CGTN: China, Saudi Arabia to Forge All-round, High-level Cooperation Pattern

China-Saudi Arabia strategic mutual trust has been strengthened, and the bilateral practical cooperation in various fields has yielded fruitful results since the establishment of diplomatic ties 32 years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a written statement when arriving in Riyadh last Wednesday.

Bilateral relations steered by President Xi and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia have not only benefited their people but also contributed to regional peace, stability, prosperity and development, he said.

During his talks with Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud at the royal palace on Thursday, Xi said as an important member of the Arab world and Islamic world, Saudi Arabia is also an important independent force in a multipolar world and China’s important strategic partner in the Middle East.

A strengthened China-Saudi Arabia comprehensive strategic partnership

With the current international and regional situation undergoing profound and complex changes, Xi said the strategic and overall significance of ChinaSaudi Arabia relations has become more prominent.

China sees its development of relations with Saudi Arabia as a priority in its overall diplomacy, especially its Middle East diplomacy, Xi said.

China is willing to join hands with Saudi Arabia to achieve national rejuvenation, strengthen the development of strategic synergy, deepen pragmatic cooperation in all fields and enhance communication and coordination in regional and international affairs to push for greater development of the ChinaSaudi Arabia comprehensive strategic partnership, Xi said.

Meanwhile, Mohammed said Saudi Arabia looks forward to working with China to jointly commit to pushing the ChinaSaudi Arabia comprehensive strategic partnership to a new high.

President Xi’s visit will mark a milestone in bilateral relations, which will also promote cooperation in all fields, benefits the two peoples and achieve mutual prosperity and development of the two countries, Mohammed said.

The convening of the first China-Arab States Summit and the China-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit hold special significance, which will play a strategic role in ChinaSaudi Arabia relations and China-GCC relations, Xi said.

China expects to work with Saudi Arabia to make the China-Arab States Summit and the China-GCC Summit milestone events in the development history of China-Arab states relations and China-GCC relations and promote the relations to a new level, Xi added.

China will work with Saudi Arabia to strengthen collaboration under multilateral frameworks, such as the United Nations and the Group of 20, Xi said.

Mohammed thanked China for its support in granting Saudi Arabia the status of dialogue partner in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, adding that Saudi Arabia stands ready to strengthen communication and coordination with China and jointly address challenges of energy security, food security and climate change to make contributions in safeguarding regional peace, stability and security.

“I have full confidence in the prospect of bilateral relations,” said Mohammed.

Synergize Belt and Road Initiative and Vision 2030

Under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi people are marching in big strides toward Vision 2030 and making important progress in economic and social reform and diversification.

China supports Saudi Arabia’s major development initiatives, such as Vision 2030 and the Middle East Green Initiative and is willing to actively participate in Saudi’s industrialization process, aimed at helping the diversification of Saudi Arabia’s economic development, Xi said.

Implementing the synergy of China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the two sides should deepen and substantiate practical cooperation in all areas to yield more fruits, Xi said.

He added that China will work with Saudi Arabia to deepen cooperation in the fields of production capacity and infrastructure construction and advance the development of the ChinaSaudi Arabia (Jizan) Industrial Park and the construction of major infrastructure projects.

In fields such as e-commerce, digital economy, clean energy, high-tech and space research and development, Xi said China looks forward to expanding cooperation, calling for elevating cooperation levels in trade, investment and finance.

Mohammed said Saudi Arabia is willing to build the Belt and Road with China, expand trade and mutual investment and welcomes more Chinese enterprises to participate in Saudi Arabia’s industrialization process.

Saudi Arabia also welcomes Chinese enterprises to join in its major infrastructure construction and energy projects cooperation, Mohammed said, calling for strengthened cooperation in the automobile, technology, chemical engineering and mining industries.

China agrees to list Saudi Arabia as a destination for group travel and expand personnel exchanges, as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two sides, Xi said, adding that China will work with Saudi Arabia to promote more achievements in Chinese language education cooperation between the two countries.

Regarding energy policies, Xi said China will strengthen communication and coordination in this field with Saudi Arabia, expand the scale of crude oil trade, and implement major energy cooperation projects such as the Sino-Saudi Gulei Ethylene Complex Project.

Mohammed thanked China for supporting the Middle East Green Initiative, calling for enhanced cooperation in clean energy and green development.

Tech Advancements Help Small Breweries Have a Big Impact on Commercial Real Estate


The beer brewing industry is one of the oldest industries in the world today. People have been drinking beers from time immemorial. However, things keep on changing. Technology is one of the factors that impact how different industries operate.

Fortunately, the beer brewing industry is among the few industries that have been able to keep up with all changes successfully. Even though some people might value the traditional beer brewing industries, the industry has already moved on.

The modern beer brewing industry is largely fuelled by technology. Tech advancements have changed how this industry operates. As a result, small breweries are having a big impact on commercial real estate.

What are some of the tech advancements helping small breweries have a big impact on commercial real estate?

Brewery Software

Gone are the days when small breweries had to manually manage all the operations in their breweries. Initially, all processes were handled by employees, from sourcing raw materials to the supply of beers. They had to manually take care of all the processes.

However, tech advancements have given birth to brewery ops software such as Ollie which manage all these processes to perfection. These software applications allow brewery owners to use a single platform when managing processes such as payments, inventory, order processing, customer relationships, and brewery production, among others.

As a result, small breweries are now more efficient compared to before. This contributes largely to their growth. As they grow, they attract more customers. This drives people and businesses into areas with breweries. The influx of people and businesses affects commercial real estate development and pricing.

Product Monitoring Technology

Tech advancements have also given birth to product monitoring tools. These tools allow small breweries to detect and track the status of all their products. This is essential in ensuring that everything is handled on time and that customers’ needs are met.

Modern breweries are using automated retrieval and storage solutions that make warehousing efficient and improve the effectiveness of product dispatch. This way, small breweries can account for all expenses and materials used in all processes.

Apart from using product monitoring tools, the breweries need modern buildings to use as warehouses. The buildings need to adapt to different technological requirements to ensure that all processes are handled as required. As a result, this has had an impact on commercial real estate. The industry is getting more lucrative due to these demands.

Blockchain Technology

Small breweries are using blockchain technology to adapt to future challenges. Beer consumers are also using the same, but for something different. Modern customers are getting sensitive and want to know where the raw materials for the beers they take are sourced from.

Blockchain technology is playing a major role in making this possible. Today, customers can track the origin of the barley used in making the beers they take. This allows them to not only see where the barley was produced but also where it was harvested and malted.

All a consumer needs to do is to scan a QR code on a beer and then get everything from where the raw materials came from to the beer’s entire supply chain. With this information, some businesses are setting up shops to provide different services to enhance the process. This leads to a boost in commercial real estate.

Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are among the top technology trends for businesses in 2022. The beverage and food industry is among the industries that are seeing a major revolution due to these two.

Today, small breweries are using AI and ML to improve and streamline beer production. They are customising alcohol aroma, colour, flavour, content, and production to match the requirements of their customers.

As beer production processes increase, tech advancements are providing small breweries with AI-powered innovations to handle all these processes. As a result, these breweries are becoming more effective in what they do. This leads to the growth of their businesses, something that has a direct impact on commercial real estate.

Technology is Playing a Role in All Industries

Tech advancements are playing a direct role in the success of all industries. The brewery industry is one of the most lucrative businesses. Even though it is an old industry, it has managed to adapt to modern changes and implement innovative solutions to help it succeed.

As the breweries grow, they are having a major impact on other industries. The commercial real estate industry is one of these industries. Tech advancements are helping small breweries have a big impact on commercial real estate.

6 Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Investing in a Fixer-Upper

Investing in a fixer-upper is an underrated way to make a lot of money. As with most real estate adjacent business models, it can be pretty stressful, but if you can stick with it, you’ll stand a chance of generating heaps of profit.

However, it’s important to consider all the costs and risks involved before making the investment.

With that said, here are six important questions to ask yourself before investing in a fixer-upper:

What Is The Potential For Return On Investment?

The most important question to ask yourself before getting into any type of real estate venture is what the potential return on investment could be.

It’s important to research the area it’s situated at and find out what similar properties have sold for in the past.

This will give you a good estimate of what you can expect to make if you decide to invest.

You should also consider the cost of repairs as well as the costs for home renovations, and other expenses that will need to be taken into account when calculating your return.

What Is The Market Like?

It’s important to understand the local market and the current trends in real estate before investing in a fixer-upper.

Research the area to determine what type of homes are selling and for how much, as well as which areas are likely to experience appreciation in the future.

Knowing the market can help you make an informed decision and ensure that you’re making a smart investment.

How Much Work Is Required?

Many fixer-uppers require extensive fixing and it’s important to understand the scope of the project before investing. In other words, you should dedicate some time towards inspecting any property you’re looking to buy and assess the amount of work that might be needed to renovate it.

Beyond ascertaining the amount of work, It’s also important to consider the type of work that will need to be done, such as structural repairs, electrical or plumbing work, or cosmetic upgrades.

Knowing the amount of work required can help you make an informed decision and determine if the project is a good fit for your budget and timeline.

How Will You Fund The Home Renovations?

Fixer-uppers have been shown to cost upwards of $120,000 to renovate – so unless you have a large chunk of cash saved up, you’ll need to figure out how you’ll foot the renovation costs.

A great way to fund the home renovation costs would be to get a home loan from a lender.

Alternatively you could raise money by soliciting investments from friends or family and then paying them out when you’re able to renovate the home and sell it for a profit.

What Are The Risks?

Investing in a fixer-upper comes with certain risks and it’s important to understand them before making the decision to invest.

You should be aware of any potential legal or regulatory risks, as well as the risks of the property not appreciating in value or selling quickly. It’s also important to consider the risks associated with any repairs or renovations that need to be done.

Do You Have The Right Team?

Finally, it’s important to ensure that you have the right team in place before investing in a fixer-upper. You should have experienced and reliable contractors and suppliers who can help ensure that your fixer-upper gets renovated with quality materials, and within a good enough timeline.

It’s also important to make sure that you have an experienced real estate agent to help you navigate the market and find the best deals.

The Basic Principles of a Business’ Customer Acquisition and Retention

Research shows that increasing the retention rate, even by 5%, can lead to an increase in profit by up to 95%. Similarly, businesses are also 60-70% likely to sell the product or service to an existing customer.

This shows that companies must focus on customer acquisition and customer retention to ensure growth and profit. To understand how to build a customer acquisition plan and retain potential buyers, firms must understand the following principles:

Research the Audience

Identify the Target Market

Identifying a target market and understanding its needs are essential to customer acquisition and customer retention. Companies need to determine what type of clients they want to acquire, how they can reach them, and what services or products they should offer tailored to the target audiences.

Understand their Requirements

Once a target market has been identified, companies can understand their requirements. For example, a business may need to research its target market’s buying habits, preferences, and demographics to determine what product or service it should offer. Companies can also use surveys and other feedback forms to gain insight into their target purchasers’ needs.

Tailor Business Offerings

Moreover, businesses can further create customer acquisition marketing strategies that are tailored to the audience’s preferences. This will help them acquire new consumers more effectively by targeting individuals most likely to be interested in their products or services. It will also help them retain existing clients by offering a product or service that exclusively meets the market’s demand. For instance, identity marketing can be beneficial for businesses to identify their target audience and develop a plan tailored to their needs.

Use Reward Programs

Reward programs are an effective way of encouraging buyers to stay loyal to a business. They can help with acquisition and retention by offering incentives to join and stay with a company.

For instance, a loyalty program might offer discounts after reaching a certain number of purchases or give points that can be redeemed for rewards. This encourages people to keep returning and making more purchases from the brand. It also enables potential buyers who may need to become more familiar with the business to try out the services. For acquisition, sign-up rewards are ideal.

Provide a Personalised Customer Experience

Personalised experiences create a better first impression and make people feel valued. Individuals are more likely to continue engaging with brands that show they care about their individual needs and preferences. Furthermore, it leads to higher satisfaction levels, increasing the likelihood of repeated business opportunities from existing customers and referrals from satisfied customers.

Additionally, it saves time and resources by reducing the effort needed for marketing and sales activities such as lead generation, onboarding, and support, making it easier to reach a larger audience.

From an analytical perspective, personalisation helps identify the consumers that should be prioritized for product or service upgrades and other opportunities to increase their lifetime value. Additionally, it helps businesses better understand their buyers’ interests and needs, so they can make more informed decisions about how to engage with them in the future.

Offer Excellent Customer Support

A good customer service experience helps to create a positive brand image that can attract new clientele and ensure existing ones remain loyal. This approach can help businesses build trust with their buyers by providing helpful advice, resolving queries quickly, and offering personalised solutions. It also helps in building a lasting relationship between the company and its customers.

Consumers who know they will be supported if they have problems or need assistance are more likely to stay with the company for extended periods. Besides, potential customers tend to trust companies that respond to both positive and negative reviews. This is especially true for businesses in highly competitive industries, as buyers tend to look for companies that show a commitment to customer service.

Wrapping Up

By understanding and applying the basic principles, businesses can create a customer acquisition strategy that will bring in new business and maintain existing customers. Firms must remember that every business is different and will require its unique approach, but if they keep these general tips in mind, they’re well on their way to success.

The Benefits of Pursuing a Master’s in Nursing During a Recession

In recent news, economists say that the U.S. economy will face a recession in 2023. People are starting to question whether their jobs are safe or not. But nursing is one profession that might not be affected. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of pursuing a master’s in nursing, especially during a recession.

What happened during the last recession from 2007-2009

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, roughly 9 million jobs were lost during the Great Recession. It was a very traumatic event and many of those workers never recovered from it. But the nurses and other workers in the healthcare industry didn’t suffer the same fate.

