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How Can Businesses Cut Costs in 2023?
From stubborn supply chain issues to soaring inflation, this year continues to be testing for businesses. And amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, consumer spending has also been halted by unprecedented energy prices and soaring grocery costs.
Looking to the future with optimism feels near impossible for many entrepreneurs. But with more people slowly re-joining the workforce, it’s important to optimise your expenses as much as possible. Whether you’re in your first year of trading or considering scaling back operations, it’s always worth knowing how you can be smarter with capital.
Four steps to help you reduce business costs in 2023
Many companies make the mistake of making cuts without considering their overall impact on the business. When these restrictions are made, it’s easy to fall into the trap of making obsessive changes in an attempt to reduce every last expense.
An example of this would be cutting down on perks for employees. While this might be quick and easy for the management team, the impact could be significant on employees. You could risk wider implications if morale starts to fall, including diminished productivity.
Keep things understated
You can still cut back on certain areas without removing perks for your employees. A major responsibility here is to set a budget and stick to it – however, this should be as dynamic as possible so your business can adapt quickly to industry changes.
Once you’ve evaluated your budget, you can find areas in which to reduce spending. If your office desks are usually equipped with the most expensive monitors, for example, you could shop around for better deals from other tech suppliers.
Or, if you’ve equipped your team with a top-spec business fleet, checking out more affordable vehicles might be a sensible trade-off. It doesn’t need to be a compromise when you browse used Peugeot cars for sale as an alternative to the usual company car portfolio.
Leverage the digital age
Implementing more automation within your company is a brilliant way to make savings. Businesses must acknowledge that certain processes and operations can be streamlined by technology – and become much more cost-effective.
Digital transformations enable teams within a company to generate more revenue and optimise each investment. This applies to multiple areas, including:
- Moving workers onto hybrid contracts, allowing companies to reduce the expenses associated with physical office spaces
- Automating certain workflows including those that rely on repetitive tasks, allowing employees to concentrate on larger projects
- Facilitating online marketing strategies and payment platforms, delivering an enhanced user experience for customers
- Research the evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to see how they could be implemented within your company
Embrace younger trends
The younger audience will soon make up the majority of a global consumer base. Understanding the unique interests and needs of younger generations will provide your business with invaluable opportunities to generate more profit.
One of the most influential areas is your company’s online marketing strategy. Investing in this area with quality written content, SEO-friendly websites and paid social media posts could all be a sensible (and lucrative) use of your budget.
There’s nothing new about the need to reduce costs. But for a business to do it well this year requires a flexible, adaptive approach and an open-minded team too. Just remember to set a realistic budget and keep the core elements that keep your staff working at their best.
How to Ensure Client Satisfaction in High-End Business
Client satisfaction is a priority across all high-end business sectors so finding ways to keep them happy on business trips is essential. In the US alone, 1.3 million people go on business trips every day and the business travel market is expected to grow by 188 percent by 2028 as the world recovers after the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are many types of business travel, with ‘bleisure’ travel making up more than 60 percent of
business trips. This refers to a mixture of leisure and business, where travel is extended to leave time for socializing and sightseeing, which increases client satisfaction levels. This improves customer relations and increases the likelihood of repeat business.
Here are some things to think about if you want to ensure high client satisfaction in a high-end business:
Paying attention and understanding your clients means that you’ll be able to anticipate what they need before they even need to ask. This will also allow you to develop a refined communication style that is better suited to client expectations.
Consider the client’s day
Becoming familiar with your client’s schedule will help you get a better understanding of what their day is like. You can then make more informed decisions on how to communicate and work with them. For example, if you know that Tuesdays are hectic for your client, you won’t want to add to the workload if your inquiry can wait until the following, quieter day.
Ask what matters to your client
Having an in-depth understanding of what matters to your client and their bosses allows you to tailor your products and services accordingly. There is no point in trying to sell something that they don’t need, and meeting demand accurately will not only increase client satisfaction but trust as well.
Go above and beyond
You want your business to stand out from the competition and demonstrate why clients should pick your company over any other. Tailoring your business trip to your client’s needs shows that your staff is dedicated to making a truly enjoyable experience.
For example, if you’re taking international journeys regularly, you can show customers that you are dedicated to investing in them with fractional ownership of a private jet.
Thinking about how you can go above and beyond will keep you at the forefront of clients’ minds for future business.
Stay ahead of the curve
When taking your client on a business trip, you can avoid any embarrassment or unprofessionalism by staying ahead of the curve and prep in advance for any malfunctions. Contingency plans allow you to engage in more creative and strategic thinking while simultaneously keeping the client engaged.
How Healthy are “Fruity” Drinks?
Nutritional drinks can significantly boost your health. By incorporating these beverages into your daily routine, you’ll provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals. For example, they can be easily customized to suit specific dietary needs.
Fruity drinks also offer a myriad of benefits when consumed moderately. Packed with antioxidants and fibre, they help improve digestion and strengthen your immune system while keeping the body hydrated. Moreover, fruit-based concoctions are often delicious, making them an enjoyable addition to a healthy lifestyle.
But how healthy are fruity drinks exactly?
How Healthy Are Fruity Drinks?
There are various types of fruity drinks available, including fresh fruit juice, concentrates, and flavourings. While fresh fruit juices are the healthiest option, providing natural nutrients and antioxidants with minimal processing, concentrates come in a close second.
However, be cautious with artificial flavourings as they often contain added sugars and unhealthy ingredients. It’s also essential to consume fruity drinks in moderation since excessive intake can lead to high sugar consumption and potential weight gain.
Hydrating Benefits of “Fruity” Drinks
Sometimes, drinking plain water may feel monotonous or unappealing, leading to insufficient hydration. In such situations, fruity drinks can serve as an enticing alternative that still provides vital hydration for your body. Infused water, for example, offers a flavourful spin on regular water by incorporating fruits and herbs — it not only tastes great but also supplies additional nutrients.
Vitamins and Minerals in “Fruity” Drinks
‘Fruity’ drinks can be a rich source of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that contribute to optimal health. For instance, freshly squeezed orange juice is packed with vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system and promotes healthy skin.
Similarly, homemade smoothies made from berries offer an abundance of antioxidants like anthocyanins that aid in reducing inflammation and combating free radicals. The phytochemicals in raspberries were also found to aid weight loss and promote motor function according to animal study material published in the journal of berry research.
When selecting fruity drinks, it’s crucial to opt for those made from whole fruits or pure fruit juice without added sugars or artificial flavourings. These beverages will offer high-quality levels of nutrients in their natural form while providing a delicious means of supporting your body’s daily needs.
Infusing Common Beverages with Fruits: A Flavourful and Nutritious Twist
In case you didn’t know, beverages like beer can be enhanced with natural fruit extracts too. This introduces an exciting twist to their taste while also improving their nutritional value. By brewing beer with natural fruit purees, innovative flavours, and refreshing notes can be achieved. These fruity infusions not only make for a delightful drinking experience but also incorporate some antioxidants and vitamins into your drink.
This is why fruit-infused drinks have gained popularity in the craft beer scene recently, appealing to a broader audience seeking a tasteful balance between indulgence and health consciousness. The addition of fruits offers a more responsible yet enjoyable drinking option that doesn’t sacrifice flavour or pleasure. So, next time you want a cold one, consider trying a beer infused with real fruits for that extra kick!
Other beverages that can be infused with natural fruit juice or fruit extracts for a delightful and nutritious experience include:
- Infused water
- Iced tea
- Sports drinks
- Sodas (homemade or natural)
- Sparkling water
- Cocktails and mocktails
- Herbal teas
Enhancing Nutrition in Fruit Drinks
To further improve the nutritional value of fruit drinks, you might as well consider incorporating additional healthy ingredients into the mix. For example, adding yogurt to smoothies not only creates a creamier texture but also introduces probiotics and more proteins. This means better gut health and increased satiety.
In conclusion, the world of nutritional drinks, particularly those infused with fruits, offers a delightful and healthful way to stay hydrated and nourished. Embrace these tasty alternatives, opting for natural choices without added sugar or artificial ingredients to reap the benefits of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
By experimenting with various fruity drink options and enhancing them with wholesome additions like yogurt, you can transform your daily drinking habits into something more pleasurable and beneficial for your overall well-being. Cheers to making wiser dietary choices that elevate both taste and health!
Clean Energy as a Solution for Reducing Supply Chain Carbon Footprints
Climate change is here. The phrase, common, because the reality of the effects of industrialization have become an all too familiar force on the planet today. Sea levels rising, more intense storms, droughts each have their cause exacerbated by the change in global temperatures.
What the Science Says
For over the last century global temperatures have been measured. What has been found is that not only is the Earth’s global average surface temperature going through long-term warming, but in this last decade there has been a startling increase in that rate of warming.
According to Climate.gov, over the last fifty years (since 1973) the Earth’s annual average global temperature has risen an average of around 0.13℃ each decade. That statistic does not sound too concerning until it is shown next to the previous fifty year rate: 0.07℃— nearly double that of the past.
Disconcertingly, scientists predict that the rate will become even higher over the next decade. These changes are not benign by any means. If the trends continue, the effects will be tragic for mankind and animal populations worldwide.
In order to mitigate such effects, humanity must band together to try and limit the rise in temperatures to a pre-industrial average to 1.5℃. The goal of reaching these measurements demands an immediate action of global partnerships to cut nearly 30 gigatons worth of greenhouse gas emissions annually before the year 2030.
To put that astronomically large number into perspective, the United States alone produced 5,981
million metric tons last year, which is 13.2 trillion pounds. China produced 11.47 billion metric tons. When Mount St. Helen’s erupted in 1980, it released about 540 million tons of ash. Humans may have made a mess of things, but actions are being taken to help change these staggering statistics.
Global Efforts for Change
World leaders have taken notice and action at the urgent behest of scholars and activists alike, and as a result, new policies are being set. In an effort to work towards a more sustainable future through climate stabilization, initiatives like the Paris Agreement by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have been launched. The UNEP, which serves as a global presence working to set sustainable environmental agendas, acting as a sort of conservation guide, has done the work to identify what it believes are six major factors which can help.
If initiated, have the potential to begin reducing carbon emissions to those levels of 30 gigatons annually. Their argument, though, is that focusing on the more commonly acknowledged factors, like transportation and industry production, are not enough to reach that goal, but they do play a significant part. One of those major contributing factors that can help is clean energy.
Surprisingly, the energy sector is one that does not need a series of new inventions in order to begin chipping away at that goal because the technology already exists. All that needs to be done in a broad sense is to shift from fossil fuels to using renewable forms of energy and just using less energy overall.
What is Clean Energy?
The conversation around the need and desires for a clean energy revolution is not a new one in America. The U.S. has had a steady push of establishment of new clean energy initiatives in the energy sector. Broadly stated, clean energy are forms of energy that are derived from renewable, zero-emission sources that have little to no pollution effects when utilized. Some examples are solar power, wind, hydro electric, tidal, and geothermal sources. Not only does the clean energy industry help the overall global climate crisis, but it generates new jobs, and is expected to have great growth in the years to come, all the while generating hundreds of billions of dollars in economic value.
In order for companies that are serious about reducing their carbon emissions to start doing so they usually begin by looking at their own internal operations and infrastructure. While implementing more renewable, green, or clean energy resources does have a positive and notable impact on carbon emissions, the largest results come from revamping their supply chains.
Rethinking Supply Chains
A report done by the McKinsey group found that it is the supply chains of consumer goods companies which have a much larger social and environmental costs— more than 80% of greenhouse gas emissions that are generated by supply chains— are on average 5.5 times greater than the emissions created directly by the companies own, in house production of goods.
Staggeringly, eight key industries — food, fashion, electronics, automotive, construction, consumer goods, professional services, and freight traffic— account for nearly half of all the global carbon emissions. The current use of fossil fuels for transportation and industry is too large a contributor to the global climate crisis to not consider transitions and initiatives which adopt clean energies as solutions.
The implementation of the previously mentioned clean energy sources, which already exist and have been shown to reduce emissions would do much to bring efficiency, and affordable solutions to companies supply chain footprints. What is even better to learn is that costs to consumers on the back end are likely to only increase between 1- 4%. If that is not enough of an encouragement for companies to make the decision of transitioning to the use of clean energies, then maybe customer opinion will. A survey found that 70% of consumers are willing to pay a 5% increase to products if that meant these were manufactured in a more sustainable way.
With the world in need, global initiatives started, technologies available, and consumers in hearty agreement, there is little reason for companies not to make the switch to clean energy use in their supply chains.
4 Key Elements of Effective & Engaging Business Blogs
Business blogs are ten a penny, and so it pays to make sure yours is effective not only in its content, but its presentation, so that readers are engaged and your audience grows.
Here are the main elements you need to be on top of if you want to run a business blog that thrives, rather than merely ticks over.
Visual Treats: The Power of Engaging Imagery in Business Blogs
The visual aspect plays a crucial role in capturing the attention of your target audience and enhancing their overall experience on your business blog. Incorporating stunning, relevant visuals not only piques interest but also makes your content more memorable and shareable.
Before adding images to your posts, ensure that they are high-quality, appropriately sized or cropped for optimal clarity, and consistent with the aesthetics of both the blog post itself and your branding style guidelines. Utilizing online image editing tools can help you refine visual elements before incorporating them into individual articles seamlessly.
Additionally, consider using diverse imaging styles such as infographics, graphs or even GIFs to illustrate complex ideas effectively while maintaining an engaging visual appeal throughout each section of text.
Mastering Your Messaging: Crafting Compelling Content and Voice
Creating effective and engaging content is the cornerstone of any successful business blog. To master your messaging, it’s essential to focus on producing compelling narratives that resonate with your target audience.
An authentic voice distinguishes you from competitors, portrays expertise in your field, and engenders trust among readers. Consistency in tone across all posts demonstrates professionalism while making it easy for visitors to become familiar with and engage more genuinely with your brand.
Moreover, tailor each entry to address concerns or questions pertinent to the audience you’re trying to reach; offering valuable solutions amplifies the impact of each post. Implement storytelling techniques such as anecdotes or case studies that evoke emotions further encouraging readers’ connection to both content and brand.
Lastly, remember to proofread diligently ensuring impeccable grammar, punctuation, clarity, as these are details that reflect excellence in overall communication skills, fortifying credibility while also keeping readers engaged through every aspect of a well-crafted business blog.
Structure Strategies: Organizing Posts for Enhanced Readability
The structure of your business blog posts plays a significant role in maintaining readers’ engagement and overall satisfaction. With strategic organization, you can provide a clear road map that guides the reader smoothly through each important idea or concept.
Start by composing concise yet enticing introductions that outline the post’s topic while also setting expectations about its relevance to the reader’s interests. Furthermore, employ subheadings and bullet points to highlight key concepts or steps, increasing readability by breaking up large text blocks into manageable chunks.
Varied paragraph lengths also contribute to an engaging reading experience. Utilizing shorter paragraphs conveys information more effectively, while longer ones allow for detailed exploration on specific ideas or analytical data as needed.
Remember to incorporate visual cues such as images or quotes throughout the content in order to create breaks between sections offering occasional breathers whilst emphasizing crucial messages wrapped within well-structured business blogs.
Search Engine Success: Incorporating SEO Techniques for Visibility
When crafting engaging business blog content, search engine optimization (SEO) should be a key consideration to improve your visibility and reach the right audience. By applying specific SEO techniques, you increase the chances of your posts ranking higher in search results. Here are some you need to know about:
Keyword research: Identify appropriate keywords relevant to your target audience and incorporate them appropriately throughout titles, headings, meta descriptions, and content.
Optimize images: Compress images for faster loading times while ensuring they have descriptive file names containing relevant keywords; add alt-text that describes visual elements concisely.
Internal linking: Linking related articles within your blog creates logical pathways for readers to continue exploring other topics on your site while improving its overall structure.
Remember to balance the use of SEO strategies with maintaining high-quality writing standards. Creating easily discoverable yet meaningful and compelling content is crucial to truly captivate, and ultimately retain, attentive audiences. Don’t forget to share your posts on social media as well!
The Bottom Line
All that remains is for you to take your business blog to new heights by adopting these essential elements. Start creating engaging and effective content today, and watch your online presence flourish with every post!
Interior Design: Mapping Your Journey in the Design World
26th May 2023
Interior architects design and realize the layout of interior spaces. They rethink the design of offices, commercial stands, houses, and museums. They juggle shapes, lines, colours, volumes as well as materials so that they harmoniously integrate furniture. The designer can also articulate spaces according to the best possible layout. What are the majors to consider and the options for an Interior Design career?
What Are the Specializations for Interior Design?
Future interior designers can specialize in the creation of furniture, decorative elements, or communication. They can also concentrate on the layout of communication spaces and exhibition windows or pursue a technical diploma. Studying interior design may be difficult, whether you’re delving into the subtleties of investigating the art of space planning or wrestling with the complexity of a technical qualification. If you need help with your homework, any online HW helper or this service might be of great help to you.
The specializations should be in Drafting and Design Technology, Fashion Design, Interior Architecture, Studio arts, Theatre design, or a professional license in layout.
The Objectives of an Interior Design Study
1. To impart the fundamental knowledge of commercial architecture techniques and trends in order to acquire the current skills necessary to take charge of an Interior Design project.
2. To identify the latest trends in the hotel, restaurant, office, and retail industries to design an Interior Design project in line with current expectations.
3. To understand the latest standards and procedures applicable to the service sector in order to develop projects within a regulatory framework.
4. To use advanced 3D computer tools to create realistic and animated representations of interior space.
5. To identify the steps involved in the execution of a project to be able to follow up on a commercial Interior Design project.
What Are the Skills Required to Be an Interior Designer?
To become an Interior Designer, you need to have certain qualities. You need to be:
The interior architect must imperatively know how to draw and manipulate new modeling software to design his plans.
The interior architect takes into account a wide range of data, including the client’s wishes, the morphology of the space to be fitted out, technical and safety constraints, regulations, etc.
Whether it is with his client or with the workers on the building sites, the interior architect knows how to communicate his ideas clearly and calmly.
You also need to:
- Know about CAD (computer-aided design) software.
- Be able to balance your studies and personal life.
- Possess great knowledge of urban planning and architecture.
- Have a good understanding of safety standards and the world of decoration.
- Have an artistic sense and creativity.
- Show a taste for drawing.
- Have a good sense of aesthetics and show a keen sense of observation.
- Be meticulous and meticulous.
- Have a good sense of contact and listening skills.
- Be persuasive and have good negotiation skills.
What Are the Main Activities of an Interior Designer?
Apart from managing the design aspects of his job, the Interior Designer needs to take care of:
The management of the customer relationship
- Welcoming customers, listening to their needs, and proposing an adapted project within a budgetary framework.
- Provide customized and ergonomic solutions to customers.
- Propose, according to the customer’s file, a decoration coaching.
- Ensure appointments with customers.
The management of Interior Design projects
- Manage the files in their entirety, from the reception of the customer to the delivery of the building site.
- Carry out surveys and measurements.
- Propose coherent solutions and deploy the concept throughout the design and execution phases.
- Design interior layouts with the project managers.
- Carry out the decoration in accordance with all the stages of the project, guaranteeing to the project owner the smooth running of the project.
- Participate in the choice and proposal of materials.
- Ensure the relations and the follow-up of the project with the subcontractors.
- Manage the drawing team.
- Attend site meetings.
Administrative management of development files
- Contribute to the preparation of building permits or declarations of work files.
- Proceed with the various administrative authorization requests.
- Create presentation files.
- Monitor all work, ensure compliance with quality, deadlines, and control pre-established budgets.
- Ensure technical responses to calls for tenders.
- Designing and carrying out fitting-out projects.
- Establish custom plans and issue calls for tenders to subcontractors.
- Design 3D images, technical details, plans on ArchiCAD or other similar tools, layouts, and interior fittings.
- Define colour harmonies, technical and decorative fixtures, and materials.
- Produce plans and sketches.
Job Option When Studying Interior Design
The major that you choose will give you the option of occupying various positions. Discover four jobs that you can do after studying Interior Design.
Designer of Residential Interiors
Many residential designers are business owners, independent contractors, or interior designers. If you want to pursue this specialty, you will be expected to carry out both significant and minor improvements. This includes creating a variety of plans and blueprints. As part of this specialty, you can also help clients choose their furniture and serve as a consultant for interior design, lighting, how to use it effectively, color schemes, and space allocation.
Designer of Commercial Interiors
Designers of commercial interiors provide professional guidance and services in a lot of areas. They may take care of space planning, design offices, restaurants, entertainment venues, hotels, community halls, studios, boutiques, retail establishments, etc. As a commercial designer, you will frequently be required to collaborate closely with engineers, contractors, and architects to ensure that the final design satisfies the requirements for functionality and is within the allocated budget.
As opposed to home designers who opt for freelancing or starting their own businesses, those who choose this line of work are frequently engaged by top Interior Design firms.
To be a Set Designer or Scenic Designer, you must possess a strong sense of creativity. You will frequently collaborate with performers, filmmakers, and producers. However, many businesses in non-entertainment sectors also employ individuals with this specialty. You need to be prepared for a high volume of labor in this line of business because it might involve anything from setting up furniture on a stage to meticulously reconstructing a whole room.
Space Planning Expert
Although the area of expertise is narrow, many students who become Space Planning Expert have found great success. That person must be very skilled in space design, allocation, and adaptable capacity to navigate functionalities associated with spaces to specialize in this field. All specialists working in this specialized field must develop admirable spatial interpretation abilities.
They will also get the chance to work on a variety of projects, from designing the arrangement of a single room to a full apartment.
The first step to establishing a solid foundation in your career as Interior Designer is to have the appropriate educational background. As a result, the appropriate major in Interior Design will help you get your career in Interior Design off to a strong start. You will be exposed to a wide range of Interior Design features, from learning to master CAD Software such as V-Ray and Photoshop to studying the smallest details and nuances.
Revolutionizing Customer Experience: The Power of AI Chatbots in Customer Service
Today’s rapidly evolving business and technology landscapes demand that companies prioritize customer service; it’s as simple as that. As businesses (and customers) increasingly turn to digital platforms and online forms of communication, the need for prompt and effective customer support has become more critical than ever. Customers expect speed and simplicity in all transactions, from shipping times to answers to queries to return/exchange efficiency. This is where AI chatbots have started to shine. In this article, we will explore how customer service-trained chatbots continue redefining the customer experience and drive growth for businesses across the globe.
Section 1: The Rise of AI Chatbots in Customer Service
The digital transformation of businesses and the significant shift towards online interactions we’ve experienced over the last decade and a half have accelerated the adoption of AI chatbots throughout industries. The ability to provide 24/7 support and resolve customer questions and issues quickly and accurately without a human has solidified chatbots as an indispensable tool for enhancing the customer experience, and the public has well received them. We will discuss how AI chatbots have gained prominence, particularly since the onset of the pandemic and, even more recently, the rise of ChatGPT and its competitors and their role in meeting customers’ evolving needs.
Section 2: Understanding the Benefits of Customer Service Chatbots
In this section, we will delve into the significant benefits that customer service chatbots offer to businesses. Let’s outline six key advantages:
1. Instant Resolutions: AI chatbots leverage knowledge bases and FAQs to provide prompt answers, ensuring customers receive immediate assistance.
2. 24/7 Customer Support: Chatbots enable businesses to offer round-the-clock support, enhancing accessibility and overall customer satisfaction. This can also help reduce costs in the form of fewer human operators.
3. Continuous Learning: By utilizing AI and machine learning, chatbots can improve the quality of their responses over time, becoming more efficient, accurate, and relevant to your specific business.
4. Tailored Answers: Chatbots can be taught to provide personalized responses based on customer characteristics and preferences to give an even more personal touch.
5. Enhanced Customer Context: With chatbot interactions logged in the system, businesses gain valuable insights into each customer’s journey, enabling better support and personalized assistance.
6. Consistent User Experience: Chatbots contribute to a seamless and on-brand customer experience through consistent brand messaging and accurate responses.
Section 3: Considerations for Implementing Customer Service Chatbots
While the benefits of chatbots are evident, it is essential to approach their implementation strategically and with clear objectives in mind. We will provide insights into factors to consider when integrating chatbots into customer service operations, including:
1. Finding the Right Fit: Assessing the unique needs and characteristics of the business to determine the most suitable chatbot solution.
2. Balancing Automation and Human Interaction: Understanding the role of chatbots as augmenting, not replacing, human agents and defining the boundaries between their responsibilities.
3. Continuous Monitoring and Improvement: Regularly evaluating chatbot performance, analyzing customer feedback, and refining responses to ensure optimal effectiveness.
4. Maintaining a Human Touch: Recognizing situations that require human intervention, such as complex queries or instances where empathy and understanding are crucial.
Section 4: Challenges and Considerations when implementing customer service chatbots
While customer service chatbots offer numerous benefits, it’s essential to consider some potential challenges during the implementation process. Here are a few points to keep in mind:
1. Training and customization: Developing an effective chatbot requires sufficient training and customization. AI chatbots must understand your industry, business, and customer needs. Invest time in training and fine-tuning your chatbot to ensure accurate and contextually relevant responses.
2. Integration with existing systems: Seamless integration with your existing customer support systems, knowledge bases, and databases is crucial. Ensuring the chatbot can access the necessary information to provide accurate and up-to-date responses to customer queries is incredibly important.
3. Managing complex or sensitive queries: While chatbots excel at handling straightforward and repetitive questions, they may need help with complex or sensitive inquiries that require nuanced human understanding. Defining clear escalation protocols for transferring conversations to human agents is essential when necessary.
4. Maintaining a human touch: Even with advanced AI capabilities, infusing a human touch into customer interactions is essential. Customers often appreciate empathy, understanding, and personalized support. Strike the right balance between automation and human intervention to deliver an exceptional customer experience.
5. Continuous monitoring and improvement: Implementing chatbots is an ongoing process. Regularly monitor and analyze your chatbot’s performance, gather customer feedback, and make necessary improvements to enhance its accuracy, efficiency, and user satisfaction.
Customer service chatbots powered by AI technology are simply revolutionizing the customer experience, and it is getting started. By providing instant support, continuous learning, and tailored responses, chatbots contribute to improved customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, and brand loyalty. Businesses across North and South America increasingly embrace chatbots as a core customer service strategy. The insights shared in this article aim to guide companies in understanding the benefits and considerations of implementing customer service chatbots successfully.
By adopting AI chatbots, businesses can unlock new growth opportunities, build stronger customer relationships, and elevate their overall customer service experience. With the right approach and a customer-centric mindset, companies can harness the power of chatbots to stay ahead in today’s competitive market and deliver exceptional customer support at every touchpoint.
9 Things You Must Do Before Moving to Your New Home
26th May 2023
Moving to a new home is an exciting but hectic task in life. Whether you’re upgrading to a larger space, downsizing, or relocating to a new city, it’s essential to prepare adequately to ensure a smooth transition and accommodation.
A little short-sightedness may dwindle your room arrangement, making your new home a mess.
To help you make the moving a breeze, we have compiled a list of things you must do before shifting to your new home. The following nine tips will help you stay organized, reduce stress, and settle into your new abode seamlessly.
Create a Moving Checklist
Start by creating a comprehensive moving checklist so nothing remains unarranged, unpacked, or lost during moving. This will serve as your roadmap throughout the moving process.
Break down the list into categories such as packing, hiring movers, address changes, utilities, and other tasks that must be completed before the shifting.
Declutter and Organize
A clear path is key to packing things faster and with less hassle. And moving is the perfect opportunity to declutter your belongings while sorting out things in front of your eyes.
Hence, sort through each room, and identify items you no longer need or use. Consider donating, selling, or giving away these items to lighten your load.
It’s easier to organize your belongings into different categories, label boxes, and create an inventory list for easier unpacking in your new home.
Hire Professional Movers
Shifting to a new home all by yourself isn’t wise as it has many hazards. However, hiring professional movers can save you time, effort, and potential damage to your belongings.
Ask them if they know how to remove glue from walls, if you have decorative posters or metal or wooden blocks stuck on walls.
Research reputable moving companies in your area and read reviews to make an informed decision. Make advance booking to secure your preferred date and time.
Notify Service Providers
Ensure a smooth transition by notifying your service providers about your upcoming move. Contact your internet, cable, and utility companies to schedule switching the connections from the current address to the new one.
Inform your bank, credit card companies, insurance providers, and any subscription services of your address change to avoid any disruption in services.
Update Your Address
Notify the necessary parties about your new address to ensure that important documents and correspondence reach you without any delay.
Update your address with the post office, government agencies, your employer, friends, family, etc. Don’t forget to update your address on official documents such as your driver’s license, voter registration, and vehicle registration.
Packing can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of moving. Start early and pack strategically to simplify the process. Begin with non-essential items and pack room by room.
Use sturdy boxes, label them clearly, and include a brief description of the contents. Keep essential items, such as toiletries, a change of clothes, and important documents, separate and easily accessible.
Take Care of Utilities
Ensure a smooth transition by arranging for utilities to be connected to your new home before you move in. Contact the utility companies to set up electricity, water, gas, and any other essential services you require.
Additionally, schedule a date for internet and cable installation to avoid any downtime upon arrival.
Secure Your New Home
Ensuring security in your new home is a must before moving. Change the locks or rekey them to ensure you can access your new property.
Check the functionality of smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and security systems, and replace batteries if necessary.
Arrange for Storage
Do you have any plans for your excess accessories and belongings? If not, hire temporary storage during shifting; consider renting a storage unit. Contact local storage facilities, compare prices and sizes, and make an advance reservation.
Once you settle in your new home, recollect your items from the storage facility.
Moving to a new home can be both exciting and challenging. Following these essential steps before shifting ensure a smoother transition and a more enjoyable experience.
Take the time to plan, organize, and prepare, and soon you’ll settle into your new home easily and comfortably.
Navigating Social Media for Small and Medium-Sized Flower Delivery Businesses
Blooming Business: The Role of Social Media in Boosting Sales for Flower Delivery SMEs
The flower market is an ever-growing sector that is changing rapidly. In recent years, the way customers buy and order things has changed dramatically. Today, people are constantly looking for the most convenient ways to place their orders and receive their goods on time. Social media has emerged as an important tool for companies that do flower delivery in Enfield, and worldwide, by helping make customers more aware of them and increasing sales. In this article, we will explore how floral companies can benefit from the opportunities that Internet offers.
Understanding the Social Media Landscape for Small and Medium-sized Flower Delivery Businesses
Before focusing on all the different channels available for promotion, it is important to understand why online platforms are essential for businesses. The simple answer is that they allow companies to reach their potential customers, increase brand awareness, and improve engagement with customers. It is important for floral suppliers to understand their customers in order to create effective campaigns and increase sales.
Overview of Popular Social Media Channels for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses in the Flower Industry
There are many platforms that companies can use to reach their target audiences. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are the three most popular channels for floral suppliers:
● Facebook offers businesses the opportunity to reach their target audiences through targeted advertising.
● Instagram allows businesses to create visually appealing content to reach their audiences.
● Pinterest is a great platform for businesses to create visually engaging content to reach their audiences.
Of course, there are many other channels you can use, Twitter and YouTube, for example, but the three mentioned above are the main ones.
Demographics and User Behaviour in Various Social Media Channels
It is important to understand the demographics and user behavior across different channels to create effective campaigns:
● Facebook is used by a broad demographic, including men and women ages 18 to 65.
● Instagram is used primarily by younger audiences, especially women ages 18 to 35.
● Pinterest is mainly used by women aged 25 to 45.
People of all ages buy flowers, but the account should appeal to the audience of the particular platform.
The Impact of Social Networks on the Flower Industry
As mentioned in the beginning, social media has changed how customers order and purchase flowers. People are looking for convenient ways to place their orders and receive their deliveries on time. The Internet has allowed businesses to reach their potential customers and increase brand awareness and the use of the online sphere helps flower delivery companies improve their online presence and scale their business.
Development of a Social Media Strategy for Small and Medium-Sized Flower Delivery Companies
A successful advertising strategy requires careful planning and execution. Here are some key steps to create an effective strategy for floral suppliers.
Setting Goals and Objectives in Social Networks
The first step in creating a strategy is to define clear goals and objectives. Do you want to increase your reach, increase sales or improve brand awareness? It’s important to set realistic goals and make sure they are measurable.
Identification of Target Audiences and Customer Personalities
Identifying target audiences is an important step in creating a social media strategy. Floral suppliers should understand the demographics, user behavior, and needs of their target audiences in order to create effective campaigns.
Creating a Content Strategy That Resonates with the Target Audience
An effective content strategy is critical to engaging target audiences. Florists should create relevant, engaging content that is tailored to the needs of their audiences. Visual content such as photos and videos are particularly effective in grabbing the attention of potential customers.
Use of User Content and Influence Marketing
User-generated content and influencer marketing are effective techniques for increasing audience engagement. Flower delivery companies can ask customers to share photos of their flower arrangements online to increase their reach. Influencer marketing on the other hand allows companies to work with influencers to reach their audiences and increase brand awareness.
Best Practices of Using Social Networks for Sales
Social media platforms offer businesses many opportunities to increase sales.
Promotion of Goods and Services in Social Networks
Online platforms offer businesses an easy way to promote their products. Flower delivery companies can create promotional campaigns to appeal to their target audiences and increase sales.
Attracting Traffic to Your Website and Online Store Through Social Networks
Social platforms offer an effective way to drive traffic to flower delivery companies’ websites and online stores. Through the use of links and call-to-actions, businesses can drive audiences directly to their websites or online stores.
Practical Steps for Small Business Advancement
You own a small business. You want to help it grow and improve, but you also understand that all effort and positive results stem directly from you. And you’ve pretty much exhausted all your ideas. Hey, it
The good news is that there are many ways you can advance your business interests further. In this article, we look at accessible ways that small businesses can improve their operations and grow.
Upskilling is all about picking up new skills.
You don’t say.
Well, as a matter of fact, we did say. It’s something that takes place routinely at big companies all over the world. There, management will pay for their employees to refresh and expand their skills in a way that will be advantageous for the business.
Unfortunately, you probably won’t have anyone footing the bill for you. However, you can still take advantage of some of the many affordable online education programs that can teach you about everything from marketing to data implementation.
Most businesses understand that they should have a social media presence. However, to have an impact at all, you need to think strategically about how your followers prefer to interact with your page. What time are they online the most? What sort of messaging do they respond to?
What about branding? Are your social media posts telling a consistent story, or are you all over the place with your tone? You don’t need to be a marketing professional to use social media the right way. You can make a big splash simply by getting a little more strategic with your outreach efforts.
Learn About Data
Data implementation is an important factor for businesses of every size. Previously the exclusive tool of big business, it is now available to anyone willing to take the time necessary to learn how to use it.
Most social media platforms come with analytic tools that will help you learn how your messaging is being received. You can use this information to not only expand your reach but also receive keen insights into what your existing customers respond the best to.
And, of course, social media is far from the only place where data is being used. You can also look at sales figures, email engagement rates, and other relevant factors to optimize your business practices.
It’s exciting getting the opportunity to make new hires. As we mentioned in our last section, you’ll find yourself with a lot of work in the first months of your role as a small business owner. Bringing someone else on means releasing some of that pressure.
Still, it’s important to hire smart. Network and look for people who have skills that you lack. The more diversity of experience you can get, the better your business will be. You will, of course, learn more about all aspects of the job as you go along. However, finding people with the right specialties will be a big leg up.
Once you get a proper staff, you’ll also want to think about team-building opportunities. Creating a strong company culture through employee-centric policies are important elements of retention. You don’t need to be able to afford lavish corporate retreats to keep your employees happy.
It’s hard to focus on your own needs when you are trying to get a small business off the ground. While you will need to work on building your skills and get used to logging long hours, you also need to know how to take care of yourself.
Self-care will not only help you stay happy, but it will also keep gas in the tank, allowing you to continue slugging it out for the long haul.
Know when (and how) to bring in the professionals
Even small businesses can and should take advantage of a wide range of professionals who can help advance their interests:
- Cybersecurity specialists and
All routinely consult with businesses of every size to help them navigate complicated situations and grow. Some of these professionals are more expensive than others but for the most part, there are affordable and accessible ways to take advantage of all these services.
Get Serious About Cyber Security
You don’t have to be Marriott to get targeted by cybercriminals. In fact, the majority of small business owners experience attempted breaches each year. Some of them are simple, such as phishing emails and dicey website links. Other attempts can be more complex.
The problem with breaches isn’t just that they complicate your life. Although they do. It can take most of a year to recover completely from a serious one.
The even bigger issue, however, is that customer information can get compromised in the process. For big businesses with lots of sensitive customer information on hand, this has led to class action lawsuits.
Even if that isn’t in your future, data compromises can lead to a loss in consumer confidence. And of course, it’s also just your ethical responsibility to handle the data with care.
Get serious about cyber security. Update your software, guard your passwords, and train your employees to do the same.
Believe in Yourself
Ok, we know. This is kind of corny advice, but it comes from a sincere place. Many small business owners struggle with a psychological concept known as “imposter syndrome.” Basically, it means that they tend to fear that they don’t belong where they are and everyone around them does.
Self-validation can be hard because when you own your own business, there is no one there to give you feedback. You are entirely in charge of securing your own fortunes.
Anxiety can have its benefits, encouraging you to continuously put your best foot forward. Still, too much of it, and you’re only holding yourself back.
5 Trending Video Marketing Tactics for Local Businesses to Try
What’s the hottest digital marketing trend for local businesses right now? Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to that question. From voice search optimization to business directory listings, there are several ways to promote your local business on the internet.
But if there’s one technique that deserves your attention in 2023, it has to be video marketing. According to a recent report by NogenTech, 91% of businesses use video as a marketing tool in 2023. Also, 96% of marketers consider video as a crucial part of their marketing strategy.
Besides building online visibility and improving customer retention, video marketing can also help drive visitors to your store. When used judiciously, it yields a high return on investment (ROI) too.
