto Profitable And How Will It Impact Tech CEOs In 2023

Is Mining Crypto Profitable And How Will It Impact Tech CEOs In 2023

Within a decade of their emergence, cryptocurrencies have taken the world by storm. The value of Bitcoin, the first-ever cryptocurrency, currently sits at over 20,000 USD.

However, crypto is not immune to the highs and lows of the market. In recent times, the value of cryptocurrencies has been tumultuous, prompting experts to wonder if mining crypto is profitable anymore. It has also impacted tech companies in major ways.

Is Mining Crypto profitable and how will it impact tech CEOs in 2023

Cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, have always enjoyed high value in the market. But in recent times, their values have been extremely unstable. This, coupled with the rising prices of energy has made it very difficult to mine crypto and turn a profit from it.

Crypto tracking website Bitinfocharts.com reported that the profitability of Bitcoin sank to the lowest in months in July 2022. As there are various factors that determine the profitability of crypto, there isn’t a simple answer to whether mining crypto is profitable or not for tech CEOs in 2023.

Understanding crypto mining

In simple words, crypto mining refers to the process by which a cryptocurrency is verified as well as recorded in the blockchain. It is mined on a custom-built complex computing system. Miners earn the crypto by validating it and solving a hash.

There are a variety of factors that affect the profitability of a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. However, not everyone has to mine to earn cryptocurrency. You can simply purchase one without getting involved in the complex logistics of mining cryptocurrency.

Buy Bitcoin with PayPal to invest in the biggest cryptocurrency and boost your portfolio. You’ll be able to hold, sell, send or spend your Bitcoin as you please. You might even swap or donate it, making it a multiple-use currency.

Whether you mine cryptos or invest in them, you want them to be a profitable venture, especially if you are a tech company. Cryptos are majorly impacting the tech world and you need to be knowledgeable about their mining and profitability to extract profits in the market.

When it comes to mining a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, there are some crucial elements involved:

Hash rate — It is the speed of processing transactions on a blockchain. The more miners enter the market, the more difficult it becomes to ensure the quantity produced remains the same.

ASIC — Application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) are the system on which crypto is mined. They’re the single most important elements in crypto mining. Your ASIC determines the profitability you’ll achieve by mining.

Difficulty rate — An automatic system is in place to adjust the difficulty of mining based on how many miners are in the market at the moment. The higher the difficulty rate, the more difficult it becomes for individual miners to succeed in mining.

Profitability of crypto mining

At its core, mining a cryptocurrency can be profitable. Many people as well as corporations are profiting off mining Bitcoin as of now. The profitability of mining crypto majorly depends on the equipment used for the process.

After that, you take into account other components such as hash rates and networking. The equipment itself can help you adjust the costs as many equipment and computing systems used to mine Bitcoin over the years have adapted themselves to lower mining costs.

In simple words, crypto mining is similar to the mining of physical assets such as gold, silver, and diamond. The higher the price of the asset is, the more profitable it becomes to mine it. Moreover, miners don’t even need to be as efficient to make a profit.

Consider the following the major contributors to the profitability of a cryptocurrency: Mining Equipment

Mining Equipment You’ll need to assemble a system made up of various equipment to mine crypto. The price of the systems often varies greatly. However, their prices suffered an all-time low in 2022 when the high and mid-tier ASIC dropped their price to 70%.

The drop in price has allowed smaller miners to get their hands on a good quality ASIC and turn profits. This drop in price and newer minors joining in with vigour have bolstered blockchain production.

The price of crypto

The price of many cryptocurrencies has been extremely volatile, especially in recent times. This has led too many established and efficient miners to leave production.

This is timed with the drop in equipment prices, leading to many small miners jumping into the arena and mining crypto. This has ensured that the crypto mining business is well and running, regardless of who comes and goes.

Crypto mining’s impact on tech CEOs

Crypto mining has a positive impact on tech CEOs. More and more CEOs are coming forward with their companies to be a part of the crypto revolution and crypto mining gives them an opportunity to get involved.

Crypto mining gives you an opportunity to find success for your company as crypto becomes more and more mainstream. An example of that could be seen when the crypto exchange platform FTX’s CEO promoted crypto in front of the massive audience of the Super Bowl.

Mining Crypto as a tech CEO in 2023

Cryptocurrencies have been a sensation in the market ever since their inception and continue to rule it today.

Even though their values have seen highs and lows, mining crypto remains a profitable venture if you do it right. As a tech CEO in 2023, you can gain majorly from both mining crypto such as Bitcoin and investing in it.

Invest well in the equipment you use to mine crypto as it plays the most crucial role in deciding your profitability. It can tremendously help you in your tech endeavours as well.

5 Renovation Mistakes To Avoid Making When Selling Your House

Posted on 2nd February 2023

As a homeowner, when it comes to selling your house, getting the most bang for your buck on renovations is essential. While sprucing up your house might seem like an easy task that could help you score a better deal in the market, there are several crucial renovation mistakes to avoid making if you want to reap the rewards of increased home value without spending too much money. In this blog post, we’ll explore 5 renovation mistakes people often make when trying to sell their houses and how they can be avoided. Read on for tips on which projects will yield the maximum return and which should be avoided!

Doing Too Much

The first mistake that you should avoid when selling your home in terms of renovations would be doing far too much. This is a big mistake that many new homeowners make when selling for the first time. The idea is that the more renovations you do, the more you can charge for the home, but this can quickly backfire.

If you were to ask Bamford Estate Agents, they would tell you that you should only do renovations where necessary if you can get your home’s value back. This is because you have to take a look at the average market price of a home in the area and do renovations accordingly to get your home to the same price, not more, since it might not sell.

Not Focusing on the Right Rooms

This leads us to the second renovation mistake that you should avoid when selling your home, which is not focusing on the right rooms. Again, this is a relatively common mistake that many first-time homeowners make when they sell their houses. While you might be thinking that the master bedroom is a room on which you should focus your attention or even the living room, you would be mistaken.

As it turns out, the two most influential rooms in a house that play a large role in whether or not someone buys it are the bathroom and the kitchen. This makes sense since the kitchen is the heart of the home and a lot of families spend quite a lot of time in the kitchen, especially after dinner.

Adding Unnecessary Features

Much like doing too much and not focusing on the right rooms, adding unnecessary features is also a big renovation mistake that you should avoid making. As mentioned above, the whole point of renovating your home before selling it is so that you can raise the price to match the market price of the other houses in the area.

For example, while it is true that a lot of people have begun working from home, most people don’t, so having a fully dedicated study is a waste of money and space. Another unnecessary feature would be adding a walk-in closet, which, while luxurious, doesn’t offer a lot more storage space.

Renovating to Your Preferences

One of the biggest mistakes that you should avoid when renovating your home before selling is renovating to your preferences. The reason that this is such a big mistake is that, at the end of the day, you are trying to sell your home, so you won’t even be living in the home after the renovations are done.

Secondly, not everyone shares your preferences, and by renovating according to your preferences, you might be alienating quite a lot of people that might be interested in buying your house. Any renovations that you do should be general renovations that would make the house attractive to anyone.

Not Wanting To Spend Money

Finally, the last mistake on this list that you should avoid when renovating your home would be not wanting to spend money on the renovations. If you make the correct renovations, it is an investment since you will be able to increase the price of your home.

However, if you don’t want to spend money on renovations and hire the cheapest of contractors or do the cheapest of renovations, not only are you wasting your money, but the poor quality of the end product will be very visible. This could be very detrimental to selling your home since it might dissuade a lot of buyers from purchasing it.

How to Become a Better CEO: 5 Helpful Tips

How to Become a Better CEO: 5 Helpful Tips

Figuring out how to become a better CEO is important both for entrepreneurs who didn’t start out as managers and who took on the role of the leader of a startup and for established company heads who want to make a bigger impact on their organisation.

For companies like Huge Supplements who want to back up their product with stellar leadership practices, it’s crucial to know the key things that impact your company and how to invest your attention in improving the big picture a priority.

These 5 tips will help you become a more effective CEO by encouraging you to think deeper about your company’s goals and direction by focusing on stakeholder values, crafting a quarterly game plan, and taking actionable steps to ensure that your teams’ contribution is using every day to act on communicated vision, steps, and goals.

1. Focus on What’s Important for Your Company’s Vision

The first thing to do when you’re trying to become a better CEO is to nail down the things that matter the most to your company.

This means solidifying your mission or your why as a leader and as an organization. It can be hard to define your purpose. Think back to what you wanted to achieve when you started your company. Your purpose or mission statement should be a powerful reason why your company exists in the first place.

Ask yourself, what’s the reason that you’re in business? What (including and beside financial success) are you trying to achieve? Ask yourself what your mission is to your customers, your team, and the world.

What ways can you engage your team and inspire them to get passionate about this mission so that they believe in your company rather than just watching the clock for a pay check?

Having a strong sense of purpose and learning how to embody and communicate it so that you inspire those who work for you and those who buy your service or product is foundational to becoming a great CEO. In fact, companies who demonstrate a clear social initiative have outstandingly outperformed the S;P 500 during the past two decades.

Once you know your powerful purpose, it’s your job to focus on that vision, lead with purpose, and let that inspire your employees’ wellbeing, and build brand loyalty. Use your purpose to develop your strategy to focus on areas of your company where you want to improve and make your purpose shine clearly. This can include company culture, customer service, and shareholder expectations.

2. Cultivate Intentional Company Culture

Your company culture is the invisible force that informs your team’s decisions and behaviour when no one is overseeing them. Team culture is crucial to attracting and keeping great talent that is an asset to your company. Your team culture can either leverage or limit your capacity to produce successful results.

You can’t do amazing things if your company has a poor team culture. One of the most important ways to invest your time is to intentionally build the kind of culture that you want for your company.

This means using the right people to build and develop your leadership team. Think about the kinds of people that you will eventually need to manage and lead and start grooming them for the role. Check for any gaps, issues, people, or behaviours that fracture your team and work to upgrade it.

3. Don’t Forget Stakeholder Value

It’s all too easy to immerse yourself in your passion for what your company does and lose sight of the people that you serve. A great CEO knows that an organisation’s drive comes from the value that it provides to stakeholders, whether that’s for customers, investors, or your team.

As you solidify your goals and work to hit them each quarter and year, it’s important to recognise that your job as a CEO is not about getting as much as you can from people. Instead, it’s about asking them what they need from you and serving them more than they serve you.

Tap into feedback about customers’ needs, what your shareholders are looking for, and what your team needs to do their job effectively. Once you get the facts about how your service process can improve, take concrete steps to make things happen.

4. Create a Quarterly Action Plan

Many companies think about what they want to accomplish in a year. The problem is that this is too broad a goal. If you want to become a better CEO and help your company flourish, you’ll need to draw up a quarterly plan of action and go over this every quarter.

A quarterly action plan can help your company define its priorities and develop an actionable strategy to propel the business forward towards its goal. A simple one-page action plan delivered every quarter helps keep everyone on track. It also breaks down big goals into smaller, actionable steps which are crucial for a small or midsize company.

After you draw up your plan and work towards meeting those goals for several quarters, it’s a good idea to gather your top department leaders and ask them to craft a one-page quarterly action plan for their own department as well.

This step has two major benefits. First, it breaks down the actions that will make a big difference for the company at a departmental level. It also creates an accountability blueprint to check in on how their department is carrying out your company’s vision and goals.

5. Set the Standard for Accountability

A good CEO knows how to delegate, but he or she also knows how to set the ultimate standard for your organisation.

Stay true to yourself and your defined goals. This doesn’t mean that you stick inflexibly with old techniques. Instead, listen to the feedback from your managers, employees, and customers. Get multiple perspectives, but invest the company’s time, money, and energy in the right places that will make the most impact or achieve the most results.

At the end of the day, a CEO is the gatekeeper for a company’s goals, priorities, and values. Hold yourself, your leadership, and teams accountable to use every day to act in accordance with these stated goals.

Conclusion

This list of best practices is just a start when it comes to becoming a better CEO. Great leadership starts with honing in on your mission and how you can best accomplish it for all involved. Your financial performance flows from your company’s vision and mission and that comes down from you to your team.

It takes self-reflection and confidence to lead a company successfully. It means looking inside, connecting with your customers, stakeholders, and team, and acting from there. Most CEOs want to avoid major mistakes and may not stretch themselves or their team as a result.

If you want to become a better CEO and see greater returns, then you will need to step you, manage yourself and others, and avoid becoming stagnant. Work to fulfil your vision and seize the best opportunities that will drive strategic growth.

While it’s important to break down big goals into small, actionable steps, your company goals shouldn’t stay small. Set big and bold goals that will challenge yourself and your team to reach your highest potential.

Stella Sleep Develops The Future Bedtime Routine For Kids

The war pretty much destroyed everything for Saga Sleep and the Swedish-Ukrainian founding couple. Their first priority was to put the family to safety, and then the company had to be saved. Now the tech company – which wants to help tired parents of young children at night – has braced itself and re-charged. To help them, they have John Cleese and new heavy investors.

Parents around the world can unite in the challenges of toddler and smaller kids’ bedtime. It can be equal parts a cozy winding down, as a desperate struggle for hollow-eyed moms and dads. The company Saga had a solution to the problem. They built a sleep app for children with a library loaded with bedtime kid sleep stories, constructed with the help of Swedish sleep psychologists, that would act as complement to the everyday routines.

The service was launched in Russia in 2020, where the founding couple Svetlana and Erik Björkman, with a background in the beauty brand Oriflame, had business experience. When the war started, everything changed. Svetlana Björkman comes from Ukraine and her first priority was to make sure the family was safe. At the same time, revenues plummeted for the company Saga Sleep, which had 80 percent of the turnover in the now hard sanctioned Russia.

“My wife and partner is from Ukraine so we were very affected by the war. It was hard to focus. In addition, our technical director is a Russian who has now moved to Thailand with his family.”

Erik Björkman, CEO of Saga, says that the couple faced a tough trade-off.

“We had to make a decision: Should we just shut everything down?”

The decision was to continue.

“There was no doubt in the end. After all, we both live off Saga, and we had seen there was a clear demand for this product, so we steeled ourselves. But it is clear that we have pulled each other through this, it has not been hunky dory.”

The company had completed a financing round in November 2021, and now asked their investors if they should close down the whole operation, and send the remaining money back – or invest in a new market?

It became a new market and a new product. In July, the new app Stella Sleep was launched to the English-speaking market. The app has now been downloaded 20,000 times times (which compares to almost half a million downloads for Saga Sleep). Most of the investors stayed, says Erik Björkman. And the company, who pretty much had to roll up their sleeves and start over, now gives announcement of strength in the form of a new financing round in October 2022. Saga added 3 million SEK, with a total raise of 13 MSEK to date, and added new investors to the cap table.

“It is a good proof of confidence that we could raise another round now, and that we have attracted five new investors, which together with 15 existing angel investors have provided more capital,” comments the CEO.

The owner list includes Viva Wine co-owner John Wistedt and Alireza Etemad who is a partner at IK partners. Among the new investors in the latest round are notable Swedish business profile Maria Rankka, Silver Life CEO Carl-Johan Westring and Henrik Wrangel, with background at Kry.

The company has also received help from the legendary Monty Python member John Cleese and his 5.6 million followers on Twitter. The founders got in touch with the comedy legend through common acquaintances. Now the Briton has read fairy tales to lull toddlers to sleep and act as a narrator in the app.

The future of bedtime stories

The company is investing heavily in synthesized voices being the future for bedtime storytelling. By creating a believable speech synthesis of a father’s or grandmother’s voice, a parent can read any fairy tale remotely when the child sleeps over with someone else or an older relative remains as narrator after his demise.

“It exists, but it still sounds robotic when you apply this tech, and you can only make it sound nice if you apply a lengthy manual process in a studio really. But give it 12-24 months, and the tech will be good enough so make it sound 100% natural and be commercially scalable. It makes me think of the imperfect speed when Spotify developed the best streaming music player in the beginning, as we can become the first in the market to provide this service,” says Erik Björkman.

“In five years, we hope that you will have 50,000 synthesized voices and have become a trusted channel for basically saving audio memories for future generations,” says Erik.

In terms of turnover, Saga has actually increased from last year. The company who was born during covid more than doubled its revenues in 2022, despite the war. In 2023, it aims to grow revenues 3x the 2022 number.

Try the app today.

EU Business News Announces the Winners of the European Enterprise Awards 2022

United Kingdom, 2023 – EU Business News Magazine unveils the winners of the 2022 European Enterprise Awards.

Over the past few years, the pandemic has brought waves of uncertainty amongst other emotions, and the economy suffered. However, we’ve found some outstanding businesses that are helping us, and the economy, to recover – and even flourish.

For the fifth year running, the European Enterprise Awards programme has brought with it a fine selection of businesses that have won spectacular titles for their hard work. It is our pleasure to present you this collection of enterprises that have won recognition for their fantastic, dedicated efforts. Speaking on the success of this year’s winners, Awards Coordinator Laura O’Carroll commented, “It has been a great delight hosting this year’s European Enterprise Awards. I want to wish each business a very sincere congratulations, and all the best for the future.”

EU Business News prides itself on the validity of its awards and winners. As such, very one of our winners can be certain that their success is deserved. We carefully evaluate everything from a business’s, or individual’s, performance over the past 12-months to ensure that only the most deserving parties walk away with one of our prestigious awards.

To learn more about our award winners and to gain insight into the working practices of the “best of the best”, please visit the EU Business News website https://www.eubusinessnews.com/awards/eu-business-awards/ where you can access the winners supplement.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

About EU Business News

The EU is a vital and exciting region filled with businesses and individuals creating unique innovations, supporting their customers around the world and, ultimately, driving change. As such, EU Business News aims to provide an absorbing overview of this exciting region and the businesses and individuals operating within it.

Much more than just a magazine, alongside our online publication EU Business News also boasts an informative newsletter, a regularly updated website and a series of awards programmes showcasing the excellence of businesses and the individuals behind them from across this vibrant region.

As subscription to EU Business News is free there is absolutely no reason not to sign up to receive this informative and fascinating resource.

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media has been committed to creating engaging B2B content that informs our readers and allows them to market their business to a global audience. We create content for and about firms across a range of industries.

Today, we have 14 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

The Future of Work Dichotomy in a Digital World

Any business leader hoping to return to ‘traditional’ ways of working is on a fast-track to failure. That horse has bolted. Not only have employees re-evaluated the concept of work, but they have the experience that proves digital technologies enable a fundamental change in workplace model that is both beneficial and efficient. How does mandating that reluctant employees return to the office therefore fit with the need for increased productivity to counter the impact of inflation? How is imposing office attendance helping to improve retention and reduce the excessive costs associated with recruitment and on-boarding? 

Companies need to look hard at the bottom line. Employees’ values have changed. They want hybrid working and a digital experience that works from both a cultural and technology perspective, irrespective of how often they are in the office. Failure to invest in the quality of that digital employee experience is costing businesses not only in reduced productivity but plummeting morale, employee loss and reputational damage. 

The ‘office versus hybrid’ debate is irrelevant. Moreover, it sits in contrast to business leaders’ priorities for 2023 and beyond. As the Future of Work evolves, Dave Page, Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Actual Experience, insists that true competitive differentiation is being achieved by companies investing in understanding and improving each employee’s unique digital experience of their working environment. 

Destructive Disconnect

Are companies really hoping that a recession will reset the employment model, remove the need to ‘pander’ to employee desires for hybrid working and compel everyone to be in the office five days a week? A lack of access to talent and the problems with recruitment and retention have been headline issues for years – and talent attraction remains the Number One priority for Chief Human Resources Officers (CHRO) for at least the next 24 months according to Lace Partners.  However, the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) has changed: it is no longer limited to pay and benefits. Rather, the fact that 51% of UK adults have embraced work-life flexibility and want to work from home more frequently, according to Savanta ComRes – as opposed to only 8% who want to do so less – should be inspiring businesses to create a compelling digital experience and culture that boosts morale, productivity and talent retention.

Yet there are clear signs that some businesses are still failing to read the room. Recent figures from LinkedIn show that the number of remote opportunities may have passed its peak, with remote listings on its jobs site falling from 16% at the start of the year to 12% in December 2022. Research from Microsoft also shows managers are increasingly concerned about the performance of remote workers – arguably, though, without any empirical evidence to support this. 

This disconnect between employee expectations and employer commitment is hugely damaging to long term business prospects. By ignoring the inevitable hybrid Future of Work, companies are overlooking the importance of creating a digital environment that truly supports the needs and desires of the workforce. How many businesses know which of their employees’ productivity is being hindered by poor Wi-Fi and by how much? What is the bottom-line cost of employees’ varying digital experiences? Essentially, employees want a hybrid experience but they don’t want to simply swap the stress of the commute for the stress of remote technology problems. Do companies know which employees are poised to jump ship as a result?

Digital Experience

In 2022, the Harvard Business Review said, “Technology defines the employee experience” in the hybrid digital workplace. The problem for every business is that the experience is inconsistent. Every employee has a different home set up, different ways of embracing remote working tools, even a different preference for the number of days at home and in the office. But who knows how well each individual’s digital experience is helping – or hindering – their day to day ability to perform to the best of their capabilities? 

Businesses are operating blind. In a hybrid environment, CHROs have no insight into the human work experience – the subjective satisfaction that employees gain from their work. Workplace surveys are too generic and no longer representative of an employee’s unique work experience, meaning HR leaders have no way of measuring satisfaction or productivity. What, for example, is the impact of the technology problems suffered by 89% of staff when working remotely? 

When 46% say these technology problems are very or fairly stressful and over 50% say these issues affect productivity, there is clearly a problem. But businesses have no visibility of who is struggling, when and why. They don’t know how much productivity is being lost. How much stress is caused. The impact on morale, commitment or engagement. With IT environments set up to gather engineering data rather than valuable subjective insight, it is increasingly clear that the digital workplace is not fit for the Future of Work.

Employee Value Proposition

It is now imperative that HR and IT come together to understand every employee’s digital experience. By identifying how each individual feels about their digital workplace, in detail and continuously, a company gains an extraordinary depth of knowledge. They can quickly identify individuals who are struggling because they feel isolated within the digital environment due to sound or video problems during client and/or colleague calls. They can identify pockets of digital inequality and assess the impact on each individual.

For HR, there is immediate insight into which employees need support to minimise their stress and prevent burnout, simply to remain on par with colleagues who have a better digital experience. Combining the information with payroll, time in the business or demographics can highlight issues with diversity. For IT, understanding the day-to-day experience can highlight the number of days productivity lost each year – information that can be combined with payroll to reveal the bottom-line impact and support a business case for investment, by employee, team, department or the entire business.

Furthermore, by understanding in detail how the home and office blend of hybrid work evolves over time, employee by employee, office by office, a company can continually fine tune its digital employee experience. Whether that is providing dedicated IT support to specific home working employees, evolving the culture to improve motivation and job satisfaction or building a strong employer brand value, continuous visibility of every employee’s digital experience provides the foundation for creating an EVP that truly meets the Future of Work.

Conclusion

Businesses need to act now. Just as companies had to adapt or die in response to the technology driven disruption of Amazon, Uber, Google and Airbnb, so technology is fundamentally disrupting the digital employee experience. Great employees are not satisfied with a generous salary and benefits. They want an employer that embraces digital technology and adapts to create a business culture based on more than just turning up to an office. 

Right now, this is still a work in progress. There is no consensus around what ‘good’ looks like which means laggard companies have time to catch up.  But those businesses that are proactively investing in understanding the digital experience are transforming the Future of Work.  They are committed to optimising the employee experience and rewriting the EVP. And, as a result, they are best placed to attract talent and boost productivity. 

The contrast between these innovators and those still harking after ‘traditional’ working is already stark. In 12 months, it could be too late. This is a once in a generation for CHROs and CIOs to come together and deliver a transformative digital employee experience.

6 Signs Your Roof Needs To Be Replaced

Posted on 1st February 2023

Are you concerned that your roof may need to be replaced? It’s natural to want to keep your roof in good condition – after all, it’s one of the most important parts of any home. Unfortunately, roofs can deteriorate over time due to wear and tear from extreme weather conditions or age-related problems. Knowing how to spot the signs of roof damage is essential for keeping your roof in top condition. Here are 6 key signs that indicate it’s time to replace your roof:

1. Cracked shingles

One of the biggest signs that your roof may need to be replaced is if you notice any cracked or missing shingles. Shingles help protect your roof from water damage, so even a few cracks can cause significant harm. The way you can check if your shingles are in need of replacement is to do a visual inspection. If you notice any cracks, curling edges, or missing pieces, it’s time to call a roofer and have them inspect your roof further. 

If your roof ends up needing repair or replacement, your next step is to find reliable roofers. Namely, whether you decide on a roofing estimate in Connecticut or Texas, for instance, it can give you an approximate cost of repairs or replacement. In that way, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into before the work begins.

2. Sagging roof deck

If you peek into your attic and notice that the boards underneath the shingles are sagging or warped, it may be a sign that your roof is unable to support its own weight. This could be due to water damage or age-related problems and should be addressed as soon as possible. An experienced roofer will be able to tell you whether the deck needs to be repaired or replaced entirely.

On the other hand, if you do not see any signs of damage, it’s still a good idea to have your roof inspected. This way, you can make sure that it’s in good condition and prevent any problems from arising in the future.

3. Stains or discoloration on the ceiling

If you notice any strange stains, spots, or discoloration on your ceiling or walls, it could mean that there’s a leak in your roof. This is a sign that serious damage has been done to the roof, and should be taken seriously. Have an experienced roofer inspect your roof as soon as possible to determine the extent of the damage.

Also, the type of stains you see can provide clues as to the source of the leak. For example, if you notice a yellowish-brown stain, it could mean that there’s moss growing on your roof, which is a sign of water damage. However, if you happen to notice a black or greenish stain, it’s likely due to algae growth. This can happen when moisture is trapped inside your roof and can cause serious damage if not addressed quickly. Although algae might look harmless, it can actually impact your roof’s structural integrity.

4. Flashing deterioration

The flashing is an important component of your roof, as it helps keep water from seeping into your home. If you notice any gaps in the flashing or that it’s starting to pull away from the edges, it’s likely time for a replacement. This is especially true if the flashing is made of metal, which can be prone to rust. Moreover, even the most durable flashing material can deteriorate over time.

An example of this would be if you notice any rust or corrosion on the metal flashing, which is a sign that it needs to be replaced. Also, look out for any signs of deterioration in the sealant around the flashing, as this can let water into your home and cause serious damage.

5. Clogged gutters

Permit your gutters to be your first indicator that something may be wrong with your roof. Over time, debris and leaves can build up on it and eventually cause irreversible damage. Don’t wait until the problem is too difficult to repair – clean out those gutters consistently! Not only will you save yourself from significant costs in the future but also make sure safety measures are taken for everyone around you. The water damage caused by a clogged gutter can spread to other parts of the roof, so keeping it clear and free of debris is essential.

6. Age of roof

When it comes to the age of your roof, the general rule is that it needs to be replaced every 15-20 years. Even if there are no visible signs of damage, an older roof may need to be replaced due to age-related problems. Moreover, if you’ve had a particularly severe storm recently, it’s best to have a professional come and inspect your roof just in case. 

Moreover, if your roof is over 20 years old, you should consider replacing it as soon as possible. If you don’t, you may risk leaving yourself vulnerable to water damage and other problems down the line. 

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to call a qualified roofer for help. They will be able to inspect your roof and determine the best course of action. Don’t wait too long, as roof damage can quickly become worse if not taken care of in a timely manner. By recognising these signs, you can keep your roof in good condition and ensure it provides years of protection for your home.

Useful Tips If You Are Planning To Buy A Land

Posted on 1st February 2023

Buying land is an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be a daunting undertaking. With so much to consider, it’s important to understand the process before taking the plunge. Whether you’re looking for a place to build your dream home or expand your business operations, understanding what goes into purchasing land can help ensure you make an informed decision that best meets your needs. Here are some tips for those considering buying a piece of land.

Pick The Right Location

It’s essential that you find the right spot for this huge investment. People from all around the Lone Star state and wider are often looking into some Texas Hill Country land for sale as they found it to be a viable option for various purposes. Knowing where you will settle down is going to help you tremendously with all the other choices and processes. 

When looking for a location, think about the pricing, taxes, laws, and regulations of the area, as well as the local economy. You should make sure that you understand all of these things before picking a location to purchase land. 

Plan Your Finances 

You have to figure out the best way to finance your land purchase, planning your finances is a critical part of the process. To find out what you can afford, start by calculating the total cost of the land. This includes survey costs, closing fees, and taxes. Once you’ve determined those costs, review your personal budget to decide how much money you will be able to set aside for the purchase. It’s also important to consider the long-term costs of owning land, such as insurance, property taxes, and maintenance.

Know The Purpose

Buying opens up a lot of opportunities for the new owner. These are the following:

  • Farming
  • Building a home
  • Developing a business or commercial property 
  • Investment
  • Recreation
  • Conservation 

Knowing the purpose of the land will help you make an informed decision on what kind of land to purchase. Additionally, knowing the purpose of the land can give you a better understanding of what to look for when searching for potential properties. 

Test Before Buying 

You need to test the soil on the land before deciding to buy it. This is important if you plan to use the land for farming, construction, or any other purpose. Testing gives you an idea of how much work and money it will take to clean up the land–and whether it’s worth buying in the first place.

Soil testing involves taking samples from various locations on a piece of land and testing them for physical, chemical, and biological properties. Physical testing looks at the type of soil present and its size, composition, and texture. Chemical testing measures various elements in the soil such as pH, nutrient content, salt levels, carbon dioxide, and more. Biological testing examines the presence of microorganisms, fungi, and other organisms in the soil.

Run A Land Survey 

You should also survey the land you are planning to buy. It is important to know what the land looks like before making a purchase, and it can help you make an informed decision. A land survey will provide detailed information about the exact boundaries of the property you’re considering, as well as possible issues that could impact your ability to use it in the future. 

Consider Utilities And Road Access

Even though you probably want it to be more remote, you still need good utilities and road access when considering buying land. Utilities such as electricity, water, and sewer are essential to a comfortable lifestyle. Without access to these amenities, you may find yourself restricted in what you can do with your property. 

Road access is also very important. Having good roads leading to your property will be beneficial when traveling or needing to transport goods from the property. If the property has no access to roads, you may need to build them yourself. This will incur additional costs that you should take into account when considering the purchase of land. 

Hire Help 

Having an agent and a broker by your side during the process of buying land is a smart decision. An agent can provide valuable knowledge about the area and help you negotiate with sellers. They also understand legal contracts, so hiring an experienced professional can save you from making costly mistakes. 

Working with a broker can ensure that you get the best deal for your money. Brokers will search through various properties and make sure that all financial records are in order before you sign any documents. Also consider hiring other professionals such as surveyors, architects, or attorneys to assist during the purchase process if necessary. 

Buying land is a fantastic investment, but only if you know what you’re doing, so make sure to pick the right location and find a way to finance it. Make sure that you see its full potential and use it for the right purpose as well. Before you buy, make sure to test the soil and run a survey to ensure it’s just as it was advertised, and consider the infrastructure around it. Finally, make sure to hire help to make the process of the transaction run smoothly!

Making the Business World a Better Place

If you’re interested in a career in business, there are probably a few things you hope for: success, interesting work, and perhaps to become a leader in your industry. However, there is something else you can do as well, particularly if you plan to run your own business, and that’s contributed to improving the world. While some might argue that the profit motive should be supreme, many people find it satisfying to work toward other values-based goals as well. As far as profit goes, there is still an advantage: Some customers and clients will specifically seek you out because of your mission.

Define Your Terms

What it means to make the world a better place will mean different things to different people, so your first step is to define your terms. You can change things with just a vague idea of doing good in the world. Think about your values and what specific improvements you’d like to make. Maybe you are concerned about animal welfare or the environment. Maybe you want to support the arts, help disadvantaged children get a better education or promote exercise and public health. Some businesses have a strong community focus. It’s possible that you may simply want a focus on service, which could take different forms at different times.

Get Your Degree

It’s easier to succeed in business with a degree than without one. In part, this is because many companies require a degree for entry-level positions or to advance. However, there are also many advantages to getting a college education. You can learn a great deal about business, and you may also want to minor in the area you’ve decided you’d like to focus on. You may want to study fine arts, environmental education, or even fundraising. The cost of getting a degree can make college seem like a difficult or impossible hurdle for many people, but you can go online to search and apply for college scholarships. This can reduce the amount that you must take out in loans and therefore how much debt you graduate with.

Consider Specific Mechanisms

Your next step is to consider how exactly you want to improve the world based on your values. Keep in mind this could mean making some hard choices. You could transition towards green suppliers or decide that there are certain clients or companies that you won’t work with, but that will mean that you make less money. If you make more money by working with those entities that you disapprove of and you’ve decided to donate a certain percentage of your profits to the cause that you believe in, you can give more. There are no easy answers, and of course, this is not the only way to make a difference. You might encourage a sense of service among employees, giving them what is known as volunteer time off. Another option might be doing periodic projects for free. If you are a graphic design firm, you might periodically do some free work for a community organisation.

4 Ways A Law Firm Can Help Your Small Business

Running a small business can be challenging. It may require all the support you can get, and bringing a law firm onto your business journey can help keep your business secure. No matter what stage of the business you are in, a law firm can help clarify legal issues and simplify many tasks and concerns for you.  

By working with a law firm, you can protect the business legally and be prepared for any mishaps. If you want to learn more about how an attorney can help your small business, it’s best to search for law firms online that offer free consultations, like osbournepinner.com and other reputable law firm sites. 

Whether it’s legal research or counsel for legal representation, consulting a law firm helps secure the business’s future and gives you less to worry about, so you can focus on growth. Here are other excellent ways a law firm can help your small business. 

1. Protect The Intellectual Property Of The Business

Consulting a law firm is one way to protect the intellectual property rights of your business. Intellectual property encompasses many categories, such as patent rights, trade secrets, designs, trademarks, and copyrights. Any other organization that attempts to replicate any intellectual property registered with your business can face legal action from your law firm.

An experienced law firm on your side will help guarantee that all your patent rights, trademarks, or copyrights are registered and updated. This prevents any third party from stealing or infringing on your registered intellectual property.

2. Create And Review Contracts For The Business

Running a small business means dealing with different contracts. This includes creating a contract for your employees or reviewing lease agreements if you rent a property. Because of this, it’s best to have an experienced law firm working with your business to help ensure that each contract has your business’s best interests at heart.

Contracts are legal documents, so for the sake of the success of your business, they need to be enforceable and irrefutable. Before you sign it, it is advisable to consult your lawyer. You can bring the contract to your lawyers so they can review every angle and suggest any changes that may protect and benefit your business the most.  

There are many different types of business contracts you may come across, such as:

  • Operating agreements: This highlights the business’s rules, provisions, and regulations.
  • Non-disclosure agreement: This protects the business by ensuring important sensitive business information confidentiality.
  • Employment contract: This document is signed by employers, team members, or labour unions. It stipulates salary, working hours, and other important information that concerns employment.

You may encounter several other contracts, such as non-compete and indemnity agreements, so think about talking to your lawyers before signing anything.

3. Gives Your Business Access To Different Lawyers

A law firm consists of different types of lawyers. Each lawyer’s specialty can come in handy for your business, depending on your business needs. When meeting with a law firm, you get access to various lawyers, such as:

  • Tax lawyers: A tax lawyer will oversee any concerns or queries regarding tax legislation for the business.
  • General lawyers: This type of lawyer can redirect your concerns to any relevant lawyer in the firm and help with general law counsel for the business. You can talk to them if you need clarification on what type of lawyer you need. 
  • Intellectual property lawyers: As previously mentioned, intellectual property has to be registered to prevent another organization from taking advantage of it. Intellectual property lawyers ensure that all business intellectual properties are protected.
  • Contract lawyers: Get to read and review every contract the business receives and draw up contracts on behalf of the small business.
  • Labour lawyers: If you have hired staff or run the business with others, having a labour lawyer on your team is beneficial. The labour lawyer can represent the employer and other team members and focuses on employment law.   
  • Mergers and acquisition lawyers: If you want to grow your small business by joining another business, your mergers and acquisition lawyer will come in handy. They will oversee and handle all the legal requirements for a successful merger and acquisition and negotiate the best deal for you and your business.

These lawyers can be called upon whenever needed and consult you on important business decisions. Having a good law firm on your team will benefit your business in the long run.