Nursing survived the economic downturn

The healthcare industry wasn’t affected by the Great Recession. Rather, it grew much faster than any other sector in the United States. With a 56.1% job growth, 852,000 new jobs were added in healthcare between 2007 to 2010.

Nursing, in particular, experienced both career and wage growth. This was across all nursing specialties and work settings as more nurses were employed in hospitals, physician offices, home health care, and skilled nursing facilities.

College enrolment increased during the recession

According to Stanford University, enrolment in colleges increased in every recession since the 1960s. A postsecondary enrolment report says that the last recession saw a 33% increase in two-year colleges from 2006 to 2011.

Young adults decided to enrol in colleges or universities in order to qualify for employment opportunities. While working professionals had to further their education to secure their position or switch to a more stable career.

Why is nursing recession-proof?

Due to the threats of an upcoming recession, many people are worried about their jobs. Some are already seeking ways to ensure that they remain gainfully employed. Here are some of the reasons why nursing is recession-proof.

People always need medical care

Generally, healthcare professionals will always be needed whether there’s a recession or not. People will continue to seek medical care from hospitals and other healthcare facilities. So there must be enough nurses and doctors to care for the ever-growing number of patients.

There is a shortage of nurses

The covid19 pandemic led to burnout of nurses and forced many of them to quit their jobs. This means that the healthcare sector needs more nurses. Many hospitals are currently offering competitive pay, learning opportunities, and other benefits to attract and retain nurses.

Demand for nurses is expected to continue to increase

Nursing positions will continue to increase even during a recession. According to the American Nurses Association (ANA), the current supply of nurses doesn’t seem to match the demand. BLS also projects that over 275,000 additional nurses are needed from 2020 to 2030.

Why pursuing a master’s degree in nursing during a recession is a good idea

Registered nurses who want to specialize or move into higher positions in healthcare should consider a master of science in nursing degree. Below are some reasons why nurses should pursue advanced degrees during a recession.

A master’s degree makes you more marketable and can make it easier to find a job

Many employers would prefer to employ those with graduate degrees rather than bachelor’s or associate degrees. A master’s in nursing can provide nurses with a competitive advantage in healthcare. You will enjoy job security and can easily qualify for higher-paying opportunities.

You have more career options with a master’s degree

An advanced degree allows a registered nurse to specialize as a family nurse practitioner (FNP), paediatric nurse practitioner (PNP), psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP), or an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AGCNP). You can also choose from a variety of work settings.

You have flexible options to get a degree while still working

As a working nurse, you might not be able to attend a traditional college. Online education provides the flexibility to pursue a degree and work at the same time. Make sure you enrol in an accredited online program with the right curriculum and adequate support for students.

You can transfer your skills to another career

A master’s degree can help nurses to become mentors, educators, and administrators in the healthcare sector. You’ll also learn skills that can help you advance into leadership positions in the future. An advanced degree helps to switch into another career during a recession.

What to Think About When Leaving Part of a Death Benefit to a Charity or Organisation whole Life Insurance

Did you know you can leave part (or all) of your death benefit from a life insurance policy as a donation to a charity or nonprofit organisation? Permanent life insurance policies, such as whole life insurance and universal life insurance, with their guaranteed death benefit, are perfect candidates for charitable giving.

Leaving a gift to charity can be a great way to continue supporting a cause even after you’re gone. If you’re thinking of leaving part of your death benefit to an organisation, here are some aspects to consider:

Which organisation to donate to

The first step is to choose which charity or organization you want to donate to. Is there an organisation you’ve been contributing to or working with throughout your life? Maybe you’ve been fostering for a particular animal shelter for years. Is there a cause that’s particularly important to you? Perhaps you survived a particular type of cancer and want to ensure other people have access to the same level of care as you did.

How much to leave

Once you know which organisation you want to donate to the next step is to decide how much you want to leave. When designating beneficiaries, you can choose what percentage of the total death benefit to leave them. You may want to consider your other financial obligations when making this decision. For example, if your children are still dependents, you may want to leave a larger portion of the death benefit to your spouse. You may choose to change how much you leave to charity later, after your kids are out of the house and living independently and you have fewer financial responsibilities.

Leaving a gift to more than one organization

You can choose to leave gifts to multiple charities or organisations the same way you can leave your death benefit to more than one person. This can be a great option if multiple organisations have been important to you.

If you choose to leave part of your death benefit to multiple organizations, you’ll want to consider how much to leave to each one. You may leave a larger gift to an organization you’ve been more involved with or choose to give more to a bigger organization that requires more funding in general. Or, you may simply decide to divide the amount evenly.

Letting your other beneficiaries know

If you choose to leave part of your death benefit to a charity or organisation, you may want to let your other beneficiaries know. Letting them know now can help them understand your wishes and may help avoid any confusion in the future.

How To Save Yourself From Becoming A Potential Victim Of A Car Insurance Scam?

Vehicle theft and damage insurance is an important aspect of risk management. The first hundred miles are the easiest to avoid problems, but it’s easy to get into difficulty if you’re not vigilant.

Fortunately, there are a variety of groups that aim to identify and report financial crimes. It will be more difficult for a fraudster to use insurance fraud against you if you have knowledge of how they operate.

Vehicle insurance frauds are a major source of anxiety. Both your independence and your bank account can take a knock if your car is written off or if you find out after an incident that your insurance is fake.

Alerting The Insurance Agent

Talk to both your insurer and the state insurance department about your concerns. If you provide enough evidence, they may open an investigation.

It’s crucial that you inform the insurance provider of your suspicions at this point. They are the individuals who will assist pay for your losses, therefore it’s in their best interest to know the details as quickly as possible so they can get to work fixing the situation.

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Find out from the agent how to get your money back if you have to rent a car or have to replace costly safety equipment like child safety seats.

Documenting Everything

Collect evidence to back up your story by keeping meticulous documents. Established a filing cabinet in your house to store crucial information regarding your car. Always keep the following documents locked away:

  • Coverage under your insurance
  • Documentation of Insurance Premium Payments
  • Receipts and quotes from local mechanics
  • Documentation of an automobile crash involving your vehicle, including notes and photographs

If you can obtain one, a copy of the police report detailing the details of the accident.

Your ability to demonstrate unethical or criminal behaviour may hinge on your records, which could be affected by your concerns about an insurance provider, mechanic, or accident.

Reporting the Scam

Several groups, including the NAIC and also the NICB, gather reports of fraud.

You may be able to take legal action against the scam artist depending on the losses you’ve incurred and the evidence you’ve gathered. But before you rush into a lawsuit, you should discuss your options with an attorney to determine if it’s worth your time and money.

There may be a basis for a civil complaint if you cause an accident that results in injuries and you do not have insurance (because of agent fraud).

The Bottom Line

Con artists may prey on members of vulnerable populations more frequently if they believe they can frighten those members into giving up personal information. Fraudsters and con artists will also try to get in touch with anyone who can assist them make more money. Women, the elderly, those driving large trucks or buses, and those with expensive cars are all prime targets for criminals.

Just because you identify with any or all of these categories does not make you more vulnerable to victimisation. Keeping alert and following safety steps might prevent falling for a scam.

How Can Businesses Attain An Immaculate Financial System?

For a company to thrive and expand, sound financial management is essential. To reach one’s business goals, one must engage in careful financial planning, organization, control, and monitoring.

Financial management that is up to snuff will help your company meet its obligations to its stakeholders, stay ahead of the competition, and secure its future.

Managing your company’s finances should become an integral element of your core operations, and you should factor it into your continuing strategy.

Though your personal finances may seem daunting and difficult to manage, the following ten suggestions can help.

Business Plan

With the help of a business plan, you may map out your current situation and your desired future state in detail.

See creating a business plan step-by-step for further information on how to organize this section of your strategy.

Financial Position

Keep tabs on how things are going with your company on a consistent basis. It’s crucial to keep track of everyday financials, including cash on hand, sales, and inventory levels.

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Make Sure Consumers Are Paying On Time

Negative consequences might arise for businesses when customers are late with payments. Making your credit terms of service clear upfront might help limit the possibility of payments being made late or not at all.

Invoices that are easy to understand and correct should be issued promptly. If you want to make sure your clients pay you on time, using an automated credit risk management system is a good idea.

Day-To-Day Costs

The success of any business is threatened if normal operating expenditures (such as rent, utilities, and employees) exceed available cash.

If you want to keep your firm afloat, you need to know how much money you have on hand at any one time and stick to that number.

Accounting Records

Keeping your books in order will prevent you from losing money due to late payments from customers or forgetting to make payments to vendors.

See accounting and managerial accounts for further information on the benefits of keeping meticulous records of your business’s expenditures, debts, and creditors, as well as on how to ask for extra funding and how to cut down on accounting time and fees.

Tax Deadlines

Punishments in the form of fines and interest may be imposed for those who fail to submit tax returns or make required payments by the due dates. These are extra expenditures that can be prevented with forethought.

By maintaining precise records, a company may save both time and money while being assured that it is only forking out the appropriate amount of taxation.

Wrapping It Up

It’s never pleasant to deal with money issues as a corporation, but you should get professional guidance as quickly as feasible you deal with them before they become insurmountable.

You can lessen the blow by taking preventative measures, such as paying off high-interest debts first and figuring out how to better manage your cash flow (for more, see Business debt: assistance and guidance).

5 Surprising Ways Starting a Business Can Affect Your Health

When becoming a business owner, you think all about the awards and less about the negatives. Right?

Who cares about the finical risks, time commitment, and extra duties you must do to get a business up and running. You only cared about the ability to create a legacy, so you and your family didn’t have to depend on anyone else.

Although, the one negative thing you didn’t expect your business to affect is your health. Have you not realized the late nights you stayed up wondering if you’re doing good or the extra pounds you gained due to eating out more?

Yes, starting a business can cause you to care less about your health, and if you’re not careful, you may be hurting yourself in the long run. Here are five surprising ways starting a business can affect your health and what you can do about it.

1. You May Experience Depression

It’s no secret that starting a business is a lot of work. In addition to the endless to-do lists and late nights, there’s also the constant stress of wondering if your business will succeed.

It’s no wonder that so many business owners become depressed after starting their own companies. The good news is that there are things you can do to prevent depression from taking over your life.

First, make sure to schedule some time for yourself every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Relaxing during the chaotic days of building your business is vital.

Also, try to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. These simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference if you start experiencing depression when starting a business.

2. Start Suffering From High Levels of Stress

Starting a business is a big undertaking and can be incredibly stressful. Unfortunately, for many business owners, the stress begins long before they open their doors.

They may spend months (or even years) planning and preparing, worrying about whether their business will be successful. Then, once they finally start, they often face even more challenges, from finding customers to managing finances. And if their business isn’t successful, the stress can be even greater.

As a business owner, there are several things you can do to manage your stress. You may want to make minor adjustments, such as refining your organizational habits, or more extensive changes, like growing your staff. Try to access your pain points and address them the best you can. You can learn from other businesses’ mistakes and take preventative measures like securing insurance. For your peace of mind, getting business insurance is essential. Accidents will happen, and insurance helps take on the burden, giving you one less thing to add to your stress.

3. Live a Sedentary Lifestyle

Those who start a business often find themselves living a sedentary lifestyle. You’re sitting at a desk all day, either in front of a computer or on the phone. And when you’re not, you’re probably driving to meetings or working long hours.

But many business owners don’t realize that this sedentary lifestyle can have serious consequences. For example, studies have shown that [*nolink *]sitting for long periods[endlink] can increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, and even early death.

So if you’re a business owner, it’s essential to make sure that you take steps to stay active. Even something as simple as taking a walk during your lunch break can make a big difference.

And if you can find ways to incorporate movement into your workday, such as standing while you work or using a treadmill desk, you’ll be even better off. Making just a few small changes can help you stay healthy and avoid the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle.

[subheading]4. Insomnia Will Cause You To Have Many Sleepless Nights[endsubheading]

For many business owners, insomnia is a common side effect of running their business. The stress of making decisions, managing employees, and meeting deadlines can all contribute to sleepless nights.

Also, business owners often have to travel for work, disrupting their sleep schedule. As a result, it is not uncommon for business owners to experience insomnia.

While there are some steps that business owners can take to improve their sleep, such as exercise and relaxation techniques, the best way to combat insomnia is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Business owners can minimize insomnia by taking steps to reduce stress and creating a healthy sleep routine.

[subheading]5. Risk of Developing Heart Disease[endsubheading]

Many people don’t realize that the stress of being a business owner can take a toll on your heart health. Research has shown that business owners are at increased risk of heart disease.

[*nolink *]One study found[endlink] that the odds of having heart problems were nearly 95% higher for self-employed individuals than those who worked for someone else. The stress of running a business can lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems, increasing the risk of heart disease.

So if you’re a business owner, you must be aware of the risks and take steps to manage your stress levels. Doing so can help protect your heart health in the long run.

[subheading]Don’t Let Your Business Take Your Health Away[endsubheading]

There are many things to think about when starting your own business, and your health should be one of them. Taking care of yourself is critical for maintaining productivity and avoiding burnout.

These surprising ways starting a business can affect your health provide a good place to start, but remember that every business is different. So make sure you take the time to assess what works best for you and find strategies to keep yourself healthy and happy while running your own company.