But how do you ensure that your video campaigns deliver the desired results? The key is to stay on top of the latest video marketing trends. Let’s delve deeper into the top five trends every local business should leverage in 2023.
1. Growing Use of Live Videos
According to HubSpot’s 2023 Video Marketing Report, 32% of video marketers use live videos or streams. They’re the third most engaging video format and offer the fourth-highest ROI.
More than half of live videos have an average watch percentage between 41% and 80% of their total duration. Also, 23.7% of people on the internet use social media to watch live streams.
The rising popularity of live videos is understandable, considering that they facilitate real-time interaction with viewers. That’s what makes them more engaging than other video formats.
If you run a local business, you can use live videos and streams in several ways. Start by live streaming any events you host at your physical location.
Let’s say you own a cafe where you invite local musicians to perform on the weekends. You can live stream their performances on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms to stir a buzz about your cafe.
Alternatively, you can invite a local influencer to visit the cafe and host a Q&A session with them. Broadcast the live stream on different social media platforms. Boost engagement by accepting questions from viewers or reading out their comments during the session.
You can also live stream other anticipated events, such as a new product launch or the start of a seasonal sale.
2. Atomizing and Repurposing Long-Form Video
In 2021, a survey by TikTok revealed that nearly 50% of the platform’s users feel stressed out when watching videos that are longer than a minute. It’s understandable, given the decline in attention span plaguing younger generations.
While long-form video might help you showcase product features or tell your brand’s story, it isn’t the best way to grab eyeballs or go viral. In such cases, marketers are keen to repurpose longer videos into smaller, easily digestible, and shareable snippets.
That, in turn, has resulted in the growing trend of atomizing video content. Simply put, it’s the practice of repurposing long-form videos to make them suitable for different platforms.
Let’s say you record an hour-long Q&A session with an influencer and upload it to your YouTube channel. Select the session’s highlights and edit them together to create an intriguing teaser for your audience on Instagram and Facebook. You could even upload 10 to 15-second clips from the session as Stories on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat.
Of course, you’ll need a robust video editing tool to convert long videos into attractive bite-sized nuggets. A tool like Videoleap can help you repurpose existing videos into different formats. You can use trending templates from other content creators to add a spin to your assets. Or you can use special effects and transitions to ensure your videos glue every viewer.
Image via Google Play
Repurposing videos on different platforms using an editing app like Videoleap amplifies your reach and helps generate the maximum ROI. It’s particularly valuable for local businesses with limited marketing budgets.
3. Driving Engagement Through Instagram Reels
Launched in 2020, Instagram Reels have emerged as the most engaging content format on the platform. The average video view rate of Instagram Reels is 2.54%, while that for other videos on the platform is 1.74%. Also, at 1.95%, Reels boast twice the engagement rate of other Instagram post types.
And if your Reels strike the right chord with Instagram users, you can make it to the Explore page. That, in turn, will skyrocket your reach beyond your followers on the platform.
Therefore, if you want to create a winning video marketing strategy, you can’t ignore Instagram Reels. As a local business owner, you can use Instagram Reels in the following ways:
Remix trending Reels created by other local content creatorsUse trending audio and music in your ReelsParticipate in popular challenges or start a branded challengeAdditionally, you can use Reels to give viewers a sneak peek into the behind-the-scenes action at your establishment.
You can also create educational videos showcasing your products. Let’s say you own a home decor store. You can create short and snappy video tutorials explaining how viewers can use your products to decorate different areas of their homes. It’s a clever way to highlight your products’ features and benefits without using promotional messaging.
4. Using Customer Testimonials as Social Proof
Did you know that 39% of consumers feel more connected to a brand when it invites user-generated content (UGC)? Also, 37% of consumers expect brands to promote UGC. They usually consider it more credible and trustworthy than branded content.
How can you leverage that trend for your local business? A simple technique is to upload video testimonials from satisfied customers. You can invite existing customers to publish short videos highlighting their experience of visiting your establishment and using your product/service.
Use discount coupons or free gifts to incentivize them. Share these videos on your social media profiles to win your audience’s trust.
5. Maximizing Reach Through Video SEO
Creating entertaining, informative, and engaging videos isn’t enough. You must ensure that your content gets the traction it deserves. It can be challenging as more businesses hop on the video marketing bandwagon.
That, in turn, makes video SEO (search engine optimization) one of the most important trends for your business. When done right, it ensures that your videos are featured in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords.
To begin with, identify the most relevant and popular keywords your potential customers might use when searching for information related to your niche. Pay closer attention to location-specific keywords. Using keyword research tools like SEMrush for this purpose is a good idea.
Image via Semrush
Once you’ve selected target keywords, use them to craft a title and description for your videos. This is where a smart approach to copywriting can make a big difference.
When uploading videos on YouTube, make sure you choose the right category and tags. Similarly, if you’re uploading a video on Instagram or Facebook, make sure it has a meaningful and descriptive caption. Use the selected keywords to add relevant hashtags to the captions. Also, make sure the video has an attractive thumbnail that gives a clear idea of the content.
If you aren’t well-versed in graphic design, a tool like Canva could come in handy here. It lets you choose from a wide range of customizable templates. Also, you can add icons, illustrations, and even animations to the thumbnail.
Image via Canva
Lastly, don’t forget to add a transcript to every video. It helps search engine spiders understand and index video content. It’s a good idea to use tools like Flixier that automate the process of video transcription.
Use Video to Drive Footfall and Sales
A well-planned video marketing campaign can help your business in several ways, from boosting online visibility to driving in-store traffic. Use live videos to connect with potential customers in real time. Create and upload Instagram Reels to maximize reach and audience engagement. Repurpose long videos into smaller bite-sized clips and share them on different platforms.
Irrespective of the video format you choose, steer clear of promoting your products/brand outright. Instead, focus on entertaining or educating your audience through your content. It’ll help you earn their trust and motivate them to visit your brick-and-mortar establishment.
The Vital Importance Of Healthy Cash Flow For Small Businesses
The most common reason for small businesses folding is down to cash flow problems. Failure to carry out proper market research, or overestimating demand for a particular product, also causes businesses to collapse. But, cash flow is usually the biggest reason.
Cash flow and profit – understanding the differences
Cash flow is all the money that moves through a company from sales and expenditures. While profits are the money that is left over once all financial obligations have been paid.
One very important metric for profitability and operating efficiency is the cash flow margin ratio. The cash flow margin shows how efficient a business is. If you take the business’s cash flow operating costs and divide them by net sales, you will get your cash flow margin.
The higher the cash flow margin, the more likely a company will remain profitable. For profitability and operating costs, the best percentage calculator will help with clear results. But, here is a simple explanation of how to calculate cash flow margins.
How does cash flow impact small businesses?
The cash flow margin ratio gives a good indication of how well a business is turning its sales into profits. However, cash flow affects many areas of a business and can impact operations heavily.
- Late payments to suppliers
- Unable to restock
- Unable to pay employees
- Credit rating damage
- Additional loans
- Unable to grow
- Cutbacks and layoffs
Businesses that suffer from poor cash flow will find that they miss the opportunity for expansion, and may even have to downsize. Late payments to creditors and suppliers lead to poor relationships and possible damage to credit scores.
Being unable to restock products or raw materials will see production and sales grind to a halt. And there will be a negative effect on the workforce and productivity as a whole.
Poor cash flow often leads small business owners to seek further financing and credit. This option may prove worthwhile, but it has the potential to cause far more problems with profitability and cash flow down the line.
How to manage cash flow effectively
The current economic climate is one of high inflation and a possible recession. Businesses must find ways to offset inflation and survive the crisis.
Calculating revenue and going over all expenses is the best place to start improving cash flow. Creating a cash flow budget will give an estimated view of how the business will operate financially in the coming months. Although a cash flow budget only estimates future income and expenditure, it is a useful tool to utilise.
Dips in income due to seasonal changes can be included in a cash flow budget, as can expected rises in expenditure. Increasing stock of low-cost items can offset inflation. Purchasing materials that are expected to go up in price will reduce expenditure later on.
The importance of managing invoices and payments on time
All businesses will have accounts receivable. These are payments outstanding for services rendered, or goods supplied. Commonly, invoices are sent out after a customer receives their goods, and they will be given a set time frame to pay.
It is normal in business to allow a customer anywhere from 14 days to 90 days to settle an invoice. 30 days is a typical time frame for payments to be made. When payments are made on time, businesses will enjoy regular cash flow. In turn, the business can use the money flowing into it to fulfill its own financial obligations. And the cycle continues.
However, when accounts receivable are overdue, then it can hamper cash flow for small businesses. Global enterprises have far more resources at hand than small business owners, and when payments are delayed, it can be fatal.
Fortunately, there are several options for small businesses to improve cash flow.
Options for improving cash flow in small businesses
Cutting costs is certainly an option to reduce expenditure. But, how to save on costs without cutting quality?
A few options for small businesses are these:
- Renegotiate with suppliers
- Increase prices- Carry out a promotion
- Incentivise early payments
- Introduce extra payment options
- Automated invoicing and reminders
- Use factoring
- Add call to action on digital invoices
- Carry out credit checks
- Ensure invoices and delivery notes are all accurate
Launching a promotion or increasing prices may result in a quick cash flow boost. But, promotions are short-lived, and price increases can alienate customers. It may be much better to look at how you are managing invoices and payments and make changes.
Setting up an automated invoicing system will reduce the chances of manual error, and speed up payments. Automating this area means that invoices will be sent out on time and tracked. If payment isn’t received, then a reminder will be automatically sent out.
Digital invoices and call to action
Sending automated digital invoices to clients allows the option to include a call to action. A clear link on the invoice to ‘pay now’ for instance could result in quick payment. Adding in an incentive such as ‘pay now for a 5% discount’ will help speed up payments and improve cash flow.
If your business is struggling with cash flow problems, and has a number of accounts receivable, then invoice factoring might be an option. A factor is a type of lender who offers to loan money to a business against accounts receivable. In return, the borrower pays a commission and fees.
Because factoring is short-term and set against money owing, it is often seen as a better option than taking out extra loans.
Some studies indicate that many small businesses would last less than a month on their cash reserves. Cash flow is critical to the survival of small businesses, and their future development.
While many small businesses struggle with cash flow, there are options available to improve liquidity. Offering incentives for faster payment, and renegotiating contracts with suppliers, can help reduce expenses and bring in cash quickly.
SME News Showcases the Winners of the 2023 Legal Awards
United Kingdom, 2023 – Leading B2B business publication SME News Magazine has announced the winners of the 2023 Legal Awards programme.
The legal industry is a crucial factor of everyday life as we all rely on its steadfast expertise when necessary. The industry is ever-evolving, and our winners are constantly growing as they prove, time and time again, that they are agile, intelligent, and highly focused.
Following the success of the 2023 edition of the programme, we have endeavoured to highlight those who have thrived over the last twelve months, despite overwhelming uncertainty and challenges.
Our Awards Coordinator, Kaven Cooper, took a moment to discuss the success of this year’s programme: “I wish all of our winners the best as they continue to deliver high-class services to a myriad of clients around the world. Inevitably elevating and innovating their sphere, they have all earned a magnificent amount of respect and success.”
To learn more about our award winners and to gain insight into the working practices of the “best of the best,” please visit the SME News website (https://www.sme-news.co.uk/awards/legal-awards/) where you can access the winners supplement.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About SME News
SME News is a quarterly digital publication aimed at those who own, run or assist in the running of small and medium-sized businesses within the UK. SME News, by way of its digital magazine, website and social media outlets, provides a valuable tool to SMEs and their leaders for running their business day to day, seeking the best advice and for growing and succeeding in their endeavours.
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 85,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.
Alongside this, we have a luxury-lifestyle magazine, LUXlife, which appeals to a range of high-net-worth individuals, offering them insight into the latest products, experiences and innovations to ensure they can live the high-life to its fullest.
Common Code Violations to Avoid in Construction
25th May 2023
Construction projects require strict adherence to building codes and regulations to ensure the safety, functionality, and durability of structures. Failure to comply with these codes can result in serious consequences, including project delays, costly fines, compromised safety, and legal liabilities.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the common code violations that construction professionals should be aware of and take proactive measures to avoid. By understanding and following these guidelines, construction teams can create safer, more compliant, and structurally sound buildings.
Electrical Code Violations
Electrical systems are a critical component of any building, and violations in this area can pose severe safety hazards. One of the most common electrical code violations is improper wiring installation. Faulty wiring can lead to electrical shocks, short circuits, or even fires. To avoid this violation, it is crucial to follow proper installation techniques. Also, a code compliance consulting firm that stays up-to-date on code interpretations can help you build code compliance. This includes using the correct wire size, securely connecting wires, and installing appropriate protective devices such as circuit breakers and ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).
Additionally, construction professionals must ensure they obtain the necessary permits and inspections for electrical work. Failing to do so can result in penalties and legal consequences. By obtaining the required permits and undergoing inspections, you can ensure that your electrical installations comply with the local electrical codes and meet safety standards.
Another common electrical violation to avoid is inadequate electrical capacity. Overloading electrical circuits by connecting too many devices or using undersized wires can lead to overheating and potential fire hazards. To prevent this violation, it is essential to conduct a thorough load calculation.
This calculation will determine the electrical demand of the building and ensure that the electrical system is designed to handle it effectively. Furthermore, compliance with clearance requirements for electrical panels and equipment is crucial to facilitate safe access and maintenance procedures.
Structural Code Violations
The structural integrity of a building is of utmost importance, and violations in this area can compromise its safety and stability. One common structural violation is inadequate foundation design and construction. Foundations are essential for distributing the load of the structure and ensuring its stability. Failure to adhere to design specifications or use substandard materials can result in foundation settlement, cracking, or even collapse.
To avoid this violation, it is crucial to engage a qualified structural engineer during the design phase. A structural engineer will develop a proper foundation design based on factors such as soil conditions, load requirements, and local building codes.
Construction professionals must strictly adhere to the engineer’s design specifications and utilize high-quality materials during construction. Regular inspections during the construction process will also help identify and rectify any potential issues that may compromise the foundation’s integrity.
Improper framing is another violation that can undermine the structural integrity of a building. Framing serves as the skeletal structure of the building, providing support and stability. Common framing violations include incorrect spacing of structural members, inadequate fastening, and failure to install necessary bracing.
To avoid these violations, it is essential to follow the approved plans and applicable building codes during the framing process. Hiring properly trained and experienced carpenters who are familiar with framing techniques is crucial. They will ensure accurate installation and structural stability, avoiding violations that could compromise the safety and longevity of the building.
Fire and Life Safety Code Violations
Fire and life safety codes are designed to protect occupants and property in the event of a fire or emergency. Failure to comply with these codes can have devastating consequences. Two common violations in this area are inadequate fire protection systems and insufficient egress routes.
Inadequate fire protection systems pose a significant risk to occupants and property. Construction professionals must ensure the proper installation and maintenance of fire sprinklers, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers. Following the requirements outlined in the fire code is essential. Regular inspections and maintenance of these systems will help ensure their effectiveness in the event of a fire.
Insufficient egress routes can impede the safe evacuation of occupants during an emergency. Violations in this area include blocked or inadequate exits, lack of proper signage, or narrow stairways. It is vital to ensure that all exit doors are accessible, unobstructed, and equipped with panic hardware. Clear and visible signage indicating exit locations and the direction of egress paths must be provided, enabling occupants to evacuate quickly and safely.
Plumbing Code Violations
Plumbing systems play a crucial role in providing clean water supply and proper drainage in buildings. Violations of plumbing codes can lead to water leaks, contamination, and sanitation issues. Here are some common plumbing code violations to avoid:
Improper Pipe Installation
Improper pipe installation is a frequent violation that can result in leaks and water damage. It is essential to follow the plumbing code guidelines when installing pipes, including using the correct pipe materials, proper joint connections, and adequate slope for drainage pipes. Additionally, ensure that pipes are adequately supported and protected to prevent damage and leaks over time.
Proper ventilation is necessary to maintain the integrity of the plumbing system and prevent the buildup of harmful gases, such as sewer gas. Failure to provide adequate ventilation can lead to odors, backflow issues, and potential health hazards. Follow the plumbing code requirements for vent pipe sizing, placement, and installation to ensure proper ventilation throughout the plumbing system.
Lack of Backflow Prevention
Backflow occurs when contaminated water flows back into the clean water supply, posing a significant health risk. Construction professionals must install backflow prevention devices, such as backflow preventers or check valves, following plumbing code requirements. Regular maintenance and testing of these devices are essential to ensure their effectiveness in preventing backflow incidents.
Construction professionals must prioritize compliance with building codes and regulations to ensure the safety and quality of their projects. Avoiding common code violations, such as improper electrical wiring, foundation design and construction issues, framing errors, inadequate fire protection systems, and insufficient egress routes, is crucial.
By familiarizing themselves with the applicable codes, engaging qualified professionals, obtaining necessary permits, conducting regular inspections, and following best practices, construction teams can create safer, more compliant, and structurally sound buildings. Remember, adhering to codes is not only a legal requirement but also an ethical responsibility towards the occupants and the community, ensuring the well-being of everyone involved in the construction process.
Employee Spotlight: Heather Ryan on 10 Years at AI Global Media
Heather Ryan has recently celebrated her 10th anniversary of employment at AI Global Media. Heather has supported the business in a number of areas during her time with the company and has for some years now demonstrated that she is a great asset to the business.
‘It is always a delight for us at AI Global Media when an employee hits a significant milestone with us,’ comments Marketing Director Kathryn Hall. ‘As of April 2023, Business Development & Sales Manager Heather Ryan has been with us 10 years! For a business that is just shy of 13 years old, this milestone seems even more special to us.
‘Heather joined us in April of 2013 in our finance department, in 2015 she made the bold and very much supported move to the awards team and since then has taken on some major projects in events management, business development and sales and also acting as an Interim Director for a period of 9 months. We asked Heather for her comments on her time with AI….
Q: What does a day in the life of a Business Development & Sales Manager at AI Global Media look like?
Working within the sales teams always keeps me on my toes and tasks vary from day to day, as well as working on a number of business development projects which allow me to help drive the business forward with new opportunities.
Q: What’s your favourite thing about working at AI?
I enjoy the varied tasks within my role and working alongside a great team of people. AI have always made sure the office environment is vibrant and really takes care of its employees, just some of the reasons why I have been here for ten years!
Q: How have you seen the company evolve since you first started?
When I first started working for AI there was only around 10 staff in a small office in the countryside and now there are around 60 of us in an office in Burton centre. Company culture has improved over the years with a much greater focus on employee wellbeing, something I know not all people are lucky enough to have in their work. AI is driven and as such our systems, processes and skills have grown immensely over the years allowing us to take better care of our customers and improve the services that we offer.
Q: What’s one thing you wish people knew about your job?
I found this a tough one to answer, but I guess how much planning, preparation and organisation is involved. Priorities can change from day to day and it can be hard work juggling what’s most important in the never ending list of tasks!
Q: So far, what has been your most favourite project?
I’d have to say my favourite project would be running the Better Business Expo back in 2019. This became my baby and it was great to learn all the ins and outs of running a corporate event.
Q: What advice would you give to recent new hires?
Being the ‘new person’ can be hard, my advice would be to show confidence and if your unsure of anything ask questions. Those around you are likely to know the job inside and out and will be more than happy to help you.
Q. What is it about you that most don’t know?
To be honest I’m not that interesting so found this question quite difficult to answer but here goes! I’ve been married for 10 years now, and have two kids, Darcey is 8 years old, and Finley is 14 years old (I know I don’t look old enough to have a teenager!) When I’m not working and I’m not shipping the kids around to their different activities, I like to spend time walking our dog Hector and days out at the weekend finding amazing places to eat.
Leading Global Oil & Gas Services Provider 2023 – Sharjah
Operating out of two UAE sites, Oil & Gas International (OGI) has a great scope for providing equipment and solutions to operating companies, drilling contractors, and services companies across the world. We profile the firm following it being named in the UAE Business Awards 2023 and bestowed with a prestigious accolade for its endeavours.
As a major oil and gas supplier and solutions provider, Oil & Gas International was established in the year 2011 by a group of experts from the oil and gas sector with the aim of providing excellent products and reliable services.
Its core offerings and services include tubular running services, API-certified machine shop services, pressure control and BOP rental, redress and grinding of stabilisers, drilling/BHA tools, and fishing tools and rental services, amongst others.
Ideally located in Sharjah, OGI comprises a yard area of 500,000sqft which includes a fully equipped warehouse, workshop, and service centre, and it has an additional corporate office expanding over 5,000sqft in Dubai Silicon Oasis.
OGI’s comprehensive range of quality-driven products and world-class services meet the challenging and dynamic requirements of oil field operating companies, drilling contractors, and service providers. The firm’s operations now extend from the Middle East to Iraq, Africa, India, and other Asia Pacific regions.
As distributor and service agent for major European brands, OGI now also caters to the marine sector, vessel operators, offshore and onshore constructions, refurbishment industries, and rigs, and it has an API licensed machine and fabrication shop which operates under stringent quality standards as per drilling industry requirements.
OGI’s solution orientated trade house enables it to source any unique requirement from all around the world to serve its valuable clients in a short period of time. It also has multiple rigs in its inventory which enables it to be a major player in the industry.
The company trades a wide array of equipment, including rigs, top drives, fishing tools, drill pipes, heavy weight drill pipes, mud tanks, mud pumps, mud motors, shock tools, various kinds of drilling tools, machineries such as breakout units, BHA tools, pressure control equipment, safety equipment, dopes and consumables, raw materials, and much more.
In 2022, OGI successfully acquired ownership of Certified Oil Field Equipment Rental LLC (COR), a company located on a 120,000sqft base in Abu Dhabi and which is fully integral to an extensive network and reach of companies in the Middle East region and beyond. COR takes great pride in operating as a one-stop facility with an excellent capability to provide rental services for all requirements and, through this acquisition, OGI’s capabilities are further increased and diversified.
Recently, in recognition of its dedication and hard work to the sector, OGI was named Leading Global Oil & Gas Services Provider 2023 – Sharjah in the UAE Business Awards. A very worthy accolade that is testament to the commitment of the firm to both the sector and its country of residence.
For further information, please visit www.ogi-fze.com
How Business Leaders Can Assist Employees Going Through the Menopause
Women of menopausal age (45-54) make up 11% of all people in employment and 23% of all women in employment (3.5 million women) according to recent data. Menopause can have a significant impact on somebody’s daily life, including in the workplace, making it imperative for business leaders to offer employees as much support as they can as their workforce navigate the symptoms of menopause including fatigue, hot flushes, mood changes and sleep disturbances.
Lucy Lettice, Co-Founder of sustainable period care brand &SISTERS, said: “Menopause symptoms can be disruptive and can impact work performance. By offering support and accommodations, businesses can help employees manage their symptoms and maintain their productivity. This can help reduce absenteeism, turnover rates and improve overall employee retention.
“Menopause can be a really challenging time for people and having support from employers can make a world of difference. Businesses should strive to have an inclusive workplace culture and supporting menopausal employers is a great way to do this.
“At &SISTERS we want to ensure people who menstruate do not feel like a burden for the natural changes they go through. Here are a few ways business leaders can implement menopausal support systems in the workplace.”
Because the symptoms of menopause can be difficult to manage, offering flexible working arrangements such as remote working or adjusted working hours can help the person manage their symptoms, leading to increased productivity and better job performance.
With symptoms such as sweating and hot flushes, the person experiencing menopause may be feeling some embarrassment if their symptoms are noticed by colleagues, so offering them the chance to work from home or to adjust their working hours may help to preserve their mental health.
Menopausal employees may need more time for self-care, such as exercise or medical appointments. Flexible working can allow them to schedule their appointments during the day without the need to use up their annual leave.
Adjusted working environments
Accommodating menopausal employees doesn’t have to be complicated, as a few simple changes to the working environment can move mountains for people trying to navigate their symptoms. Ensure the workplace temperature can easily be managed by adjusting the air conditioning, providing fans or space heaters, and allowing for open windows. Employees could also be provided with cold water stations, desk fans or even work uniforms made from alternative materials which allow for better airflow on the skin.
With fatigue being another major symptom of menopause, consider dedicating a room in the workplace for quiet time where employees can rest and recharge. In the long run, this will help menopausal employees maintain their productivity and manage their workload effectively amongst their symptoms.
Education and training
Business leaders can provide education and awareness programs to help employees understand menopause and its impact on women. This can include workshops, seminars, or training sessions that cover topics such as symptoms, treatment options, and ways to manage menopause at work. Invite guest speakers who specialise in menopause and its impact to speak to your team in order to provide employees with a deeper understanding of the issues related to menopause and create an opportunity for discussion.
Lucy added: “By educating employees about menopause and its impact, employers can create a more supportive workplace culture where menopausal employees feel understood. Providing education and training is essential to beating the stigma that still surrounds talking about the menopause. Business leaders should view accommodating menopause in the workplace as a stepping stone to becoming an even more progressive workplace.”
How to Celebrate and Embrace Floral Designs in Your Home, According to Interiors Expert
25th May 2023
How to Keep Your Business Safe from Crime – 5 Tips from a Security Expert
Keeping a business safe and secure will always be a top priority for business owners and despite best efforts at tight security, some businesses do find themselves victim to break-ins or other illegal activities.
Data from 2022, showed over 600,000 crimes against businesses were recorded in England and Wales, and 100,000 of those crimes were burglaries against commercial properties.
Tradespeople are some of the most affected when it comes to crime against businesses with almost four in five (78%) experiencing tool theft, which could cost them over £5,000 in stolen tools.
To help businesses looking to either begin or bolster their security measures, Vlatka Lake, storage expert at self-storage operator Space Station, has teamed up with Richard Edginton, director of EDG Security Ltd to explain how you can keep your business safe from theft in 2023.
1. Carry out a risk assessment
Richard adds: “First and foremost, you need to conduct a simple risk assessment on your business. Conducting a risk assessment will help you to identify any weak points within your business that may help criminals gain easy access to your premises and stock.”
“All businesses need to carry out a risk assessment at least once a year, and it is a great way to not only reduce any health and safety related injuries, but to eliminate any potential threats to your business.”
2. Storing confidential documents
Richard comments: “Confidential documents and items crucial to your business could pose a security risk if they are left unprotected, especially if you have a large number of staff or high number of visitors coming to the company’s premises. Exploring storage opportunities that are designed to protect your valuable items, whether it’s on or offsite is a key way to make them secure immediately.”
Vlatka adds: “There are onsite options for you to explore such as a safe or lock box, however, if you really want to ensure safety of important documents or items then you may want to look into offsite storage that will offer 24-hour security away from the main premises. That way if your business is broken into you know that vital items are already protected.”
3. Protect your vehicles
Richard comments: “Theft statistics show that on average 30 vans are stolen every day in the UK, and like all businesses, you rely on them to operate smoothly. There are several precautions you should be taking for added security, such as, steering wheels locks, secure key storage and a location they are safe in overnight. The more secure your vehicles are, the less desirable they become to criminals.”
4. Install CCTV and security lighting
Richard adds: “Having increased precautions will not only prove that you take security seriously but will help to deter criminals from committing a crime in the first instance. When setting up your security you will need to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office, to explain why you plan to use CCTV, along with informing your staff and customers.”
“Adding CCTV and security lights can be a great deterrent in preventing crime meaning that criminals are less likely to attempt breaking into a business with effective security. Not only can it protect your property from burglaries, but it is a great way to ensure staff and visitor safety.”
5. Keep safe from cyber-attacks
Richard adds: “When it comes to preventing cyber-attacks against your business, you need to ensure that your staff are trained so that they know what to look for. It’s quite surprising how many staff have no concept of the damage and harm an attack can do to a business. Things such as phishing, spam and physical theft can seriously affect your business.
“When it comes to important documents, make sure that you can backup copies that help to protect information. When staff are trained and any business data and information are stored correctly, then it’s time to introduce things such as two factor authentication. It can be a little inconvenient in day-to-day use but is far more convenient than trying to recover from a successful cyber-attack.”
Vlatka comments: “We know that keeping your business safe from crime is the top priority for most businesses, so undertaking these five steps will help to deter criminals from targeting your business. For those looking for added security, self-storage may be a great choice, with 24-hour security, short- and long-term options and simple to access. It’s also a great option for businesses who are looking to expand over their lifetime.”
Shrinking Revenues Drives Interest In Doing Business Overseas
By Andrew Mosby, at accountancy firm, Menzies LLP. The firm has a global reach through its membership of the HLB network.
Despite headwinds such as supply shortages, rising interest rates, skills shortages and soaring costs, 79 per cent of business leaders are continuing to plan for growth, according to the HLB’s Survey 2023. Some have found that diversification is not realistically an option and so are looking to achieve growth by trading overseas.
With the UK economy suffering from stagnant growth and staff shortages, expanding overseas to tap into new markets and skills could be one method to ensure a business’ success. Despite the changes brought in by Brexit, it is generally easier than ever before to expand a business overseas, but it is important to do so from a place of knowledge and understanding, and it is vital to conduct a risk / reward analysis prior to making a move. This analysis should demonstrate that the business has the right financial plan, target market, competitor analysis, KPIs and milestone targets to increase its chances of success overseas, and it will look a little different for each business.
For example, a business seeking to launch a product in a foreign market may need to establish operations there, which will mean looking at wider costs such as potential warehouse, retail or factory space, as well as supply chain and staffing costs. However, a company that is seeking to sell an app or provide a software-based service will not necessarily have the same concerns in terms of initial investment, potentially only requiring one salesperson to work from home or a shared office location. Such businesses can ‘trial’ the new territory to gauge market response in real time; something that retailers and businesses looking to set up factories or plants are simply unable to do.
These differences demonstrate how vital it is for business leaders to create a strategy that is based on thorough research to increase their chances of success. For example, what works well for their product in the UK may not translate so favourably in other territories, making it important to spend time in the target country to gain an understanding of the market, its culture and preferences. Trade missions can help a business to do this whilst also providing resources and networking opportunities with companies that have taken a similar route. There may also be opportunities to meet relevant delegations from the target country.
Care is needed when planning to enter an overseas market for the first time. It can often be tempting for businesses to view Europe as one big block rather than a series of individual countries, however, each country operates from a different rulebook when it comes to tax and employment law. Similarly, in the US, both state and federal tax systems must be understood and adhered to.
If expanding into multiple countries at once, businesses should be aware that tax arrangements will differ across jurisdictions, and multiple registrations may be required for essentials like VAT. It is important, therefore, that a business seeks support from advisers who live and operate within the target country, as a wholly UK-based team is unlikely to know all the details as to how systems work in practice.
Business owners should also consider the business model that they wish to adopt, as it will have consequences for the planned expansion. For example, they could choose to operate a ‘cost plus’ model, where the overseas business will be operating as a sales and marketing or customer support function. The intention here would be to promote the UK business’ product rather than make direct sales, allowing the overseas business to invoice the UK entity for this service.
Alternatively, business owners could consider a ‘reseller’ model, whereby a product or software is acquired from the UK to sell overseas. In this instance, the UK entity will need to agree a fair and equitable price for the internal sale to the overseas business to ensure that both countries can make a profit.
With so much to consider when planning an overseas expansion, some business owners may feel at a loss. However, there are three key factors to keep in mind from the outset. These include selecting the target country, understanding the market, and identifying the right people to run operations, which might include existing workers and new hires overseas. Finally, it is imperative that businesses take the time to prepare forecasts from start to finish to ensure it is clear what investment will be required upfront and what targets must be achieved for the venture to be deemed a success.
The key to achieving a successful overseas expansion is resilience. This involves a willingness to conduct thorough research and the resilience to try again if at first the business doesn’t get the desired outcome. It is important for all business leaders to use any failures as a learning experience to grow their capability. By giving the expansion clear goals and KPI stepping-stones, success will be simple to measure and potential problems easier to spot. With dedication and perseverance, an overseas expansion could take UK businesses to the next level.
The UK’s Most Successful Exporters Revealed in the E2E International 100 List, in Association with The Independent
E2E, in association with The Independent and in partnership with IWG plc as founding partner, has today announced its International 100 list which identifies the fastest-growing companies, with export sales reaching £5 million or more in the past two years, with a turnover in excess of £10 million, from data gathered by Experian and Go Live Data.
Identifying businesses from a host of sectors, the league tables highlight the incredible work achieved by businesses based in the UK that have seen considerable growth in exports in recent years. The E2E International 100 will launch on 25th May 2023 and will be celebrated at the House of Commons, with a dinner for the 100 companies featured, accompanied by some of the UK’s top business leaders.
Featured in the list and demonstrating extraordinary export growth are: Sanjeev Soosaipillai, Chairman & CEO, Prax Petroleum Limited, who has seen a 1411% increase, Erik Rietkerk, CEO, Argent Energy Limited, who has seen a 1300% increase and Guy Wakeley, CEO, Os Phoenix Holdco Limited, who has seen a 807% increase. You can view the full list, here.
The E2E International 100 forms part of The E2E 100, an initiative designed through the publication of six league tables, coupled with a large-scale reception for each launch and a series of associated content. Each celebratory launch dinner will be held at the Houses of Parliament and House of Commons, kindly supported by Lord Bilimoria CBE, DL, Founding Board Director, E2E. This has been created to showcase the very best UK companies that are excelling, experiencing consistent growth, and presenting disruptive business strategies that are creating an impact not just in their own sector, but also on a nationwide, and in some cases, global scale.
Speaking about the list, Shalini Khemka CBE, founder of E2E says: “It is incredible to see so many companies in the top 100 operating within such a diverse range of industries. It is reflective of how successful UK companies are and of the expansion and growth taking place here and internationally. We should be extremely proud of the entrepreneurship and innovation in business that we are witnessing.”
Christian Broughton – Managing Director, The Independent added:
“We’re delighted to be featuring such an exceptional group of entrepreneurs who are emphatically moving forward in their individual sectors and who have seen exceptional growth in export sales. The E2E International100, in association with The Independent, gives us the chance to showcase the expertise throughout the UK and which contributes heavily to the UK economy. We’re excited to discover how far these companies go in exporting, in the short and long-term future.”
Lord Bilimoria CBE, DL said: “I have been a founding Board Member of E2E and under the leadership of Shalini Khemka CBE, which is fast becoming the go-to organisation to support UK Founders, Business Leaders, and Investors. Since 2011, the E2E team has built an exceptional platform for entrepreneurs to meet, learn, raise investment, and access corporate support. The E2E International track is a celebration of the UK business community, and of course, long may it continue.”
Richard Morris, UK Chief Executive of IWG plc, observed:“A partner of E2E for over eight years, IWG has first-hand experience of the invaluable support available to the UK SME sector. From the numerous networking opportunities to the quality member speakers, to say the least, is top-class. We are proud of our longstanding partnership with E2E.”
The tracks are independently compiled by Go Live Data and Experian according to specific criteria and official data. Each track is supported by E2E 100 strategic founding partner, IWG plc and partners Adia PR, Go Live Data, Virtuoso Legal, Experian and Lioncroft .
The Best and Worst On-Screen Interior Design Styles
25th May 2023
How To Maintain And Protect Commercial Floors
25th May 2023
Commercial spaces are constantly exposed to heavy foot traffic, moisture, liquid, and dirt. Therefore, their floors require more frequent cleaning and extra maintenance efforts.
Maintaining commercial floors is crucial to keeping the spaces clean, safe, functional, and aesthetically appealing. Aside from proper maintenance, they require preventive measures to reduce the risk of early deterioration.
Here’s a quick guide on maintaining and protecting commercial floors.
1. Know What Your Commercial Floor Type Needs
The maintenance requirements of commercial floors depend on the flooring material. For instance, floors with slippery surfaces may require an entrance matting system like the ones from matsdirect.co.uk to promote safety and collect dirt or mud from footwear.
Determining the flooring material is crucial to performing the most effective maintenance strategies. The following are the most common commercial floor types:
- Vinyl: Vinyl is one of the most durable commercial flooring options. It’s resistant to heavy foot traffic and easy to maintain. In most cases, regular mopping does the job.
- Tiles: Stone and porcelain tiles are popular in commercial settings due to their various design patterns and natural elegance. This floor type requires regular sweeping before mopping to avoid water stains.
- Concrete: Concrete gives an organic look to commercial spaces. However, it requires an immediate cleaning of spills to avoid stains since it’s a porous material. Resealing is also necessary for maintaining its shine.
- Carpet: Carpet is common in office spaces due to its noise-dampening advantage. This floor type requires frequent vacuuming to prevent dirt accumulation and unpleasant odour.
- Hardwood: Hardwood is the least common material for commercial spaces, but it’s still one of the most sought-after floorings because of its warm aesthetic appeal. Due to its lack of waterproofing, it requires dry mopping and regular refinishing to maintain its look and durability.
Applying proper maintenance that matches the flooring material helps keep commercial floors beautiful and functional.
2. Maintenance Techniques
Commercial floors need more attention for cleaning and maintenance due to their exposure to traffic and outdoor elements. Here are some effective maintenance techniques for maintaining and protecting them:
- Daily Cleaning: Daily cleaning and maintenance are essential for keeping commercial floors in good condition. It involves sweeping or vacuuming to remove dirt and debris. Failure to clean these particles can lead to micro-scratches and stains, which can compromise the surface’s durability and shine.
- Mopping: Mopping the floors with a damp mop can also help remove any stains or spills. Using a damp mop instead of a wet mop is vital as excessive water can cause damage, especially for hardwood and concrete flooring.
- Periodic Deep Cleaning: Periodic deep cleaning is also necessary to remove any buildup of dirt and grime left during regular cleaning. You may hire a commercial cleaner or a professional cleaning service for this. Deep cleaning is essential to maintain the shine and lustre of the floor surface while keeping odour and mould at bay.
- Using The Right Cleaning Products: The right cleaning products can help clean commercial floors more efficiently. They can also prevent damage due to harsh chemicals and sharp particles present in some floor cleaners. Following the manufacturer’s instructions and the installer’s recommendations is best to prolong the material’s natural look and durability.