4. Represent The Business During Litigations And Disputes

As mentioned, running a business can be complicated. You may encounter disputes and face litigation against your partners, clients, or a third party. If this does happen, the law firm will be able to represent your business. Some matters that can be contested in court include:

  • Breach of contract disputes
  • Partnership disputes
  • Disputes with other businesses
  • Customer disputes

Having an experienced law firm on your side during these disputes can help keep the reputation of your business and protect its best interests. Your lawyers can also negotiate on your behalf so that the altercation does not appear in court. Lawyers will also be able to fight for your rights as a business owner and for the business itself.

Conclusion

Small businesses need support to establish growth and stability, especially with the abovementioned matters. With the help of a law firm, you’ll be at ease knowing that experts in the field handle all your business legal matters. Furthermore, you’ll be able to focus on expanding your business while safeguarding its brand and future. 

The 5 Biggest Employee Perks for 2023 After Demand Reaches All-Time High

2023 is set to be the biggest year yet for employee perks, after new research from Seniorcare by Lottie (an eldercare benefits solution) has predicted the best benefits for workplaces to invest in.

From childcare to support for caregivers in the workplace, Seniorcare by Lottie’s experts have analysed our online searching habits over the last 12 months to predict the best perks to offer your employees.

“As we start the new year, it is clear that more people are prioritising their wellbeing and a healthy work-life balance, so there’s no surprise that more businesses than ever before are attracting new team members through offering the best perks,” shares Seniorcare by Lottie Lead Ronan Harvey-Kelly.

“By analysing the UK’s online searching habits, our team of experts have predicted the most valuable and trending employee benefits to adopt this year.

Benefits offered in the workplace are at the forefront of people’s minds, with a 75% increase in online searches over the last 12 months for ‘top employee benefits’*. During the same time period, we’ve seen a huge surge in online searches for childcare support, flexible financial benefits, and many more.

“More business owners are investing in unique perks that genuinely support employees in need. In doing so, they’re attracting the best talent and lowering their employee turnover. From coping with the rising cost of living to juggling work commitments and caregiving responsibilities, the UK workforce are coping with a wealth of added stress, anxiety, and worry,” concludes Ronan Harvey-Kelly.

 

Revealed: The 5 Biggest Employee Perks For 2023

  • Flexible financial support
  • Invest in physical and mental wellbeing
  • Childcare benefits
  • Support for caregivers
  • Green initiatives

Flexible financial support

  • 39% increase in online searches for ‘financial wellbeing’*
  • 22% increase in online searches for ‘employee financial wellbeing’

As the cost of living continues to rise, employers should raise awareness of the importance of being financially healthy. Financial wellbeing isn’t about the money you have, it’s more about how secure you feel about your financial situation, and whether you feel you have enough money to fulfil your needs.

Employers have the power to build financial resilience by creating a culture of support, sharing useful resources, and providing essential help when needed.

Offering staff training about how to talk openly about financial wellbeing can help, too. Another great way to reduce any financial pressure for your employees is by providing financial perks, including access to special discounts, and budgets for expenses like transport or lunches.

Samuel Lathey, CEO from Financial Wellbeing provider Bippit, adds, “The truth is that financial matters are the ‘elephant in the room’. Something that’s affecting all of us, but something that very few of us are comfortable talking about, and that’s why it’s so important for employees to have a safe, confidential space where they can access support and have an expert to talk to.”

Invest in physical and mental wellbeing

  • 33% increase in online searches for ‘physical wellbeing at work’
  • 23% increase in online searches for ‘employee healthcare’

Your team’s physical and mental health is hugely affected by their workload and work environment. As we begin the new year, businesses must step up and be a positive influence on employee health.

Many workplaces are a major contributor to sedentary behaviour. Previous research by The Workplace Movement has found that physically inactive workers lose up to 4 and a half working days per year, compared to those who are active, through absence and presenteeism.

From providing mental health support to offering discounted gym memberships, you’ll reap the rewards as a business owner if you prioritise your employee’s health. They’ll likely be happier and more productive, and you’ll retain top talent.

Sançar Sahin, Oliva’s Co-founder & CMO, says, “We spend at least 8 hours of our lives at work each day. So to say that us employers have a responsibility to support our team’s mental wellbeing is an understatement.

How many times have we taken a day off because we lack the mental energy to turn up? And how many times have we turned up but had our minds somewhere else; thinking about a sick relative, a recent breakup, or something more debilitating like depression, OCD, or trauma. Healthy people = healthy business.”

Childcare benefits

  • 27% increase in online searches for ‘workplace nursery benefits’
  • 22% increase in online searches for ‘shared parental leave’

Childcare benefits are becoming a huge factor for many working parents when deciding on their next job. Over the last 12 months, there has been a 600% increase in online searches for ‘childcare issues and work’, with many parents struggling to open up to their workplace about their struggles.

Jobs that provide support for parents and parents-to-be are at a huge advantage of retaining staff, raising morale, and improving attendance. More parents are also keen to share parental leave, which is a huge trend for employers to focus on.

Some businesses have set up on-site nurseries for employees or offer greater flexibility through remote working and flexible hours for parents. What’s more, companies could focus on helping parents with back-up childcare, for when their children are unwell or off nursery.

 

Support for caregivers

  • 75% increase in online searches for ‘being a carer and working full-time’
  • 50% increase in online searches for ‘trapped caring for elderly parent’
  • 40% increase in online searches for ‘giving up work to be a carer’

An ageing population means more people are living longer, and many employees are finding themselves caring for older, disabled or seriously ill relatives. This means more employees than ever before are caring for an elderly loved one in the UK and beyond – whilst working full-time – leaving them at risk of mental health struggles and financial worry.

Employees who are juggling the additional demands of caregiving are more likely to experience stress, absences from work and health problems.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to raising awareness and sharing support for caregivers in the workplace. As a leader in your workplace, take the time to listen, understand and empathise with caregivers in your organisations. Simply being aware of caregiver needs is a huge step that bridges the gap between caregivers and their employers.

One of the best ways to support a caregiver at work is to provide practical support. You can offer support in several ways, including offering advice from experts on finding suitable care for your elderly loved one, whether that’s home-care or in a care home setting.

Giving employees access to expert care and impartial advice will enable them to be more productive, whilst providing their elderly loved ones with the care they deserve.

Green initiatives

  • 86% increase in online searches for ‘sustainability in the workplace’
  • 25% increase in online searches for ‘best cycle to work scheme’

Your benefits aren’t just how you attract and retain talent – they’re how you demonstrate your company values. Businesses who are genuinely investing in a more sustainable workplace are offering their employees an opportunity to make a positive impact.

From using only electric vehicles as company cars to adopting a new tree planting initiative, there’s lots of ways businesses can quickly become more environmentally conscious.

The Importance of Accessibility and Accommodations for Disabled Workers

Accessibility means making sure not only people with disabilities but everyone can access the workplace and every other facility equally. Ability is not only restricted to physical restraints and it goes beyond that. Globally, every 1 in 7 people has some form of disability. One can even acquire a disability in the later parts of life due to an accident, illness, tragedy, trauma, natural disaster, shock, or other innumerable reasons. This just tells us that disability is not as rare as it seems. Well, if you have not met as many people with disabilities, there may be certain barriers between them that keep them away.

People with disabilities are always treated differently. This makes them feel unfair and undeserving of whatever they get. Even at workplaces or any other places outdoors, instead of treating them differently, we must make sure they are treated equally and right. atWork Australia provides equal opportunity to people with disabilities and instead of treating them differently, they are treated based on the skills they possess and the value they create for themselves.

Importance of Accessibility and Accommodation for Disabled Workers

Developing accessibility and accommodation for everyone equally gives you the chance to work with people with different styles, attitudes, ideologies, and ways of working. As an employer, it opens the doors for you to access and retain astonishing talent that gets ignored because of some baseless physical deformity that you have no control over. When talking about accessibility, it’s not only limited to accessibility in the workplace, but convenience, structure, communication, technology, and accommodation.

Adapting to Changes

If you haven’t yet considered making changes and making your workplace disabled-friendly, then the idea of suddenly changing everything will put you and your whole office in a situation where you might find it difficult to steer your way out of. You will have no idea of how the reactions will be, and along with it, how to handle them as well. It is very important to fully equip and prepare yourself with a basic understanding of why the changes are necessary. Also, initially during the changes take place or even before that, this idea may seem like a drastic change but you can be worry-free about it and as it goes on, then you will realize it is not much of a change.

People with disabilities must never be looked down upon and always be given equal opportunity to put themselves in the front along with the rest of the workforce. They must be given the respect they deserve just like any other individual and their work should be appreciated and valued for what it is. Discrimination, gossiping, making them feel excluded, and undermining them upsets them and they lose confidence. Tolerance, accommodation, and friendly spirits must be the priority. Here are some proven ways that will help you bridge the gap as an employer and create a healthy workplace for the disabled and differently-abled people working in your office.

Equal Opportunity Policy

Set a guideline that has a stringent set of do’s and don’ts and makes sure every employee knows it, remembers every policy, and abides by them. It will act as a guideline and prevent any unruliness or biased behaviour with any of your employees.

Train your Staff

Your staff is the major part of your office and they will be the people who are going to interact the most with disabled people in your workplace. Make sure you train your staff to be sensitive but respectful of them. You can even partner up with any organization that trains people on how to make a safe space and treat differently-abled people the way they want to and make them feel understood and respected.

Create a Safe Working Environment

It is easier for people with disabilities to fall vulnerable and become prey to an unsafe or unfavourable working space. Create accessible places for people to move around, keep the aisles clear, and have ramps at the entrances for wheelchairs to get in with ease.

Conclusion

Creating an accessible workplace will have a long-term impact on your workplace. The changes will be hassle-free and require minimum planning. The only problem will be the attitude towards them. Taking care of them is the only thing that will require some patience and hard work but once done, there is nothing else you need to do to create a safe environment for disabled people.

Knee Repair Without Surgery?

Knee pain can drastically deteriorate your quality of life, making it difficult to do basic activities, such as walking or standing comfortably. As a result, many opt for knee surgery as the first solution to treat this pain.

Unfortunately, surgical knee repair can be expensive and cause various complications, including infection and prolonged recovery.

The good news is that you can find other knee repair options that don’t involve going under the knife. Below are some non-surgical solutions you may want to consider if you are struggling with knee pain.

Stem Cell Transplantation

Stem cells are unique cells in the body that can develop into other types of cells, including those found in the musculoskeletal system. After a knee injury, these cells may be damaged, leading to reduced mobility and function.

However, through stem cell transplantation, a doctor can help you regain mobility and eliminate joint pain. This non-surgical knee repair procedure involves harvesting stem cells from another body part and reinjecting them into the affected joint. This not only slows down inflammation but also helps to heal the damaged tissues in your knee.

Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)

PRP treatment utilises your body’s platelets to help reduce inflammation and improve the function of your injured knee joints. During this therapy, your doctor will draw a sample of your blood from the arm and place it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from other blood components.

The collected platelets will then be injected into the affected knee area.

Depending on your condition, you may undergo between 1 to 2 PRP treatments. These sessions are usually 6 to 8 weeks apart. After this period, you should start to feel improvement in your pain and regain normal joint movement.

Physical Therapy

When you have knee pain, you tend to avoid using the affected leg as much as possible. This is known as compensation, and it tends to weaken your knee joints over time, causing pain and stiffness.

Physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles around your painful joints and correct your posture. Your physical therapist may recommend a specific exercise program to restore a normal range of motion and promote overall muscle strength and flexibility.

Joint Fluid Therapy

Also known as viscosupplementation, this non-surgical knee repair procedure treats osteoarthritis of the knee. It helps relieve pain and improve flexibility by lubricating and cushioning the affected joint.

During a joint fluid injection, a healthcare professional will give you a series of injections directly into the joint. These injections contain hyaluronic acid, a natural substance that helps promote smooth joint movement and ease the pain.

Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners have been using acupuncture to treat many conditions for thousands of years. Today, healthcare providers use this technique as a complementary treatment for many musculoskeletal disorders, including knee pain.

Acupuncture entails the insertion of tiny needles into specific points of the body, known as meridians, to relieve tension, boost blood flow, and encourage natural healing. Several studies have shown that this ancient therapy can effectively improve the quality of life for patients with chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis.

Knee-Braces

A knee brace is a device that provides support and compression to the knee joint. Doctors commonly use it to treat joint pain resulting from ligament injuries and repetitive stress injuries.

Typically made from plastic or neoprene, knee braces are designed to relieve pressure on the kneecap and surrounding tissues. They also help to increase mobility and improve your gait.

The Bottomline

It is possible to recover from knee pain without surgery using any of the above methods. The best thing about these non-invasive knee repair procedures is that they result in less pain and a relatively shorter recovery period. Better still, there is little chance that these treatments may lead to more health complications.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Disbursement Funding for Business Start ups

A disbursement is a process of paying money, mainly from a dedicated or public fund. Disbursement Funding is the payment given to a client, leading to cash outflows. Disbursement is used in dedicated or public funds like NGOs and measures an organization’s cash outflow.

Disbursement is a payment done to an organisation in cash equivalents, or cash in bookkeeping, over a certain period. The disbursement entry features the amount credited, payment method, and payment purpose.

Disbursements are records of the amount of money flowing from a company, which differs from loss or profit. Managers use ledgers to know how much they have disbursed and also track it. Below we discuss the benefits and drawbacks of disbursement funding for business startups.

Research has shown that over 80% of new businesses do not survive five years after opening due to limited opportunities and stiff competition. While this might be demotivating, there is a solution if you wish to grow your business.

Most enterprises fail because they do not acknowledge growth opportunities, meaning they take action when it is too late. The proper funding can secure small-sized businesses and enable them to reach their goals.

Benefits of using a Disbursement Funding

The main benefits of disbursement funding include the following;

Cash Flow Alternative

Cash flow is among the essential aspects when operating a business, and most companies fail if they cannot access it. Most business owners do not know how this funding can help them proceed with operations when having cash flow issues, which leads to a shutdown.

Disbursement funding eliminates the dependence on cash flow sources while easily managing your daily expenses. Remember, solicitors, are appointed to manage expense payments, which is the best way to settle charges.

Ease of Usage

The most popular disbursement funding companies have a transparent and simple mechanism that enables SMEs to give additional working capital. These loans have provided tailored solutions to small-scale businesses which dream of reaching greater heights.

More Time

One of the leading benefits of disbursement funding is it has extended timelines. Here, payments can be held until settlement, a period that extends to twenty months. This is the main feature that differentiates it from a bank loan.

With this option, business owners can focus on their operations and worry less concerning payments.

Drawbacks of Disbursement Funding

The drawbacks of disbursement funding include the following;

It is Hard to Get

The main challenge of getting disbursement funding is approved. People with already established businesses stand higher chances of getting these funds than starters. Recently, a substantial financial crunch has made the approval process more complex.

Only enterprises that seem likely to repay receive these funds, and the high scrutiny makes it hard for start ups to get them.

High-Interest Rate

Another drawback of disbursement funding is it has a high-interest rate. Lenders make money by including high interest in their loans, which can be challenging for your startup. Almost all businesses experience a low-revenue phase with time, and these interests can hurt all-sized enterprises in such times.

Less Money to Put into Your Business

Most startup loans feature a repayment obligation, meaning you will remain with few funds, as most go to the bank. This might even hinder you from expanding your business or employing new staff, thus leading to business closure.

Types of Disbursement

The main types of disbursement funding include the following;

Controlled Disbursement

This cash flow is made available by various financial institutions to their customers. The controlled disbursement enables banks to reschedule and review allocations daily, allowing them to maximize the interest. This happens because they delay the exact time the funds are debited from an account.

Delayed Disbursement

Delayed or remote disbursement is when the payment process is dragged out deliberately by paying using checks acquired from banks in local regions. Remember, banks would process payments only after receiving the original check, and debit would be delayed by up to five days in the payer’s account.

Final Thoughts

Disbursement funding enables businesses to get immediate funds for the money they need. This is an excellent option for people who have trouble with funding approval, and the above article has discussed all you need to know about it.

The Legal Implications of Co-Owning a Family Business

Frequently, owners and shareholders of family firms can balance their professional and personal obligations. It could be challenging to maintain peace and advance as a civilization simultaneously. It is essential to let legal firms like Prime Lawyers assist you in juggling these obligations alongside you. Family businesses are founded on longevity, ingenuity, and the ability to leave a lasting impression. Our relationship with you is analogous to that of a parent and a child. They will provide you with guidance on how to set up your firm for maximum success while always keeping an eye on the big picture. Here are some of the matters that require legal action in family businesses.

Family affairs

Courts are increasingly willing to uphold prenuptial agreements if they are fair, reasonable, and forthright about their financial consequences, not coerced, and promote the interests of both parties after the marriage has ended. The courts with divorce jurisdiction have a vested interest in safeguarding the long-term financial stability of family-owned enterprises. It is customary for business owners going through a divorce to commission a company valuation to determine its financial health and continued viability.

Durable family business

Prime lawyers have extensive experience providing legal counsel to owner-managed and family-owned businesses. Family Lawyers are familiar with the unique challenges that arise as businesses are passed down from generation to generation. Families’ obligations and internal dynamics are accounted for in our in-depth structural recommendations. In addition, prime lawyers assist businesses in preparing to be sold or passed down through the family.

Discussing the family business details

Family-owned firms face challenges distinct from those faced by other types of enterprises. Your professional life can substantially impact your relationships and vice versa. When one generation transfers authority to the next or when ownership of a business changes hands, these scenarios may give rise to succession issues.

Even though family enterprises are mandated to have a succession plan, it is still possible for tensions to grow inside the organization. There is the potential for dispute and conflict when deciding which family members should administer the firm, which should work there, and how the profits should be allocated.

For a business to be successful, operations must be constant. As part of the services prime lawyers offer to family-owned businesses, they supply shareholder and partnership agreements. This may be helpful in the future for both corporate operations management and estate or retirement planning.

Future-proofing

There is a separation between family and work obligations. Even though this may appear to be an impossible task, our years of expertise working with both individuals and businesses have armed us with a unique perspective on the most commonly encountered obstacles. We would be grateful if you would allow us to help you organize both your household and your wealth;

Have confidence in the power of your own will. You can protect your wealth by establishing a trust that will sometimes be referred to as a “Bloodline Will”. Costs associated with acquiring long-term care, changing a last will, or getting married. Claims Against the Inheritance Tax Due to the Beneficiary’s Dissolution, Declaring Bankruptcy, or Disability.

Business relief-IHT Business Relief may be given to private limited company shareholders (BR). Don’t hesitate to contact prime lawyers if you need assistance creating Wills that will optimise BR even after selling the business.

Households who make investments. It is possible to minimise your tax burden by organizing your estate and IHT arrangements, including Family Investment Companies (FICs). FICs cannot only protect and exert control over the assets they have been awarded, but they can also leave significant riches to future generations.

You are making arrangements for grandchildren’s college costs. Providing the next generation with access to the highest possible primary, secondary, and higher education is expensive but essential. If you use trusts and handle your estate tax liabilities sensibly, you may be able to provide your children with the best possible start in life without incurring large debt.

Family constitution-Due to the expansion of both families and enterprises, personal relationships may experience strain. Consequently, every member of your family must be aware of your goals. The Family Constitution is a written document that encompasses the company’s guiding principles, objectives, and culture. Foreign investment entities are also possible (FICs). The Constitution mandates that different family branches maintain a “balance” regarding their wealth and how it is administered.

How to Safely Remove Hazardous Materials From Your Job Site

Posted on 1st February 2023

Whether you’re a contractor renovating an old building or completing other jobsite projects, one of the foremost considerations is how to remove hazardous materials safely. Failing to oversee this process correctly can have severe repercussions, not just for your project but also for the health of everyone at the jobsite.

Anyone involved in such work must understand what needs to be done and why it matters. This post looks into precisely that, outlining best practices when removing hazardous waste, where you can take these materials, and details on getting rid of any accompanying rubbish too.

1. Check the Local Codes and Regulations

Some localities have specific rules governing hazardous materials removal. For instance, some may require you to obtain special permits or licenses, while others might have time limitations when you can remove the waste. Knowing your local regulations will help you do the job safely and within the law.

You should also research the hazardous materials that have to be removed. Unlike wastewater, some of these may require special handling and storage practices, which can impact how you dispose of them. For instance, asbestos is a hazardous material that requires double-bagging and special disposal procedures. Similarly, lead paint must be carefully sealed in impermeable containers before removal.

2. Ensure Safe Removal Practices

It’s not just the local codes you must consider–you must also ensure all safety protocols are followed during the removal process. This includes everything from wearing the right protective gear to using approved containers for storage and transport.

You should also ensure you have the right personnel with the necessary qualifications to handle hazardous materials safely. If there’s any doubt, it’s best to outsource this work to a licensed contractor specializing in hazardous waste disposal.

3. Select an Appropriate Disposal Site

Whether disposing of hazardous materials or working with a contractor, you must ensure they are taken to an appropriate disposal site. The types of waste accepted vary from one site to another, so it’s best to check before sending anything off.

You should also ensure that the disposal facility is appropriately certified and regulated. This will help you avoid any potential legal issues in the future and will also confirm that the waste is being managed responsibly. The best way to ensure safe and compliant disposal is to use a specialized hazardous waste facility. These are equipped to handle all materials, including industrial chemicals, solvents, and hazardous liquids.

4. Consider Hiring a Waste Removal Company

Hiring a professional hazardous waste removal company can be beneficial for large jobs. These companies are experienced in dealing with all types of materials, including those that require special handling and storage practices, like lead paint or asbestos.

These firms will usually provide you with the necessary personnel and equipment and arrange for safe transport to a certified disposal site. This can save you time and money while ensuring all safety protocols are followed. There are HAZWOPER Laborers in Southern California that are experienced in hazardous waste removal that can help you with your project. The company has a team of experts that can handle hazardous materials safely and dispose of them at an appropriate disposal site.

The right company can also provide helpful advice on managing and reducing the amount of hazardous waste generated. They can also provide regular disposal services and help you develop a plan for future projects.

Simon Kronenfeld: How to Identify if Diamonds are Genuine

Diamonds are a popular choice for engagement rings and other fine jewellery, but with the rise of synthetic diamonds and diamond simulants, it can be difficult to know for sure if a diamond is real or not. According to Simion Kronenfeld there are some methods you can use to identify if a diamond is real or not:

Look for a certificate: The best way to ensure that a diamond is real is to purchase it from a reputable jeweller who can provide a certificate from a recognized diamond grading laboratory. A certificate will provide detailed information about the diamond’s characteristics, such as its carat weight, cut, colour, and clarity. Look for certifying agencies like GIA, IGI, EGL, and AGS.

Check for a hallmark: Many authentic diamonds will have a hallmark, which is a small engraving on the diamond that indicates its purity and weight. This hallmark can be found on the girdle (the widest part of the diamond) or on the culet (the bottom point of the diamond).

Look at the diamond under a microscope: A real diamond will have microscopic inclusions and imperfections, known as “inclusions.” These inclusions can be seen under a microscope and can be used to identify a real diamond.

Check for fluorescence: Some diamonds will emit a blue glow under ultraviolet light, known as fluorescence. While fluorescence can be a useful tool to identify a real diamond, it should not be used as the sole method of identification, as some synthetic diamonds can also fluoresce.

Conduct a fog test: Diamonds are excellent conductors of heat and will quickly dissipate heat. To conduct a fog test, breathe on the diamond and observe how quickly the fog dissipates. If the fog dissipates quickly, it is likely that the diamond is real. If the fog lingers, it is likely that the diamond is a simulant.

Conduct a thermal conductivity test: Diamonds are excellent conductors of heat, so a diamond will dissipate heat quickly. To conduct a thermal conductivity test, you will need a thermal probe. Touch the probe to the diamond and observe the rate at which the temperature changes. If the diamond is real, the temperature will change quickly, if it’s not, the temperature will change slowly.

Conduct a specific gravity test: Diamonds have a higher specific gravity than most other gemstones, so a diamond will sink in a liquid of a higher density. To conduct a specific gravity test, you will need a liquid of a known density, such as a solution of salt and water. Place the diamond in the liquid and observe whether it sinks or floats. If the diamond sinks, it is likely that it is real.

Check the price: While this is not a scientific method, if a diamond seems too good to be true, it probably is. If a diamond is significantly cheaper than others of similar quality and carat weight, it may be a synthetic diamond or a diamond simulant.

Simon Kronenfeld states that it can be difficult to know for sure if a diamond is real or not, but by using a combination of the methods outlined above, you can increase your chances of identifying a real diamond. Remember to look for a certificate, check for a hallmark, look at the diamond under a microscope, check for fluorescence, conduct a fog test, conduct a thermal conductivity test, conduct a specific gravity test, and check the price. Remember that it’s always best to purchase a diamond from a reputable jeweller who can provide a certificate from a recognised diamond grading laboratory.

How to Incorporate Peel-and-stick Wallpaper into Your New Home Build

Posted on 1st February 2023

In the past few years peel and stick wallpapers have made quite the comeback in the market by providing ease and comfort to homeowners. At first, people used to use paint to decorate their homes, but now they have switched back to peel-and-stick wallpapers. The main reason wallpapers have gained their popularity back is that they are the best way to add texture to the walls without making them look dull. Another essential upgrade that wallpapers have had is the ability to stick to walls with an adhesive already lined at the back of the wallpaper.

Peel and stick wallpapers are the easiest way to breathe life into any room, and if you are looking forward to decorating the house you just bought, make sure to invest in good wallpapers. The multiple features of wallpapers allow them to go a long way; even if you remove them, they won’t get damaged.

Incorporate peel-and-stick wallpapers inside your home:

There are many ways in which you can incorporate wallpaper peel and stick inside your home to make it look grand. Wallpapers are an interior designing game changer. Here are some creative ways to add colours to your walls.

Accent wall

The first thing that comes you mind when you think of wallpapers is an accent wall. Yes, an accent wall can be created using paint, but the process is very long and tiring. Instead, people have used different wallpapers to create accent walls in their homes. You can add a playful pattern or a dramatic texture to create the perfect accent wall inside your space.

Backsplash

Using wallpaper inside bathrooms and kitchens is still ancient. You don’t have to hold yourself back from doing it. The updated designs of wallpapers allow them to be used anywhere. Choose a chic Mediterranean design for your bathroom and add colour to your walls.

Reading corners

Reading corners always seem to have that dramatic effect. If you are planning to dedicate a corner of your house to reading, why not choose a peel-and-stick wallpaper that will also match the aesthetic of the corner? You can line bookshelves and decorate them with books. A warm backdrop, a nice cup of tea, and some books are perfect for designating a corner just for yourself.

Ceilings

Ceilings are often painted, and as far as I remember, they have been plain and boring. Now, you can extend your wallpaper up to your ceiling without facing any problems. Except for the four walls of your home, the ceiling will also get the attention it deserves.

Kitchen

The wallpaper designs for a kitchen are often unique. Why not add a forest green peel-and-stick wallpaper to the walls of your kitchen? It may look dull, but pairing it with bright cutlery and accessories will make the wallpaper stand out.

Headboard 

Wallpapers are not suitable for walls only. They can now be used to decorate side tables and headboards. If you are tired of plain patterns, choose a wallpaper of your liking and take it to your room to make the grand changes.

Wallpaper is a great way to add elegance to your home without spending much money. It is a one-time investment that will go a long way. The positive review of people from all around the world has sparked their popularity.

4 Unique, Special Beers Worth Trying

Alright, you love to drink beers, who doesn’t? Beers are pretty good, and there’s enough variety in them to where you can never have the same beer twice. However, if you really want to be a true beer expert, then you need to try some unique and special beers. Beers that aren’t at every single brewery or bar that everyone goes to.

You might need to take a road trip or even a cross country road trip to find some of these beers, but the journey will be well worth it as you give yourself a frothy reward at the end. Plus, you are going to be pretty thirsty at the end of the trip as well!

Some Of The Best Beers To Try!

The Dark Lord This isn’t just a beer that comes in an amazing can, but it also has its own holiday (in a manner of speaking). This beer from the Indiana based Three Floyds Brewery is only available on the Dark Lord Day, which can change from year to year.

This Russian Style Imperial Stout is brewed with coffee, Mexican vanilla, and Indian sugar, and it is a delicious beer that you should feel lucky to drink if you can.

Rogue Chipotle Ale

Sometimes the best beers (or in this case, ales) aren’t always the most flashy things in the world, but they are worth trying for different reasons. The Rogue Chipotle Ale is an amber ale that is infused with smoked chipotle peppers, giving you the standard flavours of ale as well as some real heat!

AleSmith Speedway Stout

Beer and Coffee go very well together as some of the most popular drinks in the world, and drinks that many people swear by. The AleSmith Speedway Stout is made in San Diego and it combines the profiles of coffee and beer into one amazing drink that is guaranteed to wake you up!

The brewers at AleSmith have some expert advice for brewing coffee beer, so if that is something you want to do for your own brewery, then head on to San Diego and take a taste for yourself.

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale

This ale is a drink that combines a hefty aroma of hops with some serious sweetness, and it is a wonderful drink that you can easily get in your fridge. It is brewed with 100% centennial hops, and you can get it in various packages. Such as a 6 pack, a 12 pack, a mini keg, and a draught.

Making Your Own Unique Beer

If you own a bar or brewery and want people to make cross country trips for your special drinks, then it won’t take much to turn your best drinks into something unique. For the most part, a unique drink is a drink that is infused with something. So whether it is coffee, a fruit puree, or some other flavour, improving the taste is going to be one of the first steps to creating a unique beer.

Then you need to make it special. Maybe you only offer it on a special day or time of the month, put a game or trivia contest on with your new beer as a prize, or only offer the beer to VIPs or other special members of your brewery club.

Finally, don’t be afraid to change up the glassware as well because what makes a unique beer even better than a special glass that doesn’t look like everyone else’s? Give some theatre and a show to your special beer, and your customers will be all over it!

The Importance of Upskilling and Reskilling in the Australian Workforce

The skill gap is now becoming more evident and is continuing to grow across all industries in Australia. As what is termed the fourth industrial revolution is heading towards Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Machine Learning, these advancing technologies are changing the nature of jobs and skills that are required to be possessed by the employees in the Australian workforce to survive this drastically changing nature of the work environment.

According to the World Economic Forum, the rate at which technology is growing and the pace at which it is being adopted across the globe will witness a sharp acceleration over the next decade. With huge uptakes in big data corporations, eCommerce platforms, and cloud storage, upscaling digital skills will be the priority for most of the big businesses. By 2025, Australia will need an estimated 1,56,000+ digitally skilled workers to sustain and maintain the pace of growth. The rate at which tech workers are hired is astonishing due to their high-value skills. Workforce Australia services are trying to fulfill the high demand for digitally upskilled workers and employees by informing and teaching the most important and highly valued skills in today’s time as well as for the coming future.

Upskilling and Reskilling

To address the problem of a shortage of digitally trained high-value workers and employees, organizations must invest in their employees to upskill and provide them with a perfect environment for reskilling. The pandemic had made everyone realize the importance and need to accelerate the learning process. To keep up with the pace at which the world is learning new skills along with working with the ones they already possess, the government and big businesses should come forward and take responsibility and do what they can to reduce the barriers towards reskilling.

How to keep up with the World

Digital transformation is seeing exponential growth. The most critical part that can ensure success in this ever-changing generation is that you have a skilled workforce that is always ready to grab opportunities and keep pace with them. Technological transformation must be started by first mapping out the workforce so that no one is left behind.

Adaptable Training

According to the workforce population of Australia which is 13 million employees spread around 2.6 million businesses, 300,000 digital professionals is the number that the calculations come down to. Being able to produce 300,000 professionals ready with high-value digital skills that can take on the work pressure along with the pace at which the industry is growing depends on how the employees are trained. During the pandemic, the complexity of the business landscape had become essential to factor in. It gave an open view of how businesses operated and how their global supply chains were affected.

Training and learning different skills is the only way for workers and employees to fit in and respond to the rapidly advancing and constantly changing demanding nature of the market and the business environment as well. As businesses and their needs are changing, learning new skills is the only way to stay relevant and important in the workforce.

Important Skills

The pandemic accelerated growth in jobs that required skills such as mathematics, technology, and data analysis. One of the most significant changes it has brought is that repeatable jobs can now be automated and it would require significant upscaling to stay in the loop. Skills like communication, complex thinking, problem-solving, leadership, and solutions-driven are becoming increasingly important. Even technical skills such as data analysis and coding can be acquired through micro-credentials and learned through short courses as well.

Equal Access

One of the key values while solving a problem of this scale is equality. Digital courses should be developed and made available for everyone at every level starting right from the bottom to the top. There should be no bias. Bringing in a balance of free and equal access to training, courses, opportunities, and experience will help the Australian workforce to speed up.

Conclusion

The problem that the Australian workforce is facing here is huge in scale. It is difficult to operate through this at different levels. Collaboration is the only way forward to pick up the pace and advance through learning and upskilling to take on the world.

9 Strategies To Improve Employee Retention Within Remote Teams

We all love the convenience and flexibility remote work brings. It creates a better work-life balance, improves productivity, reduces operation costs and decreases environmental impact. How do you keep this running without losing your staff? The 7 employee retention strategies discussed in this article will aid you in managing your remote team and improving employee retention. Keep reading.

Improve your remote onboarding

Remote onboarding is the way you incorporate a new employee into your company. This involves familiarizing them with the company culture and policies. Onboarding also includes teaching new staff how to use tools and platforms to perform efficiently. Workers that are well-onboarded feel welcome, excited and are likely to stay. Study best practices of remote onboarding to help you boost your staff retention.

Encourage feedback

Getting feedback is a critical part of human resource management. There’s little you can do to solve problems you’re unaware of. To encourage your remote staff to give feedback, you must first create a feedback culture. When you make it part of your corporate culture to give and receive feedback, it will come naturally to your employees. These feedback examples will give you an idea of what to expect from your staff and how to handle their feedback.

In addition, invest in initiatives that encourage feedback. Such initiatives include formal recognition programs, staff surveys and one-on-one meetings. Providing feedback training is also another way to encourage feedback. Some employees just don’t know how to give feedback or are unsure of how you will react.

Improve employee engagement

Employee engagement is how your employees connect mentally and emotionally with their work, team and company. When you effectively engage your employees, you increase positive employee experiences. Employees who are adequately engaged are motivated to work harder, stay longer and encourage other team members to do so.

To improve employee engagement in your company, start with an action plan. It will help you identify key engagement drivers, effect changes where necessary and make people accountable.

Be flexible with work hours

One of the main perks of remote work is flexible work hours. If you take this advantage away, you may lose your staff to an organization that promises more flexible hours. To manage virtual teams, focus more on output than input.

Micromanaging and querying them on what they’re doing at every point in time could be discouraging. Instead, set goals and measure their achievements. When you give them the freedom to work in their own time, they become more relaxed, creative, willing to work and collaborate, and less likely to leave.

Pay them the same wages you’ll pay when they’re onsite

Many employers commit the error of slashing their employees’ salaries because they work from home. They reckon that the cost of transportation, dressing corporately and other costs associated with coming to the office are no longer there so their employees should earn less.

This act is counterproductive. Unless an employee offers to take a pay cut so that they can work remotely, don’t reduce their wages because they’re working out of the office. If they’re producing the same results they were producing while onsite, then they’ll feel cheated and begin to look for alternatives.

Meet onsite periodically

People stay where they feel a level of bonding. Remote work can breed a level of disconnection that encourages resignation. Team members can be seen as just pictures and avatars, eliminating any emotional connection. Physical meet-ups solve this problem. Let your staff put a face to one another’s names and pictures.

Periodical physical meetings boost bonding and people are most likely to stay where they feel connected to team members. These meet-ups can be monthly, quarterly, biennially or annually; whatever works for your team. Just make sure it’s part of your remote work culture.

Have a virtual break room

Like physical meetings, a virtual break room or lounge builds emotional connections and lets staff let their hair down and know each other better. Unlike physical meet-ups, however, virtual break rooms are more regular.

Team members can ‘go’ to this room at any time of the day and strike up a conversation with anyone they meet there. There are apps that make this possible. This removes barriers and work tension. It also makes work enjoyable. Employees who find their job pleasurable are more likely to stay.

Schedule regular check-ins

While micromanaging your staff could irritate them, not checking on them regularly could also be discouraging. Give them the freedom they need to perform efficiently and check in regularly on their progress. This will not only boost productivity, it will also make them feel you care about their contribution. That feeling of being important makes workers stay.

Have a transparent promotion process

Oftentimes, people leave their jobs because they feel they’re not getting a fair deal from their employers. Remote workers are not left out of this demography. If they think they deserve to be promoted and they don’t get promoted, they will feel cheated and plan to leave. This is especially so if workers onsite are getting promoted and they’re not. To ensure this dissatisfaction doesn’t happen, make your promotion process as transparent as possible.