How to Facilitate Your Business Growth in the Philippines with a Powerful Online Presence

When it comes to growing a business, many entrepreneurs can’t see the forest for the trees. They have no clear idea of what they want from their businesses and even less of an idea about how to get it. In time, such businesses either flame out or flounder. It’s better to make the most of your resources while laying a solid foundation for further growth. The process begins with understanding why building a powerful online presence is critical to your success.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that 10% of Philippine MSMEs have closed operations since June of 2021, with 46% of MSMEs in partial operations, and 53.8% reporting a decline in their sales. With these figures, it’s no surprise that many have adapted a digital means of conducting business, with varying degrees of success.

Due to the numerous business opportunities, business people and start-ups tend to focus on building an online presence for their business which comprises different online marketing strategies. The first important step is to create a business website. However, it’s just a small part of what needs to be done.

It’s not only about your business online presence but also your reputation. If you have a business that depends on client feedback, then an efficient way to get more clients is to have an excellent online reputation. It can be hard sometimes, but your business will grow as long as you stick to the basics.

What Is an Online Presence?

– In short, an online presence is a collection of interconnected channels you can use to promote your business.

An online presence refers to your digital footprint and its impact on your brand. It’s experiencing success using social media, blogging, and building backlinks. It could also be something as small as a Google My Business page or as large as a dedicated website completely separate from your brand. Although simplistic, its definition highlights something significant. You need to think of your website as a foundation for many other interconnected channels to improve your reach and influence.

But a business online presence is more than just having a website. It is about how people find you and develop brand perceptions. It refers to your visibility, credibility, and reputation on the web. Having an online presence can help you do anything from letting people know who you are, what you do, and how to contact you to advertising your products and even fundraising for various causes. 

Benefits of Having a Strong Online Presence for Business

According to the PYMNTS research, SMBs most commonly say they are interested in innovating new digital capabilities because they have no choice. It is shown that 38.3 percent of SMBs are interested in enhancing their digital offerings because many consumers are under stay-at-home mandates and are prevented from doing business through other channels. The second and third most common motivations for wanting to upgrade such capabilities are because they believe doing so will help them attract customers and generate new sales, with 37.8 percent and 30.4 percent citing these reasons.

●      Get exposed to a broader audience

The internet offers businesses many opportunities to reach the right people and get their attention, automatically increasing sales.

“It’s only logical to go where the audience is, and that is online with the quarantine having increased the online activity. With a lot of businesses having started doing so, the challenge now evolves to how to drive and retain online engagement,” Norman Barrientos, the member of strategic partnership – APAC, said.

Online platforms expose you to a wider audience and promote your products and services to different communities worldwide. Word-of-mouth advertising is still one of the best forms of marketing at present. Organizations can harness benefits like enhanced exposure and recognition. Let’s go on!

●      Build brand trust

Having a strong online presence helps to build your company’s reputation. Consumers are exposed to many different advertisements, having second thoughts about the credibility of a brand or product they have not heard of before. Customers tend to trust a business that has a well-established and visible web presence because it inspires credibility and reliability. You’ve probably visited a website and thought: “Who are these people?” When that happens, your trust in the business decreases. A connection with your visitors via various channels is important for establishing online trust.

●      Build a relationship with the target audience

Before taking the plunge and deciding to trust a business, internet users today are more likely to do some research first. When conducting research, most consumers consider reading comments in blogs and forum websites, as well as searching for businesses on Google and other search engines. The advantage of having a strong online presence is that it enables you to build relationships with the target audience and attract the desired clientele. By paying close attention and becoming involved with what goes on online regarding your business, you can take another step toward building a closer relationship with your audience.

●      Get more conversions

Too many businesses in the Philippines today have a hard time staying competitive because they lack a strong web presence. You can have the best products, affordable pricing, and a great customer support team, but it won’t make a difference if no one is aware of your brand or products. Online marketing is so effective and helpful for businesses because it allows for expanding the reach of your business to places where you may not be able to reach and convert visitors into leads and sales. However, you will need to improve web presence to do this effectively.

●      Earn Google’s trust

Online presence is the new currency, and getting the most out of it means earning Google’s trust. Businesses that have been blogging for a while have gotten accustomed to creating high-quality content and, in turn, have gained trust in the eyes of Google’s algorithms, which tend to sort high-quality websites above others.

●      Promote your business even outside of operating hours

More and more customers are turning to the Internet to find answers to their questions and look at products before making a purchase. Whether it is to review a product before purchasing or to compare different brands, most people do some research online before buying. The world we live in now is a globally connected community that is always online, so the information about you and your business should always be available online to promote it even outside of your operating hours.

Powerful Tips for Building Online Presence

We’ve found that the more effectively you improve online presence, the closer you’ll get to reaching new audiences, driving leads and sales, and establishing yourself as a thought leader. There’s no magic formula for building a great digital presence, but there are many strategic elements to consider.

1.    Optimise Your Website

Due to the scope of the Internet, it’s essential to stay on track and stick to tried and true methods of increasing online presence. You must properly optimize your website to rank well in search engines. Optimizing your site includes creating quality, keyword-targeted content and ensuring that users can easily find your pages on SERPs and actively engage with your content due to mobile responsiveness.

In addition to that, you should build relevant inbound links to your site from other high-quality websites. This includes developing relationships with industry bloggers and journalists interested in writing about your site and hosting it on their site as guest posts.

Finally, since users like sites that are easy to navigate, you should improve the usability of your website through ongoing user testing and feedback so you will have a good resource for anyone who uses your site. You should always keep track of your web presence and improve it constantly. Try using SEO tools like SE Ranking to keep track of any significant changes and make adjustments accordingly. The Google organic ranking checker can help you monitor rankings both for Google organic and paid search results. Besides rankings for every keyword, you’ll get the data on relative traffic forecast, search volume, the general level of competition, and presence in different SERP features. It also tracks Google Maps results, so with this tool, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of your online presence.

2.    Set up Finances

Starting an online business in the Philippines also requires preparing the money-related aspects of running your enterprise. Traditional brick-and-mortar stores use cash for transactions, but when it comes to eCommerce, you’ll have to incorporate the digital aspects of payment processing from the very beginning. Otherwise, you risk losing customers in the process. At least you will need a corporate bank account, a business credit card, and some regular or recurring payment methods to be able to offer your customers more convenient ways to pay for their purchases online using debit, prepaid, and credit cards.

3.    Social Media

Social has gone beyond being a separate entity of a marketing campaign – it is now an amalgamation of several channels that help a company connect with customers directly. It allows you to build relationships with the potential audience and keep them interested in your company. And it’s not just about engagement and sales but also about building rapport and loyalty with customers.

There are tons of social media sites that you can use to build an online presence of your brand. However, if you hope to stand out in a crowded field, you’ll need to focus on social media that reaches your target audience. For example, for a company that manufactures digital cameras, it would make more sense to be active on Youtube and Instagram than on Twitter. With almost three million monthly active users, Facebook is a prime choice for many businesses. Data published in Meta’s advertising resources indicates that Facebook had 83.85 million users in the Philippines in early 2022. Fortunately, it’s also the place where most online consumers initiate the research process that leads them down the path to purchase. Among other social media platforms, there are also Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, Quora, etc. Numbers published in Meta’s advertising tools indicate that Instagram had 18.65 million users in the Philippines in early 2022, while figures published in LinkedIn’s advertising resources show that LinkedIn had 11.00 million “members”. According to Twitter’s advertising resources, Twitter had only 10.50 million users in the Philippines.

4.    Optimise Local Listing Platforms

Online local searches are growing day by day. Businesses must go back to the basics and make themselves more accessible to their customers, who can be found anywhere on the web. A way of reaching out to them specifically is through local listing websites. Location-based search is one of the major searches in the current market! Brand positioning, awareness, and visibility can be improved considerably by maximizing online presence through local listing platforms such as Google My Business, Yelp, etc. Local businesses in the Philippines get a lot of benefits from them. However, it takes time to create a page and ensure that it’s optimized to get the desired amount of traffic and clients.

5.    Respond to Reviews

Nowadays, word-of-mouth is what brings clients to a particular business. Reviews are a great way to see how people feel about your product/service and what they perceive as its key benefits or problems. A positively reviewed service or product is suitable for building trust and gaining new loyal clients. But what if someone loses their temper and writes something that can be interpreted as negative?

It might be because something bad happened to them, and they want to take it out on someone else’s product. Most customers trust recommendations more than advertising. That’s why we should remember to look at each review carefully and find the best way to respond to each type of review.

6.    Invest in Online Advertising

If you are serious about your business, online advertising is a must. For a lot of digital marketing companies, it may seem like a luxury when in reality, it’s the future. Whether selling discounted local services or running an eCommerce site, online advertising is one of the most effective tools for getting your message out there.

You can’t afford to keep your head in the sand and hope that your sales will increase over time if you do nothing. There is no guarantee that this will happen, and it will not happen on its own. The power of online advertising lies in the fact that it’s so targeted. With all the data on the public’s (and each specific person’s) consumption habits and preferences, you can target the right people with your ads.


Whether you’re running a small, locally-owned business or have an international organization in the Philippines, you should be developing a regular strategy for maintaining and building your online presence. Many people rely on search engines to discover local businesses like yours. Whether you handle this work in-house or have a trusted internal or external partner, it’s worth taking the time to understand the tools and strategies to enhance the search results so you can achieve a competitive edge. So, leverage your investment in online marketing and follow the above-mentioned tips to bring new customers to your business and maintain a strong online presence!

7 Ways You Can Ensure the Work Christmas Party Goes to Plan

By Employment Hero’s Chief People Officer, Alex Hattingh

It’s that time of year when workplace Christmas parties are in the calendar and everyone’s planning their outfit. The office is buzzing with anticipation and the smell of festivities is in the air, but how can you ensure that your work Christmas party goes to plan? Christmas parties are a great opportunity to celebrate the year that was and show appreciation for your teams’ hard work and commitment.

So if the venue is booked and numbers are finalised, there are a few things to remember to ensure that your team stays safe at the Christmas party. As an employer, you have a duty of care and this extends to the Christmas party, so read on as we share 7 ways you can ensure your work Christmas party goes to plan:

On the calendar invite, include what is expected of your teams’ behaviour

When the Christmas party calendar invites land in your teams’ inbox, it’s important to include the expectations of their behaviour. It’s a gentle reminder to let your team know that it is still a work function, and they should be on their best behaviour. With this being said, you never want to stifle a Christmas party celebration by being the HR fun Police, remember to treat your team as trusted adults.

Remind your team of your workplace policies including social media, drugs, alcohol, bullying and harassment

Today, any form of misconduct such as bullying, sexual harassment, violence or discrimination in the workplace is not tolerated. In the week leading up to your Christmas party, remind your team that they still apply at the Christmas party. As an employer, it’s important you know your workplace policies, and have a prepared plan of action if something were to occur. We’ve all heard the stories of when things go wrong at the work Christmas party, so having these policies in place can help you stay protected.

Organise adequate food for attendees

This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get caught and forget about having enough food. Christmas parties are a great time to eat, drink and be merry, but don’t forget the food! By having adequate food available to your team, you’ll also be able to give everyone a break from drinking. By making sure food is covered for the entire night, you might have a few less dramas. When it comes to organising the catering, ask your team to notify you of any dietary requirements. You should also ensure there’s different vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available.

Set clear starting and finishing times

This one is simple but necessary. When you notify your team of the Christmas party, it’s important to specify an end time. The finishing time allows employees to organise transport home and avoids any confusion. Just think, wouldn’t you find it frustrating if you organised your Christmas party and everyone left one hour in because they weren’t aware it was booked for four hours? If you add an end time, people will be more likely to stick around and mingle with your team. This leads to improved team morale and engagement – win! For those that might want to stick around, why not organise an after-party? This is a good chance for unofficial team bonding.

Let your team know there will be non-alcoholic drinks available

By letting your team know of the different drink options available, those who aren’t drinking will still feel included. You should offer options for those who don’t drink alcohol or are driving such as juice, soft drinks or mocktails. You should also ensure that that there is water readily available around the venue.

If the venue is far away from the office, organise transport to get there and back

If your Christmas party venue is located more than a walk away from the office, we suggest booking transport. A bus to and from the location reduces stress for the entire team and means that everyone can enjoy themselves. It also greatly reduces the risk of anyone getting behind the wheel after a night of celebrating.

Let your team know you encourage them to have fun, but not have any regrets

Too often, we hear of drama happening at the work Christmas party, so it’s important to remind your team not to do anything they’ll regret. Sore heads and regrets are something that you don’t want your team to be feeling the day after. Even worse, feeling embarrassed walking into work on Monday from something they did in the late hours of the Christmas party! if you feel you may fall into that bucket, ask a friend to keep an eye on you to help you out if you have had too much to drink.

All The Things You Need To Know About Hawaii Before You Start Packing

You’ve booked your tickets, cleared your schedule, and told your boss you’re taking a vacation. It’s time to start packing for Hawaii! But before you pack your bags and head to the airport, there are a few things you should know about Hawaii. From the best places to visit cultural norms, read on for a complete guide to everything you need to know about Hawaii before you start packing.

The Best Places To Visit In Hawaii

Hawaii is a dream destination for many, and it’s easy to see why. The state is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, as well as stunning volcanoes, lush rainforests, and vibrant coral reefs. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an adventure-filled trip, Hawaii has something for everyone. To help you plan your trip, we’ve put together a list of the best places to visit in Hawaii. 


Maui is known for its beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and stunning volcanic landscapes. It is generally known as the best island to visit in Hawaii. There are many different things to see and do in Maui, so it is no wonder that it is such a popular destination. Here are some of the best places to visit in Maui:

1. Haleakala National Park: This national park is home to the Haleakala volcano, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Maui. The park offers many different hiking trails, as well as opportunities to see some of the native Hawaiian wildlife.