- Refinishing And Restoration: Refinishing and restoration may also be necessary for damaged and worn floors. This process involves sanding down the floors and applying a new finish to restore their appearance. Refinishing is required when the floor has lost its shine and lustre due to scratches and scuff marks.
Regular maintenance and cleaning can prevent damage and extend the lifespan of commercial floors.
3. Protective Measure
Protective measures can prevent severe damage, reducing maintenance and repair costs.
- Floor Mats And Rugs: Aside from trapping dirt and debris, mats and rugs can also help absorb moisture and provide traction. You can place them at the entrances and near comfort rooms to keep floor adherence to the subfloor and prevent slips and accidents.
- Furniture Pads: Putting suitable pads under the legs of chairs, tables, and other furniture prevents scratches and dents. You can use one made from felt or silicone.
- Protective Coatings: Protective coatings such as sealants and finishes can help protect the floors from spills and stains, especially concrete and wooden flooring.
Protective measures can help extend the lifespan of commercial floors.
4. Hiring A Professional
While regular maintenance and protective measures can help keep commercial floors in good condition, hiring professionals may be necessary. Aside from providing expert cleaning services, they can also repair and refinish damaged or worn surfaces to restore their original condition.
Hiring a professional can be a good investment for businesses that want to maintain the appearance and safety of their commercial floors. Although it adds a significant cost to building maintenance, it can help save money and other resources.
Furthermore, professional flooring maintenance services are crucial to maintaining commercial spaces’ safety. Deep cleaning can reduce disease-causing bacteria, enhancing hygiene and safety. Plus, repairing small damages can prevent accidents.
Maintaining commercial floors is essential for businesses to provide a safe and welcoming environment for their customers and employees. By taking these steps, businesses can ensure that their facilities are functional and efficient.
Why Choose Dental Implants Over Dentures
Missing teeth can significantly impact one’s quality of life, affecting not only their ability to chew and speak properly but also their self-confidence. Fortunately, several options are available to replace missing teeth, including dental implants and dentures. While dentures have long been popular, dental implants have emerged as a superior alternative due to their numerous advantages.
Generally, dental implants offer a lasting and sturdy base to uphold a crown or bridge that resembles natural teeth in appearance and sensation. Furthermore, they can significantly enhance the grip, stability, and reinforcement compared to complete or removable partial dentures.
Let’s explore why dental implants are a better choice over dentures.
1. Longevity And Durability
Another significant advantage of dental implants, including the popular option of all on 4 artificial teeth, is their longevity and durability. While dentures may need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years, dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care. The titanium posts used in dental implants are highly resistant to decay and deterioration.
Additionally, the fusion of the implant with the jawbone creates a strong and stable foundation, ensuring long-term stability. By choosing dental implants, individuals can enjoy a permanent solution that eliminates the need for regular replacements and associated costs.
2. Aesthetic And Comfort
One of the primary reasons why dental implants are preferred over dentures is their ability to mimic the aesthetics and sensation of real teeth. The crown is designed to mimic the appearance and function of natural teeth, ensuring a seamless blend. Made of high-quality materials such as titanium, they are surgically placed into the jawbone, where they integrate with the surrounding bone over time. This integration creates a sturdy foundation for the replacement tooth, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit. Dental implants can be the right tooth replacement option if you want a smile that looks and feels like your natural teeth.
3. Improved Functionality
Unlike dentures, dental implants offer improved functionality in chewing and speaking. Dentures may slip or shift while eating or talking, making it challenging to enjoy certain foods or speak clearly.
On the other hand, through dental implants, the titanium post integrates with your jawbone, providing stability and strength similar to natural teeth. This allows individuals to bite and chew confidently, enjoying a varied diet without restrictions. Furthermore, dental implants eliminate the worry of dentures falling out or becoming loose at inopportune moments, enhancing overall comfort and confidence.
4. Ease Of Maintenance
Maintaining dental implants is relatively straightforward and similar to caring for natural teeth. Moreover, maintaining implants is significantly easier than caring for dentures, and there’s no concern about them shifting within the mouth. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups are essential to ensure the longevity and health of the implants.
Dentures, on the other hand, require additional care and maintenance, including removal for cleaning and soaking overnight. This inconvenience can be a significant drawback for individuals seeking a hassle-free tooth replacement option. Dental implants offer a more convenient and seamless oral hygiene routine, making them a preferred choice for many.
5. Preserving Jawbone Health
One crucial aspect often overlooked when considering tooth replacement options is the impact on jawbone health. When a tooth is lost, the underlying jawbone may deteriorate over time due to lack of stimulation. Dentures don’t address this issue because they sit on the gums and do not stimulate the jawbone.
In contrast, dental implants stimulate the jawbone in a manner similar to natural teeth. Dental implants uphold the density of the bone in your jaw, safeguarding it from deterioration. Missing a tooth initiates a process in which the jawbone starts to deteriorate. This gradual decline can alter facial contours and prematurely age your appearance. The implant’s integration with the jawbone helps maintain its strength and prevents bone loss. This contributes to a youthful look that endures throughout your lifetime.
6. No Dietary Restrictions
Wearing dentures necessitates adhering to dietary restrictions. Hard, sticky, and chewy foods, which may be detrimental to dentures, must be avoided. However, once the bone and soft tissues completely recover around your dental implant, the metallic post will be firmly fused to your jawbone. This will allow you to eat any food you desire.
The integration ensures the implant’s stability, rendering it as robust and reliable as your original teeth. This stability eliminates the tendency for implants to shift, a common occurrence with dentures. Consequently, you can savor all your beloved dishes without any reservations, including those that are chewy or require a bit of extra force to bite into.
Dental implants are widely regarded as the superior choice for replacing missing teeth, often preferred over dentures. The key advantages of dental implants encompass enhanced functionality, oral health, and appearance, making them an excellent option for individuals seeking to revive their smile.
For those considering tooth replacement, dental implants offer a long-lasting solution that is both comfortable and resilient. With diligent maintenance, you can relish the benefits of this tooth replacement alternative for an extended period, ensuring a smile that stands the test of time.
The Different Types Of Restorative Dental Treatments
As the saying goes, ‘A smile is the most beautiful thing you can wear every day.’ And yet some people may find it difficult to wear a smile. This is often rooted in dental issues that affect their self-confidence. Aside from cosmetic appeal, some dental problems can also cause functional issues that can affect your overall oral health.
While preventive care is the best way to keep your smile looking beautiful and your oral health staying functional, if your teeth become decayed or damaged, several types of restorative dental procedures can help fix them.
The expert dentists from Restorative & Aesthetic Dental Associates share the basics of restorative dentistry and the different types of treatment available.
Understanding Restorative Dentistry
Restorative dentistry is a branch of dentistry that focuses on replacing or repairing teeth. Its main goal is to improve oral health and function, specifically chewing and speaking. It helps you achieve long-lasting oral health while restoring your smile and confidence. A general or family dentist often performs restorative dentistry.
Types Of Restorative Dental Procedures
Depending on your unique oral health issues, various dental restoration procedures help restore your smile and oral functions. These include the following:
Fillings are a minor restorative procedure that helps prevent further damage to your teeth. Generally, poor oral health cause the influx of bacteria that eats your tooth enamel, causing a black hole called a cavity. Smaller cavities can easily be repaired with dental fillings.
A dentist will remove the decayed portion during a filling and sanitize the area. This stops the progression of tooth decay and prevents further damage. Then the dentist will fill the hole with composite resin to restore the distinctive look and function of the affected tooth.
2. Root Canal
Root canals are the extreme version of a regular filling. When a crack or cavity goes deep enough into your tooth and reaches the pulp, it causes a painful infection. Generally, the tooth can still be saved with a root canal.
With this dental procedure, a dentist removes the infected pulp within the affected tooth’s root canal, including the blood vessels and nerves inside your tooth. Then they’ll disinfect the area to prevent bacterial growth. The dentist will fill the canals with a dental material and place a filling to seal the tooth. This prevents bacteria from entering the hole, which helps preserve the tooth and extends its useful life.
Generally, patients are also advised to get a crown on the affected tooth to provide additional support and strength.
A dental crown is used to restore broken teeth or repair large cavities. Also known as a cap, a dental crown is a tooth-like material that fits over an affected tooth. Think of it as an outer shell custom-fitted to fit the affected tooth and protect it from further damage. Dental crowns are made of various materials—from ceramic that can match the natural tooth color to gold for extreme durability.
With this procedure, a dentist will take an impression of your bite to create a crown that perfectly fits your overall dental structure. While it’s being prepared, your dentist will alter your tooth, removing some part of your tooth enamel so they can place a crown over it. Once ready, the crown will be held in place with dental cement.
Dental crowns are one of the best restorative procedures since it helps bring back power and strength to your bite while preserving an existing tooth despite previous decay and injury.
4. Onlays And Inlays
If a cavity is too small for a dental crown but too big for a filling, an onlay or inlay is preferred. Onlays and inlays are custom materials that fit into your natural tooth structure. The only difference is that an onlay fills at least one cusp, while an inlay covers an area between the cusps.
5. Dental Implants
A dental implant is one of the most reliable forms of tooth replacement, replicating a natural tooth’s feel, look, and functionality. That said, it’s an invasive procedure requiring surgery and has a long recovery time. Generally, your dentist must install a small threaded-metal post within your jaw to replace the missing tooth root. A dental implant combines with other restorative procedures like crowns to function correctly.
A safer and non-invasive alternative to dental implants, dentures have been the traditional method for teeth replacement. It is the most economical and fastest way to replace your teeth to ensure the full functionality of your mouth.
Unlike most procedures, dentures are removable and should be cleaned regularly. They are custom fitted to rest on the gums, with the jawbone supporting the material.
You deserve to eat comfortably and smile and speak with confidence. So if you have damaged or missing teeth caused by an injury, infection, or decay, know that it doesn’t have to be a normal part of you. Restorative dentistry can help fix just about any dental issue you may have so you can regain your beautiful smile while ensuring the full function of your teeth.
7 Recommended Pre-Wedding Day Treatments, According to a Harley Street Dermatologist
With wedding season fast approaching, brides-to-be are putting in a lot of effort to ensure they look their best on their big day. However, between guest lists, financial commitments, venue organisation, food hire and back-to-back appointments with other suppliers, skincare can take a backseat. Many people don’t realise how much damage stress and anxiety can have on the skin, leading to issues such as dull complexion, dark circles, premature ageing, and breakouts. To help brides achieves a flawless and radiant complexion for their wedding day, we spoke to Dr Hiba Injibar, consultant dermatologist at Dermasurge Clinic, who shares her 7 recommended pre-wedding day treatments.
Microneedling is a minimally invasive treatment that uses small needles to create tiny punctures in the skin, which stimulates the skin’s natural healing process and collagen production. This treatment is effective in reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars, giving you a smooth complexion for your wedding day. Microneedling is also beneficial for improving skin texture and glow, giving the skin a more youthful appearance. Most patients can expect to see an improvement in just 3 treatments, spaced 30 days apart, so I would recommend microneedling 3-6 months before your wedding day. Though the skin may appear red for 2-3 days after microneedling (like a mild sunburn) there is no downtime, making it the perfect option for brides with busy schedules.
2. Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser Skin Resurfacing is an innovative treatment that can effectively address a range of skin concerns, including wrinkles, sagging, pigmentation problems, lines, and even some forms of pre-skin cancer. In just a few sessions, it can help brides achieve their dream flawless complexion, making it a popular pre-wedding day treatment. With a controlled depth of penetration, laser skin resurfacing can safely and effectively treat both superficial and deeper skin issues, even in the most delicate facial features. The ResurFX treatment utilises thermal energy to remove the damaged outer layers of the skin, revealing fresher, healthier skin beneath and stimulating the skin’s natural repair functions. This treatment is highly effective at smoothing the skin, evening out tone, and brightening the complexion, with the skin repair process continuing for up to 6 months post-treatment. The side effects are mild and tolerable, with redness, swelling or temporary bruising for a few days after treatment.
3. Chemical peels
Chemical peels are a popular pre-wedding day treatment that exfoliates the skin by applying a chemical solution to remove the outer layers of damaged skin. The treatment involves applying the solution on the skin for a few minutes before rinsing it off. The duration of the peel depends on the strength of the solution, with lighter peels taking only a couple of minutes and deeper peels taking up to 10-15 minutes. This type of treatment can help to improve skin tone, acne, scarring, wrinkles, fine lines sun damage and pigmentation. In general, the downtime required after a light chemical peel is around 3-5 days, while medium-depth treatments may require 5-7 days, and deep peels can require up to 10 days of downtime. Patients should avoid direct sunlight for 1-2 weeks after the treatment, so this treatment is best scheduled a month before your wedding day and honeymoon.
HydraFacial has become a buzzword in the world of skincare, and it’s a particularly popular treatment for brides-to-be. The HydraFacial is a non-invasive, multi-step treatment that combines the benefits of hydra dermabrasion, chemical peel, and automated painless extractions. The procedure helps to detoxify, exfoliate, and hydrate the skin, leaving it with a refreshed and rejuvenated appearance. The treatment uses a special machine to infuse nourishing serums into the skin, which can be customised to address specific skin concerns such as acne, fine lines, dull skin, dry texture, and hyperpigmentation. One of the biggest advantages of the HydraFacial is that it is gentle enough to be done on the day of the wedding with no downtime, and can provide an instant boost to the skin’s radiance and glow.
5. Non-surgical Liquid Facelift
Many patients looking for firmer, smoother skin often think that expensive and invasive surgical procedures are their only option. However, with a non-surgical liquid facelift, patients can achieve facial volume restoration and lift without going under the knife. The treatment involves combining botulinum toxin anti-wrinkle injections with hyaluronic acid dermal fillers, which are injected into specific areas of the face in controlled doses. This allows for a subtle tightening and addition of volume to the skin, while respecting the natural facial structure. The effects of the treatment can last up to 18 months, but repeat treatments may be necessary for prolonged results. Some temporary side effects, such as bruising, swelling, redness, and tenderness may occur for a couple of days post-treatment. The non-invasive and effective nature of liquid facelifts has made it a popular choice for brides looking for a rejuvenated appearance before their big day.
6. Vampire Facial (PRP)
PRP, also known as the “vampire facial,” is a minimally invasive treatment that involves extracting a small sample of the patient’s blood and processing it to obtain platelets rich in growth factors. These platelets are then injected into the treatment area, stimulating the skin’s natural defence mechanisms, and promoting the production of collagen and HA. PRP has numerous benefits for brides before their wedding day, including improving texture, reducing scarring, and enhancing elasticity. It is suitable for use on various areas of the body, including the face, neck, hands, and even the eyes. There is only 24 hours of downtime, where patients should expect some bruising and swelling, before returning to their daily routines.
Profhilo is a safe and effective non-surgical treatment that’s designed to address skin laxity, rather than just wrinkles and creases, making it a great option for mature brides. The treatment is composed of 100% Hyaluronic Acid (HA) which deeply nourishes dermal cells and restores skin firmness. Profhilo works by moisturising the skin from the inside out, resulting in the elimination of any crepey tissue. The entire process takes less than 30 minutes and does not require any downtime, unlike more invasive surgeries. It is typically used on facial areas, but can also be used to rejuvenate the neck, decollete, arms, knees, and hands. After undergoing the treatment, it’s normal to experience some redness, itching or tenderness in the treated area, but these side effects typically dissipate within 24 hours. For brides, it’s recommended to undergo a second treatment of 2ml about a month after the initial treatment for optimal results.
How Your Business Can Work Smarter Not Harder with Software
Running a business can be a challenging and time-consuming process. In fact, it’s incredibly easy to consider that long hours and gruelling days are the only way to achieve success. Fortunately for many, this is not the case. The latest research from Microsoft Power Platform experts, Pragmatiq, shows that with the right software, businesses can work smarter, not harder, helping to maximise quality, output levels and ultimately profits whilst avoiding employee burnout.
Utilising the latest technology and software can aid business performance in multiple areas, including collaboration. In fact, studies have shown that firms promoting collaborative working are 5 times more likely to be high performing.
Below, we will explore some of the ways that businesses can benefit from using software to streamline their operations, maximise their efficiency, and increase profits.
Advantages of Software in Business
There are numerous advantages that software can bring to a business by making a positive impact on productivity, efficiency, customer satisfaction, and overall success. By investing in the right tools, businesses can improve their daily operations to gain a competitive edge in their industry.
After analysing workplace behaviours, Pragmatiq has produced guidance on how businesses can embrace digital transformation to work smarter, not harder by using a variety of Microsoft products.
1. Automate repetitive tasks
Repetitive tasks can be a significant drain on employee time and productivity. By using software to automate these tasks, businesses can free up employee time for more important projects and challenges that require human input. Automation’s impact on business is increasing by the day and is predicted to boost global productivity growth by 0.8-1.4% every year. Many businesses are taking full advantage of Microsoft’s Power Automate software, to create workflows that automate data-based tasks, such as approval sign off, file syncing, email and notification automation, data collection and much more to save time on common business processes. In fact, 79% of business owners view automation as the answer to improved productivity in the workplace.
2. Centralise data
Many businesses store data in different locations or on different systems, making it difficult to access and manage. Making use of software to centralise data helps businesses improve collaboration and decision-making processes. A customer relationship management (CRM) system is commonly used to store customer data which can make it easier for sales and marketing teams to access and use the information before making key decisions.
3. Streamline processes
Businesses can benefit from using software to streamline their processes, reducing the time and effort required to complete tasks. Tools such as inventory management software can help businesses keep track of stock levels, automate the reordering process, and reduce the risk of running out of stock and damage to profits.
4. Enhance communication
Effective communication is essential for businesses to succeed, especially with around 87% of workers electing to work from home if given the option. By using software such as Microsoft Teams to enhance communication, businesses can improve collaboration, productivity, and customer satisfaction. By integrating Microsoft Teams alongside project management software, teams can communicate effectively about deadlines and project progress, ensuring all employees involved are working to the same timeline.
5. Provide insights and analytics
By utilising valuable insights and analytics provided by smart software can help businesses to make informed decisions. For example, examining sales data, allows businesses to identify trends, optimise pricing, improve marketing strategies, and develop future campaigns based on gaps and opportunities in the market. In one example, an innovative diagnostic imaging company, medneo, implemented Microsoft’s analytics solution, Power BI. They reported improved visibility and access to information, time savings, enhanced reporting and insights, among the advantages of implementing this.
Software can be scaled up or down to meet the ever-changing needs of a business. This makes it easier for companies and organisations to adapt to new challenges and opportunities, such as changes in customer demand, market conditions, or business growth. Software as a Service (SaaS) also eliminates the need for businesses to invest in expensive hardware, software, and infrastructure as the cost of implementing and maintaining the software is typically included in a subscription fee.
7. Staff Satisfaction
Working smarter rather than harder by using software not only benefits all facets of business, but it also improves work-life balance and staff satisfaction. By providing employees with tools to manage workloads better, set priorities, and track progress. This can help reduce stress, create a positive and supportive work environment, and lead to greater job satisfaction and employee retention. However, a survey discovered that more than half of employees contacted reported being unhappy at work due to software frustrations, so implementing the right software that supports the specific needs of a business is essential to workforce happiness.
Transforming business through software
Success stories are churning out by the hour for companies who are adopting software that can help their businesses thrive.
Rigour Survey, that provides precision surveys to architectural, engineering and construction clients, were hindered by multiple spreadsheets, SharePoint lists, emails and other manual processes. Searching for key information became difficult, and gaining visibility of project resources was increasingly challenging due to disconnected systems.
A series of IT solutions were implemented to support day-to-day processes and improve the way projects were managed across the businesses. Pragmatiq also worked with the client to integrate other tools, such as Outlook and SharePoint to enhance operations and suit Rigour’s specific needs.
These measures helped deliver:
- Time savings
- Increased user adoption
- Better collaboration
- Improved access to information
- A stable platform for future growth
- Enhanced reporting and insights
By leveraging the power of software, businesses can expect improvements in operations, reduced costs, and achieve greater success.
How Forecasting can Drive Better Cashflow for SMEs
The success of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) depends on many different factors. Data is a key one. When properly analysed, it not only provides them with detailed and meaningful insight into how their business is doing, but it also enables them to better get to grips with their customer’s needs, and see and respond to key market trends.
Above all, data analytics allows companies to forecast for the future. Thanks to the advent of predictive analytics tools such as machine learning algorithms or modelling software, SMEs can now look at historical data and make projections for what may happen in the years ahead.
By assessing a host of different factors, they can soon identify key performance indicators such as potential customer churn, predict sales growth, or forecast demand for products or services. As a result, firms can better plan for downturns and inflationary periods, in addition to seeking new opportunities to capitalise upon.
Cashflow is key
Forecasting can be broken down into five main categories: cashflow, sales, startup cost, expense and demand. Cashflow is the most important. It allows businesses to predict how much money they will bring in and spend over a defined period. The more accurate the forecast is, the better the business will operate because it can plan ahead more easily depending on the money that it has and where there are deficiencies. Given that 82% of businesses fail due to poor cash management, it’s paramount that companies get their cashflow right.
Accurate forecasting starts with having access to the right data. To make sure that it’s as accurate as possible, firms need to take into consideration many different variables, such as seasonality, terms of payment, the time taken between work being completed and getting paid, and ways to incentivise people to pay on time. But it’s not just the money flowing in that they need to focus on. They also have to look at their outgoings. These can range from inventory, and rent or mortgages to payroll, tax obligations, supplies and other monthly operational costs. It also encompasses any large future financial commitments, such as upgrading equipment or machinery.
Keeping up to date
But it’s not enough simply to carry out a forecast every once in a while. It’s vital to conduct regular forecasts to ensure that they are as updated and relevant as possible. For best practice, SMEs should ideally do one, three and five-year forecasts. On top of that, they need to keep track of their revenue on a weekly basis. This allows them to quickly identify when and which expenses need to be reduced. It also flags up prime opportunities to invest in and grow the business.
Communication is also key to accurate cash flow forecasting. An effective forecast requires input from a variety of different stakeholders throughout the organisation who can provide important figures and valuable insights that will increase the understanding of what drives the numbers. For example, if a company decides to expand into another market, by using real data and figures , they can forecast their cash flow to see if they can afford it.
Assessing different scenarios
There are primarily three different scenarios that organisations need to predict within cashflow forecasting. The first is the base case, which is calculated according to a normal business as usual cashflow forecast. Second is the worst case scenario, which is based on a range of factors including the highest possible discount rate, inflation rate, input pricing and interest rates. Finally, there is the best case, which may include the highest possible revenue growth rate and lowest possible expenses, rates and favourable economic conditions.
Choosing the right tool
Firms have access to many different online financial forecasting tools that they can use to create their cashflow forecasts. By plugging in the data from the company’s accounting software and databases, they can be tailored to show projections over different time periods.
With so many different solutions to choose from, it’s vital to pick one that meets the needs of the business. What may be right for one company may not be for another, even if it’s in the same industry.
If SMEs can more accurately forecast their cash flow, they can start to plan for the future. If the last year alone has taught us anything, it’s to be prepared for unexpected economic shocks. That’s why it’s vital for companies to stay on top of their finances during these increasingly turbulent times.
Chirag Shah, founder and CEO of Nucleus Commerical Finance and Pulse.io has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry and a deep understanding of the needs of UK SMEs.
In 2011, he founded Nucleus, a leading alternative finance provider, to offer flexible and tailored solutions for SMEs across various sectors and stages of growth. With an understanding of the challenges that UK SMEs face in the current economic climate, Chirag launched Pulse in October 2022, a free-to-use service that helps businesses and accountants gain insights into financial performance with AI-powered data visualisation and personalised dashboards. Chirag is not only committed to driving growth and innovation in the UK business ecosystem, but he’s also helping SMEs better understand their data to boost their profitability and guide them towards success.
Get The Rustic Yet Bright Look For Your Home
25th May 2023
You will agree the rustic interior gives the most calmness. It gives us a traditional vibe and returns us to the classic days. Here’s a guide on how to get a rustic yet bright look for your home.
You could achieve a rustic look with the right choice of interior elements. To be specific, wooden furniture, modern art frames, sculptures, and vintage items give a rustic look to your living room. More on this below.
Ideas On Rustic Yet Bright Look For Your Home
With better ideas, you could create a more creative and rustic bright look for your home. These ideas will help you to get the best out of your rustic DIY journey.
Incorporate Modern Art
Modern art will help you to achieve a rustic look in your house. With a stylish wooden frame, it works because colour combinations with brown wood frames always amplify the character of your space. Painting and sculpting is a great way to incorporate modern art. So buy up some modern art and place it in your house.
For example, the painting could be set on a plain white background. Moreover, you could buy several paintings and place them on one wall. It will add a modern vibe while giving a rustic feel to your living room.
Place Some Vintage Items
Try to gather up some vintage furniture. You might find it in your grandma’s house or an antique shop. Then, simply bring them to your house and place them accordingly. To be specific, wooden furniture is the one which will provide you with the most rustic vibe out of all.
More so, you could find vintage clocks. They are one of the great elements of home decoration. These clocks with Roman letters are the best when you want a bright yet vintage vibe. All in all, scatter these vintage items and furniture so it blends into your rustic interior décor.
Add Some Nature Vibe
Why not add some indoor plants to your decoration? Adding indoor plants will surely give a modern flavor to your rustic interior. Whether it’s peace lilies or snake plants, they all blend into the interior while purifying the air.
Meanwhile, stay moderate with indoor plants. Keep them in moderate numbers and match them with the rustic feel. Go for something other than bigger indoor plants. Instead, medium-sized indoor plants will be perfect for all. Nowadays, indoor plants have become a huge part of the interior as they also calm your eyes. So remember to add to your living room design.
How To Incorporate Rustic Décor Into Your Living Room
In the first step, select all furniture and other bigger items. Once you are done, select the modern arts and sculpture. In the end, work on indoor plants. Afterward, try to select accessories, gadgets, and additional elements.
Now, start blending them. Set up the light accordingly. Make sure you utilize most of the room space. Plus, always keep a consistent wood colour throughout the room. At the same time, if you are moving out from a rental house, ensure you complete essential responsibilities for a smooth transition.
That’s all about how to get a rustic yet bright look for your home. It’s quite easy to bring the rustic feel. You need to utilize the furniture and vintage objects.
But most of all, make sure to avoid over lighting. Instead, go for natural lighting from windows. It will give you the classic vibe of your room.
Let’s check out some questions briefly.
What Goes Well With Rustic Furniture?Modern and traditional wall painting and art go well with rustic furniture. Make sure you hang plenty of modern paintings with wooden farming on a single wall
How To Design a Rustic Interior?
You need to work with wooden furniture, keep the tone to wooden colour, try to have texture on wooden pieces and utilize natural light to have a proper interior that looks rustic in design.
How Can I Make My Living Room Look Stylish?
Remember, don’t clutter your living room with only a few objects. Stay simple and modern in design. Instead, have a comfy blanket on the couch. Having a better color combination helps as well.
Mitigating Risks in 2023: Strategies for Business Leaders
The UK’s business landscape has always been a fruitful and diverse one, rich in opportunity. But recent years have brought significant, unique, and unprecedented challenges to the nation – and navigating the business landscape in 2023 has become somewhat difficult for investors and business leaders.
The chief challenge that businesses and investors are having to contend with is the rise in inflation and the corresponding hikes to interest rates. In such a dynamic economic environment, it is nothing short of crucial for businesses to adopt proactive risk management practices, both to safeguard their operations and maintain longer-term financial stability. What strategies can business leaders employ to mitigate the unique risks posed by present times?
The Effects of Rising Inflation and Interest Rates
The UK has been experiencing sustained high levels of inflation for over 18 months, initially brought on by disruption to the international energy market. High wholesale costs, exacerbated by fresh barriers to trade induced by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, rippled into other industries and consumer markets, causing the Bank of England to attempt deflationary measures through rising interest rates.
Rising inflation increases operating costs and reduces profitability for businesses while rising interest rates make borrowing more costly over time. Repayment rates can increase considerably, making cash flow more important than ever.
Prioritising Health and Safety Compliance
In the pursuit of cost savings, there are some businesses that may be tempted to cut corners with regard to health and safety in the form of reduced time and spending on training, for example. However, not only is this kind of approach usually illegal, but the risks it poses can lead to significant costs through civil action. By ensuring they remain compliant with health and safety regulations, businesses maintain safe working environments, reducing the likelihood of incidents and mitigating the potential financial and reputational consequences of such incidents. Going above and beyond with regard to health and safety can also boost productivity, through raising trust between staff and management.
Proactive Risk Mitigation Strategies
Mitigating risk is not something that can be achieved passively – nor is it something that can be achieved reactively. To react means to have endured, which often means the damage is done. Instead, businesses need to adopt a proactive approach that involves identifying potential risks and taking appropriate measures to mitigate them.
One key method to approach this is to conduct risk assessments tailored to specific industry processes, landscapes, or operations. Risk assessments are often thought of as a health and safety measure but can also be extremely useful as a structure for identifying weak points in a department, project or business model – let alone priming a business for future challenges and disruptions.
Turning the drafting of a risk assessment into a wider company culture can also help to fortify it against potential difficulties. Encouraging employees to speak up with their own concerns, whether through a concerted transparency push or an internal whistleblowing system, can be a strong way to build resilience – providing business executives are prepared to listen.
3 Good Reasons to Hire a Business Consultant and 3 Tips for Getting the Most from Them
In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, leaders must navigate through various challenges. From entering new markets to keeping up with technological advancements and adjusting to economic fluctuations, things can get quite rough.
All these make running a business quite challenging, which is why so many leaders turn to business consultants. Business consultants offer specialized knowledge in areas like strategy and management, operations, human resources, and more.
In simpler terms, a business consultant’s main purpose is to analyze a company’s current state and devise tailor-made solutions designed to help it reach its business objectives. But is this the right solution for your business as well?
We listed a few benefits that come from working with a consultant and a few tips on how to get the most out of the experience.
3 Reasons to Hire a Business Consultant
An external consultant is a significant dip in your expenses, especially for an SMB. So, it’s natural to want to make sure the collaboration will provide results. Here are the top 3 reasons why business owners usually decide to take the plunge and hire a business consultant:
Access to specialized expertise
Small and medium-sized businesses may not have the resources or need for a full-time expert in a particular area.
Therefore, by hiring a business consultant, you can gain access to specialized knowledge on an as-needed basis. This way, you don’t have to commit to the expenses associated with an in-house employee. This allows your business to address specific challenges (such as coping with a changing workplace) effectively and implement improvements that lead to growth.
Objective assessments and fresh perspectives
As an impartial outsider, a business consultant can provide unbiased assessments of your business processes, identify areas that require attention, and offer innovative solutions.
Their objective viewpoint can unveil underlying issues that might have been overlooked by those too close to the situation, ultimately leading to more effective decision-making and operational improvements.
Flexibility and cost efficiency
Consultants are typically hired for a specific period or project, which allows for better cost control and resource distribution. This approach ensures you are only paying for the services you require while reaping the benefits of expert advice tailored to your unique needs.
How to Find the Right Business Consultant
Hiring a business consultant has a wide range of benefits, but how do you find the right one for your business?
Here are a few tips to help you out:
Identify your specific needs
Before you begin searching for a business consultant, take the time to understand your company’s unique requirements and challenges.
Evaluate any areas where you need expert guidance, whether it’s strategic planning, financial management, or operational efficiency. For small and medium-sized businesses with limited resources, identifying specific goals and objectives will help narrow down your search and ensure the consultant you hire can deliver tangible results tailored to meet those needs.
Look for industry experience and relevant expertise
Prioritize candidates who have demonstrated experience in your industry or sector. Their insights will be more relevant to your specific circumstances, allowing them to offer practical advice based on real-world understanding.
Additionally, consider the consultant’s track record of success with small and medium-sized businesses – this experience can better align their approach with the challenges and constraints faced by organizations of similar size.
Seek reliable referrals and testimonials
Reach out to other entrepreneurs in the field, your professional network, or industry associations for suggestions on reputable consultants they have collaborated with successfully in the past.
Also, review case studies or client testimonials endorsing your top 5 candidates’ work to confirm they have the right skills to guide your business toward the goals you want to accomplish.
A business consultant can offer access to specialized expertise, objective assessments, and a flexible, cost-efficient approach. And these benefits apply to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
But, to make the most of this collaboration, you have to clearly identify your needs, choose consultants with industry experience, and make sure they have a successful track record with similar-sized businesses. By choosing the right consultant for your unique requirements and challenges, you increase the chances of achieving your business objectives.
The Basics of Lean Manufacturing: Principles and Terms to Understand
In today’s competitive global market, incorporating the principles of lean manufacturing is crucial for any business striving to maximize efficiency and reduce waste. When properly implemented, these time-tested approaches can lead to increased profitability and better product quality.
Not only that, but you’ll also experience higher customer satisfaction. With that said, the terms associated with lean manufacturing can be confusing to outsiders. Here, we’ll explain them.
What is Lean Manufacturing?
Lean manufacturing is a systematic approach for identifying and eliminating waste in operations. Its goal is to continuously improve production efficiency and quality by focusing on customer value. As a consequence, lean manufacturing reduces overhead costs and wastes less time.
What are the 5 Principles of Lean Manufacturing?
Lean manufacturing follows 5 core principles: value, the value stream, flow, pull, and perfection. These principles are used to implement lean manufacturing and all of the benefits that follow.
The first principle emphasizes that you must understand what the customer perceives as valuable in order to provide products or services that meet their expectations. These valuable goods are created by the manufacturer, who does what they can to eliminate costs and waste.
2. The Value Stream
A value stream consists of all the activities, from raw materials to finished products, needed for creating customer value. It’s essential to identify and optimize every step. This is because modern manufacturing streams are pretty complex and require significant effort to complete.
This principle focuses on improving processes so that value-added steps flow smoothly without delays or interruptions. The whole process involves eliminating functional barriers to effectively improve lead times. If disruptions occur, then the manufacturer will incur unnecessary costs.
Instead of pushing products through manufacturing based on forecasts, the pull principle relies on actual demand from customers to drive production. Since product forecasts are often unreliable, the pull system is optimal, as it relies on flexibility, efficiency, and communication.
Organizations will strive for perfection using a process called Kaizen, which will be explained in the next section. The connection between Gemba walk and Kaizen principles shows that to reach perfection, you need to continuously assess and fix your manufacturing process.
What Lean Manufacturing Terms Should You Know?
Lean manufacturing terms can be confusing at first glance. That’s because most of the more famous ones are in Japanese, as car manufacturer Toyota technically invented the methodology.
Here are 10 major lean manufacturing terms you should be aware of:
- Gemba (The Real Place): This concept highlights the importance of spending time on the plant floor. This practice gives you a better understanding of your operations.
- Heijunka (Level Scheduling): An approach that aims at levelling out production workload throughout operations, reducing fluctuations, and promoting efficiency.
- Hoshin Kanri (Policy Deployment): A strategic planning process ensuring proper alignment between operational goals, objectives, and resources available.
- Jidoka (Automation): Incorporating technology into processes or equipment to detect problems automatically improves quality and reduces labour time input throughout tasks.
- Just-In-Time (JIT): Focuses on production based on customer demand instead of pushing products down the line based on projected demand, which is often wasteful.
- Kaizen (Continuous Improvement): A strategy that ensures employees work together to achieve consistent, incremental improvements in their manufacturing processes.
- Kanban (Pull System): The method of regulating the flow of goods in and outside of the factory. This flow is typically based on automatic replenishment through signal cards.
- Muda (Waste): Anything that’s “Muda” is useless or doesn’t add value to the process. The elimination of waste is often a core reason why lean manufacturing is implemented.
- Poka-Yoke (Error Proofing): Simple devices or mechanisms designed to prevent mistakes before they happen in order to improve quality and reduce overall waste.
- Takt Time (Manufacturing Pace): Takt time is the ideal rate at which you need to produce a product in order to meet customer demand within available working hours.
It’s important to note that the lean manufacturing process also uses terms that are utilized in other businesses. For example, bottleneck analysis, KPIs, overall equipment effectiveness, PDCA, root cause analysis, and SMED are also passed around in lean manufacturing.
Now that you have a grasp on the fundamentals of lean manufacturing, it’s time to put these principles and terms into practice within your organization. Whether you’re new to lean methodologies or looking to refine your current processes, embracing these insights can undoubtedly propel your business toward heightened efficiency and success.
So take the leap, invest in continuous improvement, and watch as your manufacturing company reaps the tangible benefits that come with adopting lean manufacturing practices.
How Are Assets and Investments Divided After a Divorce?
Going through a divorce can be one of the most challenging experiences in life, and sorting out financial matters can make it even more complicated. Asset division is one of the most contentious issues that couples encounter during a divorce and can be one of the most expensive aspects of ending a marriage.
In particular, complexities arise when dealing with investments, real estate, and pensions, which often demand specialized knowledge to separate them without significant financial complications. And, if you are dealing with grief, this process can seem overwhelming.
In this blog post, we will explore how assets and investments are divided in a divorce to help you understand the process better and obtain the compensation you deserve.
Dividing Assets and Investments After a Divorce
If you and your former partner have been planning for future financial security, the chances are that, throughout your life together, you have built a portfolio of properties, insurance policies, investments, and other assets.
Diving these assets during a divorce is not straightforward, and each separation is often analysed on a case-by-case basis. However, a layer will help you split the following assets equally:
Family homes and real estate: When dividing the family home and other real estate, factors such as who will retain custody of the children or who can afford to keep the property are taken into consideration.
Credit cards: The division of credit card debt depends on whose name the card is in and who accrued the charges, with both parties possibly responsible for any outstanding balances.
Investment accounts: Investment accounts can be split evenly or divided based on each spouse’s contributions to them during the marriage, among other factors.
Loans and debt: Debts such as mortgages, car loans, and personal loans are divided based on whose name they are under and what assets they were used to purchase.