Make your organization a haven for remote workers

Remote work has come to stay. Thanks (but no thanks) to the Covid-19 pandemic, many people who worked from home during that period realized they prefer it to working at the office. Companies are not left out; they also found out that remote work saves them money and still delivers the desired results.

Managing remote employees and ensuring they stay is a challenge most employers face. To tackle this challenge, effective strategies are required. The ones listed here have been tested and proven. Use them in your organization and see the difference in staff retention.

How to Get Started With SEO in 2023

By Francis King – Customer Acquisition, OnlyDomains

It’s 2023 and there’s a lot of talk that SEO is over. Dead in the water. Better left in the past as we move toward greater things.

But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Today, SEO is more relevant than ever. If you want to increase your website’s presence to reach new audiences, generate leads, increase conversions, and boost sales, it’s worth investing time and effort in SEO.

That said, SEO isn’t everything. It’s not always a good indicator of how well your business is doing, nor can it predict revenue. However, it does indicate how strong and engaged your online presence is—and the importance of having a website is undeniable for any business in 2023.

This article briefly summarises what you need to get started with SEO in 2023. But the most significant tip we can give you is to keep on your toes. The SEO world changes quickly. What Google looks for and values can change overnight, and yesterday’s best practices might be a shortcut to getting blacklisted today.

It’s also worth noting that while it’s not strictly necessary, you can buy certain business domain names for your website. Having a unique domain name can be an original way to make your business stand out in the crowd.

Now, let’s dive in.

What is SEO and why does it matter?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation. That might sound intimidating, but not when you break it down.

We all know what a search engine is—think Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, and Ecosia. And ‘optimisation’ simply means you want to ‘optimise’ or advance your place in search results.

In other words, you want to refine your online content to appeal to the likes of Google to ensure your website appears and ranks highly in the organic search results (that is, compared to paid-for ads). Essentially, you want your website to be among the first few links that appear after a Google search because that is where users put their trust and attention.

So how does this work? Search engines ‘crawl’ or read your website to determine the relevance and quality of the content you’re offering. The higher ‘score’ you get, the better you place in their rankings.

SEO Techniques to Follow

Good SEO entails different techniques that help bump up your rating. We’ll be looking at three particular practices today to get you started:

  • Keyword research
  • Content creation
  • Positive user experience

Keyword Research

Consider keyword research the bread and butter of your SEO slog. 

In its simplest form, keyword research entails finding out what your customers are looking for. Let’s say you sell leather jackets. Using a keyword search tool, ‘leather jackets’ is the initial keyword that you would type in to see what people are searching for alongside this keyword.

This helps you find out what your customers’ pain points are—that is, what types of problems do they need solving?

Some keyword research that takes this into account could include: “best leather jacket”, “vegan leather jacket”, “how to clean leather jackets”, and so on.

Don’t forget to keep your brand’s USPs in mind and find keywords relevant to your business. It’s also worth conducting keyword research around your competitors and identifying the language they use to sell to consumers.

Once you have a comprehensive list of keywords and phrases from your research, you can start creating relevant and targeted content for your audience.

Content Creation

Rather than creating content for the sake of it, it’s essential to understand the type of content that will create an impact and deliver results.

To do this, it’s worth understanding the four intentions people have when searching online:

  • Commercial: People searching for a specific product, for example, the best leather jackets of 2023
  • Informational: People seeking advice such as how to care for a leather jacket
  • Transactional: Customers ready to spend! They may search for ways to buy leather jackets online
  • Navigational: Users specifically searching for a site that they’re already familiar with, for example, leatherjackets.com

Use your keyword research to build content around these four intentions. For example, perhaps you publish a long-form guide on what to look for in a leather jacket, including types of material, care instructions, and why your brand sells the best kind of leather jacket.

Content creation undoubtedly takes time. But don’t be tempted to take a shortcut and duplicate content, as search engines will penalise your site.

One way to save time and energy is by investing in content automation. Automating processes like email marketing and social media saves you valuable time, effort, and money.

In addition, remember that content creation is part and parcel of your broader marketing strategy. So rather than simply creating content for the sake of it, you must monitor and evaluate your content. After all, there’s no point investing resources into something that doesn’t work!

One way to do this is to use Rank tracking software to see keyword ranking positions. In addition to assessing the impact of your keywords, this will also allow you to keep an eye on the keywords of competitors and also if there are any changes to keyword rankings over time. 

Tracking organic traffic, keyword rankings, and visibility are significant ways of gauging the effectiveness of your SEO efforts. As we mentioned, content creation is part of marketing, so consider using marketing analytics tools to track its performance and find ways to improve.

Positive User Experience

The third line of defence in your three-pronged SEO attack includes creating a positive user experience.

Search engine crawlers—the ones that are checking your website for relevance and quality—favour the following elements:

  • An appealing website design
  • A mobile-friendly site
  • Readable font
  • No pop-ups or ads
  • A fast-loading site
  • Internal links
  • High-quality external links

Creating a smooth user experience will help you rank higher in Google’s ratings. It might seem difficult to keep on top of all of these things, especially in the beginning, so consider using an SEO plugin to do the work for you.

The Next Frontier in SEO

While we’ve covered the basics in this article, there are many more ways to optimise your site, some of which still aren’t widely known. For example, a good domain name is invaluable and can also improve your SEO.

Focusing on domain extensions—that is, the end part of the URL such as .com or .co.uk—is the next frontier in the wild west of SEO. What’s more, using unique and fun domain extensions can help your company stick in people’s minds, reinforcing a positive user experience.

For example, if you run an AI business, you could consider using an OnlyDomains registration in Anguilla. Having an .ai domain extension can round off your website nicely, making your company appear more professional.

So, secure a unique domain extension and start optimising your website’s content today to help your business flourish in 2023.

Personal Finance in an Inflationary Environment

Personal finance is an important aspect of life that can often be overwhelming, especially when it comes to managing your money and making sure that you are making the best financial decisions for yourself and your family. It’s more important than ever to pay attention and have a plan with the uncertainty of the future of the United States economy , our current environment of high inflation and rising interest rates, and political and social unrest here in the U.S. and all across the globe. Here are some tips to help you improve your personal finance skills, take control of your financial future, and a few bonus thoughts on how to handle high inflation:

  1. Create a budget and stick to it. A budget is a crucial tool for managing your money and making sure that you are spending and saving in a way that is aligned with your financial goals. Start by tracking your expenses and all income for a few months to get a clear picture of your spending habits. You can then create a realistic budget that properly allocates your money to different spending categories, such as housing, food, transportation, and entertainment. Make sure you include savings into the budget as well, and make a plan for how you will save for short-term and long-term goals.
  2. Save for emergencies. Unexpected expenses can arise at any time, and having an emergency fund can provide a financial cushion to help you weather those storms. Aim to save at least six to twelve months’ worth of living expenses in an easily accessible and liquid account, such as a money market fund or a high-yield savings account. This will give you the peace of mind of knowing that you have the funds available to cover unexpected expenses without having to turn to high-interest credit cards or loans.
  3. Reduce your debt. High levels of debt can weigh heavily on your finances and prevent you from achieving your goals. To reduce your debt, start by prioritizing your debts and focusing on paying off the ones with the highest interest rates first. Consider consolidating your debts into a single loan with a lower interest rate, or working with a financial advisor to come up with a plan for paying off your debts. In the meantime, avoid taking on new debt and be disciplined about making regular payments on your existing debts.
  4. Invest for the future. In addition to saving for emergencies and reducing your debt, it is also important to invest for the long-term. Investing can help you grow your money over time, but it’s important to do your research and invest in a diversified portfolio. This can help protect your money and reduce the risk of losing your investment. It’s also a good idea to seek the advice of a financial advisor or financial planner if you are unsure about how to invest your money.
  5. Protect your finances. The appropriate insurance policies can protect you and your family from financial loss in the event of unexpected events, such as accidents, illnesses, or natural disasters. By having insurance, you can safeguard your assets and your ability to earn an income, which are both important for maintaining your overall financial health. Insurance can also provide peace of mind, knowing that you and your loved ones are protected in case of a financial emergency. For example, if you’ve compared auto insurance coverage with reputable insurance companies and chosen the best for your needs, you’re provided some financial protection in the event of an accident or other covered event. It typically covers the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, towing, rental vehicles, as well as any medical expenses and other related damages that would otherwise add up very quickly. Auto insurance is required by law in most states, so it’s important to have coverage in place to manage the risks of being a driver.

Given that inflation has been on the minds of the entire globe lately, we wanted to touch on exactly what it is, why and how it impacts us, and a few tips on keeping up with the rate of inflation.

Inflation is a measure of the rate at which the price of goods and services in an economy is increasing. As inflation rises, the purchasing power of your money decreases, meaning that it takes more money to buy the same goods or services as before.Central banks attempt to limit inflation and avoid deflation in order to keep the economy running smoothly.

It is difficult to predict exactly when inflation will go back down as it depends on a variety of factors such as economic growth, employment rates, and supply and demand for goods and services. Inflation is often influenced by monetary policy decisions made by central banks, which can impact the money supply and demand in the economy.

In general, if the demand for goods and services increases faster than the supply, especially in high consumer regions like the United States and Canada, it can lead to higher prices and higher inflation. If the supply of goods and services increases faster than the demand, it can lead to lower prices and lower inflation.

Inflation can also be influenced by external factors such as natural disasters, geopolitical events, and changes in commodity prices, particularly in regions that are more vulnerable to these types of events. It is important to note that inflation is a normal part of a healthy economy and is generally expected to be moderate and stable over the long term.

Here are some tips specifically on how to try and hedge in this inflationary environment we’re all living in:

  1. Look to invest in assets that have traditionally increased in value during periods of high inflation, such as stocks, real estate, and commodities.
  2. Consider investing in inflation-protected securities, such as  Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), which are backed by the United States government and offer a fixed interest rate plus protection against inflation.
  3. Diversify your investment portfolio to include a mix of stocks, bonds, and other assets. This can help reduce the overall risk of your investments and protect against the negative ramifications of inflation.
  4. Keep some of your savings in a high-yield savings account or money market fund. This can help your money maintain its purchasing power over time, as the interest earned on these accounts may keep pace with inflation.
  5. Consider working with a financial advisor who can help you develop a strategy for hedging against inflation and achieving your long-term financial goals.

It is important to keep in mind that no investment is completely immune to the effects of inflation, so it is important to regularly monitor and adjust your investments to ensure that they continue to meet your needs.

In personal finance, due diligence involves researching and analysing various financial products and options to make informed decisions about spending, saving, and investing. Conducting due diligence can help you make informed financial decisions and avoid costly mistakes. It is important to be proactive and do your research before making any financial decisions, especially those that involve significant amounts of money or long-term commitments.

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Experts Explain How Dance Can Improve Your Mental Health

Did you know that dancing lowers the risk of developing dementia and other mental illnesses by as much as 76%. White matter deteriorates with age, but research shows that dancing is a great way to slow this process.

The worlds leading dancewear retailer BLOCH has collaborated with industry professionals to share the top ways dancing can positively affect mental health. With dancing being such a fun and widely accessible activity, we’ve worked with health experts to show the how the benefits are sure to motivate you to try and get moving on your favourite songs a bit more often.

1. Dancing is a foundation for mindfulness

Christine Nowicki, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and former ballet dancer, describes dancing as a great way to practice mindfulness. “Dance is an immersive training in body awareness. Dancers know exactly how to check in and notice where their bodies are in space, what their posture is like, where they are holding tension, where they are collapsed…the list goes on. This is a huge asset when it comes to learning mindfulness.” The awareness of thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations is often practiced within meditation tactics, which further highlights the impacts of dance on mental wellbeing. 

2. It’s a mood-booster activity

Studies over the years have proved that dancing not only reduces stress and helps with self-esteem but also significantly improves one’s mood. Raven Gibbs, psychotherapist and professional dancer comments: “When you dance, the brain also begins to release dopamine and endorphins. The release of dopamine is a natural mood boost while the release of endorphins helps to relieve feelings of pain and distress, which helps you to relax. Releasing endorphins also helps us as humans to feel closer to and bond with others. This support helps to reduce feelings of worthlessness which further works to increase the quality of life”.

3. Dancing allows you to focus and escape

Many dancers would say that dancing makes them escape reality. However, that might also be true of the increased focus and attention a dance routine implies. Colleen Wenner, Clinical Director explains: “As you practice and master different steps and routines, your memory, focus, and attention improve. Pattern recognition skills also increase when you learn new dances and help you concentrate better. Dance is ultimately about the joy of movement and you’ll find your life becomes more fulfilling when you’re able to only focus on the present moment but also move your body in ways that make you feel happy”.

4. It provides a sense of togetherness

Particularly if you decide to join dance classes or simply dance with your friends at a party, dancing often promotes a sense of community and togetherness. Dr. Harold Hong, a board-certified psychiatrist at New Waters Recovery says: “Even if just for a few hours, social dances like jazz help reduce isolation and loneliness, two major risk factors for mental illnesses”.

5. The dance endorphins improve your sleep

Physical activity has well-documented mental health benefits, and dance is a great way to get moving. As a result of the endorphins released when dancing, your heart rate increases. After the practice you feel tired and relaxed, which ultimately improves your sleep quality as well. 

6. Dancing is an unapologetic way of self-expression

Finally, dancing provides an outlet for self-expression! When people suffer from mental health problems, they often have a wide range of emotions they don’t know how to articulate or let out. Having a non-verbal language to channel your emotions and experiences into can be extremely liberating. There are some things words can’t express quite so well, but dance can often help with that. 

VR and Jazzercise: Five Fitness trends to Watch Out For in 2023

  • Jazzercise is set to make a comeback in 2023
  • Dance experts reveal five fitness trends to look out for in 2023, including virtual reality workouts

Jazzercise is expected to be make a comeback as one of the biggest fitness crazes of 2023, with searches for the dance party workout up a massive 238% in 2022.

Other fitness trends that are experiencing a surge in interest are Pilates, barre and even VR fitness.

Dance experts at BLOCH have highlighted five workouts that are set to be huge in 2023.

Jazzercise

Experiencing record of levels of interest in the UK, Jazzercise looks like it will be making a big comeback in 2023.

First invented in 1969 in Illinois by student, Judi Sheppard Missett, it blends jazz dance, Pilates, kickboxing, resistance training and yoga in fast-paced, energetic routines that are designed to improve endurance, strength and flexibility.

Pilates

Search interest for Pilates peaked in 2022, the highest search interest since 2010, almost doubling since the start of the year (up 92%). First invented by German personal trainer, Joseph Pilates, in the early 20th century, it is now practiced all over the world.

VR fitness

Currently taking off across the US, with search interest increasing by a whopping 317% in 2022, virtual reality workouts could take off in 2023.

A very new age way to get fit, users with a virtual reality headset, such as the Meta Quest 2, can download various fitness apps to play games and do workouts from the comfort of their own home.

Barre

Brits searching for Barre fitness has gone up by 134% in 2022, showing this low impact, strengthening workout is growing in popularity.

Barre workouts are a blend of yoga, Pilates, and ballet, with many health and wellbeing benefits, such as increased strength, balance and posture, as well as helping to alleviate stress.

Zumba

Whilst Zumba isn’t a new trend, it is experiencing a significant peak in search interest in the UK, up by 200% in 2022.

This dance workout involves cardio and Latin inspired dance, having been founded in 2001 by Colombian dancer and choreographer, Beto Pérez. By 2019, it had 15 million weekly participants across 180 countries, which could well go up in 2023.

Cathy Radovan, COO at BLOCH, commented:

‘”Over the last year, we’ve seen a huge increase in adults looking for different ways to stay healthy. It’s great to see dance fitness, such as Jazzercise, experiencing such a big interest across the UK. You don’t need to be an expert to get started with dance fitness; it’s simply about moving your body and having fun – all while getting fit!”

To find out more about BLOCH. please visit: https://uk.blochworld.com/

Hiring ReactJS Developers: The Best Practices For Strengthening Your Programming Team

React is the foundation of many cutting-edge applications and user interfaces, making it a highly pursued front-end framework. Different firms are considering how to utilise it best to create dynamic, high-performing mobile applications. This is where you have to learn how to hire React developer.

One of the key reasons you should hire a React developer is that React is one of the most popular frameworks for JavaScript, the most well-known computer language in the world.

A React developer, like anyone who works with JavaScript, probably spends much time online and mingles with code for websites. However, there is typically greater complexity in the details of web development. 

In the article, you’ll learn what a React developer can achieve for your company and the pricing and abilities required to hire ReactJS developers.

Who Are React Developers

One must be familiar with React to comprehend a React developer’s role. While Facebook was responsible for the first release of React, the open-source framework is now maintained by a dedicated group of programmers.

Although many people think about React as a framework, this is probably not the case. Such confusion is so common that calling React a framework is no longer frowned upon by the software development community at large.

React, on the other hand, is a JavaScript library for creating UIs and UI components. Smaller parts of user interfaces can be displayed using components built with JavaScript and HTML.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) also come into play so React developers can design the aesthetic features of a page, such as typefaces and color selections.

Professional programmers who specialize in user interface design and development using React. Developers who work with React are, by definition, also familiar with the front end and JavaScript.

The Roles and Responsibilities of React Developers

Front-end JavaScript developers, like those working on React, are in charge of building and maintaining user interfaces for websites and web applications. “Front-end development” refers to the part of software creation wherein the user interface is shaped.

Moreover, front-end developers are responsible for the more technical aspects of user interfaces, such as buttons, scroll bars, text boxes, and so on. This requires the React developer to have experience integrating functionality into user interfaces.

Other critical responsibilities include:

Building dynamic web pages with responsive, interactive elements like menu buttons, online forms, gesture-driven activities, and more.

Testing and troubleshooting the interface software is important before releasing the program,

Participating in the app creation process with the customer to learn how to realise their vision in code best.

Working closely with the server’s developers and engineers, you provide expert advice to ensure smooth user-server interactions.

Skills Of React Developers

The three leading technologies for front-end development are JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, as previously mentioned.

Although HTML and CSS aren’t technically programming languages, front-end developers must be fluent in their syntax to create polished user interfaces.

Your website or web application will be built almost entirely with JavaScript. To back up their claims of React expertise, any developer worth their salt should have solid experience with JavaScript.

Knowledge of the Document Object Model (DOM) and the most recent version of ECMAScript, an upgraded version of JavaScript that supports many useful features, is essential for this background in JavaScript.

Despite being based on JavaScript, React has its own ecosystem, complete with libraries for data structures and popular workflows such as Redux and Flux. These instruments should be familiar to React programmers as well. Just knowing JavaScript as a developer is not enough. Developers working with the React library should be experts in it.

Finding The Right Developer- Where to Look For That

It is useless to know how to hire React programmer if you don’t know where to find them. There are numerous places to look for programmers of any type. Let’s explore the options:

Job Boards

You have probably used job boards before to find possible employees. Job boards like Indeed allow you to post a complete job description and allow interested candidates to apply directly from the board.

Remember that most job-seekers you encounter on job boards are looking for full-time positions with benefits and expecting to be paid accordingly.

Freelance Markets

Suppose you don’t require a React developer to dedicate themselves fully to your project. In that case, freelance marketplaces are an excellent place to look for one. Independent React developers offer clients their services on websites like Upwork and Fiverr.

If you provide the skills and experience you’re looking for in a candidate, you’ll get a long list of profiles to peruse. The only exception is that, as independent contractors, these developers should be given some leeway regarding how they organize their time.

They can work on numerous projects at once, and that’s their right. In this way, you can avoid the costs and commitments of hiring an employee full-time.

Outsourcing Companies

Having all of your software development needs met by a third party is possible when you work with an outsourcing firm. As a result, you won’t need to know where to look for React JS developers for hire.

The basic idea is to pay a fee, explain your needs to an agency, and receive the desired results. Since most outsourcing firms are based in countries other than the United States, their services come at a reasonable cost.

The downside to this ease of access is the increased likelihood of encountering communication problems, whether those problems stem from a language barrier or a lack of clarity on the user’s actual needs.

Tools That Can be Used to Hire React Developers

A variety of tools can aid many of the activities outlined above.

Screening Tools

The proficiency of your developers can be evaluated with those instruments (usually hard skills only). Devskiller and Codility are two of the most well-known platforms.

Recruitment Tools

Applicant Tracking Systems are a common feature of customer relationship management tools for human resources professionals (ATSes). SmartRecruiters and Recruitee are two examples of popular software in this category.

Sourcing Tools

They make it easier to quickly discover qualified new hires in several ways, such as providing access to a larger pool of potential candidates. You can try out other apps like LinkedIn’s Recruiter Life, Amazing Hiring, or Intelligence Search. 

Tips and Tricks To Hire React Developer

Read The Reviews and Ratings of the Developer

One of the best practices you can do to hire React JS developer is to go through their rating and reviews. You can understand what you can expect from a candidate by reading reviews of their past clients and ratings and analysing their portfolio.

Write A Powerful Job Description

If you want to hire ReactJS engineers who are qualified for your company, you first need to post a clear and appealing job description. When advertising positions online, be sure to include the following details. You can use these to set yourself out from the crowd while applying for jobs online.

A detailed React.JS developer job description can help you hire top talent. Your job description should include clear job responsibilities, a brief company description, important skills, required experience level, and hands-on experience. You must identify all significant job functions candidates will perform when joining your firm.

Conduct Detailed Interviews

When conducting an interview, you should thoroughly cross-check the ReactJS developer’s skills. To do this, you can conduct tests of their project management, communication, experience managing teams, and other relevant abilities. You’ll be able to evaluate the candidates more thoroughly and get a more comprehensive picture of their qualifications, which will aid you in selecting the best person for the job.

Conclusion

ReactJS is a well-known JavaScript framework for developing responsive web UIs. If you need assistance with designing and developing user-facing components for websites and applications, consider learning how to hire React developer.

An Adventure Holiday Is Not Complete Without These Things

Are you planning for your next adventure holiday? Embarking on an adventure holiday can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of your life – but you need to ensure you have all the right gear ready before you set off. To help you plan for your trip, we’ve compiled a list of essential items to complete your adventure holiday and ensure it’s as enjoyable and safe as possible. From the right clothing and equipment to the necessary medical supplies, here are the must-have items for your adventure holiday.

Water Bottle

One of the essential things to bring on your adventure holiday is a reusable water bottle. Whether you’re hiking, trekking, or just exploring the outdoors, staying hydrated is essential to keeping your energy levels up and performing at your best. As seen at www.ironflask.com, there are different types of water bottles you can choose from, so make sure to find one that suits your needs. Investing in a good-quality water bottle will ensure that you can stay hydrated throughout your journey and help reduce plastic waste.

When choosing a water bottle, some factors include the material, insulation, size, and weight. When it comes to material, stainless steel bottles are generally considered the best option as they are durable and BPA-free. Insulation is another important factor – insulated water bottles are great for keeping drinks cold or hot, depending on your preference. Size and weight will depend on how much liquid you need to carry, so make sure to find the right balance between capacity and portability.

Multi-Purpose Tool

Having a multi-purpose tool on hand is essential for any adventurer, as it can help you easily tackle unexpected tasks. Look for a tool that includes pliers, scissors, and screwdrivers, and make sure it’s lightweight and easy to use. A good-quality multi-purpose tool can be a lifesaver in many situations, from fixing broken straps to cutting rope or even as a makeshift hammer.

Some tips to consider when getting this tool are to choose one with a locking mechanism, as this will make it easier and safer to use. Look for tools with a good grip handle, as this will help give you better control when cutting or sawing. Also, opt for an option that is made of stainless steel or titanium – these materials are more durable and last longer than other materials.

First-Aid Kit

A first-aid kit is essential for any adventure holiday, as it will help you deal with potential injuries or mishaps. Your first-aid kit should include basic medical supplies such as bandages, gauze pads, antiseptic wipes and cream, painkillers, and antihistamines. It’s also a good idea to bring along a handbook on basic first-aid, so you can easily refer to it in times of need.

Don’t forget to pack any necessary medicines or specialized items that you may need for your holidays – such as an inhaler for asthma sufferers or an EpiPen for those with allergies. These items can help you quickly and effectively deal with any medical emergencies.

Compass

If you are planning on exploring some of the less-traveled areas off the beaten track, a compass is an essential item to have on hand. A good-quality compass can help you accurately navigate and stay on course, even with no visible landmarks. It will also be handy if you get lost or stranded during your adventure holiday.

Ensure to get a reliable compass that is waterproof and shockproof, as these features will help ensure it works even in the most extreme conditions. Look for a compass with a baseplate that can be adjusted to different scales – this will give you more navigational accuracy.

Daypack

You will need a daypack to store all your supplies and items during your adventure holiday. Make sure to get a lightweight yet durable bag that can fit all your essentials for the day and is comfortable to carry over long distances. Check for features such as adjustable straps, padded back support, reinforced stitching, and waterproof material – these will help ensure your pack can handle whatever the day throws at you.

A daypack is an essential item for any adventure holiday, and investing in a good quality one can make your journey more pleasant and hassle-free. With the right daypack, you’ll have all your supplies close at hand and be ready for whatever comes your way. For instance, you can carry snacks and drinks for a long hike or additional supplies to cover different weather conditions.

Snacks

Lastly, you need to re-energize during your adventure holiday, and snacks are the best way to do that. Pack a selection of energy bars, protein-rich nuts and seeds, trail mixes, and other healthy snacks you can munch on throughout the day. This will help give you an extra boost of energy when needed.

Ensure that your snacks are nutritious and easy to carry, as you don’t want to be weighed down during your journey. You should also avoid sugary snacks or drinks, as these can cause a crash in energy levels.

To make your adventure holiday a success, it’s essential to pack the right items. From a water bottle, multi-purpose tool, and first-aid kit to a compass and daypack, these items will help you stay safe and prepared for whatever comes your way. Don’t also forget to pack some nutritious snacks – these can help give you an extra boost of energy when needed. With these items, you’ll be ready to make the most of your adventure holiday and have a memorable experience!

New Bootcamp Retreat Offers Nature-Based Fitness Training at Pine Cliffs Resort, Algarve

Pine Cliffs Resort in the Algarve, a Luxury Collection Resort, has launched a new bootcamp retreat programme called ‘Insanity’ for those looking for a challenge in 2023. Inspired by military training, the Insanity bootcamp programme includes intensive workouts to build strength, endurance and agility that take place outdoors overlooking the ocean, on the beach and under the ubiquitous pine trees that give the resort its name.

Available all-year-round, the three-, five- or seven-night retreats run by Serenity SPA come with a full board meal plan designed by a nutritionist.

The classes in the programme focus on the development of resistance, strength, agility and energy, through functional training, weight training, cardiovascular exercises and running in short and intense circuits. Each guest benefits from a physical assessment and personal training classes, whilst nutrition consultations and spa treatments and massages to sooth aching muscles, complete the experience and help guests achieve their goals faster.

In downtime guests have complementary access to Thermal Oasis at Serenity SPA with its steam room,  hydrotherapy pool, herbal sauna, outdoor jacuzzi, indoor and outdoor relaxation areas. And those that have any energy left can utilise the full facilities of the resort with its indoor and outdoor pools, tennis academy and the stunning white sand Falésia beach.

The three-night programme costs €788 and includes:

  • Fitness Assessment with a Personal Trainer
  • 2 Bootcamp Private Classes of 60 minutes
  • 2 Super Stretch Private Class of 30 minutes
  • 2 Personal Training Sessions of 60 minutes
  • A Sports Massage (50 minutes)
  • A Holistic Massage (50 minutes)
  • Thermal Oasis Access at Serenity SPA

The five-night programme costs €1,584 and includes all the above plus

  • Additional Fitness Assessments with a Personal Trainer
  • Nutrition Consultation (personalized plan to take home)
  • Two additional Bootcamp Private Classes
  • Two additional Super Stretch Private Classes
  • Two additional Personal Training Sessions
  • A Deep Tissue Massage (50 minutes)
  • A Hot Stones Massage (50 minutes)

The seven-night programme costs €2,280 and includes all the above plus

  • Two additional Bootcamp Private Classes
  • Two additional Super Stretch Private Classes
  • A Thai Massage (50 minutes)
  • A Renewed Recovery Massage (50 minutes)

Prices include breakfast, lunch, and dinner (beverages not included) with meal plans defined by a nutritionist.

Guests can choose from the luxury accommodation options at Pine Cliffs or stay at other establishments nearby. The resort offers deluxe rooms at Pine Cliffs Hotel with starting rates from €101/£90 per night, or a Suite in Pine Cliffs Ocean Suites from €126/£111 per night, or at Pine Cliff Gardens from €132/£116 per night for stays when booking the retreats.

To book, visit www.pinecliffs.com or call +351 289 500 100.

Read more and learn about the other wellness programmes offered at Pine Cliffs https://serenity-spa.com/en/well-being-retreats/

Why You Should Ditch the Digital for a Detox Escape

Deciding to ditch the digital world for a while and reconnect with nature is a great way to detox yourself from the stress of everyday life. Whether you are looking to run into the Alps or swim in the ocean, leaving your devices behind can be the best thing for your well-being.

With most of us using multiple devices daily and nearly 70% of people still working while on holiday, it is more important than ever to put down your devices and step away from your screens.

Here, we will explore the benefits of a digital detox and ways you can achieve this.

Benefits of a digital detox

Reconnect

Detoxing yourself from digital technology won’t only help you reconnect with friends and family, but it can also help you reconnect with nature and yourself. By spending time away from social media, emails, and other daily life stressors, you can begin to prioritize your own mental and physical well-being.

Sleep better

Staying away from technology can also help improve your sleeping pattern and quality of sleep. Blue light, which you are exposed to through your phone, can disrupt your sleep and affect your melatonin production. And this is not only from using your technology before bed; exposure to it throughout the day can produce the same effect.

Improve mental health

Reducing your screen time can also help boost your mental health. It is no secret that social media can negatively influence mental well-being; from the stress of appearing perfect to comparing yourself to others, it is manipulating emotions to maintain engagement. Removing yourself from constant engagement can benefit you mentally and physically as you remove the negative impacts driven by technology.

Increase attention

A digital detox can also benefit your attention span, making it easier to concentrate on tasks. Devices are increasingly made for efficiency and speed, dragging our attention spans and patience with them. By removing yourself from technology, you can concentrate for extended periods and have a sharper focus and attention to detail. This will not only improve your quality of life and relaxation, as you notice more in your immediate vicinity, but you might also benefit from a better quality of work when you return from your holidays.

How to achieve a digital detox

Try new hobbies and activities

A digital detox doesn’t mean boredom. You can use this time to experiment with new activities and hobbies, whether painting, mushroom foraging, or learning a new language. Alongside the increased attention span, you might find it easier to enjoy new hobbies and learn new skills.

Explore nature

With no need for signal or Wi-Fi, you can explore even more remote areas you might not have considered before. Using this time to explore nature can help your mindfulness and connection with your emotions. Spending time in nature can help reduce ruminations, making you less stressed and more likely to find calmness during your time off than if you were to spend the time indoors.

Gather with friends and family

Use this time away from your technology to reconnect with friends and family. Rather than receiving updates on their lives and celebrating through social media, make sure to group your nearest and dearest for a technology-free occasion. This could be at your home or, if the temptation of technology is too much, out in nature, such as at the beach or in the woods.

Organise a day without your phones, and make sure you plan thoroughly. You may want to buy some meat and gas for BBQs to host a fantastic meal at a campsite, or you could spend the day hiking through your nearest nature reserve with only a map and written directions.

Go on a digital detox holiday

And if you feel a self-imposed digital detox might be too challenging to start with, plenty of locations can help. Finding a digital detox hotel or spa retreat can encourage you to step away from the screens and focus more on yourself. These locations often have a variety of activities, too, helping you learn new foods and cultures without needing your phone.

Give yourself time to “switch off” and remove yourself from the digital landscape. Instead, find yourself exploring nature, reconnecting with friends, and finding new hobbies. By embracing a digital detox, you can learn more about yourself, reset your mindset away from the stressors of work and daily life, and improve your mental and physical well-being in time to return to work. Whether you enjoy BBQs on a beach with friends to reflect on memories or you try your hand at bird watching in the Algarve, by leaving your devices behind, you can begin to experience life more.

How Weddings are Celebrated Differently Across the World

Weddings have been around since approximately 2350 B.C. and since then, different cultures and religions have added their own traditions to this ceremony – making a world of beautiful and unique memories. Worldwide, it is estimated that, on any given day, 115,000 weddings occur.

Whether traditions involve encouraging good luck for newly-weds, or celebrating unity in unique ways, looking at the variety of weddings which occur, and their traditions, can help bring inspiration for beautiful moments within your own ceremonies.

Here, we will explore some traditions from across the world when it comes to the big day.

Zulu weddings

One of the longest wedding ceremonies is the Zulu wedding, which can take almost a full day to complete. This involves multiple meetings between families and the newly-weds, including discussions for the future of their relationship and honouring ancestors. The event is such a spectacle, that the bride doesn’t just adorn one wedding outfit, but in fact must change into three separate pieces in order to prove her beauty within different clothing to her new husband’s family.

As tradition dictates, elders and women have the most prominence. It is the women who initiate a marriage, and the groom is the last called within the ceremony. Zulu weddings also involve dancing and singing as a sign of appreciation.

Nikah ceremony

One of the shortest wedding ceremonies you can attend is a Muslim wedding. These weddings aren’t dictated by culture but religion, and with Islam being a prominent religion in approximately 50 countries, you could find a wide variety of diversity here. With over 1.9 million people practicing Islam across the world, these weddings can vary greatly in tradition, but the fundamental format of Muslim weddings remain.

The shortest Muslim wedding, the Nikah, is generally split into three parts: the Mehr, in which gifts are given to the marrying couple, the Nikah-Namah, which involves signing the marriage contract and readings from the Qur’an, and the Savaqah, which involves guests showering the bride in coins as they wedded couple leave.

Tradition dictates that the bride doesn’t need to attend the Nikah-Namah, if she sends two male witnesses to sign in her place.

As with any wedding traditions, these vary across cultures. In South Asia, the Muslim wedding tradition of Mehndi, decorating the skin with turmeric paste before the wedding, is common practice. Whereas, in Arab pre-wedding tradition, the groom will ask for the bride’s hand in marriage, called Tolbe, and at this point a prayer to Allah will be read from the Qur’an.

United Kingdom weddings

While many of the English counties might traditionally encourage weddings in a church, followed by a reception, there are some counties which embrace their own additional traditions.

Did you know a Northumberland wedding has its own ritual called the sand ceremony? This involves the marrying couple pouring two different coloured sands into a container. This symbolises their unity and love for one another – a beautiful tradition born from the beautiful Northumberland coast lines.

Scotland have their own wedding traditions, including their beautiful kilts which resemble households with their unique tartan designs. Some weddings also include specialised dances during the reception and bonding traditions, such as drinking from the quaich, which symbolises trust in the marriage.

Spanish and Latin American wedding traditions

Full of love and colour, Spanish wedding traditions are an experience to enjoy and many have family at their heart. From the bride’s father hiding the bride from the groom the night before the wedding, to the flower girl and ring bearer dressing in clothes that replicates the newly-weds, there’s something unique about the Spanish outlook.

Many wedding traditions involve money. In Latin American culture, there is the tradition of Las Arras (gold coins). Financial sponsors of the wedding, who can be any number of people within the family, have gold coins which they present to the bride on the day as a promise of care from the groom.

There are 13 of these gold coins, all blessed by a priest, to represent Jesus and his 12 disciples.

All over the world, weddings symbolise love, unity, and future wealth and each culture, faith, country, and even individual families have their own variation of this celebration.

No couple has the same wedding as it is a unique time, yet the fundamentals of unity remain. Looking to how others celebrate this big day can bring inspiration to your own wedding planning and how best to represent the love of you and your partner.

Whether this is joining families in sand, representing and honouring ancestry, or spending a full day celebrating, everyone has their own ways and means of celebrating their special day.

Data Privacy Regulations: How They Will Change the Online Business Landscape in 2023

Back in 2016, The EU adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which gives complete control to users over their personal data and how a company uses it. The GDPR came into play in early 2018, and most companies were enforced to comply with it by providing consumers with the opt-out ability, such as gathering data, etc.

Soon after, many other data privacy regulations increased in popularity and required companies to comply with their data privacy laws right after.

However, have you ever thought about how data privacy laws will affect your online business in 2023? It’s quite a tough question to answer from time to time, but by following the right steps, you’ll be able to clarify everything you need to know.

Let’s dive deeper into this article to find out more!

How are data privacy laws changing regulations in 2023?