2. Lahaina: This historic town was once the capital of Hawaii, and it is now a popular tourist destination. There are many shops and restaurants to explore in Lahaina, as well as some historical sites such as the Lahaina Fort and the Baldwin Home Museum.

3. Molokini: Molokini is a small island off the coast of Maui that is known for its clear waters and abundant marine life. It is a popular spot for snorkeling and diving, and several tour companies offer boat trips out to Molokini.

4. Hana: Hana is a small town located on the east coast of Maui. It is known for its beautiful black sand beaches, as well as its rainforest hiking trails. There are also several waterfalls located near Hana, making


Kauai is the oldest and northernmost island in the Hawaiian chain. With its dramatic cliffs, verdant canyons, and pristine beaches, Kauai is often called the “Garden Isle.” Kauai’s must-see sights include the Kalalau Trail, which winds along Kauai’s rugged coastline; Waimea Canyon, nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific;” and Wailua Falls, an 80-foot tall cascade. Other popular activities on Kauai include hiking, kayaking, and whale watching.


Oahu – often called “The Gathering Place” – is the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands and home to over 75% of the state’s population. Oahu is a beautiful mix of city life and country living, with something to offer everyone. From world-famous Waikiki Beach to the majestic Diamond Head crater, there are plenty of reasons why Oahu is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Bring Mosquito Repellent

As you start packing for your trip to Hawaii, don’t forget to include mosquito repellent on your list! Mosquitoes are more active during the daytime in Hawaii, so it’s important to be prepared. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a mosquito repellant:

  • Choose a repellant with DEET for the best protection.
  • Look for a repellent that is water-resistant if you’ll be spending time near bodies of water.
  • Apply repellent liberally and reapply as needed, especially after swimming or sweating.

With mosquito repellant in hand, you’ll be able to enjoy all that Hawaii has to offer without worry!

Get To Know The Cultural Norms

If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, it’s important to be aware of the local culture and customs. Here are a few things you should know about the cultural norms in Hawaii:

  • Hawaiians are typically very laid-back and relaxed. This casual attitude extends to how they dress, which is usually quite casual.
  • Hawaiian culture is strongly influenced by the Native Hawaiian people. There is great respect for the land and nature, and many traditional Hawaiian customs are still practiced today.
  • Family is extremely important in Hawaiian culture. Extended family members often live close together and support each other.
  • Religion also plays a significant role in Hawaiian culture. Christianity is the dominant religion, but there is also a strong belief in Hawaiian gods and goddesses.

The Weather And Climate Of Hawaii

The Hawaii weather and climate are perfect for a tropical getaway. The average temperature in Hawaii is about 78 degrees Fahrenheit. The warmest months are from August to October, and the coolest months are from November to March. The rainfall in Hawaii is heaviest from December to February. Hawaii has two main types of climates- the wetter, eastern side of the islands and the drier, leeward side of the islands. The wetter side is where you’ll find most of the rainforests and the drier side is home to the deserts. In general, if you’re looking for a hot beach vacation, Hawaii is the perfect place. With its sandy beaches and clear blue waters, you’re sure to have a relaxing time.

The Local Hawaiian Cuisine

When it comes to food, Hawaii is all about freshness. Local Hawaiian cuisine often features seafood that has been caught the same day, as well as fruits and vegetables that have been grown on the island. One of the most popular local dishes is poke, which is raw fish that has been marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil. Other popular dishes include lau lau (pork wrapped in taro leaves), Kalua pig (slow-roasted pork), and poi (taro root pudding). If you’re looking for a more casual dining experience, there are plenty of food trucks and stands serving up delicious Hawaiian plates. You’ll find everything from teriyaki chicken to mochi ice cream. And of course, no trip to Hawaii would be complete without trying a shaved ice or Loco Moco (rice topped with a burger patty, egg, and gravy).

The Currency 

And finally, when it comes to currency – you need to be prepared. Hawaii uses the US dollar. You may want to bring some extra cash in small denominations for tipping purposes. As for exchange rates, if you’re arriving from outside the US, you will need to research the relative exchange rates from your home currency to assess how much money you will be needing to bring. 

A Hui Hou!

Hopefully, after having read this article, you now feel fully informed and prepared for your Hawaiin adventures. Just be sure to pack your mosquito repellent and your sunscreen before you jet off! Mahalo!

5 Ways to Make a Period Home More Eco-Friendly

Posted on 9th December 2022

As awareness of climate change has grown, so has talk of how to improve energy efficiency in the home. However, there is a big question mark over how to enhance the green credentials of period properties originally built in a much less eco-conscious era.

As repairing and maintaining an existing home consumes fewer natural resources than building a whole new home, it would be in the environment’s interest for period homes to be made more sustainable. Here are just some means of making this happen…

Upgrading doors and windows 

Many external doors and windows fitted decades ago may have started falling slightly away from their frames over time, resulting in warm air escaping the home.

It doesn’t help that the windows of many heritage properties may be limited to single glazing, and that modern uPVC windows and doors would clash with the period architecture.

However, expert craftspeople would be able to assist you in draught proofing, reconditioning and restoring original features.

Utilise DIY methods of draught proofing 

Causing draughts is far from the exclusive preserve of doors and windows, of course. Other culprits for draughts can include cracks in walls and gaps around pipework or in floorboards.

However, you could be surprised by how easily you are able to plug — or at least reduce — such pesky unwanted openings in your home’s physical structure. Example techniques you could make use of include fitting carpets, concealing keyholes and affixing a letterbox cover.

Add fresh insulation to your loft  

Biofriendly Planet explains: “Not many people know a quarter of heat loss happens through the roof, which makes up-to-date loft insulation one of the most effective ways to increase your property’s energy efficiency.”

A layer of insulation — made of, say, fiberglass, mineral wool or sheep’s wool, or even recycled materials — can be placed between the joists on your attic’s floor.

This, in turn, can be covered with floorboards — though you should leave an air gap between those and the insulation material lest the latter is hindered in its job.

Replace your home’s central heating boiler 

As a central heating boiler tends to last roughly 15 years before needing to be replaced, you could take account of your own boiler’s age. 

While old gas boilers can shed a massive amount of heat, modern combi boilers are far more energy efficient. However, an even more environmentally friendly replacement for your current boiler would be one that doesn’t burn any fossil fuels at all.

Buy an electric fireplace 

All of the heat produced by an electric fireplace is pushed out into the room — unlike the case with a traditional fireplace, where heat can be lost in a chimney or flue, either of which can also let damaging fumes escape into the wider atmosphere.

There are various models of electric fireplace available to buy — and the UK consumer watchdog Which? notes that ‘inset’ electric fires “can go in the recess of traditional fireplaces”. The organisation describes electric fires as essentially “electric heaters designed with the look of a stove or fireplace.”

Purchasing Efficient Heating Systems at Home: 6 Types to Choose From

Posted on 9th December 2022

When it comes time to purchase a new heating system for your home, it can be difficult to decide which type is the best for you. With so many options on the market, how do you know which one will be most efficient and affordable in the long run? In this blog post, we will discuss six types of heating systems that are available for homeowners. We will go over the pros and cons of each system so that you can make an informed decision when it comes time to buy!

Efficient Home Heating Systems – 6 Types To Consider

Heating your home is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your family’s comfort. Not only does this ensure that everyone is warm and cosy, but it also helps to keep your energy bills low. There are several types of heating systems available for you to choose from. Furthermore, specialists from Tote Heater say that investing in one of these systems can be beneficial for you as it will help to keep energy costs low as well. Hence, let’s take a closer look at 6 types of efficient heating systems for homes. 

1. Furnace

The most common type of home heating system is the furnace. It uses natural gas, propane or oil to heat air, which is then circulated through the ductwork into each room of your house. There are two main types of furnaces: forced air and gravity. Forced air systems are more common and offer higher efficiency than gravity systems, as they have a blower that helps to circulate the heated air throughout your home.

2. Boiler

Boilers work by using hot water or steam to heat each room of your house through the use of radiators. They are typically more efficient than furnaces because they don’t lose any of the heat to the air. Boilers are also less prone to breakdowns and require fewer repairs over time, making them a great investment. 

3. Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are another popular choice for home heating systems as they can both cool and heat your home. They move heat from one place to another and use a small amount of electricity to do so, meaning they typically have lower energy costs than other systems. Additionally, they can be used in both warm and cold climates which makes them an ideal choice for many homeowners. 

4. Radiant Heat

Radiant heat is a more efficient way of heating your home. It uses electric heating coils or hot water tubes on the floor to heat each room instead of using forced air ducts. This type of heating system is often installed during the construction of a new home and can also be retrofitted into an existing space. Additionally, radiant heat has no air movement, so there is less dust and allergens being spread throughout the house. 

5. Solar Heating

Using solar energy to heat your home is becoming increasingly popular as it is a renewable and sustainable source of energy. There are two main types of solar heating systems: passive and active. Passive systems absorb the sun’s rays through windows or other objects like walls or roofs, while active systems use pumps and fans to move the heated air. 

6. Geothermal Heating

Geothermal heating is another type of efficient home heating system that uses energy from the earth to heat your home. It involves pipes that are buried underground which absorb energy from the ground, then transfer it into your home as heat. This type of system is great for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint and save on energy costs. 

Choosing the right type of heating system for your home can be a difficult decision. It’s important to consider all the options available and weigh their pros and cons before making a final decision. We hope this blog post has given you some insight into the different types of efficient home heating systems and has helped you make an informed decision when it comes time to buy!

Happenings, Food And Drinks You Will Love In Cairns

Queensland translates into super famous eat and drink events that will satisfy every single sense of yours. Make your tastebuds dance while visiting some of the prime food and drink events and seeing some of the most beautiful places in Cairns. Here are some places you need to visit.

Cairns Food and Wine Festival 

What happens when good food and drinks collide? Well, we get the famous Cairns Food and Wine Festival, which is an annual showcase of food and wine from Tropical North Queensland. This showcase is for adults only and is normally held in the Munro Martin Parklands. The event allows guests to eat their favourite foods while watching live performances and entertainment. 

Salt House Food and Wine Festival 

This is one of the biggest food festivals in Cairns. You can casually sip on some of your favourite cocktails while sinking your teeth into some of the culinary delights. You can plan your trip to Cairns around this event, and the best Cairns car hire will make your trip to this salt house a lot easier. Here you can find some of the best drinks made by local brewers, distillers, and winemakers. Sipping on your favourite drink will be a much better experience while tasting some of the most delicious snacks. This perfect experience is combined with live music and smaller events that will elevate your entire impression even more. Children under 18 are welcome to the event until very late in the evening. So, why not bring your entire family and make some valuable memories? 

Taste Port Douglas 

This is what happens when food and paradise collide. Taste Port Douglas is the annual food event where you can taste some of the greatest meals prepared by top chefs for industry influencers as well as food lovers. This is the four-day capital event for the ones who perceive food not only as the source of life but also as the place where they get to know more about their top passion – food. The food schedule includes a festival village with small food stalls from some of the most iconic local restaurants, masterclasses, live cooking demonstrations, and live music. This iconic event has a part known as the Port Douglas Long Lunch, where you can take a taste of some of the finest local restaurant food and beverages that are iconic for this region. Some other events within this festival include cocktail masterclasses, seafood feasts, and food parties. 

When food and drink are the main characters in a story, you know it’s a good one. Cairns is a place where events like this are common, and where you can sample some of the most unique foods and drinks, some of which are once-in-a-lifetime experiences. However, you need to be careful and check out the regulations for some food and drink events so you can avoid awkward situations. Some festivals have limited numbers of visitors, while others have restrictions when it comes to children’s attendance. We hope this article will help you get the most out of your trip!

3 Proven Ways to Boost Your Mood and Well-Being During the Winter Blues

As the temperatures drop and the snow lays its magical white tapestry outside, we say goodbye to our active lives in the blazing sun and hello to more cosy days at home. For some, that could bring in the winter blues. The bad weather, reduced daylight, and quieter social life can all contribute to us feeling down during the white season. There is even a type of mood disorder associated with this, and it’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

To avoid SAD, the NHS recommends making certain lifestyle changes that will uplift your mood and instil some happy memories into the solemn winter days. These ideas will help you invoke your inner sunshine and feel great.

Boost your serotonin with cycling

Just because the weather is a bit dismal, that doesn’t mean you have to put a break on your cycling adventures. Cycling promotes ultimate well-being, from keeping your heart healthy to boosting your mood.

It’s the latter that can significantly help alleviate symptoms of SAD. Reduced daylight affects the production of happy hormones, including serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins, but cycling can help boost them.

Cycle magazine’s health expert and healthcare professional Dr Kate Hattersle commented: “Getting outside and exercising regularly is protective against poor mental health, and it’s a good treatment for those diagnosed with SAD. We all benefit from the healthy glow and endorphin boost we get after an energetic bike ride or a walk in the woods.”

When it comes to cycling, there are no barriers. Many avid cyclists choose to tackle the unbeaten track in winter. With the right gear and preparation, cycling in winter can be as enjoyable as in warmer weather. Moreover, the cold fresh air can be quite energising and cleansing for your body and mind.

If being in the cold really isn’t your cup of tea, cycling can still be a part of your life in winter. A turbo trainer can easily convert your mountain bike into a stationary indoor bike. It’s safe, stable, and caters for the ultimate indoor cycling experience.

Reduce stress with yoga

More time at home means you finally get to explore the vast world of yoga, dance, and home workouts. YouTube is packed with videos you can follow at home, from a 10-minute morning stretch to a one-hour Island Dance Workout you can savour on the weekend.