Retirement accounts and social security: Retirement accounts and social security benefits earned during the marriage may be split equally or based on each spouse’s individual contributions or earnings history.
Life insurance and other insurance policies: Life insurance policies may be designated to one spouse or divided between them if they were purchased during the marriage, while other insurance policies such as a car or health insurance are typically maintained by each individual separately after divorce.
Other aspects accounted for during a divorce include separate and marital properties, prenuptial agreements, and assets that cannot be divided. Let’s look at these elements in more detail below.
Separate vs. Marital Property
When dividing assets during a divorce, it is crucial to distinguish between separate and marital property. Separate property refers to assets that are solely owned by one spouse before the marriage or acquired during the marriage through inheritance or gift.
These properties are not usually divided during a divorce. Marital property, on the other hand, includes everything else acquired during the marriage and is split fairly and equally during a separation.
A prenup is essentially a legal contract between the spouses that outlines how assets will be divided if the marriage ends.
Prenups can cover everything from property and business interests to debts and spousal support. They can also address issues like inheritance, family trusts, and retirement accounts. If you are thinking about a prenup, it’s best to speak with an attorney who specializes in family law to help draft an agreement that meets your specific needs.
Assets That Cannot Be Divided During a Divorce
Some assets are simply not divided during a divorce. These include:
- Premarital property
- Gifts received during the marriage
- Inheritance received during the marriage
- Assets acquired after a permanent separation
- Property excluded through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
What Does it Cost to Get a Divorce?
Before undergoing a divorce, it is important to understand the financial repercussions of this choice. According to recent statistics, the average cost of a divorce in the US is as high as $12,900, while the median cost of a divorce is $7,500.
If you are undergoing an uncontested divorce and you and your former partner agreed on the division of your assets and on child custody, you can reduce these costs to $4,100.
However, if you are facing disputes regarding asset division or alimony, you will require the support of a full-scope attorney. The hourly fee requested by a specialized professional can be as high as $270, which can increase the cost of your divorce to $11,300 per spouse.
Additionally, if you decide to go to trial, you and your former spouse will need to face fees as high as $23,300.
If you are unsure about the financial implications of a divorce, a specialized attorney can help you consider the price of divorce and choose the best option for your needs.
Partnering With a Specialised Attorney
When you are in the process of ending your marriage, you may be blinded by grief and overwhelmed.
This can cause you to act spontaneously or emotionally, which can lead to significant financial losses and repercussions in the long term. A specialized attorney can fight your corner and help you obtain the compensations and assets you are entitled to during a divorce.
Expanding Your Business Internationally: What to Consider
Expanding a business across different markets across the globe can pose various challenges, as well as opportunities.
This article will look at the different ways your business could be affected, and the chances to grow, as you expand your business internationally.
As many businesses operate across multiple markets, it is important to take heed of any opportunities that come your way. But what opportunities could be presented, and how can you make the most of them to grow your business?
Access to new markets
Perhaps the most obvious opportunity that presents itself when expanding internationally is new markets becoming available. International expansion opens doors to previously untapped markets, increasing the potential for sales and, ultimately, higher turnover and revenue.
These new markets may be easily accessible too, thanks to modern transport, as we deal with various changes across the world.
Helen Brown, Sales and Marketing Manager at Electrix, leading manufacturer and stockist of Stainless Steel Enclosures , said of selling to markets that are based outside of your operating country: “Despite being based in another continent, the transportation options that are available to us (as a daily international shipper) can often result in transit times from the UK to the US being faster than buying internally in the US.”
“In addition, because of the effects that Brexit has had on moving goods from the UK to Europe, shipping our electrical enclosures, wireway and trunking systems to the US can prove to be more efficient. This demonstrates the benefit of us being visible globally and helps to offset any challenges closer to home.”
International diversification is a technique whereby an organisation uses international expansion as an opportunity to manage risk and protect the business in changing markets.
By spreading operations across the globe, you are not only able to attract new customers in new markets, but also able to mitigate potential risks in individual countries.
Operating a business across alternative markets while differing the business in style and size in those markets, as well as spreading assets across markets, can help to offset the impact of any economical event or crisis.
An example would be a business operating in markets in Asia, as well as the UK; the Asian market would help to manage and reduce the overall impact to the company arising from something happening specifically in the UK.
Put simply, if sales are going down in your domestic market, you lean on profit from sales in other regions.
Access to a Larger Talent Pool
Operating in different markets can allow your business to attract some of the best talent the world has to offer, and means you can localise the business in those different markets.
Challenges to International Expansion
Of course, as well as the opportunities that may become available when expanding across the world, the situation is also likely to present a number of challenges. What are those challenges, how could they affect business plans, and importantly how can businesses look to overcome them?
Language Barriers and Cultural Differences
Different countries have different languages; although that isn’t going to be a surprise to any business looking to expand internationally. It is important, however, to consider the language of the market you are going to expand into.
This can be relevant to the brand messaging, and even the name of the company. Does the name translate well, does it not make sense, or worse, does it translate into something negative and even offensive in the market in question?
Language barriers can also cause communication problems in different countries. Consider the languages spoken in your business locations, and to give your expansion the best chance of success, look to employ local talent who have a knowledge of the area and the market.
If sending staff from a headquarters or main global office to locations around the globe, it can be worth considering the use of interpreters.
Not only is understanding and communicating effectively important for the brand image and reputation, a failure to tackle a language barrier could result in an expensive overseas trip becoming a costly waste of time.
Cultural differences are also something to consider, with working hours and even working days differentiating across the world.
Many Arab countries have traditionally had weekends on Thursdays and Fridays, and while this is in some cases changing for economic benefit, working days remain something to consider when expanding into new markets, both for business reasons and respecting culture.
It is also important to consider [MC2] the implications of working in different time zones, such as communication with clients and colleagues.
Managing Global Teams
Managing teams across the world is another challenge of expansion, and as we have seen with language and cultural issues, these are obstacles that need to be overcome. Even once you have implemented a regional team, it is important to have strong communication between offices and teams.
Regular check ins with other teams and managers can keep employees engaged with the business, resulting in higher levels of productivity. It is also important not to leave global teams feeling isolated – employees can be up to 15 times more disengaged if they feel they are ignored at work. Utilise technology to effectively communicate regularly.
By making the decision to expand globally, you are opening your business up to a range of opportunities and challenges.
As a business, making the most of any opportunities and capitalising on them are key to making it a success – when done effectively it can be used to offset risk in the home market.
Challenges, if dealt with efficiently, should not derail the plans and expansion, and they can even become opportunities over time.
How To Get A Youthful Glow If You Have Mature Skin
Maintaining a youthful glow can seem challenging, particularly as your skin matures. But don’t worry! Age is just a number, and your skin can continue to shine and sparkle, radiating with vitality, if you give it the proper care and attention.
Here are some golden rules to help you achieve that coveted youthful glow, even if you have mature skin.
1. Shield your skin
Too much sun is one of the primary causes of ageing skin, so shielding your skin from harmful UV rays is crucial. Make sure to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily, even on cloudy days.
Choose a sun cream that also contains antioxidants and can also protect your skin from environmental stressors, including free radicals. Don’t forget to wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat for extra protection.
2. Exfoliate regularly
Exfoliating your skin helps to remove dead skin cells that can make your complexion look dull. As we age, the natural process of cell turnover slows down, so it’s essential to incorporate exfoliation into your skincare routine.
Use a gentle exfoliant that is designed for mature skin, such as products with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or enzymatic exfoliants. Aim to exfoliate one to two times per week, depending on your skin type and tolerance.
3. Invest in quality skincare
Choose skincare products that are specifically formulated for mature skin. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peptides, retinol, and antioxidants that work to boost collagen production, minimise wrinkles, and enhance your skin’s natural radiance.
Make sure to cleanse, tone, and moisturise your skin daily to help improve the look and health of your skin. And don’t forget to treat your neck, too, as this is an area that can also show signs of ageing.
4. Hydrate and nourish your skin
A well-hydrated and nourished complexion is key to achieving a youthful glow. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and incorporate nutrient-rich foods into your diet, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, to provide your skin with the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy and glowing.
5. Get your beauty sleep
Adequate sleep is crucial for maintaining a youthful complexion as it allows your skin to repair and regenerate itself. Aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night and establish a relaxing bedtime routine to help you wind down after a long day.
6. Try tan drops for a sun-kissed glow
To achieve a sun-kissed glow without exposing your skin to harmful UV rays, consider using face tanner drops. Tan drops are a customisable and easy-to-use self-tanning option that can be mixed with your regular moisturiser or serum. They allow you to control the intensity of your tan while avoiding the risks associated with sun exposure.
Achieving a youthful glow for mature skin is possible with the right approach and consistent care. Prioritise sun protection, exfoliate regularly, invest in quality skincare products and hydrate to nourish your skin. Incorporating these tips into your daily routine will help you maintain healthy, radiant skin at any age.
Five Garden Furniture Trends Set to Turn up The Heat This Year
24th May 2023
The Role of the CIO Changing Thanks to AI and Digital Transformation
The chief information officer (CIO) is instrumental in helping companies use technology well and achieve stated goals. However, the role of the CIO is becoming significantly different than it once was. Artificial intelligence (AI) and digital transformation are two of the primary reasons for the evolving nature of the position.
The CIO Orchestrates Digital Transformations
The CIO is typically the executive who gets other C-suite personnel on board with investing in new technologies. They are also usually the one who builds and operates new digital platforms that bring transformative results. That was a finding from a 2023 Logicalis survey where 57% of respondents viewed those duties as central to their roles.
CIOs also go beyond implementing technologies at their respective companies. They investigate how the chosen solutions could open new revenue streams and business models.
However, research elsewhere shows CIOs sacrifice to ensure their digital transformations happen fast enough. Global data published in 2023 by Dynatrace indicated these changes had accelerated at 90% of the organisations polled.
However, 55% of respondents indicated they could only meet the demand for rapid transformation by making quality, security and user experience tradeoffs. That suggests the role of the CIO requires working hard to strike a balance between aggressive technological advancement and maintaining the company’s reputation.
The CIO Manages Vast Amounts of Data
Companies that pursue AI and other technologies within digital transformations typically collect and utilise gigantic amounts of data. A 2022 MIT Technology Review Insights report highlighted how data management is a critical aspect — especially for the success of AI-driven initiatives.
The global survey of C-suite executives found that more than half of respondents expect AI to be widespread or critical for several key business functions by 2025. Moreover, 94% of those polled already use AI in their businesses.
Another important takeaway was that 72% of respondents feel data management issues will restrict what organisations can achieve with AI in the future. Additionally, 78% of participants prioritised AI and machine learning scalability over the next three years for their enterprise-level data strategies.
These findings are strong reminders that today’s CIOs must be ready and willing to devote significant parts of their workday to data management. That might mean working with existing data scientists at the company or exploring whether it’s time to hire new team members in that department. Even if information management is not the CIO’s sole responsibility, it’s becoming more prominent. Fortunately, AI algorithms can reduce wasted resources by automating many steps.
The CIO Uses Technology to Improve Business Resilience
Statistics show digital transformation as critical for business growth by 60% of senior-level executives. However, sometimes external factors push those leaders to focus on digital transformation efforts sooner than they otherwise might.
IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBV) researchers discovered that the COVID-19 pandemic was a primary driver in such technological adoption. About 60% of organisations sped up their technology implementations due to the health crisis.
The transition to greater tech usage started a bit earlier, though. The IBV’s data revealed a 560% increase in intelligent workflows since 2019.
Relatedly, there has been a 700% rise in CIOs reporting using hybrid cloud technologies since that year. However, the desired business resilience is much more likely to occur when CIOs investigate how to use cloud computing securely.
One issue found by the IBV report was that 92% of organisations could not securely enable and provide new cloud-native capabilities to internal and external partners. However, a security-centric focus pays off. Companies with integrated cloud and security strategies achieve two times the performance of peers without them.
These conclusions reveal how the role of the CIO involves carefully considering all factors that could influence the overall success of a project. Using AI or similar technology as part of a digital transformation is a great start, and the cloud can maximise efforts. However, security must remain foundational, especially since cyberattacks are increasingly elaborate and devastating.
The CIO Chooses How and When to Make Tech Investments
A 2022 Lenovo study emphasised that the role of the CIO is much broader than it once was. Nine in 10 respondents admitted their business decisions go beyond technology. Even so, these executives are the primary parties deciding when to buy new tech and what to purchase.
However, Lenovo’s research showed lots of room for improvement in existing tech stacks. In fact, 57% of CIOs said they’d like to replace at least half of their current ones, and 21% said they’d like to do that with almost everything they use now.
Moreover, the as-a-service model will likely play a significant role in enabling those investments. That’s because 63% of respondents said they were already using more technologies through that approach than the previous year’s data showed. Additionally, 92% of CIOs said they’d consider using as-a-service products to fill technology gaps.
This is an appealing way to implement artificial intelligence, which many companies are using for the first time. The as-a-service model typically makes tech investments more affordable, which can appeal to people who’d rather restrict their spending until they see notable payoffs.
The Role of the CIO Will Keep Evolving
These examples show that digital transformation and AI are driving the changing role of the CIO. However, other technologies may reshape this executive’s duties in the next several years. The CIO must work in a rapidly changing landscape, which means accepting that the job’s characteristics may shift, too.
Emily Newton is a tech journalist with over six years of experience covering how advanced technology impacts different industries. She regularly covers technology’s impact on manufacturing and the supply chain.
How to Maximise Business Opportunities with AI and Automation
Whether it be for operational heavy lifting or data management and analysis, AI and automation tools have the power to transform UK businesses.
Recent UK government statistics show that around 15% of all UK businesses have adopted at least one AI technology with the IT and legal sectors leading the way to adoption with 29.5% and 29.2% respectively.
While AI has its limitations, with disruption comes opportunity. Ben Ridgway, co-founder at iamproperty, outlines how businesses can effectively implement technology to maximise their potential.
Tech as a disruptor
Whether it’s driving efficiency or keeping up with legislation, tech can play a positive, disruptive role for businesses, freeing up time that might have been spent on admin tasks. This can allow your workforce to spend more time adding real value, whether that be prospecting new business or servicing existing clients.
Tech can enable business leaders to assume a helicopter view of their operations. It’s worth considering which services can best help you achieve this. For example, CRM platforms can help you manage your team, while revenue management systems help you earn around the clock.
There are many ways that businesses can leverage AI for business growth, with many centred around providing better and more personalised customer service.
Businesses today collect a wealth of data from consumers such as from cookies, social media and customer surveys. This ‘big data’, made possible by AI, provides insight into user behaviour and can be employed to develop business strategies, reach new customers and promote new products.
Reportedly, the vast majority (91%) of consumers say they would choose to shop with brands that provide offers personalised to them. AI can enable this through data analysis and algorithm creation to better understand consumer behaviour.
In recent months, even the creative industries – so often aligned with nuance, creativity and critical thought – have begun to embrace AI. ChatGPT and other AI language models have been praised for their impressively detailed, human-like responses to random questions. This can assist with everything from research tasks to coding websites and copywriting.
Increasing demand for self service
From the refuelling forecourt to the retail sector, consumer demand for self-service models is glaringly apparent.
Queueing – once such a facet of British life – is becoming less appealing with 66% of UK shoppers agreeing that they prefer self-service checkouts at the point of payment as it makes shopping more efficient. This use of digital interfaces on the shop floor accelerates processes and can reduce overall queues and waiting times.
The hospitality sector has been similarly depersonalised – expedited in part by the coronavirus crisis. 80% of consumers agree that QR codes simply make life easier with some venues now choosing to let guests order food and drink through codes or an app, dispensing with the typical server-customer dynamic at tables.
Transforming the property sector
Even property – a typically people-oriented sector – has the potential to be transformed by AI technology. AI can be used to pick up some of the heavy lifting when it comes to maximising opportunities for agents.
Using audience segmentation tools, agents can embrace personalisation principles and send out the appropriate messages to the right people at the right time and avoid their network unsubscribing from emails.
Automation can also be an effective tool in keeping agents compliant. Often, agents will have to take on compliance tasks themselves which can increase workload and the possibility of Anti-Money Laundering fines if not observed correctly. Automating these tasks with bespoke digital solutions can ensure processes don’t slip. A CRM for estate agents can simplify tasks significantly.
AI adoption can have a transformative impact across sectors and industries. Even in businesses which deal with typically traditional areas, automation can simplify mundane processes and free up more time for your experts to focus on providing services and maximising their effectiveness elsewhere.
From Isolation to Connection: 5 Tips for SMBs to Thrive in the New Era of Wellness
iStock, a leading e-commerce platform providing premium visual content to SMBs, SMEs and creatives everywhere, today revealed a practical guide to help businesses of all sizes effectively communicate and connect with their audiences when visualizing wellness in today’s world.
According to iStock’s VisualGPS research, after three years of the Covid-19 pandemic, and amid increased awareness around rising loneliness and its impacts, people around the world are continuing to reshape the concept of holistic wellness and prioritize personal well-being, with 9 out of 10 people believing physical and emotional health are equally important on their lives.
iStock’s VisualGPS findings have tracked global consumer sentiment over the last three years, tracking a shift in mindset toward a more comprehensive approach to wellness outside of physical health. The latest survey revealed, that when asked about people’s life priorities, work/life balance shifted from ranking fifth to first, from 2021 to 2022. Triggered by the pandemic, iStock’s visual experts state this shift has had a profound impact on how wellness was, is, and should be visualized to engage with their audiences in an authentic and relevant way.
Dr. Rebecca Swift, VP of Creative Insights at iStock, comments: “Since the launch of VisualGPS three years ago, we have been able to track how the visual concept of wellness has evolved alongside people’s expectations. Before the pandemic, most popular wellness visuals were primarily focused on physical fitness through elite trends such as yoga classes in spa resorts or expensive gym memberships. During the pandemic, the concept of ‘health’ evolved into a social and emotional issue where accessibility to wellness was vital for all, with mental health at the forefront of the conversation.”
More recently, the desire for self-care continues to be important, but people continue to reimagine exactly what holistic wellness means to them. iStock’s VisualGPS findings revealed that the concept of ‘togetherness’ is now one of people’s most important values, with 52% considering wellness as getting together with family and friends. Also, findings show that younger generations believe maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a priority, with 84% of Gen Z and Millennials planning to develop daily wellness practices. Even Generation Alpha, named the ‘new old fashioned’, are valuing more family time alongside playing and spending time outdoors, despite their tech-savvy skills.
iStock’s visual experts reveal key takeaways and insights on how businesses can incorporate these visual trends into their marketing and advertising materials to effectively and authentically, visualize holistic wellness:
1. Togetherness is wellness
Only 1 in 10 visuals used by businesses show people interacting with friends or spending time with their families. Showcase images and videos of people fostering emotionally beneficial and accepting relationships, including the power of friendship, bonding, mindfulness and self-reflection. Nothing fuels emotional health like celebrating with the people we love.
2. Health as a lifestyle
To highlight wellness as a lifestyle, SMBs can depict wellness as an ongoing journey rather than a destination. Show how individuals can make small and intentional changes in their daily lives that contribute to their overall well-being. Consider visuals that show your audience in active pursuit of managing their emotions, creating productive habits, and getting more from social interactions. Prioritize images and videos showing activities that help reduce stress or making intentional decisions that help achieve goals.
3. Portray authentic physical health
One of the most common visual depictions of wellness is physical exercise, and most of the times exercise is shown as walking, jogging or yoga. Individual wellness predominates most depictions as only 1% of the wellness images and videos used by brands feature a team sport. Wellness, therefore, is shown as solitary rather than a community-based activity. Furthermore, individual wellness visuals favor younger people. In fact, less than 15% of physical wellness visuals depict older adults. However, according to VisualGPS research, visuals showing people of different ages playing a sport engages consumers the most. Wellness can be better represented by showing a group of adults enjoying a sport together rather than in isolation.
4. Mindful technology that cares
VisualGPS data shows that nearly 7 in 10 Millennials are excited by the impact that technology has on wellness, such as meditation apps and fitness/health trackers. Today, even fitness devices that serve as a reminder and motivator to exercise are adapting their functionalities to fit a wider understanding of wellness. With this in mind when selecting visual content, consider how tech devices are being purposefully applied in scenarios like sports and leisure, and how technology can empower us to monitor our health and well-being. Think about scenarios that show tech devices being used to support physical wellness. However, also consider the moments people turn to technology to wind down, like using a meditation app, tracking sleep, or simply listening to music.
5. Less aspirational wellness
While aspirational visual storytelling around wellness worked historically, 63% of people globally would now prefer to buy from businesses whose values align with their own. There is a huge opportunity for SMBs to connect through more holistic wellness visual storytelling by showing real people reaping the emotional and social rewards as a key aspect of wellness. Consider images and videos that seem candid and show people that you may come across in your daily life, including people from different social backgrounds. Show them interacting within communities and among other groups—and portraying them across multiple intersections of identity, such as age, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, or body types.
Hello and welcome to the Holiday 2023 issue of LUXlife!
Summer is on the horizon, but we’re already gaining a sweet taste of it as the sun bathes us in her gloriously warm rays. Thus, many of us are finding ourselves in the mood for escaping to a sublime sun-drenched destination or on a serene spa retreat, whilst delving into the luxuries that complement such activities, whether a tantalising dish or the most expertly crafted Italian cup of coffee.
In this holiday issue of LUXlife, we showcase some of the most top-tier establishments that are defining the word ‘luxury’ – whether they provide a divine getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, or they enhance the pleasures of said daily life. Indeed, we take a look at a range of outstanding luxury service providers, from spas, restaurants, and tour operators, to architects, interior design studios, and even a wedding photographer – and they are all devoted to providing a truly optimal experience.
So, join us, as we take in the beauty that comes with the month of May, and gain an insight into what is to be relished in the world of luxury. We hope you enjoy this issue of LUXlife and look forward to welcoming you back when summer is officially here.
National Conversation Week 2023: Encouraging Positive Conversations about Mental Health in the Workplace
By Dr Julia Lyons, Senior Counselling Psychologist at Onebright
National Conversation Week is taking place between 23 and 29 May and is a crucial time for workplaces to become more comfortable asking questions. Encouraging conversations in the workplace can be of great benefit to employees who need support with their mental health.
As many as one in six employees require help with their mental health through their employer, and by not providing the right support, businesses are likely to experience an increase in absenteeism, presenteeism, staff turnover, as well as having cost implications for the organisation.
It is important for all businesses to provide a safe environment for individuals to talk about their health without stigma attached. This starts with having an open and trusting workplace culture, where talking about your mental health is normalised and respected.
If you are unsure about how best to encourage and start conversations in your workplace, or want to know more about how you can support employee mental health, here are some initiatives you can implement.
Listen & Educate
It can be challenging for someone to open up about how they’re truly feeling. If an employee decides to talk to you about their thoughts and feelings, avoid making assumptions and offer a supportive space for them to do so. Sometimes the most significant step of all is for them to admit how they are feeling to someone, especially if they have been battling with their problems alone for a while.
Listen intently, be patient and educate yourself on what they may be dealing with. Psychoeducation is often the starting point in the person’s recovery, so it can help if you are more informed about their issues too. Remember you are not taking the role of a counsellor or therapist; explain the avenues available for them to seek professional help and encourage them to do so at the earliest opportunity. The earlier they seek help the easier it will be for them to get back on track.
Spot the signs
Be attentive to any signs that may signal that employees are struggling to cope. For example, employees may be isolating themselves from colleagues and have stopped responding to work emails or calls, or they may be irritable, pessimistic or avoiding opportunities for development. These behaviours may indicate that they are in a difficult place. If you notice that they are struggling with their work relationships or workload, it’s crucial to encourage them to seek help.
Don’t treat anyone differently
If someone is experiencing mental health difficulties, they might already be feeling uncomfortable, confused, and sometimes misunderstood. Treating people differently may make them feel worse. People often easily pick up on any change of approach, so where possible, carry on communicating with them as you would normally, keeping an employee informed and included in steps you are taking to support them.
Be careful with your vocabulary
Be aware of phrases or words that are so often intertwined with mental health but might create a barrier to someone opening up if used inappropriately. An example would be “I’m so OCD about my desk”, which is essentially a throwaway comment said in response to keeping a tidy desk. However Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a complex condition, which can significantly impact an individual’s functioning, anxiety levels, and mood. This type of comment would be quite uncomfortable for someone who may be struggling with OCD. It’s about considering the language you use around mental health, especially to the person who may be struggling with it.
The benefits of workplace mental health training?
Training helps everyone from line managers to executive leaders learn the tools for providing a great workplace culture around mental health. There is an opportunity to learn about the principles of early identification and understand how CBT evidence-based interventions can be implemented to support employees. This will help to remove taboos surrounding mental health, which is vital to early detection and future-proofing employee mental wellbeing.
Other ways to support employees
Tea & Chat
By creating opportunities for connection between employees we can improve their wellbeing. Set up a weekly tea and chat meeting for teams and departments to attend outside of their usual break times. We recommend setting this up in a comfortable environment and don’t forget you can do an online meeting too if your team is remote. Grab some refreshments, perhaps get outside, and talk about something neutral. Don’t discuss work.
- Talk about hobbies
- Talk about weekend or after work plans
- Ask what made people smile today
- Speak about any new books, films or TV series
- Discuss favourite foods and recipes
Appoint a mental health champion
Enrol one person (or multiple people if you have a big team) to become your mental health champions. All businesses have first aiders who you can go to in case of a physical medical issue, but many organisations still lag behind in providing mental health champions and first aiders who people can talk to and confide in.
By providing professionally delivered mental health training to your champions, you can develop mental health activities and peer-to-peer network support within your organisation, with mental health first aiders you are creating an environment in which the individual may feel more comfortable to discuss any issues they may be having and you can be reassured that the individuals are being signposted to the appropriate support channels.
Taking the time to listen to employees, introducing mental health champions, and offering time to talk while working remotely are some helpful ways to encourage conversations on mental health at work.
Exploring Riding Rules and What Happens When You Crash with A Vehicle
The number of motorcycle crashes in Washington is trending upward, as 2022 recorded 125 fatal crashes in the state, with 514 injured. Even though it’s not a motorcycle hub, Federal Way has also recorded hit-and-run cases and several fatalities. A crash of any magnitude can be highly debilitating. Hence, you must consult experienced motorcycle accident lawyers to help build your case and defend your rights. If you or a loved one was involved in a motorcycle crash, a Federal Way motorcycle accident lawyer could help you seek restitution.
Riding Rules and the Aftermath of Crashes
In most states, Washington included, riders must be 16 years or older and possess proper licensing. Beyond the age requirement, riders must also:
- Demonstrate accurate vision – need to pass a vision test
- Understand general traffic rules – must have passed a written exam
- Know road rules – must have completed skill training
- Riders who follow the rules and take proper precautions can also be involved in crashes due to other riders/drivers. However, your legal team can easily prove that you followed all regulations, expediting your financial restitution process.
The law requires all riders and passengers to wear a helmet. It must meet the minimum standards set by federal and state regulators and be made of firm material that can withstand impact. It must also have a chin or neck strap to keep the helmet in place when the bike is in motion. Riders must also wear goggles and a face shield so their vision remains unimpeded.
If you do not have adequate protection, the at-fault driver can shift the blame onto you. However, an experienced attorney can defend your case regardless because a missing helmet alone does not counterpoise careless driver actions such as over speeding and drunk drinking.
Washington requires all motorcycles to have functioning left and right rear view mirrors. Even if your state doesn’t have this mandatory stipulation, having a mirror with a view of at least 200 feet behind can dramatically increase road safety.
If you are riding a bike without mirrors and get in a crash with a vehicle, the accused may plead a matter of comparative negligence. Given that Washington follows ‘shared negligence’ laws, the judge may reduce your damage compensation based on the negligence you contributed to the crash. That’s why always riding a bike fitted with mirrors is recommended.
Motorcycle-Specific Traffic Laws
Besides the mandatory laws for all vehicles, riders must also follow specific guidelines. For example, riders can only pass other vehicles on the right if there is a designated lane. Motorcyclists must use their headlights at all times, even during daylight hours.
Lights on the Bike
Motorcycle lighting rules vary, but all the states mandate riders to ensure their bikes have operational lights after sunset. These laws protect the riders and vehicle drivers on the road, improving visibility and reducing the risk of crashes.
Rules vary by state regarding the colours of the lights and turn signals. Some states require the tail lights to be red, while others require yellow. In most states, operators are prohibited from installing flashing lights, a feature reserved for police riders. If found guilty of using flashing lights, the law may interpret that as an attempt to impersonate an officer.
Generally, the headlights must be visible for up to 200 feet away. Backlights must be visible from at least 500 feet away. Some states make it illegal to buy or sell motorcycles that don’t have compliant lighting.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
Get medical help
Getting to a safe spot as soon as possible is essential. Get away from the crash site and call for first aid. If no emergency responders are in sight, dial 911. If you’re in the middle of the road, get to the side. The medical lane is the designated area for emergency stops on the interstate. This is crucial because oncoming traffic can cause more hazards.
Document the scene
After a thorough medical check on-site, document the scene and take videos from every angle. Take pictures of your bike and its condition on the road. Take photos of the vehicle that hit you. Ensure to get all the dents and scratches. Some helpful additional to capture would be street names and signs. Don’t underestimate the importance of contextual information.
Acquire Information of the Other Party
Get the license, registration, and insurance details of the other party involved in the crash. This information is crucial for your legal team to process the restitution claim. If there were bystander witnesses, request their phone numbers and addresses, so your team could get in touch if the case goes to trial. Witness testimony can often make/break cases.
Call a lawyer
Once you’ve received adequate medical care, consult a lawyer to discuss your options. Give them all the information you’ve collected, and be honest about the context of the incident. Their legal advice will hinge on the information you provide. Misrepresenting the facts can derail your case down the road and end up with you incurring debt. Hence, it’s best to be forthcoming with your legal aid, as they must represent you once you’ve signed the contract.
7 Ways Hiring a Lawyer for a Wrongful Death Case Can Be Beneficial
Losing a loved one is depressing. It’s even more devastating when someone’s negligence or malicious intent causes their death. The Port of Milwaukee is important for global trade, but it increases truck traffic, which increases the risk of fatal motor vehicle accidents. Moreover, Wisconsin has high drunk driving rates, contributing to the city’s fatal car accident rate. Other common causes of fatal injuries in Milwaukee include ATV accidents, falls caused by property hazards, and accidental poisonings.
If you lose a loved one to someone else’s mistake in Milwaukee, you should talk to a Milwaukee wrongful death lawyer to help you file a wrongful death case.
While the law allows you to file a wrongful death case and represent your loved one, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Below are seven reasons why you need a lawyer for a wrongful death case.
1. Time and Stress Savings
The period after a loved one’s death is depressing. It’s, therefore, not the best time for you to gather evidence, talk to witnesses, and even negotiate with the insurance company for a settlement.
When you hire an experienced wrongful death attorney, they will do all the work required for the case, giving you sufficient time to grieve. You can also rest assured that they will use their experience to get the compensation you deserve.
2. Increasing Your Settlement
If you file a wrongful death claim without an attorney, you might feel like you’re attaching a price to your loved one’s life. Additionally, since you’re in an emotional state of mourning, you might be unable to negotiate a good settlement with the insurance company.
A wrongful death attorney will use their experience to negotiate with the insurance company and ensure you receive the maximum settlement.
3. Access to Resources
While the state of Wisconsin allows you to file a wrongful death case and represent your loved one, you might end up losing the case because you don’t have access to the resources needed.
An experienced lawyer can access important case resources like witnesses, medical professionals, and investigators. They will use all these resources to build a robust case and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
4. Assessment of Damages
A seasoned wrongful death attorney will have dealt with countless cases similar to yours. As a result, they might help you identify some damages that you might have left out and include them in your claim. This will result in higher compensation.
5. Expertise in The Legal Processes
Wisconsin has numerous wrongful death laws. Therefore, while some might seem easy to understand, only someone who’s studied and applied can interpret them appropriately and build a strong case.
A seasoned attorney will look at your case’s facts and advise you on the best legal processes to follow. For example, you have up to 3 years after the death of your loved one to file a wrongful death claim. However, if you’re not working with an attorney, you might not know about this law and wait past three years, forfeiting your right to compensation.
6. Finding Evidence
An experienced wrongful death attorney will ensure you have enough evidence if your case goes to trial. They will investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death and unearth additional details that could strengthen the case.
They do this by working with professionals from different fields, such as doctors, forensic scientists, and detectives, to find reliable evidence of wrongful death.
Hearing someone say something negative about your loved one after their death can be distressing. However, sometimes the insurance company’s attorneys might try to highlight the deceased’s flaws to try and assign some blame to them.
For instance, if your loved one died in a motorcycle accident, they might try to bring up past convictions of speeding or drunk driving to show that they might have been in the wrong.
However, your attorney can provide emotional support during such difficult times and reassure you that you’ll win the case.
You should consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit if you’ve lost a loved one to someone’s mistake or malicious intent. However, while the state of Wisconsin allows you to file the claim yourself, you have higher chances of success with an experienced lawyer.
6 Forms of Technology That Are Streamlining Healthcare Provision in 2023 and Beyond
The healthcare industry is experiencing a major transformation with the introduction of new technologies. New technology is changing how we access and deliver healthcare services, from electronic health records to telemedicine.
It’s making it easier for patients to get care, reducing wait times, and streamlining processes like billing and insurance claims. Here are some of the most prominent forms of technology revolutionizing how we provide healthcare today.
1. Telemedicine Services
Telemedicine services are becoming increasingly popular in the healthcare industry. It allows patients to access medical consultations from home or office via video conferencing.
This eliminates the need for an in-person visit, saving time and money while still providing quality care. Telemedicine can be used for many tasks, including diagnosis, prescription management, and follow-up visits.
Telemedicine is also an effective tool for reaching underserved populations who may be unable to access traditional healthcare services due to geographic or financial barriers.
2. Wearable Technology
Wearable tech has become increasingly popular in the healthcare industry. These devices can track and measure patient data such as heart rate, blood pressure, and activity levels.
It allows patients to monitor their health in real time, allowing healthcare providers to quickly intervene when needed. In addition, wearable devices can be used to provide feedback on lifestyle changes that may improve overall health outcomes.
3. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to help streamline healthcare provision. AI-powered analysis systems can quickly and accurately diagnose medical conditions based on patient data.
This reduces the need for costly and time-consuming tests, speeding up diagnosis times. AI can also be used to generate insights from large amounts of data that would otherwise be difficult for humans to process.
These insights can provide valuable information about patient health, allowing healthcare providers to make more informed decisions when providing care.
4. Electronic Prescribing (e-prescribing)
E-prescribing is a system that allows physicians to send prescriptions electronically to the pharmacy, eliminating the need for handwritten scripts and phone calls. E-prescribing saves time and reduces paperwork for both patients and healthcare providers.
Additionally, it can help reduce medical errors associated with miscommunication or incorrect dosing.
5. Automated Medical Billing
Automated medical billing automates the process of submitting claims to insurance providers, eliminating manual paperwork and saving time. These systems also reduce errors associated with incorrect coding or data entry, resulting in faster payments and improved accuracy.
6. Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
One of the most significant advancements in healthcare technology is the implementation of electronic health records (EHRs). EHRs are digital versions of traditional paper records containing all patient medical information, such as diagnoses, medications, and test results.
EHRs, such as the software from iSalus, allow healthcare providers to access patient data quickly and easily, saving valuable time and resources.
Electronic health records also improve patient safety by reducing the likelihood of medical errors caused by illegible handwriting or lost paper records. Overall, EHRs are a critical technological advancement that is significantly streamlining healthcare provision.
Technology is changing the healthcare industry for the better, and many forms of new tech are streamlining healthcare provision.
These advancements, from electronic health records to automated medical billing, have saved time and resources while improving patient safety. Furthermore, telemedicine services provide access to care for underserved populations who may not be able to reach traditional healthcare services due to geographic or financial barriers.
With all of this in mind, it’s clear that technological developments will continue to play a vital role in modern-day healthcare delivery systems. By leveraging the power of technology, we can ensure more efficient and effective ways of providing quality care for everyone.
Looking For Your Next Career Step as a Nurse Practitioner?
After the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s become clearer than ever that medical professionals are the backbone of our society, whether we’re in the middle of a national health crisis or not. Understaffing led to serious burnout amongst many medical professionals, including nurse practitioners – and those who stayed can now command incredible wages for their work, helping to ensure that communities across the nation have access to high-quality medical care.
In particular, nurse practitioners are highly sought after, as they have the experience to seamlessly occupy a number of different positions within the medical industry. Nurse practitioners have the knowledge of a registered nurse plus additional training and clinical education; they may work as a generalist or in a specific practice area, such as psychiatry, paediatrics, oncology, or emergency care. Their focus on holistic healthcare, including preventing diseases at work and home, makes nurse practitioners invaluable as the American population ages and more individuals embrace a healthier lifestyle to avoid disease.
If you’re already a nurse practitioner or are looking to jump into this hot profession, which the US Bureau of Labour Statistics estimates will grow by 40% through to 2031, you’ve likely been using general job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, or Monster to find your positions. While these are definitely a good place to start, they’re not the most comprehensive guide to industry-specific positions, as many hospital systems may not even consider using a job board that might attract applicants from outside the healthcare field. Today, we’ll discuss some of the benefits of using nurse practitioner job boards, as well as tips for how to stand out once you’ve applied.
You won’t have to wade through pages of irrelevant job listings
If you’ve trained as a nurse practitioner and would like to work in your field, it makes little sense to use a job board that hosts listings from every industry imaginable; even with the strictest filtering protocols, you’re bound to get numerous listings that have nothing to do with nursing. Worse yet, the jobs you do find might actually be scams, as there’s a lower threshold for quality with these more general job boards.
However, when you search through a career-specific job board, you’re guaranteed to find real job listings by legitimate hospital systems or private practices.
