The Benefits of Holding Life Insurance: Rewards for Your Peace of Mind

When it comes to life insurance, there are many benefits that come with holding a policy. From peace of mind to tax breaks, there are many rewards for holding insurance. This blog post will discuss 10 of the top benefits of holding life insurance. If you have been on the fence about getting coverage, this post is for you.

What is Life Insurance and How Does It Work?

Before discussing the benefits of life insurance, it is important to understand it. Life insurance is a policy that provides a financial benefit to the beneficiaries of the policy in the event of the insured’s death. The policyholder pays premiums regularly, and if they die while the policy is still in force, their beneficiaries receive a payout.

There are many different life insurance policies, and each one has its own set of benefits. While it is important to consult with an insurance agent to find the policy that is best for you, here are some of the most common types of life insurance policies:

Term Life Insurance
A term life insurance policy is a policy that provides coverage for a fixed period of time or term. If the policyholder dies during the policy term, their beneficiaries receive a payout. Term life insurance is less expensive than other life insurance policies, and it is a good option for people who do not want to be burdened with premiums after they retire.

Permanent Life Insurance
A permanent life insurance policy is a policy that provides coverage for the life of the policyholder. This type of policy combines term life insurance with an investment account, and the premiums are usually higher than those for a term life insurance policy. However, a permanent life insurance policy can provide tax benefits and peace of mind for the policyholder.

Universal Life Insurance
Universal life insurance is a permanent life insurance policy that allows policyholders to change their premiums and coverage amounts over time. This type of policy is a good option for people who want more flexibility with their coverage.

There are many other types of life insurance policies, but these are some of the most common. To find the best policy for you, it is important to consult with an insurance agent.

Now that we have a basic understanding of life insurance let’s discuss the benefits of holding a policy.

Benefits of Holding Life Insurance

Here are ten benefits of holding life insurance:

Peace of Mind
One of the top benefits of life insurance is the peace of mind that comes with it. Knowing that your loved ones are taken care of if something happens to you can give you a sense of security and peace of mind.

Tax Breaks
Another big benefit of life insurance is the tax breaks that come with it. If you hold a life insurance policy, you may be able to deduct the premiums from your taxable income. This can provide some much-needed tax relief.

Flexibility
Another benefit of life insurance is its flexibility. With life insurance, you can choose the right amount of coverage for you and your family. You can also choose the type of policy that best suits your needs.

Protection from creditors
If you are faced with a personal financial crisis, life insurance can protect you from creditors. If you have a life insurance policy, the proceeds from the policy will be protected from creditors.

Convenience
Life insurance is also very convenient. Policies can be purchased online or through an agent, and you can tailor the coverage to fit your specific needs.

Cash value
One of the best features of life insurance is the cash value it builds up over time. This cash value can be used to pay for premiums, cover expenses in an emergency, or even supplement your retirement income.

No medical exam required
One of the best things about life insurance is that many times no medical exam is required. This makes it easy to get coverage without a lengthy medical exam.

Portability
Your life insurance policy will go with you if you relocate or change jobs. This portability is a big plus for those who often move frequently or switch jobs.

Death benefit
The death benefit is the biggest benefit of life insurance. When you die, the death benefit will be paid to your beneficiaries. This can provide financial security for your loved ones in their time of need.

How to Conduct a Thorough Due Diligence Investigation for Your Business

When you’re starting a new business, it’s important to do your due diligence and investigate all of your options. You need to make sure that you’re making the best decision for your company and not overlooking any potential problems. This blog post will discuss how to conduct a thorough due diligence investigation for your business. We’ll cover everything from financials to legal issues so that you can make an informed decision about your future. And make sure to check this website frequently for updates.

What is due diligence?

Due diligence is investigating a potential business partner, investment, or acquisition. It’s important to do your due diligence to avoid any potential problems down the road. For example, if you’re thinking of investing in a new company, you’ll want to make sure that the company is financially sound and has a good business plan. If you’re buying a new business, you’ll want to make sure that the sale is legal and there are no outstanding contracts or lawsuits. Alternatively, if you’re considering a partnership, you’ll want to ensure that the other company is reputable and has a good track record.

The different aspects of due diligence

There are many different aspects of due diligence, including financial, legal, and commercial. Here’s a look at those aspects in-depth:

Financial Due Diligence
Financial due diligence is the process of reviewing a company’s financial statements and assessing its financial health. This includes reviewing things such as the company’s assets, liabilities, and cash flow. You’ll also want to make sure that the company is making a profit and that it has a good credit rating.

Legal Due Diligence
Legal due diligence is the process of investigating a company’s legal history. This includes looking at any lawsuits or contracts that the company has been involved in. Of course, you’ll also want to ensure that the company complies with all relevant laws and regulations.

How to conduct a financial due diligence

Financial due diligence can be complex, but there are a few steps that you can take to make it easier:

Review the company’s financial statements
A thorough review of the company’s financial statements is essential. You’ll want to look at things such as the company’s assets, liabilities, and cash flow. You’ll also want to make sure that the company is making a profit and that it has a good credit rating.

Check the industry trends
It’s important to stay up-to-date on industry trends so that you can make informed decisions about the company’s future. You can do this by reading industry reports and news articles.

Review the company’s competitors
It’s also important to review the company’s competitors so that you have a better understanding of its market position. You can do this by studying their websites and marketing materials.

Check the company’s supply chain
The company’s supply chain is another important factor to consider. Again, you’ll want to make sure that the suppliers are reputable and that the products are of good quality.

Check for any red flags
There are certain red flags that you should look for, such as lawsuits or contracts. You’ll also want to ensure that the company complies with all relevant laws and regulations.

How to conduct a legal due diligence

When it comes to conducting legal due diligence, there are a few things that you can do to make the process easier:

Review the company’s legal history
A thorough review of the company’s legal history is a good starting point. You’ll want to look at any lawsuits or contracts that the company has been involved in. You’ll also want to make sure that the company is in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

Check for any pending litigation
It’s important to check for any pending litigation so that you know what kind of risk the company is facing. You can do this by checking court records and news articles.

Check the company’s compliance status
The company’s compliance status is another important factor to consider. You’ll want to make sure that the company is in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

Assess the company’s risk profile
The company’s risk profile is another important factor to consider. You’ll want to make sure that the company is taking steps to mitigate any potential risks.

The American Dream

For potential business owners, franchising is the ideal way to open the door to independence. The team at Frannexus are specialists in the field, offering their unparalleled knowledge to support clients. Named Leading Franchise Acquisition and Development Specialists of the Year, USA in Acquisition International’s Leading Advisor awards, we thought we’d take a look at some of the secrets of this team’s inimitable success.

The United States of America is built on the ideals of the American Dream. The idea of a place where anyone, no matter who they are or where they come from, can thrive and reach their fullest potential is one that people still aspire to. Through hard work and determination, they can achieve greatness.

The COVID-19 pandemic has unsettled many established norms across numerous industries. People have become less confident in their work or have lost their jobs altogether. The idea of starting their own business is one of the ways in which they can recapture some of the ambition of the American Dream. For many, however, the uncertainties involved in establishing a business make it an impossible prospect, particularly in these uncertain times. To build a brand and identity that can go toe to toe with larger competitors is no mean feat, but franchising is a way to be part of something greater while still maintaining a degree of independence.

Franchising offers an enormous boost for those who want to become independent. Under the aegis of a larger business, individuals or investors can open a business while maintaining a support network that can guide you to success. By buying into a successful brand from a willing franchisor, the chances of a business failing diminish significantly. There is an impressive market for this which makes it a different sort of challenge – with so many options, which one is best?

Frannexus represents over 350 vetted brands across the USA and is uniquely qualified to match their demands with the dreams of their clients. The team has no obligation to sell a specific franchise; instead, they empower others to find a solution that fits them and their needs. With a wealth of different operating styles, from semi-passive to owner-operator models, there is something for everyone at Frannexus.

The team works with organizations of every sort, from nationally recognized businesses like SuperCuts and Meineke to emerging brands that are only just getting started. Franchisees who turn to Frannexus could potentially be part of a rapidly growing enterprise such as Orange Theory or Budget Blinds. No two franchises are alike, and an enormous range of companies work with Frannexus. Each is carefully vetted to ensure that they will offer the guidance and support that franchisees need.

The decision to become a franchisee depends on many different factors. Experience, goals, and budget play practical concerns, but starting a business also requires consideration of the passion an individual might have for the industry and their lifestyle requirements. The Frannexus team works closely with clients from the start to truly understand what they want and need and establish if these dreams are best achieved through franchising. When it comes to exploring so many different options, it pays to work alongside partners who know what questions to ask and get the necessary answers across multiple business models and industry sectors.

Over the years, the Frannexus team has worked with hundreds of clients, walking by their side as they explore the various options surrounding whether or not franchise business ownership is the right decision for them at that time. As mentioned before, the team’s loyalty is not to the franchisors but potential franchisees and business owners. They offer the tools necessary to succeed, but they never push another organization’s plan on their clients. Being able to maintain this level of trust rewarded Frannexus immensely over the years. Their reputation is unsurpassed. Needless to say, they are not just a franchising matchmaker but trusted advisors who ensure that their clients know for sure if operating a franchise is right for them.

For those who are just entering the industry, or perhaps just considering the possibility, the wisdom of others is an invaluable tool. The Frannexus team has simplified an incredibly complex process into one which is more streamlined and directed towards getting a great result for all concerned. With over 4,000 different opportunities on the table from around the USA, finding a way to narrow down the options is essential.

For Frannexus, the process begins with a psychometric assessment. This generates a business owner profile that can then predict client compatibility, future performance potential, and cultural alignment with franchise brands. From this information, the team can establish not only what areas to explore but also which areas they must avoid. It’s a powerful resource that sets Frannexus’ way of working apart from the competition and allows a great deal of the advice given incredibly personalized.

Powerful psychographic assessment tools are part of Frannexus’ commitment to treating each new client as thoroughly unique. As no two people are the same, the advice given by the Frannexus team is always bespoke while being built on years of expertise within the industry. When it comes to running your own business and taking control, a need to be passionate about it and sustain interest and momentum for years is vital. That’s why, beyond the impressive knowledge of the team, Frannexus considers their client’s personalities first and foremost. The ability of the team to provide such a tailored service is part of the reason why so many continue to turn to them for support to this day.

Historically, franchises have taken all sorts of shapes and sizes. Where some will thrive in a “bricks-and-mortar” store, others will prefer the option to work remotely. While money is a major factor for many, the satisfaction of working in a role that satisfies is an important consideration. The Frannexus team knows their clients are looking for fulfillment in every sense of the word and that they might hold the key to securing that for them. The most successful franchises are the ones that have active owners who are engaged in their success. Too many people think that a franchise is an absentee proposition where they can simply hire staff to make it happen. All businesses need a great deal of care to ensure that they can thrive and grow to new heights of effectiveness.

Even when the right franchisor has been selected, it’s important to undertake due diligence. The team at Frannexus has access to an incredible amount of information that many franchisors do not make publicly available, allowing their clients a unique insight into how a business operates. The tools used are designed to make the more profound investigation of franchise opportunities as painless and informative as possible. This includes a no-cost consultation with a franchise attorney. Having access to such a wide field of resources is a significant part of the team that has achieved such success.

The accomplishments of Frannexus have been recognized numerous times over the years, including within the pages of Acquisition International. The team’s approach to their work, under the leadership of CEO Seth Lederman, is inspirational. At every level, their attitude trusts their team to deliver exceptional results and inspires the clients they are working for to aspire to even greater heights. The environment at Frannexus fosters growth and development at all times. Thanks to a flat organizational structure, everyone involved at Frannexus can use their own unique skills to enhance the company’s offering and be rewarded for their efforts as a result. The result is a team that loves their work and loves helping others to achieve their own visions of success.

Many people who turn to Frannexus are looking for a career transition alternative or are investors looking to diversify their investment portfolio. A well-run franchise can offer formidable returns on initial investment if done right. The COVID-19 pandemic shook many people severely in terms of their life ambitions and in terms of their job security. While the concerns of the pandemic affected everyone significantly, the Frannexus team found an incredible increase in demand. 2020 saw the team support more clients to transition from jobs into business ownership than any year prior.

The world flipped upside down for many of these people, and they wanted a sense of control. Those who suddenly found themselves working from home suddenly realized that they didn’t go back to the office. With attractive loans on offer from the SBA, many realized they didn’t have to either. The resources were on hand, and the opportunity for change presented itself. It was the chance to make a dream come true. The natural next step was to consult specialists in the field in the form of Frannexus.

These people are typical of those who Frannexus has traditionally helped but in atypical circumstances. Entering into a brave new world is no easy task, and the assistance offered by the Frannexus team is an enormous help. Their expertise helps people to make better decisions in considerably less time. There’s no need to worry about whether or not you have been able to gather all the necessary information to make a decision – the Frannexus team have you covered on all fronts. Their exemplary work ethic and proven systems mean that you can move forward with total confidence.

Choosing a franchise is not for everyone, and once the decision to take one on is made, it can be immensely challenging to identify the right franchise in what is such an individual path. The work of Frannexus does not just revolve around matching up a franchise opportunity with people but in ensuring that the franchise they opt for is the right one for them. The work that they do has never been more critical. The Frannexus team empowers people to make their own decisions by giving their clients as much information as possible. If the American Dream allows everyone to work hard and achieve their own success, Frannexus is a vital part of bringing that dream to life.

For further information, please contact Seth Lederman or visit www.frannexus.com

Five Strategy Tips For Business Event Planning

Events are a critical part of the life of a business. Most businesses are launched with an event and host numerous others throughout their life. These events help businesses generate leads or land new prospects. They also help boost your business, network with other participants in the industry, educate your clients and create an emotional connection with your employees and clients. The goal or intended benefits of the event usually determine the type and how you plan for it. For instance, if your goal is to launch a new product, an event would be ideal. The best way to achieve the benefits of a business event is through effective planning.

Below are some planning strategies that will come in handy.

Focus Your Planning on the Purpose of the Event

One of the first things you do before planning a business event is to determine its purpose. The event’s purpose will guide you towards making essential decisions during the preparation process. Therefore, one of the best strategies for business event organization is focusing on the purpose. This means referring to the purpose when making essential planning decisions.

For instance, the purpose will help you figure out the type of event you should hold and the target audience. On the other hand, the audience will determine your location choice. For example, if you aim to attract new clients, a pop-up stand from Expocart may be an ideal type of event. Therefore, you will need to target the demographic for which your business and products are designed. In doing this, your location will be where the audience can get quick access.

It is worth mentioning how important it is to share your purpose with your team. The goal is to let your event planning team understand your key focus. This way, you share the same vision and have an aligned planning process.

Create a Written Event Plan and a Budget

Another incredible strategy is writing an event plan. You must understand that planning an event involves numerous details. The most critical details are; venue, guest list, food, speakers, entertainment, and decorations. The biggest mistake most planners make is not creating a written plan. This leads to a lot of confusion. It may also cause you to forget some essential details which make or break your business.

Therefore, it would be wise to start the process by creating a step-by-step written plan. The written document should include the purpose of the event and how you intend to arrive at it. It should also feature everything that should be done before, during, and after the event. It would also help determine what you want to happen at the event and write it down in detail. Additionally, your plan should also include a budget.

Creating a well-written plan and a budget for the event needs collaboration. This means that you need to involve an experienced planner and other necessary parties in the preparation process for the document. You will also need to go through it to ensure you didn’t leave anything out before printing final copies.

Work With a Team

If you have not planned an event before, you may assume it is an easy task. However, this is far from the truth. Planning an event is a lot of work. Therefore, one or two people cannot pull off all the details. For this reason, another effective strategy is working with a team.

After determining the type of event you want to host and its purpose, one of the first things you should do is put together a team. It would be wise to have experienced individuals who can handle various aspects of the organization process.

After assembling your team, you can delegate tasks using your written event plan. It is also worth mentioning that open and frequent communication is key when working with a team. Communicating often with all the parties involved will help ensure the event’s success.

Establish a Promotion Plan

Planning a great event then ending up without attendees is a waste of time and resources. Therefore, as you organize all the event details, you should also work out strategies for promoting it. Your promotion strategy should start by determining the right platforms to use. For instance, you can generate buzz for your event via social media platforms. You can also use your connections or find sources willing to advertise the event for you. Bloggers and social media influencers are excellent promotional tools for events. Using several promotional channels or strategies would come in handy.

Anticipate Failures

When organizing an event for your business, you should also anticipate some things going wrong. This is because the chances of things not going as planned are high. Therefore, it would be wise to have a plan B. This is especially important for the critical details of the occasion, like entertainment, venue, food, and speakers. For instance, you should have a backup generator for the venue if you run into electrical issues. This way, the entertainment is not interrupted. A plan B is necessary even with the most experienced planners and no matter how many successful events you have hosted in the past.

You can only enjoy the key benefits of a business event by ensuring success. The above strategy tips will come in handy. However, it would be best to have a follow-up plan, an experienced team working for you, and a positive attitude. After the event, you can assess its successes and drawbacks and take notes for future organization processes.

10 Pitch Deck Tips That Will Make Investors Say Yes

When it comes to pitching, there are a few things better than a good slide deck. There’s the sense of apparent certainty that just having an easily navigable slideshow in front of you can give you when you’re talking to potential investors or customers.

Plus, who doesn’t love a good pitch deck presentation? These things can make or break the future of your business. There are thousands of great ideas floating around, but without a great pitch deck, many just fizzle.

Here are 10 of the best ideas that will give your business the, yes it deserves!

1.) Add value with visuals in your pitch deck design

There is one simple rule when creating your presentation: add as many cool visuals as possible!  Avoid text-heavy slides at all costs. Remember, this is not a slideshow for your grandmother–it’s for people in the business world. Visuals will help them quickly grasp what you mean and keep their attention during your pitch rather than having them fall asleep while reading endless bullet points on a screen. Less is more!

2.) Create memorable characters on your pitch presentation to represent your company.

If you’re like most people, the only characters you’ve created are for video games or comic books. But they can come in handy when pitching your business, too.  Speaking of Wolverine, there’s a good reason why he’s on the majority of X-Men team posters: he sticks in people’s minds, making it easy for them to remember who is who.

The same goes with your company; create one or two memorable characters that will help your audience remember who you are and what you are about during your presentation.

3.) Keep Presentation Deck Slide Design Simple

Although PowerPoints are often called “slide decks” they should never be used as such. That’s because you don’t want to give your audience an excuse not to watch. It’s easy for them to get distracted by flashy images, bright colors, text written in Comic Sans font, and splash screens with company logos not related to the presentation they are watching.  If you’ve ever sat through a boring PowerPoint deck during a conference or at work, then these tips will seem familiar to you.

Don’t have any designing experience? Don’t worry! Venngage, the best pitch, and graph maker app is here to aid you! Easily churn out your slides with their templates and amazing graphic elements.

4.) Use Images That Mean Something

When adding visuals, avoid generic stock photos. Not only is this a lazy design but it also creates an impression of laziness on your part as well as disinterest in your business.  Instead, consider using pictures that reflect your brand and the message you’re trying to convey–just make sure that they are hi-res and look professional!

5.) Add Personal Details in Your Start Up Pitch Deck

It’s fine to share the company mission statement but only do so if you keep it real.  Fortunately for you, that means sharing your fears as well as your dreams with your audience. To truly connect with them, mention personal details about yourself–it will help create a lasting rapport, which is what you want when pitching!

6.) Use Cross-channel Marketing to Your Advantage

Do you have an active social media presence? Then use it to your advantage. You can take behind-the-scenes pictures or post videos directly onto YouTube–just make sure they are related to the presentation at hand!

It also helps remind viewers of who you are after seeing your face several times. After all, you don’t want them thinking that you’re a totally different person!

7.) Keep an eye out for Red Flags in Your Investor Deck

You always want to think like the investors and customers you’re pitching to. This means keeping an eye out for any red flags about your business. Some common ones that turn people away include technical difficulties with phone calls or webinars, too many buzzwords and industry jargon, and unrealistic expectations or promises.  If anyone points one of these issues out during your presentation, take note so you can fix it before future presentations!

8.) Give Them What They Want

When sharing information with potential investors or customers, it’s important to know beforehand what they want to hear–that way you can tailor your presentation accordingly. For example, if they ask to see financial projections and you don’t have them prepared, you need to be able to say so without offending them. 

Be diplomatic about it and tell them that this is something you’ll work on before your next round of pitches. You don’t want to lose potential investors because of a technicality!

9.) Leave Room for Questions

There’s nothing worse than listening to someone give a long-winded presentation without allowing time for questions and answers–it makes the audience feel like you’re trying to hide something or just hurry things along. Avoid this awkwardness by leaving enough time in the end for people with questions or comments to voice their thoughts.

10.) If All Else Fails…

If you’ve tried these techniques and they still aren’t working, then it might be time to call in a professional. If your presentation is too long or boring, for example, a public speaking coach can help you improve it just enough so that investors will take notice. They won’t have to know that it’s been polished up a bit!

Conclusion

There you go, 10 killer ideas that will surely wow those potential investors. Keep these in mind and the future of your business will look very bright!

How Can I Borrow Money If I’m Self-Employed?

If you are self-employed, it is still possible to borrow money however the loan application process may be a bit difficult. The main reason for this is that you do not receive pay stubs or W-2s from an employer so it is slightly more difficult to demonstrate that you earn enough money.

Can I take out a loan if I am self-employed?

Being self-employed can make the process of securing a loan more difficult; however, it is still possible. Lenders will need to review an individual’s credit and income before approving a loan in order to determine a borrower’s creditworthiness and how likely they are to repay their loan on time. If you are self-employed, you will not have W-2s from an employer; however, here are some ways that you could demonstrate your creditworthiness if you are self-employed:

Tax returns

It is relatively common for lenders to request to see tax returns as a way of verifying your income, instead of pay stubs or W-2s. Depending on the lender, they may ask for several years’ worth of documents; generally speaking, you will need to be able to show at least a minimum of two years of tax returns or tax transcripts. In addition, lenders could also ask to review your net profit or loss rather than just your gross income.

Collateral

Lending to a self-employed borrower can be seen as a greater risk for lenders than lending to a borrower who is in full-time employment. To counteract the risk, the loan offered to someone who is self-employed may be a “secured” loan. This means that the loan is backed by collateral – normally a property, a car or a certificate of deposit which the lender can repossess should you default on a loan payment.

Bank statements

Lenders may request to see several weeks of bank statements; this is a way for them to check your outgoing expenses relative to your income. All of this information will help a lender to determine whether or not you can afford to repay your loan and keep up with the monthly repayments.

Enlist a co-signer

Another action that may enhance your likelihood of loan approval is to apply with a co-signer. This could be especially helpful if you have poor credit or do not meet some of the loan requirements by yourself. The co-signer will be equally responsible for any repayments and, by signing, is agreeing to pay any payments that you may not be able to make; this makes the deal less risky for lenders.

Loan alternatives if you are self-employed

There are different options available to you if you are self-employed but do not wish to take out a loan.

Credit cards and cash advances

If you are unsure about taking out a loan or, for whatever reason, you cannot be approved for a loan, a credit card may be a good option for you. When used responsibly, credit cards can help you to build up your credit score and create a positive credit history; all of this will make you more likely to be approved for a loan in the future. Additionally, depending on the card that you choose, you could benefit from air miles, reward points or cash back which could help you save money in the long term.

With a credit card, you may also have the option of a cash advance – this is a short-term loan that allows you to withdraw cash from your credit card account. This typically incurs a higher APR than for credit card purchases but may be a good way of securing short-term cash funds.

Home equity loans

If you are a homeowner, another option for borrowing money may be to take out a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC). The difference between a home equity loan and a HELOC is that the loan works with fixed installment payments whereas a HELOC means you only make payments on the amount you borrow. To take out a home equity product, you may need to verify your self-employment income by showing recent tax returns but because you are borrowing from your home equity, rather than from a lender, it is typically easier to be approved.

The Most Common Questions On Personal Injury Claims Answered

For most of us, legal procedures and processes aren’t everyday occurrences: we see more of a courtroom through our TVs, as per Collider.com, than we ever do in person. Some of the most common circumstances in which people find themselves actually represented by solicitors and lawyers in courtrooms are for divorce and custody hearings. Even so, court proceedings are massively mystified by TV portrayals and, for the average layman, they’re guided through the process with no prior knowledge of what to realistically expect.

Particular lawsuits, including some of those detailed in AllLaws’ article on personal injury claims, are certainly up there in terms of commonality, but are also equally highly unfamiliar to the average person. Experienced law firms will typically specialise in areas of law like personal injury because of the sheer amount of nuance they involve. 

For someone going through recovery, and likely still experiencing the symptoms of their misfortune, these sorts of cases can be extraordinarily difficult to go through. At the heart of the issue in a personal injury claim is proving the presence of negligence, therefore, evidence and witness testimony is highly sought after to have a chance of winning a case. As you can imagine, the defendants are likely to push back, too, resulting in potentially lengthy cases featuring a lot of arbitration and negotiation. Therefore, understanding some of the most common queries claimants have can offer some peace of mind to those unfamiliar with the process. 

Do I have a time limit to claim? 

In almost all cases, yes. The time periods applied to raise a claim differ from country to country, but a few years is typically the absolute limit. This is for a number of reasons – number one being the need to accurately quantify and record the pain and suffering of a claimant. While it’s a necessary concept to apply, it does also make it more difficult for a claimant to know when to actually claim. Too soon, and they might develop new symptoms later. Too late, and they could miss out on compensation due to a lack of fresh evidence.  

How long do claims take?

It can naturally differ from case to case, but a few weeks to months is the normal length of a claim’s resolution. Most solicitors and firms will aim to wrap up a claim as quickly as possible. Different types of injury also contribute to the length of a case. For example, mental injuries or chronic conditions might need more medical information to prove legitimacy. More detailed explanations of different claims can be found in resource sections on firm websites. For example, McGinley Solicitors cover both actual types of injury and how different institutions like dentists, hospitals, or GPs can affect the process of making a claim. Being aware of timescales is instrumental to the process as it sets expectations and allows us to plan. 

Do I have to pay for services if I don’t win my claim?

Again, it can differ, but many firms use ‘no win, no fee’ policies, meaning clients aren’t required to cover any legal fees if their claim is unsuccessful. There’s also another side to this question, and that’s to do with contributory negligence. Effectively, if negligence can be found in the claimant’s own story, you can also lose out on some compensation you’re owed, too. Courts and lawyers aim to be fair in all sorts of ways, payments for services and compensation calculations are no different.  

Can you claim against an entity or business that no longer exists?

This is a surprisingly common question but it makes some sense as to why. A particularly disreputable business that’s more likely to cause someone injury is typically also more likely to go bust. However, it’s absolutely possible to claim against defunct businesses. If the insurers of the business can be identified, there’s no reason you can’t still secure compensation. 

We’ve scratched the surface by answering the above questions, but personal injury claims have a lot of other complexities. Having a great lawyer you can trust and believes in your case is vital to a strong case. Some of the basic knowledge you can pick up here is a start to knowing what to look for when finding and selecting great lawyers and firms to represent you.

IS IT CHEAPER TO BUILD OR BUY AN EXISTING HOME?

Acquiring a place that you can call your own becomes a massive financial risk should you get it wrong. Location, cost, property taxes, maintenance charges, and above all market trends are some of the important conditions that are factored in when hunting for a new home.

Having said that, the very first decision a prospective homeowner has to make is whether to build a new home from scratch or go for an outright purchase of an existing home. Since both paths have their relative merits and demerits, it is vital to consider each of them.

You can limit the risk of overpricing or taking longer to complete than expected by working with an experienced real estate franchise A reputed realtor can help streamline the house picking process by showing you the appropriate properties and guiding you through the negotiations and the important paperwork.

Buying an Existing Home

Even though buying any home involves many cumbersome steps, the convenience of stepping into a brand new residence straight away is a compelling enough reason for many people who opt to move into a ready-made home, rather than build a new one.

This need is especially true for a buyer who is on a tight time schedule or under transfer or whose children need to join a new school right away. Additionally, in many cases it is cheaper to buy an existing home, depending on your targeted real estate market prices and mortgage terms which will get you the best interest rates.

Another reason why an existing home could be a better deal is that you get to choose the neighbourhood of your choice. Your particular area may have all the amenities such as schools, market, health care and friends and families.

The Flip Side

The most significant disadvantage in going for a built up house is it will never have all that you are looking for. You may not like the landscaping or find a bathroom small or wish there was an extra bedroom provided on the first floor. Your otherwise beautiful home may have a small kitchen with no place for expansion.

Apart from the challenge of finding a dream home, the condition of your new abode may be so obsolete that it may inevitably require some updates and renovations, which measures are usually taken care of by buyers when building a new home.

Unless you cannot find a new house in tip top condition, you will have to factor extra costs on repairs and redesigning which eventually will jack up the overall purchase cost.

Final Take

From our point of view, there is no such thing as a “better option” when it comes to choosing to build a new house or purchasing one. As far as cost is concerned, a fully customized home would have used the same source of building materials as those required for building a new home. It is only in the fittings and finishing area that discrepancies can add up.

Court Hearings: Effectively Preparing For a Claims Trial

If you are an attorney preparing for the trial of your first claim, you are likely to be quite worried or anxious. You will want to appear as knowledgeable as possible, but it is difficult to know where to begin if it is your first time in court. What’s more, these cases can be quite expensive if you lose or a lawsuit is brought against you.

You will have a better experience if you prepare correctly. Ensure you have the evidence ready to go. This article will cover some extra topics you should think about.

Take Notes

Evidence is the most important factor when it comes to a claim’s situation. You will need to be able to prove any statement that you make, and your opponent will be trying to provide evidence to the contrary. Keep an eye out for contradictory statements that may or may not be valid.

As you can guess, it can be difficult to keep track of all of this conjecture and evidence, especially when emotions are running high. You will have a better chance of staying on track if you take notes during proceedings. This will give you a point of reference that you can use to dispute future claims made by your opponent. Furthermore, some trials can run for several days. These notes will jog your memory during key testimonies and provide you with a list of additional evidence you may need to procure.

Work On Communication

When you’re dealing with a client, it’s important that you communicate with them clearly and give them the support they need.

As a new lawyer, you might not yet have the experience needed to impart difficult information in a sensitive way, so consider talking to your mentor or superior in your law firm to ensure that you communicate in the right way, no matter what the situation.

Help Your Client to Remain Calm

A trial is a very serious situation. The consequences that led your client to face legal action can bring up strong emotions between both parties, and it can be hard for them to remain composed in this situation.

As a result, you may find yourself in a position where anger or sadness takes control of your client. Unfortunately, an unrelated outburst could derail your case. As such, you should watch out for any potential outbursts, and try to help your client to stay composed, no matter how challenging the situation might be.

Have a Contingency Plan

The trial itself is daunting for your client; however, things can get worse if they lose their case. This is because as a lawyer you will still have to pay your case costs. These expenses are not cheap, which is why it is important to be prepared.

 A company like Level Esq can provide you with litigation cost protection insurance that covers your costs for a loss at a trial. It could have a big impact, so consider using them if you’re concerned about the outcome of the trial.

Conclusion

Supporting your client through a trial can be a challenge, particularly as an up-and-coming lawyer. These tips should help you to formulate a plan to help you cope with every eventuality and give your client the best possible service.

British Science Week: Five Science Startups Changing Their Industry

One year after UK scientists warned of a funding cuts ‘catastrophe’, British Science Week is once again celebrating the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). 

But are UK science-led businesses still having a global and industry-shaping impact? David Bernard, the French-born founder of behavioural assessment firm AssessFirst, says yes. Here, he explains why he was eager to bring his business to the UK – and picks five businesses that are shaping the future of their industries.  

Last year, Sir Paul Nurse, director of the Francis Crick Institute, gave this warning after cuts to research funding: 

“It is absolutely vital that the government continues to support science. Some of the cuts we’ve been hearing about would be catastrophic… It will drive scientists elsewhere”  

It was the last part of Sir Paul’s words that most resonated. I decided to start a UK division of my French-founded company, AssessFirst, partly because I recognise the outstanding contribution of British firms to scientific progress. AssessFirst is a European leader but there is a special place within the European technology community reserved for the UK. 

And I wanted our team to be part of that history and culture. Since I have been working in the UK, I have been taken aback by the talent, progress, and influence of British science-led startups.  

So, to mark the beginning of British Science Week, I’ve picked five science and tech startups making a big impact.  

Fundamental VR: simulated surgery 

VR simulation has incredible potential for the healthcare sector and has been on the fringes of mainstream healthcare innovation for a decade or more. Fundamental VR leverages immersive technology to revolutionise surgical skills acquisition and surgeon training. Its mix of hardware and multimodal simulation has become market-leading.  

By placing the surgeons of tomorrow into virtual worlds, using a combination of the latest AI techniques to access mixed and mobile reality, Fundamental VR is the only global platform to have achieved educational representation from the AAOS in the States, and Royal College of Surgeons in England.  

Small Robot Company: farming futurism  

The agriculture industry faces three major problems – post-Brexit labour issues, supply and demand, and the shift to technologically-driven methods. The Small Robot Company designs robotics that helps farmers solve these problems, using a regenerative and sustainable model of production.  

Its ‘Tom’ robot autonomously maps entire working fields, and can be amended to commercial specifications while collecting Per Plant data insights, ensuring optimised productivity. It is backed by Waitrose’s Leckford Estate and the National Trust.  

AssessFirst: smashing stereotypes  

A key theme of this year’s British Science Week is Smashing Stereotypes. And I’m proud that we do that at AssessFirst. Great advances in big-data, used correctly and ethically, allow for dysfunctional HR and recruitment processes to be replaced by fairer, more democratic ones.  

Around twenty years ago, AssessFirst began collecting data and – soon after – creating algorithms that it knew, one day, would make recruitment fairer: eradicating stereotypes and bias in hiring. 

AssessFirst’s behavioural assessments neutralise discriminatory factors such as age, gender, ethnicity and disability. Instead, the software identifies the interpersonal skills, cognitive ability and motivational drivers of job candidates. This organically increases the diversity and performances of working teams.  

AssessFirst has successfully helped companies such as Pret-a-Manger, Airbus, and PwC make bias-free hiring decisions.  

Rovco: subsea robotics 

With the increase in offshore wind farms and decommissioned oil rigs, the importance of precise and accurate servicing and engineering has intensified. Clean and cost-effective practices are a must – Rovco has designed some ingenious robotic and mapping solutions to meet these demands.   

Because human error and project costs for subsea engineering are considerable, Rovco’s Ocean Insight uses machine learning to make virtual models of ocean-floor infrastructure without the need for human inspection. Rovco is reimaging the capabilities of hydrographic and engineering services with unmatched intelligence-based technology products.  

Sensat  

Infrastructure projects are extremely costly and rarely meet deadlines. One way to combat this would be to track, in real-time, an infrastructure project with visualised modelling.   

And, if we could combine this with data-driven design, development, and maintenance management choices, then expenditure could be much better managed.  

Senstat’s visualisation platform attempts to collate exactly this data and modelling, with live environment analysis, keeping projects and budgets on track.  

They’ve already worked with Highways England, National Grid and British Land, demonstrating the still-impressive prowess of British-led science business.    

Supporting the Assessment of Pandemic-Era Academics

ExamSoft, a platform that has been lauded as the ‘Most Innovative Learning Assessment Platform’ in 2022 for the USA, has been making a difference in the academic industry by ensuring that remote examinations can be carried out in a reliable manner regardless of modality. The platform has been a helpful solution for institutions and students during the pandemic, bringing continuity to their education and assessments despite lockdowns and the temporary closing of institutional headquarters in which they would usually take their tests.

Over the last 23 years, ExamSoft, part of the Turnitin family, has become a key assessment platform in higher learning around the world. Based in Dallas, Texas, ExamSoft has grown its business, its software, and its team to address market needs, building a reputation for being invaluable to educators and students. Its assessment software is highly scalable, meaning it works well for institutions of various size, need, and type, and allows organisations to grow their assessment process to accommodate more candidates. This scalability enables the platform to provide a consistent experience for all learners and academics. In addition to academia, ExamSoft serves a number of licensure and certification entities, bringing a stable test-taking experience to high-stakes exams of various types, both in-person and remote.

Operating across a wide range of verticals, ExamSoft puts the power of information into the hands of users – from the test-taker to the marker. ExamSoft provides actionable data that allows educators to better understand their courses, materials, assessments, and students. Gone are the days of a simple letter grade without any meaningful feedback — exam-takers benefit from seeing their areas of strength as well as opportunities for improvement. By receiving more detailed reports, students have useful information that can help guide study efforts and instructors have insights necessary to adjust teaching methods and curricula. By providing psychometrics data, ExamSoft allows examiners to improve assessments and questions for future test-takers, supporting the company’s mission to deliver superior assessment solutions that support the learning process for all of its 2100+ programmes. Additional educator benefits range from creating meaningful efficiency in grading to making exam building easier and more collaborative.

The Company & The Community

Since its inception in 1998 as a digital alternative to paper-based exams for the U.S. Bar, ExamSoft has helped a wide variety of organisations deliver examinations. With clients in fields of nursing, medicine, law, dentistry, health sciences, and many more, ExamSoft has now helped to successfully administer over 90 million exams. In addition to assessment management, ExamSoft provides built-in academic integrity tools from which the exam administrator can choose when creating the assessment. Security features include limiting backward navigation, locking all other device applications and programmes during the exam session, blocking internet access, and randomising questions. ExamSoft has clients in 35 different countries and an impressive 98% client retention rate.

A special offering that many clients enjoy is the annual user conference each summer. While recent conferences have been virtual, ExamSoft users enjoy the opportunity to learn together and share their insights and tips related to education and assessment. (Photo included of an in-person conference in 2019). Clients also build lasting relationships to network and collaborate outside of the conference setting, making ExamSoft a community, not simply a piece of technology.

Having changed and grown significantly over the years, ExamSoft is fuelled by client demand and needs – from the successes to the challenges – and a drive to continue making its platform better and better. ExamSoft encourages its clients to share their results, research, and experiences using the exam software, which helps to identify the changes that might best be implemented to improve the experience for students and educators. ExamSoft reviews reactions and feedback from the latest versions and features and acts upon necessary changes accordingly. ExamSoft also provides clients the opportunity to be featured in that detail their successes with their software.

The ExamSoft community has also come together during the ongoing health crisis and times of remote exam administration, helping to provide feedback and guidance for assessment providers. Some have published articles, papers, and presentations while others have shared their insights in ExamSoft forums and webinars. The flexibility of the platform has also been essential to success as universities, credentialing bodies, and government organizations pivoted to remote testing as COVID-19 cases increased or new variants emerged. Secure, digital testing has allowed for the continuation of assessment regardless of pandemic-related disruptions or other logistical challenges.

The ExamSoft platform supports continuity not just through the consistency of the test-taking experience, but also through the available reporting and data analysis tools, which help instructors provide individualized feedback to students and support remediation efforts. ExamSoft assessment data gives educators a detailed view of exam-taker performance, including visualisations, which aid interpretations of the results. Educators can review these reports with students during office hours as a way to engage learners with their results and show support in areas where the students are struggling. These Strengths & Opportunities Reports are customisable, so educators can provide students meaningful insights into their exam performance without revealing questions or exam content.

ExamSoft’s clients regularly experience increased student retention as a result of these performance reports. Additionally, this depth and breadth of data allows for an enhanced student-teacher rapport wherein understanding of the student’s learning style is prioritised.  By keeping its data relevant, individually specific, and meaningful, ExamSoft ensures that professors and teachers have the tools to identify areas of the curriculum where students may need additional support, bringing a more ‘tailored’ way of teaching to the fore.

How the Software Works

ExamSoft functions via a dual interface, offering two ways to interact with the software as an examiner and exam-taker, respectively. Faculty have a secure, online portal through which they can create, store, and edit their assessments and questions. After creating the exam, faculty push the assessment to students for download. Students then access the exams through the secure testing application, Examplify, which they have downloaded on to their own devices or on the school’s lab computers.

The faculty portal enables examiners to tag questions to any type of learning outcome that they would like to measure – such as course, programme, institutional objectives, subject areas, levels of Bloom’s taxonomy, and accreditation standards. Item tagging is useful to reveal performance trends by category, which can further enrich student feedback and better inform adjustments to teaching methods.

Using ExamSoft’s item-tagging feature to track coverage of accreditation criteria can help simplify the process for institutions either seeking or maintaining their accreditation status. Running performance reports by category can help institutions identify any gaps in the curriculum and expand content coverage in assessments and instruction. ExamSoft’s automated reports also make it easy to generate the documentation necessary to demonstrate compliance ahead of site visits.

Within the portal, examiners can activate various exam security features to increase fairness and safeguard exam content from academic dishonesty, which help to preserve assessment integrity in both remote and in-person environments. These features include prevention of backward navigation, randomising distractors, technology-enabled remote invigilation, and timed exam sessions, with the option to allot extra time for students who require accommodation.

Examplify, the student testing application, works on multiple device types, including lab computers, laptops, Surface Pros, and iPads. Examplify offers two forms of testing – an online mode and offline mode (through complete device control). Examiners can activate complete device control during the exam session to disallow access to any external applications or programmes, web browsers, screenshots, or screensavers through which a student may be able to find answers or capture valuable exam content.

Examplify also offers several features to enhance the exam experience for candidates, including graphing and scientific calculators, spreadsheets, and highlighter tools. Examiners can include question-level attachments, including images, video, and PDFs, to provide any supplemental information necessary for exam-takers to answer questions. Examplify also logs information from individual exam sessions, including how long an exam-taker spends on a given question or if the student selected any answers prior to submitting their final selection, providing further insight into the student’s testing experience.

The variety of question types available through ExamSoft makes the platform appealing for teaching institutes across fields and disciplines. For instance, medical schools, as well as nursing, health sciences, and dental programs, make frequent use of hotspot items, which prompt students to select specific areas of an image, like an anatomical figure or x-ray, in response to a question. ExamSoft continues to expand on its question types, recently introducing polygon hotspots, select all that apply, and cloze formats.

After an exam session is complete, administrators can make informed decisions regarding the exam and its questions, individual students, and the course at large using ExamSoft’s actionable assessment data. Built-in tools for psychometric analysis provide insight into item and exam quality using such data points as difficulty and discrimination indexes, as well as point-biserial correlation coefficient and KR-20 formula. With these insights, examiners can gauge the overall efficacy of an exam and may decide to adjust certain items to an appropriate level of validity or reliability. Course-wide reports – like average scores and performance by category – can also help to identify whether an exam or any of its items require adjustment.

Recent Updates

ExamSoft’s dedication to providing exemplary customer service is central to its mission, and it attributes much of its success to the brilliance of its team, a group of dedicated and passionate people who truly believe in what they do and want to help and serve institutions and exam-takers. ExamSoft is home to staff who have been with the company for over 20 years and who share its commitment to support higher learning and assessment providers in becoming the best they can be.

Having made many important changes and improvements since the start of 2020, some of its newer programme offerings include the launch of auto-identity verification tool, ExamID, remote invigilation solution, ExamMonitor, and its first ever integrations with its sibling platform Turnitin. One such Turnitin integration allows users from both platforms to seamlessly submit exam-taker documents for a Similarity Score, obtained by comparing the document against an industry-leading content database to assess the likelihood of plagiarism. With each of these solutions, ExamSoft has been able to support its clients throughout the tumult of the past two years, helping to preserve exam integrity even when in-person exams have been impossible.

ExamSoft recently launched Arabic- and Ukrainian-language version of its test-taking application, Examplify, to extended its platform and assessment support services. As part of its ongoing effort to refine platform features and functionality, ExamSoft continues to make software improvements in response to user feedback, upgrading its front-end and back-end technical architecture to make both Examplify and ExamSoft’s platforms easier to use across the board, with new operating systems updates on a regular basis.

The circumstances of the pandemic created a surge in demand for education and digital assessment technologies. ExamSoft has been humbled and appreciative of the opportunity to help institutions overcome the challenges of the emergency pivot to remote learning and is more committed than ever to providing solutions that support assessment providers, now and in the future. Included in these support efforts are client usage webinars, hosted by ExamSoft training specialists, that expand awareness of existing platform features and provide tips, tricks, and best practices to help clients use the software to its full potential. As ExamSoft moves forward in 2022 and beyond, it will continue to help new and existing clients develop flexible, sustainable approaches to secure assessment in the pandemic era and discover valuable opportunities to boost efficiency along the way.

For further information, please contact Nici Sandberg or visit https://examsoft.com/

Things to Consider While Choosing a Business Broker

Selling your business is a once in a blue moon opportunity you cannot miss, and finding the appropriate business broker is critical to a smooth transaction. In most cases, a high-priced sale of one’s small business is a long-time goal for many business owners who have worked hard to achieve it. Even if you’re in a hot sector or have a lot of unsolicited offers, finding purchasers for your business might be challenging. That is where choosing the right business broker will come in handy.

Who Is a Business Broker?

Like a real estate agent, a business broker is an alternative for gaining access to a broader buyer pool and a more organized selling process.
Any turbulent circumstances you may run into on the path to closing your transaction may be navigated via the lens of a business broker. Time and worry may be saved by working with an excellent team of business brokers that consists of a business broker, an attorney, and a certified public accountant.

It is the job of a business broker to facilitate the purchase or sale of small, local firms. An agent may specialize in a specific industry or have a particular set of features, but they may assist clients with a wide range of duties to help them realize their acquisition and unloading goals.
Additionally, they assist with preparing and submitting necessary documents and the completion of any license or permission needs.

This article will help you understand the essential factors for choosing the right business broker for selling your business. So, let’s begin!

Background Check

The most effective approach to choosing the right business broker is to evaluate their credentials, track record, and client references. What kind of certifications do they have, such as the IBBA’s Certified Business Intermediary (CBI)? When evaluating a business broker, please find out how many firms he or she has helped sell in the previous year. Also, find out what other clients they have so you know whether they’ll have enough time to devote to your company’s needs.
If you’re looking to buy or sell a business, it’s an excellent idea to look for a broker specializing in business sales, such as [*https://www.lloydsbrokers.com.au/adelaide-business-brokers.htm*]Lloyds Business Brokers Adelaide[*endlink*]. Brokers with expertise selling firms in your sector are ideal since they have the essential skills and contacts to help you sell your company. Your broker must have an excellent working relationship with local business leaders, including accountants, attorneys, and bankers.

The expertise of the particular broker is also critical. A business broker who has previously sold businesses similar to yours can foresee obstacles and know how to close the purchase. On the other hand, a fresh broker has the potential to be just as efficient as a broker with 20 years of experience in the market, provided he has an excellent corporate selling figure to back him up.