Hop on a 30-day yoga challenge, such as Yoga with Adriane’s Revolution program, and see yourself getting stronger, with better mental clarity, aligning your mind, body, and soul. Fusing exercise with mindfulness, yoga is a great way to release any negative energy from your body and breathe in the new and fresh. It helps reduce stress, caused mainly by the disruption of the circadian rhythm and sleep, and promotes the production of happy hormones, a proven elixir for Seasonal Affective Disorder.

If you want to up your social contacts and the snow blizzards aren’t getting in your way, feel free to join a yoga class regularly or just whenever you feel like it. This is a great way to meet like-minded people and can easily lead to a hot chocolate or gingerbread tea with your fellow yogis after the class.

Light therapy

Turn SAD into happy with light therapy – one of the primary treatments for SAD. A light therapy box uses bright artificial light to make up for the lack of natural light. It’s recommended that you spend 20-60 minutes each day sitting in front of a light box, which you don’t need a prescription for.

Light therapy exposure activates cells in the retina connected to the hypothalamus, a part of the brain responsible for regulating circadian rhythms and the sleep-wake cycle. Doing so promotes the release of glutamate (a neurotransmitter), which regulates melatonin. Light therapy helps synchronise the sleep-wake rhythms, thus reducing or eliminating SAD.

Whether you are affected by SAD or are experiencing occasional blues, winter can be a great time to up your well-being game and focus on boosting your happiness levels. Just like many animals go into hibernation during this time, winter is great for tending to your inner world while the snow gently falls outside. Grab a mouth-watering cup of hot chocolate and listen to what your inner self has to tell you.

Smart Home Technology For Your Luxury Home

Most people only think of smart home technology in terms of security and convenience, but there are many other benefits to be had as well. In fact, when it comes to luxury homes, Smart Home Technology can be the differentiating factor that sets one property apart from another. Here are some of the features that you should look for when shopping for a home with smart home technology.

1. A Home Cinema

Smart home technology can turn your living room into a fully featured media center with a large-screen TV and surround sound system. You’ll be able to stream movies, play video games, and enjoy all of your favorite shows in the comfort of your own home. By installing CustomControls through Crestron or similar systems, you can also have complete control of your home theater system from any room in the house. And, if you’re in the market for a luxury home, this is an absolute must-have.

2. Automated Lighting

There’s nothing like coming home to a well-lit house – and with automated lighting systems, you can have that every time! Smart home technology allows you to schedule lights to come on and off at specific times throughout the day, dim lights for cozy evenings, or turn them off when no one is home. Plus, if you’re hosting a fancy dinner party or another special event, you can easily adjust the light settings from your smartphone or tablet to create just the right atmosphere.

3. Home Security

Smart home technology can also help keep your family safe by providing real-time alerts of any suspicious activity around your property. You’ll be able to easily monitor who comes in and out of your home with motion sensors, cameras, and door locks that can all be controlled remotely. Plus, you’ll receive notifications if any doors or windows are opened while you’re away. And most importantly, many smart home systems even allow you to contact the police directly in case of an emergency.

4. Home Automation

Finally, smart home technology can also make your life easier by automating everyday tasks such as changing thermostat settings, dimming lights when it’s time for bed, locking the doors at night, and unlocking them when you wake up – all from the comfort of your smartphone! This means no more running around trying to remember to do all these things each day – it’s all taken care of for you. For example, you can set schedules to turn on lights when you’re away on vacation or adjust your thermostat so that it’s cooler when you get home from work after a long day. Smart home technology can also alert you if there are any issues with your connected devices, such as water leaks or motion detection.

Smart home technology is an essential part of any luxury home, as it provides convenience, comfort, and security. You’ll be able to relax knowing that your family is safe and secure, while also enjoying all the latest features for entertaining friends and family or automating everyday tasks. Whether you’re in the market for a luxury property or just want to upgrade your existing home with some modern technology, such systems will certainly give you the edge!

Why Should We Be Gifting Wellness this Christmas?

Looking after our mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing has never been as important as it is right now. With Christmas right around the corner, this could be the best time to remind a loved one to prioritise their own wellness, with a gift that prioritises wellness!

Self-care encourages improved overall health and wellness, which can be much more valuable than a piece of jewellery or a pair of shoes. That being said, self-care looks different to different people, so gifts that promote this kind of personal mindfulness will vary from person to person.

Why should we gift wellness this year?

Let’s face it, times are tough right now! The cold, dark nights are here, the cost of living is spiralling, and the pressure of our responsibilities can sometimes feel too overwhelming. So, it’s important we look after ourselves and take control of the things that we can control.

In the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life and duties, sometimes our wellbeing can take inferiority, and we forget to make time to do the things that instil peace and happiness within us. That’s why, this Christmas, a wellness gift could be extremely well received by a loved one, as it will remind them of the importance of self-care.

Wellness gifts that will promote self-care

If you know your recipient has a specific interest or hobby they use as an escapism or a way to improve their mood, you could purchase a gift directly relating to this. For example, new trainers for a runner, new materials for an arts and crafter, or new headphones for a music listener.

Alternatively, look towards more ‘generic’ gifts that can still promote wellness, but in a way that your giftee might not have yet considered. These could include:

Personalised journal – Keeping a journal and actively writing in it is an underrated self-care technique. Not only can it reduce stress and help you to keep on top of your thoughts and feelings, but it also helps you to organise your world when everything feels a little too chaotic. This year, a personalised journal could be an extremely invaluable gift for somebody you love.

Comfy pyjamas – When we were children, receiving pyjamas as a gift from Santa Claus probably felt a little lacklustre, especially when our list was filled with awesome toys. Now, however, as adults, pyjamas are an incredibly thoughtful gift that can remind us to rest when life feels tiring. A mug of hot chocolate, fresh PJs, and curling up on the sofa to watch our favourite television series; that’s the ultimate self-care evening.

Personalised water bottle – We all know how important it is to drink around 1.2 litres of water per day, but sometimes it feels like we’re just too busy to get it done! A personalised water bottle, perhaps with your giftee’s name or quote from their favourite movie, will remind them to increase their water intake and keep on top of it. Plus, when we have an exciting new water bottle that means something to us, we’re much more likely to want to keep using it. Genius!

Positive thoughts jar – When the day feels a little bleak, and extra stressful, positive thoughts can be few and far between. That’s why we could all do with a jar that’s teeming with optimistic, motivating quotes that help us get through whatever challenges we’re currently faced with. Buy a ready-to-go jar or spend an afternoon creating your very own one with bespoke quotes tailored specifically to your loved one.

Luxurious bath set – Baths are a fantastic way to put our lives on pause and focus on ourselves for an hour. Not only can warm baths reduce muscle tension in our bodies, but the water also helps us to feel weightless, which can do wonders for our mental health. A luxurious bath set featuring all the favourites – such as shower gel, body scrub, and moisturiser – will remind your friend or relative of these powerful benefits.

Self-care bundle – Imagine a basket filled with all the bits and bobs necessary for the ultimate wellness evening. Herbal tea bags, face masks, sweets and treats, cosy socks, bath salts, whatever you think will contribute to your recipient’s relaxing evening at home. You could purchase a ready-made self-care box, or buy each item separately and make your own. How kind!

Personalised pillow – Regular, quality sleep is key to a healthy body and strong mind. If you’d like to gift wellness this year, you could create a personalised pillow that helps your loved one get those crucial eight hours. In terms of pillow fills, you could choose from feathers, down, or memory foam, and the pillowcase could be something sweet and personal to the recipient. Perhaps their favourite motivational quote or a picture of their beloved pet.

And don’t forget about yourself, either!

It’s lovely that you want to give someone a gift that will enhance their mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. The fact that you understand the importance of doing so speaks volumes, but it also means you shouldn’t forget about your own wellness, too! While you’re buying one of these thoughtful gifts for a friend or relative, why not grab one for yourself as well? That’s a form of self-care, too.

5 Profitable Education Business Ideas

Distinguished academic performance matters a lot for all college students. And rightly so. But it does not hurt to combine your studies with some profitable business ventures to reduce your financial burden. They can greatly increase your income while testing newly acquired skills and principles in real-life situations and developing new connections and networks. 

Don’t be frightened by the challenges any business activity or project will impose on you as a beginner. There are multiple benefits to enjoy as a novice, and you should take full advantage of your chances to increase learning, get out of your comfort zone, and test yourself to rise up to new challenges every day. Have a look at the 5 profitable education business ideas you should try to get off to a successful start.

  • Research writing

Many students need help with their research projects. Most are willing to pay to write a research paper to meet their academic assignments and needs. If you are good at research skills, there is no reason you should not help others develop theirs while earning additional income. 

Research usually takes a long time, and you can step in to assist students at various stages. It is of critical importance to get involved in the early stages of developing research questions and methodology to pave the way for a successful and evidence-based product.

  • Educational blogs and videos

If your writing, communication, and presentation skills are well-developed, take a stab at developing blogs and videos to start sharing your ideas and best practices. YouTube is a great place to start. If you manage to rack up a good number of followers, views, and subscriptions, you will be surprised by how much you can earn.

If you are too busy with your academic assignments, you can always hire the reliable and trustworthy services of TopEssayWriting to lessen your workload. Professional writers with a proven track record of outstanding performance will help you complete your assignments at reasonable rates, on time, and to the top standards in academic writing.

  • Online tutoring

Online tutoring is a great way to raise some extra money. You will be surprised to find a lot of demand for online tutoring. Some families find it more convenient to opt for it for their kids because of its flexibility. The same is true for students, as they can take classes from wherever they go.

Choose the right platform for the delivery of your sessions. Get a good camera with the document setting. Make the most of interactive tools to plan your lessons and enable a good word search for your students. 

  • Teaching languages

Teaching languages is another profitable idea you should try. If you are a native English speaker, this is probably a no-brainer. With English being an international lingua franca, you will always find sufficient demand for your services. This also means that you should keep developing yourself as a tutor all the time. It is not enough to be a native speaker; you must be a good communicator and teacher, too, to be able to convey content effectively.

But you can also do well if you are not a native speaker. If your English language skills are close to those of a native speaker, you can target your compatriots with some of the greatest tips that native speakers might miss.

  • Content writing

Content writing has become one of the most demanded and important skills. With the rise and development of digital marketing tools and technologies, well-designed and targeted content has become crucial in selling products and services effectively. Thus, content writing may well become one of the greatest education business ideas you should try.

If your language skills are good enough and if you can master SEO skills well, you can start selling your writing services to a host of companies. The good news is that you don’t have to do it at the expense of your academic studies. All your work can be done remotely, which means flexible hours of work. You can also do most of your work from home.

Final Thoughts

Earning some extra income is never a bad idea for college students who are often grappling with current expenses and student debts. Luckily, technology now allows them to do most of the work remotely. Once you are able to assess your skills critically, you should be able to determine the area in which you are most proficient and where you can compete successfully to start earning a stable income.

How Can Employers Watch Out for Their Workers’ Mental Health During the Cost-of-Living Crisis?

The current cost-of-living crisis is affecting thousands of UK households which may place additional stress on individuals, especially if they were struggling with money prior to the economic crisis. In particular, monetary stress on workers may lead them to perform poorly at work which in turn impacts overall business performance.

Employers have a responsibility to prioritise the health and safety of their workers, and this includes their wellbeing and mental health. Particularly as the cost-of-living crisis is causing havoc in people’s lives, how can employers watch out for their workers’ mental health during this time?

Mental health and the cost-of-living crisis

Research shows that people’s mental health is declining as a result of cost of living concerns, according to 66% of therapists in one survey. Mental health has worsened due to people cutting down on activities that usually made them happier such as going to the gym or sports clubs, as well as losing sleep because they are too stressed and worried about whether they can pay their bills or not.

These findings indicate the significance of mental health and employers need to start acknowledging this to not only help their workers, but also to encourage retention and boost morale and motivation. So how can employers achieve this?

Targeted support

Despite a general support system being easier to enforce and maintain, offering targeted support may actually be more effective and beneficial for employees considering that not all of your workers will be substantially affected by the cost-of-living crisis. For instance, workers in lower income households may face increased burden and pressure compared to high income workers. Specifically, single parent workers, younger workers, and workers with an existing mental health condition are the groups to especially look out for during this economic turmoil.

Implementation of a financial wellbeing policy

If your company has not already implemented a financial wellbeing policy, now is the time to incorporate one into your company culture. If a financial wellbeing policy was already in place before the cost-of-living crisis, now may also be the time to revise the policy and improve it. A successful financial wellbeing policy could include the following:

  • Financial benefits programme
  • Worker protection such as group life insurance
  • Financial education for workers in the form of webinars/seminars, discussions, online courses
  • Financial advisor who workers can turn to and ask for financial advice and help whenever needed

Wellbeing training

Introducing wellbeing training to both new and existing employees can help them understand their own and others’ wellbeing better, especially when it comes to recognising signs of poor mental health and knowing how to support others in distress. For managers especially, wellbeing training is crucial in helping them recognise poor performance in their team and whether it may relate to mental health. As a result, managers are thus better equipped to respond and deal with poor performance due to mental health.

For example, it may be worth considering offering improved flexibility in terms of starting and finishing times for workers which allows them to manage their work-life balance efficiently, which may have been impacted due to tighter budgets because of the cost-of-living

And there you have it – just a few ways in which employers can support their employees’ mental health during the cost-of-living crisis.

How to Keep Flawless Skin While on the Go This Festive Season

You’re travelling the world, celebrating the festivities, taking fabulous views and flavours from as many new countries as possible. Relaxing by the pool in luxury bikinis with a drink in hand. The last thing you need from this holiday is tight and dry skin causing discomfort.

While you might have your home routine planned meticulously, it is easy to let these habits slip when entering different time zones, environments, and exploring past your bedtime. From a missed skincare routine step to a completely different diet, travelling can wreak havoc on your skin.