The GDPR has greatly influenced other data privacy law regulators, such as the CPRA and many other states across the United States. As of January 1st, 2023, the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (VCDPA), many new law regulations will come into play regarding these acts. Additionally, from July 1st, 2023, these regulations will be set by the Colorado Privacy Act (ColoPA).

One of the key components of these new regulations is the requirement for data discovery definition. This means that companies will need to clearly understand what personal data they collect, where it is stored, and how it is used. This will be crucial in ensuring compliance with these laws and protecting individuals’ privacy.

Firstly, let’s talk about the CPRA. It buys/sells/and shares information with over 100,000 consumers and receives more than 50% of revenue from the personal information sold. As of January 1st, 2023, the CPRA will increase individual and opt-out rights, limit personal data retention and protect employees’ and business contacts’ personal data on a higher level.

Secondly, we have the Colorado Privacy Act (CPA), which explicitly targets Colorado residents and processes personal data of hundreds of thousands of data. Those who violate the CPA regulations will face fines up to $2,000 which can add up all the way to half a million dollars!

Thirdly, there’s the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (VCDPA). Similarly, it processes the personal information of more than 100,000 residents and 25,000 of them are Virginia residents. All of them derive more than 50% of personal information sales. All users who violate these laws will usually pay a fine of up to $7,500 plus attorney fees included.

New privacy regulations that come into effect on January 1st, 2023 will include assessing the adequacy of the vendor’s security and privacy to welcome the return or deletion of data once the contract has ended. One way for online businesses to ensure compliance with these regulations and protect their customers’ personal data is by using contract management software. This type of software can automate the process of assessing vendor security and privacy, as well as facilitate the return or deletion of data once a contract has ended. It is important for online businesses to understand and comply with these regulations to avoid penalties and protect their customers’ personal data. Utilizing contract management software can help ensure compliance and protect sensitive information.

The SHIELD Act

A new act that has been introduced is the SHIELD act. It encourages data protection and is completely against online breaches. Following in those footsteps, many individual states throughout the USA will continue to expand data privacy laws.

New regulations for the PIPL China is one country to get new privacy policy regulations from the Asian region. Like other privacy regulators like the CPRA and GDPR, the new Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) sets higher restrictions for personal data collection. The law asks organizations to state a clear reason businesses need to use and handle personal data.

Getting ready for data privacy

Above all, your organization should assess what type of data privacy laws they should apply to your business and develop a plan. After that, the organization should look at the kind of data it collects and start creating it and how it’ll manage it.

Overall, organizations should create a process of alerting individuals on how their company uses and stores data, obtaining the appropriate methods of opting it out. If you aren’t sure about setting up a data privacy law for 2023, you can always ask data advisors or a counsel that can provide you with the governance plan and data management framework you need.

New contractual obligations under the US privacy law

It’s never a surprise to have a separate contract for separate jurisdictions. For instance, when you’re aiming to conduct targeted ads, you’re targeting nationwide customers instead of a state-to-state approach.

Updating your privacy requirements and data security will be a must for 2023 because you’ll need an excellent approach to navigate these differences and compliance requirements.

Getting the right contractual privity is challenging but not all impossible. For instance, the CPRA requires you to have a contract whenever you send data to a third party and to describe the nature of the sale/share information.

Furthermore, to stay updated, always hire a data privacy specialist to inform you of the latest contractual obligations. If you lack the necessary time to deal with the latest updates, there’s always someone who can!

The summary of what will change in 2023

Data privacy laws are only getting more strict over the years and requiring you to stay compliant. It’s always best to stay updated or hire someone specializing in this part to reduce time consumption and avoid hefty fines.

At the end of the day, it’s never a good idea to engage in data manipulation and always inform customers about the type of data you are trying to collect. Better to stay compliant with data privacy regulators than to pay hefty fines.

Why Call-Transcription is Essential for Business Success

In today’s business environment, staying ahead of the competition is more important than ever. The ability to quickly respond to customer inquiries and requests can make or break a business. That’s why call transcription technology has become an essential tool for businesses looking to stay competitive in their industry.

In this article, we’ll look at the key benefits of call transcription technology and explain why it’s so important for businesses to utilise this powerful tool.

What is Call Transcription?

Call transcription is the process of taking audio recordings of phone conversations and converting them into text. This technology has been around for a few years, but it’s only recently become more widely used in the business world. Transcribe conference calls, customer service calls, and other audio recordings into text with the help of cutting-edge speech-to-text technology.

Is it legal?

Yes, it is legal to use call transcription technology with consent from both parties involved in the conversation. It’s important to make sure that both parties are aware of the transcription and agree to the recording before beginning.

Why is Call Transcription Essential for Businesses

Call transcription technology offers a wide range of benefits for businesses. Here are just a few of the key advantages:

1. Increased Efficiency

By transcribing calls, businesses can save time and effort by quickly reviewing conversations without having to listen to the entire recording and taking notes. This helps companies get more done in less time.

2. Improved Accuracy

Transcription technology can lead to more accurate records of conversations, which helps businesses better understand customer needs and requirements as well as follow up on important conversations.

3. Enhanced Analysis

By transcribing calls into text, businesses can use the data for further analysis. This includes analysing customer service issues, tracking trends in customer feedback, and identifying areas where improvements can be made.

4. Cost Savings

The cost of transcription technology is often lower than alternative options, making it a great way to save money while still getting the most out of customer interactions. For companies that handle a large number of calls, this can add up to significant savings over time.

5. Improved Compliance

Call transcription ensures businesses adhere to relevant regulations and maintain accurate records. This helps protect companies from potential legal problems in the future.

6. Greater Insights

Transcribing phone calls into a text gives businesses an opportunity to gain greater insights into their customers. By analysing conversations and customer feedback, businesses can gain valuable insights into customer behaviour and preferences.

7. Can Assist Marketing Efforts

Call transcripts can be used to gain valuable insights into customer needs, preferences, and interests. This information can then be used in marketing efforts, helping businesses create more effective campaigns and better target their audiences.

8. Transcripts Can Be Used as Posts or Articles

Call transcripts can be used to create posts, articles, and other content. This provides businesses with an extra avenue for marketing their products or services and engaging with their customers.

9. Great for Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents can use call transcription technology to quickly transcribe property tours and track customer interactions. This helps ensure agents are providing the best service possible to their clients.

How Do You Transcribe a Phone Call?

In the past, manually transcribing a phone call was tedious and time-consuming for anyone who wasn’t an experienced transcriber. They would have to painstakingly rewind and replay audio recordings in order to accurately capture every spoken word. Thankfully, that has changed with technological advancements!

Phone call transcription services are now the easiest way to transcribe phone conversations. For example, phone call transcription software provides a simple and speedy solution for transcripts.

This software is designed to be compatible with any system, allowing users to either receive transcripts in real time or within a few hours of the call. If desired, people can also upload their audio and video files directly into the platform.

Conclusion

Transcribing phone calls is an invaluable tool for businesses of all sizes. It helps streamline customer interactions, improve accuracy and efficiency, and gain valuable insights into customer behaviour and preferences. By using modern transcription technology, businesses can quickly and easily transcribe phone conversations without sacrificing quality or accuracy. With the right transcription software, businesses can save time and money while gaining valuable insights into their customers. By using call transcriptions, businesses can ensure they are providing the best service possible to their customers.

All You Need to Know About Encoders

Encoders are a device used to measure an object’s physical movement or position and convert it into a digital signal. They are commonly used in the UK by accident solicitors and other professionals who must accurately record data in order to provide services. In this blog, we’ll take a look at what encoders are, why they’re important, and the different types available on the market.

What are encoders?

Encoders measure physical motion or position and convert that information into digital signals for use in computers, robots, and other electronic systems. Commonly found in industrial automation, encoders can be used for a variety of tasks, such as measuring the speed of a motor or calculating the distance travelled by an object.

Here’s a quick overview of the different types of encoders:

Mechanical Encoder

A mechanical encoder uses mechanical components such as gears or levers to measure physical motion or position. The most common example is a rotary encoder which measures rotation angle by detecting gear teeth passing between contacts on its stator-mounted housing as its rotor turns. This type of encoder is often used for applications where accuracy is not critical and cost savings, such as controlling motors in toys or appliances, are important.

Magnetic Encoder

Magnetic encoders work by sensing changes in magnetic fields produced by magnets attached to moving objects such as motors or conveyor belts. These devices can be used to measure angular position, angular velocity, linear velocity, and linear displacement—all with very high accuracy and repeatability—and are typically found in machine tools or robotics applications where precise control is necessary.

Electromagnetic Induction Encoder

EMI encoders use electromagnetic induction technology to measure movement without contact between two components, such as rotors and stators in rotating machinery or wheels and rails on vehicles like trains or cars. EMI sensors provide highly accurate data but require specialised hardware for installation, which may add to costs depending on application requirements.

Optical Encoders

Optical encoders use light sensors to detect patterns on reflective surfaces, such as discs mounted on rotating shafts from motors or other moving parts in machines. Optical sensors do not require direct contact between components making them more reliable than EMI sensors. When measuring large distances over time with optical sensors, little maintenance is needed compared to traditional mechanical solutions, like gear teeth-based rotary sensors, which need regular calibration.

Understanding what kind of encoder you need for your application can be tricky business, so it’s important you thoroughly research each option before making your selection. By understanding the purpose of each type, along with their advantages and disadvantages, you’ll be able to determine which one best suits your needs. A little research goes a long way!

Changes You Need To Make To Ensure Your Business Is Secure

Businesses are currently going through a lot of hardship due to the current cost of living crisis which is impacting the entire world. This has led to rising inflation and supply issues too, so the last thing business wants now is an issue with the online and physical security of the business.

Depending on your business, much of your operations may be online which puts you at risk of a cyber security attack. What’s more, all businesses bear risk when it comes to physical injuries – even if you operate out of an office.

With that in mind, you’ll want to do all you can to keep your business and employees safe from harm. Failure to do this may lead to difficult times in the near future. To find out what you need to look out for and how you can mitigate these risks, be sure to read on.

IT

Every business will have an IT department, even if you’re the only employee. In the digital age we live in, it has become an essential feature where you save information on clients, sort your finances or count inventory, which is why keeping IT systems safe from cybersecurity is so important.

To keep your business safe from future hacks, take the following steps:

Monitor systems for malicious content

Identify network breaches Install updates frequently Assess the strength of network security Use two-way authentication Purchase anti-virus software Use a reliable and safe HR system to manage your business

Secure your company’s premises

Whether you operate on a construction site or in an office, there will be hazards that could injure employees. In the UK, slips, trips and falls are responsible for most workplace injuries. So, if you want to protect your employees from hazards like these then here’s what you must do.

Perform a risk assessment

A risk assessment will highlight the potential threats to your employees’ safety, so should be completed before anyone begins working. This should include what the danger is and a solution to the issue. Some of the most common things to look out for include:

  • Lighting
  • Tripping hazards
  • Uneven flooring
  • Cleanliness

Rectify issues

Now that you know what the issues are, your next job is to set them straight. This may include putting fresh bulbs in lights, hiring a professional cleaner or organising wires, so they aren’t at risk of tripping your workers up. Failure to do this may put you at risk of a lawsuit if anything goes wrong.

Give employees the correct personal protective equipment (PPE)

Finally, provide the necessary PPE for your employees. This will protect them from harm in the workplace and increase their confidence when working too.

How Data Privacy Laws Will Affect Your Online Business 2023

Data privacy rules around the world govern how customer information is used, such as their address, phone number, and other personal information. These laws provide an excellent framework for how data is processed, individual rights, removal requests, penalties for not complying with them, and more.

However, keep in mind that data privacy laws are changing each year. What kind of changes can you expect this year? How will it affect your business in 2023?

Let’s read more in this article to find out what you need to know.

New regulations with U.S data privacy laws

Despite the many proposals made in the past few years, no federal law governs data privacy in the U.S.A. However, individual states are not waiting for the federal government to act and have set up their own acts. 

Changes made to state regulations

While 2022 limited progress for a federal regulatory scheme in data privacy. Four states in the USA have made significant adjustments to their data privacy regulations that will go into power this year:

The Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (VCDPA) has implemented new regulations from January 1st, 2023. The VCDPA has included a few new requirements, including CCPA compliance, opt-outs, data security and more. 

The Colorado Privacy Act (CPA) targets Colorado residents. New regulations strictly target data collection regarding advertisement, data processing enforcement and restrictions. In addition, fines can result in up to a million dollars! All new rules the CPA sets will go into power from July 1st, 2023.

The California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) buys and sells information of hundreds of thousands of consumers and gains more than 50% of revenue from all the personal information sold. New regulations imposed by the CPRA have come into power since new year’s day. They include increased restrictions regarding personal data retention, protecting employee and business contact personal information and more opt-out rights.

The Connecticut Data Privacy Act (CDPA) will come into effect from July 1st, 2023. It has new restrictions that are similar to the other state privacy acts. However, this is only for Connecticut residents.

The Utah Consumer Privacy Act (UCPA): Will take effect from the end of the year, but has similar regulations to the CPA and VCDPA. However, the UCPA still has more enlightenments to data privacy compared to other states, respectively.

The New York SHIELD Act

The New York SHIELD Act encourages data protection at the maximum level to avoid online breaches. Sometimes, it may be difficult for organizations to comply with several security standards, so they’ll use the SHIELD Act standards for collecting and maintaining private information.

Osano wrote an article that goes deeper into what the New York SHIELD Act is all about and how it’s becoming essential to follow new privacy regulations imposed.

Amendments made to The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2023

The GDPR is the world’s most significant data privacy regulator and accounts for all data privacy collectors in the European Union and those doing business within its boundaries. In addition, it regulates all private data collected and transmitted across all states within the European Union.

Fines for all states and users who refuse to comply will result in paying up to 20 million Euros. The most fundamental requirements of the GDPR are:

Consent: Data subjects have to be given before personal data is collected. However, personal data is information collected through cookie usage in countries such as the USA. Personal information like IP addresses are not considered personal data in the USA, but this isn’t the case for the GDPR. Data Subject Rights: This covers many important parts and keep in mind that your data subjects should be precise and easy to access on your website. This includes all essential information regarding the right to be informed, access personal data, delete information users don’t want on the website, restrict processing, data portability, and refuse data processing. Notifying users about data breaches: All organizations must inform users about data breach at least 72 hours (three days) before it affects their personal information. The GDPR takes this seriously and will increase controls in 2023 because many data breaches go unreported.

Another important aspect to consider under the GDPR is the secure shredding of personal data. This includes the destruction of both physical documents and digital files containing personal information, to ensure that it is irreversibly destroyed when it is no longer needed. Organisations must have processes in place to properly dispose of sensitive information, such as financial or medical data, to avoid potential breaches and ensure compliance with the regulations.

What can you do to prepare for these changes?

Firstly, your organisation should be well aware of which data privacy law it has to follow.

Secondly, each country has its own local data privacy regulators, so always pay attention to them first. Afterward, the organisation should be vigilant of the data it processes, manages, and collects.

If you are in the United States, you won’t have to follow what the GDPR implies, unless you do business within EU states.

In short, organisations should always inform individuals how their data is collected, stored and obtained.

If you’re still wondering how you will comply with data privacy laws this year, make sure to hire a data advisor or counsel that will provide you with the data management framework and governance plan you need. One key element of this plan should be the use of contract management software. This type of software can automate the process of assessing vendor security and privacy, as well as facilitate the return or deletion of data once a contract has ended. Utilising contract management software can help ensure compliance with data privacy laws and protect sensitive information, making it an essential tool for any data management framework and governance plan.

Why We Need To Talk About Uncomfortable Health Topics

It’s not always easy to talk about what’s bothering you but keeping it bottled up is always going to end in grief, particularly when it’s a health issue that has you worried. Talking about uncomfortable health issues, whether physical or mental, is painful but essential because it not only provides the sufferer with potential help but removes the stigma around them.

If you’re suffering from something then chances are someone around you will have or will know someone else who has suffered. In fact, it’s probably a lot more common than you’d think. For example, more than half of all men will need treatment for erectile dysfunction at some point in their life so if you’re worried about talking to your friends about it, it’s more than likely they’ve struggled with it too.

Of course, it’s not something you should be too cavalier about but with the right guidance, to the right people and in the right environment, sometimes talking about it can feel like lifting a weight off your chest. With that in mind, here are a few ways you might want to broach the subject.

Vent to a friend

Sometimes you just need to let it all out. Speaking to your friends about a health problem can help you to feel like you’re not so alone and friends are going to be less overly invested in your problems than your family. You could also perhaps find a more relaxed time to discuss it. Maybe when you’re sharing a few beers at the pub or on the way home from work on a Friday when everyone is feeling relaxed and open. Just try to only share with friends that you know and trust. Not the office blabbermouth.

Talk to your family

If you are very close to your family and have a healthy relationship with them, it’s best to be open with them about what you’re going through. If you’re suffering from something such as alcohol dependency, for example, a strong support system can be vital to your recovery.

Bring it up with your partner

It could be an issue that affects your other half too and they may not have noticed how it is affecting your life or may not have even realised you’ve noticed. If they have noticed, they might even feel as though you’re not comfortable sharing with them. So always keep them in the loop, if you can and you feel safe with them.

Speak to a health professional

Whether it’s a doctor, a therapist or even a nutritionist, a health professional could be able to prescribe something to help with the problem. Or to provide you with a note for your work if you need time off. They will also be able to provide legitimate and considered health advice regarding how best to proceed and will do so in a completely professional and non-judgmental capacity.

If you do decide to talk to a doctor. Make sure you’re prepared.

Make a list of things you need to talk about beforehand, so you don’t forget.

Have an appointment with a doctor of the same sex if that makes you feel better.

Be specific and to the point, they deal with this daily, remember.

Tell them you feel nervous, and they will probably make it easier for you. They are only human, after all.

Exercises That help You Stay Calm

When you’re under pressure, do you find it hard to stay calm? Our life can be overwrought, with deadlines looming and essential tasks waiting for us. This can lead to nervy and anxious moments.

Relaxation techniques can be used to take a break from the hectic world around us and help us reconnect with our inner selves. Many exercises can be performed to relax the muscles, including breathing, meditation, and yoga.

They can also include visualisation, aromatherapy, and music and art therapy. Each exercise has its own unique benefits, and many of these techniques can be done quickly and easily, making them an excellent way to stay calm and relaxed.

Here are six exercises that can help you stay calm and centered.

1. Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises can be used to help relax the body and mind. You can perform a deep breathing exercise by lying on the ground or sitting quietly in a comfortable space. Close your eyes if you’re comfortable doing so, and take slow, deep breaths by focusing on the sensation of air entering and leaving your body.

Inhale deeply through your nose for 4-7 seconds, hold it for a few moments, then exhale slowly through the mouth. Observe how each breath feels as you take it several times.

2. Swimming

Swimming and other types of exercises in the water can help improve relaxation. In addition, participating in activities like swimming, yoga, aerobics pool classes, or doing a floating exercise can be very helpful for managing stress levels.

Being submerged in water stimulates the body’s parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation response) to reduce stress hormones and anxiety. Additionally, being in the water encourages using all major muscle groups, which can help improve mood.

3. Dancing

The act of dancing is an excellent method of reducing stress and anxiety, as well as staying calm. Endorphins are naturally released during dancing and help reduce stress and improve focus.

Cardio exercises are essential for improving dancing skills and increasing heart rate and blood flow. Although most cardio exercise doesn’t require heavy equipment, but some do. If you need gear for cardio exercise, check out reliable online stores such as Cardioonline.

4. Meditation

Meditation is an ancient practice that is known to help reduce stress. Meditation involves focusing your attention on your feelings and the present moment. This type of mindfulness practice can help with symptoms such as anxiety, depression, irritability, and restlessness.

You can practice meditation in a variety of ways, such as breathing exercises, walking meditation, and guided meditation. Regular practice can help you stay calm during stressful times, and practices such as yoga and tai chi also combine meditation techniques with physical activities to further reduce stress levels.

5. Walking

Walking is great for when you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. Walking involves being mindful of your body and aware of where you are as you move. This type of exercise can be performed indoors as well as outdoors.

When walking, take notice of the sensations in your feet and your legs as you move. Maintain a steady pace and concentrate on each step. Avoid getting stuck in perfectionism, and let yourself enjoy the process.

6. Stretch Your Muscles and Limbs

The benefits of stretching include reducing stress and relaxing tense muscles. Take a few deep breaths before beginning, and find a comfortable position.

Start by rolling your neck and shoulders, then move down your arms flexing your wrists as far as you can, and stretch out each of your fingers.

Next, slowly bring one of your legs up and hold it in place for 10 seconds before slowly releasing it. Repeat this with the other leg, then complete the exercise by twisting your torso and reaching up toward the sky.

Conclusion

Exercise in almost any form can help you both physically and mentally. From deep breathing and physical exercise to improved listening skills and boxing, plenty of exercises are available to help you stay calm and find better ways to manage your stress.

How to Choose a Windsurfing Board

Windsurfing has been around since the 1940s, but it’s seen a resurgence in popularity today, with more people discovering its enjoyable and rewarding sport. With so many boards available on the market, choosing one can be overwhelming; you don’t want to make an expensive mistake. To help you find the right board that suits your needs, let’s explore what aspects of windsurfing boards should be considered when making your decision. From beginner sailors to experts looking for an upgrade or new board, this guide provides all the information necessary to choose the perfect windsurfing board.

1. Consider Your Skill Level and Experience

First and foremost, you must consider your current skill level and experience. If you’re a beginner windsurfer, starting with boards designed for learning is essential. Look for boards with wider tails and larger volumes. These boards are easier to control and provide more stability in the water, making them the ideal choice for novice sailors.

The type of board you’ll need depends on the conditions you plan to sail in. If you intend to sail mostly on flat water, look for more stable boards with less rocker. For windier days and rougher conditions, a more aggressive board with many rockers is better suited.

2. Think About the Size

The size of your board is just as important as the shape and will depend on your weight and skill level. Generally speaking, the heavier you are, the larger the board should be. Larger boards tend to be slower but offer more stability than smaller boards.

When purchasing a board for learning, bigger is usually better; it will be easier to stand on and provide more floatation. The wing foil gear is typically larger than other boards, usually in the mid to large-size range, so keep this in mind if you plan on taking up foil windsurfing. You may also consider a board package with all necessary gear, such as fins and a sail.

3. Choose the Right Fin Setup

The fin setup you choose will largely depend on your sailing style. Free-ride windsurfers usually use larger fins with more area, which provide stability and grip while keeping the board in control. Wave sailors often prefer smaller fins with less area, as they provide a more responsive feel and allow for more manoeuvrability in the surf.

For those looking to freestyle, it’s best to combine fin setups: small center fins with larger side fins. This setup is ideal for pop-shove-its and other freestyle tricks. You can always experiment with different fin setups to find which works best for your style and the conditions you sail in. You may consider purchasing a board with two or three fin boxes for more advanced sailors.

4. Look for Quality Construction

The construction of a windsurfing board is just as important as its size and shape. You want a board that will last and perform well in the water, so look for boards made with high-quality materials and craftsmanship. Many top brands offer excellent construction and quality control, so it pays to invest in a board from one of these manufacturers.

Ideally, you want a light and strong board, so look for ones made with epoxy resins or carbon fibre. These materials provide superior strength while remaining lightweight, making them perfect for windsurfing. You should also try to find a board with suitable foot strap inserts.  so it’s vital that the inserts are securely attached and don’t move around when you’re sailing. Look for boards with multiple insert points if you need to attach any other surfing accessories. This will allow you to easily attach and adjust your gear without drilling into the board.

3 Pros and Cons of Flat Roofs on Commercial Buildings

Posted on 31st January 2023

Commercial buildings have featured flat tops for years, and the trend is catching up with residential houses. Flat roofs are just as the name suggests. They are flat with little inclination to ensure it doesn’t collect water.

If you plan on installing a flat roof on your commercial building but are unsure if it is the right option, this guide highlights some pros and cons you will want to consider when making that choice.

Advantages

They Are Cheaper, and Faster To Install When investing, time and money are the most critical resources, and installing a flat roof on your commercial ensures you save both. The main reason flat roofs are cheaper is that they use less material.

Also, the installation process is less risky, meaning you will pay less. The less risky process also means that workers will be done building the roof in a fraction of the time required to create a pitched roof. Cost-saving roofing becomes more significant when you have several commercial roofing projects to handle, or your roof is expansive.

Versatility

After installing a pitched roof, there is very little you can do on top of it. Flat rooftops, on the other hand, are very versatile. You can use them for almost any purpose as long as you have built them to the right standard.

You can turn the roof into a garden where tenants can go to unwind. These roofs also offer a perfect platform for installing appliances such as air conditioners, solar panels, water tanks, and other things you may want to have.

More Accessible

If you are the type of person that loves having access to every part of your property, a flat roof will be the best option for you due to ease of accessibility.

Having an accessible roof ensures you can inspect everything rather than depend on others to tell you the condition of your building. The same cannot be said of a pitched roof that requires the right skills and gear to access.

Disadvantages

Drainage Problems

Pitched roofs are great at draining water fast due to their sloppy inclination and can rarely have drainage problems. On the other hand, flat roofs are almost flat. This means that a slight design error could result in puddling and consequently compromise the integrity of your roof.

The best protection against drainage problems is working with roofers with experience building flat roofs. The problems become even more pronounced in winter if you live in a temperate zone due to snow build-up. You can address the problem of snow build-up by ensuring that you shovel snow regularly.

Low Durability

The second disadvantage of flat roofs for commercial buildings is less durability compared to pitched roofs. On average, materials used to build flat roofs last approximately 15 to 20 years, after which you may need to replace them.

But you can extend the life of your roof by using materials such as polyurethane liquid, polycarbonate materials, GRP fiberglass, and EPDM rolled rubber. Some of these materials may be slightly expensive, but they are worth considering if saving cost is not the only factor in choosing a flat roof.

Less Stylish If you love designs, you may not have as many options with a flat roof as you would with a pitched roof. This limitation in styling options is often cited as the main downside for flat roofs among property owners.

But it is still possible to achieve some pretty stylish designs when working with an experienced roofer. However, the options cannot be as close to what you can get with a pitched roof.

Final Words

Before settling for a flat roof for your commercial building, it’s important to consider some of the most important pros and cons highlighted above while comparing them to the alternative. Also, it is also important to get your contractor’s or engineer’s opinions to be on the safe side.

Five Actions Every SME Should Take in 2023

Whether or not the UK is technically in recession, the cost-of-living crisis is certainly curbing consumers’ spending power. According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, 93% of people report that their cost of living is higher than it was a year ago. This means that many businesses are facing a tough year ahead. With that in mind, UK sales transformation specialist Sales Talent has shared five actions that every small and medium enterprise (SME) owner can take in 2023 to enhance their chances of success.

“Whether we’re in the midst of economic growth of 0.1% or a contraction of 0.1% right now, the difference for businesses on the ground is minimal. The fact remains that consumers have less disposable income than they did this time last year. But there is still plenty that businesses can do to counterbalance the tough times.”

Paul Owen, MD, Sales Talent

1. Do better research

It isn’t time to panic and start desperately cold calling to try and drum up business. Instead, research shows that taking the time to research potential customers can pay dividends. According to the LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2022, 82% of top performing salespeople always carry out research before they get in touch with prospects. Pausing before picking up the phone and investing time in each prospect can make a big difference.

2. Invest in your staff

If a business is quiet, it’s the perfect time to focus on nurturing staff. Investing in a training programme can reassure teams that they have a long-term future with the company. It can also strengthen team and individual performance, ready for when things pick up again. There is always potential for staff to develop, so a programme of continuous learning can benefit both individuals and the business as a whole.

3. Be dynamic

While large companies can take weeks or even months to make decisions and implement them, small and medium-sized businesses have the advantage of being fast and flexible when it comes to decision making.

“Whether it’s a change of course, a new strategy, a training programme or anything else, a tough economic climate is the ideal time to be dynamic and put new plans in motion. Smaller businesses have the agility to experiment and adapt. If you and your business aren’t taking advantage of that, ask yourself what you could change.”

Paul Owen, MD, Sales Talent

4. Don’t wait and see

The greatest danger to a business that’s facing financial difficulties is to wait and see. Economic pressures can feel overwhelming, but this can cloud the potential to make changes and pursue local advantages. There is plenty on offer for small and medium enterprises around the UK, from micro-grants to free business masterclasses for owners. Finding out what is available locally can open up new avenues to move a business forward.

5. Stay focused on your ethics

Many small business owners start their companies because they are passionate about a particular product or service. It’s important to keep that in mind when times are tough, as operating in line with your principles is essential to long-term success. Not only can doing so impact your reputation – and with social media and sites such as TrustPilot, reputation has never been more important – but it can also ensure you feel good about what you do. And that is key to keeping a business going and remaining happy doing so over the longer term.

How to Style Pantone’s 2023 Colour of the Year – Viva Magenta 

Pantone has chosen Viva Magenta as its Colour of the Year for 2023, and it is far from subtle. 

According to Lee Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute: “Viva Magenta is both powerful and empowering.” 

Its bright tones make it an excellent choice for those looking for something extra special. One way to do this is by incorporating it within your outfits. To help people to style this vibrant, dynamic colour, Ian Kelly, Buying and Commercial Director at Accent Clothing, has revealed six ways to incorporate this colour into a wardrobe.  

Magenta Base 

This harmonious hue, which combines a vibrant shade of purple and pink, is the perfect bold base for any colour combination. Whether you choose to wear Viva Magenta alone or pair it with other colours, this eye-catching shade will instantly make any outfit look luxurious and chic. 

Start by investing in a few key pieces of clothing such as a magenta dress, blouse, skirt or even trousers. You can dress these pieces up or down depending on accessories. Add some gold jewellery and glamorous heels. We love these classic gold hoop earrings, which bring together any outfit!  

Colour wheel combo

To enforce a bold statement, use the colour wheel to find a complementary shade. Viva Magenta is across from green on the wheel so, combining the two can be powerful and rich. Once again, keep Viva Magenta as the base but incorporate tiny amounts of green for contrast. A stunning example is this luxurious Replay midi dress

A contrasting accessory such as this gorgeous Valentino bag can be the extra element to your outfit, paired with some gorgeous jewel tones such as emerald. Remember, when styling yourself, don’t be afraid to experiment with different shades and accessories to create the perfect look. 

Balance the look with neutrals 

Magenta may initially appear to be a challenging colour to incorporate, however, pairing it with neutrals is the easiest style hack for anyone who prefers subtle looks and quieter colour palettes. These white trainers are a staple item of any capsule wardrobe. If you are wanting your Viva Magenta bags, and accessories to become the centrepiece of your outfit, this is the option for you. 

According to Pantone: Viva Magenta is a red that strikes a balance between warm and cool, it’s not too harsh for the body, making it perfect to pair with other cool tones. Combine it with beiges and whites with a pop of magenta. Perfect if you want to inject some colour. For those wintery days, wrap up with a plaid scarf with your neutral outfit.  

Monochromatic look  

One of the best ways to wear Viva Magenta this year is to go monochrome. 

A monochromatic outfit is when you use one colour in different shades. As Pantone describes “wear it with other pinks and command the room.” Although monochrome looks have been around for quite a while, they always look elegant.  

Complete this monochromatic look with a pastel pink belt and these gorgeous gold-plated hydro glass hoop earrings in the most stunning soft pink tone. 

Shoes 

Complete your shoe closet by placing this captivating hue in your collection. It’s not only elegant but will elevate your outfit and lend a distinctive edge to your look, whether you choose dazzling heels or trainers. You could also incorporate this colour into your wedding day look if you are a 2023 bride. 

Style Expert Shares 7 Outfits to Pair with Crossbody Bags

Crossbody bags are the ultimate versatile accessory, with searches increasing by 64% in the past year alone and half a million searches a month. They have become an absolute staple in every woman’s wardrobe with endless styling opportunities. 

To help you incorporate more trends when adding your favourite crossbody bags to a look, style expert Claire Breslin from Larizia has put together a comprehensive guide on seven stylish outfits to pair with a crossbody bag. 

A power suit  

More than ever before the suit is an absolute staple for 2023. No matter what shade or pattern you’re wearing, a crossbody bag becomes an easy and stylish accessory to add to it.  

If the suit is a neutral tone, opt for a statement crossbody bag to compliment and contrast. On the other hand, for more pattern-heavy suits, pick a simple crossbody bag that doesn’t compete with the flair of the attire.  

A floral maxi dress

Another easy way to style a crossbody bag is with a maxi dress, which looks flattering and feminine on all body types. A bright floral print is an effortless yet elegant outfit. If you decide on a maxi dress, keep the other accessories to a minimum to ensure a well-balanced aesthetic.  

A long coat and neutral boots  

While it’s cold, long coats and boots will remain the go-to look for most of us.  

A key styling tip for this look is to opt for a high-heeled pair of neutral-toned boots that will elongate the leg and make you appear taller. This will allow people to notice the overall silhouette the coat is creating, as well as the beautiful crossbody bag you pair with it. 

The equestrian look  

The equestrian trend has been around for quite some time, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere. The staple elements of this look are sculpting leggings in knee-high boots in brown and neutral tones. This makes it an easy look to pair with a classic crossbody bag from the same colour palette, like the Coach Tabby 26 bag. 

An all-black look with a statement jacket   

The all-black look is a timeless style that will always stay relevant, yet this one comes with a twist. If you want to make your new statement jacket stand out, or you simply didn’t know how to style a flashy jacket, pair it with a black crossbody bag, black leggings, black boots, and a black top and beanie. This is one of the trendiest outfits you can try as part of your crossbody bag styling.   

Loungewear 

Loungewear sets remain a great outfit choice when prioritizing comfort. A stylish loungewear co-ord is the perfect and easiest way to wear a crossbody bag. This look is the perfect example of when a beautiful handbag and quality shoes completely elevate an outfit and make it stylish. 

A shacket   

Shackets have seen a huge increase in popularity over the last few months. Not only are they on trend for winter, but they also create a fashionable twist to the classic “top and bottoms” combo styled with a crossbody bag. To dress up your everyday shacket, choose a smarter statement crossbody bag and tailored trousers.  

Offsite Team Building: Does Your Company Need It?

Team building is, in the broad sense of the term, the process of forming and improving a team. Ideally, this is a complex of diverse activities aimed at forming an effective team, competent distribution of roles, and productive interaction of team members. In the process of team building, the regularity and diversity of events play a role.

In addition to specially thought-out team-building activities in the office, and at the workplace, there is a practice of offsite team-building. The option is not cheap as it also includes charter bus rental but it gives good results.

Let’s look at this method of working with the team and figure out when it is appropriate, why it is needed, how to choose coach bus rental, and what to do to make it most effective.

When is offsite team building using a charter bus appropriate?

Offsite team building is a way to reboot the team:

  • before working on a new project;
  • when new rules of interaction are introduced;
  • when it is necessary to prepare the team for new working conditions;
  • when you need to see the work of the team and each individual in an unbiased way;
  • when it is necessary to assess the personal competencies and psychological qualities of each team member in practice.

Goals and objectives of field team building

Offsite team building in nature is not identical to going out with a team for kebabs, you usually meet in the early morning and go outside the city for the whole day on coach buses. A weekend with colleagues can be a pleasant pastime, a good rest, but it will hardly help to reset the collective mind.

Team building in nature involves:

  • setting a measurable goal;
  • decomposition of a goal into micro-tasks;
  • a well-thought-out route to achieve the goal;
  • as an option, immersion in the light version of real conditions.

How to rent a bus for a corporate party

Choosing a bus charter for a corporate event should be guided not only by personal preferences but also by the requirements for the bus established by the norms of legislation. In addition to the serviceable technical condition and the availability of a certificate of conformity, it is necessary to check the travel pass, which must contain a note on the permission to carry out road traffic. You should check the first aid kit. It should contain medicines and equipment for first aid.

If a rented bus for transporting people to a corporate event meets all the requirements, this indicates that the charter bus company is ready to act in the interests of the customer and its business.

While choosing a bus rental consider the number of people to choose the appropriate vehicle and remember that safety is first so this is not the point where it is possible to save money. Choose only trusted service providers like BCS Bus Charter rental.

Methods of organising field team building

At the place of organization, team building can be held in the city or outdoors, indoors or outdoors.

In terms of duration, it can be one day or two days. If the goal of organizing team building is to increase the loyalty of employees and family members to the company, two-day weekends with families, and corporate trips to nature make sense, but it is also important to carefully consider the program of the event.