Rapport Development

Selling your business is indeed an overwhelming journey, and your business broker will be better able to help you through the procedure with an unbiased and strategic eye if you are upfront regarding your revenue targets from the start. The more familiar you are with the business broker, the simpler it will be for you to talk with him or her during the interview process openly. Make sure you do this since you will have to explain to him or her what you want and what you need.
Having confidence in your broker to be working on your behalf is another critical consideration. A solid working connection with a broker will help the selling process be more efficient and give a welcome sense of security during this transition period. The better rapport you develop with your business broker, the better they will be at assessing your business’s strengths and shortcomings and devising a marketing plan tailored to your individual needs and goals for sale.

Excellent Sales Strategy

When interviewing potential brokers, enquire about their marketing strategy and screening processes for buyers. In addition to explaining their sales approach and advertising budget, a reputable broker should also be able to assure you of their commitment to maintaining your privacy at all times only if you consider it essential. Use physical and virtual tools as part of your broker’s sales plan to help sell your home.

With that said, it’s also crucial for your business broker to provide a thorough screening procedure in place to cut down the pool of possible purchasers. You’ll be able to spend more time on your business and less time talking with people who aren’t serious about buying your product or service. Because you’ll be disclosing your future sale and specifics of your company with lesser individuals, you’ll be able to maintain more privacy this way.

Your level of trust and comfort with your broker may be an essential factor in determining whether or not you are satisfied with your choice of broker.

Working Hours and Dedication

A full-time business broker will offer more value to the sale of your company than a part-time representative. Business valuation concepts are better understood when the broker is a full-time employee and has access to an extensive network. Look for someone who has a passion for what they do. Consider partnering with a merger and acquisition intermediary if your firm has a market value in the millions. The code of ethics of the IBBA is an excellent resource to have on hand while you conduct your job hunt.

Peace of Mind

Having a business broker, you like to trust will make your job more enjoyable. Look for the qualities that you admire in a potential partner. Business brokers come in many shapes and sizes. Be comfortable and confident with your choice. Your business broker should be able to answer all of your queries confidently.

Choosing the right business broker who is a member of a professional trade group, such as the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), might provide further peace of mind. Certified Business Intermediaries (CBIs) have undertaken considerable training and may even be awarded the title of “Certified Business Intermediary.”

Conclusion

We hope that the factors mentioned above will help you in choosing the right business broker for selling your business and boost the process with significant revenue. Good luck!!

How to Avoid Low Quality Content on your Business Website

If you’re up to date on the best SEO practises to boost your campaign, then you’ll likely know that content is a key factor taken into account by search engines when working to define the context of a webpage, ultimately using this information to determine ranking position.
Within this article, we’ll discuss what you can do to identify any low-quality content on your website, helping to improve how your site performs within the organic search results.

Types of low-quality content

One of the ways that search engines will determine content to be of low quality is if the content does not appear to conform to the overall context of a webpage. This can occur if the main page content is seen to be quite minimal and does not display a greater knowledge upon the topic being discussed; defined as thin content.
Any content published on your business website that does not work to supply readers with a satisfactory level of information will likely be considered negatively within the search engines, causing it to rank poorly.

There are many reasons that a search engine may determine content to be of a poor quality. Content may be flagged as low quality if it is considered to:
• Lack a level of expertise, trustworthiness, or authoritativeness
• Provide inaccurate information
• Come from an unmaintained website
• Contain spammy links
• Have no identifiable purpose/ context
• Cloak links
• Have a click-bait title
• Include unnecessary advertisements that distract from the main content

Your on-page content may also be deemed low quality if the overall writing is poor, or if the amount of content is lacking. Your reputation as a writer can also hold an impact over how well your content performs, as publishers with a negative reputation, and even those who keep their identity from readers unnecessarily, will likely rank poorly within the search engines.

How to improve low-quality content

Focus on the reader

For content to be successful, it must be focused toward your target audience, providing them with information that will be of benefit to them. Content that’s user-focused tends to rank higher compared to content written purely for the purposes of SEO.

Not only will content that’s focused toward your readers perform much better in comparison, but it also holds a better sense of readability, which will look great to your site readers! Should a potential customer click upon your landing page or blog post, it is your job to ensure that the content they are greeted with is enticing and provides them with the information that they are looking for, increasing the chances that they stay on your website and read what you have to say.

The amount of time that a user is seen to stay on your landing page provides the search engines with a great indication of both the quality and relevance of your content, helping them to rank your site accordingly.

Accessibility

Content for your small business website should be written with accessibility in mind. In order to improve bounce rates, make sure the content that you publish does not work to confuse the reader. Your writing should be accessible to readers regardless of their skill level, meaning any field specific language should be defined and all information covered should be explained well, making it easy to understand.

The accessibility of your website plays a vital role in improving site engagement, however, this is not the only factor that should be considered within your overall site design. Various factors like your site’s navigation and accompanying imagery can also have a great impact upon how well your site engages its visitors, helping to reduce bounce rates and improve your performance within the search results. This should all be taken into account when optimising your on-page content.

Working to identify and improve any low-quality content on your small business website can be vital to ensuring that you perform well within the search engines. Working with experts such as an SEO agency near you can also be useful to help point out exactly what you need to do. Moreover, there are many ways that businesses can work to improve the performance of their website within the organic search results, and while the quality of the content that you publish to your site can play a huge role in determining your ranking position, all elements should be considered when aiming to create SEO-friendly landing pages that better your chances of online marketing success.

How to Build An Effective AI Ecosystem

Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a significant player in today’s business models. More organizations are looking for ways to reduce human intervention in their operations as much as possible. This results in a smoother, uninterrupted, 24/7 system that operates like human intelligence, but is free from fatigue and errors common with human resources. 

However, building an effective AI ecosystem isn’t a one-off thing. Like human intelligence, your AI systems learn and become better with time. This means that you have to make the right strategy and have enough data from which your machines can learn. Over time, the system becomes better and will start performing as expected.

This article will look at how you can build an effective AI ecosystem that works and delivers the desired results. Read on for the details. 

1. Outsource to Experts 

Developing your own AI ecosystem can be quite a challenge, especially if you’re not knowledgeable on the subject or have the right resources to get all the systems in one place. Because an AI ecosystem is a huge investment, you need to make sure that it’s running at full capacity for it to pay off.

One way to do this is to outsource the development of the AI ecosystem to experts and professionals. Several companies, such as cnvrg.io, among others, can help you develop, train, manage data, and deploy your AI systems in any infrastructure. It’s advisable not to build an AI ecosystem from scratch yourself because it’s unlikely that you’ll have the resources and capabilities required for this undertaking. If this isn’t done correctly, you’ll waste time, money, and effort.

2. Standardize Features 

It’s important to make features standardized and repeatable to build an effective AI ecosystem. The term ‘feature’ refers to a single function or aspect of a program designed for a specific purpose. For example, one of the features of a smartphone might be its ability to send text messages. If the feature is standardized, it’ll work in the same way no matter what device it’s applied to.

To make features standardized, they need to be used by multiple teams working on different projects. A feature should be repeatable so that different developers can use it without having to modify any of the code behind it. This means that they can focus on their projects and not worry about how these features are implemented in other areas.

Moreover, standardizing your features will help you identify gaps or duplicated efforts as the ecosystem grows. This will ensure that you can adjust accordingly and keep your AI ecosystem at an optimum point.

3. Manage Data and Data Security 

Your biggest challenge with AI is creating and maintaining the right data ecosystem. Data is the key part of AI because machines learn and improve based on the data you feed them. So, the data should be correct and secure from any corruption. If you don’t have good data, no algorithm can help you.

The most common problem organizations face with AI is not having enough of the right kind of data to train their algorithms. Inaccurate or incomplete data can negatively affect how an algorithm performs. If it isn’t trained on enough examples for each type of prediction it needs to make, it may be less accurate than if it had been trained on more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Ensure you know where your data is coming from, who has access to it, and what security measures are in place. For example, suppose you collect sensitive user information, such as credit card numbers or Social Security numbers. In that case, you need to ensure that you have adequate security measures in place so that this information doesn’t get compromised.

4. Promote Responsibility Through Risk Assessment 

The lack of transparency around algorithmic decision-making could be a liability. Algorithms are only as ethical as the input data you feed them and the goals you task them with. The algorithms may be complex, but the decisions they make don’t have to be.

Thus, for your organization to build and implement AI safely, you should have a documented risk assessment process. By creating a culture of transparency, accountability, and mutual respect, you can build an effective AI ecosystem within your organization that won’t derail your business, or harm your customers or employees. You’ll also put yourself in a position to thrive in this new era of technology that requires new ways of thinking.

Conclusion

Getting different AI systems to fit into one ecosystem and perform to achieve one common goal can be challenging. It requires training, data management, deployment, and trials before getting it right. However, letting experts build it by documenting your risk assessment, among other practices discussed in this article, will help you get it right. 

 

A Strong Footing in the Stock Market: Exploring Investment Strategies

Standing at about $93 trillion, the stock market seemed primed for a next mega move that could thrust its valuation to over $100 trillion–or better. This is impressive, but what are the best strategies to become a part of this super wave?

Newbies have to navigate through various obstacles before steadying their trading foot. Grasping critical strategies to survive when margin trading or setting breakout points are must know. Typically, setting the lower and the upper limits using Put Options is one way to get a foothold on risky stocks and hedging, especially when trading in a margin account.

While trading can be lucrative, getting a grip in the crypto or stock market remains difficult for the unprepared. However, PrimeXBT’s initiative in its blog concerning bitcoin vs. bitcoin cash: differences explained gives a glimpse to newbies and experienced traders about the need to fully understand key trading strategies applicable in all markets, including the highly volatile crypto.

Traditionally, players in the stock market relied on bullish runs on futures to cash in on their investments. However, newer strategies occasioned by technological advances give traders many trading considerations in PrimeXBT.

Starting with Demo Accounts

Using crypto assets, traders can have a sense of the stock market without risking their hard-earned money. Experimenting is the gist of discovering outstanding features in PrimeXBT or any other platform, and any budding investor must consider this route. Demo accounts are worthwhile; they help test different asset classes that seem out of reach for small investors. Some assets have shifting requirements that make them risky to handle even for experienced traders. Derivative financial contracts are an example that gives the investor many conditions once a set period lapses.

Choosing a Good Investment Strategy

While many investment strategies exist, it is good to choose from those proven to work by investment leaders.

Here are some to consider:

Value Investing

Value Investing,as the name implies, takes an investor to the market to find an undervalued stock; the investor buys with an anticipation of a future bullish run. An excellent place to scout for undervalued stocks is the Russell 1000 index fund; it eliminates the need for combing tons of data to find the perfect discounted stocks.

A lower-Price Earning (P/E) ratio is the benchmark of identifying undervalued stock once in the benchmark. Using the irrationality in the market, the share price will adjust at the right moment, bringing in returns.

Value Investing requires time, meaning traders must go long.

Growth Investing

Potential growth is another avenue to consider when looking for a position to enter the stock market; it is a proven strategy so far by market leaders. Some stocks have a higher growth potential than others—growth investing is a substitute for speculative trading.

While the value investor does a lot of research with quantitative analysis a thing to consider, growth investing looks at the possible future trends and throws money at them quickly. In the 1990s, tech stocks had good potential. Currently, they are the most lucrative.

Noteworthy, Tesla’s stock relies on the environmental concerns expressed today, and this has made it over-perform. The Tesla stock has overtaken many veteran auto stocks, with speculation a tremendous factor for the rise.

One parameter to consider for growth investing is the day-to-day performance of a company. If it shows consistent growth, then it is a good buy.

However, consistent growth requires money to keep the momentum going. Hypes surrounding the growth in the media also push the stock out of reach for many or make it too risky to consider.

Momentum Investment

Momentum investment is the least strenuous strategy to employ in the stock market, as it does not look into the future or the past. Moreover, it does not check on any numbers or data, especially from an ordinary investor’s perspective. If anything, it goes against the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH). It theorizes that a bullish run is all is to know about the strength of a stock, which initiates a buy decision.  Still, the strategy comes with its drawback, requiring investors to be on the lookout when stocks rise. It also makes investors contemplate frequent commission and brokerage fees, meaning it can be an expensive strategy to deploy.  

Conclusion

The financial market is always evolving and traders ought to keep up with tabs by continuously refining their skills through demo accounts or integrating thoroughly back-tested and proven investment strategies. While they are important, using trusted brokers like PrimeXBT also makes for a quicker and more profitable path with less hassles.

5 Ways AI Is Outperforming Experts

With DeepMind claiming that its AI system – AlphaCode  – can “write computer code at a competitive level,” a milestone may have been reached. The ability of a machine to match the coding skills typical of human intelligence, if true, represents a moment that many believe would represent a new era in AI capabilities.

For David Bernard, the founder of behavioural assessment firm AssessFirst, such narratives are a little too simplistic, but he doesn’t doubt that AI will soon be outperforming humans in several notable fields. Here, David looks at the sectors where AI is currently outperforming humans.  

1. Recruitment

Recruitment that accounts for soft skills is far more complex than people may think – with so many combinations of possibilities, combined with the multiple combinations of behavioural attributes that even the most proficient psychologist in the field would need to understand; suggesting that one person could then relate these attributes to a specific job and have a high degree of confidence in the success of the future hire is simply incomprehensible.

To also do this at scale, comparing multiple candidates for one job, is a task that the human brain could not process all on its own. AI alleviates these pressures. What we have created at AssessFirst, for example, is a platform that removes the unconscious biases which hamper traditional recruitment methods, increasing workplace diversity while ensuring the best candidate for the job is hired.

Our AI-led system prioritises personality over formal experience, ensuring that candidates have the right traits, skills and motivations for the role. AI-led recruitment is revolutionising the recruitment field, offering a solution to modern recruitment issues that traditional methods can’t compare with.

2. Refereeing

The world of amateur football and refereeing is facing a shortage crisis, particularly in the youth division, which, unsurprisingly, can be attributed to the ongoing effects of the pandemic.

And stepping in to fill this gap is CoCoPIE, a software start-up that’s bringing AI capabilities to the pitch through applications on mobile devices.

One of the key elements this AI solution brings is the ability to provide real-time processing. While this may not be ideal for calling fair play on tackles, it can however, be used to call offsides. With such solutions in place, understaffed amateur games, such as those lacking human referees, could still ago ahead.

3. Coding

If there’s one thing developing businesses want AI for, it’s to reduce time and therefore overall costs of performing work.

In the realm of competitive coding, DeepMind’s ‘AlphaCode’ was able to score a significant win against human programmers, easily sitting in the top 54% of the 5,000 participants spanning over 10 contests.

The advancement in the speed of which coding can be completed will allow greater opportunity for expression from creative coders. While AI systems such as AlphaCode have outperformed human competitors, both humans and AI systems can work together in this regard. Where AlphaCode will save time, creative web developers will have more room for experimentation, which may see an increase in more unique web applications that are enhanced with creative user interfaces.

4. Electronic engineering

The recent developments we’ve seen in AlphaCode are ground-breaking, but electronic engineering is an industry which has been seeing unprecedented advancements in AI and machine learning for a long time. Google’s approach, which uses AI and machine learning software to design floorplans for microchips, has improved both time-efficiency and accuracy.

With the success of designing microchips relying solely on the floorplanning and placements that takes place prior, the involvement of AI reduces the risk of human error, not only speeding up the process of development, but also increasing the positive outputs.

With the development of more successful and reliable microchips, essential requirements including speed and processing, as well as power efficiency, can be sold with more confidence.

5. Medicine

Perhaps one of the most intriguing and life-changing developments in the ever-evolving lifespan of AI is within the medical field.

Developments undertaken at the University of Nottingham in the UK have presented us with a “machine learning algorithm”. This claims to better predict premature deaths in middle aged people.

This is not to discourage the work of doctors around the world – but rather to further support the ability for medical intervention and care to occur when and where it is needed most.

In a world where technology is advancing at rapid rates and is being integrated into industries we never once could’ve imagined, it’s intriguing to see how AI will continue to alter and improve aspects of our day-to-day life.

Insurance Company Approached You To Settle A Claim: Here’s What To Do

If you have been injured in an accident, you are probably in a lot of pain. You may have to attend multiple doctor’s appointments and miss plenty of work. You just want this all to be over with and to get back to your normal life. 

When an insurance company calls to offer you a settlement, it can be very tempting to take it. However, it is never a good idea to take a settlement without going through the proper steps. You should make the first call to the insurance company. If they call you with an offer first, they are probably aware that your claim is legitimate and that you are owed more money than they want to pay. The offer they give you is likely to be too low.

What are the proper steps?

When a person is in an accident, they should save the bills from any medical treatments that they need. They should also save receipts from any medicine they need to take for their pain. They should call the insurance company of the party responsible for their injury and file a claim. The insurance company will ask them to document the claim. 

The accident victim will send all of their bills and a letter from their employer documenting the amount of time they have missed from work. An insurance adjuster will then investigate the accident and approve or deny the claim.

They will make a settlement offer if they accept your claim, but you should never accept an offer without talking to an attorney first. Auto accident lawyers can calculate how much money you should get for a collision, and they know how to negotiate with insurance companies.

Why Insurance Companies Make Preliminary Offers

There are two kinds of insurance laws in the United States: fault and no-fault. In a fault state, a person responsible for the accident also pays for its associated bills. In a no-fault state, a person’s insurance company will pay for their accident-related bills no matter who caused the accident. Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to automobile insurance. 

If you are injured due to the negligence of a driver who is a resident of a fault-state, their insurance policy should pay for your medical bills. If you have been injured by another person’s negligence, an insurance company may call you with a settlement offer before you even have a chance to contact them. This is a tactic known as “third-party assistance.” 

Why People Take Third Party Assistance Offers

There are some situations where it may be a good idea to take a third-party assistance offer. If your medical bills are minor and there was almost no damage to your car, It may be easier to take this kind of offer.

When you do things this way, you can avoid the time-consuming process of going through a traditional insurance claim.

You should always have yourself checked out by a doctor before accepting any kind of insurance settlement offer. You may feel fine right after an accident, only to discover that there are injuries that take a while to manifest. A doctor can examine you using an x-ray or other methods to make sure that you are okay.

Unless your injuries are minimal or non-existent, most attorneys would tell you not to take a third-party assistance offer.           

Traditional Insurance Settlement Offers

Even if you go through all of the appropriate steps when you file a claim, an insurance company may try to offer you an unfair amount when it makes its initial settlement offer. It is always a good idea to consult with an attorney before you take any settlement. An attorney can tell you if the insurance company’s offer is fair. 

If the offer is not fair, a lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. 

A lawyer will be well versed in the laws in your state and they will know about any changes to the law. They will also be aware of any cases that are similar to yours, and will research and investigate your case. They can also represent you in court in the unlikely event that your case goes to trial.

Getting into an accident can be very upsetting, but weighing your options and talking to your attorney can ensure that you will be well compensated.

Insurance Online Leads to Your Roofing Business

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If you have been injured in an accident, you are probably in a lot of pain. You may have to attend multiple doctor\’s appointments and miss plenty of work. You just want this all to be over with and to get back to your normal life.

When an insurance company calls to offer you a settlement, it can be very tempting to take it. However, it is never a good idea to take a settlement without going through the proper steps. You should make the first call to the insurance company. If they call you with an offer first, they are probably aware that your claim is legitimate and that you are owed more money than they want to pay. The offer they give you is likely to be too low.

What are the proper steps?

When a person is in an accident, they should save the bills from any medical treatments that they need. They should also save receipts from any medicine they need to take for their pain. They should call the insurance company of the party responsible for their injury and file a claim. The insurance company will ask them to document the claim.

The accident victim will send all of their bills and a letter from their employer documenting the amount of time they have missed from work. An insurance adjuster will then investigate the accident and approve or deny the claim.

They will make a settlement offer if they accept your claim, but you should never accept an offer without talking to an attorney first. Auto accident lawyers can calculate how much money you should get for a collision, and they know how to negotiate with insurance companies.

Why Insurance Companies Make Preliminary Offers

There are two kinds of insurance laws in the United States: fault and no-fault. In a fault state, a person responsible for the accident also pays for its associated bills. In a no-fault state, a person\\\’s insurance company will pay for their accident-related bills no matter who caused the accident. Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to automobile insurance.

If you are injured due to the negligence of a driver who is a resident of a fault-state, their insurance policy should pay for your medical bills. If you have been injured by another person’s negligence, an insurance company may call you with a settlement offer before you even have a chance to contact them. This is a tactic known as “third-party assistance.”

Why People Take Third Party Assistance Offers

There are some situations where it may be a good idea to take a third-party assistance offer. If your medical bills are minor and there was almost no damage to your car, It may be easier to take this kind of offer.

When you do things this way, you can avoid the time-consuming process of going through a traditional insurance claim.

You should always have yourself checked out by a doctor before accepting any kind of insurance settlement offer. You may feel fine right after an accident, only to discover that there are injuries that take a while to manifest. A doctor can examine you using an x-ray or other methods to make sure that you are okay.

Unless your injuries are minimal or non-existent, most attorneys would tell you not to take a third-party assistance offer.

Traditional Insurance Settlement Offers

Even if you go through all of the appropriate steps when you file a claim, an insurance company may try to offer you an unfair amount when it makes its initial settlement offer. It is always a good idea to consult with an attorney before you take any settlement. An attorney can tell you if the insurance company’s offer is fair.

If the offer is not fair, a lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
A lawyer will be well versed in the laws in your state and they will know about any changes to the law. They will also be aware of any cases that are similar to yours, and will research and investigate your case. They can also represent you in court in the unlikely event that your case goes to trial.

Getting into an accident can be very upsetting, but weighing your options and talking to your attorney can ensure that you will be well compensated.

How long after an accident do I have to report it to my employer?

If you’ve been injured at work, you should qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. However, it’s important to follow the correct procedures to make sure you get the benefits you’re entitled to.

What should you do if you’re injured on the job?

If you have been injured at your job, the first and most important thing to do is to seek medical attention, according to lawyers Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld. For an emergency situation, go to a hospital or call 911. If your injury is not life-threatening, you still want to make sure that you see a doctor for the proper treatment. This is important not only for your health and safety, but also to record the circumstances and severity of your injury.

Once you’ve received proper medical attention, you will need to inform your employer about your injury as soon as possible. Even if you have a slowly developing injury, such as a repetitive motion injury, it’s important to report this injury as soon as you notice it or realize that it was caused by your job. Prompt reporting of on-the-job injuries will avoid delays and problems in receiving workers’ compensation benefits. After an injury, you need to report it to your employer within 30 days. If you don’t do so, you risk losing your benefits.

What benefits are you entitled to after a job-related injury?

After you report an injury, your employer should provide you with a workers’ compensation claim form. You will need to fill this out and return it to your employer promptly. This form serves as written notice of your injury.

Once your workers’ compensation claim is submitted, you can start to receive benefits. You are entitled to have your medical expenses covered for the treatment of a job-related injury. You can also be awarded temporary disability benefits to replace some or all of your lost wages while you can’t work and permanent disability benefits if you are never able to fully recover from your injury.

Important Things to Know

– Your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Employers who fail to provide coverage are subject to penalties.
– If your employer illegally did not have workers’ compensation coverage, you can still file a claim with the state of California. In this case, the claim would be paid by the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund.
– After reporting an injury, the insurer is required to release up to $10,000 for immediate medical expenses, even if your claim is ultimately denied.
– If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. At this point, you should strongly consider hiring a workers’ compensation attorney if you don’t already have one.
– You are entitled to have your medical expenses paid even if your injury isn’t severe enough to force you to miss work.
– Part-time and temporary workers may be eligible for benefits.
– You don’t have to be a legal resident of the U.S. to receive most workers’ compensation benefits.
– Your employer cannot legally punish you for reporting an injury or requesting workers’ compensation benefits.
– You are entitled to receive medical care until you are fully recovered, or your doctor says you have recovered to the fullest possible extent.
– If you want to be able to see your own doctor in the event of a work-related injury, you will need to provide your employer written notice of this wish before any injury occurs.

Everything You Need to Know About Virtual Data Rooms

In the current world, digital companies are becoming more prominent in the business sphere. Resulting in an increase in data management by businesses, though with the increase in data responsibility is needed for those businesses to protect and manage that data.

Data protection is not something companies may have initially been designed to do, but has become a necessity over time. The need for virtual data rooms like Firmex’s Data Room is driven by the enormous traffic in data management companies and also a huge concern for data security breaches.

Virtual data rooms (VDR) as a separate market has grown significantly in recent years as companies have now accepted it as an essential tool. This is further been accelerated with more people working from home in the last two years due to the effects of COVID-19.

Privacy preferences, risk management, anti-breach strategies, and an increasing amount of data traffic have impacted the popularity and accessibility of virtual data rooms.

What Is a Data Room?

As the name indicates, a VDR is basically an online database where companies store their important and sensitive files, mostly related to finance and personal data. These files have to be protected at all times and the virtual data rooms are the best place to store them. Only authorized personnel are allowed to make changes in the folders, and the data rooms securely store company files.

What To Consider When Choosing a Data Room Provider?

The basic purpose of any data room whether physical or virtual is to keep surveillance and optimize the use of data of high value. Investors, as well as lawyers, run their businesses on the basis of privacy and important documents which shall not be manipulated.

Thus, when choosing a data room provider, choose the company with the best reviews and feedback as this is not a matter of compromise. Understand that you are adding a layer of confidentiality to your files on the basis of which your whole brand stands. The way your company handles data has a direct impact on the success of your collaboration with other companies or important transactions.

Data Rooms for Due Diligence

Brands, service providers, legal service departments, and investors use data rooms also as a part of their review and strategic process before big events. They have to go through previous records and important files before going into bids, negotiations, formal processes, and auditing.

Before the introduction of virtual data rooms, there were physical data rooms and papers, and documents were stored physically. These rooms used to have high security and access restrictions allowing only authorized personnel to enter the room. These places were kept under surveillance, and it was a big investment.

Now it is done virtually. Virtual data rooms and less expensive and provide more security and efficiency.

Bottom Line

There was a time when coding and hacking were only known to highly trained experts, but as technology has advanced, so to have the people using it. Hacking into and comprising any device has become quite easy, and as a result, every company’s privacy and data protection has become a major issue. For a corporation to run properly, better data rooms are required.

Virtual data rooms ensure that critical files be transferred and shared with external parties in a secure and structured manner. As a result, demand for virtual data rooms has skyrocketed. No matter where you live in the world, you will need a data room.

Global Digital Health Solutions Provider Strengthens Home Care and Telecare Delivery in Germany with Acquisition

UK based, leading global provider of software solutions, services and technology for the telecare and telehealth markets, Tunstall Healthcare, has expanded its German presence and service offering with the acquisition of BeWo Unternehmensgruppe (BeWo) for an undisclosed fee. The transaction will support Tunstall’s strategic expansion in the digital health and social care market, where it operates in 19 countries globally and supports more than five million end users. 

This acquisition follows the acquisition of Secuvita in June 2021, and is an example of Tunstall’s investment in the execution of its Tunstall Cognitive Care® strategy which underpins the growth plans of the company. 

Following the rapid acceleration in the adoption of smart technology and digital health solutions worldwide, the acquisition sees Tunstall together with BeWo deliver its first home emergency call centre in Germany to support vulnerable people at home. The centre will combine the technical possibilities of telehealth and the smart home via a uniform central platform. 

The revolutionary service will be made possible with Tunstall Cognitive Care®, a market leading innovation that will use advanced AI in combination with technology in the home to detect whether someone’s health could be about to deteriorate, spot a potentially undiagnosed condition, or resolve an immediate social care need. In recent years, Tunstall has grown substantially and evolved from an equipment provider to a software solution and technology company that provides telehealth and telecare managed services. In this time, it has almost doubled the number of users managed by its systems, while increasing its geographic footprint across Europe.

Kristoffer Axelsson, Chief Commercial Officer at Tunstall Healthcare, added: “I’m delighted to announce the acquisition of BeWo by Tunstall. Innovating the care available to vulnerable people across the globe is a crucial aspect of what we do at Tunstall. We’re always looking to partner with companies which have a similar ethos to us and BeWo certainly stood out for this reason. 

“Having the opportunity to deliver a first-of-its-kind service to the people of Germany is extremely exciting and we’re really looking forward to seeing the positive impact that this will have on service users across the country.”

The acquisition marks the emergence of a pioneering platform in Germany to develop more proactive and predictive services across health and social care. Services will have the potential for increased cost savings, a reduction in pressure on health and social care services, and an opportunity for more people to live safely and independently at home for longer. 

Matthias Sandrock, CEO of the BeWo Group of Companies, said: “We are delighted to now be part of the Tunstall Group. Tunstall is an innovative partner with whom we have been working successfully for many years. We have long been convinced of the quality of their products and can now offer our customers and cooperation partners an even wider range of solutions from the areas of telehealth and smart home solutions.”

BeWo is a provider of call centre services, social alarm and device technology and management in Germany, alongside innovative concepts for the group living sector and different options for mobile protection via mobile alarm solutions. The acquisition supports Tunstall’s strategic, global expansion in digital solutions and services.

Peter Nicklin, Chairman of the Board of Tunstall Integrated Healthcare, commented: “This acquisition continues the execution of Tunstall’s strategy, building an integrated health and social care system, addressing society’s growing and urgent needs caused by changing population health trends.  Our continued international expansion, and extension into new product and service areas, supports our ongoing development as a leading global provider of intelligent health and social care services.”

Tunstall integrates smart technology with high quality monitoring and support services to give individuals increased independence, improved quality of life and wider choice in their care options. Tunstall designs, manufactures and sells monitoring units, sensors and software in six key regions; UK and Ireland, the Nordics, Spain, France and Benelux, DACHME and Australasia that enable the elderly, frail or the chronically ill to continue to live independently and to reduce social care and hospital visits or medical attention.

Tunstall is a pioneer in the global technology space within the health and social care sectors. The company was the first organisation to use technology to enable older people to summon help in an emergency, and to transmit alarm calls over the public telephone network. The business also pioneered the introduction of telecare and telehealth in the 2000’s which created the technology enabled care market as it is today.

Tunstall currently operates across 19 countries and supports more than five million people, including those living with dementia, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, and long-term health conditions. 

For more information, please visit www.tunstall.co.uk

Issue 3 2022

Welcome to the March edition of Acquisition International magazine. Recognised as a voice of modern business, we are passionate about providing vital updates to corporate readers so that they can always be one step ahead.

Passing on stories of some bright businesses and marvellous minds, AI is dedicated to showcasing talent from around the globe. This year has already been a mixed bag of emotions however, we are looking to highlight and truly celebrate the exceptional achievements and positive impacts that both individuals and businesses are making on the world. This gives us hope for the future of both businesses and humankind.

From companies boldly stepping into another year of serving clients – to rejuvenate their livelihood and promote their success – to businesses developing building blocks for a more sustainable future. This can be anything from architects to finance companies, tax credit software to payment solutions, lawyers for immigration services to outstanding human resources, and much more. Join us in commemorating these companies as we delve deeper into their work.

Here we present our cover, Sirvist HRC, who excels with its human resource skills. Rich in experience, Sirvist has operated since 2016 with a team of likeminded, knowledgeable, and powerful people. Its talents know no bounds and it has now won Best HR & Talent Acquisition Consultancy 2022. This is where we celebrate its mighty achievement.

But, for now, here’s to the continuation of productivity, motivation, and success. See you for the April issue!

6 Benefits of Outsourcing Managed IT Services

Outsourcing may be one of the strategies to be considered by businesses to remain focused on the services and products they provide while keeping expenses down. Regardless of niche, outsourcing to a managed IT service provider is becoming increasingly popular. Riding the wave of technology while trying to outrun business competitors is no easy feat.

Outsourcing may mean working with another team in a different time zone. For those who would like to outsource, you can either partner with IT company in San Antonio or look for reputable IT firms near you.

So, if there’s still doubt about outsourcing IT support, here are seven benefits of outsourcing managed IT services:

1. Increases Efficiency and Competitiveness 

Partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) means doubling or even tripling the efficiency and knowledge of the in-house IT team. In doing so, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can give more attention to improving their services and products rather than adding IT matters to their plate. 

Removing the worrying part of keeping systems updated, hardware maintenance, or even IT infrastructure monitoring means businesses can boost competitiveness and gain the capacity to play with bigger brands.

2. Better Cybersecurity and Data Compliance 

Another benefit of working with a managed service provider is that it allows business leaders to remove their constant worry about the safety and security of the information that goes in and out of their company. 

Managed service providers make it their business to train their teams to work with the utmost regard to cybersecurity, data security, and compliance. Qualified MSP companies will always ensure their business clients are also updated regarding cybersecurity and data compliance certifications. 

Outsourcing this worrying part of IT can help business leaders and their teams focus on more immediate business concerns.

3. Reduces Labor Cost 

Imagine onboarding 20 new people into your in-house IT team. This means providing them with their own cubicle, computer, chair, and access to all your systems. They’ll also have to be provided with the necessary training in office systems and standard operating procedures. 

All of these plus continuous IT training and certifications so all the members of the in-house IT team are updated with technology and are certified in different applications, processes, and software. 

These all mean additional labor and equipment costs, something you can cut down on or totally eliminate if you outsource to a managed IT service provider. Instead of incurring these expenses, your IT provider will give you a trained, dedicated team at a lower cost

4. Access to More Talent and Services

When a business chooses to work with a managed IT service provider, it means working with reliable, certified people who are not just experts in one field but in different IT branches. 

This means gaining access to people’s skills, talents, and expertise that may be double the number of members of an in-house IT team. Working with an MSP means businesses increase their capacity to serve their clients or support the IT needs of their employees.

5. Stays Ahead Through Cutting-Edge Technology

The fast-changing landscape of the digital era means innovations can come and go in just months. For businesses to stay one step ahead of their competition and for the security of their data, it’s always best to have access to new technology. 

Outsourcing to an MSP means they’ll absorb the cost of upgrades and training, and you, as their client, will reap the benefits without worrying about ballooning expenses.  

 

6. Access to Comprehensive Monitoring

One of the critical things businesses need to avoid is encountering downtime issues. It was found that companies can lose USD$5,600 per minute of downtime.  

In order to prevent this type of concern, constant monitoring of systems, hardware, and software is essential. And, this is where outsourced managed IT service providers can help.   

One of the things to expect from them is 24/7 monitoring.  Having a dedicated team working around the clock to monitor your IT systems and issues means having more eyes looking out for problems before they blow up and cause downtime.

Conclusion

There’s no denying how technology is shaping how companies do their business. Addressing IT issues is something better delegated to another team or company. Hence, businesses can remain focused on improving their services and products instead of stretching themselves to solve IT issues with everything on their plate. 

Working with managed service providers is an excellent way to boost security, increase competitiveness, empower employees, and leverage new technologies without incurring excess expenses that can largely affect your revenues. 

4 Reasons to Seek Managed IT Services For Your Business

Most businesses rely on Information Technology (IT) to run most of their operations, yours included. Due to this level of importance, you need to have a solid plan to handle your IT. If you already have an in-house team in place, consider supplementing it with additional assistance. You can do all these with a managed IT services provider.

This article will inform you of ways your business will benefit from this investment. Read on and learn to outsource your IT services: 

1. For Better Budgeting

By running your IT operations without a provider, you most often experience breakdowns or need for constant repairs.

Most of the time, these failures are unexpected, and they require money to fix. This means that you have to allocate funds you may not have budgeted to cater to these needs. This offsets your budget by quite a margin.

If you want better financial planning for your business, you need to outsource your IT services. With a managed provider, you only have to pay a monthly subscription fee depending on the agreement. This managed IT services pricnig from Fusion computing will explain how providers create their pricing. So, no matter what issues arise down the year, you won’t have to cough up any extra money on surprise expenses. Instead, the outsourced provider will cater to them. This way, you can easily budget your finances, and it’ll be easier to stick to them throughout the year.

2. To Reduce Operational Costs

Your operational costs tend to be relatively high without managed IT services in your business. Why? You’d have to hire a whole in-house IT team to cater to your company’s requirements. With the many technological needs your business might have, this team won’t be small. Now, the costs of keeping the team on board are always high, considering you have to pay the monthly benefits and take insurance covers for them as their employer.

Also, you’d need to invest in the right technology to enable them to execute their responsibilities. Besides the initial acquiring cost of technologies, you must update constantly. All these costs add up, making it expensive to provide reliable technology they can work with.

Office space is another aspect you’d have to cover without managed IT services. Running an office space would increase your costs through monthly rent.

However, you can avoid all the overhead expenses by seeking managed IT services. The managed IT provider has their staff and equipment, and they’ll most likely work remotely, eliminating the need for extra office space. With these eliminated costs, you can reinvest them back into your business.

3. For Better Security

Managed IT providers are in a better position to secure your business operations than your in-house team.

With the rise in cyberattacks, businesses have become vulnerable to attacks. This is because you aren’t their first or only client. They offer their services to other companies, which increases their experience levels. They’ve learned techniques being used by cybercriminals, and they formulate various mechanisms in your business to prevent these attacks. 

Also, your outsourced IT provider will offer 24/7 support to your business. This means they’ll monitor your systems day and night. With this proactive approach, they’ll identify any suspicious activity on your plans and investigate it instantly. If it’s a malware attack that was in the process of happening, they’ll mitigate it, safeguarding your business data.

4. For Easier Scalability

As a business, you anticipate growing as years go by; you’ll not be in the same position you’re in right now in five years. Such expansion always warrants extra resources for your organization to continue running efficiently.

Due to the rising needs, you’d need to increase your staff members, acquire new technology, and expand other resources. This adds to your already existing stress.

However, you can avoid all this by hiring a managed IT provider. With them, you can expand your business without worrying about expansion. All you need to do is upgrade your services through the subscription fee, and everything else is sorted. This is quite convenient.

Also, if your business isn’t doing well at the moment, you can easily downgrade your provider without undergoing losses.

Conclusion

As seen, seeking managed IT services for your business can be pretty beneficial. Therefore, based on the insight shared in this article, do you think it’s time you outsourced your IT services? Well, think about that and make an informed decision for your company.

Car Finance Options for Pensioners

Judging the right time for buying a car can be difficult. You want to be sure that you can afford it; not just now, but in the future too when your requirements only grow bigger and bigger. If you are retired, your income will go down considerably, which means that you need to be extra careful while planning.

 

Top 10 Options for Pensioners Financing a Car

1. Lease Purchase

This is one of the best options for retirees to finance their car loans. Here, you pay a small monthly EMI towards the car’s depreciation, whereas 30% of it goes on reducing your outstanding balance.

 

2. Personal Loans

Whether you are retired or have at least 10-15 years before retirement, you can opt for a personal loan. If you do not want any burden of monthly EMI’s or have taken a home loan, then you have to go for personal loans.

 

3. Car Loan Against ULIP

If you have an insurance plan with your loved ones, this option is perfect for you, even if they are not very close relatives. If they are financially sound and reliable, it could work out in your favor.

 

4. Auto Equity Loan

If you own a bike or any other vehicle which has depreciated, you can avail of an auto equity loan and buy a car. You can consider this option too if you want to avail of monthly EMI’s, and the interest will be taxed under 12A.

 

5. Car Loan Against Fixed Deposit

If you have a fixed deposit of more than 1 lakh with your bank, you can use it as security for the car loan. However, there is no benefit on interest or tax deduction here. You can also opt to buy Personal Loan Insurance from some insurers to get this covered.

 

6. Car Loan Against Post Office Savings

This option is only applicable to those who are not aware of how much interest they are getting on their savings account. Here, they  can use the money in their post office saving account as security for the car loan.

 

7. Car Loan Against Life Insurance Policy

If you have a life insurance policy, you can use it as security for the car loan. If you do not regularly pay towards your insurance premium, this is a good option to finance your car loan.

 

8. Retirement Benefits

If you are retired and getting income from other sources like PPF, EPF, NPS, etc., opt for this and get your car financed.

 

9. Personal Loan for Self Employed

If you are not retired and still working, opting for a personal loan is the best option to finance your car. It will give you enough time to repay it and get EMI’s, in addition to deduction in tax under Section 80C.

 

10. House Rent Allowance

If you are employed, and your employer gives you house rent allowance (HRA) with your salary, opt for this financing for your car loan. It can be an ideal option as it gives you tax benefits too.

 

According to Lantern by SoFi, “Lenders may work prepayment penalties into your contract in a couple of different ways.” To learn more about paying off your auto loan early, give them a call today.

Bringing New Life to Life Science Businesses

Working hard to deliver expert consultancy services to the life sciences industry, LifeBee srl has made itself the ‘Most Innovative Digital Solutions Provider for Life Sciences’ in 2021 for Italy. With a long roster of current clients, one that is growing by the day, it is blazing a trail towards reshaping its industry under the guidance of one of the ‘Top 25 Healthcare Tech CEOs’, Teresa Minero.

LifeBee is a boutique consultation provider for the life sciences industry, combining its own expertise with its exemplary customer service in order to deliver redesigned information flows, procedures, digital solutions, proactive compliance and business digital transformation. Fundamentally, this has allowed it to become the ‘company that was missing’ for the life sciences industry, one that has been helping businesses within the industry to revitalize and revamp their organizations and processes into the most lucrative and sustainable versions of themselves by leveraging at the same time digitalization, pursuing operational excellence and boosting compliance. In being a consultations company focused on tailoring its services to fit each client, it works like a bespoke dressmaker. Bucking the trend of ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to consultation, it will always work with a client to gain a broad, full picture view of them and their company.

With over 50 professionals that serve more than 70 companies – both local and international – it delivered strategies and digital solutions that helps each of them stand out on a global scale. Quality, to LifeBee, is everything; its customers success is its success, and it strives to ensure that each client will walk away with a digital, compliant, excellence-oriented business processes that has revitalized their company across the board and further fuelled their passion for what they do, showing them how ingenuity and innovation applied in an empathic manner can propel them to new heights of success.

Therefore, LifeBee’s team is one focused first and foremost on customer satisfaction. Its experts will drill deep into a client’s processes and needs, allowing them to get a comprehensive view of both the bigger picture and the minute details that forge the wider attitude and approach by the organization, something that its clients have lauded as truly exemplary over the years. This understanding is extended to a multitude of different ‘regulated’ areas within the wider industry of life science, such as manufacturing, quality assurance, laboratories, logistics, serialization, regulatory affairs, pharmacovigilance in biopharma, medical devices, and even nutraceuticals.

When it consults with its clientele, it applies the width and breadth of its experience in serving companies in each of these niches, making the effort to internalize the goals and missions behind the processes. Additionally, it operates by means of process review. This drills down into a client’s process optimization, digital innovation, GxP compliance, data integrity, and pharma 4.0 strategic plans, allowing it to fit its advice and reorganization seamlessly around a client’s existing structure so that they may work in tandem.

Its digitization offerings even go so far as to provide projects and solutions such as feasibility studies, software vendor selection, project management, and more, making it a true one-stop-shop when it comes to consultancy. Having been recently nominated as the ‘top laboratory automation solution provider’ in Europe for 2021, LifeBee is pleased to have been accredited for the excellence of its lab-based project delivery, such as a recent 10-week case study that handled conceptual design for a multinational pharmaceutical company. In essence, LifeBee focused on optimization of the entire lab, breathing new life into its processes, personnel, and material flows in order to ensure that each element was as streamlined, compliant but cost effective, and efficient as possible. With a core focus on personnel and lab layout, it considered that the lab would have to work well with being fully digitalized in accordance with GmP’s strict compliance rulings, resulting in the development of a dedicated and detailed implementation and transition plan, in full business continuity.

Moreover, the Covid-19 disaster pushed it further into prominence when the digital paradigm fully took root as the new era of work for industries all across the corporate ecosystem. Life science was no different, having to implement remote work wherever possible that still functioned within the rules of strict compliance, meaning there was an increased need for exemplary and robust digitalized infrastructure and application portfolio with strong integration and procedural ease, allowing trained personnel to keep working. 4.0 pharma, in this manner, is a true leap also in Italy, with increasing numbers of successful remote projects and the development of long-lasting internet-based infrastructures and advanced technologies that work well result in a long-lasting perspective of evolution in continuous improvement. Further bolstering this is the increased demand for regulation in cloud-based applications. LifeBee’s provisions are perfect for this expanding market, and so it has seen a growth spurt that it doesn’t foresee slowing down anytime soon, with a consistent 20% growth on average over the last 5 years; much higher numbers than the market on average. This, it has found, is a direct result of how it applies its unique selling point. LifeBee makes itself stand out from the market by not just being a digital company, nor a validations or compliance firm, nor just a lean consultant. Instead, it is three in one – with each of the aforementioned services forming a pivotal aspect of its operational model – and has developed each one of these to be a leading service that its clients can truly rely on, ensuring that each one compliments the other.

In being such a one-stop-shop for its clients, LifeBee can reassure professionals in the life science industry that its consultancy will be able to help them with the innovation challenges they are currently facing, all made possible by its dedication to empathic, understanding, and diligent client interactions. The customer who it serves appreciates how this work enables them to step into the new digital paradigm with ease and sophistication. Fundamentally, with LifeBee at their back, a client finds that previous challenges are far more effectively handled with the operations and processes that it puts in place, granting them the opportunity to chase the most suitable new 4.0 enabling technologies selected among GxP cloud, Virtual Reality, Vertical and Horizontal Integration, Advanced Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and many others. By extending LifeBee’s services on an international level, it is currently delivering 15-20% of its services outside Italy, and is excited to see where this takes both it and its clients in the future.

For business enquiries, contact Teresa Minero at LifeBee SRL at lifebee.com.

What Is Global Relocation And Why Companies Need It

Global relocation is when a company moves its employees, a whole sector, or a department to a different location.

Given the competitive nature of international business and the freedom with which companies can change places, global relocations are happening more frequently and faster than ever.

Companies will relocate to different locations across the globe for various reasons, including taxes, cheaper labor, better access to capital, access to better talent, and to take advantage of new opportunities.

Global relocation does differ from domestic relocation in many ways, such as the expenses laws but particularly in its scope.

Therefore, global relocation is vital in the era of modern international business, and companies require global relocation services for the following reasons:

Take Advantage of Different Cultures

Global relocation involves much more than moving office equipment in an office located in a different country. One of the most critical issues that corporate immigration and relocation services have to deal with is the different cultures present in new locations.

It would be challenging for a company with only one culture to adapt to a new one. Global relocation requires research into the different cultures that the company will be joining.

Understanding the culture and knowing how to set up your business to succeed is why companies need global relocation.

Tax Opportunities

The saying is, ‘there are two sure things in life: death and taxes.’ Therefore, a company could decide to engage in global relocation to get better tax rates, vastly improving their profitability.