Here, we will explore some ways to maintain good skin without the need for your extensive routine of moisturisers and more.


Vitamins are a great way to maintain good skin while travelling, especially if your diet will be changing regularly, so you might need vitamin capsules to offer supplements to your diet for the next few weeks. The most important vitamins for your skin are D, C, E and K.

Vitamins such as vitamin C are great for the hydration and appearance of your skin. And you can get these from either vitamin enriched fruits such as Guava (for vitamin C) or through pill or serum supplements. However, serums can sometimes be irritating for sensitive skin types. Finding a vitamin form which works for you before travelling is the best way of maintaining good skin no matter your travel. It is worth noting that when travelling, liquid vitamins will need to be calculated with your toiletries, limiting how much you can take, whereas the pill form can be taken in your hand luggage without limits.

And not only are vitamins good for your skin, but they can help protect your health while travelling. When exploring new continents, the last thing you want is an upset stomach or a running nose hindering your fun. You will be encountering new people, environments, and new germs. By taking vitamins, you can give your immune system that added boost it needs.

Embrace the local cuisines

Whilst travelling, you get the opportunity to explore a variety of cuisines, and these foods can actually help you maintain your perfect skin. In fact, the Mediterranean diet is known to help prevent acne. This is due to its reliance on fresh produce which can regulate the oil production in the skin, as well as stabilise hormones and reduce inflammation. The fatty fish and olive oil used in many Mediterranean recipes are perfect for soothing the skin. This diet also includes a reliance on nuts, including almonds, which boosts your magnesium intake and helps the skin produce hyaluronic acid. So, leave behind those bottles and instead opt for a change in diet, which allows you to keep your skin looking healthy and glowing.

Or if you are travelling to and around Asia, a heavily plant-based cuisine can also aid your skin. In fact, one of the main saving graces of Asian cuisine is the soybean-based food Tofu. Tofu is high in isoflavonoids which can help reduce the thinning of the skin as we get older – being beneficial in the long run. Whereas, in the first instance, the reliance on leafy greens, which are high in antioxidants, helps bring your skin back to bright and bouncy. These vegetables also have high levels of vitamin A, which helps reduce dry skin, vitamin C, which protects against sun damage, and vitamin E, which reduces inflammation.

And this means you don’t have to take anything specific with you on your travels, but instead, you can learn all about the local cuisine and culture while helping your skin look radiant.

Embrace the natural shine

Travelling, especially for extended periods of time, should be stress-free. So why not embrace the travelling light culture and leave your makeup at home instead, opting for a full skin detox during your holidays. Embrace the natural look and allow your skin to repair itself in the sun. Sunlight not only helps release serotonin, but it can also be useful for treating skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Moderate sun exposure can boost your vitamin D levels, which can help reduce the inflammation in your face. As well as helping your body produce melatonin, allowing you to sleep better at night, which has its own skin-helping benefits.

And by exposing your skin, you can reap the benefits your natural body has to offer your skin. In fact, sweat can even offer you anti-aging effects – you can reduce the likelihood of wrinkles by relaxing in the sun! Sweat can also help kill harmful bacteria on your skin’s surface. However, if sweat is trapped on the skin, as when you wear makeup or don’t wash the sweat off quickly enough, you can run the risk of irritating your pores.

Whether drinking more water while out in the sun, relaxing by the pool or trying new foods, keeping your skin looking and feeling its best while travelling doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Instead, leave the elaborate skincare routines behind and embrace your natural skin as you relax in the sun and reap the benefits other countries have to offer.

How Can Dentists Attract More Local Clients Into Their Clinic?

Connecting with more clients is one of the most practical ways to grow your dental clinic. The more patients you serve, your chances of attracting new clients increase. Another benefit is that you can establish your clinic’s reputation and reliability more quickly if you have more clients.

However, if you’ve recently opened a dental clinic, you may find it challenging to attract new clients. Fortunately, this article will show you how to increase patient volume in a dental office. Here are some strategies to help you attract more clients:

1. Create An Effective Website

Today, most dental patients start their search online before visiting a physical clinic. So, it helps to have an online presence to connect with your potential clients. And the best way to achieve that is by building a website.

Significantly, a website can help promote the visibility of your dental clinic. It also ensures you connect with more clients to grow your clinic. However, it’s best to ensure your website runs smoothly so people looking for dental services can find you.

One of the best ways to enhance your website is to invest in search engine optimization (SEO). For instance, ensure your website is optimized for mobile devices. Mobile devices are flexible and convenient. People use them to search for online services instead of desktop computers.

On the other hand, website visitors may abandon a site that takes too long to load the necessary information. Hence, it’s best to improve your website’s loading time. By boosting the speed of your website, you can encourage more people to visit your clinic.  

Another excellent strategy to enhance website performance is providing a search bar. Visitors can easily access specific information on your site instead of scrolling from one page to another. In addition, it can enhance the experience and satisfaction of your visitors.

2. Take Advantage Of Content Marketing

You can create a well-looking website to connect with more clients. But all your efforts will likely go down the drain if you don’t publish anything there. Therefore, investing in content marketing is essential for your website.

Content marketing is a promotional or advertising method where you create materials to publish on your website. These include videos, images, eBooks, blog posts, etc. Such information help attracts more people to your site, thus increasing its visibility.

However, any content you post on your website must be valuable to your target audiences. And since you’re into dental care, it helps to post content about the latest innovations in dental care. You can also post about common oral diseases and how dental clinics can treat them.

In addition to publishing helpful content, it would be better to use the right keywords. This may help your content rank high in search engines. Meanwhile, you can use specific software to determine the most searched keywords relevant to the dental sector.

Alternatively, you can read your competitors’ online materials to see their keyword choices. After noting the keywords, ensure you evenly distribute them into your content.  

3. Participate In Local Events

Promoting your dental office at community events can be a terrific way to meet new people and expand your clientele. There are many ways to participate in local events. For instance, you can sponsor a charity community event, support the elderly and orphans, engage in fundraising, or participate in the oral health drive.

People love associating themselves with a brand that strives to improve the world. Hence, helping your community while promoting your clinic can boost its credibility. Additionally, it helps to encourage your staff to wear clothes with your brand when participating in community events. That way, people can build meaningful connections with your dental clinic.  

4. Focus On Getting Positive Testimonials

Most individuals will search for your brand online before visiting your physical office. But before they do, they’ll first read online reviews. For that reason, focusing on having positive testimonials is a must since it helps build your reputation.  

Meanwhile, no new client will likely engage with a dental clinic without reviews. So, when you focus on getting positive testimonials, you’ll encourage potential clients to visit your dental clinic. An excellent way to ensure your clients leave positive opinions on your website is to offer premium services. This ranges from how you assist them to providing quality services.


Today, numerous dental clinics can be found everywhere. And that brings about competition among dentists. Therefore, keeping the above strategies in mind can help you attract more clients and overcome market competition.

What Is The Best Way To Profit From Gold Investments?

Gold is a valuable and rare metal prized by civilisations since ancient times. It’s used in jewellery, coins, currency, and various industries. It can also act as an investment hedge against inflation, market volatility, and currency devaluation as it maintains its value even when other investments decline.

Profiting From Various Gold Investments

Investments in gold may include buying physical gold, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), or futures contracts. Each kind offers advantages for investors.

1. Physical Gold

When people think of investing in gold, they often picture buying physical gold such as coins, jewellery, or bullion (gold bars).

Gold bars are a good investment as they’re generally 99.9% or 999.9% pure gold. However, this may be a downside as they can be costly too. An ounce of gold costs more than USD$1,700 as of this writing. As they’re also in bars, they’re indivisible and may be impossible to sell in small parts.

And they may be stolen, which means they require a space to be stored in. If you’re wondering about the best way to keep your gold bars safe, the good news is there are many ways to store your precious metals.

On the bright side, the best way to profit from them is to sell them for a higher price at the right time. Hence, it’s essential to be aware of the fluctuations in gold prices, global financial markets, and the political and economic climate. As gold is dollar-denominated, it tends to rise with inflation, which means it can be very profitable over time.

  • Gold Coins

Gold coins are small, round gold minted by nations or private companies and stamped with their manufacturer’s mark. American Eagles, Australian Kangaroos, and Austrian Philharmonics are some common gold coins. 

Many believe that they’re more liquid than gold bars as they can be sold in small increments too. Additionally, they tend to hold their value better than other forms of physical gold since they have a numismatic (collectible) value. This means that a gold coin may be worth more than its gold content due to its popularity and rarity.

Thus, researching a gold coin before investing in it maybe a worthwhile thing to maximize profits.

  • Gold Jewellery

Gold jewellery are rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings made from gold. You’ll usually find them in stores in 14-karat, although some are made from pure 24-karat gold.

As an investment, gold jewellery may not be worth its full retail price when it’s time to resell. Therefore, choosing pieces that hold their value over time is vital. It’s also noteworthy to choose those that have great craftsmanship. Lastly, buying from reputable jewellery stores will help ensure that the gold jewellery you purchase is authentic.

Investing in these three forms of physical gold comes with various tax rules. Thus, learning about these rules can also help you to make the most profits out of them.

2. Gold Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

Gold ETFs are another popular gold investment. They provide diversification and liquidity as they can be bought and sold like stocks. Nonetheless, they still come with certain risks, such as counterparty risk, management fees, and market volatility. 

To make the most out of your gold ETFs, there are many tips to consider. Some of them are listed below.

  • Research the fund’s management team and track record;
  • Monitor the performance of gold prices periodically;
  • Understand the tax implications of investing in gold ETFs;
  • Set reasonable expectations for your return on investment; and
  • Consider investing in multiple gold ETFs for diversification.

If you still have doubts if it’s safe to invest in gold whether in its physical or dematerialised form, read this article on why you should.

3. Futures Contract

A futures contract is a legal agreement between two parties to buy or sell an asset at a fixed price in the future. This gold investment is prevalent among traders and investors because it offers the potential for profits regardless of market conditions.

When investing in gold futures, here are some steps you can follow:

  • Ask financial advisors and research the market. 
  • Ensure that you’re familiar with the rules and regulations of the futures exchange you’re trading on.
  • Set realistic expectations for your investment.
  • Invest in gold futures with money you can afford to lose.


No matter which form of gold investing you choose, it’s essential to do your research and consult with an expert before making any decisions. Gold investments are affected by various factors and by understanding them, you can make informed decisions and maximise your returns.

SME Cybersecurity in the UK: Everything You Need to Know

As a nation, the UK loses more than £27 billion every year to cyber criminals. This number is higher than the GDP of many countries. But even scarier is the fact that this trend shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know to protect your small and medium enterprise (SME) from cyber criminals. This includes the average cost of a cybersecurity breach in the UK, tips to improve online safety levels, and the biggest threats to look out for.  

Do Small Businesses Need Cybersecurity?

According to recent studies, around half of UK SMEs are constantly being targeted by cybercriminals. 

The reason for this is that SMEs usually have lax security measures in place. This, in turn, is often caused by a low-security budget and a general lack of knowledge about the topic. 

As an SME owner, it’s crucial to build a security system that keeps employee and customer data safe. The same goes for the internal information of the enterprise itself, which can be used to conduct attacks like phishing or malware campaigns. 

How Do I Make My Business Cybersecure?

It’s no secret that cybersecurity costs billions of pounds every year, but what can you do to protect your business?

The UK government released practical resources that help you safeguard your business, whether it’s a digital, traditional, or hybrid enterprise. 

Furthermore, in this article, we also include a list of tips to help you build a better cybersecurity system in your SME.

Is Cybersecurity in the UK Expensive?

A strong cybersecurity system doesn’t necessarily have to be complex. It does, however, represent an investment. 

The cost of cybersecurity varies depending on your industry. For some firms, it’s common to spend around 22,000 GBP every year on cybersecurity alone. 

The only way to determine an accurate budget for your business is to assess your industry, consider the number of employees, and build a security system personalised to your needs. 

Biggest Cybersecurity Threats in 2022 and Beyond

Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving. Here are some of the biggest threats you need to look out for in the rest of 2022 and beyond:

  • Phishing attacks, including spear phishing and whaling;
  • Advanced forms of malicious software, including ransomware;
  • Attacks targeting mobile devices (especially those used by remote employees);
  • The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to conduct attacks;
  • And hacking via IoT devices. 

Your Cybersecurity SME Checklist

Cybersecurity is not only yours, but it’s everyone’s responsibility. However, as a business owner, it’s necessary to give your team the tools they need to safeguard the company’s information at all times. 

Here are 5 steps you can implement to improve your SME cybersecurity across the board. 

1. Create a Backup Strategy for Your Business

Cybercriminals often try to limit access to your data or erase it altogether. Even if this type of attack is successful, you can counter it by creating a solid backup strategy.

Your backup strategy should include multiple physical and digital copies of your data and a backup syncing schedule that keeps your records updated with the latest details. 

2. Build a Robust Anti-Malware System

Worms, viruses, and ransomware are just a few examples of malware that can infect and render your entire network useless. 

One of the biggest challenges is that malware can enter your network through many access points. Therefore, you need to build an automatic, robust anti-malware system that combats and contains malicious software attacks. 

3. Protect Devices Across Your Entire Team

Every laptop, tablet, and smartphone that your employees use for work represents an access point to your network. To create a wholesome security system, you need to protect one of these devices and follow best practices across all business gadgets. 

Some of the steps you can take include:

  • Require your teams to connect to your network through a VPN for the UK;
  • Install password managers, ad blockers, and other security essentials;
  • Keep operating systems and apps updated.