Offsite team building for the weekend: advantages and disadvantages

Advantages

  • You can work out large-scale goals.
  • Restarts employees well.
  • Allows you to look at the team in action not only in combat conditions but also in an informal setting.
  • You can consider the problems that exist in the team, which cannot be considered at a one-day training.
  • You can consider the potential of new employees.

Disadvantages

  • More expensive than the local team building + banquet format.
  • It is required to solve the issue of overnight accommodation.
  • On weekends, most employees prefer to be with their families and go about their business.
  • Negative attitude on the part of employees if the corporate culture is not well developed enough.
  • The necessity to pay for the bus rentals.
  • It is up to you to decide whether to use offsite team building in your company.
  • It is important to formulate the goals of team building, identify problems and find their solution.
  • Invest in the team, shape the corporate culture following the goals and values of the company, and then you will be successful, close in scale to the success of the largest companies.

Real Estate Investments: Pros and Cons That Landlords Need to Know

Posted on 30th January 2023

Investing in real estate can be a good idea for some people, but it’s not suitable for everyone. It can be a great way to generate passive income, build long-term wealth, and hedge against inflation.

However, finding the right real estate property can be a daunting task. It also requires a significant upfront investment, and it can be risky if the property does not appreciate in value or if the rental income does not cover the mortgage and other expenses. It is important to do thorough research and consider factors such as location, property condition, rental demand, and potential return on investment before making a decision.

Here are some tips on how to find the best real estate to invest in.

Research Local Markets

When choosing a property, it’s important to research local markets in order to determine whether they are likely to appreciate over time or not. It’s also a good idea to talk with local real estate agents and investors who have experience investing in the area you’re interested in. This will help you gain a better understanding of market trends and what types of properties may be most profitable.

Consider Potential Rental Income

If your intention is to rent out the property to tenants that are looking for apartments for rent in order to get passive income, it’s important to factor this into your decision-making process. Look at similar properties that are currently being rented out and compare their rental rates with those of similar properties that are for sale. Additionally, consider any additional costs associated with being a landlord, such as maintenance fees or insurance premiums, so that you have an accurate picture of what it would cost you each month if you were renting out the property.

Look at Capital Appreciation Potential

It’s also important to consider capital appreciation potential when searching for real estate investments. Look at historical data to get an idea of how much value a particular area has gained over time and make sure that you understand any potential risks associated with investing in that particular location before making your final decision. Additionally, look at any future development plans in the area which could potentially impact the value of your investment down the line.

Benefits of Real Estate Investing

There are a number of reasons why people choose to invest in real estate, but some of the most common benefits include:

Generating additional income

Rent from tenants can provide you with a source of ongoing passive income that can help pay down your mortgage, finance other investments, or simply provide extra spending money each month.

Building wealth

Over time, your rental property (or properties) will likely increase in value, providing you with an asset that you can sell for a profit down the road or pass on to your children as part of your legacy.

Diversifying your investment portfolio

Real estate investing offers an opportunity to diversify your portfolio beyond stocks and bonds by adding an asset class that reacts differently to market conditions.

Control

As an owner, you have control over the property and can make decisions about how it is managed and used.

Risks of Real Estate Investing

Of course, no investment is without risk, and there are a few things you should keep in mind before diving into real estate investing headfirst.

These risks include:

High initial investment

Buying a property generally requires a larger upfront investment than other types of investments, like stocks or mutual funds. And if you’re financing your purchase with a mortgage, you’ll also have ongoing monthly expenses, like principal and interest payments, insurance premiums, taxes, and more.

Management and maintenance

Owning a property comes with the responsibility of managing and maintaining it. This can be time-consuming and costly, and it may be necessary to hire property management or contractors to handle repairs and maintenance.

Short-term vacancy risk

Even if you do your due diligence and carefully organize the tenant screening process before leasing out your property, there’s always a chance that your units could end up vacant for periods of time between tenants. This can be eating into your profits (or even put you in the red) if it happens too often.

Risk of natural disaster

Natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes, can cause significant damage to the property and can make it uninhabitable.

Illiquidity

Once you’ve purchased a property, it can take months to sell it if you need or want to liquidate your investment quickly. That’s not always convenient (or possible) if you find yourself in need of quick cash.

To summarise, investing in real estate can be an attractive option for some people since it can lead to long-term wealth preservation and the potential for passive income.

However, it’s important to weigh the risks involved with this type of investment against the potential benefits by doing the research before taking the plunge.

Investing in real estate may not be suitable or worthwhile for everyone, but if done right, it can result in financial gains and benefits that can last in the long run.

4 Vital Steps to Take if you’re Involved in an Accident on a Building Site in Texas

Posted on 30th January 2023

The construction industry is among the most dangerous industries to work in. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), Texas’s construction and extraction industries reported approximately 115 fatal injuries in 2021 alone.

Some of the most common accidents on the construction site include slip and fall, fall from height, being hit by falling objects, and machinery-related accidents. It is the responsibility of Texas employers to keep their employees safe.

So if you have been injured on a building site anywhere in Texas, you may be eligible for compensation. But your chances of recovering compensation depend on your steps after an accident.

Vital Steps to Take

Get Medical Help

Irrespective of the type of accident, getting medical attention should always be a priority. This is especially true for high-impact accidents associated with the construction industry. The best time to get medical help is immediately after an accident, even when you may not feel like your injuries are severe.

Some injuries tend to hinder the adrenaline rush, while others are slow to manifest even when they could be severe. So make sure you call 911. Besides ensuring your health is upheld, the medical records you obtain play a critical role in building your case and determining the value of damages suffered.

Gather Evidence at the Scene

As you await medical help, you can gather all the evidence you can from the accident scene. Part of your evidence gathering should be taking pictures and recording video of your surroundings, the hazard responsible for causing the accident, and the nature of your injuries.

In some cases, unfortunately, the pain of your injuries may be too much to allow any evidence gathering.

Under such circumstances, you may ask someone to help. The other part of evidence gathering is collecting witness testimonies to help capture the witnesses’ most accurate recollection of the accident.

Report the Accident

States have laws stipulating when and how to report a workplace-related accident. In most cases, you may have several weeks to months to report an accident at your workplace. Failure to report your accidents within the stipulated time can void your chances of recovering compensation for your injuries.

The best approach to reporting is doing it as soon as an accident occurs. If you can’t have someone do it on your behalf, for example, a family member or lawyer.

Get Legal Help

If an accident results in significant injuries, you will be eligible to collect compensation, regardless of fault.

While the claims process for workplace accidents in Texas is straightforward by design, it is rarely so in practice, especially when the injuries suffered are significant. The best approach is working with a local lawyer. For instance, if your workplace accident happened in San Antonio, an experienced construction accident attorney from the region would be your best pick.

According to statistics involving a lawyer in your case improves the chances of getting fair compensation by up to five times. Also, you will not have to pay until you receive your pay out, and you do not owe them anything if they do not win your case.

Recoverable Benefits in a Construction Site Accident

Recoverable damages for a construction site accident depend on whether the employer has subscribed to the state-run workers’ compensation program. For subscribed employers, you can only recover economic damages. Economic damages are monetary costs directly linked to your injuries, such as medical bills, prescription medicine, lost wages, cost of living aids, etc.

Texas does not require all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance unless the government contracts them for any project. If your employer is not subscribed to a workers’ compensation program, you can recover non-economic damages on top of economic damages.

Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, disfigurement, disability, loss of life’s enjoyment, PTSD, stress, anxiety, and depression. The downside to dealing with a non-insured employer is that they may not have the money to compensate you for damage suffered when they amount to significant figures.

How Technology has Revolutionised Global Trading

While the terms ‘trading’ and ‘investing’ are often used interchangeably, there are fundamental but
subtle difference that separate these two practices.

Certainly, the goal of investing is typically to build wealth in the medium to longer-term, whereas traders use vehicles and strategies that unlock short-term gains.

While technology and innovation has changed both practices considerably, it has arguably had the biggest impact on global trading. But what did trading used to be like, and how exactly have the financial markets evolved over time?

Then and Now – Historic Trading on Wall Street

The history of Wall Street can largely be traced back to the formation of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), which followed the signing of the ‘Buttonwood Agreement’ by 24 separate stockbrokers on May 17th, 1792.

This laid out the initial rule and guidelines for stock and commodities trading and sought to create trust between all participating parties, based on the premise that market trading was a corporeal endeavour that needed to be done in-person (or through physical brokers).

Even until a few decades ago, trading the market was largely done in-person and over the telephone, making it the preserve of seasoned or institutional investors across the globe. This has gradually changed since the onset of the digital age, with computerisation having encouraged brokerages to transition virtually and investors to embrace trading online from desktop devices and smartphones.

This has gradually made the markets and a broad range of investment vehicles increasingly accessible to more demographics, including retail traders and part-time operators.

What Technological Changes Have Been Most Impactful?

Perhaps the single biggest innovation has been the evolution of digital trading platforms, which serve as one-stop brokerage sites through which investors can analyse, prepare and execute individual trades.

The advancement of mobile technology and devices such as smartphones have helped these platforms to evolve further.

Even from a wider perspective, mobile payment technology is changing how we live and opening up and exciting market opportunities, while driving financial inclusion and increasing access to bank accounts by approximately 20% between 2011 and 2014.

Certainly, this trend has increased the number of active forex traders across the globe and boosted
daily trading volumes, while diversifying the demographics that have access to the markets across the globe.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and its core principle machine learning have also started to have an incredible impact on trading. More specifically, these innovations are helping traders to draw data from increasingly vast and unstructured sources (like social media), creating predictive analytics that are insightful and capable of driving more successful trades.

The Last Word – What are the Key Innovations of the Future?

While AI will become increasingly influential in the near and medium-term, there are other technologies
that will also shape the global financial markets going forward.

One of the most obvious is blockchain, which refers to innovative distributed ledger technology and creates immutable records of transactions. This technology has already had a huge impact on the global trade supply chain, while it may also help to minimise transaction costs and increase transparency across a range of investment markets.

This will be particularly crucial in volatile markets such as forex, which have been widely manipulated by institutional traders in the past and underpinned a widespread lack of transparency and mistrust in the sector.

Corporate Transport. Necessity or Luxury?

Corporate transport is passenger cars or multi-seat mini busses designed to meet the company’s need for the transportation of employees.

Сorporate coach charter for transportation of personnel – an assistant for modern business

In large cities and megacities, the transport problem does not cease to be relevant. Traffic jams, impressive distances from home to work, financial waste on travel: people who work at various enterprises face this every day. Owners of many organisations, to improve labour productivity and increase employee loyalty, choose a corporate bus rental.

What problems does corporate transport solve?

The work bus rental is not only an additional “bonus” for the employees of the enterprise but also a great advantage for the company as a whole. When organising the delivery of employees to the workplace and home after the end of the working day, you can solve several issues:

  • Minimize lateness.
  • To increase the loyalty of workers to the management.
  • To improve the productivity of people, respectively, to increase the productivity of the company as a whole.
  • Make the team friendly and united.
  • To increase the prestige of the company in the labour market, to attract qualified workers with experience to work in the organisation.
  • To exclude unauthorised departure of employees earlier than the scheduled time – to strengthen labour discipline.
  • Ensure safety for workers during travel.

If the transportation of people is organized, the company will be able to introduce a shift or night work schedule, while there will be no reason to worry about whether the employee will be able to be at the workplace on time. Using corporate party bus rental for organising team building.

Corporate bus services: convenience for the company and employees

The decision to use a corporate charter bus, for example, BCS Bus Charter rental is often made by large companies, where the labor of a large number of employees is involved. This is done in two ways: the purchase by the enterprise of its transport for the transportation of people or the rental of a bus with the services of hired drivers.

The organization of service delivery, as proven in practice, contributes to the improvement of the company’s work, and there are several reasons for this.

Improving labour productivity

The journey from home to work takes a long time, especially in a big city, and public transport does not always work properly. This causes travel delays and lateness, negatively affecting the workflow. The number of them is sharply reduced if employees can come to the place of work by official transport. Corporate delivery allows employees to arrive at the enterprise and has time to start work without delay.

Staff motivation and increased satisfaction

Employees who are provided with delivery to their place of work by corporate transport do not spend any money or extra time on the road. At the same time, their daily trips are more comfortable than traveling on public transport. Such attention of the company to the needs of employees increases their sense of satisfaction with their work.

Introduction of a shift or flexible schedule

The specifics of production often require shift work or the establishment of a different schedule than the standard one. In this case, it is even more difficult for employees to arrive on time, especially at night, when there is no public transport. If the place of work is located in a remote area or outside the city, then you can only get to it at an untimely time by private car or taxi. The organisation of service delivery helps to find a compromise between the interests of the company and employees.

Solving problems with company bus service

In the conditions of modern business, there are always several indisputable reasons why corporate transport is needed.

When renting corporate transport, the services include:

Logistics coordination. When hiring a corporate bus, you don’t have to worry about handling logistics, ensuring that everyone arrives safely and on time.

Cost-effectiveness. The corporate bus eliminates the need to reimburse employees for any travel-related expenses that may be incurred during the trip.

Maintenance. You can be sure that all their passengers will arrive at their designated place safely, comfortably, and on time.

Charter buses are fully equipped with toilets, TV, stereo system, air conditioning, and other modern amenities.The advantages of corporate transportation are undeniable. However, its main benefit is the optimisation of the company’s work by eliminating the inconveniences of the way to work.

Young handsome businessman is sitting in luxury car. Serious bearded man in suit is working with laptop and talking on smart phone while being in trip.

How to Create a Flawless Stock Trading App: Dos and Don’ts for Beginners and Beyond

The applications and websites that let stock market traders trade with a few taps or clicks on their mobile phones and other devices are increasingly attracting the attention of stock market traders. The market will have a solution and trading convenience by making a stock trading app. Due to the lack of fully functional trading apps on the market and among consumers, it is a great time to find out how to create a trading app (the Topflight Apps blog will help you in this matter). If you have brilliant ideas for trading app development, you should create a stock trading app.

Types of Stock trading apps

The market grows and evolves to accommodate various developments. Consequently, there are now two main kinds of trading platforms. People often utilise the following kinds of trading networks or platforms:

Traditional: It encompasses trading in commodities, including currencies, precious metals, and various other conventional items. In the market, this form of trading is widely accepted and trusted. Traditional equities are more recognisable to individuals, so they feel safe investing in them. The creator of a trading app gains from traditional trading since he may include several assets in the app.

Cryptocurrency: This kind of trading software is brand-new and well-liked by customers. You may have heard of terms like Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. When it comes to cryptocurrencies, there are numerous things to watch out for, such as purchasing, selling, and managing assets with a few smartphone taps. Both controlled and decentralised exchanges of the cryptocurrency asset are possible. The market will change if successful software is developed for bitcoin trading since many consumers and traders are interested in doing so.

Functions of a stock trading app

The fundamental trading software features provide all the tools required to execute a successful trade. However, the user will obtain more tools in the program that assist him in making better-informed judgments about his trade using the trading software premium features.

This is a list of some of the standard features included in all trading software and apps:

  • Online dashboard: The purpose of the stock trading dashboard is to provide the user with organised stock market data so they can quickly follow their objectives, make decisions, and learn from their platform trials.
  • Stock screeners: The stock screening algorithms have proven to be highly successful. These stock trading algorithms provide results that aid in stock comparison and comprehension for the user.
  • Real-time screening of stock charts and coats: The feature is available on the dashboard of the most popular trading applications. The services enable users to develop a better plan by updating stock market data every second.

Your trading platform development must have these aspects of investing apps. Additionally, ensure that financial services regulatory compliance is included in the creation of your trading platform.

Trading app development rules

You must have an onboard team which is essential to create a stock trading platform. Three key individuals should lead the development team for a stock trading app. One is a skilled project manager with knowledge of financial issues and other associated issues. The other is a qualified IT architect to create a stock market app. You need a business analyst with extensive knowledge of the financial sector. You must monitor your money while the trading software is being developed.

Set up your trading platform and decide what products you will provide before you do anything else. It would help if you first conducted surveys about the stock trading software. This can help you understand what users want in a new trading app. After many discussions with your team over the surveys, you will have a good idea of what your trading app will provide.

Determine the features your stock trading app will provide before you start designing trading APIs. Is it intended for speakers of English or a different language? IOS and Android compatibility for the trading platform? Does the webpage for your stock trading software exist? Before you begin to make automated trading software, all such concerns should be addressed.

Trading through platforms like those in mobile banking applications has a real-time threat intelligence security system. Because the trading app will retain sensitive user data and specific authorities will audit the security of the stock trading app, the development process must be safe, like that of mobile banking applications. Use contemporary techniques like multi-factor authentication and bank-grade encryption while trading app development.

Luxury Self-Care Ideas to Promote Wellness in 2023

Society as a whole is more attuned to the idea of physical and mental wellness than ever before. Everywhere we go we see guidance on taking exercise, getting plenty of fresh air, and prioritising self-care. And, although it is not always easy, most of us have become well-versed at incorporating wellbeing practices into our daily schedule.

However, what should we do when a lunchtime walk or long bubble bath just won’t cut it anymore? For those times when your wellness routine needs a boost, try these luxury self-care ideas to promote your mental and bodily wellbeing in 2023.

Join a high-end gym

Not all gyms are made the same. If you are getting bored of your current establishment, you may find new levels of joy at a high-end gym.

In addition to excellent instruction and the best exercise equipment, at a luxury gym you can also cleanse your pores and clear your mind in a sauna or steam room. Most high-end gyms also have a swimming pool and Jacuzzi area, providing you with varied exercise options to keep you on track with your fitness goals.

When starting at a new gym, make sure to do any induction run-throughs that are on offer. Should you get injured while on-site you could investigate compensation, but it is essential to minimise risks during your workouts for the sake of your mental and physical health.

Head to the spa

As nice as a sauna and steam room is in the gym, it is no alternative to a fully-fledged spa.

Spa treatments such as massages and facials are great boosts to mental health as they help to improve blood circulation which can lead to better sleep and enhanced energy levels.

Manicures and pedicures are also a fantastic way to promote wellness. Regularly treating your nails and the fragile skin on your hands and feet is a great way to ensure the physical health of the extremities of your body. Mani-pedis are also an activity that you can do with loved ones which will help to lift your spirits emotionally as well.

Go on a nature retreat

Ever since the long periods of indoor isolation that were part and parcel of living through the pandemic, we have come to appreciate more than ever the healing power of nature.

Spending time outdoors away from the hustle and bustle of urban life is a great way to recentre yourself when you are feeling overwhelmed. There is something so calming about being surrounded by greenery, and studies have shown that even the sound of nature is soothing to people. And, on a physical level, it is beneficial to be immersed in oxygen and exposed to plenty of vitamin D.

There are lots of specialised retreats both here and abroad where you can spend time in total dedication to being in the wild. You can also use the opportunity to focus on your particular interests, for example yoga and meditation, or you could even try your hand at a silent retreat.

So, there you have it. When you start to hit a wall with your self-care in 2023, try these luxury wellness trips to keep your mental and physical wellbeing on track.

The interconnectedness of the world’s markets

Whether you’re a trader or not, it’s no secret that all global financial markets are directly or indirectly interconnected. This is due to the globalisation of commerce as well as ease of access to financial markets
which allows for copy trading to thrive
as people look for the best stocks to provide a large return on investment.

Whilst these markets may not have a direct link, small disruptions can ripple across all markets which may lead to large risk events that can impact all economies around the world. The interconnectedness isn’t always apparent until something like this occurs.

Understanding the interconnectedness of the world’s market can help you develop a greater trading strategy as you learn how different markets around the world can impact your investments. This may help you remain in the small percentage of traders that are successful. Read on to learn more.

The global markets

No company wants its growth to remain stagnant, especially when there are plenty of opportunities to move to an international market that can skyrocket its value and customer base further.

This globalisation means that multinational companies can now offer globally standardised products that are advanced and reliable whilst being low priced. It is believed that global companies are the only ones that can have long-term success which is why markets are now on a global scale.

How different markets respond to one another

So, with the world’s markets so interconnected, how do different markets respond to each other? Here are some examples:

Bond prices and interest rates

These have an inverse correlation which means that when one is high the other is low. In this case, high interest rates drive down the value of bond prices.

Stocks and Inflation

As previously mentioned, rising inflation decreases the value of bonds which allows stocks to drive forward. However, this will continue for a short while but the stocks will eventually fall off.

Why are the markets so interconnected?

With around 12% of markets being globally interconnected, you may be wondering why exactly this is. Some possible explanations include:

  • Trade has grown more proportionally than with GDP
  • Trade is a fundamental part of all economic activity around the world
  • Trade generates efficiency gains in markets
  • The openness of trade around the world allows for more markets to connect with each other

As you can see, the many markets around the world are all interconnected in some way or another. This may have a small or large impact on your trading strategy and proves how critical doing your research on different markets that may have a direct link to your investment is.

Trip.com Group sees surge in mainland China travel bookings boosted by Lunar New Year demand

Trip.com Group, the leading global travel service provider, has seen mainland Chinese demand for travel continue to surge in the run-up to the Lunar New Year holiday season. This comes after the decision last month by mainland China to officially abolish all quarantine restrictions for inbound visitors from 8 January.

Since the announcement on 26 December 2022, Trip.com Group has subsequently seen a huge increase in searches and the volume of travel bookings.

Flight bookings and destination search trends

On Trip.com Group’s leading Chinese language travel service platform Ctrip, between 26 December 2022 and 5 January 2023, search interest for outbound flights from mainland China increased by 83% compared to the two-week period prior, with outbound flight bookings increasing by 59% over the same period.

Bookings show the most popular cross-border destinations include: MacauHong KongTaiwanThailandAustraliaSingaporethe United StatesMalaysia, the United Kingdom, and Indonesia.

Lunar New Year Trends

With millions set to be on the move during the Lunar New Year holiday in China, also known as Spring Festival, which takes place from 21 – 27 January 2023 and the first major holiday following the liberalisation of border policies, outbound bookings for trips have grown significantly.

Analysis of Ctrip data shows overseas travel for the seven-day Lunar New Year holiday surged by 540% compared to last year’s Spring Festival; and the average cost of bookings was revealed to have risen by 32% year-on-year.

Ctrip data also shows airline bookings from mainland China to Hong Kong increased by 18 times compared with the previous year, following the announcement to ease restrictions. The number of airline bookings to Hong Kong has also increased by 36% month-on-month. Similarly, the search popularity of Hong Kong on the platform was more than double that and increased by 85% month-on-month.

Taking a deeper look, the top ten most popular domestic destinations for the Spring festival are ShanghaiBeijing, Sanya, GuangzhouChengduShenzhen, Kunming, HangzhouChongqing and Haikou.

Southeast Asia Shines as Top Outbound Destination

As of January 12, 2023, in the run-up to the Lunar New Year holiday, overall travel bookings of mainland Chinese tourists to Southeast Asian countries increased by 1026% compared with the same period last year. The number of air ticket bookings from mainland China to Southeast Asia increased by 864% year-on-year, and the top 5 most popular destination countries for mainland Chinese tourists traveling to Southeast Asia during the Lunar New Year holiday are: ThailandSingaporeMalaysiaCambodia, and Indonesia.

According to Ctrip’s data, from December 27 to January 11Thailand stands out as a top destination for Chinese tourists during the Spring Festival holiday on the platform. During the same period, inbound travel bookings from Thailand to mainland China increased by 101% year-on-year.

In addition to this, as of January 12, the number of mainland tourists traveling to Singapore for the Lunar New Year holiday increased by 499% year-on-year, Malaysia saw an increase of 584% year-on-year, with Cambodia and Indonesia each increasing by more than 10 times year-on-year.

A Welcoming Return for Chinese Tourists

With the adjustment of mainland China’s entry and exit policy, the cross-border travel market is also picking up with embassies and tourism boards across the world targeting Chinese tourists aiming to attract them back to visit their countries.

One example is The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) who launched a campaign called ‘CHINA IS BACK’, to welcome the return of Chinese tourists. They expect more than 300,000 Chinese tourists to visit Thailand in the first three months of 2023 alone.

Trip.com Group’s first livestream broadcast targeting the outbound mainland Chinese audience recorded sales of more than 20,000 room nights amounting to a Gross Merchandise Value of over RMB 40 million (THB 197 million). The livestream session was supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), which has been collaborating closely with Trip.com Group over the years. TAT Governor, Mr Yuthasak Supasorn, joined the broadcast and interacted with viewers.

Hosted by Trip.com Group Vice President Sun Tianxu and presenter Xiao Yu, the livestream session featured almost 60 products, including attractions tickets and staycation packages at hotels across Thailand such as The Peninsula Bangkok, Capella Bangkok, InterContinental Pattaya Resort, and Banyan Tree Krabi.

Private Sector Urged to “Own and Drive” Africa’s Continental Trade Agreement

The private sector is recognized as an indispensable stakeholder in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), especially given its ability to catalyze sustainable economic development and job creation.

“Africa’s private sector accounts for 80 percent of total production, two-thirds of investment, and three-quarters of credit, and employs 90 percent of the working-age population,” said Stephen Karingi, Director of Regional Integration and Trade at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

Speaking during the opening of a three-day Africa Prosperity Dialogues on 26 January in Ghana, Mr Karingi called on captains of trade and industry to “own and drive the implementation of the AfCFTA by supporting their governments but also by holding them to account.”

ECA estimates that by 2045 intra-African, trade in agri-food, industry, and services sectors will increase by nearly 35% compared to a situation without the AfCFTA. But governments must implement the Agreement “fully and effectively” for such impressive projections to come true, and the private sector must also seize the opportunities of a large single market created by the AfCFTA.

The role of the private sector was also echoed by the chairperson of the African Prosperity Network, Gabby Otchere-Darko, who stated “we (the private sector) should make the fulfillment of the promises of the AfCTA  “our agenda.”

The event was officially opened by Ghana’s Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia, who pointed out that “we have everything we need to transform Africa into a global powerhouse of the future,” adding  “the AfCFTA has set the stage for Africa’s industrialization.”

UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa, Ahunna Eziakonwa, said “it is through the AfCTA that we will industrialize” and create rather than “export African jobs” 

“An Africa that produces its people’s needs is not just the Africa we want, it is the Africa we need,” Ms Eziakonwa said.

Mr Karingin noted, however, that the African private sector of which 90 percent are small and medium enterprises face challenges in conducting cross-border trade due to non-tariff barriers such as complex customs procedures, lack of access to finance, high costs of transportation and logistics, and lack of access to information, among others.

He cited inadequate infrastructure connectivity, rudimentary productive capacity, and risky or expensive payment systems as some of the barriers to trade, adding “the cost of doing business across African borders remains high, leading to the regrettable situation where African products are uncompetitive in African markets. “

Africa’s weak productive capacity and consequent excessive reliance on imports for essential products expose the continent to external shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.

“When Covid struck, African countries were confronted with a lack of access to basic medical supplies because Africa imports over 90 percent of its supplies. When the Russia-Ukraine crisis dawned, several African countries faced a crisis of food security because wheat and corn exports from Russia and Ukraine were suspended,” Mr. Karingi said.

The AfCFTA is expected to integrate and consolidate Africa into a single USD 2.7 trillion market by eliminating many of the barriers to trade present across the Continent. It provides the platform for Africa to diversify its economy and achieve resilience to natural and manmade shocks, including climate change.

Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, posited that the ambition to integrate Africa dates back to the founding of the Organisation for African Unity (now the African Union). But the challenge now, he noted, is to “transform such ambition into action,” citing vaccine manufacturing in some African countries as one of the ways in which the continent is moving from ambition to action under the AfCFTA.

The maiden Africa Prosperity Dialogues is organized by the Africa Prosperity Network in collaboration with the ECA, the AfCFTA Secretariat, and the Government of Ghana

Mr Karingi reassured participants that “ECA has been there from the beginning; ECA will be there to the end. Africa is ready to turn the promises of the AfCFTA to reality, and ECA will be there all the way.”

Relativity Partners with Deloitte and Control Risks to Launch RelativityOne in South Africa

Expansion of RelativityOne helps companies abide by South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information Act and The Cybercrimes Act

Relativity, a global legal and compliance technology company, announced that its secure, end-to-end SaaS product RelativityOne is now available in South AfricaDeloitte and Control Risks partnered with Relativity on the expansion to the region, which is a legal hub within the African continent, and will help provide scale, reliability and accessibility within the region to current and future customers.

South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) came into effect in 2021, sparking a growth in the country’s maturity around personal data protection, cyber breach response and how cross-border-data is handled. The country’s Cybercrimes Act, which is directly linked to POPIA, mandates organizations to require access to information from their employees and customer devices to contextualize matters under investigation for cybercrimes. As this includes personal information, it is critical for companies to adhere to POPIA to ensure that there are no legal repercussions.

“We are excited to partner with Deloitte and Control Risks on our endeavor to expand accessibility to RelativityOne worldwide. RelativityOne is available in South Africa at the perfect time as the platform can help customers adhere to the latest data policies and laws in the region,” said Steve Couling, Managing Director and Vice President of Sales, EMEA at Relativity. “Now more than ever before, there is more pressure for companies to keep their data within South Africa and to respond quickly to cyber breaches that may involve cross-border disclosures. RelativityOne allows Deloitte and Control Risks the speed and advanced tools to help their clients comply with such matters.”

Many of Deloitte’s and Control Risks’ global clientele already utilize RelativityOne and this expansion to South Africa demonstrates how the evolution and maturation of data privacy laws and data residency requirements generates a demand for greater availability. This move is a facet of a broader strategy to create global, scalable solutions in a secure and extensible cloud platform. With data continuing to grow exponentially, Relativity fills the gap by providing these firms with cutting edge technology like RelativityOne.

“We are excited to extend our global partnership with Relativity to South Africa,” said Dr. Antonio Pooe, Deloitte Africa Forensic Leader. “Through this alliance, Deloitte Africa Forensic now runs a hybrid Relativity environment that addresses myriad technical and legal requirements for our local and global clients.” 

“We are extremely proud to be first among Relativity Gold Partners to launch RelativityOne in South Africa,” said Joyce Nkini-Iwisi, Principal at Control Risks. “Both here and across the world, our clients are grappling with the implications of today’s high data volumes for complex, cross-border matters. Being able to offer world-class technology that supports data collection, processing, hosting and review within our own jurisdiction – without the international price tag – is a game changer. Since 2017, Control Risks South Africa has had on-premise Relativity with client data hosted in country. The launch of RelativityOne in South Africa will help us to serve clients better through cutting-edge technology that helps them manage the review of today’s huge data volumes.”

As RelativityOne Gold Partners, both Deloitte and Control Risks are dedicated to bringing a secure, reliable and extensible cloud platform to their clients around the world. The expansion to South Africa comes on the heels of strong regional demand for a cloud-based e-discovery platform. This expansion also provides more opportunities for Deloitte’s and Control Risks’ well-versed teams to offer an even better experience for their customers in the cloud.

RelativityOne is now available in 17 geographies. Earlier in 2022, RelativityOne expanded to France, India and Japan.

Masdar to Develop 5 GW of Renewable Energy Projects to Advance Africa’s Clean Energy Objectives

  • UAE’s global clean energy powerhouse signs deals for projects with a combined generation capacity of 5 GW across Angola, Uganda, and Zambia
  • Agreements signed under umbrella of Etihad 7 – a global development fund launched by the UAE to provide 100 million people across African continent with clean electricity by 2035

Masdar has demonstrated its commitment to helping African nations in their clean energy transition by signing agreements at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2023 with three countries – Angola, Uganda and Zambia – to develop renewable energy projects with a combined capacity of up to 5 gigawatts (GW).

The agreements were signed under the umbrella of the Etihad 7 initiative, a UAE-led initiative that aims to raise public- and private-sector funds to invest in the development of Africa’s renewable energy sector. Etihad 7 was launched at ADSW 2022 by HE Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State in the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) with the aim of achieving 20 GW capacity to supply 100 million people across the continent with clean electricity by 2035.

HE Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State in the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC), said, “The UAE and African nations share a firm belief in the tremendous potential that clean energy offers Africa to unlock economic and climate action progress. That is why the UAE launched Etihad 7 last year at ADSW, a program dedicated to accelerating universal access to clean energy across Africa by supplying clean energy to 100 million people by 2035. The signings made this week at ADSW 2023 demonstrate the great traction that we have gained and the milestones that we have achieved together over the past year.”

HE Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, COP28 President Designate, and Chairman of Masdar, said: “The UAE is committed to advancing sustainable development in the Global South – and especially in our brotherly nations in Africa. These landmark agreements, which aim to deliver up to 5 GW of energy to Angola, Uganda, and Zambia, follow last year’s signing of a 2 GW agreement for renewable energy projects in Tanzania. These further agreements will be transformative to local communities and will help African nations to drive economic growth for their people while still meeting net-zero objectives.”

The agreements signed under the Etihad 7 umbrella at ADSW 2023 are:

  • An agreement with Angola’s Ministry of Energy and Water for the development of renewable energy projects with a total capacity of 2 GW. 
  • An agreement with Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development for the development of greenfield renewable projects with a total installed capacity of 1 GW.
  • An agreement with Zambia’s Ministry of Energy, and Zambian national utility ZESCO Limited for the joint development of develop solar, wind, and hydroelectricity projects with a total capacity of 2 GW.

HE Joao Baptista Borges, Minister of Energy and Water, Republic of Angola, said, “Today with the new up to 2GW agreement between the Government of Angola and Masdar another step towards a clean and affordable energy transition has been achieved. The project will improve production capacity, creation of jobs and the improvement of access to electricity by the Angolan people. We look forward to tightening the ties between our two countries toward development and partnership.

HE Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Republic of Uganda, said, “The Government of Uganda is delighted about the partnership with Masdar that will enable the addition of 1 GW of renewable energy to Uganda’s generation capacity. This will go a long way to contributing to the attainment of our universal access goals and our energy transition goals. We look forward to developing this project within the agreed timeframe.”

Eng, Victor Benjamin Mapani, ZESCO Managing Director, said: “The historic signing between Masdar and ZESCO is a milestone on an agreement that will see the two parties develop solar energy generation projects to a total capacity of 2 gigawatts in a phased approach over the next 10 years. ZESCO, along with Zambia overall, views the development of clean energy that is complementary to hydropower as a matter of urgency for energy security. We are reassured that we have found the right partner with Masdar and can say we are well positioned to deliver value of mutual benefit through this partnership.”

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer, Masdar, said, “As part of Masdar’s new shareholding structure launched in December, we have a goal of delivering 100 GW of clean energy around the world by 2030. With Africa’s massive projected development and growth and low current clean energy penetration levels, we see enormous potential for the renewable energy sector across the continent. The agreements we have signed at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week will support these nations’ clean energy goals and help to drive sustainable economic development for all four countries.”

Last August, Masdar also signed an agreement with TANESCO, the sole provider of electricity in Tanzania, to develop renewable energy projects with a total capacity of up to 2 GW, also under the umbrella of the Etihad 7 program. The two parties are in the process of finalizing the establishment of a joint venture company to advance this strategic collaboration.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), less than half of the Sub-Saharan African population has access to electricity. Africa also generates just 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. The continent has a theoretical potential capacity of approximately 850 terawatts (TW) of solar and wind, according to a report produced last year produced by Masdar and Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week with analytical support provided by McKinsey & Company.

Masdar has already established a considerable presence in Africa, having formed its Infinity Power Holding joint venture with Egypt’s Infinity to target opportunities on the continent. In November, Masdar, Infinity Power and Hassan Allam Utilities signed an agreement with the Government of Egypt to develop a 10 GW onshore wind project – one of the largest wind farms in the world. The three companies are also cooperating on the development of green hydrogen projects in Egypt, targeting a combined electrolyzer capacity of 4 GW by 2030, and an output of up to 480,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year. Masdar also has projects in Mauritania, Morocco, and the Seychelles.

For more information please visit: http://www.masdar.ae and connect: facebook.com/masdar.ae and twitter.com/masdar

How to Improve Your Fertility in 2023

You may be finding it harder than planned to get pregnant or want to ensure you have the best chance of getting pregnant.

Changes to your lifestyle could help you to boost your fertility. TFP Fertility Group, one of the leading IVF and fertility specialists with clinics across the UK and Europe, offer some key information about the kind of changes you should consider.

A healthy lifestyle

At TFP Fertility, we understand that everyone is unique and therefore so is their fertility.

There could be many reasons why it’s taking you longer than you thought to get pregnant, but there are a number of things you can do to help things along and make sure you’re giving yourself the best chance.

Ensuring your lifestyle is as healthy as possible before starting a family will help you mentally as well as physically.

Take care of yourself by eating well, exercising regularly, taking some key supplements, and addressing unhealthy habits.

If you’re concerned about your lifestyle and the impact on your fertility, a fertility assessment with TFP Fertility UK could be a good first step to help you identify ways to increase your chances of getting pregnant.