Many companies have registered themselves legally in tax havens for the sake of paying lower taxes.

However, there are limitations to such a maneuver and benefits to having an actual physical presence in a particular location. Taxes are one of the most significant benefits and a substantial reason a company will indulge in an international relocation.

Reducing Business Costs

The matter is that it is easier to do business in some parts of the world than in other areas. The ease of doing business is a significant factor why companies consider global relocation.

If it is easier for a company to do business in a particular country than the country they are currently located in, relocation is an excellent choice. The costs of doing business include taxes, licensing fees, transportation costs, and marketing expenses.

Companies require global relocation services to help them reduce the cost of doing business and become more profitable.

To Match The Best Personnel To Location

Another reason why companies need global relocation serviceis to ensure that they can put the best people they have in the best location possible.

For a large company with many employees, matching the best human resources to where they can have the biggest impact is of tremendous importance.
The companies that can match their human resources to various locations the best have the best chance of success. The companies that win global corporate relocation and immigration awards help large companies achieve the best matches.

Take Advantage of New Markets

There is very little room for growth in already established markets, especially for new companies.

Hence a company may partake in global relocation to take advantage of opportunities in new markets. Emerging markets have the highest growth potential, which can turn a small company into a massive one.

However, to enjoy such spoils, setting up an office in a distant location may be the price a company has to pay. Relocating to the site will help the company better understand it and find the best way to grow and become more successful.

Global relocation is happening quite often these days. It has been enabled by the free movement of goods and services across country borders due to international trade. More companies will engage in global relocation in the future.

The above reasons are only a few reasons as every company is different and will do so for the reasons that benefit it.

Why Every Event Planner Needs a Venue Management Platform

Event planners need to use venue management platforms if they want their events to run as smoothly and successfully as possible. With the best venue management software, every element of an event lifecycle is covered, from registration and payment to reports and analytics.

Quite simply, if you are a professional who plans and puts on events, you will struggle a lot if you do not utilise the many helpful features of a venue management platform.

Project Management Becomes Much Easier

As an event planner, you will know just how much time and effort goes into manually managing projects, especially when you organise different elements separately. You can streamline your operations and improve your workflow and efficiency when you use a venue management platform.

With leading venue management software like Tripleseat and Planning Pod, you can keep track of all the moving parts of each event you handle and ensure your events run smoothly. However, each venue management platform has different features, so you should look at tripleseat vs planning pod, and other software, to help you find the right choice for you.

The best venue management platforms enable you to manage all crucial aspects of your operations, including registration, payments, reports, analytics, promotions, and floorplans.

You Can Save a Lot of Time

When booking processes and event operations are automated with venue management software, not only does everything become much easier to manage. You also save a lot of time.

From tracking bookings to sending follow-up emails, when tasks are automated, you and your team save a lot of time that you can use better elsewhere, such as on marketing strategies.

With a venue management platform, you can manage everything from one central place, too, which also saves you valuable time.

You Can Save Money and Increase Your ROI

When you are able to cut costs as well as time, you know you are on to a winner. The best venue management platforms enable you to not only track your spending but also analyse it against your budgets.

With clear and easy-to-use tools, the budgeting reports and analytics features of venue management software help you to visualise your spending better and achieve a higher return on investment.

Effective Communication Becomes Simpler

Any event involves lots of different people, such as caterers, hotel staff, transportation companies, and many more.

Communicating between all parties can be challenging if you do not use a venue management platform in which each company and person’s details, and your communications with them, are in one central place.

Many software options come with chat and messaging features to ensure there is never any miscommunication.

When the Customer Experience Is Great, You Can Gain More Repeat Custom

When a venue management platform incorporates UX and UI design principles to make it aesthetically pleasing and a joy to use, customers are sure to be more engaged. Therefore, you can get more new customers and repeat customers.

And when you use a platform that enables your customers to access things like Q&A and provide feedback easily, their experiences are further enhanced.

You Can More Precisely Tailor Your Marketing Efforts

Your marketing efforts are sure to be more successful when you target your marketing at people who are likely to be interested in the specific event you are putting on. When you have access to analytics and client demographics via an excellent venue management platform, it becomes much easier to target the right people.

With the best software, you can easily create customised guest lists based on people’s booking and attendance histories. Of course, when you can target your marketing efforts more precisely, you are sure to see events sell out quickly.

How to Repay Your Loan Faster?

Whenever you’re in debt, your main goal should be to repay it as fast as possible. Sure, taking out a loan can be a good thing as it provides access to needed credit. 

However, loans can be bad when they accrue too much interest. This post will take you through some tips to help you repay your loan faster. 

How to Repay Your Loan Faster

 

1. Seek Debt  Consolidation and Relief Services

If you have trouble keeping up with debt repayments, you can seek debt consolidation services.

Debt consolidation firms can help you combine all your debt into one lump sum. Therefore, instead of making monthly payments to different lenders, you’ll be making one monthly payment.

Further, these companies can work with lenders to help reduce the interest rates on your loans, thereby reducing the overall cost of the loan.

Various financial relief firms in the UK, such as Reform Debt Solutions, collaborate with other stakeholders to offer borrowers debt consolidation and relief services. 

 

2. Deposit More Than The Stipulated  Minimum Amount Every Month

Clear your debt and save on interest by depositing more than the required monthly minimum. The main goal is to pay an extra amount regularly and repay your loan faster. 

If you have several debt sources, handle one at a time. Clear the balance quickly as you continue depositing minimum payments on the other debts. 

Some loan providers allow borrowers to pay an extra amount every month, stating that it goes towards the principal. Just ensure that you can handle these additional payments without hurting your budget. Instead of making monthly payments, opt for bi-weekly. 

Before making these payments, go through the loan terms and conditions to determine if prepayment penalties or extra fees apply. 

 

3. Make Several Payments More Than Once A Month

Pay your credit card bills regularly, more than the standard once per month. This will help you stay on track of your debt balance and lower your utilisation/balance ratio.

The credit balance/utilisation ratio is the percentage of the total available credit that you’re currently using. This ratio is among the elements used by credit reporting bureaus to calculate credit scores.

 

4. Consider The Snowball Method Of Clearing Debts

The snowball method entails settling the smallest debts first, then taking the funds that previously paid for that loan and rolling it to the next smallest loan. This process continues until you clear all your debts.

This strategy helps you build momentum as every balance is cleared. Although it takes some initial work to establish this technique, it’s what you need to come up with a repayment plan that keeps you motivated to finish.

Studies show that the snowball method is beneficial because it builds confidence—you begin with the smallest loan and get quick wins. This makes you feel like you’re making progress.

You’ll get great satisfaction from clearing a loan and closing the account. This will give you the motivation to proceed to the next debt.

The only con is that you may end up spending more cash on interest payments since you’re prioritising balances over APRS.

 

5. Try Consolidating Your Credit Card Debt

You can use a personal loan to consolidate credit card debt spread over several cards. There are several benefits of debt consolidation, the greatest of them being lower interest rates. If you have a good credit score, you can get an annual rate of roughly 6%.

Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about making monthly payments for each card as all the debt is consolidated into one. To top it all off, it can help improve your credit profile.

Nevertheless, these debt consolidation loans are not suitable for everyone. Like car loans or mortgages, you’ll have to apply first and be approved.

Your credit score determines the interest rates you’ll incur. If you have a bad credit rating, the interest could likely be higher or almost equal to that of your cards.

The loan term can also affect the interest rates. The longer the term, the higher the interest rates and vice versa.

You have to also be on the lookout for any charges like an origination fee that might cancel out any savings you could get from consolidating your debt.

Keep in mind that even if it makes sense to consolidate debts, you’re not in the clear to actually pay it back. You must still purpose to repay the entire loan on time. Although, if you’re having a hard time managing your credit card, consolidating it may be an excellent place to start.

 

6. Try The Debt Avalanche Approach

The best way to reduce your debt burden would be to start by paying off the debts with the highest interest rates first. Doing this will decrease the overall interest rates, reducing your general debt.

After clearing the first loan, move on to the next with the second-highest interest rates and pay them. Do this till you pay off all your debts.

The greatest benefit of this approach is that it’s quick, and you get to save a lot of money. You save a lot on interest when you repay the high-interest loans first.

Moreover, this approach has a straightforward payment structure. The debt avalanche technique is the best if you have difficulties devising your own loan repayment strategy.

The biggest disadvantage with this approach is that you can easily lose morale as repaying your debts can take longer, especially if you have several debts.

Additionally, this technique only works if you have disposable income. The goal is to have some leftover cash after you’ve made all your repayments.

 

Wrap Up

The strategies above will help you pay off your debt in no time. Repaying loans within the specified tenure improve your credit score and increases your success rates for your next loan application.

However, go through the prepayment terms and conditions carefully and don’t make haste to repay the loan urgently in your bid to settle your debt as early as possible. 

Why Are AI Recruitment Start-ups Winning Millions in Investment?

In the last two months, over $300 million has been secured by AI-driven recruitment start-ups. While the interest in AI start-ups is evident, there are several reasons why the recruitment sector may be especially appealing.

David Bernard, founder of behavioural assessment firm AssessFirst, welcomes the investment, but believes that investors must carefully consider the modelling before committing the money.

There are two types of articles that currently dominate the pages of my finance and tech news outlets. The first type attempts to convince me to invest in or explore Cryptocurrency and NFTs. In truth, I tend to only have a passing interest in these kinds of articles.

The second type of article, though, does interest me. These stories concern the millions of dollars being poured into to AI-driven recruitment start-ups.

They are of particular interest to me, having created one such business myself. In 2012, I founded AssessFirst, a behavioural assessment firm driven by algorithms to make hiring, managing and developing talent better and – importantly – fairer. Back then, the desire to invest in firms like mine would have been a welcomed development for the industry, and it’s pleasing to see it happening now.

But there are caveats. I’ll explore exactly what those are, but the first question we must answer is: Why now? Why the current surge of investment in AI recruitment start-ups?

Watershed

It started in December with Paradox. It was not the start-up itself, but the investors that drew my attention to the $200m investment that the company had managed to win. The principal investor company was Unilever, an enormous conglomerate which owns close to 500 brands, many of them household names. A company of this magnitude investing in AI recruitment represents a watershed.

Then, in January, SeekOut, an AI recruitment platform based in Washington, raised $115 million of financing, followed a few days later by the $2.7 million raised by Kula, a company still in the pilot user stage of its AI-recruitment development. The first business story delivered to my account on the first day of this month? News of an €8.25 million in funding secured by Jobilla, who, it won’t need pointing out, declare themselves an “AI-powered recruiting platform”.

In the background of this investment, great societal shifts are occurring. The great resignation is driving employees to change their careers and jobs in record numbers. It is hard to comprehend how impactful these changes are to the job market as we once knew it. A quarter of the UK workforce planned to resign between November and January. In the US, around 4.5 million workers resigned in a single month.

Then there is inflation. The cost of living crisis in the UK combined with narrowing talent pools hands power to employees and candidates. Sought-after personnel will seek increased pay to meet the rising cost of living, and employers will have little choice to but to pay it. Last year, the dislocation in the job market meant, on average, a 6% to 8% wage increase for new starters. In-demand sectors hiked salaries by 15% to 20%.

It is also apparent that something of mass psychological shift occurred during the pandemic. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, 40% of US employees would quit immediately if ordered to return full-time off to the office. Employees want to be flexible, with a better work-life balance and more fulfilling work. 

AI in the workplace  

If we combine those societal changes with a technologically transforming workplace, we see that behavioural-led recruitment combines two leading edge issues. These recruitment and employee changes have put them at the forefront of investor interest – it is, in effect, a new and buoyant market.

And so is, of course, the artificial intelligence market. Taken together, the millions of dollars ploughed into AI-driven recruitment start-ups is no surprise. The combination of the ‘problem’ affecting swathes of employees and businesses has a ‘solution’ provided by these platforms. Why wouldn’t you want to invest in what seems like certain success?

Now to those previously mentioned caveats. What do we mean by AI-led recruitment?

Fundamentally, we are talking about modelling and data input that relies on human intervention. Building a successful AI-led recruitment service requires precise and effective algorithms. This requires years of data analysis and relevant customisable input, so that each business is able to locate the personal traits that assure the candidate will thrive, add to and fortify the company’s success.

And this is not easy. The word ‘algorithm’ is not a synonym for ‘assured science’. We must only remember two examples to understand why: Amazon’s sexist algorithm that penalised women in its hiring process, and Zillow’s house-price prediction algorithm that could not, in fact, compute the complexities of the housing market. Making algorithmic blunders of this nature as a recruitment platform will likely be terminal.

It would magnify the problem that it sought to eliminate. 83% of candidates who experience a dissatisfactory candidate experience will reject a role when offered. The risk with an AI-led recruitment platform is that any discrepancy almost assures this outcome. There is no doubt that the fine margins of algorithmic optimisation and precision represents a degree of risk for investors.

Yet AI, properly implemented, can vastly improve this very same experience. Twenty years of data later, the AssessFirst predictive algorithms have become ever more robust in their ability to predict who can succeed and thrive in a job specific to the culture of an individual business. This modelling takes a vast amount of time to harvest – those that have such data, alongside the right human interventions, will revolutionise recruitment. Those that do not are a threat to recruitment professionals, candidates, and investors.

Plant-Powered Biotech Beauty

Codex Beauty Labs is a biotech company grounded in science, dedicated to supporting microbiome. Its pioneering cruelty-free products are clinically-proven to provide meaningful benefits. In light of the company being named Most Innovative Bioscience-Based Skincare Company 2021 – USA in this issue of Acquisition International, we explore what makes biotech beauty so great, not only for the consumer, but the environment, too.

Codex Beauty Labs’ mission is to blend the sciences of ethnobotany and plant biology with biotech innovation to create a new standard within the natural space: plant-based biotech beauty. It is a new wave in beauty that doesn’t play by the rules – it invents them. Codex Beauty utilises biotech beauty to engineer the next generation in pure clinical results. But first, what exactly is biotech beauty?

Biotech beauty is the process of creating skin-benefiting elements from plant-based (renewable) materials through fermentation or cell culture to formulate performative bio actives – this is the key ingredient used by Codex Beauty.

The science of biotech beauty uses microbes (bacteria, yeast, algae) to sustainably produce high-tech skincare actives for effective results. Codex Beauty’s innovative approach to skincare results in more efficient production of ‘all the good stuff’ for pure, concentrated ingredients which use less water and energy for minimum waste and maximum efficacy.

Codex Beauty Labs was founded by CEO, Dr Barbara Paldus, who, as a scientist, believes in data and biotechnology. Codex Beauty was conceived from a need to deliver high-efficacy skincare solutions that defy the mainstream with science-based effective ingredients. From top to bottom, Barbara has created a line that puts the plant power back into consumers’ hands – with the results to back it up.

Dr Paldus said, “I think that transparency and trust are missing from the skincare industry. There is simply not enough information for people to make truly informed decisions. We would like to change that by being an ‘open book’. [sic] We can do our best and share what we do know is healthy, beneficial and effective.”

Psychologically, there is a strong sense of reassurance when using plant-powered biotech ingredients directly on your skin. Codex Beauty’s planet-friendly, plant-derived skincare has the efficacy stats to support feeling good; that’s why it remains transparent about its scientific claims and clinical findings.

Using a unique science-meets-nature beauty philosophy, Codex Beauty with the help of ethnobotanists identifies medicinal plants, then thoroughly researches the impact of their actives on gene expression in skin cells. Codex Beauty utilises either state-of-the-art extract methods or bio-fermentation to create the resulting actives, and it then formulates to enhance the potency of the performance of these bio actives.

Focusing on using plants, such as extracts of soothing rosehip in its Revitalising Facial Oil, as opposed to fossil fuels, Codex Beauty can produce its bio actives in a sustainable way to minimise its overall carbon footprint. This process is one of the ways the company is envisioning the future of skincare.

It is committed to minimising the environmental impact of every aspect of its operation. Alongside sourcing ingredients that are biotech-manufactured, Codex Beauty ensures its packaging is fully recyclable, with its product tubes produced using carbon-reducing polyethylene from renewable sugar cane, as well as its cartons being PSC-certified. It has minimised its carbon footprint in shipping and distribution, too, and its goal is to have a zero carbon footprint by 2025.

Codex Beauty also supports the Nagoya protocol and invests in building infrastructure for better working conditions, access to healthcare and education, while also exercising Fair Trade, supporting local growers and indigenous harvesters and paying fair market prices to local communities.

Supporting, protecting, and preserving the ecology and biodiversity of the areas where its partners harvest, Codex Beauty is able to provide economic support to local communities, spearheading its high standards for inclusivity and sustainability in beauty production.

Also crucial in Codex Beauty’s operations is the conducting of clinical tests on its products, publishing data to prove their high performance. The technology it uses isn’t only patented, but its disruptive; whether its plant-based hydration (Bia Complex™) or food-grade preservation system (PreservX™), Codex innovates formulas that take skincare to a whole new level.

And the company knows what’s in every tube – literally. It controls the complete supply chain – from sustainable wild harvesting through pharma-grade clean processes and its airless packaging to achieve the highest quality possible. Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) are applied to its production process to create consistent high-quality and performance as well as prevent contamination. Each product is completely safe, complying with each country’s different cosmetic laws, registered with governmental health authorities wherever they are sold.

Now, Codex Beauty’s customers speak for themselves, sharing their thoughts on the company’s products. One person said, “Codex Beauty is proven to be the cleanest of clean skincare and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to make the switch to safe clean beauty.”

Another customer said, “Firstly, I love their ethos of sustainable packaging coupled with the products being cruelty-free and packed full of exceptional organic ingredients… To top it off, the products live up to and surpass all expectations. The superfood and facial oil in particular are absolutely amazing… I’ve said it before – they’re the holy grail of skincare. What’s not to love?”

Not only all of the above, but customers also benefit from a useful feature on Codex Beauty’s website in the form of a quiz to get personalised recommendations for skincare, matching them to products that match their skin type. The quiz asks the user a series of questions covering age, the area they live (urban, suburban, countryside, seaside, mountainous), their gender, whether they are pregnant or breastfeeding, how they would describe their skin type (dry, normal, combi, oily, not sure), their biggest skin concern (eye puffiness, dark eye circles, wrinkles, acne, sensitive skin, etc.), how many glasses of water they drink each day, how much sun exposure they get on a daily basis, whether they use SPF, and if they are allergic to any ingredients.

Overall, it’s easy to see how Codex Beauty has achieved all the success it has, producing ground-breaking, environmentally-friendly and effective products that exceed peoples’ expectations. Its loyal customer base loves what it is doing and they can’t get enough of the products that give their skin the nourishment it needs for a healthy glow. The only way is up for Codex Beauty as it continues on the road of plant-powered biotech solutions for healthy skin and microbiome support.

For further information, please visit: www.codexbeauty.com

Global Company with a Homegrown Heart

ParrisWhittaker is a boutique law firm with Bohemian roots, international reach and global impact. With over 70 years’ experience, it is a firm that will always believe every client deserves individualised attention, agility and responsiveness. We take a closer look in light of it being named Most Outstanding Maritime Litigation Firm 2021 – Bahamas by Acquisition International magazine.

ParrisWhittaker has been designed to accommodate both non-Bahamas businesses that need sharp, local expertise and local/regional businesses that want a trusted hand and assistance that is available 24/7. That’s why it offers such a broad array of services. As litigation and maritime experts, ParrisWhittaker has built legal specialties around its strengths and clients’ needs.

Mostly serving companies with a global reach or a specialised focus in the maritime industry, ParrisWhittaker prides itself on building relationships that lead to the results that clients are desirous of. What defines the firm the most is how it does what it does; it has a genuine interest in who its clients are and what they need. It is a global-minded company with a genuine homegrown heart.

At its core, ParrisWhittaker is a business of customer and client care. It answers when they call and reaches out when they don’t. Its staff and attorneys are invested in gaining a positive outcome for them. ParrisWhittaker prides itself on accessibility, clarity, and comfort. Beautiful logos and websites do not mean anything unless the client experience reflects its promise. These collective experiences help to provide better service, recruit better talent, and create consistent longevity.

Most of ParrisWhittaker’s operations are now remote due to the pandemic and as a result, it has found the silver lining of increased client retention. While COVID-19 has forced businesses to get up to speed with technology, and there have been hardships, there has been a positive side. The use of more advanced technology has allowed ParrisWhittaker to deliver service more rapidly whilst not losing the human touch. As it continues going through the pandemic, there are certain ideals that it needs to constantly align with, but that is precisely how it can grow stronger.

The legal industry has seen its challenges this year, however these come with opportunities. ParrisWhittaker’s plans for closing 2021 and going into 2022 include expansion. Currently, it has affiliate offices throughout the Caribbean, however it will be taking progressive steps to have more significant funding in other jurisdictions. It realises that there is a niche that has been left empty by many other law firms. In every jurisdiction, you either have solo practitioners or you have the mega law firms, but there is no mid market firm that is multi-jurisdictional. ParrisWhittaker feels as if there is a space that it has the resources and capabilities to fill.

For business enquiries, contact Jacy Whittaker at ParrisWhittaker via email at [email protected] or visit the website at www.parriswhittaker.com.

The Future of Energy Efficient Homes

Becoming a household name for renewables in Scotland by heating one household at a time, the Greener Energy Group has become accredited as the ‘Most Outstanding Energy Saving Solutions Provider’ in 2021 for the UK. With the provision of free EV charges to its solar panel customers, encouraging small scale changes that can have a wider impact, and delivering low-cost, low-carbon, bespoke heating, it is dedicated to helping the world become a more sustainable place.

Greener Energy Group is a specialist when it comes to renewable heating and energy saving solutions for the home. With the installation of solar panels, air source heat pumps, German electric heating, and energy efficient boilers, it serves the mainland of Scotland with energy saving solutions that its clients laud as exemplary and that have earned them notoriety across the whole of the UK as a result. Additionally, the bespoke nature of its products allows it to create bespoke heating systems. This is something rarely seen in its industry, ensuring that Greener Energy Group stands out from the crowd by replacing old, expensive, environmentally damaging fossil-fuel powered heating systems with something that is truly built to fit a home.

Reducing the risk of malfunction, increasing cost effectiveness, and massively reducing carbon emissions, word about this company soon spread quickly. Fundamentally, it’s no wonder that its clients have been excited to pass on the word when one considers the principles behind this company’s operation, building its processes on the foundational belief that every home deserves green and inexpensive heating solutions. Made even more prevalent during the pandemic with its #MakeScotlandGreener campaign, Greener Energy Group created this in order to bring the focus back to the earth upon which civilisation depends, and how changing to environmentally friendly solutions is the most sensible solution by all accounts.

Nowadays, its plants a tree for every customer who books in a home assessment and quote form its expert team, excited to welcome the new influx of clients on board in playing a bigger part in the fight to make a greener Scotland, and greener world. It hopes to continue this long into the future, building awareness through further social campaigns. Additionally, with most of its client base made up of retired homeowners looking to upgrade their home energy systems in order to save money, it often finds that its clients come to it through Trust Pilot and other independent review sites thanks to the glowing comments and commendations of its past customers viewable through them.

It wishes to take the time to thank every client who leaves a review – it is honoured to have cultivated such trust, and proud to serve such a loyal customer base. Moreover, its staff are a crucial element of what has allowed it to come so far; each of them carries out their role with diligence and efficiency, keeping customer care at the fore in order to provide 5-star service and 5-star installations. Its contractors are well trained, work cleanly, and operate sensitively, maintain an attitude of respect and helpfulness throughout the interactions with the client and rest of the team at large.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic – such as short staffing, scheduling problems, and supply issues – it has been able to reflect on its place within the industry and world at large, coming out of it bigger and better than ever, with a new goal to help the world reach NetZero by 2045. Therefore, it has been staunchly working harder than ever in order to make itself more environmentally friendly, and to show its clients how incorporating its services into their home will help them do the same, keeping them toasty warm in the process.

For business enquiries, contact Shaun Woods at Greener Energy Group via  greenerenergygroup.co.uk.

Issue 2 2022

Welcome to the February edition of Acquisition International Magazine, bringing you the latest news, features, and success stories from businesses all over the world.

As spring is approaching, we see a warm light at the end of the dark and cold tunnel of the winter months. Whether you’ve been tucked up in blankets at home or out embracing the cold weather, there’s always time for reflection throughout this time. We have seen some amazing stories of business success already this year and we’re here to showcase much more.

We especially want to celebrate ExamSoft’s success as it wins Most Innovative Learning Assessment Platform in 2022 for the USA. Going from strength to strength, ExamSoft has been changing the way we see remote examinations for students. With incredible insight and innovative ideas, ExamSoft has been working on its platform to create a more sustainable and safe future for exam boards as well as students. Due to the various lockdowns, ExamSoft has developed its ideas quickly and all in good time. With its enthusiasm and desire to succeed, this ground-breaking platform is a leader in its industry.

We are pleased to share some exciting stories with you and we hope to see you again for our next issue of AI Magazine. We look forward to learning more about a wide variety of businesses so that we may share them with the world. See you next time.

Global Excellence Awards 2021

Our Global Excellence Awards are an annual programme which has been designed by the in-house research team at AI Global Media. Launched in 2016 to recognise and reward the firms and individuals whose sustained outstanding performance has seen them leading the way in their industry, the Global Excellence Awards is the flagship program of Acquisition International magazine and covers a wide variety of sectors and countries.

Honouring these top performers is done through a rigorous and in-depth selection process from our in-house awards specialists. This ensures that every one of our chosen firms was selected based on proven performance over the past 12 months, guaranteeing that all award recipients were chosen purely on merit and can take pride in the knowledge that they truly deserve their place among this year’s esteemed winners.

Reaching Out to Your Target Audience: Three Ways to Use Social Media Effectively

Social media has evolved in many ways that online networking platforms are no longer considered just tools to connect with family and friends.

Several industries such as food, retail, real estate and even online entertainment industries have also utilized social media as a convenient platform and online marketing tool to deliver their products and services to their target audience.

Many people see social network marketing as a valid and effective business strategy based on how many social media users exist.

Back in 2020, social media had about 3.6 billion users. That number is expected to increase to 4.4 billion in 2025.

Thus, there is considerable success potential when marketing products and services through social media.

However, what is usually not mentioned is how you can reach your target audience. If you market your business too broadly, you may spread yourself too thin and end up getting less market reach.

Given this challenge, how do you use social media effectively so you can connect to your preferred audience? This article helps you identify your target market. It also provides several tips to utilize social media for better audience reach.

Who Is Your Target Audience?

Knowing your target audience requires knowing what products, services, or content you want to offer and matching them with your audience’s needs.

Suppose you are selling IT security appliances for small and medium computer networks through social media.

If you market your services too broadly, you may end up advertising to private households or large corporations. The needs of these entities may not match the products you are offering.

However, you may be more successful if you target small or medium enterprises that need sufficient IT security.

For some businesses or content creators, identifying who their target is may be a daunting task. However, some tools can help you figure out who your potential audience is.

How to Use Social Media to Reach Your Target Audience

You can avoid stress and having strained back, head and neck by spending long hours marketing your content on social media. To lessen your burden, you may use several social networking tools to help reach your target audience.

Use Data Analytics to Determine Your Audience

If you already have an idea of your target audience, your next step should be to convince them to purchase your product.

However, if you have not identified your potential customers yet, making assumptions without data may be less effective. Additionally, guessing may likely be a waste of time, effort, and even money.

Fortunately, social media and most current web hosting services have data analysis tools to help you identify and define your potential audience. Analytics provide you with various demographic data that may help you narrow down your target market.

Some essential metrics you need to consider when gathering data analytics on your target audience include:

  • Engagement – This metric measures the audience’s interaction with your offered product, service, or content. Some activities measured include likes, comments, and audio or video playbacks.
  • Click-through rate (CTR) – This metric is based on the number of clicks your ad received. CTR is computed by dividing the number of clicks received over the number of times your ad appeared.

For example, if your ad showed up 200 times and received ten clicks, your CTR is 5%.

  • Audience reach – This statistic measures the number of users who saw your ad or content. Unlike the engagement metric, audience reach does not require the user to respond in any way to the ad.
  • Paid vs. organic likes – Paid likes or engagement are social media activities influenced by monetary payment.

For example, providing financial compensation to someone to like or review your content is considered a paid social media activity.

On the other hand, organic likes are given by users who are not influenced by payment. For example, if you read content and like it because it interests you and you are not paid, that is organic.

 
Utilize Hashtags

Hashtags are a convenient way to stay updated on the latest trends and topics. Hashtags are also a simple method to make your content relevant and gain an audience.

By placing relevant hashtags to your content, you make your content visible to other users who look up those hashtags.

Hashtags are prevalent on Instagram, a social media site for posting photos and short clips. However, other social media platforms may also utilize hashtags.

The more popular the hashtags you use for your content, the broader your potential audience reach becomes. However, this method is less likely to target specific audiences, and your marketing may be spread too thin.

For example, if you sell children’s clothes using #fashion, you will likely reach a broad audience quickly.

However, your posts mix in with other social media content bearing the same hashtag. Your content may likely be buried with other unrelated posts because you used a common hashtag.

On the other hand, unique hashtags create an opportunity for your content to set a new trend. When users look up those specific hashtags, the chances of your content being seen immediately may increase.

Additionally, unique and creative hashtags specific to your brand or products allow users to associate those hashtags with your business.

For example, the #DoUsAFlavor hashtag is almost unique to Lay’s marketing campaign, and #ShareACoke is specific to Coca-Cola that also serves as a call to action.

 
Use Ads to Market to Your Audience

In many cases, your efforts to advertise your product, service, or content organically can only get you so far. You may need to invest in paid ads to reach a wider audience or make your content more focused on your target market.

Paid advertising allows you to promote your content to the right audience and drive traffic to your page.

You can “boost” your presence through paid advertisements and make your content visible to your audience that you otherwise may have difficulties reaching.

However, not all paid ads on social media are equal. Your audience reach and engagement also depend on your target market’s presence on a specific platform.

Suppose you offer home tutorial services for high school students and pay for an ad spot on LinkedIn, a social media platform for professionals.

In this case, you are likely to have a limited reach despite having paid for the ad. Your target audience, the high school students, has little presence on your chosen social media platform.

Thus, aside from utilizing paid ads to boost your visibility, you must also know the platforms where your target audience is active.

Before deciding to go for paid ads to drive traffic and create sales, remember that many people are likely to resist those ads, especially if they see those ads as a nuisance.

To lessen the likelihood of your advertised content being skipped, ensure that the content is relevant and essential to your audience. In this case, data analytics may help determine your content’s relevance by measuring the engagement your ad produces.

Conclusion

Social media has provided a platform for billions of people to connect with their families and friends.

At the same time, social media also presents an opportunity for businesses and content creators to market their products and services to their target audience.

The various social media tools like data analytics, hashtags, and paid ads may help you reach your target market.

Using these tools to make informed decisions may improve your engagement and audience reach.

An online marketing strategy not only engages your product, services, and content with your target audience. A successful marketing campaign also translates to increased sales and profitability on your part.

Consult an online marketing expert for more information and tips on effectively reaching your target market and converting your engagement into actual sales.

Payday Loans Online vs Banks

Today, almost everyone has probably used payday loans at banks or MFIs offering payday loans online at least once in their life. Financial difficulties periodically arise for any person. Therefore, it is necessary to resort to the help of financial organizations either state or private. In 2020, the popularity of banks was shared by MFOs (that is microfinance organizations). They attract customers by offering the first payday loans online without interest which significantly increases the flow of customers.

At the same time, you do not need to have a good credit history, look for guarantors, collect a whole heap of documents to get payday loans online, or use services like MoneyZap at https://moneyzap.com/payday-loans-online/, to find a lender for you. With banks, the situation is different. To get payday loans, you need to adhere to some rules and collect a bunch of papers just to get a credit which cannot be said about payday loans online.

Difference Between Banks and MFIs

The main difference is that loans are issued by banks, and microloans are issued by legal entities with an appropriate license. A bank that offers payday loans is a large financial institution that “works” with money in general. The bank is interested in a person’s income, one’s credit history, and guarantors. MFOs are usurers in the “old” sense of the word. The consumer is given a small amount at a large percentage which must be returned. For a microfinance organization, only the current solvency is important so that a person can pay payday loans online without a balance.

The bank solves problems with debtors through the legal system (bailiffs) so as not to spoil its reputation and not go beyond the law. The MCC solves problems with debtors in any way possible, incl. through the collectors. In this case, profit is more important than reputation. The bank has strict requirements for borrowers while microfinance organizations are not afraid to take risks and give money to those who may not be able to pay it back given payday loans online. At the same time, banks have the right to lend any amount while microfinance organizations are legally limited.

The experts figured out what are the main differences between the bank and MFOs. They have answered the question in which cases it is better to go to the bank and in which to apply for a loan service.

Reasons for Failures and Their Probability

Many citizens wonder why they were not given the long-awaited loan although they provided all the documents and have no problems with the law. In order to get a payday loan from the bank, the client must have an impeccable reputation and instill confidence in employees. Banks reserve the right to refuse a loan for a good reason in their opinion. For example, bankers can show distrust to people, representatives of certain professions, and fields of activity. The MFI does not care about how you will receive money and even offers the first payday loan online without interest. It is enough to realize that you will be able to repay the money by paying payday loans online.

Regular Calls from Banks

An MFI guarantees the safety of your personal data in the same way as a bank. However, calls with new offers from the first group of organizations are more common. Banks call their customers and constantly offer them something. This applies to both fairly new establishments and the leaders of the lending market offering payday loans. This also happens because the user’s personal data in the banking system is freely distributed: the phone number and address can be known to interested parties. The MFO is not aimed at this type of work. Thus, in order to refuse this type of service, the client does not need to go personally to the office and discuss this issue to fully use payday loans online.

Money Transfer Fees

Online services and lucrative offers from microfinance organizations made it so that users quickly got used to a simple, convenient, and cheap way of transferring funds. Most of us are already accustomed to not paying for services with money transfers, payment for purchases, and commissions. Still, banking services involve some payment for sending money or withdrawing it from an ATM. This is very convenient, especially when it comes to paying payday loans online.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Payday Loans

An online loan is issued quickly and money is given out to everyone who is 18 years old. Moreover, funds can be returned without paying extra interest. According to the legislation, the borrower within 14 days has the right to return the microloan by paying interest only for the term of using the money. The disadvantages of microfinance institutions include the high cost of borrowed money. 1% per day is 365% per annum. Banks give loans before payday at 10-30% per annum. Another disadvantage is large fines. The maximum fine + late payment interest cannot exceed 2 times the amount of the online payday loan.

Microloans can be transferred: on a bank card, in cash, secured by transport (mini-loans secured by real estate is prohibited at the level of legislation), to an electronic wallet, as well as for business. Loans to a card are the most common option as money comes quickly, the amounts are small, and requirements for borrowers (in addition to age) are extremely rare. The main disadvantage is considered to be a large percentage of up to 1% per day. A secured mini-loan is the most advantageous offer since the interest can be up to 0.05% per day.

The rules that limit microfinance organizations:

– loans can be issued only in US dollars;

– if the loan is issued for a period of less than a year, the maximum percentage that an MFO can establish is 1% per day;

– only guarantors and vehicles can be used as collateral as a collateral payday loan secured by real estate is prohibited;

– the maximum amount of the fine and late payment interest cannot exceed two times the amount of the loan;

– MCC must have a license for its activities.

Is it possible to cheat MFIs? Be aware that you cannot cheat a microcredit company. When you take money from it, you sign an agreement according to which this money must be returned. This also applies to online loans to payday when a clause is spelled out in the legislation according to which, when concluding an agreement, you can use an electronic signature (a code from a verification SMS) which is equivalent to a regular signature.

In order not to fall for the tricks of “scammers”, carefully read the contract. It should state the amount of the loan, how much interest will be charged, and the date of return. On the title page, the total percentage is always indicated in a separate block. In the contract itself, there must be a table indicating the amount, interest rate and services provided. If the MFI you contact does not have a license or the organization is breaking the law, then be sure to write a statement to the police. Don’t be afraid to call the Central Bank and consult about the situation. It is compulsory to involve law enforcement agencies in the case.

Payday Advance & Payday Loan Difference

Did you know that a payday advance is something completely different from a payday loan? Although it is easy to confuse them, it is important to know the differences between these two types of loans. One can be beneficial to your financial well-being while the other should be avoided at all costs.

Payday Loans

Let’s take a closer look at loans before paycheck. These high-interest short-term loans are offered through payday and cash advance lenders. They usually cost $ 500 or less. Payday loans online same day deposit must be repaid within 14-30 days. To get such a loan, the borrower must agree to a high-interest rate.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), loans of this type usually cost between $ 10 and $ 30 for every $ 100, which is a really high price. While loans before paycheck are fairly easy to obtain, it is clear that they have several big disadvantages:

  • High-interest rate;
  • Require a credit check;
  • Potentially negative impact on your credit report;
  • Possibility to get into the cycle of short-term loans at high-interest rates.

Because of these disadvantages, the CFPB and other agencies caution against using payday loans. With interest rates up to 900%, these loans can easily spiral out of control in terms of costs for the borrower. Over time, reusing loans can lead to a vicious cycle of debt. When the debt needs to be paid off, bills and other expenses can outweigh your ability to pay. Your salaries do not bring relief, and you just run deeper and deeper into debt.

Payday Advances

Payday advances are completely different mechanisms than payday loans. A payday advance is a benefit offered by an employer where you can borrow a portion of your paycheck. A paycheck advance is not debt at all. Your employer does not charge interest and fees when borrowing money that is usually very low. Paycheck advances are designed to help employees get through difficult times. Instead of sinking into debt, they can turn to their employer for help. It is a smart choice in a financial emergency.

Payday Loan vs Payday Advance

Consider a situation where you can compare a payday loan with an advance from your employer. Perhaps your home is in need of expensive plumbing repairs that will cost $ 3,000 or more. If you turn to a cash lender for a payday loan, you usually pay a $ 520 commission on a $ 3,000 loan if you get the loan. Large loans are rarely disbursed by lenders unless you have excellent credit and a huge paycheck. In contrast, if you went to your employer for an upfront payment, you would probably pay $ 75 for immediate access to $ 3,000. If the loan amount was more than $ 300, you may pay a commission of less than $ 10. Some employers allow you to borrow small amounts for free.

Why You Should Choose Payday Loans?

The procedure for getting a loan before paycheck will not take much time. The opportunity to get funds from an MFO is much higher than taking out a loan from a bank institution. MFO loans offer different options.

Benefits of Contacting an MFI

1. The first loan before payday is free. A microloan also allows you to receive paid funds on favorable terms. Paycheck loans are issued, as a rule, for a short period of time and at a favorable interest rate. But despite all of the above, new borrowers get interest-free payday loans. This way you can get your money back for the first time without any overpayment.

2. Refund of shares of amounts with cashback support. Cashback is a big plus when shopping for product offers in online stores. For example, it will be possible to receive up to 20% of the total loan amount.

3. Ease of getting funds. When applying for a loan before payday, the procedure is usual. You do not need to collect documents, wait in long queues at the bank, where the chances of getting a loan turn out to be insignificant, especially if the credit history is not the best. Receive messages from the MFO for you in the most detailed form provided and according to the size of your passport. You can apply for a payday loan at one of the MFI’s branches such as on the Internet at a website.

The final option is the most favorable since it can be done anywhere even at home. The whole procedure takes a couple of minutes. Moreover, it is possible to arrange it anywhere. The most important possession of the device in hands with access online.

4. Credit history is not important. Most banks before issuing a loan, first of all, first look at credit history. If they don’t like something, then the banks refuse to get it. In addition, even if there is no history, it is also expected to receive a payday loan from the bank. Some banks will meet it halfway but you have to be attentive. It happens that the situation is unsuccessful and just get involved in an MFO it is possible to help out in this situation.

How Does the Annual Interest Rate on a Payday Loan Get So High?

The point is that APR goes beyond simple percentages and factors over time. They now charge $100 and the lender charges a $ 75 commission when payday approaches. At first glance, it might seem that the interest rate is 75% as time is not counted. The true cost of payday loans is measured in annual interest rates. It would seem that a small fee for borrowing money can dramatically increase the annual interest rate because the loan term is very short.

Payday loans are often offered to consumers in need of quick money and are generally easy to obtain compared to other financial services. In many cases, consumers only need ID, proof of income, and a bank account to get approved. Lenders often skip credit checks and approve applicants. Quick money may seem like a solution but it tends to establish a cycle of addiction. Consumer advocates only recommend them as a last resort or don’t recommend them at all.

How to Effectively Scale Your Business With Guest Blogging

By Francis King

Capturing your audience’s attention in this volatile and competitive market isn’t easy. People are constantly bombarded with online content, and to stand out, your content marketing strategy needs to be on point. A blog is a great way to get customers to pay attention to your business, and has proven to be one of the best inbound marketing strategies.

Engaging content is key to winning over your customers, especially in this era of omnichannel marketing and ecommerce growth. It can help garner authority and prominence in your niche and also lead to qualified leads for your business. Organisations that have a blog have 55% more website visitors than those that don’t.

What Is Guest Blogging and Who Does It Benefit?

Guest blogging is a treasured tool for many online marketers. Many companies find it difficult to keep creating new content on their online platforms, and a possible solution is to invite someone from outside of their organisation to write a blog for their website. The opportunities for customer attraction it offers to both the blog owner and the guest blogger are significant.

The writer is usually an expert in the same industry as the organisation, so the benefits are mutual–not only is it a great way for each party to collaborate with other industry leaders, it also allows both parties to use search engine optimisation to drive traffic to their respective websites.

Here are a few major benefits of employing guest posting for your site that can result in an improved bottom line:

 

  1. Increase trust in your brand. When you have industry leaders writing for you, you can establish your website as an authority on a subject. Having knowledgeable blogs helps boost credibility and grow confidence in your content and your products and services.
  1. Improve your SEO ranking. Publishing a guest blog can boost your SEO and your search engine rankings. Backlinks are incredibly important for search engines, and having backlinks to your guest blogger’s websites can improve their SEO too. If your guest blogger links to the guest blog from their own website, you can enjoy the advantage of backlinking and welcome a lot of new visitors from there.
  1. Guest bloggers bring in fresh content and new ideas. Guest blogging can help you avoid repetitive and stale content. A guest writer brings a novel perspective, a different point of view, and a style that your readers might well appreciate.
  1. Build relationships. Collaborations with industry leaders and subject-matter experts help you create a fraternity that can lead to more opportunities.
  1. Reach a bigger audience. For the guest blogger, writing for a site with a large readership has a major impact on their reach. With the right links, many readers will end up at the writer’s blog, and since this traffic is coming from a website rather than a search engine it’s high-quality traffic.
  1.   Allows you to write more articles every month. Research shows that the number of articles published per month is proportional to inbound traffic. It’s difficult to write 16+ articles per month in-house. Guest blogging allows you to outsource your content writing and increase your writing capacity.

Building Influence with a First-Rate Guest Blogging Strategy

Your blogs should provide your audience with relevant and useful content. Whether you’re inviting guest bloggers to establish leadership in your industry, or you’re a blogger looking to expand your reach by writing for others, quality content is crucial to achieving success.

The success of your guest blogging strategy depends greatly on the value your content provides readers. If you’re consistent enough and your products and/or services are of sufficient quality, many of your readers will find the temptation to make purchases and become customers too great to withstand.

Blogging is a form of effective content marketing that benefits from long-term utilisation. It helps build authority and expertise slowly, and should be allowed time for its full benefits to become apparent. But, with search-engine optimised blogs, you can also enjoy some quick returns, quality traffic being chief among them.

Your first order of business should be to get in touch with established experts in your niche and invite them to write for your blog. These are professionals who write for other blogs and published media, and your target market will appreciate their wisdom especially.

You may choose to pay guest bloggers. That will cause a strain on your marketing budget, but it will be worth it. Some guest bloggers–especially those new to the craft and who want to make a name for themselves–don’t ask to be paid, though care should be taken to avoid becoming dependent on labour that requires little or no remuneration. Often, the return in terms of improved SEO for their own blogs and the increased outreach is sufficient payment for new bloggers, but this won’t always be enough to keep them offering their services to your organisation in the future.

Alternatively, you could choose to capitalise on the mutually beneficial nature of guest blogging and offer to trade blog posts with your guest blogger to increase reach twofold. 

Say, for example, you’re both B2B business owners in the field of network security. You could invite a network firewall security expert to write about firewall monitoring, while you write on the subject of VPN encryption for them. Increased visibility and website traffic for both, and a new professional connection–that’s good business.

SEO Tips and Best Practices for Guest Blogging

The aim of a guest blog is to educate, not advertise. It’s marketing material but not overtly so, and you therefore need to be strategic in how you go about it. How then, you ask, can a blog help with boosting online sales if there is no actual ‘selling’ taking place within it? The answer: SEO!

SEO is the magic wand that makes all of the above possible. Once you’ve invested in a talented writer, implement the following SEO tips to ensure you reach your audience.

  1. Your title needs to entice people to click on your article–clickbait, if you will, though in the good sense. It’s the first thing your audience sees, and it needs to grab attention.
  1. All subheadings should be search-engine optimised. They help break up the text and increase readability, and search engines rank them better.
  1. There should be no keyword stuffing. If your keyword for SEO is “what is .ae domain”, don’t throw it in randomly. Google sees through such tactics and will penalise you. Use it intelligently a couple of times throughout the blog.
  1. You need a strong meta description. This is a short summary of your content and is what shows up on the search engine’s results page under your title.
  1. Add relevant internal links. These fortify your SEO ranking and backlinks to the guest blogger’s website will increase their website traffic.
  1. You need a convincing call to action at the end of the blog. At the very least, ask readers to leave a comment. The more comments on your blog, the more chances you have of appearing on the first page of search engine results, as sites with more engagement are prioritised and rewarded.
  1. Engaging content is important and that means including interesting graphics and images. Google measures the time people spend on your site, so you need to do all you can to keep them there for as long as possible.
  1. A short but noteworthy author bio is essential if you want readers to come back. Tell them who the author is and why they should trust their content. A bio also allows the guest blogger to have a link to their website.
  1. Use Google Analytics to see the traffic your blog posts generate. This can help you determine whether you’re publishing the content your readers want or not.

Getting Your Guest Blog Read

If you follow the tips above and find that you still aren’t generating the visits to your site you would like, there are more steps you can take to increase traffic. You could consider website migration to a domain name that improves search engine visibility. 

This affects your blog’s reach immensely; many will find that .com domains suit them perfectly, but if you’re in an industry like academia, for example, and are creating more specialised, targeted content, a .edu domain might suit you better.