You’ll get more specific results
If you’re a nurse practitioner who has specialized in a particular subfield, you might be frustrated that you can’t easily search for your specialty on a general job board. If you add the title to your search, you might accidentally block out useful results that don’t have the exact label, because some hospital systems list their positions slightly differently.
On a career-specific job board, this isn’t a problem, because the jobs are categorized by profession and specialty. These websites are specifically set up to assist hospital systems and private practices find qualified healthcare professionals,
Many sites include helpful career advice and links to job fairs
Because industry-specific sites are made for healthcare professionals, they can provide specialized information regarding career advancements for nurse practitioners and others in the medical profession. Sites like Indeed or Glassdoor usually provide only general career advice, which may or may not be helpful to a nurse or doctor, but industry-specific job boards will have information tailored to your needs.
Get the most out of a nurse practitioner job board by following these tips
First, make sure that you work with a reputable job board. If you’re already a nurse practitioner, ask your colleagues if they used a career-specific job board to get this position and whether they found it useful. Look up the reputation of a career specific job board you use, making sure to note any particularly egregious complaints.
Input your CV so that it will autofill on listings to save you time, and be sure to upload a PDF version of your CV and cover letter so that its formatting will stay consistent.
Finally, sign up for job alerts if the website allows this. You’ll be able to quickly apply to positions as soon as they are made available, which boosts your chances of getting the job.
Career-specific job boards are a lifesaver for nurse practitioners seeking new employment. When you’re ready for your next position, skip the general job boards and get right to the heart of the matter by choosing a specialized website.
3D Visualisation and its Impact on Architecture
24th May 2023
The architectural landscape is undergoing a transformation every year, and 3D visualisation, particularly through 3D architectural visualisation studios, has taken center stage in this industry. Find out how architects and designers are using these advances to revolutionise their craft, improve communication, and increase the efficiency of the process. Join us on this fascinating journey as we uncover the intricacies of 3D visualization, its impact on the industry, and the limitless potential it holds for the future of architectural design.
Leveraging CGI Tools in Architectural Practice
Rapid advances in architecture have seen the rise of 3D visualisation through advanced CGI tools. These tools are pivotal in the conceptualisation, development, and presentation phases of architectural projects. With the advent of modern technology, the field of architecture has witnessed a substantial shift, leading to the introduction of innovative visualization methods.
3D Rendering and Modelling Potentials 3D rendering and modelling technologies offer invaluable opportunities in creating detailed, aesthetically pleasing, and precise designs. This not only aids in development but also improves communication and marketing approaches. The significant impact of CGI tools in creating photorealistic 3D images has led to a more accessible and attractive presentation of architectural designs.
Advanced Technologies in Visualisation Modern architectural design relies on various state-of-the-art technologies. Real-time rendering engines provide instant visual feedback, while VR and AR technologies offer immersive experiences and interaction with the virtual environments. AI and Machine Learning further enhance this process, generating precise 3D models and conducting complex calculations.
Architectural Advancements through VR and AR
VR software tools have significantly transformed architecture by offering a more realistic visualisation experience. Notably, they have enhanced collaboration and decision-making processes in architectural projects.
Large-scale Projects and VR Large-scale architectural projects benefit immensely from VR technologies, which facilitate comprehensive understanding and confidence in project outcomes. The role of VR in city planning and design promises a transformative future in architecture.
AR in Immersive Client Experiences AR is another game-changer in creating immersive client experiences by merging digital information with the physical environment. It has reinvented professional project presentations, making them more engaging and interactive, leading to a better grasp of design intricacies.
BIM, Mixed Reality, and Rapid Prototyping in Construction
The amalgamation of BIM, mixed reality, and rapid prototyping has revolutionized construction project design, execution, and management.
BIM and Sustainable Construction BIM serves as a comprehensive platform for collaboration, which aids in decision-making and early identification of potential issues, reducing costly alterations. It also encourages sustainable construction solutions.
Mixed Reality and Rapid Prototyping Mixed reality offers an immersive experience, providing real-time visualisation and interaction with designs. Rapid prototyping, on the other hand, enables quick creation of accurate physical models, fostering innovation and refinement.
Communication, Collaboration, and Marketing in Architecture
3D visualisation software and design tools have revamped the ways architects communicate, collaborate, and market their projects.
Effective Communication through 3D Visualisation 3D visualisation has revolutionized architectural communication, enabling professionals to provide detailed and accurate representations of their designs, facilitating informed decision-making.
Collaboration and Marketing in Architecture BIM and mixed reality have improved collaboration among architects, fostering innovation. 3D visualisation has transformed architectural marketing by offering high-quality images and animations, helping architects stand out in a competitive market.
Conclusion 3D visualization has undoubtedly transformed the conceptualisation, execution, and presentation of architectural projects. As these technologies continue to evolve, they will further drive innovation and sustainability in architecture. To stay competitive in this dynamic field, embracing the full potential of visualisation is key.
Holiday Homes: What are the Best Building Options?
24th May 2023
Are you in the market for a holiday home? Owning somewhere of your own comes with many benefits. Being able to return to the same place each year allows you to become really familiar with the area and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Having somewhere that is yours also allows for far less stressful time away, as you do not have to worry about finding accommodation and you can leave far less stressful time away, as you do not have to worry about finding accommodation and you can leave personal belongings e personal belonging there, cutting down on your packing.
Holiday homes can also generate a good income and act as a property investment, should you choose to rent them out while you are not using them.
If you are looking for a holiday home where you can truly unwind and connect with nature, a home in the country could be a good option for you.
Typically more spacious than homes in urban areas, this is perfect if you are looking for somewhere that you can bring the whole family to. Country homes are not just popular with families, they are universally loved, meaning you will not struggle to rent out a home in the county should you choose to buy one.
Ideally, if you built your own country home you will benefit from being able to build and design as you see fit as well as save a considerable amount compared to buying a home from someone else.
You will also get to benefit from all the countryside perks, including a close-knit community, peacefulness, and quaint shops, restaurants, and pubs.
A lodge, often referred to as a static caravan, is a holiday home option that you should not overlook, especially if you are looking for somewhere you can visit multiple times throughout the year.
If you have a strict budget, this could be the best option, as lodges are typically priced much lower than traditional houses. This makes them a far more accessible choice than other accommodation types. A quick search of lodges for sale will help you to assess what is out there.
As they are smaller than standard homes, a lodge is a great option if you are looking for something low maintenance. You also will not need to worry about maintaining the land around the lodge as this will be taken care of by the site.
If security is a main priority for you, a lodge is a fantastic choice. It can understandably be nerve-wracking to leave your holiday home unattended, but as lodges are based on a wider site, you do not need to worry about them while you are not there.
A city apartment can be a great option if you prefer a more fast-paced vacation.
These can make good bases if you enjoy regular city breaks and can end up being far more cost-efficient than regularly booking into hotels.
Before investing in a city apartment, it is important to decide exactly where you want it to be. Make sure to pick a city that you are confident you will never get bored of.
What to Expect from a Hearing Test
If you’re going for your first hearing test, or it’s been a while since your last one, you might be feeling a little unsure of what to expect.
But there’s no need to worry! Hearing tests are simple, painless, and essential for identifying any potential issues with your hearing. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the basics of what happens during a hearing test, how long it takes, and what you can do to prepare. Let’s dive in!
What Is a Hearing Test? What To Expect
When you go for a hearing test, the audiologist will evaluate your hearing by assessing your ability to hear sounds of different frequencies and volumes. Hearing tests involve wearing headphones and being asked to respond to sounds played at different pitches and loudness levels.
The test usually lasts between 30 minutes to an hour, and you will not experience pain during the examination. The ultimate goal of a hearing test is to determine whether you have hearing loss, and what’s causing it.
Generally, hearing loss can be caused by a variety of factors such as exposure to loud noise, aging, genetics, infections, or certain medications. However, the degeneration of ear cells due to aging and damage from loud noise are some of the most common causes of hearing loss.
Given the fact that millions of people see their lives affected by hearing loss, it is crucial that you get your hearing tested regularly. In the United States alone, one in eight individuals aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears – that’s around 30 million people!
Of these, 10 million adults have noise-induced hearing loss caused by repeated exposure to loud sounds. So, should you book your next hearing test? The answer is yes – let’s look at the reasons why you should.
Should You Book a Hearing Test?
There are several reasons to get your hearing tested. Firstly, hearing loss can get in the way of your daily life, preventing you from following conversations and impacting your ability to live independently.
What’s more, according to a study published in The Lancet, people with hearing loss have a 42% increase in developing dementia. This is because the brain has to fill in the gaps of what you are unable to hear, thus working under excessive pressure.
You should book a hearing test if you are within the following demographics:
- Adults over the age of 50 Anyone working in loud environments like construction or factories
- Children experiencing speech and language difficulties
- People who have had head injuries or ear infections Individuals regularly exposed to loud music
- Family members of individuals with hearing loss
- Those taking medication known to cause hearing lossYou should also visit your audiologist if you haven’t had a hearing test in a while!
How To Prepare for a Hearing Test
When contacting your audiologist, you’ll be able to obtain answers to all of your questions and learn how to prepare for your appointment. Here are a few tips that can help you live this experience without stress.
Learn More About Hearing Loss
If you’re getting ready for a hearing test, it’s a good idea to learn more about the types of hearing loss and their symptoms, causes, and treatments. This will help you understand what to expect during the hearing test and how to better care for your ears.
Resources such as Hearing Research should be your first port of call to obtain reliable and comprehensive information.
Prepare Your Medical History
Before taking a hearing test, it’s important to prepare your medical history by gathering documentation from medical professionals that have previously treated you. Be sure to include past surgeries, medications taken regularly or sporadically, family history of hearing loss, and any other relevant information.
Find Out of Hearing Tests Are Covered by Your Health Insurance
Check with your health insurance provider if they offer coverage for a hearing test or audiology services, and review your Medicare plan to check what’s included. In some cases, they may only cover certain tests or diagnostic evaluations that are deemed “medically necessary”. Knowing this information in advance can help prevent unexpected costs.
Consult a Specialised Audiologist
If you feel nervous about booking a hearing test, get in touch with a specialized audiologist. An expert will be able to answer all of your questions and offer peace of mind. Don’t delay – book your appointment today!
LUXlife Magazine Announces the Winners of the 2023 Global Wedding Awards
United Kingdom, 2023- LUXlife Magazine announces the winners of the 2023 Global Wedding Awards.
It takes a truly special company or individual to distinguish themselves on the global wedding landscape. Indeed, while all industries demand a certain dedication to excellence, the luxury events sphere seeks only the best, and only the best can find enduring success. For this reason, LUXlife launched the Global Wedding Awards to highlight those that have remained steadfast and unwavering in this commitment and pursuit towards perfection.
Our wedding day is one of the most special days of our lives and it takes a tremendous amount of time and energy to prepare for it. Here we gain insight into some of the best businesses and individuals helping us to prepare for and experience perfection throughout the day of our dreams.
Our Awards Coordinator, Jessie Wilson, took a moment to comment on the success of the winners: “The wedding industry is thriving due to the fact that it is consistently growing and evolving to fit the needs of each couple. Everyone wants a day they will never forget and we’re proud to announce our winners as they guarantee services that truly deliver. Congratulations.”
To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated establishments that have been selected for them, please visit https://www.lux-review.com/lux_awards/wedding-awards/ where you can view our winners supplement and full winners list.
Notes to editors.
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 94,000 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.
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.
How Tech Can Make Healthcare More Affordable
Healthcare inflation is a serious concern that has been rising every year. In fact, inflation in the healthcare sector outpaces almost every other type of inflation around the globe. As an example of this, health and medical care costs have increased by a cumulative 110.3% compared to the CPI-U’s (Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers) 71% from mid 2000.
Access to affordable healthcare is essential for individuals and communities to thrive. Fortunately, advancements in technology have the potential to address this issue. With the help of automation, data-driven systems, and AI, healthcare can become more affordable.
In this article, we’ll look into six different ways that technology can—and is already starting to—contribute to reducing healthcare costs and improving accessibility for everyone. Regardless of their income or socioeconomic standing.
Remote Patient Monitoring And Telemedicine
Telemedicine is the remote treatment and diagnosis of health issues. It became popular during the pandemic, and has since emerged as a game-changer in the delivery of healthcare services.
By allowing patients to receive medical consultations remotely, it eliminates the need for in-person visits. This reduces associated costs, such as transportation, time off work, and other general expenses. Telemedicine also enables remote patient monitoring, making it easier and less costly for medical practitioners to treat patients at a distance.
This technology allows for the early detection of common health issues, preventing pricey hospitalisations and allowing for more patient schedule flexibility.
Implementation of Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
The adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) has already transformed healthcare admin systems and documentation. EHRs improve the efficiency and accuracy of medical records while reducing the high administrative costs associated with paper-based systems.
With easier, faster access to digital patient records, healthcare providers can make more informed decisions, streamline productivity, and avoid unnecessary procedures.
EHRs also go hand in hand with telemedicine. They enable the streamlined sharing of patient data among healthcare professionals, leading to better coordination and cost savings.
Wearable Devices And Health Apps
The proliferation of health apps and wearable devices has empowered individuals to take charge of their own health. These technologies help individuals track their vital signs, monitor fitness levels, manage chronic conditions, and adopt healthy lifestyle choices.
By promoting preventive care and early intervention, health apps and wearables can also potentially reduce healthcare costs associated with chronic diseases. Additionally, these technologies encourage patient engagement and self-management, leading to improved health outcomes and reduced healthcare expenses in the long run.
3D printing technology has the potential to transform traditional healthcare supply chains. Particularly in the area of medical device production, prosthetics, and customised implants.
By enabling case-by-case manufacturing, 3D printing almost completely nullifies the need for expensive inventory management and the transportation of wasted medical supplies.
Furthermore, it allows for the personalisation of crucial medical devices. This ensures a more comfortable fit and can even reduce the need for multiple procedures. The affordability and accessibility of 3D printing has the potential to democratise healthcare by providing low-cost alternatives and lowering the financial burden on patients.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
By now, most people have heard of AI and ML—but more often in the context of media and marketing strategies. However, both these technologies have vast potential in the process of revolutionising healthcare systems.
When used in the right way, AI and ML can analyse large volumes of patient data. This allows it to identify medical patterns and provide predictive insights into future diagnoses.
AI and ML algorithms can assist in the process of diagnosing new and existing diseases, predicting treatment outcomes, and optimising healthcare resource allocation.
Blockchain technology, known for its secure and decentralised nature, can address many of the challenges related to healthcare data interoperability and privacy. By creating an inimitable and transparent trail of medical transactions, blockchain technology can streamline administrative processes. In turn, it mitigates unnecessary paperwork and reduces the risk of data leaks.
Additionally, blockchain technology can empower patients to have greater control over their data. It can also enable seamless sharing of medical records between different healthcare providers.
Moving Towards A Healthier Future
At present, the current healthcare profit margin sits at around 8-12%. In the wake of inflation, this figure will rise in line with costs. The question is how to calculate profit margin to ensure that everyone has access to affordable medical care and suppliers can continue to offer quality services.
The answer, it seems, may well lie in technology.
The above examples are just a few ways that technology can innovate cost savings and improve healthcare outcomes.
As these technologies continue to evolve and become more widespread across the globe, it’s important to ensure that they’re implemented in a way that maximises their potential for affordability and accessibility. Balancing profits and patient health is crucial, and the more technological innovations emerge, the better the chances of doing exactly that.
Body, Brain and Beauty: Get It All Out of Your Oats
Looking for the ultimate superfood that benefits a lot more than just your waistline? Oats are the answer.
Oats, or Avena Sativa, are predominantly enjoyed as breakfast with water or milk. However, oats are so much more than just a comforting and filling breakfast choice, they can provide huge benefits for your body, brain and beauty routine too.
Let’s take a closer look at how versatile oats can be.
Body boosting benefits
Oats are loaded with important vitamins, minerals, and natural antioxidants like spermidine. Just half a cup (78 grams) of dry oats contains:
- Manganese: 63.91% of the daily value (DV)
- Phosphorus: 13.3% of the DV
- Magnesium: 13.3% of the DV
- Copper: 17.6% of the DV
- Iron: 9.4% of the DV
- Zinc: 13.4% of the DV
- Folate: 3.24% of the DV
- Vitamin B1 (thiamin): 15.5% of the DV
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 9.07% of the DV
They also contain small amounts of calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), and vitamin B3 (niacin).
As they’re jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients, this cereal grain brings nourishment to our lives in more ways than one.
Due to the density of the nutrition found in oats, they have potentially positive effects on cholesterol, blood sugar, weight, digestion and inflammation.
Oats for weight loss
Oats are slow to release energy and leave you feeling fuller for longer. They break down slowly, which is good for blood sugar that’s directly connected to weight loss and gain.
Another benefit of the slow breakdown of oats is that they leave the stomach slowly, increasing the production of the satiety hormone PYY.
Oatmeal also helps to regulate bowel movements, which is useful when trying to manage your weight.
Eating a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet is vital for brain health and longevity. While oats are not necessarily “brain food”, they’re a huge storehouse of energy and nutrition. They also provide an excellent balance of sugars in the blood.
Eating chemical-based, high sugar content preservative-laden food is definitely not good for brain function and overall brain health. Our brains are heavily affected by how, when, and what we eat.
Improve your brain function
Oats are rich in fibre which balances the blood sugar, keeping you energised. Maintaining a high fibre diet and keeping your blood sugar stable is a huge support to overall brain function.
Reduce the chances of brain-related diseases
Oatmeal is also a fantastic soluble fibre. In fact, it’s on the list of the top 5 foods that lower cholesterol. Soluble fibre assists in bringing low-density lipoprotein down, resulting in the reduction of the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream.
When your cholesterol is too high, it can directly lead to brain issues such as Alzheimer’s. This is primarily due to the build-up of fatty deposits in the blood vessels, which in turn leads to brain damage by cutting off the oxygen supply to the brain.
While oats don’t have a perfectly direct link to brain health, when they form part of a healthy diet they can lead to cognitive support and healthy brain function.
Now that we’ve got the body and brain covered, let’s take a look at the role oats play in skincare products. As the female and male beauty market grows, there’s an increased focus on natural ingredient products; and oats tick all the right boxes.
A natural moisturiser
Oats are magical when used for dry, itchy, or irritated skin as they’re immensely soothing and possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. When used in a lotion, cleanser or moisturiser, oat starch forms a barrier that allows the skin to retain moisture without leaving it feeling oily. This barrier locks just the right amount of moisture in and ensures that the skin stays soft and supple.
An acne buster
Often, acne is caused by an excess of sebum that clogs the pores and causes inflammation. Oats behave as a natural cleanser by removing dirt and dead skin cells, and the rougher fibrous husk has exfoliating properties that’s effective but not overly harsh. This helps to keep skin clean without over drying it, and the oat’s anti-inflammatory properties reduce the swelling and redness that acne can cause.
Get all the benefits of oats
The benefits of oats are abundantly clear. This cereal grain is chock-full of benefits for your body, brain and beauty routine, and they’re 100% natural too. Whether you eat them or use them on your skin, you need to take advantage of the power of oats.
How To Pitch a Business Plan To Younger Investors
When it comes to business funding, it’s worthwhile considering the number of younger generation stakeholders entering the investment arena. It’s estimated that as many as 80% of Gen Z are already investing, so if you’re pitching to them and to Millennials, you need to identify the tickers that’ll secure the financial backing you need.
You’ve found the niche in your respective market, you’ve tallied the figures progressively, and your business plan looks immaculate. Now, you have under 30 minutes on average to sell your idea. So, how do you get them hooked?
By getting them to watch your space and listen to what you have on offer.
These 10 tips are designed to connect with young and savvy investors in a way they identify with, improving your chances of securing capital for your business:
- Do Your Homework
Before you pitch your business plan, ensure you know the answers to the following questions, and have tailored your presentation appropriately:
- Who are you presenting to?
- What do their existing investment portfolios tell you about their current professional capacity to invest in you?
- Can you adapt your product to suit their industrial needs better in order to create a more mutually benefiting agreement?
- Be In The Know
It’s of utmost importance to make sure you are up to date—if not ahead—of market research, trends, and targets before every presentation.
Follow-up on constant new developments in every sector of your business scope. Be creative about where you see your product going in the future.
- Tell The Story
Begin by introducing yourself, your company, and your product/service with confidence and enthusiasm. Then tell the story of how your product or service came to fruition.
Garner their interest by always being animated about it, whether it’s your first time presenting to potential investors, or repeating it for the umpteenth time.
Be proud of your product and consistent in your presentation. Use vivid imagery and language to engage them by showing how it solves a specific problem—or even better, solve a host of problems simultaneously. Elaborate on just how your intended solution can evolve from a micro to macro-level, given the right support. Assure investors you have the strategies in place as foundations to build upon and that the funding you receive will offer ROI.
- Be On Top Of Trends
The host of digital marketing platforms at your disposal are limitless. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter are all data mines that you can use to your advantage.
Use your tech acumen to illustrate exactly how you will make their investment succeed in the digital sphere. Create a connection that illustrates you know and understand how Millennials and Gen X communicate.
- Keep It Factual
Use fresh, raw data as much as possible to get to the point succinctly.
Time is an investor’s most limited commodity, so opt for a short, punctual presentation as opposed to one that’s long and drawn-out. Stick to the facts and refrain from detailing your entire business plan into the presentation. Details and logistics can be discussed after you’ve won their approval.
Discuss exactly who your customers are and the size of the market you want to enter.
- Highlight Your 3-5 Year Market Expansion Plan
Put emphasis on your extensive market knowledge. Elaborate on what your revenue expectations are versus the prospective pre-tax profit margins for your first few years of operation.
Knowing how to calculate profit margin based on your research and being able to explain why you arrived at your final figures will showcase your market knowledge and research skills. Include possible eventualities that will enhance growth within this timeframe and state categorically how stunting or losses will be avoided.
- Demonstrate Growth
Emphasize your competitive advantages by drawing comparisons of your product. This will be vital in distinguishing your product as a future market leader worthy of investing in.
Know what the future of your target market holds in both short and long-term projections by having consulted with trading experts. These resources can give you a good indication of how to determine future market expansion
Iterate just how returns on the expansion will benefit the investor.
- Strategies And Suggested Output
Delve into the strategies you have in place that ensure your supply can meet both current and future demands.
Detail future marketing plans, sales executions, and highlight your goals.
List your current and prospective distribution channels.
State your risk management policies.
- Penultimate Prerogatives
Introduce your team or business structure in an organizational chart, giving your investor a good idea of who and what they will work with.
If you’re planning on expanding within the first few years, include expected staffing requirements here too.
Highlight strong attributes and past achievements. This will allow you to pinpoint exactly how every facet of your set-up is crucial to your company’s successful future endeavors. If you can incorporate an element of corporate social responsibility here, do so. This is hugely appealing to Millennials and Gen Xers.
- Driving It Home
Conclude by crunching the critical numbers and summarize them to back up your projected output and profits. Disclose the capital amount needed for your business idea by referencing your major expenditures in context.
Make a point of showing how much of a difference your brand will make in the marketplace. Aim to counteract objections with steadfast resolutions. Let your investor know that you have all your—and their—bases covered.
Last, have all your research and information at the ready in case investors want to ask questions. In addition to your business plan, ensure you have addenda that cover extra points of interest, or further explain your idea. This is a surefire way of remaining confident and in control of your presentation.
By adhering to this outline, most of your investor’s questions should already have been answered. If so, they’ll have all the facts they need to make an informed decision. Give them room to deliberate, without making them feel overwhelmed, or pressed for a verdict.
And remember, practice makes perfect. Rehearse your presentation to ensure you come across as a professional entrepreneur that has all their assets and facets covered. This will ensure both you and your investors have confidence in your idea.
Guide To Getting Your Business Loan Approved
Whether it’s for a brand-new business or an injection of capital to grow an existing company, getting a loan can be a daunting task. However, this doesn’t have to be the case if you’re meticulous in your planning and ensure you have the right information on hand.
Getting a business loan approved is all about research, strategy, and believing in your business.
An application for a business loan should never be rushed into. You need to research the different types of loans, and how much funding you’re likely to need, and what your reasons for taking out a loan are. It’s also important to analyze your business and your financial profile to help gauge the likelihood of receiving the loan you require.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll improve your chances of securing the funds you need to move forward:
1. Determine What Kind Of Loan You Need
There are many types of business loans and financing available from both traditional and non-traditional lenders. Your first step in starting the application process should always be to look at what loans are available and match those to your business requirements.
Applying for the correct funding will definitely improve your chances of success.
The most traditional starting point is going to a bank for a loan or line of credit. With the bank, you are likely to get a variety of options, from small loans to large, and varying repayment terms. It’s usually best to approach the bank you already have an account with, as they’ll look more favorably on your request. However, you will probably have to meet very rigid criteria to get approval.
Depending on how much you require and your personal circumstances (your credit score and collateral), you can look to companies that offer microloans, government-run programs, small business funding specialists, or online loans. Many of these companies don’t have as strict requirements as banks, or they assist with applications as they support entrepreneurs and small businesses. However, it’s important to do your homework, as not all lenders have the same level of legitimacy.
Types of loans include microloans or larger sums, cash flow loans, vendor financing, and credit cards or lines of credit. The length of the repayment term and the interest will vary depending on:
- How established your business is
- Your business and personal credit score
- The type of loan you choose
- The amount you require
2. Decide Who To Apply To
It’s important to make a short list of the institutions or companies you want to approach. Take some time to research them. Then, put together a list of all the information you’ll need to provide to give your application the best chance of success.
At this point, you can also decide if you’re going with a direct lender, or if you want to use an online marketplace to compare and contact lenders.
Don’t be afraid to have a list of various lending institutions and companies, and to apply to all of them. It’s in your best interest to check what kind of deal you’re being offered and to compare quotes on repayment schedules and interest rates before committing to one loan.
You may not get the first loan that you apply for, and having options gives you a better chance of success.
3. Gather Your Paperwork
Now that you have your short list, it’s time to get your application ready.
Most lenders will have a specific list of documentation that they require. Be sure that the paperwork that you have matches that list, even down to the naming conventions you use for each document.
Most institutions will have a form that they require to be completed, either online or in hard copy. They’ll also need certain documents that show whether or not you’ll be a worthwhile candidate for a loan.
The documentation required usually includes a full business plan (especially for a startup), details about yourself and upper management for the company (including work history), and a balance sheet or financial statement to show income, assets and liabilities.
If your company is brand new and you don’t have a financial statement, you can provide a sales forecast that’s backed by solid market research. If you know how to make an invoice, you can include this too to highlight your billing process and how you’ll calculate sales.
To ensure your paperwork is in order, use this checklist when applying:
- Business and personal bank statements
- Business and personal tax returns
- Profit and loss statements and balance sheets
- Collateral documents
- Personal financial statement
- Government-issued ID and business registration
- Business plan and financial projections
4. Check Your Credit Score And Report
One of the most important elements to any loan application, especially if you were going with a more traditional lender, is your credit score and your credit report. This is both your personal score and report, and the one for your business.
Lending institutions will look at both you as an individual and the company for which the loan is required to assess the risk, especially in view of rising interest rates.
Banks and other lending institutions will pull your credit score for you, and less traditional companies will also be able to request this information once you put in an application. However, it’s in your best interests to know this information before you make your application. This will allow you to identify which companies or institutions are more likely to give you a loan and help you anticipate queries from lenders.
You can also see if there is any incorrect information on the report that could impact your credit score, and look into getting that fixed. Additionally, it’s possible to work on improving your credit score before you get to the application process for a business loan. This will improve how lenders see you.
Applying for a business loan can be a simple process, but only if you’re properly prepared. Having the right knowledge, all the relevant documentation, and a good credit score will make you a more attractive proposition to lenders. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be better equipped for success.
Smart Trucking – How the Digital World Changed the Trucking Industry
The trucking and logistics sectors are constantly evolving across the globe. Modern technology and the digital world have played significant roles in this evolution, as have consumer behavior and the internet.
From driver monitoring and smart communications to safety technology and stability control, technology is making impressive in-roads. Here is how the digital world is changing and improving the trucking industry with every passing year.
Internal communication networks for logistics businesses have improved considerably over the past decade. Modern technology allows every member of a trucking business, including office staff, managers, warehouse employees, and drivers, to communicate instantly and effectively in real-time.
Even the simple smartphone has revolutionised the way truck drivers perform their daily responsibilities. Drivers can now keep in touch with their managers and each other using hands-free communication technology and instant messaging. This ensures that their superiors stay up to date without posing any safety risks on the road.
The internet of things (IoT) has also improved the trucking sector’s communications. The IoT has allowed for the extensive monitoring and reporting of truck routes, in-cabin temperatures, and vibrations. It’s also capable of monitoring many other elements that affect the conditions and safety of each route and the driver. This technology tracks and streamlines deliveries on the roads. This ensures that customers and clients receive their orders in good time, and it minimises the incidence of lost, stolen, and damaged shipments.
Modern driver monitoring technology gives trucking businesses the power to monitor driver progress, distance, routes, road conditions, and many other factors remotely. These tools improve trucking operations and the choosing of safe and time-efficient routes. They help to keep drivers on schedule without them taking unnecessary detours during delivery times.
Real-time traffic reports are another way in which technology is assisting trucking companies in improving and coordinating their delivery processes. Real-time traffic updates enable drivers and managers to select unobstructed routes, avoid potentially dangerous collision scenes, and keep to schedules as far as possible.
Innovative On-Vehicle Systems
The digital world has produced dozens of cost-effective and reliable technologies that can improve drivers’ performances on the road. This ensures both their safety and the safe delivery of their shipments.
For example, stability control technology can reduce driveline maintenance and prevent on-route collisions and accidents. Stability sensors measure steering inputs and side-to-side truck rotation and provide insights into how drivers can steer and drive vehicles more safely.
Anti-lock brake systems stop truck wheels from locking to prevent uncontrollable skidding during times when hard braking is necessary. Collision avoidance systems can reduce the severity of accidents by using radar and camera image recognition to detect risks of collision before they happen.
Lane departure warning systems warn truck drivers if their trucks have started to veer outside of their lanes. This phenomenon causes thousands of collisions on the roads each year. However, digital technology can minimise this risk and alert drivers of their errors and distractions to further eliminate risk. IoT-connected interior and rear view cameras help companies to train their drivers and prevent collisions. While blind-spot warning devices improve blind spot visibility and help drivers to avoid accidents on the road.
Streamlined Recruitment Processes
Trucking companies can now use digital recruitment systems to streamline the hiring and training process. This helps them to hire only skilled and certified employees for their businesses.
Automated recruitment systems streamline the hiring process by screening candidates and resumes, and automatically scheduling initial interviews. This frees up your company’s HR department to focus on hiring the right people for the role.
Fleet Management and Telematics
GPS fleet management systems boast more functionalities and features today than ever before. These features improve driver routes and track data related to fuel tax reporting. They also manage how drivers use vehicles within a fleet to minimise environmental impact, lower maintenance and repair costs, and potentially avoid expensive breakdowns on route.
Fitting drivers’ devices with GPS systems has helped many trucking companies to improve their fleets’ productivity and limit the unauthorised use of vehicles. As a result, they’ve slashed labor- and fuel-related costs. Fleet managers can now access real-time information gathered by GPS systems about the movement and statuses of their vehicles. This encourages drivers to stick to allocated routes without diversion.
Automated Business Analytics and Cloud-Based Computing
These two technologies have enabled businesses across the greater logistics sector to use the vast amounts of traceable data they produce to their advantage.
Business analytics tools can assist companies in improving the efficiencies of their fleets and adjust how resources are utilised within their companies. They assist in identifying and addressing issues before they turn into costly problems that can disrupt their operations and their schedules.
Major retailers like Amazon are already piloting programs to use drones to make truckless deliveries. Driverless vehicles are expected to become more commonplace in the future too.
These technologies are still in their infancy, yet they have significant potential to boost the productivity of the logistics industry. This gives trucking businesses even more options when it comes to delivering customer shipments in good time. It also allows for urgent supplies to reach remote areas, and creates new opportunities for delivering aid to areas that are unreachable due to socio-economic issues or natural disasters.
Many trucking businesses in first world countries are already trialing self-driving trucks and partially autonomous vehicles with great success. Some are also adopting platooning technology, which manages fleets of vehicles using remote driving support systems. This could potentially help to alleviate the ongoing driver shortage that the global trucking industry is currently facing.
Automation in Warehouses
Automation streamlines workplace operations, and it’s especially evident in the trucking industry. Previously, warehouse employees handled the full picking, packing and loading process manually. But the development of automated supply chain management systems changed this.
Today, these systems can automate warehouse staff’s responsibilities. Additionally, they ensure that goods get loaded onto trucks as rapidly, efficiently, and accurately as possible with a minimal margin of error.
A Tech-Driven Trucking Industry
The trucking sector has advanced rapidly over the past few years as new automated technologies have changed how deliveries are made for good. When trucking businesses can locate, manage, and deliver shipments with ease and speed, they’re better able to cover fuel, insurance, and payroll expenses. In doing so, they can also work out how to calculate profit margin to preserve their current and future revenue stream.
As technology progresses further, the sector may become even more streamlined. Especially as the adoption of driverless vehicles, automated route management systems, drones, and other autonomous tools increases.
Making eCommerce Flow
Aizad Hussain is the CEO of Sprint Logistics and has been at the helm of the company for 18 years. Before his current role, he was the CEO of Transworld, the business that preceded Sprint Logistics. Below, we profile his team and his leadership style as he is recognised as the Most Influential eCommerce Logistics Solutions CEO 2023 – UK.
Sprint Logistics is a company that specialises in facilitating the e-commerce process by handling the physical aspects of shipping. It provides inbound freight, storage, kitting, picking, packing, and shipping for hundreds of thousands of parcels annually. It works with a diverse customer base across the UK and Europe, offering efficient, cost-effective, and high-quality solutions for direct-to-consumer, business-to-consumer, business-to-business, and marketing fulfilment marketplaces.
Sprint Logistics is committed to providing an excellent customer experience, reflected in the core values of being fast, flexible, innovative, and passionate about serving its clients. The company prides itself on offering value-added solutions to complex challenges and is dedicated to delivering the best possible service to its customers.
Essentially, Sprint Logistics is a reliable and customer-focused logistics company that aims to make e-commerce flow by providing seamless and efficient solutions for its clients.
Before his time at Transworld and Sprint Logistics, Aizad served as a young Group Managing Director of NTL:home, now known as VirginMedia. Before that, he worked as a Senior Associate at Morgan Stanley in the Investment Banking division.
Throughout his career, Aizad has gained extensive experience in product development, sales, marketing, deal-making, and finance. He has used this experience to shape Sprint Logistics into the successful logistics company that it is today.
As CEO, Aizad is responsible for overseeing the company’s strategic direction, ensuring that the company stays at the forefront of the industry, and maintaining the company’s core values. He has been instrumental in driving Sprint Logistics’ growth and expansion, as well as in developing its unique technology platforms, such as BOLT.
Under his leadership, Sprint Logistics has become a leading logistics provider, serving hundreds of thousands of parcels annually across the UK and Europe. Aizad Hussain’s vision and leadership have been crucial in establishing the company’s reputation for efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and excellent customer service.
The staff at Sprint Logistics play a critical role in the company’s success. As a logistics company that strongly emphasises delivering excellent customer experiences, the employees are the key to achieving this goal.
Sprint Logistics’ teams are dedicated to providing fast, flexible, innovative, and passionate solutions to complex challenges. They have a wealth of industry experience, enabling them to handle a range of issues that may arise during the e-commerce process. The company strongly emphasises hiring and retaining the best talent and investing in their development, training, and career progression.
The staff’s commitment to delivering high-quality services is evident in Sprint Logistics’ investment in technology and infrastructure. It has developed its bespoke warehouse management and shipping platforms so they are designed to meet the needs of modern multi-channel environments. The team has played a crucial role in developing, implementing, and maintaining these platforms.
Furthermore, Sprint Logistics’ staff operate out of 250,000 sq. ft of warehouses across the UK and EU, which require efficient and organised management to ensure that goods are stored, handled, and shipped correctly. Therefore, the employees’ experience, skills, and attention to detail are essential in ensuring that the company meets its clients’ needs and maintains high customer satisfaction.
Their skills, experience, dedication, and commitment to delivering high-quality services are crucial in providing excellent customer experiences and maintaining the company’s reputation as a reliable and efficient logistics partner.
Regarding what is ahead for the company, Sprint Logistics has ambitious plans for the future, with a primary goal of completing the rollout of their cloud-based WMS, BOLT – Business Operations and Logistics Technology. The company has invested several millions of pounds in developing this platform, which launched in April 2022.
Once fully rolled out, BOLT will provide Sprint Logistics with the most outstanding functionality and operational flexibility to manage all seven facilities through a single platform. The company believes its technology is unique and will be a significant source of competitive advantage over time.
In addition to the BOLT rollout, Sprint Logistics will continue to focus on providing excellent customer experiences through their efficient and cost-effective logistics services. The company plans to expand its client base further, working with both new entrepreneurs and established businesses across various industries in the UK and Europe.
Finally, Sprint Logistics will maintain its commitment to its core values of being fast, flexible, innovative, and passionate to serve and provide solutions to complex challenges. The company will continue to invest in its staff, technology, and infrastructure to remain at the forefront of the e-commerce logistics industry, providing its clients with the highest level of service and support. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Sprint Logistics.
For business enquiries, contact Aizad Hussain from Sprint Logistics on their website – sprintlogistics.com
Tools to Keep Organised When Running a Business
Running a business is fast-paced. When it comes to a start-up, you can often find yourself being pulled in different directions. From economic awareness to finances, and marketing strategies to customer demand, there’s a lot that has to be done to make a business successful. Luckily, there are ways to make these tasks more manageable via tools that are designed for optimal organisation, planning and execution. Let’s take a look at them.