In the assessment, as well tests to accurately measure your fertility and a consultation about your options, the team can give you advice on nutrition, exercise, and managing stress, all of which can have an impact on fertility.

Factors affecting fertility

Diet

What you eat may affect your fertility. Ideally you should include a variety of fresh, healthy foods in your diet, and avoid highly processed or sugary food.

Here’s a list of good foods to include in your diet:

  • Wholegrain high fibre foods such as bread with seeds, brown rice, and pasta
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Lentils and beans as these have antioxidant properties which protect against oxidative stress, which can be harmful to eggs and sperm
  • Unsaturated fats such as avocados, nuts, oily fish, and seeds
  • Full fat dairy such as milk or yoghurt can help to improve egg quality

 

Vitamins and supplements

There are some key vitamins that may help increase fertility. You can buy these over the counter at chemists, supermarkets, and health stores.

  • Folic acid (women)

The advice is to take a 400mg supplement of folic acid every day before you get pregnant and every day afterwards, up until you’re 12 weeks pregnant. This reduces the risk of developmental abnormalities.

  • Well-woman or well-man supplements

Including antioxidants, Omega 3, zinc, and selenium. This is particularly important in cases of low sperm production.

Weight and BMI

Being overweight or underweight, and having a correspondingly high or low BMI (body mass index), can impact your fertility.

BMI is a measure of height vs weight to identify if your weight is in a healthy range.

A higher BMI can have an impact on hormonal imbalances, pregnancy risks, and the number of drugs required for fertility treatments in women.

In men, a higher BMI can affect the quality and quantity of your sperm.

If your fertility treatment is NHS-funded, your BMI must be no more than 30.

You can find out your BMI by using the NHS BMI calculator.

Exercise

As well as the obvious health benefits, regular moderate exercise can help boost fertility through improved enzyme activity.

Male fertility can be improved by avoiding intense exercise, tight underwear, and other potential sources of excessive heat such as saunas or hot baths.

If you take any supplements as part of your exercise regime, ask your GP for advice about the impact these may have on your fertility.

Smoking

If you smoke, it’s very likely it will take you longer to get pregnant.

Cigarette smoke contains toxins, including cadmium and cotinine, that can reduce sperm quality and AMH levels, so impacting egg production.

Smoking can also cause increased sperm DNA damage, as well as reduced fertilisation and development potential, which leads to lower pregnancy rates.

Female fertility should start to improve three months after quitting smoking.

There’s limited evidence to date but, as with smoking, vaping is also thought to have a negative impact on fertility.

Alcohol

It’s better not to drink alcohol at all if you’re trying to conceive. Alcohol can reduce your fertility in many ways, in particular the way it affects hormonal balance in both men and women.

In women, oestrogen levels are altered which can have a negative impact on ovulation, and also on number of eggs, or ovarian reserve.

In men, alcohol can reduce testosterone, affecting the quality and quantity of sperm.

On a positive note, improvements can be seen soon after reducing your alcohol intake.

Caffeine

Excessive consumption of caffeine has been linked to low birth weight and a higher risk of miscarriage.

And research has shown that too much caffeine may negatively affect male fertility, possibly due to sperm DNA damage.

Guidance can vary but the consensus is that you should aim to limit your caffeine intake to no more than 200mg of caffeine a day, which is equivalent to two cups of coffee.

As well as coffee and tea, caffeine can also be found in energy drinks, chocolate, and cola.

Medication

Some medications can impact your fertility and are not suitable to take if you’re trying to get pregnant.

If you regularly take prescription or over-the-counter medication, check with your pharmacist or GP.

Stress

There’s no proven evidence that stress and anxiety can impact fertility, but they may affect some of the lifestyle factors that do.

For example, if you’re stressed you may find it harder to eat healthily or exercise regularly.

It’s therefore important to focus on your overall physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Talking to friends and family about your thoughts and feelings may help.

Our fertility counsellors are also available to support you at any stage or reach out to a support network such as Fertility Network UK.

Here to support you

We understand that changing your lifestyle can be challenging, but once you have made the decision to start your fertility journey with TFP Fertility, we will be here to support you with advice about diet, supplements, and managing your weight.

If you’ve got any questions or would like to book an appointment at your local TFP Fertility clinic, please contact us.

Discover The Perfect Romantic Spot for a Memorable Proposal

For those looking for a romantic holiday, or to set the scene for a memorable marriage proposal, boutique hotel Cap Maison in Saint Lucia, invites guests to discover the most romantic spot in the Caribbean – their private dining deck ‘Rock Maison’ with its unique Champagne Zip Line.

‘Rock Maison’ is surrounded on all three sides by the Caribbean Sea and offers a unique location for a picturesque sunset cocktail or an intimate candle-lit dinner for two and with its very own Champagne Zip Line with which drinks can be winched down from the bar above the cliffs.  With twinkling lanterns and tiki torches lighting the night sky and the sounds of the waves lapping against the shore as the backdrop, there are few places in the world which rival this unique romantic setting.

In addition, couples can enjoy a natural rock pool just large enough for two at the bottom of the cliff edge, which is the perfect romantic spot to enjoy watching a sunset with cold drinks in hand as they bathe in the warm water of the Caribbean Sea.

The hotel’s Cliff at Cap is one of the most highly rated restaurants on the island with its Executive Chef Craig Jones nominated as ‘Caribbean Chef of the Year’. Menus can be specially curated and can include dishes such as a spiny lobster tail with pumpkin, fennel & mango shavings, or Rock Maison’s special “Sharing for Two” menu, which offers a seafood salad, Caribbean Seafood risotto, and a souffle. Guests dining on the deck enjoy exclusive use and are served by their own personal waiter.

For guests looking to pop the big question, Cap Maison can create the perfect romantic moment, as the hotel also offers an exclusive proposal package with a dedicated proposal concierge.

Several tailored experiences can be arranged, including sending a basket filled with red roses and a ring to Rock Maison via its Zip Line, or proposing at the top of St Lucia’s volcanic Pitons Mountains (a UNESCO World Heritage site), 2,619 feet above sea level.

Cap Maison’s Proposal Package also includes:

  • Four nights in the signature Oceanview Villa Suite with Private pool
  • Scenic helicopter transfer upon arrival, offering a quick arrival at Cap Maison and aerial views of the island and Piton Mountains.
  • Complimentary bottle of Champagne in room upon arrival
  • Fresh single stemmed rose
  • Daily breakfast and dinner at the hotel’s acclaimed restaurant Cliff at Cap, under the direction of Executive Chef Craig Jones.
  • Private dinner on Rock Maison during a sunset on the proposal evening, complete with roses and the ring delivered via the Champagne Zip Line.
  • Return ground transfer to airport upon departure

Cap Maison’s enjoys a stunning setting atop a private ocean-front bluff and boasts unobstructed views overlooking Pigeon Island National Park and its neighbouring island of Martinique, with a glittering view of the Caribbean Sea in-between. Situated on the exclusive Cap Estate, the hotel is in a secluded location where couples can relax in serene surroundings, and yet it is just minutes away from the lively Rodney Bay where a great selection of restaurants & bars can be found.

Garden rooms at Cap Maison start at US$ 565 per couple per night and Ocean View villas start from US$1,010 per couple per night on a half board basis.

For up-to-date travel information on St Lucia visit www.stlucia.org

The Most Iconic Catwalk Moments Over the Years  

Catwalk moments have always been a headline-hitting affair, and as we have reached a new year, it’s time for a fashion recap of the most iconic catwalk moments we’ve seen in 2022 and over the past 25 years.

Did Coperni’s 2022 spray dress overthrow Alexander McQueen’s 1999 spray-painted dress, or are we just riding the train of innovation and fashion virtuosity?

With an eye on the past, we look at the trends that shaped fashion until now to predict what will be dominating the catwalk in 2023.

From spray to dress

2022 was one of the hottest years for fashion. In a post-pandemic world, we’ve seen the resurrection of everything forgotten and the spur of excitement overtaking the fashion realms.

One of the most spectacular moments of this year was Coperni’s sensational finale at Paris Fashion Week. The Parisian label used a special spray, Fabrican, to realise a design of an elegant white dress on supermodel Bella Hadid’s body within less than ten minutes. After the misty liquid had transformed into a wearable material, the label’s head of design, Charlotte Raymond, walked onstage, manipulated the neckline, and cut a dramatic leg slit.

Once the dress was finished, Bella Hadid completed a lap around the runway, allowing the spectators to observe in detail the intricacy of the fabric: resembling a smooth jersey from afar, having the ease of movement of a T-shirt, and reminiscing water droplets from up-close. It was a true fashion masterpiece.

As technology is becoming an integral part of our lives, and now of fashion too, we’re expecting to see more innovations entering the catwalk and our own wardrobes.

A painted performance

Coperni’s spray dress isn’t the first time we’re witnessing the power of transformation in the realm of fashion design. In 1999, Alexander McQueen’s spring/summer show demonstrated a grand finale, in which model Shalom Harlow’s voluminous white dress was spray-painted by two robots while rotating on a turntable.

This was not only a fashion novelty but also a display of astute artistry, a noble theatrical performance, and an interlude to robotics and technology.

Alexander McQueen said about the finale: “[The finale of this collection] was inspired by an installation by artist Rebecca Horn of two shotguns firing blood-red paint at each other.”

Other commentary takes on the notion of the dying swan being elucidated in the show’s performance. The model completely surrendered to the robots’ spray attack, allowing the beautiful piece to realise itself on her.

The handbags parade

As the clock struck ten, a custom train in navy and gold steamed through the Louvre and pulled into the “station”. That’s how the Louis Vuitton autumn/winter 2012 show began.

Models descended on to the station, presenting a traveller-inspired collection, each accompanied by a uniformed, white-gloved porter carrying her designer handbag and luggage.
The show was a comeback to the roots of the brand. Louis Vuitton pioneered retail travel fashion, which was evident in the whole collection designed by Marc Jacobs. After the show, the designer shared that “the whole collection started with the idea for the train. From there, we thought about what bags the woman would have on the train, what she would be wearing, where she would be going.”

Ten years later, Louis Vuitton’s iconic handbags are still present in their autumn/winter 2022 collection. This year, we saw a take on the more tailored looks eponymous with the brand to introduce flow and freedom of movement, even a youthful playfulness to the designs.

That set the tone for the 2023 trends. School uniform elements woven into mille-feuille dresses in chiffon and tulle will be popular this upcoming year. Silhouettes that exude a fleeting and mirage-like effect, allowing for freedom of movement, will also be present. They will be aptly grounded with knee-high heeled boots in tan, brown, and beige tones that are just the perfect touch to the outfits.

“Make fashion not war.”

Chanel’s spring/summer 2015 show was a feminist protest through the language of fashion. Top models stepped out at Grand Palais wearing tie-dye, lean silhouettes, and military garb – an echo of the ‘70s movement.

Supermodel/mom Gisele, the poster girl for modern feminism, led the way for models like Caroline de Maigret, Cara Delevingne, and Kendall Jenner to parade their feminist message. The protest was silent and without propaganda because fashion was enough to convey the message strongly. At the finale, the signs “He is She!”, “Make fashion not war!” and “Ladies First!” came out accompanied by Whitney Houston’s anthem “I’m Every Woman”.

‘70s fashion is definitely having its comeback, and psychedelic patterns are becoming more and more popular with the younger generation. In 2023, dip-dye will be a massive trend, as seen in designer collections by Ulla Johnson, Peter Do, and Altuzarra. The designers gave an elegant reimagining to the tie-dye trend with dip-die techniques.

Throughout the history of fashion, we’ve seen incredible transformations on the runway that bridge the gap between technology and fashion. Today, even the impossible seems possible, and we’re excited to see more of that designer virtuosity on the catwalk.

More Than Just Ink: Are Tattoos in the Workplace Becoming More Acceptable?

In early 2022, Virgin Atlantic became the first UK airline to allow cabin crew to display their tattoos.

Tattoos are a type of body art that has been celebrated for thousands of years, yet a lot of people have had to hide them in the workplace due to negative associations and connotations.

While the stigma around tattoos in the workplace is definitely shifting, and Virgin Atlantic’s new policy is a prime example of that, there are still some conversations to be had when it comes to tattoos.

Today, we explore Britons’ attitudes towards tattoos in the workplace, what industries are more accommodating to tattoos, and how to comply to a workplace’s appearance code.

Changing the stigma around tattoos

The art of tattooing has been known to humanity since 12,000 BC and has served many purposes, from a means of communication to a reflection of culture and tradition.

When tattooing was introduced in Europe, it was first popular amongst mariners and the lower classes, and that has likely contributed to the stigma around it. For a long time, it was associated with jail, criminals, and misfits.

Nowadays, tattoos are seen as a means of self-expression and an appreciation of this ancient body art. According to a recent YouGov study, little over a quarter (26%) of Britons have tattoos, with the younger generation more likely to get one than the older. Tattoos are popular amongst the working population too, with 31% saying they have a tattoo.

They’ve become so commonly accepted that even world leaders from the past and present are known to have tattoos. King George V, who reigned the United Kingdom from 1910-1936, for example, had a red and blue dragon tattooed on his arm, which he acquired during a trip to Japan. Winston Churchill also supposedly had an anchor tattoo on his arm, while the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, boasts a Haida raven on his left arm.

As society embraces this type of body art more and more, the stigma around tattoos in the workplace is also shifting.

Are tattoos accepted in the workplace?

Britons have a generally positive attitude towards tattoos in the workplace. In fact, 86% said that they don’t see non-visible tattoos as unprofessional.

Nevertheless, things look slightly different when it comes to visible tattoos, especially on the face and neck, as 63% of the general public would consider them unprofessional. The older population, aged 55 and above, have a firmer stance on this, as 80% see face and neck tattoos as unprofessional.

With such attitudes, it’s no surprise that many industries still have certain appearance codes. According to Susan Harris, legal director at the GMB union, tattoos are not a protected characteristic, meaning legally you could be dismissed or be ruled out of a job due to having a tattoo.

Nevertheless, there are some prime examples that prove that the stigma is slowly shifting. Vladimir Franz, for example, who has a full-fledged face tattoo, ran for president of the Czech Republic. While he didn’t get elected, he serves as an example of the shifting attitudes and outlook towards tattoos.

Responsible tattoo artists also have a duty to inform clients about the complications of visible tattoos. Sheffield-based Krissie Langley always explains to her customers what impact hand and neck tattoos could have on their future jobs.

She said that she “puts off a good 95% of people” from getting a face or neck tattoo: “This is how I earn my living, but I also want to sleep at night. I do like to point out to people that this could affect their life.

“If you know you’re going into a job that is accepting it, then it’s good. But, at 18, how many of us know what we want to do forever?”

Krissie added that a lot of people have rang her back thanking her for putting them off from getting a visible tattoo, because it has allowed them to secure a job they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.

What industries have a more relaxed attitude towards tattoos?

A lot of young people see visible tattoos as something trendy and impressive. Nevertheless, they don’t consider the impact it might have on their future careers.

“It’s all very well following your favourite rapper or favourite singer, but unless you’re going to be a rapper, a singer, or a tattooist, you probably will hit these problems,” added Krissie.

Indeed, there are certain industries that have a more relaxed approach towards tattoos, such as music, art, and media. Most Britons consider it acceptable to have visible tattoos for workers in low-end customer-facing services, such as waiting staff, mass market retail, as well as firefighters and paramedics. Teachers in primary and secondary school, those involved in legal work and high-end customer service workers are subject to more scrutiny.

How to hide your tattoos at job interviews and the workplace

Before going to a job interview or starting a new job, it’s important to study the company policy. Based on the industry and company culture, it might have a more relaxed or a stricter approach to tattoos in the workplace.

As we mentioned, it’s not illegal to get fired due to wearing a visible tattoo; therefore, it’s important to learn how to adhere to certain appearance standards.

When attending an interview, consider wearing a full suit that will cover any tattoos on your arms and legs. This is the case if you have face or neck tattoos too. While you can’t hide them, you can opt for a smart and refined look that will highlight your professionalism and help the interviewer see beyond your body art. Match your suit with men’s brogues, a watch, and a tie for the ultimate interview look.

If you have tattoos on your hands or fingers, accessories such as rings and watches can help hide them.

While you’re at work, consider wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, accessories, and even putting on a special tattoo concealer if required.

Covering your tattoos doesn’t mean that you are undermining your own identity. Tattoos are a unique form of self-expression, and while we’re in the process of shifting the stigma around them, it’s useful to learn how to comply to certain workplace appearance codes.

Retail Digital Transformation: 4 Paths to Embark on in 2023

Digital transformation in retail, enhancing customer experience, is the primary ecommerce market growth factor. In 2022, global retail sales reached $27.34 trillion, among which $5.76 trillion accounted for ecommerce retail sales.

According to ResearchAndMarkets, the global ecommerce market is projected to grow by $12.95trn during 2022-2027, accelerating at a CAGR of 27.15%. So how to keep up with this rapid pace? 

Today, retailers can make informed decisions about adopting retail software solutions and thus commit to more solid and future-proof digital transformation strategies. Itransition experts have identified four digital transformation trends to consider in 2023.

Social shopping

Not so long ago, brands viewed social networks merely as another marketing channel, effective for reaching out to their target audience with personalized product promotions. Still, if the customer did decide to buy, the purchase tended to take place outside the retailer’s social media account, most likely on their website or at a brick-and-mortar store.

But when consumers shifted to shopping online and began spending more time on social networks than ever during COVID, it presented a unique chance for the brands to step up their social commerce offer and promote and sell their products seamlessly through social media channels.

With its community-like engagement, abundant social proof, and frictionless shopping, social commerce immediately struck a chord with consumers, particularly younger generations longing for novelty and excitement. For retailers, the benefit of social shopping lies in more accessible target audience outreach and authentic relationships that translate into higher conversion rates.

Due to its ease of use and appeal to the young social media-savvy generations, social commerce promises to proliferate and become a dominant online sales channel in the years ahead. So even if you neglected social media earlier, 2023 is the perfect time to venture into the social commerce trend.

For example, the famous singer and successful businesswoman Rihanna dropped a Super Bowl 2023-themed Savage X Fenty merch on social media, serving as her best advertisement. She modeled several items on the brand’s Instagram account, gathering thousands of comments from potential buyers.

Mobile apps

Retail mobile applications are hardly new, but since the beginning of the pandemic, m-commerce has significantly grown in popularity and so far shows no sign of losing momentum. 

Needless to say, developing a mobile channel is an absolute must in current circumstances, but how can a brand garner a consumer’s attention? Emerging technologies can become a solid market differentiator for retailers’ mobile apps.

Augmented reality

One considerable shortcoming of m-commerce is its lack of tangibility humans need badly to make a purchasing decision and feel satisfied with the shopping process. 

Allowing customers to virtually try on clothes, shoes, and makeup looks or preview how furniture will look in their room, AR bridges the online and in-store shopping experiences and makes the previously monotone process of product discovery and assessment more engaging. 

Down the line, this element of excitement, according to Shopify’s findings, translates into a 94% higher conversion rate, which makes all money and effort investments into AR more than worthwhile.

Today, augmented reality (AR) features can be found in the mobile apps of mass-market and luxury fashion brands, beauty and jewelry retailers, and even houseware, sporting goods, and toy merchants. 

Voice shopping

Another trend is voice-assisted commerce. Voice assistants offered the convenience of buying anytime, anywhere up a notch, allowing their owners to shop while doing something else, be it work, house chores, or leisure.

Moreover, as a voice commerce tool, mobile virtual assistants appear to edge out smart speakers because the latter has no screen and does not allow one to see the purchase. All this, coupled with the growing appreciation for the speed and convenience of voice commerce, offers a viable growth avenue for retail brands’ mobile apps.

Carrefour, a French supermarket chain, is a trailblazer in this field. In the summer of 2020, the company launched a voice-based grocery shopping service developed in cooperation with Google. Compatible with mobile phones and smart speakers, the service enables customers to search for items in Carrefour’s online store, add them to the shopping cart, pay for the order, and schedule its delivery via voice commands.

Alternative payment methods

The shift to online commerce compelled consumers to change their habits and pivot to digital payment channels. More innovative payment technologies, such as contactless payments, also gained recognition across customer segments, shifting from “gimmicks” to “must-haves”.

Contactless payments proved a boon to customers who had to or still preferred to shop in person. Near-field communication (NFC), the underlying no-touch payment technology, facilitates interaction between the terminal and the bank card or smart device over a short distance. 

Long-neglected QR codes are also on the rise. Easily scanned with the default camera app, QR code payment schemes prove particularly frictionless for shoppers. Moreover, compared to NFC technology, QR has low adoption costs, making it an attractive option for small businesses or retailers lacking card payment infrastructure.

According to Celero Commerce, over 80% of US consumers reported using contactless payment methods last year. Meanwhile, merchants support the trend, with 81% planning to add contactless payments as a permanent option.

Fraud prevention

The rise of fraud came as the major downside of the explosive growth of ecommerce. To safeguard their business against the heightened threat without creating additional friction, retailers plan to enhance their fraud detection mechanisms in 2023.

At the moment, machine learning in retail is sought after as the most viable technology for thwarting human-emulating fraud scripts. ML algorithms can assess transactions in real-time against historical data and numerous criteria and accurately detect anomalous activities that indicate a fraud attempt to halt them timely. What makes machine learning in ecommerce an even more invaluable tool to fight fraud is that the software continuously teaches itself and thus can identify even new and obscure scam schemes.

Closing thoughts

The COVID pandemic marked a significant turning point for retail, fast-forwarding the industry’s innovations. Now, when there is no need for urgent recovery efforts and speedy rollouts, businesses can step back to assess the shifts in customer behavior and recent retail tech advancements and work out a more long-term digital transformation strategy. 

Consumers’ quest for convenient and mobile-first experiences and concerns about health and cybersecurity have shaped the retail landscape for years to come. Therefore, solutions that deliver on these needs prove most worthwhile to adopt today.

The Unhealthiness of Health Apps: Could they be Intensifying Our Health Issues?

Most people would agree that leading a healthy lifestyle is essential. However, recent technological advances have made some experts concerned that our increasingly deskbound lifestyles intensify our health issues. In particular, they point to the rise in popularity of health apps as one of the main culprits.

There are now health apps for everything from tracking our steps to monitoring our diets. And while these apps can certainly help promote healthy habits, some experts believe they may be doing more harm than good.

Westfield Health – a leading healthcare company in the UK; looks at the main ways health apps could potentially be leading to unintended consequences in terms of health and sheds light on what could be done in this regard:

Worsening sleep patterns

Some evidence suggests that sleep apps could worsen our sleep by causing anxiety and insomnia. Additionally, a study found that participants who used sleep apps had more difficulty falling asleep than those who did not. It is not entirely clear why sleep apps might make our sleep worse. One possibility is that the apps are not accurately tracking our sleep. Additionally, the apps may be causing us to worry about our rest, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

If you are using a sleep app and are not happy with your sleep, it might be worth trying to sleep without it for a few nights. If you find that your sleep improves without the app, the app is likely to be the culprit.

The Yo-yo effect

Health apps often focus on short-term goals rather than long-term health – this can lead to a yo-yo effect, where people become obsessed with reaching their daily step goal or eating a certain number of calories but then quickly fall off the wagon when they don’t meet their target.

The resulting situation can be extremely frustrating and even discourage people from being active or eating healthy. After all, if they do not see results immediately, why bother?

Stress induced by health apps

Fitness apps are putting too much pressure on people by constantly reminding them of their fitness goals and how far they have to go to reach them, which can be discouraging and cause people to give up on their fitness goals altogether. Additionally, fitness apps often compare people’s progress to others, making them feel like they are not good enough and damaging their self-esteem.

Most fitness apps are designed to be used by people already in good shape – an average person is likely to find it challenging to meet the app’s expectations, thus leading to feelings of frustration and failure.

According to the Digital Health Generation survey, young people report feeling “anxiety and terror” from fitness-oriented apps.

So, what’s the solution?

While there’s no easy answer, people should focus on developing healthy habits rather than fixating on numbers which means making minor changes to your lifestyle that you can stick with over the long term.

For example, rather than setting a goal to walk 10,000 steps every day, try aiming to walk for 30 minutes every day. Or, instead of stressing over every calorie you eat, focus on eating more fruits and vegetables.

Making such changes may not seem like much, but they can significantly impact your overall health. And, perhaps more importantly, they’re much more likely to stick than any fad diet or quick-fix solution.

It is essential to research before downloading any health app and consult with your doctor or healthcare providers available through your health cover; if you have any questions or concerns.

A Quick Guide To Aircraft Maintenance

Posted on 27th January 2023

Aircraft maintenance is an integral part of preventing aerial accidents. With so many moving parts and complex systems in an aircraft, it’s easy for something to go wrong in flight. That’s why aircraft maintenance is a highly specialised field that requires technicians to have knowledge of the aircraft, the parts that make up an airplane, and how they function together.

Aircraft maintenance is so essential that many countries have laws and regulations requiring aircraft owners to perform regular maintenance checks on their planes. In addition, aircraft maintenance technicians must also be able to diagnose problems and find solutions to them to keep planes flying safely for years. So, this can be a rewarding career, especially for those who enjoy working with their hands.

Aircraft Maintenance Overview

Aircraft maintenance is the process by which aircraft are maintained, repaired, and overhauled to ensure they are airworthy. Maintenance technicians work closely with airline pilots and other aviation professionals to ensure planes are safe for flight. They perform inspection and maintenance such as the aircraft electrical testing, repair any damage like bulb fixing and keep records of their work so that the plane’s maintenance record is always up-to-date.

Aircraft maintenance technicians work on various aircraft, including commercial jets, military aircraft, and small private planes. The job can be physically demanding, requiring technicians to work in small, cramped spaces. It also requires a good deal of manual dexterity and attention to detail.

Types Of Aircraft Maintenance

Some of the most common types of aircraft maintenance include: 

1. Depot Maintenance

This maintenance is usually done at a facility where all planes are kept. Airline maintenance facilities, military aircraft hangar bases, or other large airports often have depots where aircraft are repaired and maintained. Aircraft needing major repairs are sent to a depot, and a specialised team of technicians performs the maintenance.

Depot maintenance includes heavy repairs, such as replacing damaged parts, and lighter work, like cleaning and polishing the plane’s exterior. Also, this maintenance requires the most time and resources and takes place at a specialised facility. In addition, depot maintenance may also occur on-site, depending on the airport and the aircraft type.

2. Service Maintenance

This maintenance takes place regularly, depending on the airline’s needs. It includes routine inspections and repairs on aircraft systems, such as the engines, and replacing broken light bulbs and landing gear. Service maintenance usually takes place at the airport and requires a team of technicians with specialized training.

A critical aspect of service maintenance is keeping records of all work done on the aircraft. It helps to ensure that the plane is safe to fly and that all repairs are done correctly. It’s also essential for airlines to keep records because regulators may ask them for proof of maintenance, such as a logbook or certificate of airworthiness.

3. Line Maintenance

Line maintenance is an airline’s regular pre-flight and post-flight inspection of its planes. This type of maintenance is done by trained technicians who work for the airline or an outside company contracted by the airline. Line maintenance aims to keep the plane in good working condition while being used so that it doesn’t break down during flight and endanger passengers.

Examples of line maintenance include troubleshooting, component replacement, lubrication, etc. This type of maintenance is efficiently done quickly so that the plane can get back into service as soon as possible. 

4. Base Maintenance

Base maintenance is the type of maintenance performed on an airplane at a maintenance facility after being taken out of service. It’s typically performed by a team of mechanics who work for the airline or an outside company contracted by the airline. This maintenance is done on a plane when it’s not being used and usually takes longer.

Examples of base maintenance include repairs to components that have been damaged or worn out, such as corrosion repair and replacing parts that have reached the end of their lifespan. Base maintenance aims to keep the plane in good working condition so it can be used safely for years to come.

5. Ramp Check

A ramp check is a type of inspection that airliners undergo before they depart. During this process, an airline team member checks the plane to ensure everything is in good working order and safe to fly. An airline will typically have its ramp check checklist, which includes checking the brakes and tires, ensuring all fluids are at the right levels, and checking the security of airplane windows and doors on planes with sliding doors. 

Conclusion

Aircraft maintenance is a complex and expensive process. Airlines must take their time when performing maintenance on their aircraft to ensure safety for passengers and crew members, as well as for themselves. One of the best ways to do this is by hiring an experienced team of aircraft technicians who know what they’re doing and can get the job done perfectly.

A Contractor’s Guide To Attracting More Clients

Posted on 27th January 2023

Today, people are turning to contractor businesses more than ever before. This means high competition in this sector, so your success isn’t guaranteed. In fact, many of these businesses fail within the first few years of operations.

For your business to succeed, you need to attract more clients, which is important because the more customers you serve, the higher the chances of generating more sales. And that may also mean great profits, which will have a positive effect on your button line.

As a contractor, you can implement several strategies to attract more clients. Below are some of the most effective strategies.

1. Leverage The Power Of Marketing

Marketing is one of the most important things that should come to mind when you think of attracting more clients. It helps build awareness of your company to target audiences. Without it, no person will come to know about your services, so you’ll barely connect with your target market.

You can establish various online marketing methods to promote your firm or services. Online marketing enables you to connect with a wider scope of target audiences. Some effective methods include content marketing, pay-per-click marketing, and email marketing.

However, you might not realise full success if you do it manually. For that reason, consider investing in automation technology. Automation will help you to streamline your marketing efforts by reducing manual and repeated processes.

Marketing automation can help to manage your leads more efficiently and enhance your conversion rates. It also allows you to analyze the performance of your marketing campaigns. As such, you can make changes or improvements where necessary. Ensure you find the best marketing automation experts and software for the task.

2. Develop A Company Website

Today, most clients consider searching for services online before visiting any brick-and-mortar store. For that reason, you must establish your brand online. And one of the best ways to achieve that is by creating a company website.

A website is a digital media or channel with many pages that share a single domain name. It enhances your visibility globally. Besides, with a website, your shop can remain open 24-7. All these ensure you gain more clients for your business.

Your website must be optimized for search engines. Optimization ensures your brand ranks high on search engine results pages (SERPs). So there will be a higher chance of more prospects finding you when they search for services related to what you offer. The website might not be of any value if it’s not visible to your target audiences.

There are several tips you can adopt to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy or the performance of your website. One of them is to increase its page loading time. People want to take the least time possible to search for information online. Therefore, a slow website will likely turn away potential customers.

In connection with that, ensure you provide a search bar on your website. A search bar helps visitors to use keywords to retrieve specific information from your website. It saves one from the hassle of scrolling from one page to another when searching for information online.

Apart from that, you can optimise your site for mobile devices. Firstly, today most people prefer surfing the internet using mobile divides rather than desktop computers. And secondly, SEO tools always scan websites to see whether they’re mobile friendly before ranking. Therefore, optimising your website for mobile will help your brand to rank high.

3. Put Things On Social Media

Another great strategy for reaching out to more clients is to have a social media presence. Social media presence is important because many people spend a better part of the day interacting and finding services on various social media platforms. So putting things there will help promote the visibility of your brand.

There are several social media channels for contractors. Research to find the most suitable platform for your target audiences. Once you’ve chosen the channel, ensure you regularly post valuable content. Besides, you should respond to all comments and mentions on your social media posts. All these help increase your engagement or interactions.

4. Ask For Referral From Current Clients

Asking for referrals from existing clients is one of the most cost-effective ways for contractors to gain new customers. Having existing clients talk about your services to their friends may help you to attract more customers.

But the success of a referral program will depend on how satisfied your customers are. For that reason, ensure you produce quality work and offer premium customer service. And more importantly, you can reward customers who bring referrals to your company. You can use monetary incentives or offer discounts on future services.

Takeaway

Increasing the number of your clients ensures your firm continues to grow. It helps boost your sales and profits. However, sometimes it might be challenging for contractors to gain more new clients. But with the strategies in this article, you can be assured of connecting with more targeted audiences and turning them into clients.

11 Simple Energy Tips to Save Money in 2023

It doesn’t matter if your business operates with a few staff from a small premise or employs a large workforce over several sites,  millions of businesses are looking for ways to budget and cut down their energy consumption amid soaring energy prices. 

Les Roberts, Content Manager at Bionic comments that: “Winter weather has arrived, putting a strain on businesses that are already struggling with the cost of heating and other energy bills. Energy efficiency should also be a priority for your business, and getting into good energy habits is always beneficial, regardless of how high your energy bills are.”

For those wanting to cut to the chase, he highlights the quick solutions that will actually make a significant impact on reducing your energy bills.

1. Assess when you’re heating your premises 

A lot of business owners pay a standard tariff to heat their premises but find that the building is being heated overnight or when rooms are empty. This can be a huge waste of money and you could be saving hours of energy by only heating the building in the daytime or when rooms are in use. If you do need to heat your building overnight-say you have shift workers in the building-then it could be worth considering a time-of-use tariff that offers cheaper rates at certain times.     

Alternatively, just taking your thermostat down a notch is a quick way to start saving fast. This one small action only takes seconds to carry out and could potentially slash your heating bills by as much as 10%. 

2. Switch appliances off 

Switching appliances off when you’re finished with them is a huge way to cut your gas and electricity costs. Next time you’re finished working, make sure you turn off your computer monitors, lights and any other unused appliances.  

3. Pay attention to the weather  

Another way you can save energy is to take a closer look at your business thermostats and adjust them according to the weather conditions outside. If it’s a hot day and rooms don’t need to be heated, then turn the thermostat down and you’ll be saving money in no time.  

Domestic and business energy usage usually decrease during the summer months. This is because it’s warmer and there’s less need for the heating to be on all hours of the day. Simply being conscious of the weather outside and adjusting your thermostat accordingly can help make sure you’re being more cost-efficient. 

4. Install a smart meter to save 

Smart meters are a great way to keep control over your business energy bills, largely because it helps you see where and when your gas and electricity is being used.  

A smart meter lets you see how much the energy you use is costing you, meaning you can curb your consumption as a result. 

5. Be mindful of water costs 

60°C is the optimum temperature for hot water, so if you notice that you’re running water that’s hotter than that, a few issues can arise.  Injuries aside, it could also leave you wide open to a costly business insurance claim. 

You’ll also be wasting energy too – 60°C gets the job done and you can slice your business energy bills at the same time. You could also think about installing touch-free taps in toilets so you can be using water more efficiently too.  

6. Turn off lights when not in use or fit light sensors 

It may seem like an obvious one, but sometimes we don’t even register that leaving lights on can cause our energy bills to skyrocket. Simply advising staff to turn off lights when they leave an empty room or when leaving at the end of the day makes all the difference.  

You can also take advantage of natural light during the day, if it’s a bright, sunny morning or afternoon and the overhead office lights aren’t really making too much of a difference, pull back the blinds make full use of the sunlight. Many businesses also opt to install light sensors in areas like storerooms and toilets because they are places where people aren’t going to be all day.  

7. Encourage all staff to be energy-aware 

Decreasing our energy usage is something we all need to think about in the short and long term. That’s why you should talk to your staff about energy-saving initiatives and explain why it’s so important. You could think about things like incentives and rewards or words of encouragement to spur them on to really get involved. 

8. Draught-proof your building 

If you work on ensuring that your premises are well insulated, then there will be less need for expensive heating costs. Draught-proofing doors and windows is a cheap but effective way to save money on gas and electric bills as it limits the amount of heat that can escape and stops cold air from getting in.  

9. Go paperless as much as you can 

Sometimes we don’t actively think about how many documents we’re printing and how much paper we’re using each day. And we very rarely consider how much electricity is being used to activate the printer. 

As more and more businesses go paperless, you could maybe think about if this option is viable for you too. Going paperless can be a great cost-effective solution if you find that you can email digital receipts or read a document online instead of printing.  

10. Request an energy audit 

Energy audits can be incredibly helpful, and your current energy supplier will be able to help you get started. By taking part in an energy audit, you’re ensuring that you know exactly where you are using the most and how you can cut this down. It’ll help you take full control of your spending.  

Many energy suppliers offer audits to help your business pinpoint exactly where you can save power and how you can do this. Just contact your current supplier to find out more and get started.  

11. Switch energy supplier

No matter how happy you are with your current energy supplier, they may not be providing you with the best deals, especially if you’ve let a fixed-rate contract expire without arranging a new one. If you haven’t browsed any alternative tariffs lately, then you may not be aware that there are better options out there.  

It really does pay to shop around and compare gas and electricity prices on different tariffs and with different suppliers. You could be saving so much money per month and be putting that back into your business. If you want to do a little more for the environment, it’s worth considering a green energy deal or even putting your own renewable energy technology in place.