Recently, the ai domain defined many of the most influential artificial intelligence blogs, and is currently the reserve of many of the leaders of the industry in tech. You should choose one that helps your domain name become instantly recognisable and matches your niche.

Some domain names stand out more than others. The ae registrar shows the current popularity of .ae domains, for example, which are currently associated with professionalism. Such an association with professionalism would be likely to improve online reputation and visibility.

Beyond SEO, you could also think about promoting your blog on all of your social media platforms and pages, or boost your readership using email marketing. Social media in particular is a great way of thanking your guest bloggers publicly, which email automation can ensure that your mailing list receives an excerpt with an encouragement for them to read every time a guest blog is published.

Getting Started With Guest Blogging

Learning how to guest blog is easier than you think. It’s an arrangement that has a multitude of benefits for all involved. Follow the best practices listed above as you work to position your website as a hub of expertise in your field. Guest blogging helps you delegate content creation to an authoritative writer so you can focus on growing your business online.

3 Ways To Properly Monitor Your Small Business Books

Good bookkeeping skills are the foundation of any successful business. However, due to their overloaded schedule, many small business owners put off bookkeeping and accounting for as much as they can.

However, this can create a series of problems for the business, since it’s easy to miss a deadline or forget about a contract.

Not to mention that when you keep your books balanced, it’s easier to understand your cash flow and even create a financial forecast for the future. Plus, when you have accounting insight, you may even have the skills to deal with financial difficulties.

Yet, it’s easy to see why small business owners put off bookkeeping. After all, it’s not the most exciting part of being an entrepreneur. Yet, according to a recent study, 45% of small businesses don’t employ an accountant or a bookkeeper.So does this mean most business owners have their bookkeeping game up to date and don’t need help from a specialist? Sadly, in most cases, it just means the owner is trying to save money without having the right skills.

However, it’s important to understand that, when accounting mistakes occur, it could cost your business a lot more than what you saved by not hiring a specialist.

However, as long as you have the skills it is not impossible to do your own accounting. If you’re going down that path, here are a few tips to help you stay away from trouble.

#1: Make Technology Your Friend

With so many apps and platforms designed to help entrepreneurs keep track of their expenses, receipts, and income, no one should be keeping their books in a worksheet! Yet, there are many small business owners who find this method cheaper and more comfortable.

If you are one of those business owners, it’s time to step it up a notch and find an app that works for you. It will make it easier to track your expenses, create invoices, and most of them even generate little reports highlighting your patterns.

#2: Do Talk To a Specialist

Accountants and finance specialists have a different view of the business world and it helps to get their input from time to time. However, make sure you get someone reliable, who understands your niche and situations.

For instance, if you want to consult a finance specialist (or a CPA), make sure to choose someone who successfully took top CPA courses. This way, you know you are meeting someone with the right skills for the job.

#3: Keep Personal and Business Apart

You would be surprised to know just how many beginner entrepreneurs don’t follow this rule! While it is not against the law to use your personal account for business needs, it turns accurate bookkeeping into a nightmare.

Many small business owners will find themselves using personal money to keep the lights on, but once things get on the road, it’s important to have separate accounts. This way, you can keep track of every transaction, and you’ll know where the money goes and where they come from.

Wrap up

Clean books and good accounting practices are also helpful when it comes to tax time. When you have everything neatly charted and organized, it’s easy to fill in those forms and move on with your day.

Plus, when your finances are in order, you have the time and drive to look after other aspects of the business such as cost-efficient ways to strengthen your brand or online marketing campaigns. Overall, the financial aspect of a business should not ever be left in the second place!

6 Ways to Reduce Accounting Errors In SMBs

For any business in general, accounting is a crucial part of operations. But for small- and medium-size businesses (SMBs) in particular, it’s an aspect that should be handled with utmost care. Given the size of the organization, even the slightest mistake could mean the end of the business, as accounting errors could cost money, take up time, or lead to an audit.

Although you can’t control certain aspects in business, such as the economy and consumers’ buying trends, you can reduce the chances of accounting errors happening. Primarily, you could make use of services that offer online accounting for small businesses, but there are various other ways you can mitigate errors.

The following tips can help you reduce accounting errors in your business.

1. Create a Budget

Creating a budget can help you be aware of your business expenses. After all, your business could be running without you knowing whether you’re overspending or not. To fix that, you should create a budget so you know which expenses are necessary and which ones can be cut down.

Not only will this help you manage your finances better, but it will provide you with a reference against which you can compare data. You can keep track of your business spending and minimize accounting errors in the process.

2. Use a Software Solution

Maintaining accounting books can take up a lot of time, and if it’s done manually, it could be prone to human error. To mitigate this, as well as to improve productivity, you may want to invest in a software solution.

With accounting software, you can track transactions and reports, create and send invoices quickly, and calculate business balances. Since these processes will be automated, so long as you input the right data, there’s little chance of errors occurring.

3. Update and Back Up Your Files

Updating files is a straightforward solution. If you want to reduce accounting errors, you need to ensure that your files on all business transactions are up to date. Updating your accounting book allows you to avoid errors of omission—errors that may cause you to file taxes incorrectly, spend more money, and create incorrect financial statements.

Once you’ve ensured that your files are up to date, you should back up the data as a precaution. Given how important those files are, losing the data could lead to your business losing money and time, to the extent that it might threaten your business’s survival. Make sure to store the backed data somewhere that’s safe and easy for you to access.

4. Check Your Records

Accountants may make mistakes occasionally, so it’s important to be proactive in catching these mistakes. By checking your records consistently, you could catch errors before they lead to problems.

You can do this by comparing the numbers in your record to those of an external document. This accounting process is called reconciliation. If you notice a difference in the numbers, you can easily remedy it before it becomes a major problem for your business.

5. Make Sure Financial Control Is Shared

It may not be a good idea to assign all financial tasks to a single person. Though it might improve productivity to have only one person handle it, it could also lead to theft or fraud.

To prevent this, you should ensure that financial control is spread out among several persons and that the books are checked consistently so any errors are quickly spotted. This way, you can keep a better eye on the data and ensure that nothing shady is being done to it.

6. Save Receipts and Documents

Most people have a habit of throwing out receipts and old documents as they declutter, because they find no use for these things. However, it’s important to save receipts and documents of business transactions as proof for your records. If your accounting book and budget don’t match, you can easily check the data against these documents to see if you missed anything or made a mistake.

As a precaution, you should keep documents and receipts for at least three years if you’d like to avoid accounting errors.

Conclusion

Though accounting errors are problematic for any business, they pose a bigger threat to SMBs, who don’t have as many resources as big corporations. If you’d like to prevent problems occurring for your business, the tips mentioned above can help you reduce accounting errors and ensure that your business continues running smoothly.

How to Establish a Brand That Resonates With Your Business

In any business, the groundwork for lasting customer relationships and massive sales hinges upon impressions. As a business owner, to establish a brand that resonates with your business, you must hone the art of creating a good first impression.

First impressions are called the primacy effect because they last well beyond the moment. This is the goal of every business owner–to make sure their brand is irresistibly appealing to all customers. You either create the design yourself to achieve brand awareness or outsource to agencies. You may also visit www.normative.com to build custom impressions and engage your target audience.

However you do it, the following steps will help you establish a brand that resonates with your business. Step #7 is juicy; read on!

1. Define Your Brand Goals

The first step is to define your brand goals. Your brand goals are objectives and aims that set your business running. They’re like vehicles while you, the business owner, are the driver.

Setting your goals makes you chart the pathway to staying focused and consistent. Reaching your targeted customers depends mainly on the goals you define. Therefore, you have to set and define them.

While your goals can be short or long-term, you should know what you must achieve within the set limit and target. Furthermore, you need to ensure the goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely (SMART). When you do this, you’re sure to kickstart your journey to creating a solid business brand.

2. Use the Correct Brand Accomplishment Statements

Establishing a brand that resonates with your business requires incorporating the correct brand accomplishment statements. For instance, you don’t want to embrace slogans used by a pharmacist for a real estate enterprise. They’re different ventures.

To introduce your brand, you have to imagine your brand as an individual. Highlight the best descriptive words and keywords to tell how your brand is in your paper sheet. Then, form out statements using catchy introductory phrases with a solution provided at the end. 

3. Choose Your Brand Designs and Logo Wisely

Carefully look into the industry you’re going into and study the most commonly used colors. Pick and make it your brand’s color.

For your logos, make it simple. It’s crucial to ensure that no complex twists are made on your logos. A complicated logo is a turn-off for prospective customers, and it’ll ruin your brand before it gets known. In this vein, use industry-relatable colors for your logos, designs, and letterheads for your business to resonate with your brand perfectly.

4. Deliver and Be Transparent

Your customers are always waiting for you to fulfill the promise you made in your advertisement campaigns. Therefore, take it as your responsibility to never disappoint as that would lead to brand gambling.

One way to not disappoint is to ensure your deliveries are available at the stipulated time. To show your transparency, let your customers know when it’s impossible to deliver at the agreed moment. Doing this sets your brand reputation properly and cements you into the business cycle you genuinely want.

5. Tell Your Brand Story

Stories are sensational, and individuals are naturally attached to things that appeal to their emotions. Do you want your customers to see reasons to purchase your goods continually? Tell them your unique brand story. Make them know what makes you outstanding and why you’re the best to sell to them.

Let your brand stories reflect the solutions your product will provide. They can be told using commercial campaigns and organizing corporate social responsibility programs.

6. Be Authentic

Customers want to buy from real people with original thoughts. Building a brand from a place of authenticity speaks volumes about its longevity. Without branding authenticity, you lose originality and uniqueness. It could lead to negative impacts in the long run and hurt your business. And if there’s anything to learn in business, rising back after a fall due to copied ideas in business is arduous work. 

7. Advertise With a Difference

While your business will require some level of advertisement to thrive, settling for any type of it is not advisable. Your brand adverts should speak to and draw the attention of your target audience in a creative yet natural way. When a brand’s advert creation reflects originality, truth, and transparency, capturing the target audience’s minds becomes easy. 

Conclusion 

The goal of any business is to ensure they remain relevant while making more profit. This is why thousands of companies endeavor to create a brand that resonates with their business. You can establish a resonating brand by first understanding how your business works and then using that knowledge to shape your marketing strategies.

8 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Terms and Conditions Agreement on Your Website

By Francis King

We’ve all seen terms and conditions agreements. They’re those things you click past when you’re updating iTunes. Unless you’re on the side that’s setting those terms, you probably don’t pay them much attention. That’s okay. I won’t judge you.

When you’re setting up a website, you’ll have a lot of questions to answer. How much does a domain name cost? How do I establish a brand? How do I optimize for SEO? You might not think, “Do I need a terms and conditions agreement?” though. 

If you’re setting up a new business or launching a website, you’re going to need to get familiar with terms and conditions agreements. We’re going to cover what an agreement is, what it’s for, and how to create one or get the help you need to do so. 

  

What is a terms and conditions (T&Cs) agreement?

Put simply, it’s a set of rules that users of a platform or service agree to abide by. If you’ve ever signed up for a social media account, then you’ve signed one. It might have been called a Terms of Use (ToU) agreement or a Terms of Service (ToS) policy. 

But it’s more than just a charter. The terms of the agreement are binding. This means that using these terms can give you legal protection when it comes to liability, account terminations, and more.

When do I need them?

Any business that provides a service or a product for ongoing use needs T&Cs. Whether your website is ecommerce-based or just has a user account system, a T&C agreement is a good choice.

Unlike your privacy policy, a T&C agreement isn’t a legal requirement for your business. So you won’t be forced to have one. It’s more of a safety net for your business. If you’ve set out the rules clearly, it’s much easier to enforce them.   

For example, imagine you have an online business that provides custom domain emails. You probably want to automatically ban bot accounts using your service for email spam. A T&C agreement gives you the basic legal grounds to do this without consequences.   

Why does my website need terms and conditions?

The example above is just one use case. There are a variety of reasons why having a T&C agreement will be beneficial to your online business. Let’s look at those in a bit more detail.  

1. Protection

Disclaimers on your website can protect your business from problems beyond your control. These will often cover the specifics of your product and the terms on which it is offered.

It is good practice to also state the path available to customers if the product doesn’t meet the terms. Amazon’s similar disclaimer states customers must return incorrect products unopened. 

2. Content ownership

Protecting your content is important. If you don’t protect intellectual property rights, it’s very easy to lose them altogether. Your website ToS should set out your ownership of your websites’ content, including branding. 

You also need to include a statement that users must agree not to reproduce/redistribute content without consent. This is important as it allows you to back up DMCA filings and takedown requests.

This usually won’t apply to user-generated content or zero-party data. (What is zero party data?)

Unauthorized content sharing is very common. It’s also hard to prevent. Having T&Cs helps you support a legal claim to ownership.

3. Limiting liability

Malicious users on your website is a fact of doing business online, whether it’s hackers, phishing scams, or direct exploits. Your business has a legal responsibility to protect your customers.

Their personal information is covered under your privacy policy, so that’s a little different. But what about damages that could be incurred for users due to bad actors online? 

If you’ve got established T&Cs and you’re working to prevent issues like these, then you’ll be okay. Your customers will have official channels to pursue indemnification. If you don’t, you could find yourself liable for unlimited amounts of damages. 

The limitation of liability clause also protects you from unusual claims, such as property damage caused via service outage.

 

4. Applicable legislation

Your business will need to abide by governing law. Usually, this will be the laws of the country you are based in. However, some businesses may choose the governing laws of other territories. This could be due to conducting business mostly overseas, etc.

You’re free to choose which governing law is applicable to your website. You should state which set of laws you follow in your T&Cs. No clause in your T&Cs can contradict these laws; otherwise, it will be invalidated.

 

5. Contract termination

If you have user accounts or service contracts, you’ll need to set out what happens on termination. Consider whether you’ll need to be able to terminate immediately or with notice. 

This clause will also set out your rights and your users’ rights upon termination. It’s best practice to also include the actions your customers can take to challenge incorrect suspensions and terminations. 

But Apple’s termination clause also includes a statement about outstanding balances, requiring users to settle outstanding amounts following termination. 

6. Setting expectations

Your ToS or T&Cs should include a code of conduct. It should be obvious to outline that malicious online behaviours won’t be tolerated. Harassment, identity theft, virus threats, you’ll see it all in online service and ecommerce

There are legal protections in place to deal with the threats mentioned above if necessary. That doesn’t mean you should ignore non-criminal abusive behaviour. If you want to foster a welcoming and respectful community, you can set further rules for members. 

Maybe you want to ban swearing to keep a chat family-friendly. Or you want to prohibit political slogans and symbols in your comments to avoid controversy. Setting these rules out in your T&Cs often pre-empts problems. It also helps you enforce the rules consistently.  

 

7. Billing and collection

If your site only offers free members’ accounts, you won’t need this clause. Any business that’s selling a product or service online will need to set out payment terms, though. 

If you’re offering subscriptions, you need to set out collection dates and regularity. Acceptable methods of payment need to be listed. You also need to outline your refund policy. You may also use this section to outline any actions taken for missed payments.  

Due to their diverse services, this part of Apple’s ToS is huge.

 

8. Enforcement

If you want to take legal action, you need a solid basis for your claims. Say that a breach of contract occurs, and you need to go to court. Established T&Cs form the backbone of your argument. 

This clearly sets out that these terms are legally enforceable. It also defines the actions needed for a user to agree to the terms. This is important. If a user has completed this action, then this is enough to demonstrate that they have ‘read’ the terms and conditions for enforcement purposes. 

Creating agreements and where to go for help

The above steps are a good guide to the basics of T&C agreements. It’s far from an exhaustive list, though. If you want to create one yourself, there are online resources available. If you’re just starting out as a small business, it’s advisable to get some third party help.

Your internal legal team or external legal consultants will be the best people to help you write your T&Cs. Knowing the standard legal boilerplate is fine. Knowing the specific problems your business might face takes experience. 

Conclusion

There are many areas where new businesses need assistance. Whether it’s website migration expertise or legal advice, don’t be afraid to seek external help on matters. 

You might not be able to give the io domain definition, but there’s a consultancy out there that can answer that question in minutes. 

Setting out terms and conditions or terms of use is a vital step in protecting your business. If you’re worried about the cost of third-party services, compare it to the potential cost of legal action. 

Damaged reputation and lost revenue are just two concerns. Make sure your business has the basic framework in place to protect your online assets.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Your Dropshipping Business

It’s no secret that dropshipping is one of the fastest-growing industries in eCommerce. It is a convenient, low-risk business model that you can easily start with just a little capital. You don’t have to worry about managing the stock of goods, and you simply have to focus on making a sale.

That said, if you’d like to try this business model, here are the steps to follow to start an effective dropshipping business.  

1. Choose the Product

‘What should I sell?’

This is the first thing you need to consider when starting your dropshipping business. There are thousands of dropshipping product ideas you can find and sift through. 

Start with the general idea of the product category you’re interested in. Then look for trending niches and products that are already popular with customers. Fashion, fitness, beauty products, and electronic accessories are some of the good entry points to start your dropshipping business. 

For instance, print-on-demand shirts and items are some of the most popular items. If you’re looking to dropship customized shirts, you should consider partnering with print-on-demand dropshipping companies. You can learn more about this by visiting printful.com/drop-shipping-products.

2. Choose a Supplier

Once you find the product you want to sell, it’s time to find the right partner to supply those products. 

A dropshipping business is only as good as the items it sells. So, you want to take your time finding suppliers that will provide you with quality products at reasonable prices. 

Check a wholesale directory to find vendors for your chosen products. Contact a shortlist of suppliers and ask important questions so you can find the right one for your business needs. 

Make sure that you find a supplier with enough experience in the dropshipping industry. They should be able to handle the packing, production, and shipping items with ease. 

Remember, if your customers experience product quality issues or slow shipping, your business will be the one to suffer. 

3. Spy on Competitors

Once you have an idea of what products you want to sell and find a supplier, you now need to take a closer look at who your competitors are and how they sell their products. 

To find your competitors, a simple Google search will do. Then you can use a competitor spy tool that allows you to track your competitors’ online activity. 

Then, you can visit their online store, look them up on social media, read their customer reviews, sign up for their email marketing, and more. Make sure to gather as much data as possible to determine what your competitors are doing, taking notes of their strengths and weaknesses. The data you obtained will give you a leg up once you launch your dropshipping business. 

4. Build Your Online Store

With suppliers and products secured, it’s time to build your digital storefront. And you have two options for this:

  • Ecommerce Platforms

This is the recommended option for every dropshipper. You need to build your own eCommerce website, providing you with more flexibility and functionality in managing your dropshipping store. 

You can find several eCommerce platforms out there, and which platform to use will depend on who your supplier is since most provide direct integration and what kind of store you want. 

  • Ecommerce Marketplaces

If you don’t want the hassle of building your own store, selling on well-established eCommerce marketplaces such as Amazon is a better option. Setting up an online store in these marketplaces is easy and is generally trusted by users. 

Unfortunately, eCommerce marketplaces are limiting, meaning you don’t have full control over your branding and marketing. Plus, you’ll need to adhere to their terms of service, and they’ll charge you a fee for every sale you make. 

5. Think About the Payments

Your business’s ability to accept payment and handle transactions is key to closing sales. Customers want to have several payment options and feel secure about how you handle sensitive financial data. 

If you choose to run your own store, you need to invest in a high-quality payment gateway to handle the transaction. If you’re using an eCommerce platform or marketplaces, most offer integration to reliable payment software. So, you don’t have to worry about this. 

Take Away

That’s it! Dropshipping is a lucrative business with huge scalability potential. And if you want to jump on the dropshipping bandwagon, there are only six steps to start your dropshipping business. Make sure to invest in the right tools and learn more about this business model to have the best chance to grow.

Top 4 Innovations That You Need to Include in Your Business in 2022

Innovation is a critical component of any successful business. By 2022, businesses that fail to embrace innovation will find themselves at a disadvantage compared to those that do. This is due to the ever-increasing rate of technological advancement and the impact it has on consumer behavior. In order to stay ahead of the competition, businesses must be willing to experiment with new technologies and platforms, as well as create innovative products and services that appeal to consumers. Those that succeed in doing so will be better positioned for long-term success.

So, what do you need to do to ensure your business is ready for 2022?

Internet Security and Privacy

As we move further into the digital age, more and more businesses are moving online. This shift has created new opportunities for businesses to reach customers all over the world, but it has also introduced new risks. In order to keep your business safe in 2022, it is important to understand the importance of internet security and privacy. Here are three reasons why you should make sure your business is secure and private:

  • Increased cybercrime rates mean your business is at risk.
  • Customers are increasingly concerned about data privacy.
  • Government regulations may require businesses to take specific steps to protect their data.

 

Uses of Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is becoming more and more popular, and businesses are starting to see the benefits of using it. Here we will discuss some of the reasons businesses should start using cryptocurrency.

One reason businesses should start using cryptocurrency is that it is a global currency. Transactions can be made anywhere in the world without any conversion costs. This makes it a great option for businesses that operate internationally. 

Cryptocurrency also provides security and anonymity for both buyers and sellers. This can be beneficial for businesses that want to keep their transactions confidential. Platforms like egg.fi offer to trade their crypto with the lowest fees, making it a profitable option for businesses of all sizes. In addition, cryptocurrency can be used to streamline payments and reduce costs associated with traditional methods such as wire transfers. As more businesses adopt cryptocurrency, the benefits will become even more evident. Finally, cryptocurrency payments are processed quickly, so there is no delay in receiving payment for goods or services.

All of these factors make cryptocurrency an excellent choice for businesses looking to expand their reach.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence is becoming more and more commonplace in businesses all over the world. Many companies are utilizing AI to boost efficiency and productivity. There are a number of ways that AI can be used in business, and each company will have its own specific needs.

So what is artificial intelligence and why should your business consider using it?

AI is a branch of computer science that deals with the design and development of intelligent machines, which can be used to process and analyze large amounts of data. There are many ways businesses can use AI, including: 

  • Process Automation: One of the most obvious ways that AI is being used in the business is through process automation. Automated systems can help to speed up tasks, eliminate errors, and make decision-making easier.
  • Customer Service: AI is also being used to provide better customer service. Chatbots and virtual assistants are able to respond to customer inquiries, which helps to improve customer satisfaction levels.
  • Machine learning: It can help you make predictions about customer behavior or market trends.

Each of these applications of artificial intelligence has the potential to improve business results.

 

Decision Intelligence (DI) On The Rise

Decision intelligence (DI) is a critical business function that can help your company achieve its goals. DI involves using data and analytics to make sound decisions, which is essential in today’s fast-paced world. By implementing DI into your organization, you can improve efficiency, make better strategic choices, faster decisions, and create a competitive advantage. Here are just a few of the many benefits of decision intelligence:

  • Increased profits – By making data-driven decisions, your company will be more efficient with its resources and ability to produce more profitable results.
  • Improved customer service – When you have accurate information at your fingertips, you’re able to provide better customer service and exceed customer expectations.
  • Faster response time – With DI, you can make faster decisions and faster responses.

 

Conclusion

Technology is constantly evolving and it’s important to stay on top of the latest innovations. During the last years, we’ve seen a lot of changes in technology and how businesses interact with customers, which means there are some new things you’ll need to include in your business soon if you want to remain competitive. Thank you for reading this article. We hope that these innovations will help your business grow in the coming years and we’re excited to see what is next!

4 Tech Pitfalls to Avoid When Launching a Startup

Starting a business can be an effective way to boost your finances. It allows you to be innovative by thinking of marketing strategies to promote your business and succeed financially. That’s why you see most young professionals turn to entrepreneurship instead of seeking employment opportunities. However, if you want to avoid troubles in the future, you must ensure you’re following the most feasible ways to market your startup business.  

That said, here are common pitfalls to avoid when launching a startup business.   

1. Poor Cybersecurity Measures 

Online security is a vital concern for every business, regardless of whether they’re big or small. Cybersecurity threats happen when hackers access your business systems. When that happens to your startup, you can lose all your data. It’s crucial to have security measures at the back of your mind when launching your business to protect not only your data but also your customers’.   

There are several things you can do to boost your business’s cybersecurity. First, you need to give authorization only to people you believe should access your business systems. It involves awarding passwords to the right employees. However, you must ensure that your business systems have strictly encrypted passwords so that no one guesses them.  

You can do several options to ensure you create strong passwords. It includes having numerals, alphabets, non-standard characters, upper and lower cases in your passwords. Apart from that, you should advise your employees not to share their passwords with other people.

Another measure you can use to secure your business is to encrypt your files. It’s a process of encoding data or changing it into a non-standard language before sending it. It ensures that any unintended person who accidentally receives your files can’t interpret their meaning. On the other hand, the intended recipient uses some binary codes to decode your data or convert it into a standard language.   

You can walk by yourself when promoting the security of your business. However, hiring an IT service provider can prove more beneficial. It is true, especially when you don’t have experience in cybercriminal attacks. Besides, working with an IT company allow more time to focus on your managerial tasks. If you want to increase the security of your business, you can find managed IT services in Orlando from VTCT and other similar technology service providers.   

2. Failure to Implement Modern Technologies 

Although you might launch high-quality products in the market, your startup might not take off from the ground if you fail to adopt new technologies. It involves using computer software and other automated tools when performing business tasks.   

Implementing modern technologies allows you to streamline your business processes. In other words, it enables you to use fewer resources while maximizing your output. It’s one of the best ways to boost your business productivity and minimize costs. It goes a long way in boosting your sales and profits.   

3. Ignoring Digital Marketing 

Small businesses are launched every day. It means tight competition for firms providing identical goods or services. That’s where the power of digital marketing comes in.   

Digital marketing means using the internet and electronic devices to publish promotional content to target customers. It’s one of the best ways to create visibility and awareness of your business to a larger audience. However, most small businesses are still using traditional promotional methods, which connect them to a relatively small customer base.   

If you’re still not using digital marketing to promote your startup business, it’s high time to try it. It’ll allow you to engage with many consumers. It helps you compete with other firms in the market.

4. Poor Choice of Workers to Do Tech Tasks 

Workers are essential to your small business. They help manage your firm by assisting with daily tasks, especially computer-related tasks, that allow your business to grow. But most startups are working with the wrong pool of workers.  

When finding the labor force for your startup, be sure to identify suitable employees. These are the most qualified, skilled, and talented workers in the market. You must ensure that they are computer-literate and can perform any tasks you throw them.

Working with the right team helps boost your efficiency or productivity. Apart from that, skilled workers can help reduce errors in your small business. In effect, they help minimize your business costs.  

As earlier noted, the technological world is changing at a fast rate. Therefore, even after hiring the most talented workers, consider providing them with tech training. It allows them to adopt new technologies in the market.   

Takeaway 

Starting your own business can be the best strategy to earn your livelihood. It allows you to build your assets or wealth. However, you must ensure you avoid all mistakes discussed in this article. By doing so, you will help grow your small business within no time.  

Expand Your Business Into New Markets

You must be thinking: “Doesn’t every market have competition?” Yes, but at the same time, there is also a great deal of room for you to stand out among the crowd. You can do this by taking a few simple steps that will help you gain an additional edge in the competition.

While your business may be well established, expanding it into new markets can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Enlist the help of someone who knows the industry and the necessary requirements for a specific market. For example, if you are looking to open a new factory in China, a Chinese partner will be your best bet for success. Together, you’ll be able to make the most of the area’s strengths, benefits, and opportunities. Also, finding an English to Chinese translation company, is pretty challenging.

But the first question is, Are you ready?

When you go for growth, whether it’s a major expansion of your product or services or a major change to your culture, you usually have questions about how it will affect your business. First, you have to decide what you want your business to look like in five years. Then, you have to consider how the changes you want to make will affect your existing customers, your employees, your culture, and your bottom line.

As the economy becomes worse and worse, the number of businesses in the red and in need of expansion will continue to rise. It’s not just a matter of startups either. With the economy continuing to slump, many businesses are facing the need to expand into new markets or to cease operations altogether. So what is the best way to expand your business? Should you go all in and jump into a market that may not be as profitable as you had hoped, or is there another way to expand your company?

You need to offer new products and services

Your business is doing well, right? You’re getting good reviews on your products, you’re selling well, and you’re expanding your business. This year, you’ve decided to take it to the next level. You want to expand your business into new markets and sell a wider range of goods and services. This may involve bringing your products to new physical locations or developing new products or services. These new products and services may be more profitable than the ones you have now. People are often hesitant to try new businesses because they are unsure if they will work.

You need to listen to your customers

Customers are your lifeblood. They are the ones who will bring you new business and keep you in business for years to come. So, why do so many companies ignore customers’ wants and needs? Often, those who recognize customer needs think outside the box and get better results.

Learn from the market trends

Business is all about making money and expanding your company into new markets. It’s important to understand how other industries are doing that in order to serve your customers best. The market is changing faster than you think. Being able to “read” the market is vital to staying ahead of trends and better serving customers. Trend research, press releases, and news articles help you understand the trends and technological opportunities of the present and the future.

Widen your coverage

It’s no secret that gaining more followers can help boost sales. The number of people you sell to directly affects the number of sales you generate.

Reach for new possible customers

The point of having a blog is to get your name out there and to start a dialogue with people who may want to use or buy from you. Of course, your audience is not limited to your current customers and prospects, so you should also look for new customers to target and market to.

Know your Mode of entry

You can do everything yourself, and there are many benefits to this, but you have to have the right skills, and it’s really hard to do it. You have to have the money, the connections, and they know how to do it, but you can do it.

Running a business can be a highly stressful task—especially if you’re starting out. If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time worrying about how to grow your business effectively and how to build a workforce that is as excited about your business as you are.

Maybelline New York Introduces its Conscious Together Programme

It is estimated that the beauty industry alone is responsible for up to 120 billion units of packaging every year, including plastic, cardboard, paper, and microplastics. The ugly truth is that 11 metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year, having an impact on the wildlife and natural environment. While the beauty industry may not be reasonable for all of this, any effort made to reduce this is not a waste of time.

After launching the Make Up Not Make Waste campaign in September 2020 to help recycle makeup components by offering recycle drop boxes in selected locations, Maybelline New York is making another step in its efforts towards creating sustainable products. Introducing the Conscious Together initiative.

What is the Conscious Together Programme?

The Conscious Together programme aims to create a more responsible business model for the brand by transforming its processes, innovations, and mindset to reduce its impact on the planet, with four ambitions set to be achieved by 2030.

  1. Conscious Packaging: All Maybelline plastic packaging will be made from 100% recycled plastic.
  2. Conscious Disposal: Maybelline will invest to help develop makeup recycling technologies, in partnership with global sustainability consultancy South Pole.
  3. Conscious Production: By 2025, we will achieve carbon neutrality in all our sites by improving energy efficiency and using 100% renewable energy. By 2030, we will reduce carbon emissions from our full product lifecycle by 50%*
  4. Conscious Formula: 95% of ingredients will be bio-based, derived from abundant minerals or circular processes.

“All of us at Maybelline want to make progress and inspire the industry to make progress,” said Trisha Ayyagari, Global Brand President, Maybelline New York. “We looked at the key areas where Maybelline could make a positive environmental impact and set ambitious goals that will guide our actions until 2030. We recognize that there is still so much to do, and we are committed to concrete actions that will help us accelerate our sustainable transformation.”

Maybelline’s Corporate Social Responsibilities

Maybelline has already taken some key actions already, including:

  • Packaging: Maybelline has replaced 600 tons of virgin plastic with recycled plastic since 2018.
  • Disposal: the brand introduced in-store makeup take-back programs in several countries, to help prevent makeup from ending up in landfills. Through these programs, consumers can bring back any product from any brand to be recycled, making it possible for packaging to find a new life after their first use.
  • Production: 73% of Maybelline-owned production facilities are already carbon neutral*.
  • Formulas: the brand has announced the launch of its first high-performing makeup line committed to a better world, the Maybelline Green Edition range. Each product in the Green Edition make-up line contains a minimum of 70% natural-origin ingredients, as well as formulas that are clean and vegan. The Green Edition range is also certified by Cradle to Cradle, who assess products for environmental and social performance including all aspects of product design and manufacturing.

With such a big name in the beauty industry taking steps with CSR in mind, not only will this greatly reduce the waste of its own customers, but many other businesses are sure to follow.

5 Cost-Efficient Ways to Strengthen Your Brand

Your brand is one of your most valuable assets. It represents everything that your company stands for. It’s what customers use to identify you and differentiate you from your competitors. Having a strong brand is essential to business growth and success.

However, brand building is a significant investment—it takes time, resources, and planning. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune or large amounts of time improving how others perceive your brand. If you’re looking to strengthen your brand without incurring a high cost, here are five cost-efficient ways to achieve that:

1. Utilize the Company Logo

A logo is a unique identifier that can help your customers recognize you. A good logo should be distinctive, visually appealing, and professional. The best logos are timeless, allowing you to use them for years without feeling outdated.

Once you already have your business logo, you can easily personalize your items, such as stickers and labels. You can incorporate customized sticker logos in your packaging, promotional products, and more. If you’re looking for information about creating or printing personalized stickers, you can find more here.

Utilizing your logo in all of your brand items, including print advertisements, business cards, and signage may help boost visibility. This helps people recognize and build a connection with your brand, fostering a feeling of trust and loyalty and boosting your credibility.

2. Create a Unique Tagline or Slogan

Differentiate yourself from the competition with a unique tagline or slogan. Make it catchy and insightful so that people know what to expect from you. This feature encapsulates your business’s unique selling proposition (USP), and it’s what attracts people’s attention.

Your slogan or tagline is one of your business’s most powerful branding tools. It can help create a strong impression that prompts people to take action. For instance, if your business deals with automation tools and your slogan is ‘Say Yes To Less Stress,’ people can easily understand how your brand offers a solution to their problem. It’s straightforward, and it gives visitors a reason to trust you. 

3. Offer Promotional Items

As a low-cost marketing solution, offering promotional items is an innovative business concept,  as well as a cost-effective way to strengthen your brand. Promotional products are helpful, memorable, and affordable. Since these items are tangible, they act as great conversation starters. They help build name recognition and bring your company to the forefront of people’s minds. 

The most popular promotional items you can offer your customers include t-shirts, mugs, pens, water bottles, tote bags, or notebooks. You can use these items is as giveaways during tradeshows and conferences, marketing campaigns, and other lead generation events. This method is a highly effective strategy that can significantly foster your business’s exposure.

A constant flow of information about your brand creates a sense of engagement among prospective customers.  This makes using promotional items a budget-friendly option that can help you strengthen your brand while allowing you to get the most out of your investment.

4. Embrace Social Media Marketing

Today, social media has become a crucial part of business marketing. It’s one of the most cost-efficient ways to promote your brand, products, and services. 

Social media can be an excellent tool for boosting brand awareness, increasing website traffic,  and generating new leads if you employ the proper techniques. Having a solid social media presence helps your business establish authority, boost brand engagement, build brand reputation, and gain the confidence of potential customers.

5. Utilize a Customized Email List

A customized email list is another cost-effective way to build your brand’s visibility. You can collect emails from your website or social media platforms. Once you have the list, you can send personalized messages to your customers. To make it more effective, segment and organize your lists so you can target people with a particular interest or preference. 

Some ways to use an email list include sending out promotional newsletters, event invites, important announcements, and sharing helpful content. Email marketing is a great way to reach out to your customers. With a customized email list, you can quickly inform them of discounts, deals, and new product launches.

 

Conclusion

Strengthening your brand can be challenging and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. These cost-efficient methods can be a way for you to maximize your brand-strengthening efforts. Having a well-grounded foundation in the market is key to long-term success. Make this your company’s starting point, and use these strategies to attract prospects.

Acquisition International is Proud to Announce the Winners of the 2021 Global Green Business Awards

United Kingdom, 2022 – Acquisition International Magazine has announced the winners of the 2021 Global Green Business Awards.

In its inaugural year, the Global Green Awards aim to recognise businesses striving for eco-friendly ideologies at the core of their business practices. Encompassing many sectors and industries, this award covers more than just the corporate landscape, with winners in technology, packaging, food and drink, exercise, and more.

Integrating green initiatives within a business can not only add to the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and benefit the company, but also set an example for many others. The mistake many businesses have made is to overestimate their results, become discouraged, and revert back to the previous actions.

Awards Coordinator Holly Morris had this to say about the winners: “As this is the first time we have ran the Global Green Business Awards, we are more proud than ever to announce the winners! Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners. We look forward to seeing what you do next.”

Acquisition International prides itself on the validity of its awards and winners. The awards are given solely on merit and are awarded to commend those most deserving for their ingenuity and hard work, distinguishing them from their competitors and proving them worthy of recognition.

To learn more about our award winners and to gain insight into the working practices of the “best of the best”, please visit the Acquisition International website where you can access the winners supplement.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Acquisition International Magazine

Acquisition International is a monthly magazine brought to you by AI Global Media Ltd, a publishing house that has reinvigorated corporate finance news and reporting. Its topical news articles make it a valued read, and this readability ensures that advertisers will benefit greatly from their investment.

AI works alongside leading industry analysts to ensure we publish the most up-to-date figures and analysis. The magazine has a global circulation, which brings together all parties involved in deal making and, in an increasingly global deal market, we are uniquely positioned to reach the deal makers that matter.

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

What is ERP Service?

Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP for short, automates and makes all business activities easier with a centralized and integrated software application. The main objective of ERP is to facilitate the flow of information between all company functions inside the limitations of the organization and control the connections outside stakeholders’.

The main feature of the entire ERP system is a database supporting multiple functions shared by various business units. This practice is about how workers in diverse divisions can depend on the same information for the specific requirements, such as accounting and sales.

The Gartner Group first utilized the word ERP in the 1990s; however, enterprise resource planning systems and software have been utilized in the manufacturing field for more than 100 years and keep on evolving as business needs grow and change.

The Fundamentals of ERP

ERP system is made around one defined data structure which usually has a shared database. The core constructs are interconnected with the business process driven by workflows in business departments such as finance, engineering, human resources, marketing, operations, connecting systems, and those who utilize them.

The Importance of Enterprise Resources Planning System

The main objective of enterprise resource planning is to grow the organizational efficiency of a company by controlling and improving how business resources are used.

Typically, Enterprise Resources Planning systems cover all factors of business operations and provide:
-Integrated system
-Common database
-Support all apps and components
-Real-time operation
-Common user interface in-app and components
-On-premise, cloud-hosted as well as SaaS deployment

ERP has the capability to gather and compare metrics in departments and offer many diverse reports based on roles or particular user preferences. The information gathered makes finding and reporting on data quicker and provides a comprehensive view of company performance with complete insights on how a resource is being spent.

Why Must You Consider ERP?

There are a lot of reasons why you need to consider ERP. Some of the perks that you can get from using this are as follows:

Integrated Solution

ERP integrates the entire business functions of the company and offers a centralized solution. With this centralized solution, workers are able to work effectively and quickly.

A Comprehensive Flexible Solution

Enterprise Resource Planning offers businesses the flexibility to decide from different modules in accordance to their particular needs and nature of business.

Improved Productivity

With the use of ERP, businesses are able to easily get online access to the updated and integrated data, which can improve the productivity of the workers and the company as a whole. What is more, the operational efficiency of workers can also be improved.

Enhanced Reporting

ERP solutions offer more or less 500 in-built reports with the standard pack. Companies and businesses are able to drill down to any level as well as able to make better choices based on the said reports.

Fast and Instant Implementation

ERP solutions can be customized and set up fast to meet the existing needs of a business and can be mapped to their existing business process for all company modules of functions.

Improve Profitability

ERP solution leads to improved profit by providing new products to market, increased customer service levels, and improved the availability of the product.

Better Material Management

ERP provides effective management of RM stock, FG stock as well as WIP stock during the whole manufacturing process. Fast and immediate access to real-time inventory with assessment allows companies to track stocks levels by amount, quality, lot and size with ease.

Reduced Purchase to P2P Process Time

With ERP, the whole processing time for reconciliations, purchase as well as payments can be lessened considerably as every step in the process is made effective as well as less time taking.

Improved Inventory Control

ERP solution allows companies to have a better control on inventory as it becomes very easy to monitor status by action, product, serial number as well as lot sizes.

Choose the Best Providers of ERP

It is essential to pick a company that offers the best ERP professional services. The working setting should be cordial, or else the company might encounter issues if there’s insufficient communication and cooperation. The execution of an ERP system is a very complex process, so the experience, as well as expertise of the service provider, is very important and necessary.

What is Upskilling in the Workplace?

We are now living in a more industrialized and modern world but still face skill problems. Aside from that, the current jobs worldwide are threatened with widespread automation. Other companies are problematic since they lack several talents who are knowledgeable about the digital economy.

These two problems combined resulted in a wider gap between the current employees and the talent pipelines in the future. Thus, many establishments have started to adapt to upskilling in the workplace.

Employees are the key driver to company success. Thus, you need to ensure that they are well-equipped with the skills and abilities needed for their work. In line with that, you will need a customized and well-researched plan that will help you to upskill new employees in the workplace.

Aside from that, you should also be aware of the number of establishments that will require these skills, the number of individuals who need to master these skills, and the technology-driven learning and training grounds that will make those goals possible.

Considering the competitive market, each employee in a workplace – from top to bottom, should constantly augment or improve the set of skills they currently have. Take note that ‘skills’ does not only talk about the ability to access technology; it is also about learning how to generate new ideas for the benefit of the whole establishment.

What are the Things You Can Do To Make Your Strategic Upskilling Initiative a Success?

Every company owner wants to upskill his/her employees. The problem is that most of these owners don’t know when and how to start.

Worry no more because, in this post, you will learn the six fundamental action steps toward a successful upskilling strategy. Read on to know further.

Assess the Situation and Know the Initiative

It is important to keep in mind that different situations vary from one another. The first step you should do is to start a conversation with the company’s key stakeholders, including employee representatives, HR leaders, and senior executives.

Design a Skills Plan

For the past few years, many companies enforced reskilling programs. Unfortunately, they provided it to the wrong groups of individuals. Create a focused and objective skills plan approach. Consider the number of workers who will be affected by innovative technologies when creating your priorities. .

When integrating new technology into your company, you must know how much impact it will bring to your establishment. In this case, you may use different analytic workforce planning tools. These tools will also help you to determine the new sets of abilities that the technology will require, an estimated amount of savings you will generate using the automation, and how long it will take to see notable improvements to these changes.

Assess and Advise Individual Employees

Individual transformation covers different forms that may affect the participant, which will usually require them to get out of their comfort zones. A well-planned assessment program should include giving advice that will help employees alleviate their fears.

You should also assess the skill set of your potential talents, know their professional and personal ambitions, and quantify their career achievements.

Match Jobs and Engage Workers

Finding the best match is not an easy task. In that case, you may consider using IT systems that can assess the skills of potential candidates if they will match the necessary competencies asked by the job.

Aside from that, you may also deepen and achieve a wider talent pool through the use of machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence.

Administer the Project and Track Results

Employees and employers may need to have significant adjustments when upskilling programs are enforced. You may turn your HR departments into administrators. It is also recommended to utilize modern GR tools to keep an eye even on the small progress or results of the project administered.
Employers should also generate strategies that will allow employees to connect with their colleagues. You can do this through online platforms, informal meetings, support groups, and more.

Proofing Your Business Leaflet Before Printing – Step by Step

Despite the near-ubiquity of online platforms, and the explosion in viability for digital marketing solutions, print is most certainly not dead. In fact, in many cases print can outperform digital options in terms of reach and customer on-boarding, especially for local businesses growing local custom. Creating a professional flyer or leaflet is hard enough, but even harder is receiving the 500 you ordered to find that they’re unsuitable, or even incorrect. Here we’ll look at how to proof your leaflet design, and properly prepare it for print.

Spelling and Grammar

The first step you should endeavour to take is to proof all of the text content on your flyer. Spelling mistakes are extremely common, and can easily slip through to print if you aren’t careful with checking over the copy on the file, while variable entries like dates, times and addresses can be subject to change between drafting and printing. It is important to check the final flyer design itself – mistakes with the text can often manifest between drafting it and populating the flyer design with it.

If you’ve been looking at the same design and the same text for some time, it can be hard to notice issues, even glaring spelling errors or incorrect dates. To increase your chances of picking them up, read the flyer backwards, word by word; your brain will be forced to engage with each word, instead of skimming over each sentence. You should also have a second person proof it after you, to make doubly sure nothing is missed.

Image Resolution and Colour Mode

Your next concern should be the flyers’ visual aspect. One of the major pitfalls in designing a business flyer, especially for those doing so for the first time, lies in treating the images and assets used to create it correctly before sending off to print. Without due care, designs can come back looking entirely different to the design file, from incorrect colours to pixelated images and logos.

To ensure your business flyers look professional, make sure all images imported to your draft are high-resolution. In certain design software like Adobe InDesign, image placement is done via ‘links’; a placeholder frame indicates the size and placement of the image, and that frame is then linked to a high-resolution version of that image. This way, the software doesn’t struggle with large amounts of data, with the image loaded and placed in the import process. Including the right image resolution in the attributed links file will ensure a high-resolution outcome for all assets. Also, make sure your design is drafted in the correct colour mode. Printed media uses CMYK, while RGB is standard for digital work such as websites and banner ads.

Legibility and Final Thoughts*endsubheading*]
Lastly, carry out an ‘idiot check’ of your flyer. Test out its legibility by printing off a prototype that’s sized correctly. Will you need to alter any font sizes, or re-arrange any images for better readability? Have you accounted for bleed? Elements of your design may be cut off if outside a specific margin area, so make sure no important information straddles your bleed margin. Lastly, think about the paper on which you want your leaflets printed. Double-sided leaflets would benefit from a thicker stock, around 160gsm. Once you are satisfied, you are free to send your design off to print!

What is harder: accounting or finance?


The career paths that you can join on the basis of a finance degree or an accounting degree can both be rewarding and lucrative with a great deal of job security, so if you are torn between which one you should be studying, the determination could come down to which one is harder to master. Both accounting and finance are challenging subjects that require a great deal of dedication and skill, but you might find one easier than the other.

What is the difference between accounting and finance?

There is quite a lot of overlap between accounting and finance and they are both important roles in the business world, but there are some major differences between the two. And this is reflected in the different subjects that you will study during a finance degree compared to an accounting degree.

Put simply, accounting focuses on tracking the past whereas finance focuses on predicting the future.

If we look at Auditox Accountancy for example, an accountant will be concerned with the day-to-day flow of money, how it was spent and where, and in ensuring that all financial records are correct and up to date. In contrast, someone in finance will be concerned with financial planning, money that will be spent in the future, how it will be spent and on what, and on predicting what the outcome of that spending will be.