Monitor the economy
To start a business, knowledge of the economy is powerful. It will allow you to understand your position and how your business will impact the economy, and vice versa. Economic data and reports can inform strategic decisions and allow business owners to plan for costs and revenues, determine the timings of investments, and prepare for any economic downturn.
While developing an understanding is important, this knowledge must be maintained too. After all, the economy evolves every day. The US economic calendar is a useful tool that allows businesses to monitor the landscape they operate in.
Displaying global events, the calendar includes data on the balance of trade, inflation rates, and retail sales, each of which can be filtered by location. By accessing this information in the calendar, businesses can understand when it’s best to make investments to make the most of their money.
Online accounting software
The aim for most businesses is to make a profit. With a business plan comes an idea of finances, like running costs, spending on stock and marketing strategies. Once your business is up and running, money will be coming and going, so it’s important to keep track of it.
Online accounting software is a useful tool for this. Platforms like Xero can monitor transactions and provide snapshots of cash flow so that you can see what you’re spending vs what you’re earning. It also has the capability to send invoices and submit VAT returns to HMRC. Having all of this in one place is a useful tool for keeping a business’s finances organised.
Marketing contains many pillars. From strategies to research, and product development to promotion, marketing is fast-paced so keeping up to speed is key. Platforms like Survey Monkey can assist with market research and will allow you to collect data from your target audience in one online space.
As for promoting your product or service, this can include digital forms of marketing like SEO, digital advertising, and content creation. Thanks to social media, good content has never been more important. Content marketing systems (CMS) are useful here and allow you to manage all of your content from one place.
Customer relationship management
Starting a new business means acquiring and retaining new customers. As your number of customers begins to rise, it’s important to maintain relationships as this will lead to brand loyalty. As the numbers add up, you may start to feel as though you have too many customers to keep track of.
That’s where a customer relationship management (CRM) system comes into play. Software like Zendesk can provide insightful customer data so that you can respond accordingly and manage customer expectations. This often comes with the option to assist with marketing efforts like emails and is a good way to communicate with your customers efficiently.
Running a business takes time, and effort and often requires multitasking. With an abundance of tools available, you can run your business efficiently.
The Cookie Cliff Edge: What Will the Loss of Third-Party Cookies Mean for Your Assets?
What private equity firms cannot afford to miss about the impending cookie changes and how they must respond to protect their assets
Dan Spicer, Global Head of Go-To-Market, Palladium
Google has announced that it will stop the use of third-party cookies in Chrome in 2024. Third-party cookies are one of many tracking technologies provided by a third party – often an adtech company like Google or Facebook – that your assets employ on their websites for the benefit of running analytics solutions, advertising platforms and technology integrations.
Google Chrome is the dominant web browser with more than a 60% market share, so its move to block cookies will have a huge impact on the advertising and marketing industry. If the 2024 timeline holds, cookies will soon be rendered obsolete, marking one of the most significant changes in recent digital media history. Some argue that the reappraisal of cookies is long overdue and that as cookies are phased out, new, and better solutions will be born. Indeed, future solutions with higher privacy standards and better targeting capabilities are already in the making.
However, private equity (PE) owners cannot afford to walk blindly into this impending change. There will be a demonstrable impact on businesses’ marketing activity which, if not addressed swiftly, could ultimately impact long term business performance and subsequent shareholder value.
The loss of third-party cookies should be a wake-up call for businesses
Pay-per-click (programmatic and social media) advertising and customer analytics are the most common use of third-party cookies. The data is used to create user profiles and then deliver personalised ads or provide intelligence around the user to inform business decisions. Google’s decision to block third party cookies should, therefore, be a wake-up call for businesses, who must break their reliance on third-party data.
First-party, privacy-friendly datasets are richer and more impactful when it comes to improving campaign performance. They also strengthen the trust between customer and business. However, the true potential of first-party data is rarely reached, due to the accessibility of third-party data.
The demise of third-party data won’t mean the end of marketing or cross-departmental customer experience. What it will mean, however, is that in order for your assets to scale engagement across all tools and channels— accurately and with consent— they will need to rethink the kind of data they are using; how they are collecting it; how it’s distributed and how it is kept secure.
Navigating the new digital marketing environment
First-party cookies will remain and can help identify what a user did while visiting your website. You can see how often they visit it and gain other basic analytics. However, you can’t see data related to your visitor’s behaviour on other websites that are not affiliated with your domain.
The biggest winners
Google is launching its Privacy Sandbox initiative. This is an ad targeting tech stack which Google is proposing will replace cookie-based targeted advertising in Chrome by 2024.
Walled Gardens such as Facebook, Google, and to a lesser extent, Amazon act as one-stop, first-party shop for advertisers, with inventory, audiences based on their own first-party data and measurement, all managed within their platforms.
New cookie-less solutions will undoubtably be looked at by a number of vendors. Although it is probable that many will fail, we may see a number of solutions come to market that are successful.
Publishers will find the disappearance of third-party data a huge boon for publishers, who will become one of few reliable sources of quality data about consumers. Many publishers have strong first-party data assets that are ready to serve to correlate sources of truth for targeting, attribution, and measurement, and marketers can increasingly access this supply directly via private marketplaces.
Digital marketing is in a state of transition, and that presents an opportunity for marketers willing to pivot towards something better. The winners we have identified all have one thing in common: they can leverage their first-party data.
The biggest losers
Third-party data providers are one of the players taking the biggest hit are the ones who have built their entire business models around selling data collected using third-party cookies.
Brands with limited first-party data maturity have the most to lose from a cookie-less ecosystem. Building and maintaining a strong first-party data set that can live and breathe as a critical enterprise asset.
The Open Exchange is likely to lose much of its appeal without third-party cookies. In 2021, eMarketer projected that private marketplace spending would surpass the open exchange as early as this year. However, those numbers were crunched before Google made the Chrome announcement.
Private equity has no time to waste
Private equity firms must engage with their portfolio companies and the necessary advisers to implement the required technology and process changes. Creating a first-party data strategy to combat cookie loss is key. Switching a marketing and customer experience strategy to a first-party data strategy isn’t swapping out one set of data for another. It’s complementing this existing approach with richer and more strategically-aligned data that maps to the organisation’s revenue goals.
Managing third-party data, the complexity of consent and various overlapping regulations is challenging. Developing a data governance process that implements consent management means that the resources required for complying with GDPR is drastically reduced which makes data auditing traceability scalable.
As data volume, variety, and velocity continue to outpace many teams’ capabilities, organisations face the challenge of collecting, transforming and putting customer data to use while adhering to new and evolving regulations. Identifying and building the right analytics structure will ensures any new data strategy delivers accretive value to all stakeholders.
Private equity firms also need to overhaul their digital due diligence immediately. Buyers must be able to analyse where a prospective target is in terms of awareness and action on this issue, while ensuring shortcomings and necessary investment are factored into underwriting. In the current economic environment, firms cannot afford to overpay.
In short, it is vital that private equity firms act now to ready their assets for a new digital marketing environment and to ensure any new investments are well placed to adapt to the impending change. Without swift action, significant shareholder value could be lost.
How AI Drives Better Businesses Performance
Employee of the Month – Viktorija Ragozina
Viktorija Ragozina – Our April Employee of the Month
Congratulations to Viktorija. Viktorija joined the business in January of this year, and this is already the second time she has been voted as Employee of the Month. Viktorija has a great work ethic, is a great team player and is a fantastic asset to the lead generation team and to the business.
Viktorija has been providing holiday cover for another individual within the I.T. team over recent weeks. She took on the new challenge, picked things up quickly and managed to still fulfil many of her tasks within her regular role. Viktorija is eager to learn new things, support others and has an infectious and very positive attitude to her work.
We’re delighted to have you at AI, thank you for your hard work, Viktorija.
Cap Maison Launches Indulgent Chocolate Themed Break
For those looking to satisfy their Chocolate craving after the Easter Eggs have long gone, Cap Maison, the luxury boutique resort and spa in Saint Lucia has created the perfect indulgent chocolate themed break, which is bound to satisfy the taste buds of chocolate lovers everywhere.
Highlights of the package include an excursion to chocolatier and cacao grower Hotel Chocolat at Rabot Estate in the South of the Island. Guests can immerse themselves in a Bean to Bar experience by learning about the chocolate making process. Afterwards, under the guidance of the professional cocoa expert, they will have the chance to craft their very own chocolate bars using the estate grown cocoa. Whilst there, guests can discover their famous Cacao Cuisine in a la carte restaurant which incorporates the use of chocolate in the exquisite menu, all of which can be enjoyed whilst taking in the stunning views across the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Other highlights include a cocktail making masterclass at Cap Maison where guests will have the chance to create their very own chocolate and rum based cocktail under the expert guidance of Cap Maison’s professional rummier. The ingredients for the cocktail will include Cap Maison’s very own Cask Aged Rum and locally produced chocolate, accompanied with delicious chocolate tasting.
For those looking to enjoy a deluxe spa experience, several of the alluring treatments available at the Spa Maison incorporate chocolate into the mix for a truly indulgent experience, including ‘Chocolate Delight’ – chocolate lovers will breathe in the beautifully scented aromas of chocolate as they experience the stimulating effects of a chocolate body scrub followed by a rich chocolate body wrap, completed with a warm chocolate oil relaxing massage.
Set in the heart of the exclusive Cap Estate, the location of the resort also lends itself to numerous culturally immersive activities for guests, with the vibrant Rodney Bay just a few moments-drive away for shopping, a flourishing dining scene and a glimpse into marina life. There is also a range of other activities to enjoy, including a Rainforest Adventure/Zip Line Tour, Sulpher Springs Mud Bath and Horseback Riding.
Seven nights in a Garden View Room on a B&B basis in the summer season (3 April – 19 December) start from £452 per room, per night. All activities and excursions can be booked separately at an additional charge through the hotel’s concierge desk.
For reservations, please email: [email protected]
Why a Career in CX is a Strong Choice for Ambitious Professionals
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How to Start a Virtual Assistant Business in 2023
Saving time, reducing costs and extending customer reach are all crucial to the success of any small or medium sized business. Coupled with the increasing need for a career that provides absolute freedom and flexibility, the demand for virtual assistants has never been higher.
As of February 2023, there were around 4.39 million self-employed workers in the UK. With increasing numbers of workers chasing the elusive healthy work-life balance, the popularity of starting a virtual assistant business has gone from strength to strength in recent years.
What makes an excellent virtual assistant?
Many of us have come to rely on voice-controlled virtual assistants such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Siri to stay organised, informed, and safe. Well, the same goes for virtual assistant businesses being hired by forward-thinking business owners.
The best virtual assistants are:
- Internet and computer savvy
- Highly organised
- Excellent multi-taskers
- Calm problem-solvers
- Great time-managers
- Have a keen eye for detail
- Reliable and honest
- Kind and friendly
If this describes you, there’s never been a better time to start a virtual assistant business, offering services from calendar management and scheduling to improving your client’s caller experience with the Dialpad auto attendant feature.
If you like the idea of starting your own virtual assistant business this year but don’t know where to begin, here are six top tips to make your new career possible.
Find your niche
There are many avenues to go down when picking your niche. The important thing is to pick one and stick with it. Narrowing down the services you offer and the clients you work with, gives you less competition and more visibility, and lets you demand higher rates.
Social media management, customer service support, project management, book keeping and SEO skills are just a handful of the most in-demand virtual assistant niches in 2023.
Understand your target audience
So, you’ve chosen your niche, but who are you going to target? Entrepreneurs? Small businesses? Agencies? And will you work for one client or for multiple clients? Focusing on the most likely clients to require your services will help you streamline your marketing efforts and generate the most business leads.
Build your brand
A concise business plan will help you to clearly map out the future of your virtual assistant business. So, to begin building your brand, you must:
- Name and register your business
- Decide on the legal structure of the business (sole trader or partnership)
- Explain how you will gain new clients
- Create a marketing strategy
- Research operating costs and business insurance
- Set financial goals
- Set up a business bank account
- Design a brand logo
- Choose the colours and font for your brand
- Come up with a company slogan
- Set up a website and social media profiles
- Apply your branding across the business.
Invest in the latest virtual assistant technology
One of the best things about starting a virtual assistant business is that there’s very little outlay involved. When you’re starting out you just need a good quality desk, chair, computer/laptop, headphones, and a stable WiFi connection.
However, there are useful modern virtual assistant business tools to consider. These include:
Virtual assistant business tools
What are the benefits?
Time tracking management
– Increased productivity
– Effective project management
– Boosts communication
– Streamlines collaboration
– Makes scheduling meetings easier
Invoicing and accounting apps
– Helps keep track of income & expenses
– Ensures bills are paid on time
– Better flexibility and savings
– More time to focus on business growth
Remote access tool (RAT)
– Complete control
– Quicker response times
– Reduced costs
– Access to real-time analytics
– Prevents losses & protects customer data
– Increases return on investment (ROI)
– Increases customer satisfaction
When researching and investing in virtual assistant business tools, consider attending an on-demand webinar or online training program to learn about the latest technology and techniques for optimizing your business.
You may also want to consider using client portal software, which allows you to securely share files, collaborate with clients, and manage project workflows all in one place.
Create a competitive virtual assistant pricing structure
The average hourly rate for a virtual assistant ranges from £15 – £35. This varies depending on your location, skills, and level of experience.
As the demand for hiring virtual assistants increases, so does the pressure on perceptive VAs to be as competitive and open as possible. So, once you have your business plan and tools in place, it’s time to set out your pricing options.
Effective ways to set your rates as a virtual assistant include:
- Do some market research to see what other virtual assistants charge.
- Price your service at an hourly rate for ease.
- Based on your hourly rate, offer discounts based on an hourly package.
- Gauge how long a project will take by running a mock version of the work. Time how much data you can enter in 15 minutes and then multiply it to know how much can be done in an hour.
- Once you know how long a specific task takes, create a service package at a flat fee each month for a specific service e.g. data entry.
- Monthly retainers are a popular pricing option in the VA world. Providing a set fee each month no matter how much work is completed, monthly retainers give virtual assistants extra security on their income.
- A one-off flat fee project is when you offer a single fixed fee for a service. Typically, these are the easiest for clients to understand exactly what they’re paying for.
Once your pricing structure is in place, you can construct a contract that clearly outlines the work involved, specific tasks required, the time contracted, payment terms, and more.
In addition to the traditional hourly-based payment model, some virtual assistants have started offering their services through a subscription business model, which can provide recurring revenue and greater predictability in cash flow.
Amplify your network to find more clients
Find your tribe by connecting with a network of fellow virtual assistants. Helping to showcase your skills and connect with potential clients, social media is an essential part of any successful virtual assistant business strategy nowadays.
With over 6,000 results for virtual assistant jobs in the UK alone, LinkedIn holds a wealth of benefits for virtual assistant start-ups. You can reach a much wider audience and raise your overall profile by building your Linkedin contacts.
That said, it also pays to invest in a bit of research into more niche platforms. For example, virtual assistants looking for social media marketing work also rate freelance platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.
Reach your full potential by starting a virtual assistant business
The sharpest virtual assistants are putting these tips into practice to reap the widest range of benefits possible. And you can too! Finding your niche and keeping up with the latest virtual assistant business tools can do wonders for a virtual assistant company just starting out.
Navigating Dutch Business Culture: Advice for Expanding Your Business Operations to the Netherlands
Around 400 companies each year set up their Business in the Netherlands, coming from Europe, North and South America, and Asia – and continues to be a place of choice for business expansion.
Expanding your business to the Netherlands brings with it plenty of excitement and opportunity. There are many good reasons to open an office in the Netherlands, whether in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, or any of the other amazing cities the country has to offer. If you decide to make the leap, ensure that you are fully compliant with local tax regulations, as well as outsourcing a Data Protection Officer role to a native Dutch speaker to ensure that you are fully compliant with GDPR in the country. In Dutch this is called ‘externe functionaris gegevensbescherming’. This, alongside all other business considerations should be taken very seriously in order for your business to be a success.
What are the tips you should take on board to navigate Dutch business culture when expanding your business to the Netherlands?
Why move your business to the Netherlands?
Many entrepreneurs and business owners have decided to open up their business to operate in the Netherlands in recent years, and with good reason. Here are just a few of the benefits of expanding your business to the Netherlands:
A good location – the Netherlands has fantastic trade links and transportation routes both within the country and out of it. To the west is the UK and Ireland within easy reach via the sea, road, rail and air, whilst links to the rest of Europe, Asia, and to every part of the globe is possible through its large ports and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, which is an international travel hub.
Well-developed cities – an established and growing market awaits you, with well-developed cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven, and The Hague, that all have great transport links between them and a market that is ripe for you to sell your products and services to.
A fantastic working population – the labour pool in the Netherlands is well-educated and highly-skilled within a wide variety of industries. The world class education system in the country has led to the development of a workforce eager to learn and with high standards of productivity and focus.
Easy migrant visas – the government issue work visas to a large number of people, enabling businesses to expand into the country whilst bringing certain numbers of existing staff to come with them.
Great tax incentives – the tax system is favourable to businesses in the Netherlands, with 15% statutory corporate income tax on the first €395,000 of profits and 25.8% on the next €395,000. The transparency of the benefits to incoming businesses makes it attractive, with 30% personal income tax advantages for skilled foreign workers.
What are the specific parts of Dutch business culture you need to know?
There are a few key parts of Dutch business culture that are very important. We’ll break it down into different sections below so you can see exactly what to expect and what is expected from you when conducting business in the Netherlands. The biggest thing though, across all aspects of Dutch life is punctuality. Dutch people are always on time for any type of meeting. If you are late, you will not build relationships.
Business meetings – there are a few key ones here, including the punctuality mentioned above. Always shake hands with every person in the room when arriving, expect business talk to start right away, and don’t waste any time during the meeting. Dutch people expect any proposals to be backed up with concrete facts and figures, so always be fully prepared before bringing up a potential thread of conversation.
A task-oriented society – you’ll find that many Dutch people don’t find it a necessary part of business life to create personal relationships with counterparts before conducting business. A business relationship is often kept formal and does not bleed into the personal lives of people who interact with each other daily as part of their work life. You can become friends with your Dutch colleagues but generally they will only do this if there is no potential negative impact on business.
There are a few steps you need to work through when expanding your business in the Netherlands. It is an extremely welcoming place to conduct business, with ample available and flexible workspaces to choose from, enticing tax incentives for a wide range of businesses and sectors, and a working population that is well motivated, highly educated and skilled, and always ready to learn more. Add in the great transport and logistics within the country itself, to wider Europe and the World, and you can see why it is such a popular choice of country when it comes to expanding businesses, especially from British firms looking to plug back into the EU market post-Brexit. As long as you follow the local rules and laws, ensure compliance with GDPR, and understand the specific business culture of the Dutch people, you can make a success of expanding into the country with your company.
10 Steps to Take to Start Your Own Trucking Business
Starting your own trucking company offers a unique opportunity to carve out a niche in the ever-expanding transportation and logistics industry. As an owner, you can enjoy the freedom of being your own boss while reaping the benefits of meeting rising demands for shipping services.
Launching a successful trucking business can lead to financial stability and consistent growth, but you need the right advice to scale. Otherwise, your company may fail at the starting line.
10 Steps to Take to Start a Successful Trucking Business
In this guide, we’ll explore ten essential steps you need to take to begin building your own thriving trucking enterprise. By the end of this article, you should be ready to get started.
1. Create a Business Plan
Begin by drafting a solid business plan that outlines your goals, target customers, and strategies for growth. This will serve as your roadmap to success and help attract potential investors. A well-drafted business plan can also serve as collateral when you want to borrow money.
2. Choose a Legal Structure
Determine the best legal structure for your trucking business, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. Register the company name with your state’s Secretary of State office. As a rule, most trucking companies start as LLCs and eventually become corporations.
3. Find Financing Options
Explore various financing options like small business loans or private investments to cover initial costs such as trucks, insurance, and operating expenses. If you already have an Employer ID Number (EIN), you can open up a business bank account and start building business credit.
4. Purchase or Lease Trucks
As a rule, you should buy one or more trucks for your business. As you start to scale, you can add a fleet and more employees. Check out platforms like chartertrucks.com when shopping for reliable used trucks, or explore leasing options that best fit your budget and operational needs.
5. Obtain Necessary Permits and Licenses
Apply for the required permits and licenses, including a USDOT number and Motor Carrier Operating Authority (MC Number). Keep in mind that these regulations may vary by state. If you want to drive your truck to Canada from the United States, you’ll need to get an IRP tag.
6. Secure Insurance Coverage
Research different insurance providers in order to secure the appropriate amount of coverage for liability protection and cargo coverage based on federal regulations and client requirements. Depending on your offerings, you may be able to offer protection insurance directly to clients.
7. Establish Pricing Strategy
Develop a competitive pricing strategy by analyzing market rates and estimating expenses accurately. You’ll want to make sure your pricing scheme is fair for you and the customers. There are several strategies to choose from, but the most common are competition-based.
8. Build a Strong Marketing Presence
Build a professional website showcasing your services and launch social media profiles to engage with potential customers actively. Networking within the industry can also open doors for new clients. Consider creating targeted, well-made content to promote your business offerings.
9. Employee Training and Safety Measures
Implement ongoing employee training programs focused on driver safety and compliance with transportation laws/regulations. If you’re not comfortable training your staff in-house, sign them up for a course at a local college. Ineffective training programs can put everyone’s life at risk.
10. Monitor Performance Regularly
Regularly review your financial reports to ensure your business remains profitable. Marketing metrics like key performance indicators (KPIs) will allow you to make informed decisions about scaling operations effectively while maintaining healthy profitability margins over time.
Taking the initiative to start your own trucking business can be rewarding and exciting. By following these ten steps and remaining diligent in your planning, marketing, and customer service, you’ll be well on your way to launching a profitable venture in this high-demand industry.
The NHS is Going Green with Commercial Heat Pumps for Their Buildings, Leading the Way in Decarbonisation
23rd May 2023
The NHS needs a substantial amount of heat and hot water to keep patients healthy. Commercial heat pumps are the only technology that can easily scale, is available and is a reasonable, low carbon heat generation option.
Natural refrigerant heat pumps provide a very efficient and sustainable heating solution. CO2 heat pumps can produce temperatures that are appropriate for hospitals where cleanliness and hygiene are critical.
The NHS has a sound track record of being an environmentally responsible organisation. Many NHS facilities have taken steps towards sustainability through a variety of measures, such as reducing carbon emissions and increasing recycling rates.
To support greener sources, financial support from the Phase 2 Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme is bringing the heat pumps to NHS facilities.
Let’s look at the NHS steps towards decarbonisation across all hospitals.
Introduction to commercial heat pumps as a green solution
Commercial heat pumps are an excellent option for hospital facilities, as they combine the benefits of heating and cooling in one system. Heat pumps can provide both hot water for hospitals or space heating for offices and other facilities, meaning that there’s less need for separate boilers.
Air source heat pumps can draw heat from the environment even if temperatures get freezing. It passes extracted heat from the environment into the interior and warms the building.
Ground-source heat pumps are powered by heat from the ground through pipes. The pipes, made of either plastic or copper, are filled with antifreeze and water, which is sent around the pipes to draw heat from the ground.
The NHS has set a goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2040. This will require further investment in green technology to reduce energy consumption and lower operational costs.
Installing a heat pump in NHS hospitals will:
- Help reduce energy bills, -Improve local air quality, and,-Transitioning away from dependence on fossil fuel imports can help increase energy security.
Tim Rook – Chartered Engineer at Clade Engineering, explains the processes involved behind the NHS installing heat pumps:
“Heat pumps are the only scalable, available and viable low carbon heat generation technology. In particular natural refrigerant heat pumps – r290 heat pumps and CO2 – offer a very low carbon sustainable heating option. CO2 heat pumps can generate very high temperatures suitable for hospitals where cleanliness and hygiene are of vital importance.”
Heat pumps can reduce energy use and cost by transferring heat from a lower temperature to a higher one (like the air). This means that less energy is required to keep the building at a comfortable and dependable temperature.
This has positive effects for the staff and patients.
Heat pump systems are essential in aiding the NHS and other organisations reach their net-zero goals. For the first time, temperatures in Britain last Summer soared above 40°C and this served as a powerful warning of the dangers of climate change. We are still in the dark about how this will affect us in the Winter months of the future.
Take a look at how heat pump technology can help to decarbonise the NHS
Implementing Commercial Heat Pumps in the NHS: Three example projects of heat pumps in NHS facilities
The North Bristol NHS Trust will reduce the carbon footprint of two buildings at Southmead Hospital in Bristol. Engineers will fit air source heat pumps in the Antenatal Clinic and its Elgar building. These will lower the amount of electricity needed while giving financial savings to the Trust.
The Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust has plans to make East Riding Community Hospital and the Humber Centre carbon-free. They will install air source heat pumps to provide renewable energy.
A ground source heat pump system has been fitted in St. Mary’s Hospital in London to give both heating and cooling to its critical care unit. The hospital has reduced its carbon emissions by over 40% and expects to save around £1 million per year in energy costs.
Read more about the NHS decarbonisation scheme benefiting many NHS trusts with the use of commercial heat pumps and other renewable energy sources.
Challenges faced during implementation and solutions
Implementing commercial heat pumps in NHS hospitals can pose several challenges, including:
- NHS hospitals often have limited space,- The initial cost of installing a commercial heat pump can be high,- The maintenance of a commercial heat pump can also be complex.
To address these challenges, the following solutions, when implemented, will allow NHS facilities to break through installation challenges.
Engineers can install the heat pump in a compact design that minimises its space requirement. Using a heat pump installed outside the hospital can save valuable indoor space.- NHS hospitals can explore financing options, such as grants or loans, to offset the initial cost of installing the commercial heat pump. As mentioned, the £635m Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme is already helping NHS facilities.
- Hospitals can partner with companies that specialise in the installation of commercial heat pumps. This ensures that the installation is done correctly, reducing the chances of breakdowns and maintenance issues.- Hospitals can implement a regular maintenance schedule to keep the heat pump functioning at optimal levels. This will help reduce downtime and prolong the lifespan of the system.
The NHS continues to show its commitment to sustainability and decarbonisation through commercial heat pumps. The significance of the NHS’s leadership in adopting green technology is amplified because it is an influential organisation.
This will help to raise awareness of the benefits of commercial heat pumps and encourage other organisations to follow suit and decarbonise their facilities.
How To Improve Your Staff Benefits And Perks This Year
Staff retention is one of the main challenges faced by many companies nowadays. People often spend the majority of their time working, which can cause various issues. For example, if they sit at a desk for more than 40 hours a week, this can result in lower back pain and other health concerns. Also, employees may struggle to draw the lines between work and life if they work from home. However, you can take steps to enhance employee benefits and offer perks that improve their quality of life. Today we will present you with some ideas that you may want to explore this year.
Ask Employees To Share Their Thoughts
One of the most important things you can do is to ask employees what benefits and perks they would prefer to have. Although this is a simple step, many employers forget about consulting their employees first. You may discover that there are certain things that your employees don’t value as much as you thought. Therefore, you may consider removing some of the perks that are already in place and adding new ones, which will work better for your employees. Also, it will give you a chance to check how employees are feeling and whether there is something else you can do to support them in their roles.
Introduce New Initiatives
There are plenty of initiatives, that you can introduce to help your employees get access to great deals and save some money. For example, you may want to research different salary sacrifice scheme packages. LV ElectriX offers a great electric car salary sacrifice scheme, that can help employees save up to 40% on the cost of an electric vehicle. Also, this can be a fantastic strategy to implement if you are also trying to improve sustainability within your company. Be sure to book a consultation with the team at LV ElectriX to find out more.
Invest In Personal And Professional Development
Don’t forget to think about your employees’ personal and professional development, as you would want them to feel stimulated at work. It can be beneficial to arrange for them to take part in courses or classes online and in person so that they can develop valuable skills. Also, make sure you set aside some time to discuss their goals and plans for the future. Remember to clarify opportunities for progression within the company so that they are aware of their options.
Provide Health-Related Benefits
It’s crucial to show employees that you care about their physical and mental health. There are a few key things you can do to create a healthy workspace. Encourage them to stay fit by providing them with free gym memberships or access to meditation apps. Make sure that they get regular breaks throughout the day so that they can stretch their bodies and switch their minds off. It can be a good idea to get a variety of healthy snacks, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, or energy bars. This can lead to increased productivity and motivation, ensuring they feel at their best all the time.
Recognise Your Employees
Recognition can go a long way, especially if employees have spent a long time working on a difficult project or chasing clients. Therefore, it’s important to show employees that you appreciate their efforts and hard work in a variety of ways. This way, their sense of purpose will soar, so they will be more excited to come to work and do their best.
You may want to consider:
- giving out additional performance bonuses
- sending thank-you notes
- offering vouchers and discounts
- taking your team out to dinner
- offering them extra days off
- giving continuous feedback
- sharing success stories on social media
- hosting company awards
Flexibility is another key factor, that you shouldn’t overlook, as most employees nowadays look for freedom and flexibility. For example, you may want to provide flexible start and finish times so employees can fit other commitments around their schedules. Additionally, offering the option to work from home a few days a week can help employees save time and money on commuting. If there are new parents in your office, it can be a nice gesture to offer them extended paid time off.
Try Team-Building Activities
Team-building activities can provide your employees with the chance to get to know other co-workers and have fun together outside of working hours. However, at the same time they can help improve team collaboration and communication between employees from different departments. Moreover, organising team-building events may encourage employees to explore their strengths and address their weaknesses in different situations. Also, they will be given the chance to think creatively, which can assist them in day-to-day work responsibilities. There are lots of great examples of team-building activities that you and your team can get involved in, such as escape rooms, scavenger hunts, or other challenges.
Security Culture and Good Culture
IT leaders are constantly struggling to build a “culture of security” but perhaps the real problem is a lack of culture building throughout the organization in general.
I’ve seen many attempts to build this ever elusive “security culture” that Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) dream of. Nevertheless, cyber practitioners are regularly slapping their foreheads at the malicious links and downloads the end users click on that, to the security professional, seem so obviously dangerous. Most of the time this is chalked up to the ignorance of users and undoubtedly that is a contributing factor.
But many times there is another, deeper, issue at play; the employees just don’t care.
And why should they? If the organization is hit with a ransomware attack many employees may just find themselves with some extra hours with little to do. If money is stolen from the organization it may not actually impact their pay check at all. If client PII is stolen, it won’t necessarily harm the employee.
This may seem like a pessimistic view of our team members’ investment and it is probably a bit exaggerated, but I have heard employees make statements identical to these and many more express a general lack of security concern. Why is that? It’s not a security culture problem, it is a culture problem.
Here are a few hard truths IT and business leaders need to accept:
Employees won’t care about security unless they care about the organization
Business owners care about the business because they build it and own it. They are directly tied to its success or failure. Security risks mean more to them. The average employee may not share the same connection to the organization. If it fails, they may have to look for another job but that investment is likely far less than what an executive has. If you want team members to care about security you must help them to care about the organization as a whole.
Employees won’t care about the organization unless the organization cares about them and provides them with purpose
This observation is the logical next step. Employees need to feel intimately connected with the organization in order to care about security, and that won’t happen unless they feel that they are cared for by the organization and they share purpose in the organization. That is to say, they see the value that is being provided to society by both the business and their personal work.
Employees won’t care about security unless they understand the risks to the company and how that risk impacts them
Only after the first two issues are addressed can security awareness and training actually begin to take place. Many business leaders want to start on this point but, as has been demonstrated, they are several steps ahead of their team members and the training is going to fall flat. Additionally, many user training programs today fail to connect the risks to the organization with the employee personally. User training should not be so generic that the user does not understand that clicking that link or downloading that malicious file may seriously harm their particular area of work and employment. Training needs to be generic enough to cover many types of threats but specific enough to show personal impact.
Cybersecurity must be directly connected to the mission of the organization
Ultimately, for a culture of security to permeate an organization security must be shown to have a direct connection to the overall mission of the business. For instance, if you are part of a medical organization then your mission may be to provide life improving health services to those in need. Security training ought to be associated with the continued ability to provide those services. A significant enough cyber attack can lead to down time (i.e. people that could not be helped) and financial failure of the organization (i.e. complete mission failure for the organization and the employee’s end of employment).
Building a security culture is only possible as an outgrowth of overall culture growth efforts. Attempting to bypass the need for a people and mission centric focus throughout the organization is to accept that your people will never really care enough about the organization to care about its security.
Justin McCorkle is the Director of Business Development for Tuearis Cyber, offering Professional and Managed Cyber Services. You can find out more about their services by visiting TuearisCyber.com.
Cross-Listing of Equities In Asia-Pacific – Unlocking Trillions In Value
The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region has turned into an economic powerhouse over the past few decades, housing a significant chunk of the global population, a burgeoning middle class, and trillions in GDP and consumer spending.
That being said, however, there are trillions of dollars more in potential value still waiting to be unlocked across the equity markets in this region. By undoing the archaic protectionist policies and fallacious economic thinking, the region can once again get back on its famed double digit growth trajectory.
Cross-listing essentially refers to companies from across the region and the rest of the world listing in one or more local exchanges. With this, not only do companies get access to much needed capital, investors in these regions stand to get plenty of wealth creation opportunities that extend beyond their borders, with total transparency, in adherence to global standards.
Growing Importance of Asia-Pacific
The Asia-Pacific region is a key driver of global economic growth, and has been throughout the past few decades.
In addition to this, countries in the region such as China, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia have turned into massive consumption centres. For companies, having their stocks listed in these countries, and allowing locals to get a piece of it is a great way to generate goodwill, all the while overcoming various protectionist barriers.
Access To A Vast Pool of Investors
By listing across different countries and exchanges, companies stand to gain access to a vast pool of investors, and with it much better valuations.
Having access to such large pools of potential investors helps during periods of high volatility, creating strong support for stocks in certain regions, when there is selling pressure on others.
At the same time, stocks can easily command higher valuations, which comes in handy when borrowing, or during follow-on stock offerings.
Diversified Investor Base
In addition to a company’s inherent fundamentals and future outlook, stock valuations are also driven by the monetary policies, inflationary pressures, and other macroeconomic trends that persist in the country where it is listed.
For example, during periods of rock-bottom interest rates in 2020, equity markets started rallying, with individual securities commanding valuations as high as 38 times earnings. Now that the Fed has raised rates to its highest in decades, at 5.25%, the S&P 500 average price-to-earnings ratio is back to 24.
This dependence of monetary policies and regional headwinds can be minimized to a great extent by cross-listing. If the central banking policies of one country turns hawkish, a company can take advantage of dovish policies on the other end of the pond.
Cross-listed stocks also benefit from significantly higher volumes, which make buying fractional shares, CFDs, and mirror protocols, all within reach for investors.
Increased Visibility & Brand Recognition
Being listed on a public exchange alone helps improve a company’s public profile manifold, especially as investors, analysts, and the broader ecosystem consistently engage with the stock, its prospects, and more.
This visibility can grow significantly when a stock is cross-listed on multiple exchanges, boosting brand recognition, and overall profile across various geographic regions.
Given that all major companies would want to maintain a presence in the APAC region, having their stocks listed in local exchanges is a great way to build buzz and goodwill among consumers.
As lucrative as the APAC region is for companies and investors alike, it remains plagued by the lack of transparency among regulatory bodies and other critical institutions.
China is notorious in this regard, which often compels even locals to give equity markets a miss in favour of real estate. However, if Chinese companies manage to list in Hong Kong and Singapore, it instils trust even among domestic investors, given how strong institutions are in the latter regions.
In addition to this, stocks are constantly followed and scrutinized by the analyst community across different regions, giving investors additional confidence.
As the APAC region continues to assert its dominance as an economic powerhouse, it makes great strategic sense for companies to list their stocks across multiple local exchanges.
While it comes with its share of regulatory hurdles and compliance requirements, the broader benefits far outweigh these constraints, which should make cross-listing the norm among multinational corporations.
Health Tips for Pregnant Women
Pregnancy is a remarkable experience that encompasses immense changes and endless fascination. The vitality and prosperity of both the mother and the developing baby rely upon the conscious choices made throughout this significant period. This era marks not only the start of a promising journey into parenthood but also lays a cornerstone for the enduring well-being of the baby. It is important to prioritize self-care, recognizing that the decisions undertaken during pregnancy wield a substantial impact on the comprehensive health and maturation of the growing foetus.
1. Avoid Smoking or Drinking Alcohol
The well-being and development of the growing foetus can be compromised by smoking and alcohol consumption. Smoking introduces nicotine and carbon monoxide to the baby which can impede oxygen supply and give rise to complications such as developmental issues. The consumption of alcohol during pregnancy presents its own range of hazards, encompassing the potential for foetal alcohol syndrome and cognitive abnormalities. As alcohol traverses the placenta, it impedes the growth, development of organs, and proper brain function in the baby.
2. Watch What You Eat in Each Trimester
Being aware of your dietary choices throughout each trimester of pregnancy holds significant importance in fostering a flourishing journey for both you and your baby. The distinct phases of pregnancy bring forth a myriad of transformations and milestones, making it crucial to prioritize adequate nutrition as part of your prenatal care. During the initial trimester, nutrients like folic acid, iron, and calcium assume critical roles in organ formation and safeguarding against potential birth irregularities.
As your baby’s growth escalates during the subsequent trimester, a well-balanced diet encompassing lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables emerges as a foundation for fostering healthy advancement. Finally, as the third trimester approaches, concentrating on a harmonious blend of calories, fibre, and nutrients contributes to sustained energy levels and readies your body for the imminent labour process. By embracing a vigilant approach towards your dietary choices throughout each trimester, you cultivate an environment that supports the wellness of your pregnancy and propels both you and your little one towards a promising future.
3. Create a Birth Plan
Crafting a birth plan during pregnancy is a prudent step if you desire a positive and rewarding journey. This strategic document enables effective communication of your desires, concerns, and expectations to your healthcare team, fostering mutual understanding. By detailing your preferences, including pain management options, birthing positions, and interventions, you can assert your autonomy.