How Does Your Workspace Impact Your Performance And Success?

As an employee, you spend a significant portion of your life in the workplace. You may think it’s just a place where you report for work, time in, eat meals, attend meetings, and time out at the end of the day. But there’s more to it than just a cubicle.

In reality, your cognitive and emotional states, concentration, behavior, actions, and abilities are influenced by your work environment. It has a significant impact on both your performance and success as a team member. This is why it’s crucial to maintain your office setup to maintain productivity.

Your workspace impacts your performance and success in more ways than one. How? Take a look at this list below.

1. By Hindering Growth Due To Inefficient Processes

Inefficient processes in the workplace can be the reason behind hindered growth as a team member. They set you back from your professional goals. Sometimes, management and staff will accept a procedure based solely on the claim that ‘this is how it’s always been done.’ But times change, especially in recent years. And so do the demands of your work.

Management should determine which workflow problems are slowing their employees down. Doing this lets it find ways to improve processes and make the workflow more efficient. It’s incredible how much can change with just a few minor adjustments and the automation of some methods.

2. By Ruining Engagement Through A Toxic Workplace Culture

Workplace culture affects engagement and productivity among employees. If it doesn’t meet their expectations, most of today’s workforce will decide to move on to a new position.

When toxicity and negativity surround you at work, you’re less likely to engage, collaborate, and work with the team. This leads you away from your targets, which are better performance and success.

A toxic or negative company culture is contagious and can significantly impact employee performance. However, it’s worth noting that fostering a positive workplace culture involves more than just offering fantastic benefits and holding fun activities. The leadership team must establish strong core values and emphasize them across the organization, getting everyone on board.

3. By Making You Feel Constantly Tired, Uncomfortable, And Distracted

It’s not only the company culture or the processes that can affect your performance and success at work. You’ll be surprised to know that the physical attributes of the office can make your working conditions uncomfortable, tiring, and distracting.

Unfavorable working conditions cause sluggishness and lack of motivation in more ways than one.

Poor lighting, for instance, can lead to fatigue and eye strain. An intelligent blend of artificial, decorative, and natural office lighting creates the ideal environment for productivity, happiness, and satisfaction at work. Another factor is the need for more utilization of office space. You can’t fully function if you don’t have the room and tools to perform at your best. 

To work comfortably and efficiently, employees need the right configuration of space. They require access to communal areas intended for collaboration and quiet rooms where they can focus on in-depth work. A workplace that provides these significantly raises employee morale and productivity.

4. By Not Having Enough Flexibility In The Workplace

Times are changing, and the idea of a workspace is no longer constricted to the four walls of an office. Organizations all over the globe are aware of the value of an excellent work-life balance in guaranteeing satisfaction and retention. If you have flexibility at work, you’re more likely to perform better and contribute continuously to a company’s success.

Employers can aid workers in achieving a better work-life balance by providing flexible work schedules whenever applicable. Ensure workloads are reasonable and encourage staff to take advantage of their paid time off. The more ways businesses can support employee wellness, the better.

5. By Not Offering Professional Development

Being in a company that doesn’t see the value of professional growth and development won’t help you improve your performance as an employee. So, next time you’re looking for a job, find a company that offers mentoring programs, training, and career advancement options. You’ll see how these things can lead to improved job satisfaction, better performance, lower turnover, and greater career success.

Where You Work Changes How You Work

You are more likely to find opportunities to advance in your career when driven to succeed in your current role. Therefore, it’s essential to work in an environment that positively impacts your performance and success.

Both employers and employees should take this into account. Conscious workplace choices dictate a business’s success. Reach out for more information.

Avoid These 6 Intellectual Property ‘Business Killers’

Myths and mistakes that can undermine your IP endeavors and short-circuit your valuations

By Merilee Kern, MBA

Three hundred seventy-four thousand six. That’s the total number of patents Statista.com cites were granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO) in fiscal year 2021, up from 352,066 in fiscal year 2020. This despite the pandemic’s adverse impacts on the global economy.

“The filing and issuing of patents continues to rise because companies and organizations are better understanding the significance of patents on value, and valuation, for their businesses,” says patent attorney and IP authority JiNan Glasgow George. “Indeed, crafting an efficient IP portfolio is vital to high valuation, making companies attractive to investors.”

According to JiNan, understanding patent trends can drastically protect existing intellectual property and increase valuation as businesses develop that which is new. However, she cautions that there are a few specific “business killing” myths and mistakes to be aware—and wary—of. Here are her top six.

1. Filing for Everything

Business owners who learn about IP for the first time often experience the pendulum effect: “Let’s file for everything!” You might have felt that when you picked up a book on IP strategy. By virtue of your reading this article, you’ve probably got excellent ideas that do warrant patents. But, don’t try to patent everything in your idea or prototype cache just yet, as not everything is worth patenting. It’s first imperative to discern where your best chance of ROI exists. Also, while cliché, it’s true in the IP realm: Quality beats quantity. It is better to have one huge filing with lots of detail, data and use cases rather than a dozen failed filings of just five to 10 pages each. Minimum filing requirements are not those needed to secure a patent. Even if you manage to secure a patent or trademark with a five- or 10-page filing, you may learn too late that it doesn’t cover what you’d hoped in terms of exclusivity, your company valuation, enforcement and other mission critical benchmarks. 

* Do this instead: Triage what you believe to be patent-worthy IP and file judiciously based on ROI modeling. What you initially think may be most valuable IP may reveal itself to be one of lesser monetization value than other ideas in your cache.

2. Waiting Too Long to File

Make no mistake: IP filing is a race. The first person to file and get accepted wins and can shut others down, even those who had the idea in the first place. Waiting too long to file usually means the patent won’t be gained. Too many companies hedge and needlessly suffer this opportunity loss. In most cases, it’s not too late to file the patent for your new idea unless you’ve gone to market, as anything already being bought and sold is ineligible for a patent. However, not receiving a patent doesn’t have to be the end. Chances are you already have new IP candidates related to the initial concept. Asking yourself questions like, “What’s the next generation of my idea?” and “What new features and functions have been planned but not deployed?” can spur fresh IP contenders.

* Do this instead:Get all of your “ducks in a row” and file as soon as possible. This to avoid the completion and better navigate unforeseen obstacles that can delay, or entirely derail, an approval. If investor funding is relevant to the project, note that you carry a fiduciary responsibility to be prudent.

3. Do-It-Yourself “DIY” Filing

Even for someone as expert in this field as myself, I don’t even do my own contracts and securities work. While I certainly can, I don’t. Instead, I choose to do this work through a law firm because the stakes are high. In short, it’s just too important for me to risk missing an important line and lose everything. If you’re going to take other people’s money at some point, get a lawyer. Beyond the risk of severe loss, without an IP attorney you may still waste your time and money—even for something as seemingly fundamental as starting an IP filing yourself. I’ve been privy to insights from lawyers revealing that each time a new IP client comes in and states, “I wrote and filed this myself,” the law firm has to charge double just to undo what’s already been done. Plenty of great writers connect with me to fix their mistakes, but all too often it’s when their patents or trademarks have been rejected. Wasted time, wasted money. What’s more, responding to a rejection isn’t usually enough as, most often, a complete redo is required. Such delays and overhauls cost extra time and money.

* Do this instead:Secure apt representation. Hiring a lawyer with extreme process knowledge can save you time, money and thwart avoidable opportunity loss.

4. The Ownership Assumption

Who owns your intellectual property? It seems reasonable to assume that, if you create it, you should own it. But what if you hire someone—an employee, contractor or vendor—who also works on your invention prototype? Who built your app? Who designed your company website? Assuming IP is inherently “yours” may land you in a sticky situation, as happed with a high-tech life science data company that reached out to me for assistance. The company developed testing protocols and algorithms unique to their business. The technology served to automate the way they did things: Streamlining employee workflow; improving productivity; and, as a result, increase revenue and profit. They hired a third party to develop the necessary software, but they failed to ask an IP attorney to review the contract. The executive team assumed that, by paying for the software development, the company owned the deliverable. Unfortunately, once the software was finished and deployed, the company caught a rumor that their vendor tried to license the software to their competition. In reviewing the development contract, I found that they had failed to include an “assignment” clause. Though they had conceived it and had it built from scratch, this client had, in writing, simply agreed to purchase a license to the finished software they had commissioned. All they got was a license. While some would regard this as sneaky and unscrupulous on the developer’s part, it’s also a failure on the part of the party who contracted that work for a lack of due diligence. All terms must be read and wholly understood before signing on the dotted line. Otherwise, what’s yours may become theirs—even if you conceived and paid for it.

* Do this instead: Do extreme diligence on contract review and, optimally, seek legal assistance to assist with agreement provision vetting. Making assumptions on what may seem to be a common-sense engagement can prove to be fatally flawed thinking—and legally binding mandate related thereto.

5. The Get-Rich-Quick Patent Fantasy

What if one patent resulted in $1 million in revenue? Many people have that quick hit fantasy and treat patents like million-dollar lottery tickets, erroneously thinking that if they file, they’ll automatically “win.” As with the actual lottery, however, the odds are stacked against this. Within most companies, creating a product or service that enjoys exclusive rights or IP licensing to others fails to earn any notable level of ROI some percent of the time. Not all patents or IP assets are quality enough to have value in the marketplace. In truth, most patents are half-baked and poorly researched, if at all, and not well filed. The invention may also not be perceived as valuable in the marketplace.

* Do this instead: Stay realistic. While it may be patentable, it may not be profitable because there isn’t an addressable market willing to pay for that solution. Even the best inventors must often go through multiple iterations before they find the right idea that is both patentable and will serve a demonstrated marketplace need.

6. Assuming Patents Alone Protect

Did you know that having a patent does not prevent competitors from suing you for infringement? Most inventors don’t know or fully understand this risk, often finding out only when they’re the one receiving the dreaded Cease and Desist letter. It’s key to conduct clearance research to identify other companies’ patents that should be considered in the design process to ensure your own products or services avoid infringing on the claims and IP protections of others. If you’re in a highly competitive space where many companies obtain and flex IP, you need to be aware of clearance—even if you don’t pursue patents.

* Do this instead: Execute clearance research forthwith. The earlier in the product development timeline you conduct this clearance research, the easier it will be to design around other patents. It’s much harder to resolve an issue once you’ve launched your product, perhaps with the financial backing of other third parties, and then receive a legal notice. 

According to JiNan, one of the most significant areas of opportunity loss for inventors, entrepreneurs and corporate executives is a lack of understanding of patent filing strategy and dynamics. Since patents are often the highest value intellectual property assets, she asserts that taking a measured, professionally advised and risk-averse track can is best.

Said to serve as “the lifeblood of innovation,” aptly procured patents can proffer a remarkable return on investment—especially when facilitating market, category or process exclusivity. Heeding these warnings above can be a powerfully effective means toward this end.

New Construction And HOA Governance: A Basic Guide

Posted on 27th January 2023

If you’re constructing a new home, there are rules that must be followed. But when you’re in a community managed by the Home Owners Association (HOA), you might encounter more of these rules.

This guide will give you information and reminders on what to do when building your home in a community with an HOA. 

1. Dealing With HOA Management

Even as you have the building plans from the construction of the dwelling and the landscaping, you’re likely going to be dealing with the HOA.

There are property management set-ups like the Community Association Management in Charlotte NC formed by an elected board and granted responsibilities to help manage the shared community. They have a system for managing the HOA budget, expenses, maintenance, and repairs. They may also hire contractors and vendors to perform maintenance services on facilities.

That said, if you’re going for a major home project, you can’t disregard the rules set by the association if you want to build in the community. The association seeks to carry out the rules, bylaws, and services of the HOA. Before renovation or a new construction, you must first seek the management and provide your project plan to the HOA. Proceeding with construction without permission and approval could land you some hefty fines depending on the community rules.

2. HOA Covenants And Construction Rules

The HOA enforces the CC&Rs or covenants, conditions, and restrictions that describe the limitations and requirements of what you’re allowed to do on your property. The CC&Rs aim to protect and enhance property values in the community. That means even if you have a house design prepared, it may not receive approval because it can endanger the value of the rest of the homes in the community. For example, the paint colour you choose for your door and shutters can negatively impact the value of neighbouring homes. It’s called external obsolescence that can cause depreciation through environmental, economic, and social forces. It includes outdated finishes or architectural designs. If the community has contemporary homes, building a Victorian-themed home can affect the property values of the neighbourhood.

Another example is construction noise which can affect the peace in the neighbourhood. These are examples of economic obsolescence where real estate can lose its economic value because of noise and outdated home designs.

3. Permits Are Mandatory

Whether you’re building or renovating a home, the contractor must first obtain permission from HOA and secure the proper building permits, especially if renovation entails modifying the structure of the existing house. Cities regulate the construction of structures to ensure these are within the set standards that ensure the safety of the residents. The fees paid for the permits also cover expenses related to housing regulations. 

Depending on your city, you may need permits for electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems.  So, check if this applies to you.

Ensure that the permits are secured even before construction begins. Otherwise, you run the risk of wasting resources if the work you started on isn’t allowed under the HOA construction rules.

4. HOA Building Committees

The HOA oversees even home modifications through an architectural or building committee team. Those living in communities with an HOA may have to submit design and building plans and get the committee’s approval before proceeding with the changes. It doesn’t apply if the resident only wants a little DIY interior project. 

Not only must you obtain a city permit, but HOA may also require a permit from them before construction proceeds. The HOA will also likely require the homeowner to follow any strict requirements relating to the construction of the home. It’s essential to work with the HOA committee and personally learn about specific limitations that are documented, such as where trash bins should be or construction time restrictions to limit the noise in the area. 

Some rules may also apply, such as banning portable toilets and trailers or regulating how many construction vehicles can come and go in the community. It’s also possible to be asked for a complete timeline of the construction completion. 

In Conclusion

When choosing to live in an HOA-managed community, you must work with an architectural committee to build a house. The HOA will enforce restrictions and limitations that protect property values in the community. You’ll need to submit your home design plan for approval, secure the necessary permits, and follow community rules such as construction time to mitigate noise. It’ll help you secure the value of your property when you choose to work with your HOA.

How Joining a Social Club Can Improve Your Mental Health

As women, we tend to prioritise our mental health. Indulging in self-care practices that boost our well-being and empower us has become a necessity.

One practice that is gaining popularity amongst ladies of all ages is joining a social club. From dog-walking and wine-tasting groups to book and fitness clubs, there are countless opportunities to bond with like-minded people while improving your well-being.

Here is how to find your tribe amongst the hustle and bustle of everyday life and boost your mental health.

The benefits of social interactions

The benefits of social clubs for our well-being go much beyond the social component. They are like a wellness shot for our entire system.

Being part of a group can provide a sense of belonging, support, and purpose, all of which can improve our mental health. It can weather out feelings of loneliness and isolation, which contribute to the development of depression.

Somehow, one-on-one connections in a pleasant environment have become a luxury nowadays. In a world where we often feel disconnected from each other, being either engrossed in work or distracting ourselves with technology, finding a way to connect with like-minded people is a must.

Engaging with people in a social setting helps us feel young, loved, and involved, thus improving our life satisfaction and contributing to longevity.

But the benefits of social interactions go beyond mental health. Our physical health can be massively improved too. A recent study found that older people who participated weekly in social activities reduced their risk of developing a chronic condition by 8% compared to no participation, and minimised the risk of developing two or more chronic conditions by 22%.

Attending these clubs also allows you to try new things, learn new skills, improve physical health, and meet new people. They are a reason to get out of your routine, dress in your favourite attire and bring your best self to the forefront of social interactions.

The book clubs’ craze

There are many social clubs you can join, and it’s important to find activities that align with your interests and values.

In 1996, Oprah Winfrey established her book club. She pioneered elucidating a sense of community and belonging amongst women who like to read and connect on a deeper level, empowering them to be modern-day bookworms.

“Over the course of my lifetime, books have helped me know that I’m not alone, even when I’m at my loneliest,” said Oprah Winfrey.

But she is not the only celebrity who is connecting women through their love for reading. Book clubs have become the epitome of female empowerment, with stars such as Reese Witherspoon, Emma Roberts, and Sarah Jessica Parker having book clubs that attract hundreds of members.

Whether they’re celebrity-led or hosted in your local bookstore, book clubs serve as a nudge for women to read new releases on Goodreads, share their thoughtful opinions with other book lovers, and spruce conversations around current and deeper topics.

Other social clubs to try

Social clubs not only provide a sense of community and connection but are also a doorway to engaging in other self-care practices that complement the social component and boost well-being. For the lady of today, a skincare and hair routine, along with choosing a desirable outfit, is an essential part of social events that can act as a self-esteem booster.

Joining a wellness or fitness club, for example, would encourage you to wear fashionable trainers and activewear that make you feel even better in your body and accentuate your progress. A wine-tasting club can inspire you to put on a red dress and heeled women’s boots in black while joining a fashion club can bring out your inner fashion diva.

Joining social clubs can motivate us to become our best versions and gain confidence in our bodies, style, intelligence, and social skills.

So, what are you waiting for? If your local wine and draw club or dog-walking group is calling upon you, gift yourself the chance to connect with like-minded people and do something nice for yourself.

Not only will you improve your mental health, but you’ll also have fun and potentially make some new friends in the process. Your mental health (and your wardrobe) will thank you.

How To Navigate the New Rules for Supermarkets on Sugary Foods

If you’ve been shopping at a supermarket recently, you might have noticed some changes. The usual snacks and sugary sweets that we’re used to seeing at multiple spots throughout the stores have been reduced.

In a bid to tackle the country’s obesity issue, the UK government has put new legislation in place that bans the display of HFSS (high in fat, salt, and sugar) items in certain locations in a shop, such as entrances, aisle ends, and checkouts. For online food shops, the same rule will apply to high-traffic spots on the website.

But how has the new rule been met by both businesses and consumers, and what can supermarkets do to adapt to the changes?

What are the new rules?

The new rules came into force on October 1, and have since attracted the attention of supermarket managers, employers, and consumers alike.

As customers we have got into the habit of buying last-minute snacks – which are usually processed foods – while strolling through the aisles or when we reach the checkout. The government’s goal is to reduce those mindless, impulsive purchases and help break bad habits.

According to the Health Survey for England 2019, around 28% of English adults are obese (BMI>30) and 36.2% are overweight but not obese. Processed foods that contain HFSS (high in fat, salt, and sugar) contribute to the obesity issue in England.

While these foods can be consumed in moderation, their regular consumption can increase the risk of underlying chronic inflammation and developing certain diseases, such as fatty liver disease. The government sees the ban on certain locations where these products can be displayed in supermarkets as a viable solution for combatting obesity.

How ready are businesses?

While the ban is geared towards making a positive change in the decisions we as consumers make, there is resistance from the supermarket industry in implementing the new rules.

A study by global standards organisation GS1 UK shows that 66% of businesses and 68% of consumers agree that precautions should be taken to tackle Brits’ unhealthy eating habits and obesity issue.

But what is halting them from fully embracing the change is fears around the shift in consumers’ behaviours. Buying HFSS foods is an integral part of the shopping behaviour of Brits, and the new legislation could change that. In fact, 51% of the survey respondents said they would be less likely to purchase HFSS products if they were less visible in the shop.

Businesses are concerned that this can impact sales and revenue and are also hesitant about implementing the new changes. According to the GS1 UK survey, more than 40% of business owners and managers feel unprepared for the shift. Not only that, but another research shows that only a third of businesses have audited their products ahead of the legislation, and that 20% of businesses are not even aware of the new law. Nevertheless, failing to comply with the new rules can lead to penalties.

Storage containers to keep supply deals

But what can businesses do in order to navigate the new changes and implement the legislation without hurting their business and by promoting healthy eating habits in Britain?

Tackling the limited space for displaying HFSS items points to the fact that businesses will need additional storage space for those items they are unable to display at the time. Although they are only able to showcase a certain amount of HFSS products, that wouldn’t change their supply behaviours.

Buying goods to sell in bulk is cheaper for businesses than frequent small purchases. They have most likely arranged deals with their suppliers to account for enough stock to fill the shelves. Cutting down the stock they purchase might have an additional toll on their expenses, and therefore isn’t a viable solution for all.

But, using storage containers can help businesses keep their good deals with suppliers while also complying with the new legislation. This is a sure way to get prepared in advance without having to make massive budget sacrifices. There are many storage containers for hire that come in various sizes to fit your business’ needs and are a great way to keep everything organised. This will ensure the smooth operations of your business and will allow for minimum disruptions.

Implementing data and technology

Technology and data play a big part in helping optimise businesses’ operations. It can be used to track consumer behaviour, automate processes, and also to help businesses navigate the complexities of the new law. In fact, 41% of respondents in a survey by AI nutrition technology company Spoon Guru believe that technology can aid businesses in managing the new regulations.

Technology that monitors the HFSS scores of products and communicates the information with the supermarket managers and owners is what they need. This will ensure that businesses are categorising products properly and are staying up to date with the recent legislations.

The ban on where HFSS products can be displayed is just one of the tools that the government is using in their efforts to combat obesity. Bans on multibuy deals on unhealthy foods and drinks, junk food adverts on TV before 9pm and paid online ads are also in the pipeline.

Although the new legislation is causing friction in the supply chain and the customer journey, its mission is to reduce obesity, and hopefully in time, healthier snack options will be put in the spots where HFSS items were previously displayed.

Designing a Modern, Minimalist Look With Bifold Doors: A Guide for Homeowners and Interior Designers

Posted on 27th January 2023

More homeowners are looking to create a modern and minimalist look in their homes. One way to do this is by using bifold or sliding doors.  

Bifold and sliding doors offer a sleek, modern look that can be used in any room of the house. They are also a great way to save space since they do not take up as much room as traditional swinging doors. 

A well-designed home is not only beautiful but functional as well. By using bifold or sliding doors, you can create a stylish and minimalist look while still having easy access to all the rooms in your house. 

Read on to learn more about creating a modern and minimalist look with bifold or sliding doors.

Benefits of Bifold Doors

Bifold doors are becoming increasingly popular due to the multitude of benefits they offer. They are an efficient way of saving space while also allowing natural light to enter the building.  

By connecting interior and exterior spaces in a seamless fashion, they create an indoor-outdoor connection ideal for homeowners who want to bring the outdoors in.  

These positive attributes make bifold doors an excellent choice for creating additional living or entertainment spaces and enhancing any room’s style and atmosphere.  

Not only do these doors look aesthetically pleasing, but they are painfully practical too – making them perfect for whatever project you may be undertaking! 

Bifold door design options

When it comes to designing bifold doors, there are a variety of materials and finishes available, making it easier for homeowners to find something that works with the existing look and feel of their home.

From sleek aluminium designs in assorted colours; to natural wooden options, to powerful glass panes – the choices are endless. Texture can also come into play, as many manufacturers offer checker or patterned designs to give bifolds an added sense of style.

Additionally, you can choose from various hardware pieces such as glossy metal handles or modern push bars for opening the door, making the design possibilities truly infinite! Why settle for a generic off-the-shelf design when you can personalize your bifold doors?

Incorporating sliding doors

Incorporating sliding doors into your home décor enhances the modern, minimalist look that bifold doors provide. They come in several types, with Cortizo sliding doors being trendy due to their sleek design and robust durability.

Furthermore, these doors can open up any living space – allowing plenty of light in and creating a more inviting atmosphere for visitors.

From barn style to pocket style, these sliding doors are an excellent choice for homeowners looking to achieve a minimalist look that will not compromise on quality or style.

Bifold doors for particular rooms

Bifold doors are the perfect choice for any room in your home. For example, they offer a great solution for bedrooms, hallways, and kitchens.

In the bedroom, bifold doors can create a more spacious feel by allowing natural light to enter the room while still maintaining privacy. They also provide easy access to closets or other areas that may not be accessible with traditional doors.

Hallways are also an ideal place to install bifold doors as they allow more space when opened up and do not take away from the overall aesthetic of the hallway when closed. Furthermore, these types of doors help create an uninterrupted flow between multiple rooms or floors in your house.

Kitchens with bifold doors offer a modern and stylish look that also allows for easy access between the kitchen and dining area. The natural light allowed in from the bifold doors helps to create an inviting atmosphere perfect for entertaining guests or enjoying meals with the family.

If you want to complete your kitchen’s design with bifold doors, consider matching the style and color of your pantry or cabinet doors with your bifold door.

Pictured here are white kitchen cabinets from BestOnlineCabinets complementing a grey bifold door.

Conclusion

In conclusion, designing a modern, minimalist look with bifold and sliding doors is an effective way to enhance the beauty and functionality of any home.

Bifold doors offer a variety of benefits such as space-saving, natural light enhancement, and seamless indoor-outdoor connection.

Overall, bifold and sliding doors are an excellent choice for homeowners and interior designers looking to create a modern, minimalist aesthetic in their homes.

How Do Trading And AI Promote Global Trade And Development?

“General artificial intelligence” refers to systems that can self-learn from experience with “humanlike breadth” and do tasks better than people. While the prospect of general trading and AI presents serious philosophical questions, this technology is still decades away.

Instead, narrow AI focuses on specific applications, such as language translation, chatbots (automated online customer care), and driverless cars. Machine learning-based systems use enormous data and advanced algorithms to improve projections. Narrow AI in the real world needs enormous data sets to include as many previous occurrences as possible in future projections. Supervised data is labelled. “Unsupervised data” is raw data that requires the machine to find patterns.

The Consequences Regarding Trading And AI

Insofar as AI helps increase productivity, it will encourage broader economic expansion and open up fresh channels for cross-border commerce. However, economies will need time to invest in, get access to, and adapt to emerging AI technologies before they can begin to reap the benefits of these advancements.

Use Cases of Artificial Intelligence in Global Trade

Synthetic Intelligence And International Supply Networks

In the process of creating and overseeing international supply chains, AI is already making an impression. It can help with risk management in the supply chain and improved forecasting of future trends like shifts in customer demand. Just-in-time production and shipping can run more smoothly with better control over warehouse inventory. Packing and inventory checks are made easier with the help of robots.

In order to facilitate predictive self-maintenance and rapid adaption to client demands, “smart manufacturing” makes use of sensors and Internet-connected machinery, materials, and supplies. The greater connection might allow for more specialised participation in global value chains by service providers in areas such as research and development, design, robotics, and data analytics that are targeted to specific activities along the supply chain as more sectors adopt smart manufacturing.

Trading And AI: Online Trading Has Become Increasingly Popular

AI is also being used on online marketplaces like eBay right now. In the United States, 97% of eBay-based small firms export, compared to only 4% of their non-digital counterparts.

Services for translating texts, created with the help of artificial intelligence, are a major enabler of digital platforms as motors of international trade. For instance, thanks to eBay’s machine translation service, the company saw a volume rise of 17.5% in exports to Spanish-speaking Latin America and a revenue gain of 13.1%.

Future Artificial Intelligence Development Faces Trade Obstacles

Ability to Use Data for AI

Access to global data is essential for building AI systems that can adapt to a wide range of situations and user populations. It is important to have access to global health data that goes beyond the boundaries of country populations when building AI in fields like healthcare, for example.

Transnational data exchange is essential to the success of these digital technologies. Data localization policies that limit international data flows will have a negative effect on AI in two ways: first, by reducing the availability of training data; and second, by weakening the foundations upon which AI is built.

AI and Privacy

Governments are currently limiting the transfer of personal data across borders in order to maintain domestic privacy standards.

However, if individuals are going to feel safe moving their entire lives online, including sharing massive quantities of personal data for AI learning, then robust privacy measures are going to be necessary. The biggest obstacle will be coming up with privacy standards that don’t limit people’s ability to use their data.

Artificial Intelligence Standards

To create AI-based industrial goods, many new norms will need to be established. For instance, the introduction of autonomous cars would prompt the establishment of novel guidelines for the construction and security of motor vehicles. In order to lower trade barriers for AI-enhanced goods, international talks will be sparked around interoperability since the creation of multiple domestic standards across nations might increase costs for foreign producers that need to retool in order to export.

The Bottom Line

The use of trading and AI relationships is already altering international trade patterns and international value chains. Global AI development and deployment will be profoundly influenced by the trade laws created today in the WTO or free trade agreements. Trade regulations are necessary for the future of AI. You can, however, make a trade using a trading bot such as bitalpha ai.

10 Business Tips for New Entrepreneurs to Become Successful

Imagine standing at the edge of a cliff. Someone is fastening your ropes and you’re getting ready for your bungee jump. You’re excited, your adrenaline is rushing, and there is fear in your eyes.

Not to scare you off, but this is what starting a new business feels like. A mix of emotions with one big question: “Should I do this?” The answer is yes – if you plan on doing it right.

10 Business tips for new entrepreneurs to become successful

“It all starts with an idea”, they say. But we know that the concept is the tip of the iceberg. Very often good ideas don’t work out because of bad management.

There are 582 million entrepreneurs in the world. There are just so many ways to start a business.

New entrepreneurs often get carried away with the ‘dream’. They forget about the hard work. There are no tips and tricks that will make you successful overnight. But with consistency and hard work, I assure you these tips will do your bidding.

Don’t quit your 9 to 5 job

You can get overexcited about starting your new business and quit right after you set the goals. This would be a wrong decision.

New businesses don’t make a profit fast. If you keep your day job you will have a regular income. This way your business will have some extra financial support and you won’t end up broke if something goes wrong.

Find the right people

Every business is driven by its employees. The people should not work for you, but with you. Find allies and employees that will celebrate your success as their own.

It’s great if you find people with the proper experience and skills that you need. But this is not everything.

Find people that share similar values and moral compasses as the company. Someone that would be a great cultural fit. They should value the business and its prosperity.

You must set healthy boundaries and safety measures. All employees should follow and respect them. It’s your job to make sure of this.

Take ownership of shadow IT

Your employees should know IT do’s and don’ts from the get-go. One of the most common dangers is shadow IT. It’s when employees use hardware or software that is not contract verified by the IT team.

This can lead to serious damage and security breach if it’s not controlled. That’s why learning more about shadow IT will save you a lot of trouble. It can be bad or good, depending on how you handle it.

Searching for fast and effective ways to do the job can be great, but the risk that comes with it, NOT so great. So take your time analysing shadow IT before you take some actions.

Track transactions and reduce spending

You need to know where your money is going. By this, I don’t mean only the big investments, buying equipment, pay checks, or similar. Every dime matters.

For example, if you manage a fleet, you can track how much your employees spend on fuel. Fleetio’s fuel management software is perfect for this. You can optimize fuel usage and track everything automatically.

The best part about SaaS is that there is a solution for every business type and department. It helps to do some research. Be financially cautious and in control of your business. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Get a mentor

A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” – Bob Proctor.

There is nothing wrong with a little bit of guidance. It doesn’t have to be a world-famous guru. Sometimes the people that are with us from the start can be great mentors. Like our college professors, or our parents for example.

In this modern digital age, you can reach out to professionals in the same domain on LinkedIn. People are generally very happy to lend a helping hand and offer tips and advice. Try it out!

Focus on the customers

You can never get over-obsessed with your customers. They’re the reason you started your business. Profit is great, and a positive goal to reach, but become too obsessed and you’re sure to lose.

You need to know to whom are you reaching out. Always ask yourself these questions:

  • What do they want?
  • Why do they want it?
  • What triggers them to buy these kinds of products/services?
  • Why is your product/service better than your competitors?
  • What bigger problem are you solving with your business?

Receiving something without giving first is not possible in the business world. Provide the best service to your customers. Be aware of their needs and stay up to date with the trends.

Use free assets

Today there is so much free stuff that can benefit you. Starting from free marketing tools on the internet to proper use of social media.

Think about LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. All these platforms can help you connect with the right crowd, or find the information that you need. Don’t be shy to post and ask for advice here. You never know, someone could have the perfect answer to your problem.

Be a part of many networking events. Here you can find like-minded people and get good advice, most often for free. Not to mention the connections you are going to make with more experienced businessmen.

Risk smart

The risk will always be there when it comes to starting a new business. But here are a couple of ways you can ‘risk smart’:

  • Invest in insurance
  • Face your fears
  • Be prepared
  • Invest in insurance
  • Every new decision has its risks.

You can’t know for sure what tomorrow brings. That’s why is good to keep your property and business protected. If misfortune strikes you will be safe.

Face your fears

Atychiphobia is an intense fear of failure. To some point we all have it. No one want’s to fail right? Entrepreneurs are faced with it too. But you should not let the fear consume you.

Take a blank piece of paper and write your fears on it. Just imagine the worst-case scenario and put it there.

When you know your fears, you can also own them. Do a brainstorming session, alone or with your closest employees. Ask yourself and them to think of a solution that would help solve the risk scenario you’ve put together.

Be prepared

Understand that there will always be risks. Prepare a “risk budget” in case of unexpected financial emergencies. This way you won’t have to take huge loans when and if something bad happens.

Remember that your risk management should grow as your business grows.

Learn from the mistakes of others

Is much easier to learn from other people’s mistakes. That’s you should do a lot of research while starting your business. People like to brag when they are doing something good, but not a lot share the bad stuff.

Find a person that tried a similar thing as you but failed. This person’s story will take you very far. Knowing what you definitely shouldn’t do, will guide you to a safer path in forming your business.

Don’t forget to believe in yourself

All things mentioned above won’t count if you don’t believe in yourself and the cause you are doing this for.

Good entrepreneurs should not only invest their money but also their hearts in the business. When we do what we love we tend to do it right.

Being a “boss” won’t be easy. There will be a lot of sweat and tears on the way. Don’t jump down the rabbit hole. Make a healthy work-life balance. Celebrate all important birthdays, and have that picnic in the park. Separate the business from your private life.

Is this all worth it?

For new entrepreneurs, every day is a new lesson. There will be some ups and downs. But when you feel down or overwhelmed, remember why you are doing this.

Entrepreneurship is not a job, it’s fulfilling a dream. Big dreams are not always easy to be implemented, but they change the world.

Learn new things and keep your mind open to ideas and criticism. There are so many ways to succeed if you are consistent and dedicated to the cause. So go ahead, bring some positive change to the world.

How Best to Take Care of Your Employees

It’s fair to say that employee morale is key to commercial success in the digital age, which is why hybrid and remote working has continued to become so popular since the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s even more important when you consider that the UK and Western Europe have the lowest levels of employee engagement across the globe, with this coming in at just 11%.

This may have much to do with the fact that 55% of the staff members working in these regions have higher life expectations. But what steps can you take to value your employees and show that you care?

1. Provide a Safe and Compliant Workspace

Regardless of the nature of your business and its primary office space, it’s crucial that you provide a safe working environment for your employees (and one that also complies with the relevant health and safety laws in the UK).

To achieve this fully, you may first want to consider carrying out a risk assessment in your workplace, with a view to identifying the most prominent threats and areas that may not be fully compliant with existing UK law.

If you own or operate a manufacturing or construction business, your employees may handle heavy duty machinery or work in potentially challenging conditions.

In this instance, you’ll also have to ensure that staff members have access to the required personal protective equipment (PPE), including prominent items such as action work trousers, hi-vis jackets and reinforced footwear.

2. Recognise Hard Work with Rewards

One of the key issues with employee engagement and motivation revolves around a lack of recognition, as employers fail to reward their development or contributions to the accomplishment of specific company goals.

So, it’s crucial that you’re quick to recognise hard work and employee achievements, both individually and collectively within specific teams (or across the company as a whole).

How you choose to reward employees is up to you, although it may be influenced by the achievement in question. For example, individuals or teams who achieve sales’ targets could be awarded tangible, one-off prizes, such as cash incentives or team-building outings.

Conversely, employees who continue to excel and exceed expectations over an extended period of time may want to be rewarded with career progression opportunities, as they look to improve their positions and subsequent earning potential.

3. Create a Coveted Package of Employee Benefits

On a similar note, you can further incentivise new hires and employee retention through the development of attractive and (where possible) bespoke benefits packages.

These should be as broad as possible to incentivise a large number of staff members, while packages can include everything from generous bonuses and cash incentives to discounted gym members and access to cycle-to-work schemes.

This way, you can actively help to improve your employee’s work-life balance through a number of different benefits, from target-based additions to their take-home pay to schemes that promote optimal physical and mental well-being.

We’d also recommend listening to your employees and their feedback on your benefits packages. This way, you can make incremental improvements over time and tailor individual packages as and when appropriate.

The Top 8 Earrings You Should Buy in 2023

Earrings are unique jewellery. They are great for a number of tasks, including helping to successfully complete a look; they can be a successful accent or part of your look. Below, we offer a selection inspired by the red carpet. Read, compare, and choose the perfect piece for you.