4. Educate Team Members About Phishing and Other Attacks

As we just mentioned, hackers and cybercriminals can access your networks through many different points. 

The best way to protect every single one is through a team effort. This, in turn, is only possible if you teach your team members about the different threats and how to combat them. 

The UK government has published some great resources, so take a look at them and see if you can implement them into your team training sessions. 


Over the last decade, small business owners in the UK have put cybersecurity on the back burner. Today, this isn’t a luxury these organisations can continue to afford. At least, not without major repercussions. 

The average cost of a cybersecurity breach in the UK can be devastating to any business, let alone a small company. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to protect your employees, customers, and your company as a whole.

Establishing a successful SME requires an endless amount of hard work, business savvy, and the ability to adapt to new challenges. 

One of the most important obstacles you need to prepare for is the rise in cybersecurity threats. But, as long as you take the right steps to prepare, you should be able to set up an effective system that warns you whenever there’s a potential breach. 

Top 10 Istanbul Views From Michelin Spotlighted Restaurants

This year, for the first time ever the Michelin company, home of the famed Michelin Stars, selected 53 Istanbul restaurants to makeup its Istanbul City Guide. This is a huge event for Istanbul and Turkey. Michelin recognises gastronomical achievement on a global scale and is recognised as the preeminent institution for fine dining.  Among the larger recognition, of the 53 total restaurants included, there were some select restaurants that earned even more prestigious honours from Michelin.

The experts at Property Turkey, tend to believe that location is a particularly important criterion to consider when deciding where to spend a meal in this unbelievable city. They have paired those astounding meals with spellbinding vistas for your sense of sight.

10) Spago by Wolfgang Puck | Nisantasi – Sisli

The world-famous chef is not only great because of his high-level word cuisine, but also his high-level real estate prowess. Spago is no exception. Located in the heart of the European Side’s business/tourism centre, Spago is a perfect respite from the busy centre while drinking in some lovely Bosphorus views.

9) Azur | Yenikoy

Located right on the shore of the Bosphorus, Azur is so intimate and quiet you’ll be tempted to walk out and catch your dinner yourself. Rest assured though the delicious seafood will be provided along with a quiet corner in the heart of Istanbul. Azur is perfect for a quiet sunset over wine.

8) Atolye | Ritz-Carlton

Atolye offers guests a fresh taste of Turkish cuisine by way of their onsite vegetable garden. That satisfying spread combined with the reliability and impeccable global reputation of the Ritz-Carlton sets the foundation for an exquisite atmosphere. Atolye is nestled on the Bosphorus facing facade of the building and stretches panoramically in order to showcase the fabulous, mystical Istanbul skyline.

7) Topaz | Taksim

Topaz’s kitchen, dominated by contemporary Mediterranean cuisine, provides the bustling tourist centre of Taksim an oasis retreat. The beautiful aspect of Topaz’s views is its multi-faceted, layered angles. Depending on whether you’re enjoying cocktails in the lounge or dinner service in the main hall you’ll be soaking in any number of combinations of greens and blues.

6) 29 | Besiktas

When you go a bit deeper into the Bosphorus’ channel from Taksim you will find a modern paradox of Turkish cuisine. Very true to tradition while very adventurous in the most wonderful ways. Instead of offering a view of Istanbul from the outside-in, 29 will provide you the inside-out perspective of a local.

5) Eleos | Beyoglu

Eleos will take you back in time to a nostalgic mystical dream. From the depths of Beyoglu, Eleos opens its curtains to a view of Istanbul that can’t be obtained from tour boats and hotel windows.

4) Park Fora | Ortakoy

Park Fora truly will keep all five of your senses stimulated for hours. From your front row seat to the Bosphorus you will never be bored wistfully ushering all shapes and sizes of marine vessel in and out of your sight. The smell of sea breeze mixes with the world class cuisine on your table and the floral park adjacent to your table.

3) Octo | JW Marriott: Beyoglu

As quaint and charming many of these views may be, there is something different about a fine dining experience literally exquisitely framed by the entirety of Istanbul’s Bosphorus delta. Octo is the pinnacle of fine dining experience in this one-of-a-kind metropolis. It’s the panorama, it’s the amenities, it’s the location, it’s the seat of luxury for any traveller coming to Istanbul for the very first time.

2) Feriye | Besiktas

For many, the idea of the “best view” involves being suspended above the fray and set back adjacent to what it is to behold. For others the best view is right up close to the action. And for those people, Feriye provides the city’s best views. Set in the shadow of the Bosphorus Bridge, next door to the iconic Grand Mecidiye Mosque, Feriye is part of the post card.

1) Mikla | Beyoglu

Located on the roof top floor of the fashionable “The Marmara Pera” hotel, Mikla is urban, sleek, and stylish, and their food is ready to compete for your attention. And it will command it many, many times over. But with 360-degree views from the heart of the European side, the sheer beauty to try and internalise is astounding. We won’t blame you for double dipping at Mikla on your quest to experience each of Istanbul’s 53 masters.

Peak Season 2022: Record Parcels Delivered Despite Strikes

Online deliveries almost tripled on Cyber Monday despite Royal Mail strikes 

Online parcels shipped on Cyber Monday were 252% higher than the average shopping week, according to data released today, despite delivery delays and a cost of living crisis.

The figures provided by e-commerce delivery platform Sendcloud represent peak season retailing trends across Europe, which also showed a 125% increase in parcel volume for the week of Black Friday.

In total, online stores sent 14% more parcels during the entire week of Black Friday compared to last year, bumping a predicted slump in online deliveries.

Royal Mail strikes took place on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but the disruption seemed minimal as parcel deliveries remained strong over both weeks. 

Parcel volumes are expected to remain high until Christmas, and although the weekend of Black Friday often sees the most orders, many of these parcels are in fact shipped only after the weekend.

Less manpower, more packages: 4 tips to make Christmas successful

Despite peak season promising to be busy again for retailers, this year’s peak season looks different to previous years Rob van den Heuvel, CEO and Co-founder at Sendcloud explains, “for the first time in 2 years, consumers can again choose between shopping online or hitting the high streets. 

And although the number of online orders will therefore be relatively lower compared to previous years, online retailers will still have to deal with congested parcel networks due to staff shortages. We recommend shipping with multiple carriers as this helps spread the load and allows merchants to be flexible in case of delays.” 

Van den Heuvel shared four tips for online retailers to get ahead of the peak season:

1. Entice consumers to pick up parcels at pick-up point

Offering flexible shipping options and pick-up points in your checkout is a must nowadays. As the delivery driver doesn’t have to stop at every doorstep but can stop at one parcel point instead. Pick-up points always have a 100% first delivery guarantee. 

Thus, shipping to pick-up points helps to reduce the pressure on parcel networks – which makes it a great tip ahead of the peak season. 

2. Spread risks and parcel volumes

Make yourself less vulnerable by working with multiple carriers – at least during the busiest period of the year. As an online retailer, you are dependent on the carrier you work with and its capacity. When setbacks such as staff shortages occur, it is nice if you can spread risks. 

By using multiple carriers, you can transfer orders from one carrier to another to ensure customer demand is being met. 

3. Expectation management is key

Communicating ahead of the holidays helps to make consumers aware of the busy period and potential hick-ups. For example, you can indicate on your homepage that orders ordered before a certain period are more likely to be delivered on time. It will never be the case that everyone will be understanding, but it might make customers think twice about last-minute purchases and might encourage them to purchase early on.  

4. Make sure timely shipping notifications are on point

There is nothing more annoying than not knowing where you stand. “Where is my order?” is one of the most frequently asked questions online stores get, and for a good reason. 

Make sure you enable automatic tracking notifications in advance to update customers via SMS or e-mail in case of changes. This way, consumers know exactly when they should be home or when they can pick-up a parcel. 

In Debt for the First Time – How Your Business Needs to Treat the New Wave of Debtors

Ian Haddon, COO at ContactEngine

As interest rates are hiked by ratios not seen in decades, the fallout from slowing economies across the world is likely to hit middle income earners as much, or more, as those on lower incomes. While those at the poorest ends of society are well-versed in being able to make a little go a long way, those on middle incomes have less experience here.

In the UK, only the richest 10% of households are expected to add to their savings in the next 12 months. The group taking the biggest hit will be middle income earners. Currently 58% of this group have at least three months’ worth of essential expenses in savings, but within a year that is likely to fall to 48%. The middle class is existing on a knife edge.

This is a group that has done all the right things in their careers, but they have either been unable or unwilling to compromise on the lifestyles they work hard to maintain to build up savings. A mortgage hike, utilities increase, an extra £50 a week on groceries will all add up. For businesses that rely on monthly payments, there may well be plenty of perfectly ‘successful’ people who suddenly find that they owe debts that they cannot immediately pay.

Businesses need to prepare for a new type of debtor, which need to be treated in the right way. The old way of thinking – that those who end up in hard times are somehow morally or spiritually bereft – is dead. Covid, war in Europe, impending recession, these are not the faults of individuals and so debt collection operations that operate punitively will find themselves acutely out of touch with what people expect.

You can already tell the shift in the public mood. People are shocked and outraged when debt collectors are even used. ‘Water Company to use debt collectors against customers boycotting payment’ a recent Guardian headline read, indignantly, mirroring sentiment that a company would dare use such measures to retrieve money it is owed. 

How AI can build on human judgment

69% of people who are in debt don’t talk about it with anyone. The main reason why people avoid this is because they feel ‘embarrassed’. Just under half of people who don’t want to discuss debt say that they do not want to ‘burden’ anyone else, while 39% said it is because they did not want people to think badly of them.

When we talk about AI communications, we often talk about the need for machines to do the legwork, processing the data and asking the simple questions, so that a human can come in over the top and provide the emotions that customers really value. While this works well in cases of grief or in service where the customer needs to feel valued, there are reasons to believe that in intimate issues where there may be feelings of guilt or shame, this may be turned on its head.

Whether they mean to or not, humans can give off subtle tones of judgment in their speech and their own experiences can make them prejudiced. By contrast, a machine can be consistent, fair, and logical – qualities that are essential when discussing financial solutions. They do not get bored; they do not get distracted. Machines can have the difficult conversations humans can’t.

How AI can give debtors a personalised experience

A machine can only be an effective communicator with affluent debtors if they communicate in the ways they expect. This is a demographic that is busy – busy with working late and starting early, busy with commuting, busy with mid-week socialising, weekend brunching and morning exercise. Long, continuous forms of communication, such as phone calls, are out. Similarly, letters – long serious prose that demands attention in the evening after a hectic day – are also not suitable. You need to reach this demographic in bitesize chunks, such as with instant message over text and WhatsApp.

You also need to speak to them in the way they will expect. For most people who find themselves in this unfortunate situation, they will genuinely want to pay the money back. They won’t see themselves as ‘criminal’ and will switch off entirely if they are chastised or threatened, resulting in a much more expensive process for you. The tone needs to be one of understanding and reassurance. It needs to be serious, without being downbeat.

Fortunately, machine learning algorithms have become finally tuned over years of millions of conversations with people, reflecting a user’s language, resulting in a natural, warm, and engaging dialogue.

What the benefits are for debt collection

Sending debt collectors round and taking cases to court comes with a cost. This cost can be more than the debt itself, making it a more astute business decision to drop the case altogether than to go through the process. That all changes if you can put those with high earnings – or high-earning potential when they find employment again – onto a sensible plan with automated, tailored AI communication.

If done well, the way you handle debt collection can not only recover what you are owed, it could also work as something of a customer sales tool – keeping that customer with you as their finances restabilise.

Your company needs to treat its new wave of debtors as the valued customers they were and as they will see themselves as capable of being again. Harnessing AI to have millions of light-touch, automated conversations, is certainly a step in the right direction.

7 Tips to Build a New Business in 2023

Did you know that Victoria, Australia alone created more than 5900 new startup jobs between 2018 and 2020, which led to about 10.75% annual growth in local jobs.

Launching a startup necessitates consideration, decision-making, market analysis, and developing knowledge in fields you rarely thought possible.

Setting up a company necessitates a lot of work, and money, from the early idea stage to its initial flight. There are numerous parallels that almost all entrepreneurs run through as they start their businesses.

How to launch a successful business: Your 7-step guide

The first steps to take when beginning your personal business are outlined in this tutorial.

Identify a business concept

Do appropriate research on a possible business concept, taking into account elements like customer’s needs, intended audience, and competitors, in order to determine the sort of company you desire to create.

Think about your current abilities and how these might be applicable to your startup company, in addition to beginning expenses, the marketplace, the assets accessible, or any chances you have to explore your concept before choosing to push into the marketplace.

Compose a strategic plan

Drafting a business plan can force you to pause and think everything through systematically, which will assist you to rationalize and define your idea and hasten the procedure of launching a company. New businesses make a lot of mistakes because they rush into activities without taking these important business factors into account.

Your primary audience must initially be determined. How would people be able to buy your goods or services? Is there another option if you can’t show that your idea has a customer base? How do you plan to expand your business in the future? Furthermore, it’ll give you plenty to offer potential financiers and investors, serving as the final evaluation of your big idea.

Pick suitable applicants

Few people possess the ability to concurrently address all the required areas in management, manufacturing, promotion, finances, and modeling framework. No matter how good your product is, you’ve no potential of setting up an amazing organization if your staff can’t work together or is made up of inefficient people.

To help you hire the right candidates, you can utilize a software program called an applicant tracking system (ATS) – to organize and adapt your hiring procedure so that it’s effective and scalable. When you learn more about what makes the best applicant tracking system, you’ll understand how it can be used by recruiters and hiring managers to find, attract, assess, and hire prospects more effectively and quickly.