A thoughtfully designed birth plan helps healthcare providers align with your unique needs, fostering a tailored and compassionate approach. While adaptability remains important, a well-constructed birth plan empowers you as an active participant in decision-making, cultivating a satisfying birthing experience and supporting the well-being of both you and your baby.
4. Need for Chiropractor and Massage Sessions
Pregnancy brings about significant physical changes, including shifts in posture, weight distribution, and hormonal levels. Seeking the expertise of a chiropractor in Australia can provide valuable benefits by aligning your spine and pelvis, alleviating pressure on nerves, and promoting proper alignment of the skeletal system.
Additionally, chiropractic care may enhance overall body function, improve mobility, and contribute to optimal foetal positioning for a smoother labour and delivery process. Simultaneously, incorporating regular massage sessions into your pregnancy routine can offer tremendous relief and relaxation.
Skilled therapists can address specific areas of tension, reduce muscle soreness, improve circulation, and ease swelling. Embracing chiropractic and massage Gold coast sessions can greatly contribute to a healthier and more enjoyable pregnancy experience.
5. Watch Your Weight
Paying close attention to your weight is an important element in achieving a healthy and well-balanced pregnancy. Managing weight gain is crucial as excessive weight gain during pregnancy can lead to various complications and health risks. Furthermore, regular massage sessions can complement your weight management efforts by promoting relaxation, reducing muscle tension, and improving circulation.
6. Stay Active
Engaging in regular physical activity offers numerous benefits that positively impact your overall well-being. Regular exercise helps us maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress and fatigue, and make labour easier. Moreover, staying physically active helps to strengthen your muscles, particularly in the core and pelvic area, which can alleviate common pregnancy-related discomforts such as back pain. Activities like walking, yoga, and swimming are generally safe for pregnant women. Avoid high-intensity workouts and exercises that put pressure on your abdomen.
By focusing on proper nutrition, staying active, and seeking appropriate medical care, you can provide the necessary foundation for optimal growth and development.
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What To Include In Your Tradesman Kit
22nd May 2023
Tradespeople are essential members of society, playing a critical role in the construction and maintenance of residential properties, commercial establishments, and public infrastructure. A tradesman is a person who has specialised skills and knowledge in a particular field, such as plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, or masonry. No matter your trade, having the proper tools and equipment is important for completing the task swiftly and efficiently.
A tradesman kit is a collection of tools and equipment a tradesperson uses to complete their work. Tradesman kits are particularly useful for those in the construction industry, but those in many other trades also use them. A tradesman kit is helpful for performing routine work tasks and handling unexpected issues or breakdowns that may occur during a job.
The contents of a tradesman’s kit can vary depending on the specific trade, but several basic items are vital to any tradesman’s kit. These are:
1. Hand Tools
Hand tools are the backbone of any tradesman’s toolkit. They include hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, and chisels. In addition to driving nails and tightening bolts, these instruments are also employed for material cutting. It’s best practice to have a variety of sizes and types to ensure that the right tool is available for the job. A high-quality set of hand tools is a valuable investment and should last for many years if cared for correctly.
2. Power Tools
Power tools have revolutionised the way tradespeople work. They save time and effort and enable more precise and efficient work. Power tools like drills, saws, and sanders should be a standard part of any tradesman’s toolbox. When selecting power tools, choosing reliable, high-quality brands that will last many years is essential.
To ensure you’re investing in reliable, high-quality power tools, consider checking reviews on websites such as datapowertools.co.uk. Cordless tools are popular as they allow for greater flexibility and ease of use on the job site.
3. Safety Equipment
Tradespeople should constantly prioritise their safety. Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as safety glasses, hard hats, gloves, and boots can prevent accidents and injuries. It’s crucial to select PPE that is comfortable and fits well to ensure that it is worn consistently. Respirators and earplugs are also important to protect from hazardous materials and loud noise on job sites.
4. Measuring And Layout Tools
Accurate measuring and layout are vital for professionals in the trade. Measuring tools such as tape measures, squares, and levels ensure work is precise and meets specifications. Layout tools such as chalk lines, plumb bobs, and marking gauges assist with laying out work and drawing cut lines. Laser levels and digital measuring devices can also be helpful for precise measurements and layouts.
5. Cutting Tools
Cutting tools are crucial for many trades, including carpentry and plumbing. Saws, knives, and pipe cutters are cutting tools that should be in a tradesman’s kit. It’s vital to select cutting tools that are sharp and appropriate for the material being cut. Circular saws, jigsaws, reciprocating saws, and hole saws are essential cutting tools to consider.
6. Fasteners And Adhesives
Fasteners and adhesives are critical components in many trades. Nails, screws, bolts, and anchors are examples of fasteners that should be in a tradesman’s kit. Adhesives such as glue, epoxy, and tape are a requirement for many jobs. Selecting the appropriate fastener or adhesive for the job is vital to ensure a solid and lasting bond. When applying certain adhesives that can irritate or harm the skin, it’s important to use protective gloves.
7. Tool Storage
Having a well-organised and secure tool storage system is essential for tradespeople. Toolboxes, bags, and storage cabinets help keep tools organised and easy to access. Modular tool storage systems with customisable compartments and stackable designs are becoming popular for their flexibility and convenience. The bag or toolbox should withstand regular use, transportation, and storage.
Importance Of A Tradesman Kit
A comprehensive tradesman kit is vital, enabling efficiency, precision, safety, and professionalism. Here are key reasons why:
Having all the necessary tools at hand in a well-stocked kit saves a significant amount of time that might otherwise be wasted searching for or borrowing tools. This, in turn, increases productivity and allows more work to be completed in less time.
Proper tools are essential for precise work, ensuring jobs meet high standards and exact specifications. For instance, a level used during shelf installation guarantees a straight, stable result.
Trades can be hazardous and accidents can occur without the right precautions. Utilising appropriate tools and safety equipment, such as hard hats and gloves, reduces the likelihood of injuries and promotes a safer working environment.
A tradesperson who arrives at a job with a clean, well-organised kit is perceived as more competent and reliable. This not only enhances their professional image but also can lead to increased job opportunities and repeat business.
A tradesman kit with a wide variety of tools allows tradespeople to adapt to different types of jobs. This versatility can increase their earning potential by making them a more appealing choice for a broader range of tasks.
In conclusion, a tradesman kit, stocked with high-quality, well-maintained tools, is crucial for tradespeople to perform their work efficiently, effectively, and safely. It is important to ensure that the tools in the kit are good quality and well-maintained to perform their intended function correctly.
A Beginner’s Guide To Building An Investment Portfolio
Investing can be challenging, especially for beginners unfamiliar with the intricacies of the investment market. Important details such as what products to invest in, how much to invest, and when to invest should be considered, as they can be determining factors in the success of an investment portfolio.
A well-designed investment portfolio is essential to achieve long-term financial goals, such as retirement planning and wealth creation. It can provide a steady income stream, capital appreciation, and diversification. This guide focuses on building an investment portfolio and provides critical tips to help you get started.
1. Work With A Fund Manager
One crucial point to consider when building an investment portfolio is to work with a fund manager. As a beginner, you’re likely unfamiliar with the intricacies of investing. Hire a knowledgeable fund manager to teach you how to invest and provide valuable expertise and guidance.
A fund manager is a professional who specializes in managing investment funds on behalf of clients. They have a deep understanding of the financial markets and can help you navigate the complexities of investing.
When choosing a fund manager, research and select someone with a solid track record and a suitable investment strategy that aligns with your goals and risk tolerance. By working with a fund manager, you can access diversified investment options and benefit from their expertise to make informed investment decisions. Additionally, evaluate their investment strategy and consult with them to create a tailored investment portfolio that aligns with your financial objectives.
2. Determine Investment Goals And Period
Another crucial tip is to determine your investment goals and the period in mind. Setting clear and specific investment goals is essential for guiding investment decisions and strategies. Whether aiming for long-term growth, capital preservation, or generating income, defining your objectives helps you select suitable investment vehicles and allocate your resources effectively.
Considering the period for your investments is vital, as it influences your risk tolerance and the choice of assets. If you have a longer time horizon, you may be more inclined to invest in higher-risk assets with higher returns. Conversely, a shorter time frame might necessitate a more conservative approach. By carefully assessing your investment goals and time horizon, you can build a portfolio that aligns with your aspirations and helps you achieve your financial goals.
3. Understand Your Risk Tolerance
Understanding your risk tolerance is fundamental to building an investment portfolio, especially for beginners. Risk tolerance refers to your ability and willingness to withstand fluctuations and potential losses in the value of your investments. It is crucial to assess your risk tolerance before making any investment decisions, as it helps determine the appropriate allocation of assets in your portfolio.
Factors such as your financial goals, time horizon, and personal comfort level with volatility significantly determine your risk tolerance. For example, if you are investing in a retirement plan in your early thirties, you may be more willing to take on higher risk than if you have less than five years until retirement. By understanding your risk tolerance, you can balance potential returns and the level of risk you are comfortable with.
4. Choose Your Asset Allocation Well
Asset allocation denotes the distribution of your investment across different asset types, including bonds, cash, and stocks. Beginners must carefully consider their risk tolerance, financial goals, and time horizon when determining their asset allocation. Generally, stocks have a higher potential for growth but greater volatility, while bonds offer stability and income but may have lower returns.
An investor’s age can also influence their asset allocation. When you’re in your 20s, investing about 70% of your portfolio in stocks and about 30% in bonds is advisable. However, when you’re in your 50s, the investment should shift to about 50% each.
5. Diversify And Review Your Investments
Diversifying your investments across various asset classes is recommended to reduce risk and optimize returns. You may also explore other investment options, such as cryptocurrencies, real estate, and commodities.
Regularly reviewing and rebalancing your asset allocation based on changing market conditions and your evolving investment goals is also crucial for maintaining a well-rounded investment portfolio.
Building an effective investment portfolio is crucial for achieving financial success. By following these tips, you can build a tailored investment portfolio that aligns with your financial objectives.
Start by understanding and determining your risk tolerance, setting clear goals and time frames, and allocating assets across different options. Consult a professional investor or advisor for valuable advice tailored to your financial situation and objectives.
What Drives the Price of Cryptocurrencies: Supply and Demand Factor
Cryptocurrency price volatility pertains to the unforeseeable and momentous price vacillations observed in these digital assets within brief intervals. In contrast to conventional fiat currencies, which tend to be comparably stable, digital currencies may demonstrate extreme price fluctuations, at times, in a matter of hours or even minutes. This price instability has engrossed and disturbed individuals as it offers both prospects for substantial financial gains and hazards of significant losses.
Here are the main factors affecting cryptocurrency values:
- Supply and demand
- Market sentiment
- Regulatory environment
- Market liquidity and trade volume
- Technological developments
- Macroeconomic factors.
What affects crypto price the most is the balance between demand and supply. Let’s discuss it in more detail.
How is Cryptocurrency Price Determined Depending on Its Supply and Demand?
Cryptocurrencies, being assets, are beholden to the fundamental laws of supply and demand. If the desire for a specific cryptocurrency surpasses its available quantity, the value of said cryptocurrency tends to ascend. Conversely, when the supply surpasses demand, the price may decline. Factors that affect supply and demand include:
- Adoption and utilization. The widespread acceptance and expanded functionality of a cryptocurrency have the potential to propel demand, as an increasing number of individuals and businesses seek to employ it for various purposes.
- Scarcity. Crypto with low supply or limited supply, such as Bitcoin with its predetermined supply limit of 21 million coins, can trigger heightened demand due to the perception of value arising from scarcity.
- Mining rewards. In cryptocurrencies that employ mining mechanisms, the issuance of fresh coins via mining rewards can impact the overall supply. For instance, Bitcoin experiences halving events that reduce the rate of new Bitcoin creation, consequently affecting its supply dynamics.
- Tokenomics. The design and dissemination of a cryptocurrency’s tokens play a pivotal role in influencing its supply and demand. Aspects like token distribution models, token burns (the deliberate elimination of tokens), and the practicality of tokens within a network all contribute to the dynamics of price.
The intricate interplay between supply and demand stands as a pivotal determinant of cryptocurrency values. The delicate equilibrium between the accessibility of supply and the magnitude of demand sets the stage for the up and down of prices, while a myriad of internal and external factors further form this intricate relationship. As the crypto verse continues its evolution, comprehending and assessing the dynamics of supply and demand will persist as a fundamental endeavour for market participants, as they endeavour to navigate this perpetually transforming landscape.
Donaldson to Showcase Venting Solutions and Industrial Expertise at The Battery Show Europe
Tackling Skills Shortages in the Construction Industry
22nd May 2023
Introducing WildHut – Impeccably Designed Highest-Quality Saunas
Introducing WildHut, luxurious, premium saunas impeccably designed for an optimised sauna experience. Handmade by master-craftspeople in Sussex, a stunning effect is achieved using traditional skills with technology to power sustainable high-performance.
Wildhut’s advanced design and build harnesses the beauty and functionality of the finest sustainable materials. Wildhut saunas feature high-grade Western Red Cedar and are insulated with 100% British sheep wool for superior thermal performance and sustainability. Saunas are available in three sizes and feature triple glazed windows with a choice of private letter box shape or large picture window. A dedicated creative design team producing a bespoke service for commercial and residential.
Wildhut empowers wellbeing through community, reconnection with nature and highest quality natural materials. Established by Thaisa Box, a pioneer in London’s wellness industry and designer, Lisa Deller, who were inspired by the Finnish tradition of sauna, where a total population of 5 million people own 3.5 million saunas.
Thaisa Box, Co-Founder, Wildhut, said; “The sauna trend is growing exponentially in the UK, and we are incredibly excited to be part of this movement. Sauna offers very real benefits to people’s health and wellbeing. Alongside a wild swimming revolution is taking place on Britain’s beaches and sauna features at the heart of that trend alongside cold therapy. Wildhut aims to set a standard for luxury in saunas and are made in Britain using highest-quality sustainable materials.”
Lisa Deller, Co-Founder and Creative Director, Wildhut, said; “We have witnessed a seismic shift in people’s relationships with home and work in recent years. It has inspired people to re-evaluate their environment and invest in beautiful home relaxation spaces. In designing our saunas, we are unflinching in our meticulous attention to materials, screws, joins and every individual detail. It is our dedication to marry quality, beauty and the ultimate experience. We work in consultation with people for their own homes, and with business owners to create the sauna of their dreams.”
For further information about Wildhut please contact Helen Trevorrow or Vicky Hague at Green Row on 0794 000 9138 or email [email protected]
The Skills Every Employee Needs in 2023
10 Mental Health Strategies for Employers
The days when mental health issues were seen as big ‘no entry’ sign are long gone and employers have got wise to the fact that mental health is just as important as physical health.
On a practical level people who are suffering with stress, depression or other mental health problems are unlikely to be productive and more likely to make errors. However, it’s much more than trying to get more from your staff. An employer that actively addresses mental health issues and makes an effort to promote a positive environment will always get the pick of the best employees and people will actually enjoy coming to work.
We see people suffering from burnout simply because they feel that they have to burn the candle at both ends to keep their jobs. Ambition can put the blinkers on – until it’s too late and the damage is done.
These are our top tips to help your employees to maintain a good state of mental health.
1: Create a positive and supportive work culture
While you can’t force people to behave in a particular way, you can create an environment that is supportive, inclusive, and ensure that the workplace is where employees feel respected, safe and valued.
2: Offer mental health resources
These might include employee assistance programmes, mental health hotlines, online therapy services, or other mental health benefits. Everyone suffers from stress sometimes – and it may not be that work is the cause. Being able to access someone to talk to confidentially, whether that’s a counsellor or a therapist is invaluable. Most people are reluctant to talk to their boss, in case that damages their work relationship, so a third party option makes a significant difference.
3: Encourage work-life balance
It’s not the 1980s where working late, coming in early and taking no holidays was a badge of honour. Today employers know that this just means they get a burst of action before each person burns out, sometimes in a spectacular fashion. Instead, a good employer will encourage employees to take breaks – because that refreshes them and produces better outcomes. They expect their team to take time off and establish boundaries between work and personal life.
4: Foster open communication
Open and honest communication between employees and their managers is the key to a workplace where everyone feels they have a voice and are valued. That means that managers need to understand how to create a safe space where employees can discuss their mental health concerns.
5: Train managers to recognise and address mental health concerns
It’s not just about asking ‘How’s it going?’, but about being genuinely interested in the people they manage. Part of management training should include knowing how to spot signs of mental distress and what they can do to support and empathise with the team member that is suffering.
6: Promote healthy habits
Encourage healthy habits such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and mindfulness practices. The Japanese have embraced this for decades with the whole company gathering for gentle exercise at the start of their working day. You don’t have to do that, but there are plenty of things you can do from ensuring that the canteen, staff restaurant or even vending machines offer healthy options to starting a lunchbreak walking group. Create a healthy company strategy.
7: Know what the triggers are
Take a good look at every part of your organisation. What are the causes of stress? What can be done to alleviate these?
8: Foster a sense of community
Being part of a team or a working group is a great way to help people deal with stress. Encourage social interaction both at work and outside it to foster a sense of community. The saying ‘The team that plays together, stays together’ is true – even Harvard Business School supports this!
9: Recognise and celebrate achievements
Celebrate employees’ achievements, don’t just assume that they know you’re pleased with their efforts, tell them. If you recognise their hard work you’ll boost morale and create a positive work environment.
10: Get to know individuals
People are all different and what is stressful for one person may be an exciting challenge for another. If your managers know the individual members of their team well, they’ll know what their goals and aspirations are and be able to provide the support and advice each person needs.
As an employer your employees’ mental health is critical to a sustainable, healthy organisation. Applying these strategies will help you to create a positive work environment and grow a productive and engaged workforce.
Robin Damhar is CEO of Nest Healthcare, offering a range of therapies, treatments and professional development, both on an outpatient or inpatient basis. www.nesthealthcare.co.uk.
Mastering Product Portfolio Management And Supply Chain Optimisation
Every business needs to keep its product portfolio up-to-date and its supply chain operating at its optimum. Here, we outline how you can effectively refresh your product portfolio and reshape your supply chain.
If you’re a business owner and you have a range of different products in your inventory, how do you allocate your marketing budget to each item you’re selling? Which products do you invest more heavily in, or do you choose to distribute your resources among them equally?
These questions—and many more—can all be summed up under the umbrella term of product portfolio management. Managing your product portfolio helps you to allocate resources, finesse marketing efforts, and make informed strategy decisions by giving you a clear picture of the market positions of each product you’re selling.
Due to the ever-changing nature of business and the fluctuations in markets, you’ll need to restructure and reshape your product portfolio from time to time. Doing this will allow you to stay competitive in your sector, while continuing to meet the evolving needs and desires of your target customer base.
Why Reshaping Your Portfolio Is Important
Product portfolio management is vital to the proper operation of your business and the maintenance of your supply chains. Regular and meticulous management helps you to:
- Increase and maximize the value of your products. Each product you offer will contribute differently to your business’s profit margins. Your portfolio should be structured to contribute as much as it can to your bottom line, both now and in the foreseeable future.
- Determine an ideal mix of products. A solid portfolio spans across numerous market segments, product categories, and levels of consumer demand. Having a comprehensive range will help to safeguard your company against changes in the market. Your portfolio should always include some well-established, long-term products to offset any riskier ones you choose to add.
- Encourage strategic internal alignment. The success of your business could be in danger if your product portfolio doesn’t align with your company’s goals and strategies.
- Adequately allocate resources. All companies have limited resources to devote to their product portfolios. Investing most of your resources in the right products could work towards ensuring the profitability and success of your venture.
Reshaping Your Product Portfolio
1. Identify and prioritise high-performance products
Products that experience high demand from customers in a growing market sector are the ones that you should focus your portfolio on. Consider the time frame during which these products have performed favourably, too.
If they’ve continued to sell well for years despite many marketplace changes and ebbs in customers’ interests, these products should continue to form the cornerstone of any newly updated portfolios you develop.
2. Nix under-performing products
Any products in your portfolio that no longer draw demand or generate sufficient income to turn a profit must be removed. This also applies to products that are no longer attractive to most of your target market.
3. Improve or re-brand promising products
If you have products that show potential but are not selling as well as you’d expect, you may not need to remove them entirely. Most times, promising items can be rebranded, reformulated, or otherwise improved to boost their sales potential.
In this case, it’s wise to market these products as being ‘new and improved’ to renew interest in existing customers, and attract interest from potential ones.
4. Expand product ranges that are in consistent demand
Many businesses have a keystone range of products their venture is based on. These products were the main focus when drawing up a business plan template, with all financials, market research, and projections based on their performance. However, once successful and meeting ongoing demand, building on these products’ success becomes essential.
Expanding a keystone product range to diversify your income streams and continue to meet your customers’ needs is one way of updating your offering. If it’s not possible to expand the existing range, you could consider offering similar products of comparable quality to achieve the same effect.
5. Determine which products dominate slow growth markets
Certain products may not sell well immediately after they’ve been added to your portfolio. However, if they are dominant within slow growth markets, it might pay you to keep them on as part of your long-term portfolio strategy.
These products could take months or even years to prove profitable, but could end up supplying your business with a steady stream of income once they have become established mainstays in your consumers’ budgets.
Streamlining Your Supply Chain
In the wake of the pandemic, supply chain disruptions are still rife. If you can optimize yours to the best of your ability, you’ll maintain a stronger position in the market.
6. Optimise your supply chain processes
Your product portfolio and supply chain processes are intimately linked. It’s essential to implement high-level processes to assess your business’s current status and find innovative ways to streamline your supply chain operations by spotting problems within the process. From there, you can correct them in a timely way.
This could reduce your operational costs and allow you to pass your savings onto your customers, while leaving you with a larger budget to diversify your product portfolio.
7. Integrate your supply chain information
Every transaction within your business will pass through several systems, including enterprise resource management, financial, and sales forecasts systems. From product release to sale and invoice processing, each stage of the process has its own specifics that create data. This, or other data, may also be shared with similar systems belonging to your suppliers, partners, and customers.
In small to medium businesses, data integration is done through file uploads, manual updates, batch updates, and spreadsheets. These processes are all time-consuming and prone to mistakes. By incorporating an integration layer into them, data flows can be automated and shared more rapidly among relevant systems.
8. Remove duplicated data
Once you’ve eliminated duplicated data entry processes, you can save your business many hours of valuable labour time. Your supply chain systems will be more resilient and easier to manage, which can improve flows of information and enhance the service you can offer to customers and clients.
9. Use existing systems to your advantage
Many in-house data systems can be complicated, difficult to use, and hard to integrate with their newer counterparts. However, the information they collect can still be useful for analysis and planning purposes. Information from existing systems can be used to develop new and more efficient mobile supply chains.
10. Stay ahead of the game
Streamlining your supply chain will allow you to see beyond simple order fulfillment and gain a better understanding of what your customers will need and want in the future. Analyzing your supply chain gives you a chance to learn more about how it operates, and to improve product deliveries, both in the short and long term.
These efficiencies will then be passed down to your customers, who can enjoy the assurance of better service, high-quality products, and timely deliveries that will keep them coming back time and time again. Which is exactly the result you’re aiming for when you restructure and revitalize your product portfolio and supply chain.
How to Find Your Own Profitable Trading Style
When you enter the world of trading, it’s important to find a style that suits your personality. By doing this, you’ll improve your chances of long-term profitability. You’ll draw on your strengths and perform at your optimum.
Before you get started investing in gold, stocks, crypto or any other asset, take some time to analyze who you are and how you prefer to operate in relation to the different styles of trading.
Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer—but there’s one that’s the best fit for you.
The 4 Classic Styles And The Personality Traits That Complement Them
There are four main styles of trading and each one has its own pros and cons.
The most important aspect to look at is if a style suits the way you like to do business and complements your overall personality.
1. Scalping = Quick Decision Making
If you love making snap decisions and are good at confidently taking action fast, this is a great trading style for you. Scalping is when you hold your trades for short periods—sometimes a few minutes or only a few seconds.
It’s a very active method of trading and requires you to be fairly ruthless in your decision making. Most swing traders will immediately leave a trade if it doesn’t show profitability in the first few moments.
Scalping is all about instant gratification and instant switching.
Other personality traits required for this style include being able to focus on one thing at a time and not getting distracted easily. If you tend to daydream or know that your work time is often interrupted, scalping is not a viable option.
2. Day Trading = Completing The Task Today
This is a slightly slower style of trading compared to scalping, but it can require some snap, split-second decisions too. If you’re goal orientated and like to tick things off your to-do list, this is a great style of trading for you.
In day trading, you can hold your trade for as little as a few seconds or as long as the entire day. While you don’t have to make split-second decisions, you have to keep a close eye on trades to ensure you make your move at the most profitable point for that day.
With day trading, you start on a clean board at the beginning of the day and complete all of your trades before day end.
The next morning, you start fresh again.
You leave nothing open or active overnight. So, if you’re prone to monitoring movement and lose sleep worrying about what might happen, day trading is best.
3. Swing Trading = Holding Your Nerve
If you have a good level of patience and are happy to wait things out, then swing trading is tops.
There are very few snap decisions required, and you have time to breathe through your trades and watch the market change. However, you do have to be able to hold your nerve, be optimistic, and wait for the right moment to trade to come along.
In swing trading, traders usually wait at least one day before making a trade. And they can wait up to a week to find the sweet spot on a single trade.
A swing trader will rarely make a move in less than 24 hours.
This means you have to accept that downturns and upswings will occur that you cannot monitor. If this doesn’t bother you and you prefer a slower approach, this is the way to go.
4. Position Trading = Foresight and Patience
If you like to think along the lines of the big picture and you have great patience, then position trading is the ideal fit.
This really is the long game and you can hold trades for a few years before making a switch. The aim is to work in thousands of ticks and not tens or hundreds like you would in the faster styles of trading.
Position trading requires dedicated and extensive research so you can make solid bets on your stock purchases. The more research you do, the more confidence you can have that you’ll see a profit in the long run.
To excel at this trading style, you need to have a personality that isn’t swayed by popular opinion and would rather research the facts and monitor changes yourself. This is a skill many entrepreneurs share, and it will stand you in good stead.
You will probably watch your trade rise and fall in value several times over the period you hold it. You need to set a mark for where you want it to end up and be prepared to wait for the stock to reach that price before you make any moves to sell.
This approach takes patience and the ability to hold your nerve, no matter what other people say. It also requires good financial planning, sound knowledge of how to calculate profit margin, and excellent cash flow management skills, as you may wait a while before seeing a return.
Testing Your Strategy
Once you’ve found a style that clicks with your personality, it’s time to build up a trading strategy. This will include:
- The type of stock you want to work with
- How much you want to spend on each session
- What your stop loss order should be
Keep in mind that your stop loss will need to be larger for the longer trade periods. You’ll be allowing room for more fluctuations in price before you make your trade.
The next step is to test your strategy against historical data on the stock markets. This is an ongoing process and you should never test your strategy just once and then jump into making trades. Look at strategizing as an integral part of trading and incorporate it into whatever style you prefer.
Keep An Open Mind
It’s important to remember that your style of trading shouldn’t change with the fluctuating markets. Your strategy, on the other hand, can move, adapt and even change entirely over the years. This will all depend on the economy—both locally and internationally.
Remember to keep reading about the market and keep checking that your strategy is suitable for the times. The better informed you are, the more profitable your trades should be.
The Essential Real Estate Marketing Materials Checklist
22nd May 2023
It’s a buyer’s market right now. As sales continue to display an upward trajectory, it’s crucial for every real estate agent to have a sound and effective marketing strategy in place. Those who don’t may miss out on earning valuable commissions. Or they could even lose their business to other local competitors with more concise marketing approaches.
Real estate agents who have the right marketing materials in their arsenal have a couple of key advantages over their peers. They are better able to stand out from the competition, attract potentially lucrative clients, and generate more property sales.
Here are the 7 essential real estate marketing materials you should use to give your business a boost.
1. An Impressive Website
Your clients and competitors are all online nowadays, and you should be too.
Most clients will search online when looking for a reliable real estate agent, too. So, you need to ensure that your digital presence is professional and that you are easily contactable through online channels.
Having an impressive mobile-compatible and user-friendly website will save your clients the hassle of contacting you through third-party referral websites, many of which have lax security at best. Potential clients who visit your website will only encounter your details, not those of your rivals. This exclusivity could lead to better client retention rates in the long run.
Your website will serve as a hub for other important real estate marketing activities. Owning and administrating your own site will give you the chance to update your personal branding and marketing strategies as you see fit. And it allows you to retain your business’s momentum if you choose to change brokers at any point in the future.
2. Effective Online Ads
There are probably plenty of clients looking online for services just like yours right now. Physically printed real estate marketing materials are important, but online advertising is the way of the future.
You can use Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising to make sure that your website ranks highly on search results pages when someone in your area searches for a real estate agent. PPC ads allow your website to rank based on criteria like client ages, income levels, locations and demographics. They are an excellent and cost-effective way to get noticed by your target audience in a digital space.
3. SEO-Optimised Blog Posts
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a strategy that uses keywords to ensure that your website and blog posts get ranked highly by leading search engines like Google.
The key to writing successful blog posts is to fill them with relevant and useful information that your target demographics will actually want to read. Write regular blogs about your new listings, updates to your website or business, and tips to help your clients sell their homes or find the right properties for their needs.
Research SEO strategies and the most-searched keywords in your industry. Then incorporate them into your blogs to attract an audience that’s most likely to express interest in your services. Remember not to overstuff these keywords—Google and other search engines may penalize you for doing so.
4. Attractive Mailers
Mailers are a pinnacle of real estate marketing. Direct mailers like flyers and postcards act as real-worth advertisements for your brand, and if they’re well designed, the people that receive them will quickly memorize your brand and your name.
Repeated and reinforced exposure to a brand through physical advertising media like mailers can significantly enhance clients’ awareness of your real estate brand. It’s a good idea to convey your value through your mailers by telling people exactly why they should put their trust in your real estate services. What makes your approach different from those of your rivals?
Do some research and hone in on your target market when designing your mailers. Include your brand, your logo, the benefits of using your services, and your website link. You can increase your referrals from past clients by using target market-specific mailers to your advantage, too.
5. Vibrant Videos
Video content is the new king of the marketing circuit, especially on social media. You can use this trend to your advantage in several ways. Why not take videos of the interiors and exteriors of your most luxurious listings, or give your audience sneak video peaks of interesting locations?
You can drive engagement with your real estate brand by creating vlogs that detail the ins and outs of your job. Explain your sales process and why your services are worth investing in. Posting videos will allow clients to associate your face with your agency and allow you to form valuable emotional and professional bonds with them.
6. Eye-Catching Open House Signs
Dozens, if not hundreds, of people will see your open house signs, so it’s a good idea to make them as memorable as possible. These signs are a great medium through which to promote your brand and your services, while cultivating awareness within your local community.
Instead of using predictable, boring templates for your open house signs, personalize them according to your real estate brand and services. You can include name riders, hanging signs, and brochure boxes in your real estate marketing kit to drive the message home.
7. Professional Business Cards
Business cards are a crucial marketing material for people in all kinds of industries. But they are especially important for real estate agents. Adding elements like custom logos and creative visual elements can make an immediate and lasting impression on your clients.
Experts recommend adding a headshot to your business cards to get your personal image seen. This also helps potential clients to associate your face with your business. Remember to create cohesion between your business cards and your website by using a specific colour scheme and matching visuals. You can carry this cohesive look and feel through every stage of the buyer’s journey and should always customize your printable invoice templates and other sales collateral to reflect your real estate brand’s colours and logo.
Any opportunity you have to create a connection and promote your brand is important—from the first look to the closing of a sale.
Real Estate Marketing Made Simple
There are so many effective marketing tools you can use to build your real estate brand and get the recognition it deserves. A user-friendly website, click-worthy online ads, and professional business cards and mailers all go a long way in building trust between yourself and potential leads.
Alongside the real estate marketing tools mentioned above, also consider creating engaging social media posts and collating custom presentation folders to wow your clients and attract as much business as possible.
Why Should Employers & Employees Understand Employment Law
In today’s work environment, it is crucial for employers and employees to understand employment law. Employment law manages the relation between employers and employees, providing an information about rights and responsibilities that ensure fairness, protection and a harmony within work place. By comprehending employment law, both sides can solve the disagreements of the employment relationship, prevent legal disputes and create a beneficial workplace for everyone.
UK & EU employment law aims to ensure fair and decent working conditions for all employees, regardless of their nationality or the country they work in. It sets minimum standards that member states must adhere to, while also allowing them to adopt more favourable provisions. This comprehensive legal framework promotes social cohesion, worker empowerment, and a level playing field within the European labour market.
Understanding Employment Law Basics
Employment law includes a wide range of legal basis, regulations and situations that order the rights and obligations of employers and employees. It has points like employment relationship, including hiring, termination, working conditions, wages, benefits, discrimination, harassment, and more. Employment law aims to secure the rights and interests of both parties, providing fairness and equality in the workplace.
Employers Should be Aware of These Factors
For employers, understanding employment law is highly essential. Unawareness of employment law can cause to costly legal disputes, damage to reputation and potential financial obligations. Employers must know protected characteristics like race, gender, age, disability, and religion, providing fair recruitment.
Executives should pay attention to employment contracts reflecting the terms and conditions of employment law, including working hours, wages, benefits and leave entitlements. They have a duty to create a safe and healthy working environment including risk assessments, applying safety and training and protective equipment. Employers must prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace. They should have policies in place, provide training to workers, and solve each concerns. Employers need to follow procedures when terminating an employee’s contract or implementing redundancies. Failure to do so can lead to unfair environment in a workplace.
Factors Employees Should be Aware of
Employees must understand their rights and obligations about employment law. If they are aware of their legal protections, workers can ensure fairness and take appropriate action if their rights are broken.
Workers should be know their working hours, wages, benefits and entitlements. They should understand their rights about protection against discrimination, harassment and victimization.
It’s their responsibility to comply health and safety and report any concerns to their employer. If an employee has a complaint or dispute with their employer, they should follow the company’s procedures. If necessary, they can look for an advice from a trusted employment lawyer or consult their union representative.
Danish Nuclear Power and Other Technologies to Supply Fertiliser to Feed 45 Million Indonesian People
Agreement with Indonesia’s Pupuk Kaltim moves 4 billion USD plant one step closer, with the venture set to save 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 per year
Four Danish companies, Topsoe, Alfa Laval, Copenhagen Atomics and Aalborg CSP, have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the ammonia producer Pupuk Kaltim, together with Pertamina New & Renewable Energy, both of which are owned by the Indonesian state, about building a facility in Bontang that can produce one million tonnes of ultra-low emission ammonia per year. This is enough to produce fertiliser for the production of food for 45 million people, approx. one sixth of the Indonesian population.
In the next 6 months, the final examinations must be completed and the legal landscape in Indonesia should be fully mapped.
The plant will save the emission of 1.7 million tonnes CO2 per year compared to natural gas based fertiliser production.
Nuclear power from Denmark
What is completely innovative about the facility is that it will be powered by nuclear power from the Danish company Copenhagen Atomics, which is involved in the global race to supply small, modular nuclear reactors, SMRs, which are expected to become an important part of the world’s future energy supply.
The nuclear power plant will be 1GW, consisting of 25 SMRs and the entire plant must run for 50 years. Fun fact: Denmark’s electricity consumption on an average day in May is around 5GW.
The facility is expected to open in 2028 and the project will be among the first where Copenhagen Atomics’ modular molten salt thorium reactors come into operation.
New electrolysis cells from Topsoe
In addition to the ammonia synthesis, Topsoe will supply completely newly developed electrolysis cell technology, called SOEC. SOEC makes the production of hydrogen significantly more efficient and cheaper. Hydrogen is an intermediate stage in the production of ammonia.
Desalination and Heat Exchangers from Alfa Laval
Alfa Laval will deliver heat exchangers to optimise the energy balance of the plant, and desalination to produce ultra-pure water for the electrolysis process.
Thermal energy storage technology from Aalborg CSP
Aalborg CSP shall design and supply thermal energy storage systems, Molten Salt based Steam Boilers thus providing the energy balancing required to integrate the energy production from the SMR modules with electricity production and waste heat from power turbines with production of ultra clean water.
Billion USD project
The economics of the overall project have not yet been finalised, but the construction is expected to cost around USD 4 billion, plus operation and maintenance of the plant, as well as the supply of power to the plant from the SMR reactors afterwards.
During the plant’s lifetime, it will produce ammonia worth USD 25 billion at today’s prices.
The ammonia from the plant can also potentially be used as CO2 free marine e-fuel – and since Indonesia is on one of the major trade routes for international shipping traffic, it could be an obvious use.
The facility will be extremely competitive on the market for ultra-low emission ammonia, which is central to reducing agriculture’s and shipping’s CO2 footprint from fertilisers and fuel. Therefore, the Danish players expect that there will be demand for similar facilities elsewhere in the world.
Signing ceremony in Lyngby, Denmark
The agreement was signed on May 19 in Copenhagen at Topsoe HQ in Lyngby, Denmark, and all the participating companies were present, as well as representatives of the Indonesian embassy.
Thomas Jam Pedersen, chairman of the board and co-founder of Copenhagen Atomics, says:
“The perspective is enormous. Green ammonia at low price helps reduce the world’s CO2 emissions, and for our Thorium reactors, that market is a huge opportunity, especially when we can offer a complete plant together with our partners.”
Rahmad Pribadi, President Director of Pupuk Kaltim, says:
“Pupuk Kaltim views the joint study as an essential step towards achieving our sustainability goals. We are honored to work with industry leaders to promote sustainable practices and contribute to a greener planet. Our commitment to sustainability is reflected in our focus on innovation to revolutionise the agricultural sector. As consumers increasingly prefer sustainable and eco-friendly products, PKT is proud to be at the forefront of this movement.”
Pupuk Kaltim intends to find a feasible process to produce Ammonia without using hydrocarbon based raw material and powered by clean energy which will be called Green Ammonia.