Another difference between the two is that accounting is very detail-oriented and precise whereas finance looks more at the broad brushstrokes of the big picture. So one of the determinants of whether you will find accounting or finance easier comes down to your personality. Are you naturally a person who focuses on the minutia or are you more drawn to thinking about the big picture?

Professional accounting is the language of business. All businesses, including finance, are built on the foundation of the accounting that goes on beneath the surface. Some people, therefore, consider accounting to be a “more important” and fulfilling career path because, without accounting, businesses can’t function. This does, however, ignore the importance of finance. Accounting doesn’t make money. It is only concerned with documenting financial transactions that have occurred in the past. Finance, on the other hand, uses financial data to help businesses grow and develop, and to make money. So without finance, businesses can’t get any bigger or more successful.

Is finance or accounting harder?

Taking into account those personality differences, there are also differences in the content of finance and accounting that can determine that one is harder than the other. Generally speaking, people consider accounting majors to be more difficult to study and pass than finance majors. And there are a few different reasons for this.

The content of accounting majors is, on average, much more technical than for finance majors, and this can make it more difficult. It is focused on strict arithmetic rules, the law, and precise accounting processes. In contrast, finance degrees are much more focused on theoretical concepts with a wider focus that encompasses economics, business, banking, some accounting, and more. Because, at an undergraduate level, these theoretical models out of necessity are each only covered briefly, this can make it easier to study and to pass. If you take graduate finance courses at a higher level, then the content becomes much more technical and more difficult.

What can I expect to study in a finance or accounting major?

Every university will offer a slightly different course content for both finance and accounting but you can expect to cover many of the same principles.

Accounting degree

Corporate accounting
Auditing
Financial accounting
Forensic accounting
Budget analysis
International accounting
Tax accounting
Quantitative analysis
Accounting information systems
Management accounting
Professional standards and ethics
Financial reporting
Macro and microeconomics
Risk management

Finance degree

Financial planning
Preparing financial statements
Corporate finance
International finance
Financial accounting
Analysing financial trends
Financial mathematics
Financial management
Financial reporting
Financial markets
Risk management
International finance
Financial economics
Behavioural finance

As you can see, there is a fair amount of overlap between the two subjects. For instance, you may learn about financial accounting and preparing financial statements whether you study accounting or finance, but learning about something like corporate finance is generally confined to a finance degree only.

Where can finance and accounting take me?

There is a wide range of career paths for both accounting and finance, and it can be helpful in many instances to have training in both once you reach the world of work. This is especially the case if you want to move high up the ranks of business. Many of the top CEOs, for example, would have had the training to become a certified public accountant. Understanding and utilizing accounting statistics, assessing monetary resources, preparing detailed financial statements, and other core skills can be extremely useful in the world of high finance and financial management.

Generally speaking, however, there are also specific career paths that would suit one or the other. Accounting firms, for example, would usually only hire those with specific accounting qualifications, such as chartered certified accountants. Whereas a financial advisor or financial analysts would generally have a background in finance, and potentially a specialized postgraduate degree in applied finance.

Accounting professions include:

Chief financial officer
Financial controller
Management accountant
Tax accountant
Forensic accountant
Auditor
Chartered accountant
Bookkeeper
Accounts manager

Finance professions include:

Investment banker
Compliance analyst
Financial advisor
Financial analyst
Finance manager
Hedge fund trader
Credit risk manager
Tax director
Equity analyst

In summary

If you are trying to decide whether to study accounting or finance, the question of which one is more difficult can be one of the deciding factors. At the undergraduate level, many people consider accounting to be a more difficult degree. Once you move further up from that level, however, there isn’t a huge amount of difference between the two. They are both difficult but in different ways.

The ABCs of Cybersecurity: How Small Businesses Can Safeguard Their Online Safety

Any business can be a target of hackers. Company size doesn’t matter—as long as you have what cybercriminals want—you are their prey.

Data is essential; and in today’s online society, personal data can be just as appealing as cash. Small businesses gather more crucial data than ever before, making them ideal targets. Payment data, personal information, and intellectual property are all targets for cybercriminals.

 Here are some easy ABC guides to safeguard your business from cybercriminals and ensure your online safety:

1. Assess Your Vulnerabilities

Identifying your vulnerability will serve as the basis of your cybersecurity infrastructure. To start, you need to conduct a cyber vulnerability assessment by identifying your organization’s computer networks, hardware, software, and applications. 

After identifying your resources, you can proceed to penetration testing to determine the information security risk associated with your company’s cyber assets. But before you choose a penetration testing service provider, you must understand the different types of penetration tests available and select which one is for you. 

There are five types of penetration testing you can try:

  • Penetration Testing of Internal and External Infrastructure – An examination of network infrastructure, focusing on assets within the corporate network, or external penetration testing, focusing on internet-facing infrastructure.
  • Web Application Testing – A test for websites and custom applications to identify coding, design, and development errors that can be maliciously used.
  • Mobile Applications Testing – Testing conducted on platforms such as Android and iOS to identify authentication, authorization, data leakage, and session handling issues.
  • Build and Configuration Testing – Examines network builds and configurations for misconfigurations on web and app servers, routers, and firewalls.
  • Wireless Penetration Testing – A WLAN (wireless local area network) test that specifically focuses on an organization’s WLAN.

2. Build a Culture of Security

Now that you know your vulnerabilities, you must create policies that can be ingrained into your organization’s decisions, processes, and mentality. Educate your employees on online safe practices and document your best practices. This may take a while to build but keep at it until everyone gets the hang of your policies.

There are many ways to do this in your company. Here are some simple safety practices that you can incorporate into your security culture:

  • Secure emails

Inform employees to refrain from using their business email addresses to subscribe to untrustworthy mailing lists. Never open a link or attachment without first scanning it. When you open an infected email, you allow ransomware to enter your computer, increasing the likelihood of more serious security breaches. Finally, clean up your email regularly and use antispam software.  

  • Activate two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication enhances the layer of protection to your account and keeps unwanted visitors out. This security scheme works by verifying both your password and your device. Often, a one-time password (OTP) is sent to your smartphone via SMS.  Even if intruders figured out your password, your account cannot be accessed without the OTP.

  • Turn on your firewall

A firewall prevents unauthorized access to data on a private network. Make sure the operating system’s firewall is turned on or install free firewall software from the internet. Hackers scour the internet for vulnerable systems through sending pings, and your firewall is a protective barrier against these.

  • Backup copies of important files

Your business should safely keep important word documents, spreadsheets, databases, financial accounts, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payables because these are all critical data. Back up data automatically, or at least weekly, and keep backup copies offsite or in the cloud.

3. Create An Incident Response Plan

A cybersecurity incident response plan is a set of guidelines designed to assist businesses in preparing for, detecting, responding to, and recovering from network security incidents. In case of a breach, every employee must collaborate with the company’s security action plan by reporting cyber-attacks.  

While most issues are technology-focused, any significant cyber-attack can have a wide-ranging impact on an organization. Thus, your plan has to include your employees, suppliers, and partners. 

Wrapping It Up

As a business owner, you have to build impenetrable defenses to protect yourself, your business, and your customers. Being prepared can help you strengthen your defenses. Hence, always remember your ABCs: Assess your vulnerabilities, build a culture of security, and create an incident response plan. Also, do not underestimate the importance of building a culture of security in your company. Create cybersecurity policies that foster long-term security habits in your employee’s day to day life.

7 Financial Metrics and KPIs Your Company Should Be Monitoring

There are hundreds of financial metrics for assessing business performance. Every company has a different business model, operations, and goals. For instance, the financial metrics in the manufacturing industry may differ from those in the transport industry. Their core businesses are unique, even though opportunities for synergy may exist. Therefore, the metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) used vary between entities and industries. 

Furthermore, every department within an organization usually has its own set of metrics used to monitor its performance. These metrics help determine whether they are on track to achieve their goals or not. Management needs such information to make more informed decisions. Thus, the utility of KPIs.

Regardless of the metrics and KPIs used by different departments, there is usually overlap with the finance department. Financial metrics can give business owners an overview of the overall performance of the company by measuring its current financial health. You can check out this fractional CFO firm for more details. 

That said, here’s a guide on which financial metrics and KPIs your company should monitor: 

1. Asset Turnover Ratio 

This refers to the ratio that measures how quickly a company converts assets into revenue. The higher the ratio, the better a company is at generating revenue. When benchmarking with the rest of the industry, you should establish whether you are above or below the industry average. 

Service-based businesses are likely to have high asset turnover ratios because they have fewer assets. On the other hand, businesses in the retail and manufacturing industry may have more assets. So, a low asset turnover can be worthy of concern. 

 

2. Inventory Turnover Ratio 

This ratio measures how many times a business sells and restocks goods and inventory over a period, usually a year. A high ratio may indicate that sales are good, while lower ratios show that the business may be buying too much inventory or it’s not selling as much as it should. 

 

3. Gross Profit Margin 

The gross profit margin measures the efficiency of a business’s core operations. It’s usually expressed in percentage form because it’s easier to interpret performance that way. Companies calculate their gross profit by subtracting the cost of sales from the total net sales figure. Businesses use this metric to measure efficiency based on the business’s capacity to generate profits.

That said, what products and how much you sell can have a great bearing on the revenues your business can generate.

4. Operating Cashflow Ratio 

Operating cash flow is defined as cash generated from operating activities. It measures the extent to which a business’s operating cash flows can pay off its short-term liabilities. In short, it measures liquidity. 

A ratio above one shows that the business is liquid enough to pay off current liabilities. 

 

5. Earnings Per Share Ratio 

For most medium to large enterprises, this profitability metric is important. It measures the net profits generated from its shares. A higher ratio is desirable in the sense that it shows that the business is profitable. To the investor, this means that they stand a chance to receive more dividends. 

 

6. Debt to Equity Ratio 

A debt-to-equity ratio is considered a leverage KPI. This ratio provides insights into how effectively a company uses its debt. More so, it also signifies that a company uses a lot of debt to finance its activities as opposed to equity finance.

Usually, this is a red flag because to an investor it implies that such a business may be a risky investment. However, it isn’t always the case. Different industries may not focus their attention on it because not all debt is bad. If a company manages its debt well, it can generate more business from it. Also, debt has a lower cost of capital compared to equity financing. 

Although, take note that some industries such as the banking and finance industry are expected to have high debt-to-equity ratios. 

 

7. Quick Ratio 

The quick ratio, also known as the acid-test ratio, measures a business’s ability to cover its short-term responsibilities by generating cash from assets.

While a higher ratio is more preferable to a lower one- since it shows that you can easily cover your current liabilities- it may also indicate that your business is not using enough resources to expand. Therefore, a quick ratio that is too high or too low is not good for business. 

 

Conclusion 

Financial metrics and KPIs exist to help businesses monitor their performance. This is good in the sense that managers can be guided whether they are under or over-performing.

Consider the mentioned metrics and KPIs above to monitor your business’s financial health and help your business propel forward. 

4 Essential Winter Health Hacks

Christmas has gone, and the January blues have well and truly set in. It’s cold, dark and miserable outside – let’s be honest, you’re feeling a little deflated. The winter can be difficult, between Seasonal Affective Disorder and freezing conditions. It’s more important than ever to look after yourself and your body.

According to the NHS, those under 5 and over 65 are the most vulnerable in the winter season. This also includes people with long-term health conditions, pregnant women and those on a low income.

Here are a few winter health hacks to keep your mind and body in good shape all year round.

1. Eat Well

Your diet has a huge impact on your body. Eat at regular intervals to activate thermogenesis – when your body produces heat through metabolising food. Make sure to eat your five a day and fill your body with plenty of vitamins and nutrients. You could try increasing your protein intake with more meat and fish, so you feel fuller for longer.

Make a meal plan every week and outline your three main meals and snack option. You can track what you’re eating and avoid wandering aimlessly around the supermarket.

You should also consider reducing your tobacco and caffeine intake in the winter as these can restricts your blood vessels, effecting your circulation and making you feel colder.

2. Keep Warm

Your body burns more energy to keep warm in the winter months. It can make you feel tired, run-down and quite frankly – exhausted. There’s a reason you want to take more naps in the winter season.

Invest in some women’s thermals to keep yourself warm and cosy throughout the colder months. Thermals are also great at keeping your core warm which will help to send blood to your extremities minimising the discomfort of icy hands and feet.
Regularly consuming warm drinks and cosying up with hot water bottles and heat packs can also act as a cost effective way of warming you up on those chilly days.

Getting your dosage of vitamin D is still important in the winter months and we may feel less inclined to venture out if it’s cold. Invest in a good winter coat and prioritise warmth over trend – a good coat should be made of sturdy, insulating material. Coats made from corduroy, wool or even flannel may be a little higher on the price front but will certainly keep you nice and toasty during your wintery walks.

3. Look after your Circulation

Cold temperatures make your blood vessels constrict, restricting blood flow to the heart and increasing your blood pressure, therefore limiting your circulation and making you feel colder, especially at your extremities – You may even find that your fingertips and toes go numb. Keep your hands and feet warm with thermal gloves and socks and promote blood circulation with regular exercise and limiting sitting for long periods of time. You can also consider vitamins and supplements such as vitamin B3 and ginkgo biloba that can help improve your circulation, as well as adding a bit of chilli or ginger into your food and drinks.

4. Go Outside

Seasonal Affective Disorder is very common in the UK. Many people find that the shorter and darker days lead to depressive symptoms. It’s important to get outside and feel the sunlight on your face in the winter. You need to make the most out of the daylight hours available – even if it’s just for half an hour. You could take up gardening or go for a run around the park. Top up your vitamin D with supplements, and squeeze in some exercise where you can.

Look after yourself this winter, and listen to what your body needs

Businesses That Help Boost the Circular Economy

The business world is moving towards sustainability. The benefits are clear: you can help the planet and help your business. In fact, one-third of consumers prefer sustainable brands according to a report by Unilever. In this respect, there is potential for businesses to make a profit by labelling themselves as environmental enterprises.

While some businesses adopt a sustainable strategy later in their life, some brands are born to facilitate the circular economy. The circular economy is a model for producing and recycling goods and materials in order to reduce the impact of waste on the environment. You may not know it, but you’re likely to have encountered a business that reflects the ideals of the circular economy. Here, we explore businesses that were created with reusing and recycling as their core purpose and why they’re important for the wellbeing of the environment.

musicMagpie

Starting in 2007, musicMagpie was founded on the idea of buying and selling old CDs. Today, the business has grown into one of Britain’s largest buyer and seller of refurbished electronic goods.

The average life of a smartphone is two to three years. It’s important that these devices are reused or handed down in order to sustain the tech industry and help the environment. There are a variety of rare earth elements in every phone, including gold and platinum. The average mobile phone contains 0.024g of gold. However, extracting these metals at the end of a phone’s life can be difficult.

Businesses like musicMagpie play an integral role in driving down the cost of these elements. If everyone bought new phones, there would be a much higher demand for these metals, therefore increasing their price.

To date, musicMagpie has sold over £125 million worth of used goods, ensuring that quality used items can continue life beyond their initial owner’s possession.

Toast Ale

Craft beers are growing in popularity. Today, you can visit any pub or bar and ask for a special beer with fragrant undertones. But while you compare your hops and barley, you may be surprised to learn that some beers are made using recycled goods.

Toast is a brewery with the circular economy at the forefront of its values. According to the brewery, food production is the world’s biggest contributor to climate change, yet one-third of all food is discarded as waste. Toast Ale’s solution to the problem is as innovative as it is enjoyable. Wasted bread is used to replace one-third of the malted barley in their grain. Due to the high sugar and carbohydrate content of bread, it is perfect for the brewing process.

Toast Ale say that they have saved over 2 million slices of bread from going to waste, while at the same time creating over 1.75 million beers for our enjoyment. All the profits from the brewery go to charity, helping to further improve the food waste and circular economy system. 

Cash for Gold

Pawnbrokers are an institution that can be traced back millennia. It was a concept that both the Ancient Greeks and the Roman Empire utilised during their height. However, today businesses are using this method of buying, selling, and lending to improve the circular economy.

Cash for Gold is just one example of a business founded to resell and recycle old materials. In this case, gold is the name of the game. Cash for Gold does not necessarily value gold based on the value of the jewellery on which it’s found, but more so on the weight of the metal. These goods can then either be sold on as is or for their inherent material value. Remember how gold is used in your smartphone? Well, there’s a strong possibility that some of that metal has gone through a recycling scheme like this. Pawnbrokers such as Cash for Gold allow for gold to be reused and redistributed across the circular economy, wherever it is desired or needed.

Reconomy

Every business needs to be as sustainable as possible. But achieving this goal can be difficult, especially for enterprises that have large volumes of waste. Introducing single-stream recycling is an important first step to ensure recyclable materials avoid landfill and incineration.

If we take paper as an example, if properly segregated at the source, this can be recycled and come back into a business (closed-loop recycling). This is a service that Reconomy offers, along with a number of other solutions such as PPE recycling and coffee cup recycling, that can move waste up the waste hierarchy. Reconomy is a leading example of a waste management service provider that aims to help businesses on their own sustainable journey.

The company offers businesses the opportunity to think differently about their waste, designing it out to support with the transition from a linear to a circular economy. This includes a strategic approach to high volumes of problematic waste streams through single-stream recycling. Furthermore, the service explores how businesses can reduce their waste rather than simply how to dispose of it. This allows businesses to save money and meet their sustainable and social value goals simultaneously.

Depop

Second-hand stores have a long-standing tradition within the circular economy. The ability to sell or giveaway goods at the end of their use prevents wasteful manufacturing, which harms the environment. For the clothing sector, this has a significant impact. One in two people will throw their unwanted clothes in the bin. Meanwhile, the global industry produces 92 million tonnes of textile waste every year.

Depop was established as a way to reduce waste in the fashion industry and to promote the benefits of second-hand shopping. Even better, the online platform gives people the opportunity to make money from recycling their unwanted goods. Ultimately, people can buy fashion label products at a fraction of the price, reducing waste in the fashion industry and prolonging the life of garments and other accessories.

Have you been a customer of any of these businesses? Or have you experienced the circular economy from any other brands? The shift towards sustainability in the business world is promising. It helps us make more ethical choices and allows us to feel good about our spending decisions. In the future, we should choose businesses that adopt sustainable strategies and demonstrate why the environment is at the forefront of our economic choices. In time, more businesses are likely to be born out of the circular economy.

Cryptocurrency Trends for 2022

While the crypto market has experienced an incredibly volatile year, it has also seen significant price hikes and sustained growth over the course of the previous 12 months.

To this end, the wider cryptocurrency market has seen its total market cap value fluctuate between $2.4 and $3 trillion, while further growth is forecast across a range of currencies in 2022 and beyond.

In this post, we’ll appraise some of the leading crypto trends for 2022, while asking why assets such as Bitcoin (BTC) are so popular.

 

Why is Crypto So Popular?

There are numerous reasons why this market is so popular, including both universal factors and those that relate to the real-time market conditions.

In terms of the former, cryptocurrency is underpinned by innovative blockchain technology, which creates decentralised ledgers and tokens that are completely immune to third-party manipulation.

As a result of this, cryptocurrencies aren’t controlled by central banks, creating completely immutable records and transactions across the board.

When it comes to the live market conditions, it’s also fair to surmise that crypto assets like BTC have seen their value appreciate markedly over the course of the last 18 months. This long-term growth has been sustained despite perpetual bull and bear runs, suggesting that the token has increased value as a so-called “buy-and-hold” asset.

Crypto also remains enduringly secure, making it ideal for both casual users and investors who want to manage their capital online.

 

Key Crypto Trends for 2022

OK, we hear you ask, but what are the key crypto trends for 2022? We’ve broken down three of the most prominent and impactful below:

● #1. Increased Adoption Within the Traditional Financial System: In September of this year, El Salvador became the first nation to adopt BTC as legal tender. While other nations are looking to create their own crypto assets that are backed by central governments, there’s no doubt that we’re likely to see more countries incorporate some form of crypto into their existing financial models. This will increase adoption rates within the system, while driving greater familiarity and trust among potential users.

 

● #2. More Use Cases Will Emerge From Crypto: 2021 has also been a banner year for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), with the aggregate value of such entities in the art market totalling a whopping $774 million. This is the latest use case for blockchain technology, and one that enables users to create unique digital art that can never be forged. This is part of a wider trend, and next year will undoubtedly see blockchain help to create new digital applications and improve existing processes across a broad range of industries.

 

● #3. Increased Trading Activity: Cryptocurrency tokens can be traded in the financial marketplace, and there’s no doubt that assets such as Ethereum and Litecoin will join BTC in being highly popular among investors through 2022. What’s more, a growing number of online trading platforms are now offering access to crypto assets, including third-generation coins that have the potential for marked growth in the months and years ahead.

3 Best Trading Strategies

Are you looking for a way to make money? Well, the good news for you is that you are living in the 21st century. Modern technology and the online world have allowed us to improve our financial stability. Because of that, you should be aware of all the options that are available for you. One of the things that can help you earn a decent amount of money and change your entire life is trading. But, if you do not make the right decisions or you simply do not know how to develop an appropriate strategy,  then you will certainly have to work on your personal improvement and ensure that you learn new stuff. 

Fortunately for you, this article is educational and it describes everything you should know about the best trading strategies. We will highlight 3 of them that are certainly the best ones and talk about some other important details that people should know about. Let’s go! 

3 Crucial Components of Every Trading Strategy 

It doesn’t matter which strategy you plan to use when trading. There are three different components that are the most important ones. By analyzing them, you will easily determine whether some trading tactic is good or bad for your goal. 

First Component: Risk Tolerance 

The first one refers to risk tolerance. This component actually describes the level of risk you are willing to withstand. Keep in mind that risk tolerance is not going to be the same over time as the degree of risk constantly changes based on different situations in the trading world. 

Generally speaking, the type of risk tolerance you will put into consideration depends on the type of investment you plan to make. Some people will decide on long-term investments. If you are one of them, then you are probably going to be ready for higher risk levels. Your chance to make money will be in the moments when the market is volatile. On the other hand, if you decide to make short-term investments, then you should put into consideration the level of time-based risk tolerance. That way, you will easily develop the appropriate trading strategy. 

Second Component: Trading Products 

As an investor, you will have to put into consideration all the potential added value that could appear. All the instruments that you can use are divided into several different categories such as risks, liquidity, and complexity. 

Let’s use additional explanations to make things clear. Let’s say that you found some trading options that are complex. The upfront investments, in that case, would be lower. Despite that, they will ensure a bit more flexibility compared to stock trading. That will ensure better trading and investing environment and ensure that you are not risking too much. However, you will also need to use all the financial instruments to find answers that will ensure you profit.

Third Component: Leverage Technical Analysis 

You will need to make certain technical analyses in case you plan to recognize the best possible trading opportunities. However, the outcome of those analyses is going to be good for another reason! You will also determine the potential risks that can ruin all the ideas you have. 

So, which technical indicators should traders put into consideration? FOr starters, there is on-balance volume, but you should also determine the stochastic oscillator as well as relative strength index. With these indicators, you will get the right information about movements on the market. 

The Best Trading Strategies!

We are not moving to the part that you have all been waiting for. Of course, we do not want to say that there are just three trading strategies that will bring you profit. There are many of them. However, we will highlight those that are the most popular and effective ones and try to help you reach your goals that way. 

But, before we move to that part, there is one thing that you have to understand. This is not an easy thing, and you should not expect to become a millionaire over the night. Instead of that, at the beginning of your journey, you should try to learn trading and regularly improve your knowledge. Of course, there is always enough room for mistakes, and you will probably experience certain failures. However, that is not something you should be afraid of. Turn mistakes into lessons, and, one day, you will manage to become successful!  

Now, when everything has become clear, let move to the main point. Let’s find out together the top 3 trading strategies that can help you improve your financial stability and succeed! 

Swing Trading Strategy 

You are probably confused when you read the phrase “swing”. However, this term actually described the trading on both sides of the movements that appear on the market. This type of trader will always buy security whenever they predict or suspect that the value on the market will grow in the near future. On the other hand, they will do quite the opposite thing whenever they start to suspect that the prices on the market are going to go down. 

So, how do things exactly work here? In case you decide to become a swing trader, you will have to put into consideration two different things. You will have to have in mind the duration and length of each swing. These two parameters are actually explaining the resistance level of each swing that appears on the market. It will allow you to recognize the trends whenever the demand and supply increase on the market. 

There are two additional tips we would like to provide you with here. When you determine the strong trends by using different financial instruments, you will get the opportunity to retracement swings. That move will help you enter the trends. Don’t get surprised if you read phrases such as dips or pullbacks as they all refer to those points. 

Another thing you need to have in mind is what to do whenever a momentum high appears on the market. In those cases, you will have to chase the highest probability trade. In most cases, that would mean that you will purchase the first pullback. On the other hand, when the momentum is relatively low, you will have to sell your first pullback. Things may seem easy in theory, but you will have to practice a lot to do things right. 

Day Trading Strategy 

Don’t get confused if you hear the phrase “intraday trading”. Both names refer to the same strategy, and they describe the method of trading where you participate in the activity in the daytime. Logically, you are not doing that for an hour or two; if you decide on this strategy, then trading will become some sort of full-time job. 

So, how does this way of trending function? Believe it or not, it is pretty simple to understand. You will actually regularly follow the price changes between the open and close hours of the market. In other words, a couple of positions will remain open during the day, but you will close them during the night. Leaving them open over the night exposes you to a higher level of risk. 

Generally, there are multiple benefits from this type of trading, but we would like to highlight the time flexibility. If you want to have the chance every day to open a couple of positions and close them during the night, this is going to be an ideal opportunity for you. 

Scalping Trading Strategy 

The third option is for those traders that are planning to make only short-term trades. You will not have to invest a lot, but the profit of each scalp (investment) is going to be low as well. If you want to succeed with this strategy, your duty is to develop a reasonable and wise exit strategy. According to different experts, this type of tactic is the best possible one for currency pair trading. We suggest you have that in mind before making the final decision. 

Your duty is not going to be the same compared to the previous two strategies. Your duty will be to establish a profit before the market even moves. The ratio between risk and reward is around 1:1 in most cases. That is the reason why you should not make larger trades. Instead of that, you should insist on a big number of small trades that will ensure you small profits. 

So, what is the biggest drawback of the scalping strategy? You will need to learn how to be a disciplined trader. Keep in mind that position sizes are a lot larger with this strategy. Because of that, if you don’t know how to be extremely disciplined, then this strategy may not be for you. 

Conclusion 

We have finally come to the end of this long article. These three strategies are the most effective and popular ones. Those that require small investments are probably ideal for beginners that do not have the opportunity to invest a big amount of money. Despite that, it is pretty risky to do such a thing as you will potentially experience bigger failures. 

So, what do you think? Which of these options is the best one for you?

What are the Most Crypto-Friendly Countries in the World?

Portugal

It is known that cryptocurrency law in Portugal is very friendly. The authorities have taken a soft stance towards crypto investments. Additionally, individuals who gain profits from the sales and purchases of crypto are not taxed on their capital gains. If you’d like to exchange your cryptocurrency for a different cryptocurrency, like fiat, you won’t be taxed either.

Portugal is also favorable for those worried about the taxes on payments they receive in digital currencies. If you’re an individual, you don’t have to worry about paying heavy capital gains taxes.

Switzerland

A country is known for its incredible banking standards. Some may also refer to it as the realm of finance since this is where you can have low levels of risk and high levels of privacy. In addition, the country has very lenient regulations for digital currency traders and investors as well.

The tax rules will differ from canton to canton, but they are usually quite friendly. Switzerland is also a great place if you want to start cloud mining, as it has a perfect system for the crypto mining industry. Even though you will probably be taxed on your mining gains, you can profit a lot.

Germany

A great thing about Germany is that it doesn’t treat digital currencies as legal tender, but rather as private money. Long-term investors may find Germany as paradise thanks to the laws in this country. However, if you want to avoid taxes and you don’t plan to hold on to your investment, then you might want to reconsider.

Regardless of the value, you have in crypto, you won’t be taxed for it if you hold it for more than 18 months. Clearly, the country is trying to fight off those who are trying to use the law for their high-volume trading.

Singapore

As you probably already know, Singapore is probably the most well-developed and stable economy in the world at the moment. Many entrepreneurs go there to do business, but an increase in crypto miners and traders is also noticeable.

The country is a tech hub of southeast Asia, and the cryptocurrency is carefully monitored to prevent illegal activities and laundering. Therefore, it is a perfect land if you want to legally develop your crypto business and if you need a balanced regulatory. Cryptocurrencies are used as an experimental construct and will continue to grow here.

Malta

Due to its friendliness towards cryptocurrencies, Malta is a place where many blockchain projects and crypto exchanges happen. This small island has been on the radar for many investors over the past couple of years. After Hong Kong tightened its regulations, Binance was welcomed on Malta.

It was rumored that more than $70 billion in crypto had passed through the borders of Malta over the past years. Some will say that the country lacks some sort of a regulatory body, but considering the number of traders and miners being there, it is hard to say that there is something bad about it.

Switzerland

Last but not least, the country in the top three is Switzerland. Many experts believe that this is one of the most crypto-friendly countries in the world. The nation’s tax laws are just perfect for long-term investments and for holding your digital assets for more than a year.

Even though crypto mining has been taxed here since last summer, companies like Western Union are still accepting cryptocurrencies as payment options. It also makes sense that it is very hard to find someone who doesn’t love Switzerland when speaking about cryptocurrency regulation.

However, if you want to make some short-term profits, then it would be wise to move to another place with fewer taxes on capital gains and low fees associated with exchanges and trading platforms.

A lot of countries are now planning to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges with licensing programs. This is an exciting opportunity for businesses that want to build their business in the space, but it also means that entrepreneurs will need to do some research on these new locations before making a final decision.

Even though countries like China have decided to ban cryptocurrencies and ICOs entirely, there are still plenty of places around the world where digital currencies are allowed and celebrated by the local governments. If you want to open your blockchain-based company in one of these countries here’s how you can easily go about it.

Acquisition International is Proud to Announce the Winners of the 2021 M&A Awards

Acquisition International is Proud to Announce the Winners of the 2021 M&A Awards

United Kingdom, 2022 – Acquisition International Magazine has announced the winners of the 2021 M&A Awards.

In today’s date, mergers have become consequential in order to create wider opportunities for businesses who wish to stand out and escalate their growth in a rapidly changing and competitive industry. With competition rising by day and the industry evolving rapidly, M&A activity is incredibly turbulent yet crucial when it comes to combining businesses.

Acquisition International prides itself when it comes to acknowledging the hard work and dedication of those individuals who allow the merger to guarantee success in every stage before completion. The M&A Awards programme is to award those who allow for the right decisions to be made and the right steps to be taken in order to allow for a successful and smooth merger process.

Our Awards Coordinator, Holly Morris has commented on yet another successful year of the Awards programme: “It has been an absolute pleasure to host this year’s M&A Awards programme and to coordinate with all the incredible business professionals. I would like to wish all of the winners a huge congratulations and best of luck of all of your future endeavours!”

Acquisition International prides itself on the validity of its awards and winners. All awards are given solely on merit and are awarded to commend those most deserving for their ingenuity and hard work, distinguishing them from their competitors and proving them worthy of recognition.

To learn more about our award winners and to gain insight into the working practices of the “best of the best”, please visit the Acquisition International website (https://www.acquisition-international.com/awards/ma-awards/) where you can access the winners supplement.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Acquisition International Magazine

Acquisition International (https://www.acquisition-international.com/) is a monthly magazine brought to you by AI Global Media Ltd, a publishing house that has reinvigorated corporate finance news and reporting. Its topical news articles make it a valued read, and this readability ensures that advertisers will benefit greatly from their investment.

AI works alongside leading industry analysts to ensure we publish the most up-to-date figures and analysis. The magazine has a global circulation, which brings together all parties involved in deal making and, in an increasingly global deal market, we are uniquely positioned to reach the deal makers that matter.

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media (https://www.aiglobalmedialtd.com/) 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 12 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

Leading the Progression of our Society

A pioneering force in both the Italian and international legal sectors, Professor Sara Valaguzza is unmatched in her commitment to bettering society through law. Following her recent award for Most Influential Woman in Administrative Law 2021 – Italy, Professor Valaguzza tells us more about her journey so far and offers her insight on the future of public law.

Based in the city of Milan, Studio Legale Valaguzza (SLV) is an experienced and innovative legal firm dedicated to supporting national and international clients through practical, creative and sustainable legal solutions. A multidisciplinary firm, SLV is highly specialised in matters pertaining to administrative and public law, public services, construction and infrastructures, grants and project financing, sustainable development, town-planning and urban regeneration programs.

At its inception, however, SLV was a much smaller operation, powered by founder and well-established practitioner in the field of administrative law, Professor Sara Valaguzza, Attorney at Law. In the firm’s infancy, Valaguzza began as an advisor to the Municipality of Milan, working on a big infrastructural project in project financing related to an extension of the metro line Number 5, which spread all over this thriving city.

Valaguzza’s work on this project proved pivotal, laying the foundations for the career to follow. “I studied every detail of procedures and contracts,” Valaguzza tells us, “I reviewed international best practice to use them; I knew almost every document by heart. Day after day I started thinking as a public official.

“Now, I am perfectly aware of the strengths and weaknesses of public authorities as well as the ones of the businesses engaged in a public contract. It was a great opportunity that I used to the best I could.”

Since then, SLV has seen significant and rapid growth, broadening its expertise and service offering around an approach that aims to guarantee excellence and innovation through a solid, creative, and sustainable practice, in order to fulfil the clients’ needs in a faster way. Working with public administrations, public owned companies or private subjects cooperating with public entities, SLV has been involved in major projects throughout Italy, especially within the strategic infrastructure sector which encompasses metro lines, gas distribution systems and waste treatment plants.

For Valaguzza and her legal team, building partnerships between public administrations or public owned companies (subject to public rules) and private companies is essential to enhancing the performance of public interest in response to public need.

“A public lawyer can make the difference when they are able to provide the client with tailormade solutions exploiting all the positive interactions of the relevant strategic framework,” explains Valaguzza. “These solutions look for flexibility and efficacy on one hand, and comply with the general principles of the administrative law – neutrality, transparency, impartiality and advertising, on the other hand.

“A precise knowledge of the relevant market is also required in order to ensure to the client the best possible solution.”

Fortunately, SLV boasts unmatched legal expertise in its field, and constant development of this expertise is championed by Valaguzza. “In my mind, the law is an instrument for the progress of society and lawyers play a social role,” she explains. A Full Professor of Administrative Law at the University of Milan, Scientific Director of the Center of Construction Law & Management (CCLM), founding member and President of the European Association of Public-Private Partnership (EAPPP) and author of more than 50 scientific publications, Valaguzza’s passion and commitment to furthering legal expertise is clear.

“We never stop doing legal research,” she states. “The academic profile and the practical one can benefit each other. My academic activity is strongly linked to SLV’s approach: the more I study, the better I solve complex problems. The more I teach, the better I update. A bit of sacrifice and a lot of passion. Continuous academic work makes us analyse problems in a very comprehensive dimension. As a lawyer, it is very important not to be satisfied with a single point of view.”

At the moment, Valaguzza and SLV’s focus is on the current discussions surrounding administrative law and the implications of the ongoing economic crisis for both the theory of law and the practice. Today, public policies must evolve to become more efficient and more resilient.

“Public administrations are also in a crucial position as they take the lead in the European economic recovery actions, under the Next Generation EU plan,” Valaguzza continues. “In this context, the administrative action shall be driven by the European sustainability targets, promoting environmental protection and inclusive policies, valorising young people and women. Legal instruments, in the field of administrative law, are crucial to achieving this result. I believe relevant efforts should be directed to create a faster and simpler public procurement framework.

“When deciding how to formulate a request to the market, what to assess and what to demand from the contenders, the public authority can become the main player in initiatives orienting and guiding the country’s growth.”

In her recent book, ‘Government By Contracts: How To Create Value in Public Contracts’, Valaguzza’s thesis explores how public procurement and the contracts that arise from it are fundamental tools in governing the economy and business policy, to the same extent as the law and any regulations. “We could say that ‘governing by contract’ means governing from the bottom up, since in public tenders the initiative arises from real cases which express specific community needs,” she elaborates.

During this period of economic recovery, it is the implementation of relevant public-interested projects that will prove essential, and it is public bodies that have been charged with ensuring the fastest realisation of those projects and programmes for recovery. Consequently, SLV has been called upon to shape and manage a roster of new procedures and contracts with its clients, a welcome challenge that will dominate the next few years for the firm.

“In this regard, it is very important to set a constant dialogue process with the client on the ongoing strategy on the basis of the project,” says Valaguzza. “In our experience, clients appreciate a transparent and face-to-face consultancy on the legal and strategic aspects of the projects, managed in an informal context that is nonetheless inspired to solve issues step-by-step.”

SLV therefore offers an approach that differs from that of many in its field. This is an approach that is precise, informal, decisive and concise, which pairs with an obsessive attention to ethics to avoid conflicts of interest and a constant drive towards innovation. “We are continuously engaged in looking for innovative paths,” Valaguzza elaborates. “We try to keep up with the times both by giving flexibility to those working at SLV, and by introducing into our actions innovative legal tools that can improve our response to our clients’ needs.”

Operating on a non-hierarchical structure, SLV is a dynamic team predominantly made up of under-40s. The team is also conscientiously over 50% female, a decision made to promote equality and equity in the workplace through ensuring that women have just as many opportunities for success as men.

“I feel very fortunate to work with extremely talented people, with deep legal intelligence and values that we share,” reflects Valaguzza. “I can’t mention all of them, but I can assure our clients that each of them has been chosen because they are the best in their field.

“Eugenio Pizzaghi, Head of Real Estate and Environment infected me with his interest in urban regeneration. Monica Lauro, operating in the strategic consulting sector, completes our consultancy for aspects relating to criminal law. Morgen Miragoli defends our clients in complicated litigation. Chiara Pagliaroli recently joined the firm and improves us with her accuracy in the analysis of tenders and contracts. We all have the opportunity to confront the most complex issues with Maria Rita Surano, from whom I learned the work and who today assists the firm as an off council.”

This team is complemented by consultants with strong expertise in energy, environment and sustainable development, as well as experts in communication and digital. This multidisciplinary firm is united by its values of deep knowledge, flexibility, collaboration, transparency and open-mindedness, values that SLV continues to uphold as it looks to the future.

Indeed, the future looks busy for SLV, with its focus directed on several key areas of interest. Among them will be the firm’s work with the European Committee’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), in which SLV will test a green public procurement system that is able to ensure the best competitive measures and introduce green and social purpose between the tender indicators.

SLV will also continue to push development in Italy of strategic litigations. Successful strategic litigation contributes to bringing political, economic or social changes and developments to the existing law, encouraging progress in the social and legal system of behaviours and rules. For Valaguzza, this work has already begun:

“Last January I had the privilege to discuss, before the Constitutional Court of Italy, a dispute concerning the right to the recognition of the legitimate status of child born to a same-sex couple through medically assisted procreation. In that judgement, the Court invoked the urgent action of the Legislator in order to fill the legislative gap and protect the rights of the child (decision no. 32 of January 28th, 2021). As a woman, I am very proud to have had the chance to offer my professional ability to such an important objective.”

After all, for Valaguzza, the law is a pivotal tool in the resolution of complex issues through clarity of logic and rationality. With it, we can generate sustainable social and economic growth.

“Being a lawyer is full of value for the community, not only for ourselves,” she concludes. “It is a way to contribute to making our society a better society.”

For further information, please contact Sara Valaguzza or visit https://www.studiovalaguzza.it/

4 Tools to Help Your Brokerage Stay Successful

Brokers’ responsibilities involve cross-selling with other financial products and services their brokerage firm offers. The vast majority of new brokers initially keep a daily schedule built heavily around marketing themselves. They have to get needed leads and a new audience which requires proper scheduling of their activities without neglecting their existing clients.

This means getting all their research done early in the day and meeting with a few clients or prospects face-to-face later in the day. Even though they may not have a large marketing team or deep pockets, choosing the right tools can give them a competitive advantage. Some of these tools include:

1. Appointment and Scheduling Tools

Keeping a schedule is important for the success of a brokerage. Appointment and scheduling tools can help segment customers and help you manage your time. Appointment scheduling tools organize and automate appointments by enabling customers to book in-person, video-based, or voice-based appointments with service providers via an app, website in the form of an online scheduler, or kiosk.

Also, it allows scheduling of appointments ahead of time with reminders and follow-ups. In addition to enabling frontline employees and executives keep an eye on different service lines at once and meet consumers with various needs without the need to switch counters.

2. Lead Generation Tools

Brokers are constantly searching to attract and engage prospective customers. Lead generation is when companies create strategies using online tools to get more users and transform them into clients. Lead generation tools help automate your search for prospects, increase marketing presence and following, and ultimately build trust.

It gives access to very powerful information about their target audience. This allows them to build databases with users interested in the brand and detect the most attractive areas for their potential clients.

3. Project Management Tools

Project management tools assist in organizing and managing projects and tasks effectively. For organized work to achieve success in your brokerage, project management tools are key. To streamline business operations and enhance efficient teamwork, an online workspace that allows you to do more than simply chat is a necessity.

There are many options on the market. Make sure the one you choose offers both video and messaging capabilities to stay better connected with your team. Compare Ringcentral Video and Slack to find the one best suited for your brokerage.

4. Graphic Design Tools

Graphic design utilizes visual compositions in solving problems and communicating opinions via imagery, typography, form, and color. Various types of graphic design include visual identity (such as logo, typography, color palette), marketing and advertising (such as flyers, menus, posters), user interface (app design, web page design), motion graphics (for presentations, tutorials), and others.

You don’t have to be a graphic guru today to do basic photo editing or other graphic designs. Loads of free tools can get you started with your logo, letterhead, presentations, etc.

Continue Positive Growth

As an intermediary between clients and service providers, the schedule of a broker revolves around gathering new leads and reaching new ones to stay successful. Optimizing productivity can be achieved if tools can be maximized to aid your brokerage’s success. Make use of these tools and see your brokerage succeeding.

How to Start Managing Your Finances

Any person is interested in multiplying money. The fact is that the modern rhythm of life involves certain expenses and all people are interested in a comfortable life. But how to improve your finances? Here are the best money management tips to change your life for the better. First, you need to learn a few secrets and work on self-discipline.

Track Your Spending to Improve Your Finances

Many people spend a lot of money on things they don’t need. So this is why you should track your spending. Pay attention to mobile applications that will help you find out which cost item is the most significant for you. Chances are, you can cut your spending by 10-15 percent if you control every transaction. Don’t make impulsive purchases.

By planning all your expenses, you will not end up with an empty wallet in the middle of the month. This advice is especially relevant for students. You probably want to delegate your assignments but are not ready for a new transaction. Read tutorssky.com reviews to avoid pitfalls. This advice is as relevant as the wise use of money.

Create a Realistic Monthly Budget

And here is another piece of advice that is extremely important for young people. Surely you have ambitious plans and want to implement them shortly. But the problem is that you are unlikely to find more money than you can earn in a month. You probably don’t want to exceed your credit limit every month.

How about planning a realistic monthly budget? Plan to achieve any goals, especially if you are unwilling to work overtime. Even students should consider planning their spending wisely. That is why you should read essaythinker reviews to know all the pitfalls and not waste your money.

Build Up Your Savings – Even if It Takes Time

Start saving even if you can save no more than a hundred dollars a month. The fact is that every millionaire started with small steps. Your job is to develop good financial habits. For example, you can set aside 5% of all receipts to your bank account. Gradually, you will develop self-discipline and increase the amount of savings to 10% or more. Your task is not to make rash spending.

Pay Your Bills on Time Every Month

Every citizen must pay bills on time. The fact is that you probably do not want to pay a fine or explain the reasons for your delay. How about setting reminders on your smartphone? Plus, you can set up automatic monthly payments to avoid negative consequences. Plus, your responsibility will help you to lift your credit score. Surely you will need money in the future, and any bank can give you the required amount. So this is why you should always pay your bills on time.

Cut Back on Recurring Charges

Digitalization has greatly influenced the entire world. Today, millions of people subscribe to Netflix, Apple Music, and hundreds of other services. Sometimes it’s convenient because you can get what you need. But what if you have 3-4 website subscriptions that you open no more than once a month? Do you want to pay for services you don’t need? Most likely, you should cancel all subscriptions that are not relevant to you. The fact is that such a step will save you hundreds of dollars every month. Instead, subscribe to applications and sites that you use frequently.

Save up Cash to Afford Big Purchases

Surely you understand that loans and debt are good options for those looking to buy a house or a car. But what if you need money to buy an expensive computer or vehicle? Is it worth taking out a bank loan and paying interest every month? Chances are, you’re better off setting aside some of your money each month to buy what you need. Then, save up cash to afford big purchases, and it will be much easier for you to deal with your debt obligations.

The fact is that some purchases can be made after 3-6 months. So this is why you shouldn’t rush. Also, what if you are a student and want to delegate some papers? Take the time to read papershelm.com reviews, and you won’t have to risk it. Then, after a while, you can save money and choose which company you can trust.

Final Words

Anyone can manage their finances. First, you need to adhere to all of the above tips. Then, try to make a plan and stick to it for at least one month. Develop financial habits, and you will see how easy it is to cut down on impulsive spending. By monitoring every transaction, you can save money. Stick to the established rules, and your family budget will be in order. All you need is self-discipline and realistic goals. Plus, you can even reward yourself for achieving specific results. Self-motivation is very important for beginners. Just a couple of months, and you can feel a noticeable change for the better.

10 Tasks Your Small Business Should Be Outsourcing

Outsourcing has become the norm as businesses of all sizes look to save money. Handing off rote or otherwise complicated tasks to an agency while your team handles the bread and butter work can be a boon for your productivity, but you may not be leveraging the power of outsourcing as far as it can go. Here are ten tasks your business should consider outsourcing. 

1. Notarizations

No one needs the exorbitant expense of an in-house notary anymore. Businesses can outsource their notary work to agencies and freelancers and thereby save money on payroll without sacrificing legal security. Mobile notary agencies like Superior Notary Services offer flexibility and convenience, as they can meet you and your clients anywhere you need them.

2. Marketing

Marketing can be a costly in-house expense requiring staff and technology. Rather than hiring a marketing department, you can outsource the task and pay for it when you need it. 

You can find marketing teams everywhere, opening up the opportunity to find a group in your price range and with the ideas that will help sell your ideas, products, and services. 