The choice of earrings is not an easy one. But if you choose the right shape once, it will be quite easy for you to create unique everyday looks. Let’s take a look at a model that has once again become a designer’s favourite, FJewellery‘s Silver Hoop Earrings. Please note that on this site you can find jewellery not only in this inexpensive material but also in white gold. Such models at different times were preferred by Rihanna, Twiggy, Cher, Jennifer Lopez, and many other divas. Photos of these ladies can be found on the Internet.

Below we offer you the best models that will be your salvation in 2023:

1. Simple hoop earrings without decorations of medium diameter. These are a real find! They are ideal in every way: they are not too heavy, not too light, and not too garish, they are simple and elegant, and they will assist you in creating a light casual and business look. A lifesaver in any situation.

2. Create your own exclusive ring set. Such jewellery is perfect in many ways, and if you like this shape, we recommend looking at sets of such jewellery. In such a setting, there can be something very simple, something with decoration, and something provocative with gemstones. Believe me, each of these variations will find itself in your look.

3. Playing to the maximum. If you want to look flamboyant, look for very large, thin rings, with the largest diameter you can afford. This year, the earrings are semi-polar, sagging down to your shoulders or even below. They are essentially basic pieces of jewellery, like a pair of diamond earrings, if you will. They look great with both classic and extra-modern looks.

4. Pearls are everywhere. This is the best choice if you want to update your accessories. Choose pearl-embellished rings (classic or baroque) that will be the perfect addition to your business, casual, or holiday look. Pearls look great in silver or black, with silver pearls being a great pairing for silver rings.

5. Huggie. Small and impeccably stylish. You can choose and buy them if you don’t like to spend much time in front of the mirror or if you are going on a trip. They look great regardless of the design: they can be simple silver earrings or they can be embellished with precious stones or diamonds.

6. Thick rings. Unfortunately, they don’t suit everyone. But if they suit you, it’s just carte blanche. Large and lightweight, they look cute in a business outfit, suitable for creating a stylish casual look.

7. Ethnic style. They look nice and won us over with their decor. They look original and very oriental. They retain the shape of a ring, but they are actually a plate that looks like it has just been chipped on an anvil by a craftsman. The slight casualness, however, will look extremely stylish combined with a casual look.

8. Half hoops are also presented in the catalog. They will also be popular in the new season. They can be neat and stylish with or without decorations. If you add a line of small-diameter diamonds to such a model, it will become a real luxury. The price for such a model, of course, will be higher than for earrings-semi-rings without decorations.

Don’t forget that when choosing your perfect piece for next year, focus primarily on the shapes and shades of materials that suit you. Act within the usual concepts when choosing jewellery from the FJewellery assortment, and you are sure to attract attention. On the website, you will find photos, descriptions, and prices for each model.

How to Add Luxury to Your House

It’s a common assumption of homeowners that adding luxurious appeal to your house is expensive. However, there are many ways to add a touch of luxury to your home without spending a fortune. You can upgrade your TV stand by adding vintage-style furniture in the living room. It is also a good idea to paint the wall a new colour to create a different ambiance. To make your house look glamorous, you can use mirrors and houseplants.

If you are wondering- “how to do all these things?” Continue reading!

Use High-quality Furniture

When furnishing the living room, dining room, and bedroom, it is better to choose high-quality furniture. High-end furniture not only looks great but also lasts longer. This way, you do not need to repair or replace the furniture for years. When you shop for kitchen and dining room tables, choose the one that is made of the finest hardwood. It is also great if you can invest in a marble table.

To create a luxurious look, you can choose leather upholstered dining chairs and sofas. This high-end material will make your home look more elegant. It will make your place look clean and attractive. So, your guests will surely love it.

Paint The Wall And Add Wall Art

The easiest way to instantly change your interior’s look is by painting the walls. Consider painting your wall with neutral or pastel colours, giving your room a fresh look. If you have been living in that house for years, painting the wall will bring a different nuance and add value to the overall property.

Moreover, you can add some photos or artwork to enhance the appearance of your wall. You can easily find wall art décor at the nearby store, or you can DIY wall art décor and paintings. These will be quite fun to create, relieve stress and help you utilize your free time productively.

Add Mirrors

Mirrors are a great addition to your home since they reflect light into the room. They can make your home look brighter and larger than before. They also create the illusion of space, so use mirrors to make your living room look open.

Even so, when hanging the mirrors, place them opposite the windows. This way, the mirrors can reflect the natural sunlight throughout the room, reducing energy bills.

In addition, mirrors add dimension to the wall and make the house look aesthetically pleasing. These are considered statement furnishings. So you can choose from a wide variety of mirror shapes, styles, and sizes to turn any room stunning.

Use Houseplants

Adding houseplants is another good idea to make your home look more luxurious. The greenery can uplift the interior space instantly while improving the air quality. In fact, houseplants are perfect if your interior décor is inspired by the sustainability theme.

Choose beautiful indoor plants that can be a focal point in your living room. You can add these near the sofa or dining area. It will add vibrant and positive appeal to the place. Or you can create a specific corner for different flowers and indoor plants.

If you don’t have time to maintain plants, don’t worry! Some plants, such as cacti, are low-maintenance, so you can get those instead.

Declutter The House

Mess and disorganisation are not attractive. A lavishly decorated bookshelf or mantelpiece is one thing, but too much clutter can look unprofessional and cluttered. For a look that seems upscale and timeless, reduce the number of accessories you wear and cut your gathered items down to just a select few favourites.

If you’re not sure where to begin, set a few simple and doable goals to tidy and organise your house. For instance, cleaning the closet, arranging the kitchen, or removing the dead leaves from houseplants. Such minor tasks will ensure that your place looks clean, well-organized, and modern.

If your budget allows, you can invest in wall shelves for the living room and bedroom. It will help you store your extra stuff and make the place look beautiful.

Wrapping It Up

Adding a luxury element to your house need not be a daunting task. Instead, follow the tips to transform your home into one of those shown in famous magazines.

How To Properly Clean Up After a Home Improvement Project

Posted on 27th January 2023

There’s nothing as pleasing as the process of bringing your home improvement project from concept to completion. Seeing your mind’s vision come to life is a truly rewarding feeling; however, one of the aspects that is least enjoyable is the cleaning up that has to take place after such a huge undertaking. There is usually debris and materials spread throughout your home and yard, which makes knowing where to begin quite daunting. Fortunately for you, there is hope, and we’re here to show you exactly how simple it can be! Today we will be exploring a step-by-step guide on how to properly clean up after any home improvement project so that you can happily enjoy your space once again, so read on to learn more!

Clean Your Tools and Equipment As Soon as You Finish Using Them

The first thing you can do to properly clean up after a home improvement project is to clean up the clutter. Clutter that is collected over time can give off the impression that the place is messy and unkempt, so you want to take some time to take care of the clutter once the contractor has left. When doing this, start by tackling the big pieces, such as the furniture, carpets, and appliances. Once that has been dealt with, you can start with the smaller things, such as papers that may be lying around or knick-knacks here and there.

Dispose of waste properly

Proper disposal of waste is essential when renovating a property. A dumpster rental service can be invaluable in ensuring proper disposal, as the dumpster will contain all the waste generated during the construction process. Not only does this ensure that the renovations do not generate an excessive amount of waste, but it also helps to ensure that all of the waste is disposed of properly and according to local regulations concerning dumpsters and landfills. Utilising reliable Washington dumpster services enables us to keep our construction sites clean and organised, which in turn reduces the overall cost of construction. The best practice would be to bring in a dumpster rental service at the start of any project so that all waste can be properly disposed of without delay.

Wipe Down All Surfaces That Were Affected by the Project

Another thing that you should do is wipe down all surfaces that were affected by the project, including elevated surfaces. You can do this using a broom or long-handled duster. A microfiber cloth can be used to easily tackle places that you can easily reach, and even though this can be a time-consuming process, you’ll want to do it properly. This includes dusting the ceiling, windowsills, windows, and door trim, as well as any other hard surfaces. You should start with the highest points in the room and work your way down to the floor. This is because it may take fine dust particles a little while to settle down, so after you have dusted or blown the high areas, you should wait before tackling the lower areas.

Vacuum and Mop the Floors

You should use a wet-dry vacuum to remove dust in your space quickly and efficiently. Dust can accumulate so bear in mind that it may take more than one mop or vacuum session to remove considerable dust accumulation. During this process, watch out for any nails, bits of drywall, splinters, or other debris that you may have overlooked by the construction crew when they were cleaning up.

Inspect the Work Area for Any Signs of Damage or Missed Spots

Finally, the last thing you should do to properly clean up after a home improvement is to inspect the work area for any signs of damage or missed spots. Sometimes it happens that the construction crew causes some damage to the property, and this can easily be overlooked along with some missed spots. Therefore, it is recommended that you do a thorough inspection of the place once everyone is done to make sure that there are no signs of damaged or missed spots, and if you find that there are, you can contact the construction company and have them come in and rectify any issue.

So, there you have it! Everything you need to know about cleaning up a home properly after a home improvement project. You should always clean your tools and equipment as soon as you finish using them, dispose of any hazardous materials properly, wipe down all surfaces that were affected by the project, vacuum and mop the floors, and finally, inspect the work area for any signs of damage or missed spots.

Can’t Make Your Loan Payments? Here’s What to Do

Usually, when people take out a loan, they fully intend to keep their commitment to pay it. They don’t expect to default on it because they assume they will always be in the same or better financial situation they’re in when they apply for the loan. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, especially when the economy tanks and you lose your job or are forced to take a pay cut. If you’ve found yourself in a situation where you can no longer make your loan payments, the credit experts at Tayne Law offer these suggestions to help.

Pay Late

Certainly, it’s always better to make your loan payments on time if you can. But, if you’re unable to make a payment because you’re not getting your own pay check for a few days, it’s acceptable to pay late. In many cases, if you get your payment to your lender within 30 days of your payment date, the lender doesn’t even report the late payment to the credit bureaus. Your loan will stay current and you won’t damage your credit rating, so if paying late is an option, take it.

Contact Your Lender

Communication with your lender is always the best way to confront the issue of not being able to pay. Explain that you aren’t able to make the payments and ask them what options they have available to you. They might be able to change your payment due date, freeze your account so you can skip some payments (interest will continue to accrue), or even provide a refinance option that will lower your payment amounts.

Debt settlement is also sometimes an option, especially if you can prove to your lender that you can’t make the payments now and are unlikely to be able to make them in the future. The lender would rather get what they can from you instead of nothing at all. They also don’t want to go through a protracted legal process only to get a lesser amount in the long run. You might need the assistance of a credit expert to help you settle your debt, but it can be a great way to get out from under high monthly payments.

Prioritise Payments

Sometimes, we’re forced to make difficult decisions on which bills to pay in a month. Clearly, do everything you can to stay current on your house and auto loans, but if you have to skip a credit card or unsecured loan payment, it’s not the end of the world. You will start getting calls from your lender as soon as you’re 30 days late (maybe sooner), interest and penalties will apply, and your credit will take a hit, but as long as it’s just one payment every so often, it’s not going to destroy you.

Again, communication is the key. If you’re going to miss a payment, contact your lender and let them know the situation. They will do everything they can to get your money, so they will likely work with you to come up with a solution that is acceptable to you both.

Conclusion

It’s disheartening and frustrating when you find yourself unable to make a loan payment that you promised you’d make. But you’re not the first person to be in this situation and you won’t be the last. What matters now is how you respond to the problem and what action you take to resolve the problem.

How Software Asset Management Can Help Your Business Save Money

No matter what business you ‘re in, software is becoming increasingly integral to your success.

Brands that fail to capitalise on the ease, convenience and sheer utility of the solutions software have to offer are going to struggle in today’s modern and highly digital era.

Often companies today use more than one piece of software to meet their various needs. This is great in theory, but often can lead to a business buying and paying for software that overlaps in terms of their function.

Software Asset Management is a great way to manage your various software assets. It ensures you never waste money on software you don’t need and can help your business save money in a variety of ways.

5 Ways software asset management (SAM) will help save you money

A company’s software is key to its success in the modern business world. Companies are increasingly relying on various software pieces to become more efficient, reduce time wasting, and ultimately improve their business profits.

While involving software in your business, it’s important that you only involve necessary software. SAM is massively important if you want to reduce redundant software and create balanced IT budgets.

Good businesses use a variety of software. Great businesses use SAM to find the perfect balance of that software. Read ahead to learn more.

It enables you to spot redundant software

The most important thing Software Asset Management does that can help your business save money is spotting redundancies.

That’s because it provides your business with a holistic, 360-degree view of all the tools your business currently uses to operate.

This enables you to better understand what software your business needs and for what. The best tools to track software licenses are well worth the effort spent, simply because of the value it provides.

Doing so means you never risk overpaying for software or purchasing software that overlaps with other software you already own. It’s also capable of letting you know if you’re missing any software licenses or identifying when licenses need updating.

However, SAM may be ineffective when you use multiple software tools with overlapping capabilities.

Alerting you to expiring software and licensing

While redundant software can be a pain, it’s not the only way a Software Asset Management solution can help your business save money. Another is by alerting you when you need to update expiring software and licensing.

If you’re running a business, updating and renewing various licenses can tend to slip your mind. As a business owner, you have a hundred other things on your mind and often may not take updating licenses as a priority until it’s too late.

A software asset management solution keeps an eye on these factors and warns you of expiring licensing. Therefore, you can prepare, plan and research alternative software that’s cheaper and more efficient.

Keeps you from incurring fees and fines

When it comes to software, being found noncompliant can become incredibly expensive. Fines that outweigh the cost of the software you’re using are the last thing you want as a business.

That’s because software audits are becoming increasingly common. According to Gartner, 68% of organizations receive at least one audit request a year, making SAM a good investment.

Helps you recycle software

If you’re running a business, odds are you’ve got some employees that use specific software relevant to them and their department. This can become a major headache when employees leave the business or change positions.

Software can then be abandoned, logins lost or kept on inactive devices as people move around. This means you may end up paying for software that’s not being used or no longer relevant to your employees.

From there it can be recovered, stored somewhere safe and secured until a relevant employee needs access. This ensures smooth transitions when you onboard new employees. Rather than struggling to find software for them, you can turn to wherever you’ve decided to store that software.

Reduces security breaches

Data theft as a result of security breaches represent one of the costliest threats to any business today. No matter the size.

According to a report on data breaches by IBM, it’s only a matter of time before a business experiences a data breach. For some businesses, this can be catastrophic. In the US that could amount to over $9 million. That’s an eye watering figure no matter what the size of your business.

Software Asset Management can be an amazingly useful tool to enhance your data security. Whether that’s by preventing unauthorised software downloads, creating lists of authorized software or a variety of other tasks that can help your IT team ensure your data is kept safe.

If you’re looking to save your business money, reducing its exposure to data thefts is a great way to go about it.

The breakdown

When it comes to solutions that save money while bolstering the overall functions within your business, nothing beats a great Software Asset Management solution.

An effective Software Asset Management solution allows you to both mitigate risks, costs, plan various business activities and reduce security breaches. Usually, by doing a combination of these activities, our business inevitably winds up saving money.

Technology is all about convenience, so having one piece of software dedicated to taking care of the more troubling components of using various software can go a long way.

LUXlife Magazine Uncovers the Winners of the Style and Apparel Awards

United Kingdom, 2023 – LUXlife has announced the winners of the Style and Apparel Awards 2022.

Style is such a personal and ever-evolving part of ourselves, it is a segment of how we express who we are, and it is always refreshing when we can find brands that align with what we stand for.

This year’s awards programme is all about sharing luxury in an inclusive, compassionate, and empowering manner. Here we celebrate a selection of businesses who are leaving a lasting impression on their industry, and we are proud to see them exceed all expectations.

Our Awards Coordinator, Stephanie Tooby, took a moment to comment on the success of this programme. She said, “We are thrilled to present these exquisite businesses to you as they win their awards. They represent the best of the best in their areas, and they bring forth an idea of luxury that none would want to miss. Congratulations!”

To find out more about these distinguished leaders, and to find out the key to their success, please visit https://www.lux-review.com/lux_awards/style-and-apparel-awards/.

ENDS

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

About LUXlife

LUXlife Magazine is a premium lifestyle publication which was founded in 2015 by the publishing company AI Global Media Ltd. Distributed to a circulation of 238,000 globally, LUXlife focuses on a range of topics within the luxury lifestyle industry, featuring articles on, fashion, beauty, fine dining, travel, luxury real estate and much more. Within our pages you’ll find everything from product news and reviews to in-depth pieces on trends, features and comment; all designed to inform, entertain, and inspire.

Our Mission

In addition to providing our readers with regular news and updates on all elements of luxury lifestyle, we also provide luxury firms with the perfect media platform to showcase their business to our readership comprised of high net worth individuals. As such, we publish only the most cutting edge of products, services, attractions and events that will appeal to our audience. Some of the world’s most internationally renowned brands, individuals, high-end developments and products are highlighted in our magazine so that our esteemed readers will find everything they need to truly live a luxury lifestyle.

When Slow and Steady Wins the Race: Taking Your Time as a Business Owner

When it comes to entrepreneurship, most of the words associated with it describe movement. Words and phrases like dynamic, rising star, up-and-coming, and even nouns such as startup and network give a sense of action. This can make you feel as though if you aren’t constantly moving something forward, you’re somehow failing. The truth is that there are many elements of being a business owner that need to be approached with caution and care. Therefore, when you read about the daily schedules of entrepreneurs, many are so fiercely protective of their time for thinking and deep work outside of the grind, sometimes getting up very early or carving out that time in other ways. Below are a few ways in which taking your time is the better choice.

Planning Your Launch

When you’re talking about your business idea to people, you don’t want to come across as someone that’s hesitant. You want to sound eager to hit the ground running as soon as possible, or do you? While investors are certainly looking for someone with energy, they’re also looking for someone who has laid the necessary groundwork, and that means taking your time on the business plan.

You’ll have to have this document if you’re looking for investors or lenders, but even if you’re self-funding, taking the time to write about your competition, your customer profile, your marketing plan, and your projected profits will all give you greater insight into your potential strengths and weaknesses. Your business plan doesn’t need to be dozens of pages long, but it does need to be thorough enough to act as a blueprint and to give concrete answers to questions about how you plan to proceed. Include things like target market research and marketing strategies, specifically the latter. Advertising and marketing matters during a recession and investors will want to know the plans in advance.

Purchasing Equipment

When it comes to buying equipment for your company, it’s vital to make sure that you’re getting exactly what you need. This can be especially challenging if it’s for an area of your business that you’re not an expert in. If your business needs a fleet and you don’t have a background in fleet management, or sometimes even if you do, it can take a great deal of time to research exactly what kind of vehicles will be best. However, their performance is crucial for profitability and productivity. It can be helpful to review steps you need to take before purchasing fleet vehicles or to do similar research whatever it is that you need to buy.

Staff TrainingIn some industries, boosting business with insight from experts and making sure that staff have adequate training is critical to compliance, but even when that isn’t the case, a sufficient amount of training is necessary for productivity. Periodic refreshers may be necessary as well. Keep in mind that not everyone is going to pick up new concepts and procedures at the same rate, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the ones who require more review or hands-on help won’t eventually perform on a par with those who are quicker to pick up a new system. In fact, those slower or more methodical learners might simply be more thorough. Try to give everyone as much time as they need to grasp new material.

5 AI Trends Profoundly Benefiting Business Bottom Lines

Expert cites machine learning advancements creating immediate, actionable value to drive data literacy, elevate cognitive insights and increase profitability in kind

By Merilee Kern, MBA

In today’s tumultuous business-scape amid increasingly intricate, and often vexing, marketplace conditions, curating and mining data to drive analytics-based decision making is just no longer enough. For competing with maximum, sustained impact and mitigated opportunity loss, it’s rapidly monetizing data that’s now the name of the game—particularly when spurred by artificial intelligence (AI). Indeed, emerging AI methodologies are helping forward-thinking companies achieve and sustain true agility, fuel growth and compete far more aggressively than ever before.

AI is critical as a means toward those ends and also certainly with respect to aptly predicting, preparing and responding to prospective crises as with the COVID-19 pandemic the globe is currently immersed in. In fact, Gartner recently cited the need for “smarter, faster, more responsible AI” as its No. 1 top trend that data and analytics leaders should focus on—particularly those looking to “make essential investments to prepare for a post-pandemic reset.” Novel coronavirus matters aside, Gartner underscored just how impactful AI will become, predicting that, “by the end of 2024, 75% of enterprises will shift from piloting to operationalizing AI, driving a 5X increase in streaming data and analytics infrastructures.”

“To innovate their way beyond the post-COVID-19 world, data and analytics leaders require an ever-increasing velocity and scale of analysis in terms of processing and access to succeed in the face of unprecedented market shifts,” said Rita Sallam, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner.

However, employing AI techniques like machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) to glean insights and render projections is simply no longer “enough” to get the job done—especially for organizations seeking to compete efficiently on a national, multi-national or global scale. Today’s organizations must endeavor toward a culture of AI-driven data literacy that directly and positively influences their top and bottom lines.

“To help data monetization-minded enterprises better future-proof their operations and asset-amplify their data value chain, there are a few key ways to implement and elevate machine intelligence so that it’s far smarter, faster and more accountable than protocols past,” said Microsoft alum Irfan Khan, founder and CEO of CLOUDSUFI—an AI solutions firm automating data supply chains to propel and actualize data monetization.

Below, Khan details five benefits of leveraging AI data-driven insights and technology in a way that will create actual and actionable value right now—the kind of insights that enable new and evolved business models and empower companies to increase both revenue and profitability.

Manifesting new market opportunities
Today’s machine learning capabilities allow people to sift through data that previously could not be accessed, all at speeds faster than ever before. Present technology offers the opportunity to wholly analyze image, spoken or written inputs rather than just numerical, helping companies better find connections across these diverse data sets. This generates and maximizes value in a number of ways. Relative to the bottom and top lines, not only can it significantly reduce expenses, but it can also create new market opportunities. With COVID-19 as one recent example, algorithms speedily sifted through an extraordinary amount of data to identify diseases and potential cures that presented as similar, which allowed those methodologies to be readily tested against the coronavirus.

Machine learning advancements also help companies better monetize their data and establish new revenue streams. In the above example, of course patient information would not be shared or sold in any way, but other highly valuable data points can be gleaned. This includes determining that a certain drug is only effective on woman between certain ages—critical insights for pharmaceutical developers and physicians.  

Emerging AI data processing protocols are far more rapid than prior iterations of machine learning technology, as are the resulting solutions, discoveries and profit-producing results thereof. 

Reconcile emotions with actualities

Data generates value, which leads to the generation of money. It’s that simple. Previously, it was difficult, if not humanly impossible, to sift through mass amounts of data and pinpoint relationships. There existed very rudimentary tools like regression and correlation, but today’s analytics call for gaining a true understanding of what extracted data actually means. How do you convert data into a story you can actually tell? Often, decisions are made based on emotional foundations. Leaders are using data to either validate their gut or disagree with their instincts. Now, they are getting quicker insights that decisively validate or invalidate their thinking, while also prompting them to ask new questions. So, garnering meaning out of a company’s own data provides tremendous advantages.

“Human nature is such that unless we can see it touch it feel it, it’s hard to understand it,” Khan says. “We as data scientists haven’t done a really great job of explaining AI-driven data technology in simple terms. Telling a story with data or demonstrating actual results is where real power and understanding lies.”

Scale statistical models for actionable models

We often separate our data as factuals, asserting “this is what happened.” Neural networks connect the “human decision-making process” to those factuals—a simulation practice that helps us make better decisions. Previously, we would look at data sets like demographics, customer behaviors and such in silos. But when these multiple data sets are connected, it becomes quite evident that no two humans—or customers—are exactly alike.

Technology is now allowing us to understand trends on a factual level and then project outward. In the health realm, some companies are using this key learning to project whether or not a person is likely to suffer a certain affliction. It’s also allowing for far more efficacious “if this then what?” scenarios. If a diabetic person takes insulin controls, then their diet the treatment protocol will change. This is enabling highly personalized medicine. But the same processes, principles and benefits hold true in non-health categories as well—encompassing all industries, across the board.

Future-proof, anti-fragile data supply chains

From data connectors to pipelines; data lakes to statistical models; AI to Quantum; visual storyboards to data driven automation; ML to NLP to Neural Networks and more, there are highly effective methods for future-proofing your data value chain. The data supply chain is quite complex and, to make it future-proof and non-fragile, it requires thoughtful processing from the point of creation to the point of consumption of actionable insights.

It starts with data acquisition—garnering a wide variety and volume of data from a number of internal and external sources where data is being generated by the millisecond. Once the data is identified and ingested, it needs to brought to a central point where it can be explored, cleansed, transformed, augmented and enriched and finally modelled for use toward a purpose. Then comes statistical and heuristic modeling. These models can be of different types using different algorithms yielding different levels of accuracy in different scenarios. Models then need to be tuned and provided and environment for continuous feedback, learning and monitoring. Finally, is the visualization of outcomes—an explanation demonstrated by drawing cause-effect relationships that highlight where the most impact happens. This leads to a conclusion on how a set of problems can be solved or opportunities uncovered.

“Most organizations have some data and drive different levels of business process improvement and strategic decisions with it,” Khan notes. “However, few use data to the fullest. The right approach to data valuation and monetization can uncover limitless possibilities, including customer centricity, operational efficiency, competitive advantage, strategic partnerships, efficient operations, improved profitability and new revenue streams.”

Multimedia monetization

Up to now, we have been able to write algorithms, generate immense amounts of numerical or written data and make sense of it. However, there is a significant amount of data that comes as images or voice, which has not been easy to process and manage until recent developments. The applications for the processing of visual and auditory inputs are endless.  In fact, retail and finance industries have been early adopters of this technology—and with good reason. They’ve seen costs go down, engagement go up, sales increase and benefitted from other highly substantial points of monetization.

Now, a large department store can digitize their video data every night and determine that “X” amount of people saw “X” number of jeans, but they had to walk further to get to it.  As a result, the department store can put those items closer to the door and walkways to determine if sales increase in kind.

Even the education realm is tapping AI-driven data. The technology is tracking retina movement to discern if kids are engaged amid the remote learning paradigm ushered in by the pandemic. They’re exploring how to measure the retina to determine whether or not a child is actually engaged in the lesson. 

In radiology, they are starting to convert visual data and track it to gain a deeper understanding of digital images and video. MRIs are better able to track brain tumors—whether they are growing or shrinking and at what rate and if they are getting darker or lighter in terms of the regions. This kind of AI-driven learning is helping doctors better detect cancer and treat it more rapidly. Video data processing of the human eye can also be used to determine if a person is drunk, fatigued or even has a disease. Voice machine learning has also keenly evolved. Originally, voice recognition was being utilized to discern if a person was actually suicidal, which could be accurately predicted by inflection points in a person’s voice. Now, if that person can be captured on video, it is deemed to be about 20 times more accurate.

“All of this possibly had previously demanded a hefty price tag using systems and solutions of yore,” Khan notes. “Today, integrating multiple processes across hybrid multi-cloud environments has made data processing and analytics much more accessible and outsourceable. This negates the need for companies to purchase cost-prohibitive servers and other machine hardware.”

As one of the world’s leading experts on building transparency into supply chains, Khan doesn’t just talk the talk, he’s walked the walk. As a revered marketplace change agent, he’s known for driving business transformation and customer-centric turnaround growth strategies in a multitude of environments. In addition to engineering partnerships with MIT, Khan has successfully led organizational changes and process improvement in markets across the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia.

“New AI solutions and trends will eliminate patchwork processes that cause data, and interpretations thereof, to get lost in translation or, even worse, remain entirely undiscovered,” Khan says. “Next-Gen platforms are solving such problems by executing all functions required to create and govern AI products— single-source systems that pull data, transform, model, tunes and recommend actions with cause-effect transparency.”

For niche players, today’s leading-edge AI technology also aptly provides for vertical industry specialization. “Emerging solutions enable common data models, compliance and interoperability requirements that, in turn, accelerate model validation, refinement and implementation that’s specific to a given sector or marketplace,” notes Khan. “All of this ultimately drives speed to insights on previously unsolved problems, which reveals untapped opportunities and automates workflow integrated cognitive solutions.”

“Overall, AI is ushering in a new and more sophisticated era of data literacy,” he continues. “It’s a new paradigm founded on automated, comprehensive and holistic data discovery, which is fostering elevated cognitive insights and actionable strategies that positively impact the top and bottom line.”

Perhaps the future mandate for AI should not only focus on becoming smarter, faster and more accountable than predecessors, but actually bridge the gap between human intuition and data-backed decisions. Doing so will assuredly advance an organization’s ability to transact with utmost trust.

How Wearing High-Quality Clothes Can Positively Affect Your Health

When it comes to our daily attire, most of us don’t think much beyond fashion and comfort. However, the type of clothes we wear can significantly impact our health – both physically and mentally. Wearing high-quality clothing is an essential part of taking care of ourselves and ensuring that we enjoy optimal wellness. In this article, we will explore how wearing high-quality clothes can positively affect your health.

Sun Protection

Wearing high-quality clothing can positively affect your health by providing sun protection. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun has been linked to an increased risk of skin cancer and premature aging. To reduce this risk, it is important to always wear sunscreen when spending time outdoors and also to wear clothing made from UV-blocking fabrics. This type of clothing has been specifically designed to reflect or absorb ultraviolet rays so that they do not penetrate your skin. Additionally, wearing a hat and loose-fitting clothes can help shield your skin further from the sun’s harmful rays.

Protection From Cold Weather

High-quality clothing can also protect from cold weather, which is essential for maintaining good health. When it is cold outside, our bodies lose heat rapidly, which can lead to hypothermia if we are not appropriately clothed. Wearing a jacket or coat that is well-insulated and made from high-quality fabrics can help trap body heat and keep you warm even in extreme temperatures. Additionally, wearing layers of clothing helps create an air pocket between the fabric and your skin that insulates your body from the cold.

Thick Ankle Socks And Diabetes Risk

One way that wearing high-quality clothing can positively affect your health is by reducing the risk of diabetes. One often overlooked item of clothing for this purpose is thick ankle socks, which can help protect your feet from nerve damage and reduce the chance of developing diabetic foot ulcers. Studies have found that people who wear these types of socks are less likely to develop complications from diabetes than those who do not. Also, by wearing thick ankle socks that fit properly, you can reduce the risk of blisters and other foot problems that are common among diabetics. It is important to note that not all socks are created equal – those made from a higher-quality material will be more effective in reducing the risk of diabetes.

Psychological Benefits

Wearing high-quality clothes can provide psychological benefits as well. It has been found that when people wear better-fitting clothes they tend to feel more confident and comfortable in their skin. This self-esteem boost may be because when you look good on the outside, you feel good on the inside. Additionally, wearing clothing that is stylish can make you appear more attractive to others, which can positively affect your social relationships. The psychological benefits of wearing quality clothing may be even more pronounced in adolescents, who are more sensitive to how they look and are often influenced by their peers.

Improved Posture

High-quality clothing can help improve your posture. The fit and structure of clothing can have an impact on the way we stand and move our bodies, which in turn affects how we carry ourselves. For instance, clothes that are too tight or large can make it difficult to maintain a healthy posture for long periods, leading to aches and pains in the muscles and joints. On the other hand, clothes that are properly fitted can provide support and encourage better posture alignment over time.

Reduced Allergy Symptoms

Many people are allergic to dyes and fabrics used in low-quality clothing, which can lead to skin irritation, rashes, hives, and other uncomfortable reactions. By wearing clothes made from natural materials or with minimal dyeing processes, you can reduce your exposure to allergens and minimize the severity of allergic reactions. It is important to note, however, that even high-quality clothing may still contain some chemicals or dyes that can cause allergies in susceptible individuals.

Protection From Harmful Elements

Wearing high-quality clothing can protect you from harmful elements such as dirt, dust, and other pollutants. Clothes made from thicker fabrics or those with special waterproof treatments can act as a barrier against these substances, which could otherwise irritate the skin or cause respiratory problems. Additionally, well-fitted clothes will fit snugly to your body so that they do not leave any gaps for harmful particles to enter.  All of these benefits make it clear that investing in high-quality clothing is an important part of maintaining good health and well-being.

Economic Benefits

Finally, wearing high-quality clothes can provide economic benefits. Quality clothing may indeed be more expensive than lower-quality alternatives, but it will last longer and require fewer repairs or replacements. Additionally, well-made clothes are often more stylish so you won’t need to buy new items as often either. In the long run, investing in a few good pieces of quality clothing can save money compared to having to replace cheaper items frequently.  Investing in high-quality clothing is not only important for your physical health but also economically beneficial too!

What materials are used in high-quality clothes?

High-quality clothing can be made from a variety of fabrics, including cotton, wool, cashmere, silk, and synthetic fibers. Each material has its unique benefits; for example, wool is naturally insulating while cotton is breathable and lightweight. Additionally, many higher-end garments are constructed with special treatments such as waterproofing or stain resistance to keep them looking their best for longer.  No matter what fabric you choose, make sure that it fits your needs and is comfortable to wear. Quality clothing will provide the best protection and last much longer than cheaper alternatives. Investing in quality garments can pay off in the long run by keeping you looking good and feeling great!

 Best Road Trips in the World

The interest in taking domestic holidays, particularly road trips, increased dramatically in the summer of 2022. While outlooks changed during lockdown, this also was in part due to a number of airline providers like British Airways cancelling 10,300 flights from their schedule between August and October, there is something enticing about loading up your car and hitting the road.

And there are some road trip journeys around the world that have become so iconic that holiday seekers could be enticed to travelling to different countries and renting a car like a used Audi A1 to drive the routes and see the sights.

In this article, we’ll list some of the best road trips around the globe that you can fly to and experience what they offer.

Route 66 – United States of America

There aren’t many motorways in the world that have become iconic from the imagery of its road signs, but Route 66 has that place in American popular culture. Beginning in the east in Chicago, Illinois and spanning across the country to finish on the spectacular Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, California, the motorway covers eight states, three time zones, and 2,400 miles. It’s even influenced established artists and authors along the way, with John Steinbeck using the road to help create the world of his novel, The Grapes of Wrath.

Each state in America offers unique cultures, sights, and even cuisines to experience, making Route 66 a must-experience for lovers of all things motoring and road trips. There is so much to see, it can take you three weeks to complete, obviously, depending on how many times you stop along the way.

If you’re planning your trip through America’s most famous road, we highly advise you to stop at the Grand Canyon. This national landmark covers 1,904 square miles in total and is larger than Rhode Island, which is its own state. The Canyon is a marvel of a landscape that needs to be witnessed in person to truly experience it.

The Alaska Highway – Canada to Alaska

Staying in North America, 2022 marked the 80th anniversary of beginning the construction of the Alaska Highway, also known as the ALCAN (Alaska-Canada) Highway. The road was originally constructed to connect the mainland United States to Alaska through Canada during World War II, and now the motorway is visited for a week-long tour throughout the two countries.

Spanning 1,387 miles, the sights of pine trees and mountain ranges attract around 300,000 visitors a year who arrive in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to experience the sights and sounds to end in Delta Junction, Alaska. There are plenty of stops you can make along the way, such as the S.S. Klondike National Historic Site in Whitehorse, where you can learn more about one of the last remaining steam-powered paddlewheelers.

Great Ocean Road – Australia

Looking for a warmer weather road trip than the cold winds of Canada and Alaska? Victoria, Australia’s south coast, offers the Great Ocean Road. Commencing in Torquay, only an hour away from Melbourne, this National Heritage Listed road stretches 240 kilometres and concludes in Allansford.

One thing that prospective road trippers may not be aware of is that it’s one of the world’s largest war memorials. Dedicated to the lives of the Australian soldiers who fought in the First World War, construction began in 1919 after the war had ended, and the Memorial Arch at the eastern-most point of the route is a further tribute to their memory.

There’s plenty on offer while you drive through this route, with one of the most iconic being the 12 Apostles. These giant limestone stacks stand over the coastline, having been formed over millions of years of erosion, and seven of the original still stand after the eighth collapsed in 2005. If you choose to stop at Teddy’s Lookout on your drive, not only do you get to observe the natural beauty of geological occurrences in the Apostles themselves, but you can also drink in the stunning scenes of the ocean stretching over the horizon.

You don’t have to travel around the world to experience a road trip. As cheesy as the adage of it “not being about the destination, but all about the journey”, it’s surprisingly true. A drive from your hometown to a city in the UK you’ve always wanted to visit could be a journey that helps you discover more about yourself than you thought was possible. All you need is a car, some fuel (or charge!), and a general plan. Our only advice, these trips are much better experienced with friends.