Nikolaj Knudsen, Head of Business Development Power-to-X, Topsoe, says:
“The outlook of contributing to better food conditions for 45 million people in Indonesia while leaving in very limited carbon footprint is absolutely amazing. This is a very promising and progressive project, and we are excited to be able to support with our world-class Power-to-X competencies.”
Topsoe delivers its world leading ammonia synthesis technology and catalysts as well as its SOEC electrolysis technology for the production of green hydrogen. The hydrogen is the building block to achieve the projects’ ultra-low emission ammonia for fertiliser.
Dannif Danusaputro, CEO Pertamina NRE, says:
“We are very delighted with this agreement, working together with parties who have concerns about environmental sustainability, we hope this collaboration can support to accelerate energy transition acceleration and help Indonesia to achieve net zero emissions by 2060. We are looking forward to actualising this partnership.”
Pertamina New & Renewable Energy (PNRE) desires to find a feasible process to produce Hydrogen whilst utilising Molten Salt Reactor and suitable electrolysers and other key components (Water Supply, Steam Boiler, Steam Generator, and Air separation Unit).
Karin Forsberg, President Business Unit Energy Separation, Alfal Laval, says:
“To build a functioning hydrogen ecosystem and truly accelerate decarbonisation, it’s crucial to have a systemic approach already from the beginning. Using recovered heat from electrolyser cooling to generate the demineralised water needed for hydrogen production, is a natural step to high efficiency for the entire system.”
Alfa Laval supplies heat exchangers and desalination. Alfa Laval is active in the entire hydrogen value chain. The company’s innovative technologies enable energy efficient heat transfer technologies in everything from electrolysis cooling and generating the ultra-pure water for the electrolysis and power-to-X. Also the world leading heat exchanger manufacturer and being in the desalination market for more than 60 years.
Peter Badstue Jensen, Executive Vice President and Partner at Aalborg CSP says:
“We are proud to be part of this milestone project and to be able to utilise our long experience of development and supply of some of the most advanced technologies for generation of steam and power, integrated with large Thermal Energy Storages, based solely on renewable energy.”
Decoding the Logistics Supply Chain: Efficient Operations and the Role of Air Freight
The logistics supply chain is the intricate network that connects suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, ensuring the smooth flow of goods from production to consumption. In this article, we will explore the key components of the logistics supply chain, delve into the factors that drive efficient operations, and highlight the pivotal role of air freight in optimizing the supply chain’s performance.
Understanding the Logistics Supply Chain
The logistics supply chain encompasses multiple interconnected processes, including procurement, transportation, warehousing, and distribution. Each component plays a crucial role in the efficient movement and storage of goods.
Therefore, effective coordination and synchronization among these elements are vital for achieving seamless operations and meeting customer demands.
The Role of Air Freight in the Logistics Supply Chain
Air freight plays a pivotal role in the logistics supply chain, especially regarding time-sensitive deliveries and long-distance transportation. Leveraging the speed and reliability of air transportation, businesses can ensure quick and efficient delivery of goods to meet demanding customer expectations.
In addition, air freight provides global reach, connecting businesses to distant markets, enabling international trade, and fostering economic growth.
Air Freight Operations and Considerations
Air freight operations involve various stages, from cargo handling and customs procedures to security measures. With stringent safety regulations and advanced cargo tracking systems, air freight offers a secure and reliable mode of transportation.
When choosing air freight services, businesses consider factors such as transit times, costs, cargo characteristics, and specific transportation requirements. Coordinating air freight with other modes of transportation ensures seamless end-to-end supply chain management.
Key Factors for Efficient Operations
Efficient operations in the logistics supply chain rely on several key factors. Effective inventory management ensures optimal stock levels, minimizing excess inventory and stockouts. Accurate demand forecasting helps businesses align their supply chain activities with customer needs, reducing inefficiencies and costs.
Furthermore, optimizing transportation routes and modes allows for the streamlined movement of goods, enhancing cost and time efficiency. Embracing advanced technology and automation enables real-time tracking, improves visibility, and streamlines processes. Lastly, collaboration and communication among supply chain partners foster synergy, allowing for agile responses to changing market demands.
Challenges and Future Trends
While air freight offers numerous advantages, it is not without challenges. Capacity constraints, adverse weather conditions, and complex customs procedures can present obstacles. However, these challenges are being addressed with ongoing advancements in technology and infrastructure.
In addition, emerging trends such as drone deliveries, autonomous cargo planes, and the use of sustainable aviation fuels are reshaping the future of air freight and further enhancing its efficiency and sustainability.
Driving Forward: The Power of Efficient Operations and Air Freight in the Logistics Supply Chain
Efficient operations are the cornerstone of a successful logistics supply chain. Businesses can optimize their supply chain performance by understanding the various components and factors that drive efficiency.
Air freight, with its speed, reliability, and global connectivity, plays a vital role in unlocking the full potential of the logistics supply chain. As technology continues to advance and innovative solutions emerge, air freight will continue to play an integral role in meeting customer expectations, expanding market reach, and driving economic growth.
Tapping Into Global Consciousness to Influence Others – A Guide to Motivation
Highly motivated employees are happy to take on challenging targets and display a positive attitude, generate innovative ideas, support their colleagues, and strive to go above and beyond their job responsibilities.
So, there’s no surprise that companies look for ways to encourage and maintain long-term employee motivation. After all, a motivated workforce offers a wide range of advantages, such as increased productivity, problem-solving abilities, and innovation.
However, creating such a motivated workforce requires more than just providing a competitive salary. While money is necessary to fulfill basic needs, it only plays a minor role in motivating employees once those needs are met. Ultimately, money alone can only motivate people to a limited extent.
So, what can companies do to ensure employee retention and increased productivity? We put together a short list of some of the most common motivation methods that will help you boost employee morale and keep motivation levels sky-high.
Create a Pleasant Work Environment
As more companies embrace the hybrid work environment, team management and motivation become more challenging. However, some organizations found ways through this new way of things and are now striving.
The secret? A pleasant work environment regardless of the fact that employees were in the office or at home.
For office workers, a functional, well-lit, aesthetically pleasing, and enjoyable workspace can improve the work experience by much. To take it up a notch, make sure the space is clean and visually appealing. It helps to use joyful colours or add cheap artistic decorations that fit the company culture.
For work-from-home workers, it helps to provide up-to-date and well-maintained devices with built-in secure connectivity. Also, make sure to keep everyone involved in team meetings, regardless of their location, and stay in touch.
Offer Recognition Awards
Recognition awards are a great way to show appreciation for your employees’ hard work and contributions. However, it’s important to create a clear-cut system so everyone knows the meaning behind each award.
Start by determining the criteria for the recognition award. This could be based on performance, productivity, teamwork, innovation, or any other factors that align with your company’s goals and values.
Next, choose the award – you can offer plaques, crafted acrylic awards, certificates, gift cards, or any other recognition item that fits your budget and aligns with your company’s culture.
Once you have the criteria and the award, communicate this information to the employees, and make sure they understand why and how someone can receive them. Also, allow employees to nominate their peers for the award (this can strengthen the bond between co-workers).
Encourage Professional Growth
Expanding businesses can greatly benefit from providing growth opportunities for employees, which can serve as a major motivator. Beyond the incentive of a potential salary increase, employees are also driven by the psychological impact of being trusted and respected for their contributions.
Plus, it helps the company move forward in the right direction. For instance, if your organization opens a new location, it’s worth considering which employees may be well-suited for management positions depending on their skills and performance.
This way, you increase employee retention since they’ll start thinking of their position as a chance for a career, and you make sure the company is in good hands for the time being.
A positive work environment, professional growth opportunities, and effort recognition are some of the most important factors for encouraging and maintaining motivation. This may not guarantee that everyone in the top talent category stays loyal to the company, but it’s a great way to help promote a solid work culture.
Plus, happy employees tend to spread the word in their social and online circles. Therefore, it’s a great branding strategy to ensure only the best candidates will come your way.
Modular Construction and Lean Manufacturing: A Winning Combination for Efficient Building
22nd May 2023
Efficiency is the king of manufacturing. Because of this, it frequently serves as a model for other industries to follow as they work to increase efficiency and cut down on waste. One industry that can benefit from the principles of lean manufacturing is construction. The rise in material costs, with building materials costing 25% more in 2022 than they did in 2021, has made minimising waste and cutting costs top priorities in the construction industry. This is where lean manufacturing principles can help.
Lean manufacturing, also known as lean production, is a systematic approach to minimising waste and maximising value in the manufacturing process. It involves organising the workspace, streamlining processes, and constantly improving through the use of tools like Kaizen and Six Sigma. The approach has been widely adopted in manufacturing, but its principles can also be applied to the construction industry.
Lean manufacturing and modular building are bridging the skills gap in the construction sector. Off-site manufacturing and modular construction are becoming increasingly popular as a way to build structures more efficiently, reducing waste and cost, and achieving sustainability targets. This approach is particularly useful in areas where there is a shortage of skilled labour. By applying lean manufacturing principles, companies can improve the efficiency and productivity of their workers, while reducing costs and increasing quality. Now is the perfect time for lean manufacturing to gain traction in the construction industry, as we’re all pushed to deliver more with fewer resources and shorter time frames. One of the key principles of lean manufacturing is the 5S approach of organising spaces, which stands for sort, set in order, shine, standardised, and sustain. This approach can be used to determine the value of each stage and phase, ensuring that products are produced to a continuously higher level.
Modular construction and lean manufacturing have already proven to be successful when used together. For example, Premier Modular, a UK-based construction company, used the skills of experts in lean manufacturing to improve the procedures in its facilities. By adopting lean manufacturing principles, they transformed beyond recognition, using lean manufacturing flow lines, Kanban systems, and the Kaizen technique to improve the quality of what is produced. The Kaizen approach’s cyclical nature makes lean manufacturing never stop improving efficiency.
The advantages of the 5S system and lean manufacturing, which were first utilised in the automobile industry, have prompted firms all over the world to embrace these techniques. Standardised componentry in offsite manufacturing makes output reproducible, increasing efficiency by ensuring uniformity in assembly. Premier observed time savings and increased output year over year, cutting the build time for retail clients by 25% and passing along sizable cost savings to the client.
The advantages of lean manufacturing techniques used in modular and offsite construction provide a number of additional benefits. One is consistency. The core of lean manufacturing is a consistent methodology, creating a higher quality product, leading to faster handover and reducing the likelihood of aftercare defects. This helps to build relationships with supply chain partners. The total safety of operations is increased as working procedures are outlined as standard procedures. Because of these production procedures, operational safety is continuously enhanced, just like with product quality.
Many sectors can benefit from this approach, including the education sector. The 5S approach can all help schools, colleges, and universities to reduce waste, increase efficiency, and ensure a consistent methodology for construction projects such as temporary classrooms. Applying lean manufacturing principles can help educational institutions to build more efficiently, reduce waste, and increase productivity, ultimately leading to better learning outcomes for students.
Other industries would be making a big mistake if they ignored how lean manufacturing concepts could benefit them. Lean manufacturing helps to handle a number of difficulties in the business, such as rising costs, safety concerns, skills shortages, and sustainability targets. Its principles benefit not only construction but also other industries. The advantages of lean manufacturing will continue to be identified and implemented as best practice, advancing and extending throughout traditional construction and other industries.
Things to Know Before Buying a Business
Starting a business is a tough task. The benefits of buying an existing company instead are huge – you already have the infrastructure, the customers, the cash flow and the team. So it makes sense, for some, to look at companies that are already out there, instead of beginning from scratch.
It’s not a smooth ride of course, so here, Jonathan Jay of Dealmakers.co.uk advises on the main things to consider before taking the plunge and buying a business.
Know the market
Jonathan always advises people to buy a business operating in a sector they already know and understand. This doesn’t mean they have to be complete experts, there still needs to be research and diligence: but they need to have some awareness of how the market operates. There will be a lot of things to learn along the way anyway when buying a business: the staff, the culture, the reputation – and if you buy in a sector that you are completely new to, you’re going to have two huge learning curves. Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. Start with what you already know.
Buy a good team
Ensure you secure a company that already has a good solid management structure in place. If not, you will end up being part of that management team and you are not doing this to buy yourself a job. It’s best to look at companies that have an annual revenue of at least £1m, with a team of over 15 people. People sell their businesses for different reasons – retirement, health, complete life pivot – but the key is to only buy that business if it can survive without them at the helm. If it is too small, then there is a chance it won’t cope well at first. If the team and structure is strong, a change in ownership means progress, not panic.
Only buy a company you can finance – but never finance it from your own purse. Jonathan compares it to buying a house: if you’re told you can’t get a mortgage large enough to cover the repayments on the house you want, that may be a sign you can’t afford it. You do not want to end up out of pocket here, so don’t dip into your life savings. There are many other ways to fund a business.
Use the professionals
Always engage an accountant to do the due diligence. It sounds obvious but Jonathan says he has come across a lot of people who fancy doing it themselves. This is never a good idea, as you are simply not able to look at it objectively. Hire someone completely detached, and of course suitably qualified. The same goes for your lawyer: have a good proactive lawyer already in place who can get the deal done without any ego getting in the way.
Don’t fall in love
Don’t fall in love with the business – this is business! You are looking for a motivated seller, but DO NOT BECOME A MOTIVATED BUYER. The key is to stay detached. Look into at least 20 businesses before deciding which one to buy. Buy that business based on its financials, not your feelings.
Start with the end in mind
Why are you doing this? What is your motivation? For most people, the aim when buying a business is quite simple – to make money. It is to create a more secure future, one that involves accomplishment and provides security. So keep that goal in mind throughout the entire process. If you get too emotionally attached, or too involved in the running of the business, or don’t do the diligence up front, that success becomes compromised.
The main advice from Jonathan is to keep it objective, professional and detached. A published author and mentor with a track record in buying, selling and restructuring companies, Jonathan has helped many others acquire and successfully run businesses, with a focus on commercial success alongside a healthy work life balance. “Buying a business can be the best thing for everyone,” he concludes. “It can bring you the success you seek without personal financial risk, it gives the previous owner the departure they are hoping for, and it offers the team better prospects, thanks to the progress you will provide.”
Relayr Applauded by Frost & Sullivan for Enabling Enterprises to Adapt Quickly to Changing Market Conditions and for Its Market-Leading Position
Red Sea Global Commits to Accessible Tourism for All
- The developer’s luxury destinations and experiences portfolio will be fully accessible and inclusive for guests and visitors with disabilities and special needs
- Tailored, breathtaking experiences will be provided for people with disabilities, including bespoke therapeutic retreats for parents and caregivers
Red Sea Global (RSG), the multi-project developer behind the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism destinations, The Red Sea and Amaala, has pledged that its destinations and experiences will be fully inclusive for guests with disabilities, specific needs and access requirements, by implementing an accessibility agenda that is aspirational, alive and responsive, making a real difference to guest experience.
The developer has pledged to ensure all guests will enjoy luxury hospitality and unique experiences – from sailing, kayaking and diving among shipwrecks and coral reefs, to exploring the inland environment and stargazing in the desert.
The objective is to ensure guests enjoy RSG destinations with equity and dignity through the delivery of spaces, products and services irrespective of physical or cognitive ability.
“If we are truly going to do better by people and planet, we can’t leave anyone behind. There are approximately 1.3 billion disabled people globally. It is not only totally inexcusable for our industry to exclude so many people, but commercially short-sighted,” said John Pagano, Group CEO of Red Sea Global.
“We pledge to pursue a total commitment to accessible tourism from day one. As a visionary developer, we have the chance to build in accessibility from the ground up, creating exceptional experiences for every visitor to treasure, regardless of their physical or cognitive ability.”
To drive this leading commitment to accessible tourism, the developer will now require all its employees, consultants and partners to follow the UN-backed standard, ISO 21902 – Accessible Tourism for All, throughout their work.
The standard means every contractor at RSG’s destinations must ensure guest experiences take a universally inclusive approach. This commitment includes using new technologies – such as smart mobility and logistics – to radically enhance luxury tourism experiences for people with disabilities and their families, who have historically been underserved by the global industry.
Tony Coveney, Multi-Property General Manager at The St. Regis Red Sea and Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, said: “One of our core values is “Putting People First,” which is reflected in our approach to supporting equal equity for all, irrespective of their special needs or disabilities. At Marriott, we believe that by prioritizing the needs and concerns of our guests, associates, and partners, we create a more welcoming and inclusive environment where everyone can thrive and succeed. Our commitment to equal equity is an embodiment of our core values, and we will continue to uphold these values as we work to promote accessibility and accommodation across our global enterprise.”
Truly accessible from the very start
The Red Sea destination is on track to welcome its first guests this year when the first three hotels and phase one of the Red Sea International airport open. Upon full completion in 2030, it will comprise 50 resorts, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and more than 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites. Phase One of AMAALA is focused on the Triple Bay masterplan, and will be ready to welcome first guests in 2024.
The enormous, varied terrain of the destinations’ landscapes present several accessibility challenges. However, from opening, The Red Sea and Amaala will incorporate and continually improve inclusive infrastructure to enable guests to enjoy world-class destination experiences, regardless of age or ability. This includes:
- Guests with a disability who take part in activities will be provided with adaptive equipment and partnered with specially trained instructors. Guests enjoying watersports, for example, will benefit from specialist sailing equipment including kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. Through RSG’s diving subsidiary, Galaxea, PADI-certified adaptive support divers will be trained to cater for those diving with disabilities and special needs.
- Operating seaplanes at the destination under the global standard of ‘Passenger Acceptance’, making bespoke provisions for guests with disabilities to mitigate unique boarding challenges.
- Deploying enhanced ground support equipment and Ambulift services to assist passengers disembarking planes and other modes of transport.
- Training handlers at the destination’s airport, Red Sea International, to enable safe transportation of wheelchairs and specialist equipment.
Supporting families and caregivers
Red Sea Global is also creating wellbeing programs for families and caregivers of people with disabilities, providing opportunities and experiences that support mental wellbeing and allow for a sense of personal and shared achievement.
To support parents, and especially the parents of children with special needs, RSG’s adventure sports subsidiary, Akun, will offer a bespoke set of adventures and activities for parents that can help build wellbeing and mental strength. In line with RSG’s commitment to Respect and Resilience, these experiences will focus on the therapeutic benefits of the natural landscape.
“The unique needs of people with disabilities have been widely overlooked by the global tourism industry to date. It’s vital that we use our platform as a leading regenerative tourism developer – and a cornerstone of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 transformation – to shine a spotlight on these issues, if we are to create a truly pioneering industry that caters to all,” said Rosanna Chopra, Executive Director, Destination Development at Red Sea Global.
Pushing boundaries beyond the guest experience
In line with the guidelines set out in the ISO 21902 standard, this accessible tourism initiative will extend to all aspects of RSG’s ecosystem, further benefitting employees, local communities and partners.
Work will also be dedicated to building the capability of tourism businesses to support workers with a disability, including sharing resources to ensure operational teams have the skills to employ workers with a disability.
To ensure the active participation of people with disabilities in the future of the tourism industry in the Kingdom and beyond, RSG will continue to work with its hospitality and leisure partners to invest in opportunities for staff and potential talent, regardless of their physical, cognitive, or sensory needs.
MONPURE’s Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum is the Straightforward Solution for Lustrous Locks
Retinol, but not as you know it
The holy grail skincare product and secret to enviable, expensive hair
MONPURE’s Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum gives your scalp the same five-star treatment as your highest performing serum would your skin. If thickness is what you seek, then look no further. This hero product is set to inject voltage and volume to your hair through a meticulously developed formula. This holy grail skincare product refreshes and renews the scalp creating the perfect foundation for lustrous, full locks. This game changing serum contains an unexpected but highly effective ingredient for hair growth. Retinol.
Retinol is one of the most googled skincare ingredients of recent years, however, the curiosity and confusion around retinols remain. But dermatologists, facialists and beauty experts agree that when it comes to delivering visible, smart-ageing skincare effects, it is the final word. However, the transformative effects it can have on the scalp and thus hair growth, is seldom spoken about amongst consumers.
It is widely accepted that the correct concentration of topical retinol is a potential treatment for hair loss. In conventional skincare, retinol is loved for its abilities to supercharge cellular renewal and this same quality can work miracles for the hair. MONPURE’s Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum uses exfoliating retinyl palmitate at 0.5% concentration, a gentle retinol ester that can be safely used on the scalp. Increasing blood flow to the scalp allows better delivery of more proteins, vitamins, and nutrients to the root of the hair enforcing strength and growth. Additionally, the retinol component acts as a reset button to the scalp. By decongesting hair follicles and clearing debris and dead skin, other active ingredients within the serum can be absorbed better and stimulate the scalp with more efficacy.
The Serum also works to prevent hair loss, through its clever means of offsetting DHT production. Special pumpkin extract blocks a pesky enzyme called 5-alpha reductase known to convert testosterone to DHT, the guilty hormonal component responsible for hair loss. Lactic acid provides gentle exfoliation to the scalp making flakiness a thing of the past. Caster seed oil stimulates the scalp to boost not only growth, but also the quality of the follicle. These ingredients were selected not only for their individual properties but the way in which they complement each other. The chemical exfoliators retinol and lactic acid work to clear the scalp so that the maximum potential of the pumpkin seed and castor oil can be achieved as it is easily absorbed by the skin without any obstacles in the way.
Simply massage a few drops onto the scalp every morning as part of your daily skincare regime. In just a few weeks expect to see your crowning glory longer, stronger and fuller. Enviable, expensive hair has never been so straight forward.
Funding a Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal cord injuries come with a long list of devastating symptoms. Extreme pain, incoordination, and loss of bladder control are just three of their worst punishments. Paralysis is the worst they have to dole out, which adds a host of expenses to your medical budget. You’ll need to create a more accessible home with ramps, lifts, and accessible bathroom features. While taxpayers boost Canada’s robust healthcare system, the legal challenges remain complicated in areas that need specialized guidance. Every province has unique laws that are well-known to the attorneys in the area. If you are a resident of Edmonton and have suffered a spinal injury, consult Edmonton spinal injury lawyers who can help to assess your legal options.
Understanding Canada’s Public Healthcare System
Patients aren’t required to pay medical attention at a public clinic. No law requires public health coverage, but you can’t use governmental services in some provinces unless you have insurance. The waiting period for coverage varies from province to province, but you’ll have to wait an average of three months before it kicks in. Medicare only offers basic, “medically necessary” services. The system is in the top 10% of the world’s best nations on the Healthcare Access and Quality Index, but burnout and attrition have led to a shortage of medical staff. The average patient waits three months for a specialist appointment, but some patients wait as long as a year. That leads to stress, pain, and lost income. Your diagnosis will be delayed, and your condition may deteriorate. To make matters worse, you must schedule wait times between every specialist you see, so it can take years to dent your symptoms. That isn’t an option for many patients, particularly when dealing with severe pain and disability.
Private Healthcare Insurance
Canada is home to more than a hundred private clinics throughout the country. They’re independently run, usually by doctors, but their prices can be steep. Even so, most patients pay their bills primarily out of their pockets. Private healthcare insurance can make the load much lighter, but the average insurance holder spends about $2,000 a year on services their insurance doesn’t cover. Provincial health insurance doesn’t cover physiotherapy, prostheses, psychologists, or prescription medication—if you have a spinal cord injury, you’ll probably need all four of those services.
Private insurance is intended to cover expenses that the public system does not. Most plans cover medical equipment and nursing, so they fill an important gap. If an employer provides your insurance and you lose your job, you’re left at the mercy of a system riddled with gaps.
Given enough patience and sheer force of will, the Canadian healthcare industry can be a boon that can make a significant difference in your quality of life. All it takes is a comprehensive understanding of the red tape. It can certainly be done, but if another’s negligence or wilful maliciousness causes your injury, you shouldn’t have to struggle with the administrative nightmare.
If you or the at-fault party in your accident has personal injury coverage, many of your healthcare bills will be covered by an insurer. The average settlement in Canada is between $10,000 and $30,000 for minor injuries, but the average accident benefits claim is $25,500. While that might seem like an exceptional payout, the net lifetime cost of a spinal cord injury is over $300,000. Most of those costs fall in the first year of the injury. To complicate the matter further, insurers often try to lowball their clients.
Personal Injury Compensation
Taking the legal route to personal injury care addresses many challenges that insurance and Medicare do not. Your lawyer will include future medical care in your desired compensation and household renovations to make your living space more accessible. They’ll also address your pain, suffering, and any psychological care you need for the rest of your life. They’re a boon for those with unethical insurers, too. A personal injury lawyer will push for a better settlement from your provider and the at-fault party. This kind of coverage will help you to adapt to the changes in your life and expose you to the best healthcare available.
Why Every Entrepreneur Should Invest In A Gold IRA
In the face of enduring global challenges, it’s become crystal clear that financial literacy is not just a luxury but a necessity. The unpredictability of the current economic landscape has spurred entrepreneurs worldwide to seek out robust financial strategies to safeguard their future.
Among the diverse array of investment options, the Gold Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is emerging as a beacon for savvy business owners. This unconventional retirement pathway allows investors to bolster their portfolios with physical assets such as gold, serving as a bulwark against the vicissitudes of economic instability.
This article will delve deeper into the compelling reasons why a Gold IRA might be a worthwhile consideration for entrepreneurs, starting with the basics.
Decoding Gold IRA
A Gold IRA is a self-directed individual retirement account (IRA) that allows investors to hold physical gold or other approved precious metals as investments. Unlike traditional IRAs that invest in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds, a Gold IRA diversifies an investor’s portfolio by adding tangible assets.
To initiate a Gold IRA, an investor needs to open an account with a custodian who is responsible for overseeing the account and facilitating transactions. The investor then procures approved gold or other precious metals from a dealer, and these assets are preserved in a secure, insured repository. Gold IRAs fall under the same tax advantages and withdrawal regulations as traditional IRAs, offering long-term retirement savings with an extra level of diversification and protection.
But before you take the plunge, it’s prudent to invest some time in researching and comparing different custodians and the fees on a Gold IRA. This comprehensive guide to Gold IRA is an invaluable resource that can help you make an informed decision.
Diversifying Your Portfolio
One of the primary reasons entrepreneurs should invest in a Gold IRA is to diversify their investment portfolio. By allocating a portion of your retirement savings to gold, you can reduce the overall risk of your investments.
Gold has historically demonstrated a low correlation with traditional asset classes such as stocks and bonds, making it an ideal diversification tool. As such, investing in gold can help entrepreneurs balance their portfolios, minimize risk, and potentially maximize returns.
Hedging Against Inflation
Inflation is a silent yet powerful force that can weaken your money’s purchasing power over time. Gold, however, has a long-standing reputation as an effective hedge against inflation.
Unlike paper currency, gold maintains its intrinsic value, which is why its price tends to rise when inflation increases. By including gold in their retirement savings, entrepreneurs can protect their wealth and preserve their purchasing power, even during periods of high inflation.
Shielding Against Market Volatility
Market volatility is a reality that entrepreneurs must contend with, especially when investing in stocks, bonds, and other traditional financial instruments. In times of economic uncertainty, gold has proven to be a reliable safe-haven asset.
As a tangible commodity with a finite supply, gold’s value tends to remain stable or even increase during financial crises and market downturns. This stability makes a Gold IRA an attractive investment option for entrepreneurs looking to safeguard their retirement savings amidst market fluctuations.
Maintaining Privacy And Control
Entrepreneurs often value their privacy and financial independence. A Gold IRA offers an added layer of privacy compared to traditional retirement accounts, as gold holdings are not reported to the IRS unless specific transactions are made. This confidentiality allows entrepreneurs to maintain more control over their investments and financial future.
Additionally, a Gold IRA provides flexibility in terms of investment choices. Investors can opt for physical gold in coins or bars or choose gold-related financial products such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mining stocks. This range of investment options allows entrepreneurs to tailor their Gold IRA to suit their unique financial goals and risk tolerance.
Long-Term Wealth Preservation
Another compelling reason for entrepreneurs to invest in a Gold IRA is the potential for long-term wealth preservation. Gold has been valued for centuries, with a consistent demand that spans various cultures and periods. This enduring value stems from gold’s limited supply, inherent beauty, and myriad industrial and technological applications.
By incorporating gold into their retirement savings, entrepreneurs can benefit from the metal’s long-term value preservation, helping them build a lasting financial legacy for themselves and their families. This long-term wealth preservation strategy can provide entrepreneurs with peace of mind, as their hard-earned money is invested in an asset that maintains its value over time.
Investing in a Gold IRA is a strategic move for entrepreneurs seeking to secure their financial future. Business owners can enjoy the numerous benefits of owning gold by diversifying their portfolios, hedging against inflation, shielding their investments from market volatility, maintaining privacy and control, and preserving long-term wealth.
Strategy. Talent. Results.
HGM Consulting (HGMC) is a distinctive Canadian consultancy firm that infuses new life into businesses and enables them to expand and prosper. By offering comprehensive turn-key solutions, HGMC serves as a crucial resource for exporters and innovators, investors and investment recipients, seeking to build valuable partnerships and development strategies. In this article, we take a closer look at HGMC’s services and highlight Dr. Alexander S. Karapetov, who was recently awarded the title of the Most Influential Export & Investment Consultancy CEO 2023 (Ontario, Canada).
In today’s globalized business landscape, companies face a significant challenge when it comes to expanding into foreign markets through international trade and investment. The complexity of market entry strategies, particularly in the technology sector, can be overwhelming and require specialized knowledge and experience. This hurdle often leaves businesses feeling stuck and uncertain about how to proceed. Fortunately, well-established consulting firms have emerged as an invaluable asset for companies looking to navigate the intricacies of international trade and investment.
HGM Consulting (Canada) is an innovative leader – it holds the torch, leads the way, and even carves out a path between its clients and their desired market for investments, business innovations, and high-tech. Its expertise covers a plethora of areas such as economic diversification and international investment attraction; business innovation and related institutional development; commercialization of IP and technology transfer; international business and technology clustering; strategic planning and management; alongside risk management; organizational performance improvement; and much more.
As a strategic advisory, HGMC’s team members are more than employees – they are the very lifeblood of the business. The team at HGMC is made up of seasoned experts with a multidisciplinary background and tremendous international experience who each search for innovative solutions and sustainable ways of supporting their clients in their business ventures, including their export and investment projects.
“The company is well-equipped to assist clients in conducting comprehensive quantitative and qualitative research, developing an investment and innovation strategy (including business planning and modelling, marketing, and related technology solutions), facilitating the investment negotiation process and in providing follow-up support in project/program design, planning, and implementation.”
Its services are well-defined, tangible, and intelligently packaged. HGMC has the innate ability to take on any project needed, and it truly knows how to navigate the turbulent waters of international investment, trade, and innovation. No matter the desired market in North America, Eastern Europe and the GCC region, or East and Central Asia, HGMC’s star-studded team can take on any challenge.
HGMC approaches every project in a bespoke manner. The company’s experts “diagnose the core problem and provide the right solution based on the integrated design that will define the right strategic target and cover all aspects essential for successful implementation – all concepts and tools critical for economic/business development and innovation”.
A lot of time is wasted when covering issues with what seems to be a one-size-fits-all approach. Whereas, with HGMC, even the most deeply rooted issue can be weeded out and cured with its tailor-made solutions.
“Broad knowledge of various markets within and outside North America, access to strategic business intelligence and to top-notch business professionals, expertise in export promotion, investment attraction and innovation enhancement, all distinguish HGM Consulting and make up the foundation for its clients’ success.”
As HGMC continues to commit itself to helping its clients in every way it can, its CEO and President, Dr. Alexander S. Karapetov consistently supports his team to do so. His professional credentials and the reputation of an influential CEO are greatly recognized by the company’s staff members, executive team, clients, and business partners, but his impact as the Most Influential Export & Investment Consultancy CEO 2023 is unparalleled.
Alexander has a wealth of strategy and management consulting experience stemming from decades of involvement in the trade. His insightful consulting skills ensure he always stays on top of his game, which inevitably guarantees a better future for all of HGMC’s clients.
Taking on each project as though it were his own, Alexander nurtures his client’s plan and transforms it so that their idea can become reality. Working in industrial investment and innovation management and international business and technology development for so many years has given Alexander a head start on the competition, making him a fantastic option if you are looking for an expert and an executive who is fully focused on understanding the trends and requirements within various investment and technology markets to ensure his clients’ success.
Alexander’s strategic economic development and management consulting skills have allowed him to make a name for himself, but his interpersonal and executive coaching skills make him truly unique as a CEO. Guiding his team and clients to success every day, Alexander’s leadership skills mimic his executive coaching approach and his personal philosophy, ensuring everyone feels seen and heard.
People celebrate Alexander’s leadership qualities and appreciate his deep experience. As just one shining example, Eugene Kritski, VP at GlobeScan Inc., said in his LinkedIn reference for Alexander, “I had a pleasure working with Dr. Alexander Karapetov on a couple of developmental projects. He showed himself as one of the most impressive executives I have ever worked with. His strategic and creative way of thinking is coupled with rich international experience in business consulting, export development, and international investments. He has a first-hand knowledge of many international markets in Europe and Asia and is a great networker and negotiator. He possesses an outstanding ability to combine a solid business intelligence and translate it into effective and well-balanced decisions and practical actions. Alexander is a talented and very reliable partner.”
It is Alexander’s dedication to stellar teamwork and his continual professional and personal development, which make him a fantastic asset to any team he is part of. Alexander has now been recognised for his dedicated leadership and irreplaceable presence within HGMC.
“HGM Consulting is always interested in extending its horizons and is flexible in adapting to the needs of its clients. The company wants to thank all existing partners and invite those who can benefit from its assistance to reach out!”
Going forward, HGMC is set on its upward trajectory. Reliably acting as a strong, sturdy, and results-driven consulting firm with its feet firmly on the ground, HGM Consulting is a consultancy firm that will always bring success to its clients and business partners.
For further information, please contact Dr. Alexander S. Karapetov or visit https://hgmconsulting.ca/
Measuring the Financial Impact of Video Marketing for Small Businesses
As a small business owner, you will have to don many hats throughout the lifetime of your business. From content creation to brand management, and everything else in between needs your utmost concern. For anyone, adding more elements to the mix may seem like a lot, especially when it’s a time-consuming and heavy-on-the-pocket process like video marketing. To do or not to do? You must definitely do it because its benefits are many for your business.
Thankfully, we’re past the stage when people used to hold up placards to let people know about their services. Now, social media and different content formats have simplified sharing and enlightening people about what’s happening in the market. Video marketing is one method that will always bring desired results and also save your resources, both time and money. 91% of businesses are testament to this fact that video is the best marketing tool.
7 ways video marketing helps small businesses financially
The financial impact of video marketing for small businesses is significant. From conversion rates to high SEO ranking and from better brand image to more customer retention rates, video marketing is your one-stop solution. The following ways are to measure the financial impact of videos on small businesses:
Build a trusted brand identity
Trust is the foundation for any business to thrive in the global market. For small businesses, it may take years to establish and prove their name. Many brand building strategies have to be put into work for the business to flourish and make its place in households, offices and in the lives of their customers.
To build a brand identity, it becomes important to leave a definite mark in the audience’s lives. Video is one effective way to create easy, digestible, memorable and engaging content. With video marketing and features like online video translator, companies can stand out from their competitors and build a strong brand identity.
Improve search engine rankings
Everyone on the internet uses search engines like Google to get a valid response for their queries and to know more about new businesses on the block. To achieve higher recognition on the world wide web, businesses need to reserve a spot on the topmost rankings on search results.
Advanced analytics and tools have helped new businesses to scale their performance on the internet. Content in video format is the best way to let web crawlers know in detail what the business and video is all about. This will be helpful in providing accurate answers to the audience and also reduce bounce rates.
Influence consumer behaviour
Looking back the past two years, we can safely say that the number of online customers has significantly gone up. From the way we work to the way we shop, everything has gone online. The rise of ecommerce has also increased the number of online shoppers, approximately 2.64 billion people as of 2023. For small businesses, the lifespan of their business depends on their increasing customer base and video marketing is one effective way to keep the numbers flowing in.
Videos are a great way to influence purchase patterns and create need in the customers’ lives. Convenience and competitive prices are the two key reasons driving people to shop online. With the compelling videos that justify their pricing, position, and everything else is to boost their overall revenue.
Better customer feedback and retention
Following closely to point number 3 is the influence of customer feedback and retention on the financial aspect of small businesses. Today, high-quality videos can be made with mobile phones and don’t require fancy or high-end equipment. Brands can request feedback in video form, moving away from the traditional questionnaires and surveys, to boost interaction between both parties.
Video marketing helps small businesses to forge strong relationships with customers by providing information and increasing emotional connections. People place more confidence on a product or service when a video is attached to it.
Grow audiences via email listing
Small businesses don’t have the freedom to splurge on their marketing. However, emails are the most economical way to advertise your brand, its offerings and build customer base. It’s a free tool that business owners must make use of, and its influence becomes more powerful when paired with video marketing methods.
Video, when incorporated into your email will see more keen readers as people tend to open emails that include visual aid. Don’t forget to always include a call-to-action at the end of your videos. This is your best way to encourage more shares and sign ups and grow your email listing and cashflow.
Establish brand connection and recall
Be it Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media channel, the content format that you see the most is video. Video content has more potential to be shared on social media, which thereby gives the brand more exposure and higher engagement. These factors help in building a brand connection with the current and potential customers.
Develop ROI tracking
Video marketing is one of the best ways to monitor and track the success rate of your marketing strategies. You can make adjustments accordingly and tweak metrics here and there to get the most returns out of your videos. With constant monitoring and analysis, you will soon be on the road to successfully creating videos that strike the right chord with your audience. By the end of the day, you’ll be making more profits than losses and that’s all you need.
The bigger picture on video marketing
There are innumerable benefits of video marketing, especially for small businesses. If you’re still holding back on using that camera or mobile for video recordings, then this is your sign to start using them.
By B Naomi Grace