If you decide to pay for a premium marketing company, you might be able to find one company that can manage your content writing, videography work, SEO, and graphic design. Otherwise, you can outsource each task independently based on what you need and when. 

3. Content Writing and Videography

One of the most common office tasks to outsource is content for websites. From blogs to vlogs, content experts are ready to help you with your marketing needs. Content creators work by the project, and many only need a few details like topics, headlines, word counts, and SEO necessities.

You can also outsource your video content. Videographers already have the equipment, which helps your business save money. Send them the details of the videos you want, and they’ll deliver the videos or post them directly to your social media accounts.

Content writers can also work with your social media and website accounts. They can post content directly to your company’s blog and share the details on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

When you let an outsourcing company manage your social media and blog accounts, your employees can focus on other tasks directly affecting your business’s bottom-line success.

4. Legal Work

Legal work can be costly, especially if you pay salaries for your in-house attorneys. It is less expensive to outsource legal work and pay for retainer fees and hourly work as needed.

Businesses should not try to accomplish DIY legal work to save money. Small legal tasks can become major problems when your company tries to fight through the red tape on its own. 

5. Payroll

Companies have been outsourcing payroll for decades. If your business hasn’t investigated outsourcing payroll opportunities, you’ve been wasting money doing the work in-house. You’ll save money on your payroll because you won’t have to pay the extra salaries of an internal team.

Payroll companies rely on expensive technology so that you don’t have to buy it yourself. These services can be automated, so your employees submit their hours, vacation requests, and payroll deductions. Most payroll outsourcing companies charge a flat rate, often based on the number of employees.

6. Technology 

IT employees can take a big bite out of payroll, which is why so many companies decide to outsource their technology work. 

Many routine tech issues can be handled remotely, so companies do not need IT experts as in-house employees. IT experts can help with problem-solving, and they can come in for additional services when your business needs to integrate new technology.

7. Graphic Design

Most artistic marketing needs can be outsourced, especially as creative employees can be costly. When you outsource graphic design, you pay for the service, not for all of the designers’ technology and creative tools. If your business does not use graphic designers more than a few times per year, outsourcing the tasks makes good financial sense.

8. SEO

Businesses should also outsource their SEO work. Your employees have other important tasks to grow the bottom line, and while it’s crucial to your marketing strategy, SEO is time-consuming for in-house employees. 

Content writers can help with SEO, or you can directly outsource the SEO tasks to people or organizations specializing in choosing keywords and meta descriptions. SEO outsourcing can be one of the most money-saving choices, as companies can rely on SEO results for months. 

9. Office Assistance

Office work can be time-consuming and mind-numbing. Rather than paying one person’s salary to open mail, answer phones, and deal with emails, you can outsource the tasks to one or more companies. 

Many companies rely on outsourced office help and phone services with actual people who answer and forward phone calls. These services charge by the minutes their employees spend on the phone, which is usually less than companies expect. 

Companies also hire outsourced mail help, especially if several remote employees need a workplace address that isn’t their home address. 

10. Customer Support

Companies all over the world have turned to outsourced customer support. With so many people purchasing items online, businesses do not need in-house customer support services. Outsourced customer support teams can work in various time zones to meet the needs of customers everywhere. 

Wrap up

Outsourcing can help businesses save a significant amount of money on payroll, taxes, and equipment. When choosing where to begin with outsourcing, decide what tasks you do not need immediately. It won’t take long before you see financial benefits and increased productivity in your staff.

Why does enterprise asset management matter?


Enterprise asset management refers to managing the maintenance of your physical assets.

In brief, enterprise asset management matters because it maximizes the lifespan of your equipment, reduces costs in the long term, improves safety, and increases efficiency.

Let us take a closer look at why enterprise asset management is so important.

The Difference Between Enterprise Asset Management Systems and Computerized Maintenance Management Systems

While the two systems are similar, there is a difference between enterprise asset management systems and computerized maintenance management systems.

EAM systems are best used by asset-intensive companies that have large portfolios of physical assets across numerous locations, although small and mid-sized businesses can use them too.

So, what is a CMMS? It is a software solution that helps to manage maintenance work. The objectives of CMMS include automating and streamlining tasks, eliminating unplanned downtime, and extending assets’ lifespans, to name just a few.

Enterprise asset management originated from the computerized maintenance management system. An EAM system’s primary goal is to optimize assets’ lifecycles, thereby decreasing the total cost of ownership and maximizing overall productivity and the return on investment of the assets.

Why Enterprise Asset Management Matters

As mentioned above, adopting enterprise asset management is important for increasing assets’ lifespans, improving health and safety practices, reducing long-term costs, and increasing efficiency. But there are many other benefits of utilizing enterprise asset management.

Here are some of the key advantages. Once you have read through them, you will be able to get a clearer idea of why EAM is so important for businesses with lots of equipment.

You Can Centralize Asset Information

With an EAM system, you can centralize information about all of your physical assets.

That means real-time information is always accurate and available. In turn, that increases efficiency and reliability.

You Can Be Better Prepared for Audits and Inspections

With the ability to maintain real-time information, EAMs can be used to fully prepare for audits and inspections.

You can therefore be sure that auditors or inspectors will not find any issues you are unaware of.

You Can Establish Workflows and Checklists

When you use an EAM system, it is simple to establish workflows and checklists to ensure all maintenance is carried out, and carried out at the right time.

You can also easily set up best practices for your company.

You Can Move Towards a Preventive Maintenance Strategy

You can much better work towards a preventive maintenance strategy when you use EAM software.

The system can prompt when equipment needs maintenance and repairs. Also, work orders, purchase orders, and more are automatically generated based on the schedules created, ensuring jobs are completed on time.

Benchmarking and Performance Management Becomes Better

Because EAM gives visibility into maintenance performance across all of your assets, you get better benchmarking, best practice sharing, and performance management.

Your Inventory Is Always Up to Date to Reduce Unexpected Downtime of Equipment

To ensure your equipment does not experience any unplanned downtime, you not only need to perform scheduled maintenance. You also need to ensure you have spare parts in stock.

With an EAM system, it is easy to manage your inventory of materials and parts. You then have full control over inventory procurement and management and can see the different levels of demand for materials and parts.

You Can Review Performance Indicators with Reporting and Analysis Tools

The reporting and analysis tools of EAM systems have numerous benefits.

You can create dashboards and run reports to analyze asset performance and identify issues before they escalate into major problems. You can also get a better understanding of all your maintenance operations by reviewing key performance indicators, thus enabling you to make better decisions.

Understanding the Benefits and Importance of Installment Loans

Installment loans could be a real game-changer, especially if you need flexible repayments. I like installment loans because you will get a tremendous amount of cash and repay in small bits.

In these difficult economic moments, you find that you will need some cash at some point. And that’s why you need to know about installment loans.

So,

What are Installment Loans?

Installment loans are the loans you take in lumpsum amount then repay in small bits. If a lender allows you to make monthly or biweekly payments, that means you have an installment loan.

We call each payment an installment, and it entails some percentage of the principal amount and the interest.

Installment loans can be secured or unsecured loans. A secured loan is a loan you take against your property. To get a secured loan, you must provide collateral before the lender qualifies you. In addition, the lender needs to confirm the ownership of the property to ensure that it’s your property.

In contrast, if you take an unsecured personal loan, you don’t need to provide any property as collateral before qualifying for a loan. Instead, the lender requires you to prove that you can repay the loan without much struggle.

What are the Benefits of Installment Loans?

You can Make Big Purchases

Once you take an installment loan, buying large items is easy since you take lots of cash. For instance, it’s possible to purchase a car with an auto loan. Once you apply for an auto loan, the vehicle becomes the collateral.

In addition, you can take a mortgage loan to purchase a home and pay later in small amounts for 15 to 30 years. That said, it’s impossible to get a short-term loan to make big purchases.

However, you can take a personal installment loan that is enough to buy a car or any other big service.

You will be Sure of your Monthly Payments

Once you take an installment loan, the payment stays constant throughout the loan term. Therefore, the lender has no chance to increase or reduce your installment amount during the loan term. Thus, the repayment will stay constant unless you request a loan restructure.

As a result, you can plan your paycheck well to get some funds to save. In addition, you can budget wisely and manage to do other things during your loan repayment.

You can pay off your loan early

If you can afford to repay your loan before the agreed time, you can do it with installment loans without any additional charges. However, it would be best to talk to your lender first before making early repayments.

Remember that some lenders will charge you early repayment fees. So, you must be sure that your lender is not among such lenders.

You will not have pressure to pay off your loan

Depending on the loan amount, you can even pay off your loan for six years with installment loans. Therefore, you will not strain much during the repayments since it’s a small amount for each refund.

For instance, other loans like payday loan lenders need you to repay your loan in total plus the interest at the end of the month. That’s why you will find that most people default on payday loans.

You can get better rates with a good credit score

If you have a good credit score, you can access better interest rates with installment loans. For instance, if you take an installment loan at Heart Paydays, you can access a rate of as low as 5.99%. However, those with low credit scores can get high rates but not exceed 35.99%.

The total loan amount will not be that huge if you get better rates. And therefore, you will pay off the loan faster.

You can take Installment Loans to Build your Credit

If you are on the wrong side of your credit score, you can take an installment loan that will help you to build your credit. Most installment loan lenders report your credit history to one of the three credit bureaus. As a result, if you continue to repay your loan on time, you will manage to build your credit score.

Installment loan lenders are good than payday loan lenders who cannot help you rebuild your credit score.

Installment Loans Consist of High Loan limits

With installment loans, you can access higher loan limits than short-term loans. For instance, if you take a payday loan, you cannot exceed more than $2000 since you will repay at your payday.

With installment loans, you can get loans of up to $50,000 or more, provided that you meet all the requirements that the lender needs.

My Take

It’s good to take an installment loan, but I would recommend you create more income streams that you can use to repay the loan. For instance, if our primary source of income goes down, you can comfortably repay the loan using other means. Otherwise, you will enter into the wrong credit side once you start to repay late.

Written by Heart Paydays

How Foreign Businesses Can Gain a Foothold Within the English-Speaking Marketplace

There are numerous opportunities to be encountered within the English-speaking marketplace. This is why countless businesses have already taken the leap into such a bustling community. Of course, adaptation can often be easier said than done. The good news is that there are plenty of valuable resources to leverage. One example involves utilising online English classes to train in-house staff members and customer service representatives.

While there is no doubt that gaining a proper understanding of the English language is crucial, what about sales and marketing tactics? Are there any ways in which a business can increase its digital footprint and if so, what benefits can these methods offer? Let’s answer these two interesting questions.

 

Local SEO Tactics

One challenge associated with any type of business venture involves connecting with the intended audience. This is even more pertinent when dealing with an unfamiliar demographic. Experts therefore recommend adopting a more local approach when dealing with search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques. Here are some well-known benefits to appreciate:

● It is easier to interpret the results of your efforts.

● You will be able to gain a foothold within a new market.

● Search engines such as Google look favourably upon local SEO.

● Your firm will rank higher; offering a greater degree of online visibility.

Let’s also remember that a growing number of customers are employing phrases such as “near me” when performing a standard online search. Therefore, adopting a more local strategy will result in higher clickthrough rates.

 

Develop a Strong Social Media Presence

What do others have to say about the products and services that you happen to be offering? Another stumbling block that will be encountered within an unfamiliar marketplace is the simple fact that your company is not known to the general public. In other words, you will have to differentiate yourself from the masses. One of the best ways to increase your digital footprint and to establish a rapport with potential clients is to use the power of social media.

Not only are there more than 3.7 billion active social media users around the world, but the majority keep up to date with their news feeds on a regular basis. Promoting your services via channels such as Facebook and Twitter is a great way to make your presence known.

Let’s also keep in mind that unlike traditional forms of advertising, the majority of social media marketing techniques are absolutely free. This can make a massive difference if you are concerned about overstretching budgetary limitations. A final advantage of such a strategy is that once again, you can develop public relations campaigns that take into account specific geographic regions.

It is a foregone conclusion that the online B2B and B2C communities will continue to grow. Entering into the English-speaking marketplace may be a bold step, but it is often necessary if you wish to take your operations to the next level. Above all, remember that there are always opportunities just across the digital horizon.

Why are Passwords Bad for Business?

Would you believe that 87 per cent of internet users have found themselves locked out of an account at some stage? This surprising statistic highlights how passwords are the thorn in the sides of many people online. The average person has more than 100 passwords, and they’d have to be a robot to remember them all. From a business perspective, when users forget their login credentials it can be highly detrimental as they may decide to move to a rival. It could be time to move away from passwords and onto newer methods of security.

What Happens When Customers Forget Passwords?

Judging by the statistic noted above, most people have been in a situation where they’ve forgotten their password. The whole point of a password is to provide a secure method of logging in somewhere, so if you click the button to say you forgot your password, it’s far from a simple process to get a new one. You may have to wait for an email, answer questions, or even phone the company in some circumstances. These roadblocks cause frustration and may make people question whether it is worth going through the hassle of getting a new password. Lost passwords can also lead to disastrous consequences. There are horror stories of would-be millionaires being locked out of their bitcoin fortunes after forgetting the credentials for their digital wallets. Stefan Thomas is the most famous example, and it was widely reported he only had a couple of guesses left to get his hands on his $220 million fortune.

Should Businesses Offer Different Methods?

Instead of forcing customers to use a password, businesses could try to adapt to the changing landscape and offer them several alternative methods upon joining. One user may prefer to use a password with a password manager, while another could decide to use knowledge-based questions. It is also wise for business owners to investigate biometrics and see if these can be implemented. They provide heightened security and are much simpler than passwords.

The last thing you want as a business owner is for customers to flock to one of your rivals because they’ve forgotten their password and can’t be bothered to retrieve it. It’s time to incorporate alternative methods to appease as many people as possible.

What Alternatives are There to Passwords?

Passwords are an outdated method of security, especially when people are logging on to so many different sites. Nowadays, sites are asking for more complex passwords than ever, but only 30 per cent of internet users enable a password manager to handle them all. It’s time that businesses start to look towards more hi-tech methods of security, as these are expected to replace passwords in the future. Companies lose money on sales when customers forget passwords, with 92 per cent of people opting to abandon a purchase at some point in their lives rather than recover their password. There are knowledge-based authentication alternatives that could represent a more user-friendly way of entering a site, such as passphrases, knowledge-based questions and one time passwords. Considering the statsm having more options could be the way forward.

Turning a Struggling Brand into a Triumph: the ABC to Success

Tobias Nanda, President of Brands at Gordon Brothers, explains how well-known brands can secure stability through the assetless brand business model

Instability throughout the retail sector came to the fore during the pandemic as established brands struggled to overcome their outdated business models. However, the challenges faced by these brands began the well before the pandemic as market fluctuations caused much-loved brands to become distressed and open to acquisition. Rescuing and turning around struggling brands like these offers a viable business opportunity when the transition to Assetless Based Company (ABC) is applied, as proven by the recent successful relaunch of British heritage brand Laura Ashley.

The ABC model is an evolutionary outcome of changing consumer shopping attitudes, which has developed over the last 20 years. As shoppers turn to fast-paced online shopping, the traditional retail space is fraught with risk. A cyclical economic market has caused brands to incur large overheads and inventory stock. Brands have been forced to bet on future events and hope that their product sells through. Transitioning to an ABC, reduces these costs and allows for an increasingly agile operation.

How does the ABC model work?

When acquiring a brand, selecting the right partners is key to success. Partners – such as specialist investment companies – can bring networks, experience, and knowledge into the operation to help strategize and protect the brand during its transition. Ultimately the strength of these networks is crucial to long-term viability for the ABC.

Assessing the brand value is vital to any brand acquisition to ascertain the brand equity. Once acquired, it is important to re-assess the brand based on any new knowledge. Utilising partner networks to ascertain the strength of the brand in different markets and categories and addressing any concerns will increase the chances of succeeding as an ABC.

By partnering with manufacturers and licensees who are well-versed in the brand’s DNA, or by opting for direct-to-retail exclusives, ABC teams can be small and operate nimbly to avoid the headaches that come with captive logistics and warehousing. This results in more time to spend on enhancing brand value and product innovation.

How to make the transition

Having gauged the brand value, it is imperative to develop a strong business plan. In any transition things can go wrong, there could be unexpected hurdles along the way. Understanding where issues may arise will smooth the way. When developing the business plan, it is important to think carefully about the timeframe, levels of investment and which manufacturers, suppliers or licensees could develop the products as desired.

With a strong business plan in place, the next step is to restructure the assets – parents, URL, customer lists, etc. – and transfer them to the new company, the ABC. The new company should be set up in a way that it does not carry huge operational costs, including no inventory positions. This will help reduce large overheads and allow the ABC to focus on product development.

Increased time on product development means more flexibility to enter new categories and markets. As demand increases, brands can diversify across different categories, for instance a fashion brand can diversify its product offering to enter the homeware market whilst remaining true to its brand identity. Operating as an ABC, reduces the standard three-year lead time to only twelve months due to the strength of the IP and licensee network. Take Laura Ashley with its identifiable IP and strong consumer demand. The movement of Laura Ashley to the ABC model facilitated increased flexibility by leveraging manufacturers and licensing partners. Working closely with category specialists helped to bring products to market that remained true to the Laura Ashley brand identity. Understanding how to work closely with specialist partners is crucial to generating success from a struggling brand.

Lastly, relaunch the brand. With all these steps in place, it is time to breathe new life into the brand as the manufacturing of new licensed product gets underway and new products come to market.

What to look out for?

The main pitfall is to stray too far from the brand identity. Maintaining and developing the brand equity is crucial to success. Diverting from the brand identity could work for smaller limited capsule collections, but long-term it could turn loyal supporters away. It is important to defend the brand equity through every stage of the product cycle: from identifying the partner, to initial design to quality control.

In summary

Whilst brands are affected by the cyclical nature of the current consumer approach to retail, the ABC model is one way that brands can revive and survive. At Gordon Brothers we have been carefully perfecting our ABC model since 2004, delivering success through Bench, Ben Sherman, Polaroid, and more recently, Laura Ashley.

New retail solutions and business models will not go away. The trick is to find the one that works best for your brand and, for heritage brands with a strong IP, the ABC model is likely the most viable solution.

For more information about the ABC model visit https://www.gordonbrothers.co.uk/retail-expert-series

Modern Business Models You Need to Know

Remember when the only way to shop was in person? Excluding catalog shopping, going to the store was the only way to shop. But as time passed, something started to change. Innovation took hold and revolutionized the way we do just about everything. Business models of today are far different than they were even 10 short years ago.

Now, you have a variety of ways to shop without ever having to set foot inside your local market. However, if you’re wanting to start your own business, you need to know which business model works best with your ideas and concepts. If you’re looking to start your own company, there’s no shortage of modern business options to choose from.

 

Subscription Based

Life can be hectic, so that’s why subscription-based business models usually do pretty well. Streamlining the purchasing process is what it’s all about, specifically, buying once and having the product delivered regularly without having to dedicate time to buying it again. Even something as innocuous as toilet paper subscriptions have taken off.

If you go this route, you definitely need to streamline the delivery process. It’s even more important once your business starts to grow and you’re managing a fleet. To ensure your deliveries make it to their destination on time, you should consider fleet telematics. Telematics offer real-time GPS tracking, which not only improves customer service, but also enhances route performance. Understanding the fastest, not to mention safest route, will keep customers happy and avoid having to deal with missing packages from the post office.

 

Platform Only

Platform-based business models are also a viable option. Uber, GitHub and vacation rental platforms all deliver what consumers want most, which is ease of use and value. Granted, you need to validate your idea before investing a lot of money into building an app or platform. You can create a beta version of your idea and test it out on a variety of target markets. If the response is favorable, you can then expand and start working towards the finished version.

Since creating apps can be expensive, you can also use crowdfunding to get your idea off the ground. Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform, allows you to pitch your idea and ask for financial backing from investors. In return, you offer a percentage or profit or something else that will make their investment worthwhile.

 

Technology Focus

Thanks to modern technology, the printing business is booming. In fact, technology is so advanced that you can actually start your own 3D printing company, or something similar, in your own home. If you’re all about AI and big data, you could develop an app that makes supply chain and fleet management easier for other businesses. You should also be up to speed on things like the future of digital marketing so that you do not go through the trouble of getting your business off the ground and devote your time to antiquated marketing strategies that fall flat in today’s market.

 

Socially Based

Business owners of today are more hands on than ever before. They take an active role in building authentic relationships with their customers. One shining example is a Golde, which is a health supplement company started online with one product. Completely bootstrapped, the founders of Golde interacted, and still do to this day, with their audience online. They even went so far as to give viable information on how they got started and how you can do it as well. Consumers want to know the story behind a brand, not wonder who’s sitting at the helm.

Risk Management and Organisational Effectiveness

Magnifor Consulting is an innovative risk leadership consultancy firm working shoulder-to-shoulder with its clients to maximise the value of uncertainties. It does this by addressing both risk management and organisational effectiveness in parallel. Adopting such a holistic approach assures that risk management principles are embedded throughout the organisation, creating long-term value for all stakeholders. Acquisition International magazine has recognised the company for being the Best Risk Management Consultancy – 2021, so we take a closer look at the company.

Magnifor’s consulting services are different in many ways.

Firstly, it focuses on balancing risk and opportunity as the two sides of the coin that underpin uncertainty. Most leaders understand that a core responsibility of leadership is avoiding or mitigating risks that jeopardise organisational goals. At the same time, leaders also know that they must take calculated risks if they want to grasp opportunities and get breakthrough results. Therefore, it is important to embrace taking the right risks at the right moment to open up the organisation to possibility. Effectively balancing these two realities will result in extraordinary success.

Secondly, Magnifor brings bottom-up insights to risk and opportunity registers from people across the entire organisation. The goal is to move from informed compliance to risk awareness, engaged compliance and critical thinking. Ultimately, this leads to an organisation regarding those on the frontline as professional partners who identify and point out risks and opportunities, providing the organisation’s leadership sufficient time to be proactive well before threats harm the company, employees, customers, or other stakeholders. It also allows them to seize opportunities well before they slip away, potentially becoming a competitive advantage for rivals.

Thirdly, Magnifor supports risk managers moving away from being siloed in solely managing risks from a top-down perspective in isolation from the rest of the organisation.

Even with all that is known today about leadership and management, one of the most untransformed areas of business is risk management. Risk managers are still perceived to be the ‘grey suits from headquarters’ unaware of the real issues of the front line. The COVID-19 crisis has further increased their separation from the frontlines, as most of them were forced to work from their home offices. Expectations of the discipline ensure their accountabilities are set up to fail. While risk managers are equipped with sophisticated tools and technology, it is absurd to expect them to provide an always-on radar, scanning the emergence of risks and opportunities at all levels of the organisation.

Currently, Magnifor observes leaders interested in having all their employees be de facto risk managers. There is a growing interest in having all employees enabled to monitor the actual level of risk and opportunity rather than rely on a static shot of what risk was identified during a risk workshop.

The post COVID-19 era offers risk managers a profound opportunity to make a difference and take leadership in guiding their companies forward in the roaring twenties of our time. Magnifor’s intent is to empower them to do just that.

So how does Magnifor make all employees risk manager? Its approach is through crowdsourcing – an increasing well-known platform in the innovation space.

Magnifor has deployed that proven practice into the space of risk management and has built its proprietary system, Risk Focus™ to make the process of crowdsourcing easy and enjoyable for clients. Why? Because there was nothing available in the market that served these goals and so, Magnifor had to invent it.

Its cloud-based digital solution, Risk Focus™ supports companies in crowdsourcing risks and opportunities. Having and utilising a few simple screens in everybody’s pocket will stimulate the sharing of uncertainties, potential issues or simply observed anomalies. It allows each individual to raise their voice and identify uncertainties that might have a potential impact on their organisation’s objectives. As some clients shared, Magnifor “democratises risk and opportunity insights”.

Risk Focus™ makes organisation-wide sharing easy and enjoyable. Uncertainties are logged in less than two minutes, which encourages all employees to contribute. In addition, the workflows enable integration into companies’ business strategy, operations, and compliance processes to drive enhanced learning and risk-informed decision making.

The system automatically aligns uncertainty management processes to the organisation’s specific goals and makes risk and opportunity identification systematic. Risk and opportunity analysis is done continuously rather than only having a static risk picture quarterly or less. The result is a dashboard on which management can see the actual level of risk and opportunity daily. Risks don’t rest, and opportunities don’t wait. And so shouldn’t risk management practices.

It is critical to include recognition and feedback. The real value behind crowdsourcing is the engagement you are able to create; making sure that people are recognised for their inputs and given feedback of what was appreciated engages them further in the company and its objectives. In crowdsourcing, every voice counts and must have an equal weight.

And so, together with its clients, Magnifor designs and builds uncertainty management approaches ensuring that the right people see risks and opportunities at the right time, enabling teams to act with skill and confidence and extend the boundaries of what is possible in their response strategies. That is how a company builds resilience in the roaring twenties of our times.

Magnifor is led by co-founder and CEO, Marischa van Zantvoort, who started her career in management consulting and commercial roles before joining Philips, the Dutch multinational corporation headquartered in Amsterdam in 2009, where she served as an executive business leader for ten years with a start as a chief auditor. From there, she held leadership roles in customer service, commercial operations, sleep and respiratory care, and served in a leading role in the divestment of Philips Lighting. In her last role at Philips, Marischa was the chief commercial officer for the Philips Healthcare Informatics business.

Speaking about risk culture within businesses, Marischa says, “Let me debunk the myth that having a risk culture means avoiding risks. Most companies with a risk culture are likely taking more risk than less or prevent them. They are comfortable being uncomfortable and embrace risks. They can do that because of two main reasons. One: they see the threats and chances coming their way rather than being surprised by them. Two: they have more insight into the uncertainties. With that, they can respond faster to early and even weak signals that inform them. They don’t need to predict the future; they are creating it.

“Leaders who seek breakthrough results must embrace the uncomfortable truth: most risks and opportunities their organisation will register in the coming year are already known by somebody in their organisation today. Knowing these in their earliest stages gives leaders a head-start in response strategies. As William Gibson wrote, ‘The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet.’

“Another risk out there is that ‘risk management is so 2019’. Yes, risk management as we knew it. The world moved on and so should the discipline of risk management. Most leaders that I speak with recognise that risk management was there to satisfy regulators. And these practices had no value beyond compliance. Now leaders want risk management to focus on better decision making to get to business success. The purpose of risk management must go beyond just compliant. The ‘why?’ of risk management is not managing risks as such. It is about people learning to make better decisions and so contribute to business success.”

To make a real impact, risk management must be integrated with organisational effectiveness, but little has been done so far to connect these two worlds – and this must change.

Risk management in the decade ahead requires a bold, new approach that integrates organisational effectiveness with their human resources. Leaders who wish to create a new level of performance in their organisations need a risk culture that includes all workers in the organisation.

Like every consulting firm, Magnifor’s people are the most important asset, and it practices what it preaches: when working in teams, every voice counts and gets an equal weight. For example, everyone contributes to interviewing candidates regardless of levels of seniority and years of work experience. When Magnifor recruits people, it is looking for specific skills and competencies in the area of transformation and risk management, of course, but also industrial experience is beneficial.

Magnifor is looking for people with an evidenced ability to challenge the status quo and inspire action and transformation. And, most importantly, it is always looking for candidates with grit; passion and perseverance, and an unremitting eagerness to contribute to the success of the company’s clients.

Meanwhile, a prominent topic in conversations today is the emerging concern about “The Great Resignation”. Post-COVID, employers are finding employees leaving their company in droves. They are not leaving because of how they were treated by their employers, rather, they are leaving because of how they were not treated. The work Magnifor does will re-energise the employee’s bond with their company’s goals. And with that, it is a leveraged way for an employer and leader to show their people that they are taken seriously way beyond the cliché, “I hear you”. Introducing Magnifor’s approach shows a willingness to actively listen, and a means to immediately and effectively act on what’s being shared.

To activate this with and for its relations, Magnifor has created the Risk Leadership Society. It is a community of practice discussing aspects of risk management, transforming culture, and getting to a Risk Leadership Mindset™. Modernising risk management seems simple but may not be easy. Compare it to losing weight: eat less, move more. Sounds simple, right? But not appreciating the challenges one takes upon his or herself is a mistake and may lead to disappointment. Therefore, Magnifor’s intent is to team up like-minded great thinkers who want to push the curve of risk management transformation rather than running behind the future.

Executives across multiple industries will be invited to explore and walk this new talk while sharing experiences, best practices, and failures in a safe collaborative environment. When you want to go fast, go alone, but when you want to go far, go together. Participation in these sessions is still available.

Contact Details (To Be Published)

Company: Magnifor Consulting

Contact: Marischa van Zantvoort

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.magnifor.com

The Heart of the Matter

The world of research is built on collaboration, but finding the space for that collaboration is not always easy. When the European Cardiovascular Research Institute (ECRI) was founded, it was to perform various studies into the field of cardiology. In Acquisition International’s Global Excellence Awards, the organization was given the 2021 Award for Excellence in Cardiovascular Clinical Studies – Europe. We take a closer look at their fascinating work to see what they do, and how they’ve achieved such amazing success.

Founded in 2012, the ECRI was designed to act as a collaborative base of operations for scientists and experts from across Europe to explore the field of cardiology, specifically the performance of investigator-initiated studies. These studies have the potential to revolutionize our understanding of this specialized branch of medicine, opening the doors to a whole new world of opportunity. This non-profit has transformed the way in which cardiology is seen by the world at large, pushing the boundaries of what can be done continually forward.

The benefits of ECRI come from the structure of the organization. Through the various processes and systems established, teams can facilitate the design and conduct of clinical trials according to ICH/GCP/ISO guidelines and standards. ECRI uses a great deal of expertise in these trials, looking to Cardialysis, an established academic and contract research organization, which has executed over 400 clinical studies, in Europe and around the world. The combination of both organizations creates an opportunity for multi-center, multinational investigator-initiated studies. Several multi-center randomized clinical trials with ECRI acting as trial sponsor are currently being conducted by means of scientific grants form leading industries.

As a sponsor of clinical trials, there are four clear responsibilities that make ECRI an innovative partner. These four attributes are what the team focuses on to ensure their work is consistently of the highest quality possible. Firstly, patient safety is paramount. The team carefully designs their clinical trials with expert input from established clinicians and scientists. Prestigious clinical centres and investigators are selected to treat patients to guarantee this, with a system of highly regulated safety reporting procedures.

Secondly, the value of data is obvious to a research organization, and to ensuring its integrity is a top priority. ECRI continually monitors the quality and timeliness of data entry, and ensures the continuity of protected databases by hosting these in professional organizations which follow regulations on maintenance of clinical databases. 2021 saw a breakthrough in this respect, making its publication policy public, and therefore a process which can be scrutinized by professionals and specialists from around the world.

Thirdly, the team ensures its results are reliable by highly controlled procedures designed to prevent bias among the investigators. By taking deliberate decisions at the start of the research process, it’s possible to bring about a much more independent decision making process. A clear example of this in action is the way in which a clinical trial is monitored by an independent data and safety monitoring board. These expert board assesses the overall safety of a project. It is typically construed by three members, is independent of the ECRI and provides its advice to continue or modify a protocol to the Steering Committees of a study.

The final aspect that drives ECRI forward is the timely execution of clinical trials within allocated budgets. Science must lead the research industry forward, but careful management and planning are crucial to reach targets and to generate data that can reliably answer the research questions addressed by a particular clinical trial. Some organizations take a cavalier attitude to this, but the team at ECRI ensures that their work is focused specifically on getting good data in a specific field. The team’s close collaboration with Cardialysis, and with other organizations occasionally participating in ECRI trials, is key to this success.

The challenges faced by the medical industry as a whole are numerous, and the work of ECRI contributes to ensuring that cardiovascular clinical studies do not fall behind. As there is less funding currently available, combined with regulatory requirements and company standard operating procedures that make clinical trials expensive to execute, it’s little wonder that many struggle to explore some of the more interesting areas of the industry. Even many interesting study ideas from individual Investigators will not be funded due to budget limitations. ECRI acts as an intermediary between thought leaders and supporting industry, building collaboration not just into the way a study is run, but into the very fabric of its being from the outset.

When the team at ECRI work with their clients, they see them as partners to work closely with to ensure success. Every cardiovascular randomized clinical trial that the team conducts is an enormous endeavour that typically lasts for 5 to 7 years. This means that commitment and passion are critical from all parties. The core of an ECRI project is made of four basic components, starting with the ECRI managing director. This person acts as the sponsor representative for the trial. There are also the Principal Investigators and Steering Committee, who offer the scientific and medical leadership to the trial, the Grant-Givers who support the execution of the investigator initiates through restricted research grants, and finally Cardialysis, to which ECRI outsources all clinical trial and core laboratory execution activities. Often, more than one contract research organization is involved in ECRI trials sharing responsibilities with Cardialysis, either due to band width or geographic distribution. These parties are qualified and compliant ECRI and Cardialysis vendors.

ECRI functions as independent sponsor for clinical trials, drastically reducing the workload to lead investigators, who would otherwise take the sponsor responsibilities at their academic institutions. ECRI utilizes Cardialysis, its sister organization, from which it sources critical capabilities for sponsoring clinical trials. Its operational activities draw on almost 40 years of clinical trial expertise at Cardialysis. The culture of ECRI is the culture of Cardialysis. Both are proudly knowledge-based professional organizations, with regulatory-compliant processes, and top commitment for quality in clinical research.

Over the years, ECRI has become characterized by accuracy in planning, budget oversight, compliance, and execution. ECRI operates on the basis of close collaboration and rapid communication among stakeholders. As a non-profit organization, ECRI is solely funded by research grants provided by the medical industry which typically is not involved in the design of the studies, but without which investigator-initiated studies could not be executed via ECRI. Moreover, they may facilitate devices or drugs, if this would be part of the agreed research grant contribution.

ECRI operates within networks of clinical sites with extensive experience in clinical research who facilitate a timely patient enrolment. Being compliant to regulations at an institutional level as well as having the necessary logistics and personnel to set-up a clinical investigation, adequately consent patients, implement best practices for experimental therapies or devices, ensure timely and accurate data entry, as well as thorough follow-up of study participants, demand significant resources from participating sites and vouch for the unfaltering commitment of health care providers to improving patient care. ECRI networks goes beyond Europe and are represented globally.

The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have affected every industry around the world, and as many other leaders in the field, ECRI adapted through the pandemic. Given the primary focus on device and open-label pharma trials, ECRI’s completed on time studies planned to end in 2020 and 2021, without important challenges. Significant adaptions, however, took place around monitoring activities where specialized research professionals visit hospitals to review the quality of data entered in the study databases compared with data available in the patient charts. This review needs to be in-person, and in Europe it is not allowed to perform these reviews remotely. For this reason, monitoring visits had to be reprogrammed based on the two or three waves of COVID-19 peaks in different countries.

For the organization’s operations outside Europe, some countries did allow remote verification of source documents, through innovative remote review systems. Probably most interestingly, the research suggests that the impact of a COVID-19 infection is linked to several cardiac conditions, such as myocardial infarction, stroke, or thrombotic conditions, this required to immediately adapt procedures for timely reporting COVID-19 related clinical events. At ECRI, it has been essential to develop a consistent approach to classify relatedness of procedures or devices to COVID-19, in alignment with the efforts of the European Society of Cardiology, which published in Summer 2020, recommendations for assessment of the interaction between COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease.

To ensure that the organization remains at the top of its game, the scientific advisory board was entirely renewed over the last two years. Generational changes are something that the team pay great attention to, and ensure that ECRI remains at the forefront of the industry, so this turnover ensures that the organization can keep moving forward with bold ideas and new concepts at its forefront. This can clearly be seen through the projects that the team have undertaken over the years, perhaps most obviously in the changeover of 2021.

2021 actually represents a point of inflection for the team, with the end of five clinical trials and the start of three innovative projects. These new projects are focused on the high complexity treatment of coronary artery disease. The OPTIMAL trial (NCT04111770), the IVUS CHIP trial (NCT04854070), and the FAST III trial (NCT04931771) are some of the most innovative in their field, pushing ahead with new ideas and concepts that could have a major impact on clinical practice guidelines. The first two projects will generate data that would clarify the role of intravascular ultrasound imaging in the treatment of complex high risk interventions. To provide the right amount of information, the research team are aiming to enrol up to 2800 patients across both projects. These patients will come from seven different European countries.

The FAST III trial takes a slightly different tack, utilizing a novel technology to determine the severity of coronary stenosis called vessel Fractional Flow Reserve (vFFR). ECRI runs this study through research grants from two technology companies, Pie Medical Imaging in Maastricht in The Netherlands, and Siemens Healthineers AG, based in Erlangen, Germany. The scope of this impressive project showcases the best of what the team can do, acting as a collaborative effort that includes thirty-five centres in seven European countries.

The very nature of ECRI allows it to distinguish itself from other organizations. The institute, by design, focused on the specific needs of cardiologists, with an advisory board includes members who are among the most distinguished academic thought leaders in Europe. As a result, ECRI has become a one-stop-shop for investigator-initiated clinical trials, where grant-givers and investigators can rely on its strengths to manage and monitor the studies. There are very few organizations that can match its reputation for quality, for accuracy and for good solid results.

For further information, please contact Dr. Ernest Spitzer or visit www.ECRI-Trials.com

CRM Specialists of Three Decades

Today, advanced digitisation offers companies from all industries the opportunity to open up new markets or market segments. This requires revolutionary ideas, creative solutions, and new technologies. As a software developer from the beginning, GEDYS IntraWare is a committed, experienced, and competent partner. With its innovative CRM products, it supports customers worldwide on their individual paths towards Industry 4.0. The success of its work is reflected in the trusting cooperation with 3,600 installed products and 400,000 licenses sold.

Motivated by numerous awards (including the IBM Collaboration Solutions Award 2012, the INNOVATIONSPREIS-IT 2017 and 2018, as well as the Top Innovator 2017 award), GEDYS IntraWare has now also been recognised by Acquisition International as Most Innovative CRM Software Provider 2021 – Germany for its user-oriented, modular CRM and software solutions which are developed with enthusiasm for the everyday work of the future.

With strong business partners including HCL, IBM and Microsoft at its side, GEDYS IntraWare develops optimal CRM applications with clients and supports them in all phases of CRM implementation. Its CRM portfolio includes solutions for all departments and industries, for office, home office or on the road. And they are 100% DSGVO compliant.

The CRM product comprises modular components for maintaining customer relationships and offers powerful tools for sales, marketing and service. It can be used and combined with HCL Notes, Outlook, the web, tablets or smartphones, and supports company-specific requirements: from address maintenance to electronic customer files, workflow automation and campaign management, to sales control with configurable sales methods, complaint management as well as ITIL helpdesk.

And thanks to its flexible customisation options, the GEDYS IntraWare product line is suitable for all industries and companies of any size. The modular concept allows a step-by-step introduction and use of the system for a quick ROI.

For those who are on the go, the CRM mobile app, goMobile Pro enables users to connect their smartphone to the versatile business tool. For strong customer relationships. For more competitive advantages. For more teamwork. Worldwide.

It inspires company sales forces, providing all information about customers and business partners while on the move. Why wait until you’re back in the office when it comes to important information? With goMobile Pro, you will always have business partners, tasks, appointments, projects, notes, documents and emails with you. New information and results are recorded immediately. And that clears the mind for focus on other things.

To go with its excellent software solutions, the GEDYS IntraWare team can provide competent and professional advice and support to customers. The uniqueness of each customer is the company’s focus; carefully conducted discussions allow it to recognise how they think, where their needs lie, and which relationships they are striving for. Its aim is to obtain an accurate picture of all factors in order to advise, instruct and train its clients in line with their interests.

Respect, fairness, openness, appreciation and mutual support characterise the company’s behaviour in the workplace and towards its customers, suppliers and partners. Tolerance and diversity are a matter of course. And its success is based on its employees. It is important to the company that it offers a good, modern working environment in which its employees feel comfortable. It likes to invest in and promote young talent, training them to take over in the long term. Its employee benefits include flexible working hours, internal development opportunities, training seminars and latest technologies, family atmosphere and employee events, modern workplace and communal kitchen, and free water, coffee and fruit.

The team is led by Managing Directors, Joachim Weber, Ralf Geishauser and Frank Hohl. They make business decisions with openness to new ideas, promoting the company’s development and sustainably increasing the company’s value. Management skills such as quickly recognising new opportunities, developing future-proof models or initiating and accompanying changes while motivating employees and promoting their independence make the organisation flexible and adaptable. In their work, the managers always have a focus on the added value for the customer as well as on transparency and authenticity.

Ultimately, GEDYS IntraWare does not focus on the average, but strives for perfect results. It achieves set goals with intensive commitment. The combination of ‘fresh thinking’ with knowledge and experience helps with this. It promotes creative processes, but never without losing sight of its credibility and professionalism.

GEDYS IntraWare works every day to shape the everyday work of tomorrow. It is important to adapt to changes in the market and new situations. This was also the case during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its employees and customers had to work from home and needed seamless access to all the necessary data. Thanks to the company’s software, it was possible within a very short time to work 100% from home. Web access to the CRM solution enables transparent work and perfect teamwork. All around the world. The software makes it possible to react quickly and effectively to new situations. During the pandemic, it was able to hold almost 90% of all customer appointments via video meetings. This enabled more customer meetings per day and faster, more efficient customer service.

Now and in the future, GEDYS IntraWare is moving forward with foresight and is constantly investing in new business areas. Its new low code development platform opens up new markets and makes it possible to implement individual software projects in the shortest possible time. Regardless of the project, industry or number of users. Years of development can be saved with this platform. Many applications and databases can be configured with just a few clicks. This ensures the future viability of many companies.

For further information, please contact Oliver Niedner or visit www.gedys-intraware.com

Serving Customer and Community

Having made itself the ‘Best Home & Maintenance Services Provider’ in 2021 for the UK, Fantastic Services is a home and office services company whose franchise model is helping communities all across the world. Having experienced vast and exponential growth since its founding, the exemplary team behind it, one that believes in the values of family and client-first service, has propelled even further towards greater success.

A cleaning services company that began in 2009, Fantastic Services was founded on the ideas of its co-founders. Like minded, dedicated, and ambitious individuals, they set out to lead the revolution of how people clean, beginning in London but soon expanding out into a worldwide and exemplary service that is truly a one-stop-shop in everything home and office. Fundamentally, it is a multi-service shop that stocks wares for cleaning, gardening and landscaping, DIY work, pest control, plumbing, removals, electrical services, and more, with a vast network of 530 partners behind it that allows it to serve over 50,000 customers a month, all of whom come away perfectly satisfied with the service and the products.

Since its founding it has expanded both its geographical reach and portfolio, leveraging over 100 different services that its customers can benefit from – all of which are outstanding in nature and by design – that can be found across three different continents through its high-margin franchises. Its franchisees can be found in Europe, Australia, and America at present. Furthermore, its philosophy of service has by far helped this expansion as it has been able to forge a notoriety around the attitude held by its staff and carried by its name: the simple idea of excellent customer service and an outstanding retail experience for customer and crew.

It calls this the ‘360 degrees circle of happiness’, striving to make it a reality for everyone who steps through its doors, finding them what they need and advising them on the best product for the task at hand. Moreover, this allows Fantastic Services to continually pursue its mission of creating services people love, using the technology created by the industry’s best and brightest, all further emboldened by the heart at its core that it works hard to keep as its through-line. This has allowed it to create a flexible and sustainable franchise model that allows growth for the franchisee – including exclusive rights and support from the mother business – aiming to help build 1000 such franchisees to build their businesses up to being worth £1,000,000 by the end of the next ten years.

Fantastic Services has, in this way, managed to keep hold of the family feeling that made heart such an important part of its business model. Importantly, it kept its growth to scale with its dedication to each individual, ensuring that despite its size it didn’t lose track of the people that made it what it is today, admiring how different each of its franchises becomes as they grow into their own business. Therefore, the past 12 years have been fundamentally characterised by Fantastic Services further cultivating the support it can offer its employees, extending the fantastic atmosphere that results out to customers to earn them over 21,000 active members of its thriving membership programme.

In fact, one of its founders came directly from the tech industry, with Fantastic Services being part of a new wave of businesses integrating the newest innovations such as online booking, something which today is a requirement – it also has invested millions in custom built CRM and two integrated mobile apps. With this business, no expenses are spared when it comes to ensuring employees have access to the most effective and efficient solutions available. Additionally, its over 500 in-house IT staff make this possible with tenacity and hard work, ensuring that its search engine optimisation, marketing, customer care, IT support, accounting, service experience, and other experts are working well together to create the best possible experiences across the board. This has created a well-oiled machine that empowers the business like an engine, and the IT team’s synergy with other departments is also vitally important. Moreover, all departments of Fantastic Services work together well, each team with its own function and output that compliments those of the others and creates a phenomenal unit.

To drill a little deeper into its franchise models, it offers three different ones. This is because it knows that no two business or businesspeople operate in the same way – thus, its Master franchise model grants exclusive rights over an entire country managed by an exclusive ambassador, allowing them to develop the country with units in each area. Its Area Development model, however, grants these rights over a new territory, such as a city, but still allows for the management of several units. Finally, its Working franchise model is the lowest investment franchise opportunity that is nonetheless just as important, allowing franchisees to work with a team in a chosen service and suitable for service providers who seek independence with their time and resources.

The timeline, when it comes to franchising, is also totally up to the franchisee. Fantastic Services will work with them in order to find the model that is right for them and help them negotiate with the unique factors of the area they wish to operate in; that being said, largely the scale will decide how long it will take to set up. A Working franchise could be in the field within weeks, whereas Area Development and Master franchises will take at least a month to set up properly. Furthermore, this has developed a determination fostered by both Fantastic Services and its franchisees, one that has allowed it to weather many challenges – even the hurdles of Covid-19. It worked hard to implement all the right safety measures and protocols, even developing an Antiviral Sanitation service to help its clients through this tough time.

It also offered two hours of free domestic cleaning to UK based key workers, and a grant programme was launched in April to provide those who had lost their job or business to the outbreak with £5,000 of investments towards a Working franchise quick start. Additionally, it is looking towards a sustainable future for itself and its franchisees. Fantastic Services believes that environmental corporate responsibility is a must in today’s world, working hard to positively impact all communities it comes across environmentally, socially, and economically.

Fantastic Services has therefore made a name for itself as a great influencing factor that can help communities retain their autonomy – giving small business back what they lost during the pandemic for one thing – and ensuring the eponymous fantastic nature of its services are available in the local area. Its employees, franchisees, and customers can always guarantee to come away energised and invigorated, inspired by the encouraging and empathic environment they find within stores across the globe and excited to come back time and time again, as they so often do.

For business enquiries, contact Christina Koleva via fantasticservices.com.

Best Workplace Training Provider 2021 – UK

Located in Hull, Portull Training Services Ltd. was founded in January 2007 to meet the demanding needs of the ports industry with regards to plant and machinery training. Since formed, Portull has become a well-established, high-quality training organisation with demonstrably successful models of delivery that provide a pathway for all its learners. PTS maintain and continue to build strong links with regional colleges, educational awarding bodies and customers and develop significantly broader ranges of training solutions to meet other industries.

With a company philosophy based on the belief that the needs of its customers are of the utmost importance, Portull’s entire team is committed to developing economic growth through structured community support, development and partnership working. The training provider is now looking to move forward, be more strategic and consolidate its key position to be the “Trainer of Choice” for specialist plant and equipment across a broad range of market sectors; developing “Portull Group” to incorporate its sister company HPLA and offer onward employment.

The Portull Group not only develop and train staff for our customers, 90% of Portull Staff are a result of attending and successfully completing their funded courses. Once employed Portull and HPLA develop and mentor each employee in their chosen field, for example, Tutors, Instructors, Assessors, Administration and Front of House.

Portull encourages staff members to progress to senior roles and management levels.

During 2020, Portull trained 4 employees to a category level four (Train the Trainer) with the Road Transport Industry Training Board (RTITB), with one staff member going on to be one of only 40 in the country to deliver the Train the Trainer courses with the Independent Training Standards Scheme and Register (ITSSAR) to provide the next generation of practical training specialists, recently developing staff to become duel accredited.

Portull performs a pivotal role in responding to the dynamic skills and employment needs in its local area. Portull has forged strong extensive links within the Humber and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding regions and obtained strong alliances with a network of voluntary and community organisations. This ensures they maintain a responsive attitude to emerging opportunities and agile to referral agents. Their clients’ needs carefully calibrating the position it occupies and maintaining a flexible Pathway to the Employment programmes it offers; providing a clear line of sight for unemployed people to gain paid employment.

The company works with over 500 small, medium and large employers to ensure occupational currency is retained, specific skills needed to respond to the emerging roles and vacancies that employers have. It retrains current staff, trains and recruits new staff in direct response to employer need.

Responding to emerging employer needs, especially around the Humber Ports sector where job opportunities are plenty and somewhat varied, has seen Portull engage in a capital investment programme. This engagement has required Portull to develop state-of-the-art facilities and purchase equipment of industry standard to enable the business to teach real and occupationally relevant skills to learners.

To supplement Portull’s support, assistive technology, specialist support and other reasonable adjustments in accordance with the Equality Act 2010 Partnerships are formed from a wider range of external agencies.

The primary mechanism for referral of Portull’s offer is through its key referral agents such as job centres, community and voluntary groups and local authority funded organisations. Portull’s staff actively work with the community to offer immediate skills-based opportunities to job seekers, either through its successful programmes or other ranges of qualifications.

Portull’s commitment to stakeholder engagement provides the business with the insight to adapt and flex to dynamic labour market needs with a service offer that has both relevance and currency with employer skills requirements, roles and vacancies. As a result of the strength of their relationships, Portull performs a demonstrably successful role in assisting business and economic growth, helping to tackle unemployment and addressing wider social issues.

An example of engagement includes continual investment into its equipment and training centre, allowing it to offer more courses in an authentic workplace environment. Renovation of the original equipment and cranes that were part of the building saw them incorporated back into the building’s history, preserving the heritage of the site. The company also paid for a mural to be painted on the buildings to further celebrate the site and shipping and fishing heritage of the local area.

In engaging and supporting learners, Portull has adopted a comprehensive approach to identifying skills needs to maximise positive outcomes. Learners are given information, advice and guidance to gain extra knowledge and confidence around course content, duration and expectations. Profiling is also provided to allow staff to gain an accurate picture of each learner’s skills needs.

The analysis forms the basis to map out a specific set of actions, targets and skills development. Determining the qualifications learners will pursue to maximise their chance of achieving a positive outcome is of paramount importance. This personalised approach is particularly pertinent to learners from disadvantaged backgrounds as all factors affecting successful outcomes, including welfare and financial issues are identified and supported.

Portull’s well-established approach to quality, driven by self-assessment and quality improvement plans, are monitored monthly alongside other quality assurance metrics. The results of internal and external audits give Portull the consistency, quality and adequacy of their learner’s progress.

Not just simply focused on training the people that pass through its doors, Portull is focused on engaging with the community and maintaining the history of the same, whilst providing end-to-end service that supports people in gaining sustainable employment, they continue to support businesses.

Portull continues to work with ex-Armed Forces personnel, signing to commit to honour the Armed Forces Covenant and making Hull4Hereos their Charity of the Year 2021. Portull also sponsors local projects such as Hull Kingston Radio, Amateur Rugby League Teams, Football Clubs, East Hull Open Age Rugby Club.

Portull have also provided part of its premises to Places for People to assist learners in accessing housing, working with local food banks and the Salvation Army.

The National Careers Service/Education Development Trust are also based on site to offer further support to learners. Mental health and welfare support is another priority, with Portull referring to partners such as Andy’s Man Club, creator of the It’s OK to Talk campaign to help reduce suicides in men.

During the last year, Portull Training Services have noticed an increase in its learners requiring support in obtaining sustainable employment, safe and secure accommodation, and foodbank information. As a company, it feels that it is important to assist all learners to obtain these services and have assisted many individuals by providing clothing, food and network support. Portull have also further closed the gap with its sister company, HPLA to supply temporary to permanent sustainable employment for the individuals currently struggling, placing over 69% of unemployed individuals back into work, sustaining 95% in employment and receiving positive five-star Google feedback.

Portull continue to work with employers following the increase in redundancies during the unforeseen COVID pandemic. Extending the hand of held, offering employer and employee support during unprecedented times, has at times, produced its own challenges which Portull have executed well. Assisting newly unemployed personnel by supplying new skills and upskilling, ensures the individual is presenting themselves moving forward in their best light. These new and improved skills ensure a higher percentage employability rate within an already struggling market

Although the pandemic of 2020 took hold in March and April, this led to a further upturn of resource demands and as many customers lost personnel to furlough, quarantine and sickness, the demand continued to grow. Whilst many industries shut down for lockdown, Portull and HPLA experienced an uptake in demand, embracing working relationships to be able to support businesses and learner’s, they continued to offer all the flagship products and services.

Whilst Portull’s funded provisions were placed on hold initially, the pandemic had created many occupational safety and health risks across various business sectors, with the training provider’s customers being drastically affected. Portull responded to the pandemic quickly and adapted delivery models, schemes of work and changed their staffing structure to ensure that their customers’ and clients’ needs were continuing to be met. These measures allowed Portull to continue with the funded provisions to support vulnerable adults and assist with local labour market requests.

As the pandemic continues, the related risks and recovery are a high priority factor with Portull and its customers. Portull have therefore, stepped in to help other business owners, it has recruited, trained at cost for its customers and provided mental health, financial and welfare support for learners.

Portull employees also took the opportunity to learn new skills, develop new efficient ways of thinking and let go of inefficient ways of working. Portull staff have persevered and stretched themselves with learning specific behaviours whilst maintaining their effectiveness and efficiency in the workplace. Portull are continuing to support their learners through remote and distance learning, creating WhatsApp groups, arranging group and one-to-one Teams meetings. By offering a 24-hour learner support network as well as face-to-face delivery Portull have provided an “around the clock” function, much needed by their learners.

As a result of their dedication not only to their learners but their community over the last 12 months, Portull achieved contractual growths, retaining contracts with HPLA and gaining a further six contracts to provide labour alongside eight contracts via Portull contacts. These had carried over as a result of strengthening and closing the gap between both sides of the company.

An increase of stakeholders now means further partnerships have been formed with both companies now having working partnerships with; Operator Training Solutions Limited (OTS), HSS Hire & Training for additional training requirements, Howdens Joinery and Fairshare Foods. In addition Copernus, Greencore, and Yorkshire Greens to provide manufacturing, warehouse, and factory labour to fulfil staffing gaps, giving more opportunities for employment. Although Portull have seen a dramatic increase, it has continued to maintain its relationships with companies such as Alexander Dennis, Selkirk’s, Al-Ko Kober, Karro & Chaucer Foods, Collett & Sons Haulage and Siemens Gamesa, world leader in the renewable energy network.

Portull plan to be the Training provider of choice, training those in and out of work and have recently submitted a tender to financially support the opportunity for growth.

In conclusion, Portull maintains the road to success is their personal approach, the family vibes, commitment, and the never-ending support they offer their learners, staff and community. The moto Portull adhere to, reflecting on their selfless dedication is “If Portull are unable to do it for you, we will not hesitate to find you the source that can”.

For business enquiries, contact Cherie Jackson at Portull Training Services Ltd via www.portull.com.

Employment Screening Solution Innovation

Cisive is a global provider of compliance-driven human capital management and risk management solutions. Its expert team understands the risks and regulations that apply to the financial services, healthcare, transportation, and other highly regulated industries. For over 40 years, it has provided tailored solutions to meet the unique requirements of its enterprise clients. Recognised by Acquisition International as Most Innovative Employment Screening Solutions Provider 2021 – USA, we take a closer look at the company.

Governed by a mission to mitigate risk for employers, Cisive empowers clients with actionable intelligence and clarity throughout the hiring process. The uniqueness of Cisive’s pre-employment screening services stems from its unwavering focus on truthful reporting, legal compliance, and integrity of source material. As a company, it draws on its rich experience to offer the right solutions to enterprise organisations in highly regulated industries such as financial services, healthcare, and transportation.

Cisive utilises technology to automate processes where achievable by technology, but also employs highly trained personnel for review of background investigation information at critical points. This approach provides its clients unparalleled insight and the most accurate information and ensures that they overcome employment background check challenges and bring the most qualified candidates on board. Cisive’s accuracy rates are high, its turnaround times are competitive, and its dispute rates are low. All these operational and background screening capabilities work in cohesion to improve the candidate experience. It doesn’t cut corners, and as a result, clients don’t have to make a choice between technology and quality of the background screening with Cisive.

The company focuses on helping businesses in highly regulated industries such as financial services, healthcare, and transportation by implementing an efficient and compliant employment screening programme. Cisive is not just a vendor but a true business partner for its clients and it sees itself as an extension of their HR team. It approaches each client by aligning its objectives to theirs in the development of solutions built for compliance but tailored for the client’s unique business model and structure.

With Cisive, clients not only get a background screening partner, but a lifelong partner – a company that stands by their work, protects their clients, and provides the consultation and guidance that world class organisations are looking for. It is for these reasons that many of its clients have been with the company for over 30 years. Cisive’s quality of service, robust reporting, cost-effectiveness, and state-of-the-art 100% configurable, proprietary technology sets it apart from all others in the industry.

Cisive provides comprehensive global background investigations on potential and current employees, vendors, clients, and business partners. Comprehensive services include background screening, vendor/contractor screening, executive screening, drug testing, fingerprinting, paperless onboarding, and electronic Form I-9/E-Verify solutions. It launched its onboarding suite of technologies in 2007 to cater to enterprise clients’ talent acquisition needs and it has been enhancing the platform ever since.

Also, it recently took its global background screening capability to the next level by acquiring the Pre-Employment Screening division of Blue Umbrella (now Cisive’s global division), a well-known and highly regarded background screening and due-diligence company in the APAC region and PreCheck, the pre-eminent background screening company in the healthcare vertical, adding to its presence in transportation with Driver iQ, and railroad and vendor screening with eVerifile. These were major milestones in Cisive’s strategy to provide true, global background screening capabilities for every regulated vertical.

Meanwhile, a company’s most important asset is its people, and Cisive is no exception. When recruiting for new talent, it focuses on attracting the best people in the industry. It accomplishes this by aligning its candidates with its core values of HEART: honesty, excellence, accountability, respect, and teamwork. HEART represents the Cisive approach to business and has been instrumental in cultivating a collaborative culture where employees can thrive. It has been key to its success, which is why these qualities are ingrained in every aspect of the company, beginning with the recruitment process.

Over the years, Cisive has strengthened its commitment to diversity and inclusion and established a formal D&I committee in 2020. While D&I has always been part of Cisive’s culture, it believes it plays an important role in facilitating a healthy workplace environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and included. Cisive believes in the value of a diverse workforce and considers it key to its continued success as a company and to catalyse innovation into the future.

In April 2020, Cisive released SAFE19, a COVID-19 clearinghouse solution, developed to address the world’s journey to re-open after the pandemic. Cisive’s SAFE19 solution is a secure, paperless, central repository specifically designed to handle the uploading, validation, and compliance reporting on COVID-19 test and immunisation data. With SAFE19, governments, businesses, and education institutions can safely re-open while controlling the spread of COVID-19.

Also, SAFE19 is a flexible, data-driven solution designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 with the capability to evolve as vaccines and various testing options become available. The system has the capability to use an individual’s profile data and immunisation status to generate a digital or physical badge to verify their immunity.

Moreover, SAFE19 protects public health data and eliminates privacy concerns by offering a solution that is federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant. Designed to provide peace of mind to both organisations and end-users, SAFE19 provides confirmation authenticity of testing with dispute resolution to ensure the validity of individual records.

In May 2020, Cisive announced its CONTACT19 contact tracing solution, designed to allow employers to take a proactive approach to testing and contact tracing to ensure the safety of their workforce. The programme encourages employees to self-report if they have COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test and can identify and notify other employees who may have been in proximity, making recommendations for isolation or quarantine.

In June 2020, to complete its suite of COVID-19 compliance solutions, Cisive released its ACCESS19 solution. ACCESS19 is a secure, paperless safety solution specifically designed to allow businesses to resume day-to-day operations while keeping their workforce safe from COVID-19.

ACCESS19 eliminates paper documentation COVID-19 attestation processes for businesses by enabling the entire procedure to be complete from a secure mobile device. ACCESS19 provides attestation digital badges valid for one day, minimising the risk of COVID-19 by enforcing daily attestation procedures. It was recently enhanced to allow for COVID-19 vaccine data capture.

Cisive was not only able to innovate and provide clients with three timely solutions during the pandemic, but its own team can also ensure the ongoing safety of team members and remain compliant with federal, state, and local guidelines.

Looking ahead, Cisive is going to continue developing leading-edge technology, as the approach to talent acquisition and management continues to evolve. The nature of background screening is going to undergo a revolution in the next few years due to advances in technologies such as distributed ledgers (blockchain) and this will change the business models for background screening companies. Cisive will continue to seize on this growing opportunity.

The company also plans to keep expanding its global footprint – At the rate it is growing, Cisive predicts that it could soon become the top choice for fortune 1000 companies in the highly regulated industries all over the globe!

For business enquiries contact James Ownes at Cisive via www.cisive.com.

3 Ways to Implement Modernity in Your Transportation Business

The business of transportation is hardly new, however, some of the newest businesses to emerge onto the scene have models and processes that their predecessors do not. Even though this industry will for the most part always be an essential sector of business, that does not mean that you as an owner should rest on your laurels. One of the best things about bringing a longstanding transportation business up to speed in terms of innovation and modernity, is that you do not have to use strategies that are exclusive to your industry. Instead of focusing narrowly on only logistics-based processes, expand your horizons into small businesses in general and from that point you will be able to pick and choose what does and does not work for your goals while still honoring your individual brand and identity.

 

GPS Tracking Software

It does not matter if you have a fleet of one, or one hundred, if you want to optimize for efficiency and real time data analytics, you need to implement GPS tracking software. Making a change in terms of tech within a business can be polarizing and some people are highly resistant to it. However, in many cases what is actually feared, is the transition process, not the actual using of the software.

When you begin to consider your options, think about your needs, and your hopes. What kinds of things do you wish that you could have eyes on at all times in terms of your road team? You can utilize real- time business insights with live GPS tracking to improve fleet productivity, respond rapidly to changing conditions, catch problems early, share live tracking with customers, and install your hardware in minutes. If that doesn’t sell you, then think about what this is going to mean in terms of your in-office team. Dispatchers, customer service reps, managers, and even shareholders can all benefit from the offerings of such a software.

 

Web Presence

It is safe to say that in today’s world, online presence carries significantly more weight than print ads in terms of traffic to your business. Of course, there will always still be a time and a place for print, or even radio or television ads, but your website needs to be on point regardless. And while word of mouth can be beneficial as well, it is simply never going to be able to compete with the outreach that you can gain from building an effective website for your business.

Your company’s website needs to answer questions that potential and existing customers have, and quickly. You have a very small window of time to make a first impression with your website before users click right on over to your competition. Some ways to increase the functionality of your page so that it performs at the highest level are:

∙ Structure: Making sure it is mobile responsive so that people do not have to be on a computer to navigate your site.

∙ Easy to find: Your domain name needs to be simple yet specific.

∙ Contact information: This needs to be easily accessible from the home page and in big enough print to stand out.

You also need to have an understanding of your competition when building or improving your website. Knowing what does and does not work for your competitors is a priceless insight for how to make your own site stand out.

 

Search Engine Optimization

Most commonly noted as SEO, search engine optimization ensures that the content of your website satisfies the search engines to the point that your business is a top hit when searched. You already know that your website has to be well engineered, however content matters just as much as format and structure. There are easily implemented SEO tactics that you can start almost immediately, but if you do not feel that what you are capable of on your own is enough, consider hiring someone to help you get started. This does not have to become an in-house position, although it can, you can outsource this to a freelancer as a one-time project and opportunity to get the ball rolling. Once you understand what SEO is, and how to manage it, you may not need someone to officially hold this position on your team.

4 Ways to Make Payment Collection Easier

If you properly take control of your cash flow, there’s a greater chance you’ll take your business to new heights, regardless of your industry. However, effectively managing your cash flow isn’t always simple, and it’s even more difficult when you’re faced with customers who pay late.

Research shows delayed payments are the number one cause of problems related to cash flow. Even if you’re already incorporating the best tactics or hiring professional accountants, the endeavor to attain good cash flow won’t be successful if you’re not getting paid on time.

Fortunately, there are ways to get your customers to pay on time without straining your relationship with them. As society gears toward cashless transactions, here’s how you can make payment collection easier for your business.

1. Use invoicing software

Your customers may not be paying you on time because you’re not sending them clear invoices. This could happen when you’re still adopting the traditional way, which is manually creating invoices and then sending them one by one. 

Technology is smart and has the capacity to make things simple. Modern invoicing software allows you to streamline the invoicing process to make even the smallest company seem more professional and digitally savvy. This doesn’t need to come at a cost either. This free estimate template from Jobber allows you to craft fully customizable estimates that you can track and convert into an invoice once your job or service has been provided.

Other benefits of using invoicing software programs include: 

  • You can preview your invoices, ensuring they are readable, concise, and professional looking. 
  • They allow your business to automate the manual and sometimes time-consuming task of creating and sending invoices to customers. None are forgotten and they are sent on time with minimal effort. 

2. Have multiple payment methods

Data indicates that 56% of customers expect to see different payment options at checkout when buying products online. To meet these expectations and limit the barriers to payment, ensure you register with different online payment providers to make the process as easy as possible for them. 

While this may seem laborious and unnecessary at times to you, you want your customers to find it convenient to pay you. Multiple payment options may also mean you have the capacity to offer financing to your customers. By giving potential and existing customers several payment options, they might be more motivated to choose you over your competitors and as a result, be encouraged to do business with you again.

3. Have a follow-up procedure

There are a number of avenues you can use to follow-up with your customers after a sale. Make sure you have a robust process in place for this purpose.

You may wish to consider something similar to the below depending on what fits your business best: 

  • Start with a phone call. Remember to use a friendly and polite tone when reminding them about their late fees. Delays sometimes happen because they’ve simply forgotten. 
  • If a phone call is unsuccessful, you can send a reminder through text, email, or post.
  • If several attempts still fail to garner payment, you may be left with no choice but to write off the bill as bad debt. You can also turn the customer’s account over to a collection agency. 

4. Design a neat checkout process

When it comes to branding, consistency is key. This means you should have the same font, color, and design throughout your website and on all business collateral — from your home page to your checkout page, invoices if sent separately, as well as any social media or communications shared externally. You can raise brand recognition by doing this, which is important to get your customers to remember your business, recommend you to others and purchase from you again. 

Besides raising brand awareness, having a consistent and neat design will also make your invoices or receipts seem more legitimate. This way, customers won’t have any doubts about paying you on time. 

Takeaway

Regardless of your industry, it’s common for businesses to experience customers who pay late. Delayed payments may make it difficult for you to audit your earnings, which can damage your business. Fortunately, by adopting the tactics explored above, you can significantly reduce or eliminate your chances of receiving late payments. This, in turn, improves your cash flow as you’ll no longer have difficulty collecting payments from consumers.

5 Ways to Optimize Your Order Fulfillment Process

Customer satisfaction is considered the heart of a business. Companies that know and fulfill customers’ needs are the ones who are ensured success in any industry. That’s because satisfied customers will naturally come back to purchase again. And keeping customer loyalty is crucial in profit generation. Profit from sales is then used to scale the company. 

One of the business processes that directly impact customer satisfaction is order fulfillment. It’s defined as the delivery of goods to the customer. In addition to delivery, order fulfillment also involves complex business processes such as product manufacturing, preparing, and handling. 

All businesses must perform order fulfillment right. Here are ways to optimize such a crucial business process:

1. Enhancing The Ordering System

Finding ways to enhance the ordering system is the first step involved in order fulfillment optimization. The ordering system accounts for the quantity and kind of order every customer has. If you don’t have a sound ordering system, orders may be messed up, and customers would be dissatisfied.

There are two ways to improve your ordering system:

  • Increase Order Management Efficiency

Order management refers to the processes involved in managing orders or purchases from consumers. Businesses need an order management system to make these processes more efficient.

Get an order management system that automatically records orders. Then, pair it with the best warehouse execution systems in the market to automate most of your company’s order and warehouse management processes.

  • Create A User-Friendly Website

The website is the first thing customers and leads see when interacting with your business, so it should be orderly. User-friendly websites also ease order placement, recording, processing, and eventually, fulfillment. 

2. Ensuring Safe Product Handling

Product handling is also a crucial step in order fulfillment. It involves proper storage for maximum product preservation.

There are two common storage practices that companies employ to ensure the safekeeping of their products. They either keep everything in an in-house storage facility or outsource the storage to a third-party service provider. 

Here’s a closer look at these storage practices: 

  • In-House Storage Facility

In-house storage means the business is responsible for the products they’re selling. In this case, the company maintains a space or a warehouse to store its products.

  • Storage Outsourcing

Having an outsourced storage partner means that a third-party company looks after your products. Some business owners prefer this type of set-up because of the reduction in costs. 

3. Detailed Inventory Keeping

Inventory keeping is considered the core of a business’s order fulfillment process. It’s the complete listing of items in a systematic order. A good inventory process ensures that stocks are kept in the right amount. Inventory keeping also allows you to track stocks and know what goods need to be produced or bought. Inventory is crucial in the order fulfillment process because customers can only buy products in stock. 

Here’s a couple of things to do to achieve a detailed inventory process:

  • Follow A Standard Inventory Process

There should be a standard and system of inventory recording. Schedule an inventory day and be consistent in recording.

  • Have A Database

A database allows you to see the number of products in stock. Get started by recording your products and sorting them according to quantity and kind on a notebook or spreadsheet.

In addition to the number of products in stock, a database also lets you keep track of stock discrepancies. Any discrepancy will mean a loss for your business, so everything has to be monitored.

4. Ensuring Proper Logistics

Logistics is defined as the processes involved in ensuring that products are successfully transported to their final destination. Proper logistics requires coordination between people engaged in the acquisition, storage, and transportation of orders.

Task delegation should be done to achieve proper logistics. Spend time knowing and understanding the strengths of your staff members, so you can assign them in the right places. 

5. Providing After-Sales Care

Business owners often overlook the importance of after-sales care. It refers to any service or assistance given after the customer pays for the product and receives it. Warranty specifications should be in place so the terms and conditions are clear for both parties. It prevents disputes once ordered products get successfully delivered.

Conclusion

Order fulfillment is an essential part of any business because it directly impacts customer satisfaction and sales. The ones discussed above are only a few ways to optimize the order fulfillment process. Implementing them in your business would ensure effective storage, handling, and delivery of the products that your company offers.

Can You Pay to Have Your Credit Fixed?

Many companies claim they can “repair” or “fix” your credit. And yes, some of these types of services are scams. Moreover, you can do it yourself for free if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.

However, there are a few reputable options for having someone else do so too, if you’re wondering can you pay to have your credit fixed.

 

What Is Credit Repair?

Credit repair is the process of working with creditors and collection agencies to get inaccurate information removed from one’s financial reports. This type of activity often involves filing disputes with bureaus listing incorrect debts or items on an individual’s report that were not theirs, to begin with. Additionally, it also involves requesting validation of debt notices on accounts where you owe money to a creditor.

 

What Can You Do to Fix Your Own Credit?

Most people can fix their own credit without help from a third party. The three major credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax – all offer online dispute forms where consumers can fill out pre-formatted complaints about items on their reports that they believe are incorrect. For example, if you have been paying off debt, but it still shows up as delinquent on your report, there is something wrong with the data reporting that needs to be corrected. In cases like this one, would file a dispute directly with the credit bureau, listing each item in question and providing copies of any supporting documents along with the complaint. This type of activity is generally sufficient to get a lender to update their records.

 

What About Errors on My Reports?

The breakdown in the credit reporting system is one of the reasons that many people choose to pay for help with their credit reports because there are so many errors present. The time you spend disputing incorrect items on your own can be significant, and it may not always result in getting an item removed from your report even if it is proven wrong. In cases where there is no response from a creditor or collection agency after filing a dispute, you have the option of contacting them directly to ask for help correcting information on your credit report or filing a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

 

How Can Someone Help Fix My Credit?

Some companies offer the service of updating the information on your credit report for you. You can pay them to do that or hire an attorney and file a lawsuit against the creditors and collection agencies that are reporting incorrect information about you.

Credit repair is the process of working with creditors and collection agencies to get inaccurate information removed from one’s financial reports. This type of activity often involves filing disputes with high bureaus listing incorrect debts or items on an individual’s report that were not theirs, to begin with.

Additionally, it involves requesting validation of debt notices on accounts where you owe money to a creditor. Most people can fix their own credit without help from a third party; however, there are companies that offer services that will update your financial records at no cost to you.

When you pay for help with your credit report, it can cost anywhere from $50-$1,000+ per item on your reports, and the average person will spend about $100-$500 per year on these services if they choose to use them.

One company known for operating in this area is Lexington Law and yes, Lexington Law is legit.

 

What Can You Do To Fix Your Own Credit?

The three major credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax – all offer online dispute forms where consumers can fill out pre-formatted complaints about items on their reports that they believe are incorrect.

This can be instances such as you have been paying off debt, but it still shows up as delinquent on your report, or there is something wrong with the data reporting that needs to be corrected. People make mistakes all the time, so it’s important to review your credit reports on at least an annual basis to make sure the data they contain is accurate.

In cases like this, one would file a dispute directly with the credit bureau, listing each item in question and providing copies of any supporting documents along with the complaint. This type of activity is generally sufficient to get a lender to update its records.

Helpful Tips for Business Startups Like Service Providers

Beginning a business is always a great feat for one due to several reasons. At the onset, the challenge is not about how much money the business gives in return but how the owner can achieve specific goals and intentions. The goals and intentions are the motivation behind the tools and techniques the business may use to get their good business experience.

Eventually, the business would give a good return if quality and effective tools are used to achieve the business goals. Without much ado, anyone can recognize a great company that produces good services. Also, it is a matter of time for their fame to spread around their business region for new customers to patronize such businesses.

Nevertheless, every success story of the business begins with certain characteristics. These characteristics are helpful tips every service provider should know to attain their set goals and intentions.

 

What are the characteristics of a good service provider?

 

1. Proper research

It is important to carry out the necessary research your business needs before going all out to start. A major reason for this is to have good customer perception. Customers are those who will patronize your business, and hence, you should want to live for them by providing the service they want.

Market research is key not only because it makes you know your customers’ needs but it also makes you know your competitors. Since you have the necessary information, you can have an idea of what to build and how you want your company to look like.

You can get information about other companies on the internet. You can check out what they do best and think of other things you can add to pitch yourself better to customers. For example, if you are an automobile engineer and you are just starting. You can plan to add carwash services to your business such that customers can easily clean their cars after repairs.

Customers would patronize you to clean their cars. Some would patronize for a fix. Definitely, some would patronize you for both services. You know what that means – more automobiles to add to your portfolio.

 

2. Employ great marketing skills

Marketing is important in any business. Thanks to the internet today, you can carry out proper business marketing all with your phone. You can write blogs to make readers interested or know more about your services. Ensure the blogs are about them first, and then add clickbait that brings them to you. Examples of your blogs could be ”QUICK TRICKS FOR YOUR CAR’S DAILY NEEDS.”

You can also bank on the individual marketing skills of your workers. You can give them targets at the beginning. Once you have acquired enough customers, the next focus should be on how to keep them for your brand.

 

3. Have a business website

We are in a digital age, and the least you can do for your business is to have a website. The advantage of a website is limitless. It makes it easy for people to find you and patronize you. Some people may not reside close to your business and have no idea about what you do. They may just be in your community and need your service.

The internet is their best guess to search for service providers. You can create a website yourself if you are internet savvy. If you are not, you can consult professionals for a good website.

 

4. Prioritize advertising

Advertising is the fuel of business. Every business needs to advertise because they want to increase sales. There are different ways to advertise. The use of social media platforms, billboards, flyers, TV, and radio jingles are still valid means. You can also offer promo or price slash at the start of your business (if you can afford it).

However, there is no greater way to advertise your business than quality service. It helps customers to refer you to others who will patronize you.

 

5. Build and cherish customer relationship

Building and cherishing customer relationships determines how long your business will survive in the market world. It would help if you created a portfolio for customers to feel valued and that they are a part of your brand. You can get their contact to send them messages on their birthdays, festive periods, and at the start of a new month.

 

Conclusion

Starting a business will always appear as a great feat. However, with the rightful tips, you are always good to go. You can get additional information about these tips.

How to Avoid the Top 5 Reasons for ERP Failure

Growth for any company is always a healthy sign. As your business grows, the process to centralize all systems, procedures, and communications between departments becomes increasingly complex. This might negatively impact your operations and cause a major financial loss in the long run. 

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is designed to help you efficiently streamline your company’s processes. However, implementing this system is extremely complicated and time-consuming. Therefore, many major companies have chosen to engage with the help of SAP consulting services due to their expertise in this field. 

A Brief Introduction to ERP

What exactly is an ERP system? Simply put, it’s a centralized system that connects all the different computer systems within an organization together. This usually ranges from the finance, IT, marketing, human resources, production to distribution departments. 

By sharing a singular platform, different departments within the company can retrieve data in real-time. This increases work efficiency, cuts down miscommunications, and improves accuracy. 

For example, if you run a retail company with five stores across the country, an ERP system enables your store managers to log their inventory, which can then be accessed by the purchasing department in real-time. This will help the purchaser to decide when to place a new order and prompt the logistics department to make arrangements for delivery. 

How to Avoid ERP Failure

So, your business is growing very quickly, and you have decided that implementing the ERP system will help to expand your business further. Indeed, it can do that. But without proper planning, this might end up being very costly. 

To avoid ERP failure, here are five things you can do: 

  • Get the Executives Onboard

This should be the first and most crucial step. As the ERP system will affect your entire organization, you will want buy-ins from your executive team. 

Present to them the benefits of having a centralized system and how it can help each of their departments to thrive. When you align your goals with your executives’ vision, they will be more willing to collaborate with you to ensure that the timeline is met when the project starts. 

The executives also play a big role in influencing their team members. Their conviction will encourage the team members to be on board too. 

  • Get the Right ERP Tools

For a successful ERP implementation, the needs of every department must be taken into account. Hold multiple sessions with your managers from different departments and find out what their pain points are. 

Also, ask them what their future plans are and how the ERP system can help them to achieve that. These are important information that will help you to decide on finding the right tools for your operations. 

There are a few essential questions to ask when choosing the right tools for your system. 

  1. Can the system unify the works of several departments easily with the controlled access put in place? 
  2. Is it easy to navigate around the interface? 
  3. Are the search and reporting functions user-friendly? 
  4. Can the system be scaled and customized for extra modules to be added when needed? 
  • Consult An Experienced Consultant

When you invest in an ERP system, it’s assumed that you will be using it for the next eight to 10 years. Most ERP vendors will convince you that their software can solve all your problems. If you are new to setting up this system, consulting an experienced consultant may help you to evaluate your needs and provide the necessary suggestions for the right purchase. 

  • Proper Data Migration and Configuration

For the new system to function, it will need data to run. Before data migration can happen, you will need to clean up the existing data set. This is a great opportunity for you to look into the data and consider which information is still relevant to your company. 

It will be wise not to migrate all the data at once. Configure your data settings and run a few pilot tests to see whether the system runs as intended.  

Migrating data from the old system to the new system can be a tedious job. It pays to be patient during this phase, for it can help to prevent unneeded disruptions when the system goes live. 

  • Prepare Your People

Change can be difficult for most people. When a company-wide change takes place, anticipate that there will be some push-back from your people, especially those from the rank-and-file position. This is where change management can help to lessen the impact of resistance. 

  • Communicate

Start by communicating with your people even before the setting-up of ERP takes place. Make them feel like they are on this journey together with you. 

It’s important to hear them out at this point. If your team members are willing to share with you the challenges they face with the current system, this gives you a greater advantage to convince them that the new ERP system may work to their benefit. 

  • Training And Testing

To increase adoption rates, it’s paramount that every staff member who will be using the system goes through sufficient training sessions. Ideally, several training programs should take place before the system goes live. 

While test piloting, it may reveal issues with data migration or some other backend issues. Your members will be able to give you valuable feedback that can help you improve the system further before it goes live. 

Piloting sessions should be taken into accounts and set into your project timeline. Without proper testing, you run the risk of releasing a subpar system that will frustrate your team members. This will set your effort back by a few steps when the staff members choose to revert back to the system. 

Conclusion

Implementing the ERP system for your growing company is a great way to set yourself up for future expansion. It works toward increasing productivity, streamlining processes, and improving communication. 

For great success in setting up your ERP system, it’s important to look into the details. Following the above guidelines is a good way, to begin with.

Overlooked Employee Issues When Acquiring a New Company

Following the acquisition of a new company, there are tons of things that managers and human resources need to think about and do. In turn, that can mean many employee issues become overlooked.

Don’t forget that employees are the backbone of your company. You need to ensure they have all of their questions answered and that they receive the help they need during an acquisition.

A Lack of Communication and Systematic Planning

Existing employees from both companies need to be kept in the loop during the entire changeover period.

They are sure to have lots of questions, so ensure answers are provided. Your employees need to be supported at every step of the way.

By putting a system in place, from the top down, you ensure all members of staff know precisely what is happening and when, and what actions they need to take.

If you fail to put a structure in place, your business is sure to experience problems in the initial days of the acquisition, such as a drop in employee efficiency and productivity.

One of the best ways of ensuring everything runs smoothly is to work with a professional employer organisation that can handle important HR tasks, communicate with employees, and make sure regulation compliance is happening. Employee issues won’t be overlooked .

Employees Who Don’t Like Change

When your business acquires a new company, some ways of doing things are sure to change. Employees need to be updated about any changes that directly or indirectly affect them.

Furthermore, a common issue that could be overlooked is the fact that some employees are sure to kick back against your new protocols.

Whether it’s something simple like how timesheets are submitted or something more important like having to learn how new technologies work, if employees are disgruntled during the time of change, it’s sure to affect morale and productivity.

To nip such problems in the bud, ensure you are open and communicative with all employees and you provide training sessions for new operations and equipment.

A Change in Employee Pay and Benefits

It depends on the type of employee contracts you use and what your new direction is after acquiring a new company, but in some circumstances, employees could be given a reduction in pay and benefits.

Workers could get a new time-off policy, receive adjusted pay, or be expected to work different schedules after an acquisition.

Such things can dramatically affect employees’ lives, so you need to carefully consider any changes to employee pay, benefits, and things like retirement plans.

A Change in Stock Options

If employees hold stock options with your company, things can get complicated during and after the new company acquisition period.

For example, if an existing employee holds stocks with a vesting schedule, it means the employee needs to stay with the company for a set amount of time in order to earn the right to purchase shares. But if those shares are not yet vested, the options could potentially be cancelled.

Employees with stock options will want to know where they stand, so make decisions about stocks early on and ensure you communicate well with the employees about any changes that are occurring.

Losing Long-term Employees

If you have long-term employees who are eligible for retirement, it’s likely you’ll see many of them go when an acquisition happens.

It’s often easier for those employees to retire early on in the changeover rather than having to put a lot of effort into learning new processes and technologies only to retire soon after.

So, be ready for long-term workers to leave when you acquire a new company and make sure you have candidates lined up to take their places and ensure operations and productivity continue to run efficiently and smoothly.

Dragging Out Layoffs

An acquisitioncan often mean employees need to be laid off. If you need to let some employees go, make sure you do it as early on as possible.

Workers who are waiting to find out if their jobs are in danger will be tense, stressed, and less productive, and it will have a knock-on effect on the morale of the whole workforce.

So, don’t drag out laying off employees if you need to do that.

7 Misconceptions About Workers’ Comp Insurance

Workers’ compensation is an important right, yet too many people are unaware of exactly what workers’ comp is or what you’re entitled to. To set the record straight, take a look at these seven misconceptions about workers’ comp insurance now:

 

1. Workers’ Comp Never Pays Out

Making a workers’ compensation claim might seem like an unnecessary hassle, but it can certainly be worthwhile. Statistics show that workers’ comp claims pay out more than $62 billion each year, so why miss out on the funds you’re entitled to?

 

2. Getting Injured at Work in Atlanta is Rare

Sadly, millions of people sustain workplace injuries every year. In fact, in private industry, 2.2 instances of workplace injuries per 100 full-time equivalent workers were reported in 2020 alone. With so many people sustaining work-related harm in Atlanta, it’s vital that everyone knows their rights when it comes to claiming workers’ compensation.

 

3. You Can Only Claim If Your Employer Was Negligent

Workers’ comp is designed to pay out regardless of who was at fault, so don’t hesitate to start your claim, even if you’re not sure who is technically liable for the incident. While you may be eligible to take other types of legal action if your employer was negligent, you don’t need to prove who was at fault to successfully obtain workers’ compensation.

 

4. You Can’t Claim for Illnesses

Workers’ compensation can be paid out for work-related illnesses, as well as injuries. Throughout 2020, private industries saw a sharp rise in the number of reported illnesses with more than 500,000 million cases being recorded.

 

5. You Won’t Get Much Compensation

When you make a successful workers’ comp claim, the amount you receive will depend on various factors, including the severity of your injury, the impact it has on your day-to-day life, and the cost of your medical treatment. Compensation often ranges from $18,000 to $27,000, with the average payout being recorded as $21,800. However, statistics also show that claimants tend to receive more compensation if they hire a lawyer to assist them with their workers’ comp claim.

 

6. There’s No Time Limit on How Long You’ve Got to Claim

Many people are unaware that there are strict deadlines in relation to claiming workers’ compensation, which means they are missing out on their chance to obtain the compensation they’re entitled to. If you’ve been hurt at work or contracted a work-related illness, check the workers’ comp regulations in your area to determine how long you’ve got to make a claim.

 

7. Making a Claim is Easy

Making a claim should be simple and straightforward, but it rarely is. From figuring out what type of compensation you’re entitled to and submitting the right documentation, obtaining compensation can be trickier than you think. With help from a workers’ comp attorney, however, you can increase your chances of making a successful claim and ensure that you meet the regulatory requirements for a timely payout.

 

Taking Action After a Workplace Accident

If you’ve been hurt at work or you’ve lost income because of a work-related illness, it’s vital to find out what your rights are. With the right professional advice, you can simplify the claims process and get the workers’ comp you deserve.

3 Tips When Remortgaging Your Home

To remortgage means that you essentially replace your existing home loan with a new one, with potentially better terms. The most popular reasons for refinancing are reducing monthly repayments, securing a lower interest rate, consolidating loans, or changing the type of loan you currently have. Before deciding whether it is a good idea to remortgage your home, first consider the following tips. 

Understand Your Credit Score

Why is your credit score important? Most lenders will first check your credit score when deciding if you are eligible for refinancing, so be sure to check your score online before you do anything else. Be thorough and ensure there are no errors on your credit report. If necessary, take some time to improve your score so that you can get the best deal on your mortgage refinancing. Once you have successfully remortgaged, your credit score will likely fall, but you can quickly regain a higher score. To do so, don’t miss any repayments and don’t apply for any more credit for a while after refinancing. 

Find the Best Rate

Of course, it could be convenient to stay with your current lender, but it could save you money to consider other options and compare interest rates. You could switch from a variable-rate to a fixed-rate mortgage and get more steady monthly repayments. For example, a mortgage advisor like Trussle gives advice with an online mortgaging calculator, a remortgage guide and tutorial videos. These are fast and straightforward ways to check what your rates and deals could look like. All you need to complete the process is your property’s up-to-date value, the balance on your mortgage, your monthly repayments, and the remaining years left on your current loan. This will give you a general idea of what remortgaging will look like, but it is essential to get expert advice and discuss your personal circumstances. 

Look at the Big Picture

Don’t solely focus on interest rates when considering a remortgage. You should also take into consideration what your long-term objectives are and how long you want to live in your house. The goal of refinancing your home is most likely to save money and anything that saves you money usually means shopping around. Don’t just go with the first rate you are offered, consider what the fees for refinancing will be and add this into your final calculations. What may initially appear to be a good deal could end up costing you more if the fees for remortgaging are high. If you remortgage to reduce monthly repayments, you will most likely also extend the length of your loan. So, consider the potential long-term downsides of extending. 

Nowadays, it is common for homeowners to remortgage at some point during the term of their loan. If you are on a fixed deal, it’s advisable to start shopping around six months before the end of your loan term. However, it could also be beneficial to remortgage sooner. 

What to Consider When Setting Up a Payroll System for Your Small Business

It’s a good idea for any business to have an accurate and up-to-date payroll system. Some people might not think about the need to have a payroll system until they’re ready to hire employees.

Thus, having one in place before you start hiring is much easier than trying to put something together when you already have employees on the books. In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the things that can be helpful for your small business’s payroll system to include.

The Size of the Staff

How many employees are your business likely to hire? If you think it will be a small number, you may not even need an incredibly complicated payroll system.
If you plan to hire many people at once or over time, however, having a system that can handle growth and multiple employees and their schedules can make things much easier for you.

What Specific Needs Do You Have?

Do you need to know precisely how much time each of your employees has worked so that you can be sure they’re getting paid correctly during their first couple of weeks on the job?
Would it be helpful if each employee had access to a website where they could view their take-home pay and hours worked every week? What would be easiest for them to use?
You’ll also want to consider whether you need any specialized features such as leave tracking, overtime tracking, or automated reminders so that there’s little chance of an employee forgetting about submitting their time.

Ease of Integration with Other Software

If you’re using other software in your business, it can be convenient if there are ways for that software to work directly with your payroll system.
You’ll also want to ensure that the program you choose integrates well with QuickBooks or any other accounting software. Once again, this will make everything much easier for you.
For instance, when it comes to payroll processing, you may need resources to make everything smooth. You may want to use pay stubs in achieving this.
It’s possible to online these days. After filling in the personal details, the form is ready for download and printing. It’s only an easy-to-integrate system that allows you to use other tools seamlessly.

How Hard Will It Be to Set Up the System?

You’ll want to consider whether you’re paying someone else to set up your payroll system for you or if you’re planning on doing it yourself.
If you’re not very familiar with this sort of thing, then hiring a professional might be your best bet. Keep in mind that there are many things you can do on your own, however. You might be able even to set up most of it yourself if you’re reasonably computer-savvy.

How Much Will It Cost?

The system you choose must be an affordable one for your business. If it’s too expensive, then you may end up frustrated over the fact that you can’t afford to use it for all of your employees.

Accessibility and Ease of Use

What would be easiest for your employees? Do they prefer using a computer or an app on their phone? Would having something online that they can access from any computer be best? You’ll also want to look at the ease with which you can update each employee’s information during the hiring process and anytime you need to make changes.
Once again, you must consider whether your employees would prefer for this system to be extremely simple or if they’d like more detailed reports and features. The easier the system is to use, the happier your employees will be.
All in all, having an efficient and reliable payroll system is essential for any business. Whether you are looking to hire employees or not, it can be helpful to have a system in place that will help your small business grow. Target the systems which are easy to integrate.

What to Do if You Can’t Make Your Business Loan

There are a lot of moving parts to make a loan from your business. You have to meet all of these requirements and you need to do it fast. But not every company manages to obtain a business loan, even if they need it badly. In this article, we will go over some reasons why a business might be denied a loan, what you can do to avoid being denied, and what alternatives to business loans are available for the companies.

Why Can You Be Denied A Business Loan?

Some lenders might not approve your loan if they feel like you don’t have enough experience or collateral to back up the risk on the loan. Other reasons include poor credit score, lack of collateral, too much debt, and low cash flow.

Some loans also require a minimum cash upfront investment before getting funding on a personal note which will take time for some people before they’re able to pay back their loan. Below there are the main reasons why business loans can be denied.

Poor Credit Score

If you have a poor credit score, that is going to make getting a loan really hard. You can look into amending your credit score, but this takes time. You want to have a good credit score for a business loan of any size because of the collateral required and the fact that you need a good relationship with your lending institution.

Lack Of Collateral

You must have some kind of collateral for any type of loan from your business especially if the lender feels like you don’t have enough cash flow or experience in running a business. You can look into other options if you don’t own any assets like borrowing someone else’s assets like a business partner.

Too Much Debt

If you already have a lot of debt, it is going to make getting another loan really hard. You will be expected to make payments on your existing debts and having another could make it impossible for you to do so if the lender feels like you don’t have enough cash flow or experience managing your finances on top of your debts.

You can talk to your lenders about doing a debt restructuring agreement so they will extend the payback period, but the interest might increase on this type of personal loan as well as collateral requirements.

Not Enough Cash

If your business doesn’t have enough cash flow, you might not be able to get funding through a personal note. You can look into other options to improve the cash flow of the business because this is an essential factor in obtaining financing. If you can show that your cash flow will increase, then it is likely that they will approve your application for a business loan.

Improve Your Chances To Make A Business Loan

Improving your chances of getting a business loan includes finding opportunities to increase the business’s cash flow or finding another way to make up for collateral requirements if there are any. You also want to work on your credit score because this is the top reason why people aren’t approved for business loans.

Improve Your Credit Score

You can improve your credit score by making payments on time, making sure you are not late or sending payments to an outdated address, paying off debts, and getting a copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax). You can also make sure that all of the business assets you have are covered with insurance and have a legal name change if you feel like your name needs to be changed.

Increase Your Cash Flow

The best way to improve your cash flow is by increasing sales or increasing the revenue you get from one existing customer. You can also sell some of the assets that you have to generate additional cash flow, but this will probably cause you to be taken off the active loan borrowers list if your business does not meet their requirements for this type of loan.

Alternatives To Business Loans

You can look into Personal Loans, Merchant Cash Advances (MCA), Equipment Financing, and Bank Loans, in addition to doing a debt restructuring for repayment plans that extend over a more extended period or lower interest rates. Personal loans are commonly given out by banks or other financial institutions that are based on your credit score, income, and collateral, just like business loans.

MCA’s are given out by financial institutions that fund your business with cash advances for future payment to the lender after selling items to customers, just like bank loans. Equipment financing is used for equipment purchases (furniture, computers, or other related purchases), and it is usually backed up by collateral like stock certificates or real estate property.

Personal Loans

Personal loans can be obtained from lenders who are usually backed up with your income and employment status (check your credit score). They can also apply for bad credit personal loans $5000 TheGuaranteedLoans. You can also get a personal loan from your bank or credit union for this type of loan.

Merchant Cash Advances

This is like getting a cash advance with credit card benefits, but you need to show that you have enough sales to meet the lender’s requirements in terms of performance requirements. You can borrow money in small chunks, and it’s based on your sales just like bank loans for business owners who have positive cash flow from their businesses.

Equipment Financing

This is a type of financing that is backed up by collateral, just like business loans, but the amount you get is usually less than what a business owner would get from a bank or other financial institution. It allows you to purchase equipment (furniture, computers, etc.) and pay it back with either one-time payments or every month, usually paid in advance with your sales.

The Bottom Line

Business loans are still an option for small business owners, but it is harder to get one than it was a few years ago because of the fact that people took out a lot of personal loans and didn’t pay them back. Some lenders still offer business loans, and they require collateral like real estate properties or stocks and bonds to get one. You can also look into getting a personal loan or MCA if you don’t have enough collateral, but this will cause your interest rates to go up.

5 Smart Ways to Automate Your Packaging Processes

Packaging is an integral component of a manufacturing or distributing business. Regardless of the type of products or goods you’re offering, it’s critical that you pay attention to how you pack your items so that you can provide your customers with the best service possible. To add, an optimal packaging process can do so much in making sure the products remain in their best conditions as they go through transport. 

With several innovations and technological advancements reinventing the way industries do their business, it’s not surprising to know that even the packaging department is yearning for such a transformation. You may not be fully aware of those innovations yet, but it’s not too late to educate yourself. Being informed and updated is one excellent way to ensure your business doesn’t get left behind on the latest trends in the industry. 

Packaging Automation 101 

Among the different workflow processes in a company, the packaging seems to pick up quite a slow pace regarding innovations and technological advancements. Most entrepreneurs seem not to mind if their packaging process isn’t automated enough, which might be one mistake you don’t want to commit. As your business grows, demands are also likely to increase. If you want to keep up with the demand, consider automating your packaging processes to avoid potential issues that might disrupt the overall workflow. 

If you’ve determined that it’s high time to adopt automation in your packaging processes, here are some smart ways you can try to get started: 

  • Tap Into Robotic Packing Systems 

Robotic applications aren’t new in various industries, including manufacturing and distributing. Now, you can take your packaging to the next level by utilizing a robotic packing system that has the ability to handle a mix of items or products, reduce downtime, label and code products, inspect filled displays or cases, and much more. If you’re new to robotic applications, you might be surprised by how much they can change how your packaging processes work. 

The system may be used in different applications and processes. You can decide on the level of automation and integration that you prefer. Not only will the automation lower your operating and labor costs, but, more importantly, it can improve the accuracy and efficiency of your processes. In case you’re wondering where or how to get a robotic packing system, you may check out sites like https://www.tdipacksys.com/  to learn more about it.  

  • Synchronize Packaging Processes Through Motion Control 

Motion control is heavily utilized in packaging consumer goods, such as pharmaceuticals, food, and beverages, where palletizing proves to be a challenge. Since palletizing requires stacking cases or boxes on pallets, it can be tricky to weave together the boxes or cartons. What usually happens is that the stacks turn out to be self-contained, making them prone to tipping over.  

With motion control, you can tailor your machines’ flexibility to allow for effective palletizing. Whether you’re packaging small boxes or heavier products, electronic motion control can make your pallet packing more synchronized and effective. No matter how unique the pack patterns you need for your products, you can count on motion control to accommodate your requirements. 

  • Implement Semi-Automated Pallet Wrappers 

The packaging department will inevitably produce material waste, especially when utilizing manual labor. No matter how you train or educate your workers, there’ll always be room for mistakes, which could lead to waste in materials and other manufacturing and packaging resources. 

If you’re looking for ways to minimize or reduce material waste, you might want to consider implementing semi-automated pallet wrappers. Although not fully automated, the wrappers can significantly improve the precision and consistency of material pre-stretching, may it be films or other wrapping materials that you use for your processes. As a result, you can expect the materials to be maximized, leaving almost no waste at all. Aside from contributing to waste reduction, your overall operating costs can also be significantly reduced. 

  • Package Products Using a Form Fill Seal Machine 

If you manufacture or distribute food products, you might want to consider investing in a form fill seal machine that can automate several packaging processes, including sealing, filling, and forming. The device is efficient enough to make your packaging more reliable and durable. Moreover, it has the technology to notify your operators in cases of improper sealing, therefore, reducing the number of packaging rejects. 

Automating your packaging processes with the help of a form fill seal machine can benefit your business in several ways. Because of the increase in precision and accuracy, the process is essentially made faster, thus, resulting in lower packaging and labor costs. The boost in speed can also be significantly helpful in extending the shelf life of your products since the nitrogen-filling process is also made quicker and more accurate.  

What’s more, form fill seal machines come in a variety of pouch sizes and styles. This means you can take advantage of the automation regardless of the type of products you have. Be it snack foods, pet items, or liquid products, the machine can help level up your packaging processes. 

  • Invest In Smart Equipment Sensors 

Sensors have been widely used in various manufacturing processes, including packaging. They’re mainly used to assist in several functions as products move around your packaging line. Different machines can benefit from intelligent sensors, such as your rinsing machines. The sensors can help with counting containers or bottles as they travel down to other areas of the packaging department. With a smart sensor in place, you can ensure that the correct number of bottles or containers is rinsed and filled with your products.  

To add, the sensors can also detect if any of your machines isn’t functioning as intended. You can identify right away if it needs repair or replacement. In return, you can maximize productivity and can prevent equipment downtimes as much as possible.  

The Bottom Line 

You may think that automation is the future of packaging processes. However, if you look at how various smart applications and innovations are now widely utilized in this department, you’ll realize that automation isn’t the future. The truth is that it’s the now. If you want to keep up with the pace and continue to innovate your packing processes, it might be high time to consider switching from manual to automated.  

You can tap into the potentials of robotic packing systems, smart equipment sensors, and motion controls. You can also utilize different machines, such as form fill seal machines and pallet wrappers. These are just some of the innovative ways you can try to automate and potentially improve your packaging processes for the better. 

Hemp Highlighted as Stepping Stone to Carbon-Neutral Future

This year’s Q4 report by Canxchange looked at the state and prospects of the global market for hemp products. Canxchange provides industry analyses to professionals in the sector, and in their latest report, they highlighted the role of the industrial use of the cannabis plant in the future eco-friendly and sustainable economy.

In an appendage to the report, Laura Herschlag, one of the collaborators, explained why hemp is an ideal source of biomaterial for the world that has committed to be carbon-neutral by 2050.

Hemp is known for its exceptional versatility. Farmers all around the world have cultivated it for centuries. It served as raw material for ropes, cloths, and canvasses, while its seeds were used for oil and food. There is also a long tradition of the plant’s medical use as Cannabis Sativa and its derivatives were a part of Western pharmacopeia before the 20th century.

Unfortunately, the plant was stigmatized as a dangerous drug in the modern era. Today, the stigma persists, and when people think of cannabis cultivation, they mostly picture something like growing psychoactive varieties of the species from autoflowering feminised seeds. While this is indeed a big, bustling, and fast-growing sector, cultivating non-psychoactive hemp varieties is even a more promising niche, one that can be potentially disrupting for the global economy.

One of the most interesting features of hemp is that it has a negative CO2 footprint. What it means is that the cultivation of this species for raw materials binds more atmospheric CO2 than is released. This feature can play a huge role in construction where you can replace concrete with ‘hempcrete’. While concrete is known as one of the top sources of carbon dioxide emissions, mixing it with hemp results in a first-rate construction material with a lesser carbon footprint.

Another way hemp can help achieve a carbon-neutral future is its use for biodiesel. Instead of burning fossil fuels and releasing carbon dioxide that was taken from the atmosphere in previous geological epochs, we can grow plants that bind CO2 within one season and then release back the same amount.

The plant can contribute to the recultivation of soils, too. Studies have shown that hemp is able to absorb heavy metals from contaminated soil. It can also return important nutrients to soils that have been depleted by industrial agriculture.

However, the cultivation of hemp is still by no means widespread. According to the Canxchange benchmark report, the plant is currently grown mostly for the needs of the pharmaceutical and wellness industry. Here, it serves as a source of CBD and other, rare cannabinoids, as well as whole-plant extracts and isolates, or seeds and dried flowers.

Despite its many potential uses in other industries, there are a lot of hurdles that should be overcome before growing hemp becomes economically viable. As Laura Herschlag pointed, there is a general lack of infrastructure that could make the cultivation and processing scalable. Fileds of hemp will be useless if there are no factories—either built from scratch or retrofitted—that could later process the harvested plants.

She said that it’s very hard to change the status quo because it requires global thinking and a lot of investments. And this is where governments and rich philanthropists can make a difference.

Or there may be a totally different type of incentive. If businesses are increasingly required by law to be more ‘green’, it will be only natural for them to incorporate hemp as part of new eco-friendly and carbon-neutral practices. After all, it’s hard to imagine a crop that better suits this purpose.

4 Essential Components of Power Plant Maintenance

Power plant maintenance aims at supporting a smooth workflow in a power plant. It involves procedures such as routine inspection, equipment adjustment, repair or replacement, and general systems integration and monitoring.

If you work in a power plant, you could recognize the significance of all the plant’s assets.  It works in ensuring that the primary goal of electric production is realized. For this reason, you should implement maintenance strategies that comprise most of the requisite components.

Read below to learn more about the essential components of maintaining a power plant.

1. Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)

As a power plant comprises many components, it’s difficult for you to single-handedly oversee their maintenance. This is even more strenuous if you’re doing it manually. On this account, you may bring computer systems into play.

A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) comprises software and its main function is to oversee the maintenance operations in a facility. The perk of having CMMS is that it can be customized to meet the needs of any industry, including the power production industry. 

Therefore, you can source power plant-related CMMS like the power plant asset management software solutions by 60Hertz Energy and other solutions to run the maintenance processes in your power station. One of the strengths of using this software is its inbuilt database system, This is responsible for organizing information about the assets in the station that require maintenance. It also offers learning resources and standard procedures to conduct maintenance.

Being computerized, CMMSs are significantly efficient. Thus, they’re an essential tool you can use to run maintenance operations in your power plant.

2. Predictive Maintenance (PdM) Tools

These are tools that use the Internet of Things (IoT) predictive technology to manage assets by monitoring their condition and assessing their reliability. This way, it makes the use of already existing assets more efficient.  PdM tools can carry out a predictive test on the machines in your plant, determine the possibility of their failure, and formulate a plan to handle the issue if it arises. In the long run, these tools significantly reduce the general costs of power plant maintenance. 

They’re wired to a software, such as CMMS, wherein they report the findings of the asset analysis. A bonus of PdM tools is that they continuously report their findings. Hence, the CMMS can quickly spot the assets that require maintenance and schedule their repair.

The main PdM tools include:

  • Vibration analysis (VA): This analysis tool uses sensors to detect an asset’s vibration velocity, displacement, and frequency. These parameters are then measured alongside standard vibration signals, and the outcome will determine whether the specific component requires maintenance or not.
  • Ultrasonic analysis (UA): This tool uses a sensitive microphone to capture high-frequency sounds from an asset. It then turns these sounds into audio and digital data that can be analyzed by the human plant operators or computer software. The analysis is done by comparing the sounds to other existing known sounds. This then indicates if there’s a problem with an asset and if it requires maintenance.
  • Infrared analysis (IR): This technique uses infrared technology to compare the temperature difference in assets over time and under different conditions. The difference indicates the state of an asset and whether it needs maintenance. IR is used to provide information such as temperature changes in mechanical assets like bearings, system temperature, insulation conditions, and solar panel conditions, among others.
  • Oil analysis: The purity condition of the lubricating oil is analyzed to determine its suitability in the protection of equipment from wear.
  • Laser-shaft alignment: This analysis technique ensures that the various types of equipment in a power plant are properly aligned to prevent component mechanical failure. 
  • Motor circuit analysis: This technique uses Electronic Signature Analysis (ESA) to identify potential faults in electric motors and their components in the power plant.  It’s done by assessing the asset’s voltage and operating current.
  • Video analysis: This technique captures equipment vibrations on video. The vibrations indicate whether a maintenance procedure is needed for an asset.

Therefore, if you run a power plant, you can incorporate PdM tools in your operations to have an outlay of how your equipment is functioning. This will also give you a heads up in case there’s any faulty equipment that needs to undergo maintenance and repair. Thus, it minimizes production losses and unnecessary disruptions.

3. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Systems

These are centralized industrial control systems that use computers and network data communications to monitor plant and machinery conditions. The systems gather data on the processes in the plant and send the commands control to the process. They’re used where human control isn’t a feasible option. 

Some applications of SCADA in power plant maintenance include:

  • Constant monitoring of speed of electrical machines.
  • Monitoring of coal delivery and water treatment processes.
  • Planning of electric generation operations.
  • Controlling active and reactive power.
  • Detecting renewable energy farms. 
  • Scheduling and load planning.
  • Processing of generation parameters data.
  • Supervising safety equipment.

4. Human Input

The above three components of power plant maintenance are based on computer systems. Even though the computerized systems ensure efficiency in the maintenance process, human input is also required to realize an all-encompassing maintenance process. For this reason, power plant workers including plant operators, power distributors, and power dispatchers are needed to manually control the systems. Some of their duties include:

  • Formulating maintenance procedures.
  • Scheduling maintenance processes.
  • Diagnosing and responding to system malfunctions.
  • Supervising staff.
  • Obtaining specialist equipment such as fixtures, bearings, and fittings.
  • Handling stocks of supplies and equipment.
  • Managing the budget.
  • Keeping and maintaining statistical and financial records.
  • Ensuring that health and safety measures are followed.

Conclusion

If you’re a maintenance engineer at a power plant, you should ensure the equipment is properly functioning so that the power production process runs smoothly. To do this, you’d want to combine all the essential components of power plant maintenance. These include Computerized Management Maintenance Systems, Predictive Maintenance tools, Supervisory Control, and Data Acquisition systems.  Lastly, it also covers your effort to oversee the smooth running of all the systems.

Acquisition International Announces the Winners of the 2021 Legal Awards

United Kingdom, 2021 – Acquisition International Magazine has announced the winners of the 2021 Legal Awards.

Acquisition International has designed the Legal Awards programme to recognise and award those firms and professionals who have offered brilliantly personalised legal services, as well as those who have strived to evolve and adapt with the times. The legal sector is one that is constantly evolving which therefore results in lawyers and other legal professional individuals and firms to persistently update their existing skills and knowledge.

Running for several years now, the Acquisition International Legal Awards programme seeks to reward the hard work and dedication of those firms and professionals who have strived for a new level of perfection and professionalism. Our Awards Coordinator, Kaven Cooper, has commented on the success of this year’s Legal Awards: “It was a pleasure hosting the awards programme this year and coordinating with all the winners. I would like to offer my heartiest congratulations to all the winners and would like to wish them all the best for their future endeavours.”

Acquisition International prides itself on the validity of its awards and winners. The awards are given solely on merit and are awarded to commend those most deserving for their ingenuity and hard work, distinguishing them from their competitors and proving them worthy of recognition.

To learn more about our award winners and to gain insight into the working practices of the “best of the best”, please visit the Acquisition International website (https://www.acquisition-international.com/awards/legal-awards/) where you can access the winners supplement.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Acquisition International Magazine

Acquisition International is a monthly magazine brought to you by AI Global Media Ltd, a publishing house that has reinvigorated corporate finance news and reporting. Its topical news articles make it a valued read, and this readability ensures that advertisers will benefit greatly from their investment.

AI works alongside leading industry analysts to ensure we publish the most up-to-date figures and analysis. The magazine has a global circulation, which brings together all parties involved in deal making and, in an increasingly global deal market, we are uniquely positioned to reach the deal makers that matter.

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media (https://www.aiglobalmedialtd.com/) 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 12 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 108,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

How Your IT Department Can Save On IT Costs

Businesses are often overwhelmed by IT costs since reliable technological infrastructure and its maintenance are expensive. And with the current pandemic crisis, companies have examined and replanned their budget to reduce, delay, or renegotiate for any potential savings.

To fund business-critical initiatives to compensate for the months of little to no lucrative opportunities, business owners are searching beyond the general ledgers and have started looking at one of their costliest departments for any opportunity to reduce cost.

Keep reading to find out how to reduce the expenses in your IT department.

1. Use Managed Services to Streamline Costs

Some businesses can benefit from using a managed service provider (MSP) for streamlining and reducing IT expenses. This is particularly true when a company doesn’t have the specialized workforce they need in areas such as network security or data storage.

Using an MSP is a cost-effective option when a business only has short-term work to warrant having an IT specialist manage the job part-time. You end up with cost savings from the reduction of manpower and skills while getting access to round-the-clock support and monitoring and a fully equipped team of IT professionals to manage your technology infrastructure.

If you’re looking for managed IT services in Chicago or your current location, the easiest way to find them is to browse online. There are experienced, trustworthy IT support companies out there offering competitive prices without hidden fees.

2. Update Your Technology

If cost reduction is a long-term goal for your IT department and business, then you can’t simply slash cost where you see fit and call it a day. You should take a look at your current spending, track trends, and determine how you can run your operations, data, and infrastructure more efficiently.

Part of this is to determine any major inefficient technology within your IT department. This means replacing slow, outdated devices that consume time. It’s common for businesses to run on a few-years-old network infrastructure that still works but not as efficient as it should be.

Although the price of replacing your outdated technology seems high, you’ll find that it’s more cost-effective to replace old devices with new, higher-performing equipment in the long term.

3. Cut What You Do Not Need

Unneeded services such as surplus phone lines, web hosting, or underutilized T1 lines should be removed. Meanwhile, underutilized servers that eat up energy costs don’t benefit your bottom line, so it only makes sense to eliminate them.

Most businesses and IT professionals waste their budget on software and hardware they don’t use. So check your software licenses and cut down on those you don’t need. Also, make informed decisions on what to keep when you have two or more software and systems doing the same job without any justifiable reason.

4. Make the Switch to the Cloud

The cloud is already a big deal and is expected to keep growing in the future. So why are businesses jumping on the cloud bandwagon? There’s a variety of reasons, but most of it is because of the cost savings.

Moving to the cloud can help reduce your IT expenses and controlling costs. You don’t have to spend on replacing or maintaining hardware for storing data. What’s more, cloud services provide you with a variety of plan options according to your need. You can adjust the cost and usage, paying as you go and as you scale your business.

5. Reduce Turnover

Employee turnover can cost businesses significantly. Companies can spend 6–9 months of a departing employee’s salary to recruit and train a replacement.

That’s why business owners and IT managers are taking steps to reduce turnover in their departments. There are several ways to do this.

For one, improving the company’s culture can make it a more appealing place to work. Promoting work-life balance, offering access to training and opportunities for advancement, or simply showing your team that you appreciate their efforts are enough to increase employee engagement and satisfaction. This makes your IT employees less likely to leave.

 

Conclusion

People outside of IT often view this department as a costly area. IT managers and business owners usually face the difficult task of reducing IT costs to fit their budget. IT teams need to balance between keeping a strict budget and keeping operations running smoothly.

So follow the above tips to help reduce IT expenses and overall expenditures. Regardless of how big or small the saving is, it’ll eventually add up and benefit you and your enterprise in the long run.

4 Ways to Prevent and Control Illness In the Workplace

Employees spend a lot of their time on business premises. They come in close contact with colleagues and use shared devices in the office. Consequently, this can increase their risk of exposure to harmful pollutants and viruses.

Some office supplies and chemicals can also cause distress to your employees’ health. For example, cleaning agents, aerosol products, insecticides, solvents, and similar harmful substances may trigger certain respiratory illnesses and allergic reactions.

Consequences of Unclean Work Stations

When a team member gets sick, they might be absent for days, resulting in the accumulation of unfinished tasks. If this particular person is a leader in your operations, their absence might disrupt business activities and result in delays. Unfortunately, this may affect your business’ reputation, risk client morale, and harm your bottom line.

Moreover, an unclean work environment can impact your team members’ performance. For instance, if your staff members almost always have concentration problems or feel lethargic most days, these might be signs of a compromised and untidy workspace.

A Clean Workspace Is a Safe Workspace

Some illnesses arise from workplace conditions, exposure intensity, the nature of one’s job, and the employee’s susceptibility to acquiring a particular disease. Some of these hazards might not be eliminated, but they can be minimized to control the spread of illness in the workplace.

For instance, if you have employees who have asthma, investing in a heavy duty air purifier and other air-cleaning devices can help you significantly reduce the allergens and contaminants in your office.

This initiative can potentially prevent asthma attacks, breathing ailments, and airborne illnesses that can be transmitted by inhaling pollutants. In turn, this can keep others safe from constant exposure to respiratory sickness.

Risk Management and Prevention Strategies

Apart from investing in air-cleaning devices, below are other ways to steer clear of and control illness in the workplace.

  • Practice Good Hygiene

Observing basic and proper hygiene is one crucial way to reduce the risk of illness in your workplace. With this, make sure to have personal hygiene posters and reminders around your business premises to remind employees of the importance of regular hand washing. You can also include steps on how to wash their hands properly.

Designate hand washing facilities, and make sure there’s enough water, liquid soap, and tissue available. If you’ve run out of soap, place hand sanitizers in those areas to serve as a backup option. Also, encourage them to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer or alcohol at their desk to keep themselves germ-free if they’ve touched a dirty item or a colleague unexpectedly sneezes in front of them. If it’s impossible to rush to the nearest hand washing area, such alternatives will help them manage the situation.

Apart from implementing hand washing policies, inform your staff about other hygiene practices. For instance, they must refrain from sharing personal items such as towels, hair combs, and clothes.

Educating your team members about proper health measures and reinforcing policies can help them develop good hygiene habits over time. When practiced consistently, this can control and prevent the rise of illnesses in your business.

  • Stock Up On Healthy Snacks

Another way to prevent illness in the workplace is to encourage your employees to make healthier food choices to strengthen their immunity, boost their energy, keep them mentally sharp, and minimize the risk for certain diseases.

While it can be helpful to remind them to eat healthy, doing so can be difficult when processed snacks and sweet treats are available in your company. It can also be quite challenging to prioritize eating healthy when you’re already drained from work.

Because of this, make sure to keep a stash of affordable, tasty, and nutritious snacks in your pantry and vending machines. You can have fruits, nuts, yogurt, dried berries, granola bars, oatmeal, and similar alternatives. Don’t store junk food anywhere in the office. In this manner, your team will be more encouraged to snack up on healthy sources.

Likewise, lead by example by drinking more water, not skipping meals, and opting for healthier food options. If you can display good eating habits to your employees, they’ll be more encouraged to follow the same behavior.

The quality of your team members’ diets can significantly affect their brain function and focus, ultimately influencing their performance and workplace success.

  • Keep Your Stations Clean and Tidy

It’s crucial to keep your workstations in excellent condition. Damp areas and excess moisture can create a suitable environment for mold and bacteria to multiply, increasing the risk for certain airborne illnesses. What’s more, remediating the harm brought by mold and mildew is far more expensive compared to preventing their growth in the first place.

Moreover, a disorganized space can cause distraction and stress, which can result in unproductive work. A New York Times article reported that clutter could negatively impact mental well-being. Apart from keeping an eye on physical illnesses, pay attention to your employees’ mental health, and remind your staff to clear away any mess so they can move freely at their workstations.

Implement work policies such as returning office supplies to where they belong, cleaning as you go, wiping off spilled liquids promptly, and taking out the trash before it starts to smell. Hire a commercial cleaning company to disinfect areas and maintain the cleanliness of your office. All these initiatives can help you ensure that your office is free from mold, dirt, dust, and contaminants that can harm the health of your staff.

  • Check Your Air Conditioning Units

With no adequate ventilation systems, enclosed business areas can trap pollutants, rapidly spreading allergens and infectious diseases. Being exposed to this poor air quality may aggravate allergic reactions.

Because of this, your air conditioning (AC) system should undergo maintenance checks to unclog dirty filters and ensure that it’s circulating clean air. When successful, not only will this help you maintain the operational efficiency of your AC units, but you can also keep your office smelling pleasant.

The Takeaway

Because of the harm posed by pollutants, germs, and clutter in your workspace, it’s important to arm your business with strategies to prevent and control the rise of certain illnesses. By following the methods above, you’ll be able to keep your employees healthy and productive without a problem.

Moreover, when your employees recognize your efforts of maintaining a clean workspace, this can increase their morale, which would boost their commitment to work. 

SEO Tactics that Will Help Boost a Business

If you own a small business, you know how hard it can be to stand out from the crowd. An excellent way to boost your business is through SEO tactics that will help increase online visibility in search engines.

That said, SEO is not cheap. According to the Search Engine Journal, SEO can cost upwards of $500 a month. Since SEO is an asset, you should consider taking on small business loans if you do not have sufficient funds. This article discusses ways of improving your SEO presence using proven tactics.

What is SEO?

SEO is the process of improving a business’s visibility in search engines, like using long-tail keywords and having a mobile-friendly website, ensuring your site ranks higher on search engines. 

Search engines like Google use bots to crawl the internet and index new sites. The bots will then use a system of algorithms to rank your site based on various factors such as page titles and keywords in the content.

Benefits of Implementing SEO in Your Small Business

If you’re not into utilizing SEO for your small business, the following benefits may change your mind:

  • According to BrightEdge, organic search accounts for 53% of all web traffic. Appearing amongst the top results on a search engine page increases your business’s visibility and click-through rate.
  • As a small business, ranking high is critical for growth and success. Claiming the top spots on a search engine’s first page helps build credibility and trustworthiness with clients, an invaluable asset for your business.
  • SEO encourages you to improve the user experience. Look at your small business from your customer’s perspective and see if they find the information needed. Having an all-around great user experience encourages visitors to stay and browse your site longer.
  • By employing the right SEO tactics can enhance brand awareness. Even if users don’t click on your website, they’ll still see it highly ranked. The more touchpoints you have, the more users associate your brand with the solutions they seek, and the more it places you ahead of the competition.

Great SEO Tactics to Apply in Your Small Business

Churning out content laced with keywords is not the answer to your ranking. Using these tips should help turbo-charge your SEO marketing campaign:

1. Pay attention to technical SEO

Even as you create content and solutions for visitors, a high ranking also involves impressing the crawlers. Remember the bots discussed earlier? They need to read your site with ease.

From a technical standpoint, this means that your links are working correctly, the site is secure, and pages load fast. You could have fantastic writing skills and valuable content, but your site will struggle to rank if it doesn’t impress the bots.

2. Improve your local SEO

According to HubSpot, 72% of people who searched for a local business visited one within 5 miles of their search. 88% of online local business inquiries resulted in contacting or calling those businesses within 24 hours.

What’s more, 46% of all Google searches are for local businesses. In addition, 78% of all location-centric mobile searches resulted in an offline purchase.

Set up a Google Business Profile that will help your page rank higher when users within your locality search for services or products you offer. That’s because 92% of all searchers pick businesses appearing on the first page of their local search.

3. Hire an SEO expert

Suppose you do not consider yourself tech-savvy, and the whole notion of SEO seems intimidating. In that case, consider hiring an SEO expert who will handle the technical SEO while you focus on growing other aspects of the business. It doesn’t matter if you have the funds to hire an expert, as small business loans can come in handy.

4. Link building

Include several internal (links to existing content on your site) and external (links to a different website) to help show bots that it is a high-quality site. Finding a high-authority website to link back to content on your site can help improve the site’s ranking.

Conclusion

Improving SEO is one of the best things to do for your business. Even if you know nothing about SEO, use small business loans to hire an SEO expert to improve your ranking on search engines. Click on the link in the introduction to find the right loan to fund the SEO tactics you will employ.

6 Strategies to Drive Revenue for B2B Companies

To keep your Business-to-Business (B2B) company running, you’ll need to increase your revenues. What’s more, it also indicates that your business has a good financial condition. 

You must ensure you’re doing everything you can from raising your business reputation to implementing the latest technology trends. But if you notice your strategies or plans aren’t driving revenue or any results, then it is the right time to take another route. Keep on reading to know more about the most important things a B2B company should be doing to drive more revenue. 

1. Improve Digital Presence

Aside from being engaging and informative, your website needs to be discoverable too. And this is possible by implementing technical Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. Usually, these include everything from having meta descriptions and viewable image alt-text to website speed and structured data that people can’t view. 

Nevertheless, if you’re unfamiliar with the ins and outs of SEO, consider working with a B2B SEO agency. Currently, there are lots of agencies offering B2B SEO, but know that not all of them can give you results. So, be sure to choose the right agency thoroughly. If possible, choose one that is reliable and has been in the industry for quite some time.

2. Invest In Content Marketing

Having a website is not enough.  This might be true if you want to increase your revenue. In other words, you need to drive more traffic. 

One great way to generate leads, boost brand awareness, build a trusted customer relationship, and drive traffic is content marketing. Content marketing, on the other hand, could also bring the perk of compounding Return on Investment (ROI). 

When you’re publishing more content, all your materials will be in the search results. Compared to Pay-Per-Click (PPC) online marketing, a content marketing strategy will stick around long after you stop compensating for it. This entire self-supporting strategy could offer streams of inbound leads in the long run. 

What this means for B2B companies is to start a blog. Simply write about the things you already know. Remember, if you could give valuable information about the specialization of your business, you will be able to attract customers.  You’ll also be able to engage with the right people as your possible customers, who can bring in more revenue. Additionally, you will offer continuous value to your existing clients. 

On the other hand, aside from writing a blog, you can also start making videos. There are so many reasons this kind of content is a crucial part of B2B sales processes. Videos are known to be entertaining and engaging. They also have higher ROI as some people prefer to watch a certain product than to read it. 

However, this doesn’t mean you’ll need to start vlogging or streamer. In case you do not feel like becoming a vlogger, try sending a personalized email to your prospects.  You may also attach a short video to your blog. 

3. Come Up With a Solid Email Marketing Strategy

An email is one of the best ways to keep existing customers in the loop. They will be able to know about the new updates and features of your B2B company.  Thus, this will lead to increased customer retention. 

Emails could even foster new prospects into acquiring your service or product for the first time. However, when utilizing this technique, be sure your email will not get into the spam folder. By doing so, will badly affect the conversion of B2B sales. To lessen the risk of your message being put in the spam folder, consider sending a personalized email. Also, simply adding their names in the subject line can increase the reliability of the email.

4. Don’t Be Shy to Ask for Referrals 

Unfortunately, some sales representatives ignore asking customers for referrals despite being good at their work.  This may be due to a lack of experience or shyness. Remember this is a big mistake that needs to be addressed. 

Word of the mouth is one of the strongest influencers when it comes to buying decisions. You could use referrals to boost your B2B sales passively in the future. You will be able to cut down the time needed to get the attention of your prospects. Nevertheless, you need to make it a point to ask for referrals when talking to customers at all times. 

5. Choose Proper Marketing and Promotion

Both marketing and promotions could provide customers with a good deal of the existence of the services and products in the market. In most cases, discounts can give customers that chance to try what your company has to offer. Also, promotions might help in attracting more customers while maximizing the number of your existing clients. 

You can also give them a rebate. This is an overdue discount that is allotted after acquiring a percentage of the cost in cash. The known discount could generate additional sales, whereas the lower redemption rate may reduce its cost. 

6. Create Metrics That You Can Use to Measure Marketing Success

Keep in mind if you have to be able to measure your spending as well as results. Failure to do so, indicates you don’t have any idea of what needs improvement and what is working. Therefore, you have to be aware of the channels that bring visitors to your site.  This will tell you something about your marketing strategies and target market audience. 

If you can quantify your customers’ conversion rate, you could safely say it’s a worthy investment. Furthermore, being able to compare it to your more traditional sales strategy can offer perspectives.  This may inform you on how crucial the internet is to the market audience you are targeting. 

So, make sure to determine sales goals, track the Key Performance Indicator (KPI). Also include the total acquisitions, revenue, and customer retention. Afterward, you may also track the initiating source of the lead. 

Conclusion

Driving revenue for your B2B company doesn’t have to be difficult. Hopefully, the above-mentioned strategies have helped you. Keep experimenting with your strategies to determine the ones that will work best for you to see continuous and long-lasting results.

5 Tips to Develop a Talent Management Strategy for Your Business

Your business’s success depends on a solid talent management framework as it brings in necessary skills and suitable expertise to improve the organization’s productivity and performance.

A thoughtful and successful talent management strategy can truly work wonders as in the case of corporate titans like Hewlett Packard and Google, whose 20% program continues to attract the very best minds. For this reason, investing in a solid TMS is pivotal for the success of any organization and we are here to help you through every step of the way.

From attracting, engaging, developing, and retaining precious human capital, your HR teams can greatly benefit from TMS and recruit the most suitable candidates for the job.

1. Outline Your Organization’s Strategic Priorities

The most crucial step to creating a successful and strong talent management strategy is identifying and outlining your organization’s objectives and strategic priorities. List your present and future goals in a clear order and consider steps for your short- and long-term future.

It is imperative to refer to your company’s goals and overall business strategy when preparing to hire new staff. Note down the implications of any future launches, organizational expansions, or plans to penetrate a new market.

When you have a sense of where your company is headed and what matters the most for it, you can get new talent who can benefit from the process of onboarding and align their vision with your present and future goals.

2. Anticipate Strengths and Future Hurdles

After you have established your company’s goal and strategic direction, it is now time to chart the course forward, list your strengths, and anticipate future hurdles.

In due course, you will begin to face many challenges that will keep you from achieving your goals. These may take the form of legislative changes, policy fluctuations, technological advancements, increasing or decreasing competition, customer satisfaction, changes in the employment market, etc.

Identifying hurdles and stumbling blocks in advance can make creating TMS easy and effective. Depending on the situation and challenges, your organization may have to tweak its benefits package to attract certain sex, age group, or others if the talent pool is limited.

By recognizing these struggles early on, organizations can create culture shifts if the goal is to hire new talent from outside.

 

3. Conduct a Gap Analysis and Evaluate Present Performance

To develop an effective Talent Management Strategy, one essential step is to evaluate your organization’s current state and compare it with future goals and where you would like to see your business in an ideal situation.

Compare and contrast the stark differences between the two realities and note the existing gaps and challenges keeping your organization from reaching its full potential.

If your company’s goal is to rank number one in sales in the next five years, then compare that figure with your current sales figure and how much improvement is required to reach that peak. Identify the factors that are holding you back and how you can improve them.

You should also analyze the risks involved in making these decisions and how you can overcome them in the long run.

 

4. Be Employee-centric

Talent, human capital, etc., call it what you want, but your employees are living and breathing human beings with needs and aspirations.

The most effective talent management strategy is one that is employee-centric and allows sufficient room for growth. If your work plan requires over 50 hours of labor, then it is not a very employee-centric strategy.

It is important to establish how the people in your organization can be best used to achieve the company’s long-term goals and overcome specific challenges. You will need to figure out if additional employees are required, or if there is a requirement for a new benefits program for existing workers.

In addition to this, ask yourself if the change is required for current working patterns and processes. Try to accommodate your employees and create a workable framework that attracts new talent and allows them the chance to develop.

 

5. Chart Your Achievements and Learn from Them

Once an effective talent management strategy is in place and you have successfully established your HR proprieties and goals, you must now track your progress and contrast them with the mistakes of the past and potential hurdles in the future.

Good communication with your employees, HR, hiring teams, and other stakeholders is essential to chart growth and ways to learn from new accomplishments.

This will allow executive buy-in and the opportunity to further better your existing TMS. 

When Is the Right Time to Seek IT Consulting Services?

The rise of the internet and the development of information technology (IT) have enabled businesses to promote their operations from local to international markets. This involves using computer tools and programs to connect with customers, workers, and other stakeholders from all parts of the world.  

Beyond global marketing, there are a host of other benefits that IT solutions can provide any business organization. For instance, IT services can help boost communication, foster strategic thinking, and help store and retrieve information. More importantly, it enables business owners and managers to streamline their operations, which is essential for organizations to realize maximum gains while utilizing fewer resources. 

Although you can work with your employees in dealing with IT-related issues, you could reap more benefits by outsourcing IT services. That’s where IT consulting services come in.  

This article will help you learn more about IT service consulting—what it is, how it can benefit your business, and when you need it. Read on to get enlightened.  

What Is IT Service Consulting? 

IT service consulting involves entrusting your business IT functions to a third-party firm. So, instead of relying on your internal employees to provide IT services, you can hire an IT firm to provide support. 

However, you must ensure you’re working with a reliable firm. This is important because this firm will be responsible for all your business’s IT systems and networks. So, the success of your business can significantly depend on the firm you outsource your IT functions to. Given the crucial role of IT solutions, if you’re looking to grow or boost your business, you can work with IT services and solutions company Tenecom or any other similarly reputable IT service provider in the market.

 

When to Seek IT Service Consulting? 

Today, IT consulting is an in-demand practice because of the immediate benefits it offers to businesses. However, business owners must know when it’s necessary to work with an IT service provider. Unsure if you need to seek IT consulting services? Here are a few tips to help you determine when it’s the right time to outsource your IT functions:

  • You Want to Minimize Your Overall Costs 

If you’re looking to reduce your overall costs, it may be time to seek IT consulting services. There are many ways outsourcing your business IT functions can help reduce your expenses. For instance, it enables you to minimize your labor costs. This is because IT consulting services allow you to work with professionals on a seasonal basis, which means these professionals aren’t paid monthly salaries. Instead, they get a service fee. Simply put, they’re compensated only for the services they’ve rendered.  

On the other hand, working with full-time IT employees means paying them huge monthly salaries, allowances, and other bonuses. This attracts a lot of labor costs. Thus, if you want to avoid maintaining and spending for an in-house IT team, hire an IT consulting service provider. 

Moreover, working with an IT service provider can help minimize other IT-related costs. For instance, IT consulting firms utilize their own infrastructure when providing their services. Therefore, you won’t be required to purchase any IT equipment. This also enables you to reduce your overall business costs.  

  • You Want to Boost Your Online Security 

Once you understand better that your business is prone to cyber security attacks, you’ll realize that the best solution is to work with an IT consulting firm. Note that most IT service providers have qualified employees who can guarantee your network’s online security. Using their skills and expertise, they can secure your business and the data you store and access online. For instance, they can use modern technologies and tools to help safeguard your business enterprise against hackers and other unauthorized people. 

  • You Want to Adopt New Technologies 

Today, any business looking to stay ahead of the competition must adopt new business trends and technologies. This is because modern technologies help simplify business operations, thus increasing their efficiency and productivity. You can achieve this by outsourcing your business IT functions.  

An IT service provider can help you adopt new technologies at ease because they know how to integrate different technologies into your existing business systems. Moreover, IT consulting firms work with various firms in different sectors. For that reason, they know the leading technologies utilized in the industry. Therefore, they can draw from their experiences working with other businesses in developing strategies for your brand, allowing you to remain competitive.  

  • You Need Professional Advice 

As the competition in the market increases, so does the need to work with experts. There are various experts you can consider working with. For instance, your business may need to work with experienced marketers, lawyers, accountants, and others. However, you can’t work effectively with these experts without the help of an IT expert. After all, effective IT systems can help you connect with other professionals.  

Most IT service firms have experienced experts who can advise you on the best course of action when running your business. For instance, they can advise you on the best communication tools to install in your business systems.  

In addition, they can help you understand the most secure network system that best suits your business. So, if you need professional advice when running your business, it may be time to connect with an IT consulting firm.  

  • You Want to Focus On Other Business Core Activities 

It’s no doubt that business owners and managers are endorsed with the responsibilities of running and managing their businesses. This means that they have a lot of activities to attend to. So, if they aren’t careful enough, they can even forget to attend to other important business matters. That’s why there’s a need to outsource IT functions.  

Hiring an information technology consulting firm allows you more time to concentrate on other vital business operations. This is possible because these firms can take care of all your computing systems, leaving you with more time to attend to other core business activities.  

Takeaway 

Working with an IT consulting firm is one of the best ways to boost your business operations. It involves working with a third-party firm to provide IT-related services for your business.  

As mentioned above, there are various circumstances when you’d need to work with an IT consulting firm. This is one of the best routes for you to take when you want to minimize costs, adopt new technologies, boost your online business security, focus on your business, or are looking for professional advice.  

10 Business Benefits of Adopting RFID Technology

The radio frequency identification (RFID) technology has been in use for more than three decades now. It leverages the use of radio waves to identify and track objects. Even with the many years of its use, some businesses are yet to incorporate this amazing technology in their supply chain and management of internal processes.

Regardless of the kind of business you operate, RFID can be used to track and trace assets, products, human resources, and the flow of manufacturing processes. Over the years, this technology has seen tremendous improvement, attracting more adoption from many businesses. It’s believed that it offers more than 97% accuracy compared to other manual processes.  

However, unlike other types of technology, it’s quite intensive to implement and manage. It requires expertise that might not be readily available with your in-house IT professionals. If you’re thinking of adopting RFID technology in your business, you can visit: https://lowrysolutions.com/solutions/rfid-implementation or your local RFID consultants for customized services.  

In this article, you’ll learn 10 advantages that you’re bound to gain by implementing RFID technology in your business: 

1. Managing Inventory and Tracking Assets 

Keeping track of materials and assets is difficult for many businesses, whether its materials in the production queue, finished products waiting to be dispatched, tools, containers returning to the premises, technology equipment, or other valuable items. However, with an RFID system in place, you can have a reliable and fast means of tracking all your items without the need for physical counting.  

In addition, an RFID system can show you the number of each particular item, their stage in the supply chain, and their location. You can also use RFID to locate lost items on the site. Simply put, you can keep track of your items from the time of receipt in the store, when issued for manufacturing, and when used in finished products. With this clear system in place, it becomes easy to manage inventory, control shrinkage, and carry out audits and stock checks.  

2. Saves Time 

Today’s RFID systems are highly advanced; thus, you can automatically track the flow of your items in the supply chain and relay that information to the enterprise resource planning (ERP) or into a financial management system. This eliminates the need for manual filling of information into forms and the need for outdated spreadsheets.  

Fixed readers placed at strategic locations help in saving time and resolve the need for human intervention.  

3. Improved Availability and Data Accuracy 

The automation made possible by RFID technology helps collect and upload information electronically. With the electronic transfer of data, you can avoid errors such as duplication of data, transcription errors, and missed entries when dealing with large volumes of data. Moreover, RFID can be used with cloud technology, which enables real-time updates of data for everyone in the organization on the status and whereabouts of each item.  

Cloud-based information can be accessed by all employees, even those not in the office such as the field employees. Due to the interoperability of cloud services with different devices, you can use any gadget of your choice regardless of the operating system to access your data from anywhere. It’s also easy to share the RFID data with customers using cloud technology.  

4. Improved Safety and Health 

Another benefit of RFID systems is that they can be used to check if your vehicles and other equipment have been inspected or to keep track of when they’re due for inspection. Keeping good records of the inspection of your business’s vehicles and equipment helps prevent their use before meeting certain safety measures. An excellent system can contribute to reporting and inspection, help surrender information to the governing bodies and insurance companies, and provide evidence that safety measures are adhered to. In case of breakdown of certain equipment, some safety insurers may want to know whether the equipment was maintained as recommended or not.  

5. Better Production Control 

With RFID, it’s possible to customize complex manufacturing processes because you can easily identify individual items and components. For instance, in manufacturing, you can keep track of your equipment to ensure that certain molds are filled with the correct amount of liquids and are heated for the recommended amount of time. In addition, RFID can be used to monitor the movement of components to ensure that they end up in the proper line of production. With this level of precision, you can significantly lower the chances of wastage and level up efficiency.  

6. Boosts Quality 

Another advantage of an RFID system is that it can be used to ensure that every item has fulfilled all the necessary checks and processes. For example, before a boiler is delivered to a client, with an RFID, you can ascertain that it has been assembled properly, inspected, and has been approved. With such stringent measures in place, you can ensure that only products that meet quality standards are dispatched from your organization. As a result, quality is maintained and the number of returned goods is reduced.

7. Improves Business Revenues 

The efficiency of RFID technology to control production helps you save on production costs. This then leads to higher profit margins. Additionally, quality products can give you a competitive advantage, leading to improved sales due to good customer satisfaction. More sales translate to more revenues for your business.  

8. Shortened Production Process 

RFID systems can be integrated into other supply and manufacturing technologies such as stock-picking systems or the automated pallet handling system. This helps reduce the procedures you need to follow during production. Shortened production procedures can lead to more output. As a result, your business can benefit from improved sales when there is mass production.  

9. Better Information Management 

RFID technology is efficient in capturing real-time data in all the stages of a product lifecycle. This data can be used for better planning and operational purposes. Moreover, this data can be used for forecasting, which further helps maintain efficiency.  

10. Good Returns On Investment (ROI) 

The RFID application is cost-effective, especially if your company is incredibly busy or has to go through a lot of processes during production. Moreover, the RFID system provides several benefits, as listed in this article. Together, these qualities make it a worthy investment.  

 

Wrapping Up 

RFID technology is a game-changer in the supply chain of many organizations. Whether your organization is a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer enterprise, it can enjoy significant benefits by adopting an RFID system. If you’re thinking about whether to invest in an RFID system or not, this article can serve as your guide on the benefits of this technology.