Market your new company with advertising

Every business must have a marketing department, which necessitates a number of abilities. Choose the promotional strategies that will have the biggest impact on your startup business first, and then utilize your plans to identify the talents you’ll have to execute them.

Ensure you have the requisite skills to use a few of the most successful promotional methods in your sector by doing some study and learning about them.

Among a business’s most critical components is its advertising. It’s the closest and most important link to the client. If a client is drawn to an ad, they’re more inclined to visit your business.

Your competitors and consumers will learn that you are available for business thanks to advertisements. Dynamic and upbeat commercials will draw customers to your business irrespective of the economic state or competition.

In order to attract the right advertising professionals, you can use a PPC test to assess applicants’ pay-per-click advertising abilities, including campaign strategy, execution, and optimization. The purpose of this test is to gauge a candidate’s capacity to make wise decisions in common paid marketing settings.

Evaluate your company’s finances

Decide how you’ll pay for the costs associated with starting a firm. Are you going to take loans or fund your own business? When you plan to leave your existing position to focus on your startup, have you got sufficient funds saved up to sustain yourself till you generate income?

Knowing what the beginning expenses might be is wise. Since businesses exhaust their funds before becoming lucrative, many enterprises fail. In fact, failure is most common for startups during years two through five, with 70% falling into this category.

It might take a while for a firm to begin achieving consistent revenue, so a smart idea to anticipate how much startup investment you’ll require.

Declare your business legally

Each entity’s incorporation process must include the crucial step of business registration. This offers a host of benefits, safeguards your company, and secures your assets from 3rd parties.

Failing to register your organization may have legal repercussions. Clients are more inclined to believe you since they realize your firm is authorized, which implies there’s a lower danger of theft, thanks to a business license, which improves your business image.

Get opinions

Getting opinions from others is crucial for validating company ideas. It helps you refine your product, choose the optimum price, and choose the most effective marketing plan. It’s crucial to make sure your business is as stable as possible.

Customer surveys yield more data than any other method. The study’s conclusions can be easily applied, obtained, reported, or, to put it differently, they expand effectively.

Soft launches entail welcoming customers while giving them time to adapt and learn. Create a webpage where users may register to receive early access to the platform and voice any issues or difficulties they may have about it.

Are you prepared to launch a business?Among the most thrilling and frightening pursuits a person can take on in their lives is starting a business. Although risks must be taken into account, you shouldn’t let them stop you from pursuing your company concept.

There’re several questions to consider in order to assess your preparation for an entrepreneurial adventure. How well-developed is your company’s idea? Are you conscious of the need for it? What would you say best describes your attitude toward financial ambiguity?

Find out whether you need to do any further research on any facets of company management or if you’re almost ready to launch a new venture.

Tips To Avoid Clutter in Your Office

Tips To Avoid Clutter in Your Office

Clutter can be a huge distraction, and it can make you feel overwhelmed. If you’re struggling to focus at work or if your office is feeling a bit too cramped, it might be time to take some steps to avoid clutter. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips that will help you keep your office organized and free of clutter!

How Does Clutter Affect Your Office?

Clutter can have a negative effect on your productivity, morale, and stress levels. Let us explore these negative impacts in more detail below:

Decreased Productivity

One of the most common ways that clutter can affect your office is by reducing productivity. Clutter creates visual distraction and noise, which can make it difficult to focus on the task at hand. Additionally, clutter can create physical barriers, making it hard to move around your space and reach important items quickly.

Increased Stress Levels

Clutter also has a direct effect on your stress levels. When your space is cluttered and disorganised, it can be difficult to think clearly and make decisions. In addition, seeing clutter around you constantly can cause anxiety and a feeling of being overwhelmed.

Decreased Morale

The physical environment in which you work has an effect on your morale. When the office feels cluttered and chaotic, it can be difficult to feel inspired and motivated. Having a clean, organised space gives you the opportunity to create an environment that is conducive to productivity and creativity.

Tips To Avoid Clutter in Your Office

It’s very important to do what you can to avoid clutter in your office space. Clutter can be distracting and make it difficult to stay organised and productive. Here are some tips to help you avoid clutter in your office:

Create a Daily Filing System

One of the best ways to avoid clutter in your office is to have a daily filing system. Make sure you create a filing system that’s easy for you to use and that can accommodate all of the paperwork that comes into your office on a regular basis.

You can invest in compactus shelving so that you’ll have plenty of space to store all your paperwork. This type of shelving is also great for storing office supplies, books, and other items so that you don’t have them taking up room on top of desks or tables.

Get Rid of Unnecessary Items

Go through your office periodically and get rid of any items that are not essential. This includes old paperwork, books, and office supplies that you no longer need or use. You can also consider donating items that are still in good condition but aren’t being used anymore. This way, you’ll have more room in your office and less clutter.

Keep Only What You Need

When adding new items to your office, make sure they are essential items that you will use on a regular basis. Avoid bringing in any unnecessary items that might just end up causing more clutter. Aim to only keep the essentials in your office, and anything else can be stored in another space or donated.

Organise Your Space

Make sure you have an organised setup in your office. Have a designated place for everything, and make sure all items are labelled so that it’s easy to find things when you need them. This will help reduce the amount of clutter and make your office space more efficient and productive.

Set Up a Regular Cleaning Schedule

It’s important to set up a regular cleaning schedule for your office so that it doesn’t become too cluttered. You can set aside a few hours each week or month to go through your office and tidy up any messes that have built up.

Make it a habit to periodically go through your office and get rid of any items that are no longer needed. This will help keep your office space neat and organised, which will make it much easier to stay productive.

Don’t Let Clutter Build Up

Finally, make sure you don’t let clutter build up in your office. As soon as something comes into your office, put it away immediately or file it in its designated spot. This will help keep your office from becoming overwhelmed with items and will make it easier to stay organised and productive.

Following these tips can help you avoid clutter in your office and create a more efficient workspace. With a little effort, you can keep your office tidy and organised so that you can stay productive and reach your goals.

Bottom Line

Clutter can be an issue if left unchecked in any office. By implementing the tips outlined above, you will have taken steps to keep your work area tidy and organised. Take some time to go through your workspace every few days and discard or donate any unnecessary items. This way, you’ll have a system in place to help keep clutter to a minimum. As a result, you will be able to focus on your work and stay productive.

What are the Most Effective Ways to Advertise Your Business Online?

For business owners, the ways in which you can promote your company have changed dramatically over the last decade. The majority of marketing now takes place online, particularly since the start of the pandemic.

It’s imperative that you understand how to advertise your business online amidst competition from big names out there and garner the attention of new customers. Executing an advertising strategy can be an
expensive ordeal depending on what you plan to achieve, therefore you may wish to consider a quick business loan to help get you started on your marketing journey.

When implemented correctly, you can increase sales, develop your business and expand into new markets. But first, let’s take a look at some of the different options for how you can effectively advertise your business online.

Public Relations (PR)

PR is simply about getting your business in publications and other online sites – this might be if your business has recently won an award or launched a new service that you want people to be aware of.

It’s important that PR targets the relevant audience and your niche; for example, if you run a business development company, it’s ideal to focus on being seen in business magazines or select trade publications.

Digital PR can be great for diverting traffic to your website and brand. By working with high-authority sites and getting links back to your website, you can improve your search engine optimisation (SEO) ranking, and ultimately, your online presence.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Google is a hub for advertisements and can often seem to be providing you with helpful information. It is actually doing so in the hopes that you see these advertisements, which is where the majority of Google’s
revenue originates from.

PPC is an online advertising model where your business pays a publisher each time one of your advertisement links is clicked on – essentially, you’re paying for targeted visits to your site. You can even bid for ad placements on search engines, meaning someone is presented with your site should they search for keywords relevant to your offerings.

What is useful about this method is that you only pay for what consumers click on, providing you with a low-cost strategy and an efficient way to attract new customers.

Social Media

Social media plays a vital role in a business’s marketing efforts, particularly given the average person
spends around two hours per day on social media
. This opportunity to reach and engage with such a large audience is highly beneficial for your business and should not be overlooked.

You must first decide on what you plan to achieve and whether you want to generate traffic to your website or increase product sales. Figuring out your target audience is also useful to understand what social media platform to target.

Posting regular updates about your brand and products will help to keep your followers and customers up to date with your services. Your followers may even share the content with their followers or leave comments, which is free marketing in itself.

How To Grow Profits in the Vaping Retail?

Vaping is one of the most effective ways of quitting smoking, offering long-time tobacco users a more affordable and less risky replacement option. As such, it should come as no surprise that the vaping industry has experienced a boom in recent years.

Starting a vaping-related business may seem like a smart move, but keep in mind that success is not guaranteed. The reality is that the vaping industry is highly competitive, and to get a foothold in the market, you’ll need to stand out from the crowd of business rivals. To help you out, we’ve compiled some of the most effective ways to grow profits in the vaping retail business.

Read on and learn how to increase your chances of becoming the next big thing in the vaping industry!

Prioritise Quality and Variety

A big part of the success enjoyed by reputable stores like lies in their commitment to offering only the highest quality vaping products. In other words, such shops strive to provide their customers with the best possible vaping experience by offering high-quality hardware.

The reason for that is simple – customers these days are better informed than ever, and they won’t hesitate to leave a store that doesn’t provide premium-grade products.

However, at the same time, it’s also important to offer a wide variety of vaping products, i.e. e-cigarettes, e-liquids, and accessories in different flavours and styles. The goal is to cater to the needs of as many customers as possible, and this can only be done by offering a wide range of products.

Invest in Marketing

If you’re planning to start a vaping-related business, you need to remember that marketing will play a key role in your success. No matter how good your products are, it won’t matter if no one knows about them.

Fortunately, there are quite a few effective marketing strategies that can be used to promote your vaping business. You can start by creating a website and setting up social media accounts, which is an excellent way to reach out to potential customers. In addition, you can also try traditional marketing techniques like TV ads, radio spots, and print ads.

Make Use of Sales and Promotions

One of the most powerful motivators that might encourage customers to buy your products is the possibility of getting a good deal. In other words, if you offer a discount or some other form of promotion, chances are that more people will be driven to make a purchase.

Of course, it’s important not to go overboard with this tactic – otherwise, you might end up eroding your profits and damaging your business in the long run. The key is to offer sales only when they make sense from a commercial standpoint, i.e. when you have excess stock that needs to be moved quickly or during slow periods when customer traffic is low.

Alternatively, you can limit the best deals to returning customers, i.e. those who have been shopping at your store for a long time, to encourage them to continue doing so in the future. After all, customer loyalty is a key ingredient in the success of any business, and it should be nurtured at all costs.

Offer Excellent Customer Service

Finally, it’s also important to offer excellent customer service if you want to succeed in the vaping industry. That’s because customers these days are more demanding than ever, and they won’t hesitate to shop elsewhere if they don’t receive the level of customer service they expect.

To ensure that this doesn’t happen to your business, you need to make sure that your staff is properly trained to handle various customer service-related tasks. To illustrate, they should be able to provide useful advice and tips to customers who are new to vaping. Additionally, they should also know how to handle customer complaints in a professional and efficient manner – even if the client in question is being unreasonable and demanding.

If your retail store has a website, consider using AI chatbots to further improve your customer service. These handy digital assistants can handle a variety of tasks, from providing information about products and services to actively recommending products that match the customer’s needs and preferences.


The vaping industry is growing at an unprecedented rate, which means that there’s a great opportunity for businesses to capitalise on this growth by introducing new products and services. However, success is never guaranteed, and if you want to succeed in the vaping industry, you need to do more than simply open a store and wait for customers to come your way.

Instead, invest in marketing and make sure that only the highest quality products are offered to your customers. Additionally, you should also strive to provide excellent customer service, as this is one of the most important deciding factors when it comes to customer loyalty.

If you want to increase your chances of success, don’t hesitate to offer sales and promotions – just make sure not to go overboard with this tactic. Finally, consider creating an online store to expand your reach and grow your business.

Of course, these are just some of the ways that you can grow profits in the vaping retail business. It’s best to experiment with different strategies and see which ones work best for your store. Good luck with your vaping venture!

LLC vs S-Corp: What’s the Difference and Which Will Help Your Business Grow Faster?

When forming a business, the number of pivotal decisions you need to make is eye-watering. And yet if you choose correctly at this stage, it’ll be a much smoother ride to success.

Picking a structure for your fledgling company is particularly important, with the main sticking point being whether you form an LLC or an S-Corp.

If you’re new to these concepts and you don’t know which is right, read on as we dismantle and demystify each in turn.

LLCs explained

Limited liability companies are legal entities created by entrepreneurs who want to build businesses without leaving their personal assets hanging in the balance.

For instance, with an LLC you won’t be beholden to any debts that the organization accrues. You’ll also be able to report income and losses made by an LLC as part of your tax return, rather than having to file separately for the business.

LLCs can be owned by an individual, or by a partnership of several people, in which case the aforementioned pass-through taxation process would still apply.

How to form an LLC, e.g. in Florida

There are a few things you need to do to form an LLC in Florida, and you can either choose to handle this yourself or make use of an LLC formation service to take care of all the complex admin instead.

Every newly launched business needs a name, a registered agent, articles of organization, an operating agreement, and an employer identification number.

S-Corps considered

From a liability perspective, S-corporations are identical to LLCs, which gives founders a means of innovating without taking too many risks with their personal financial situation.

When it comes to taxation, S-corps make their income and losses taxable through the people who own shares in the organization. IRS rules on what qualifies as an S-corp are stringent, and the main requisite is that a maximum of 100 shareholders are allowable.

Another important factor for those who want to turn their business into an S-corp is that it has to be registered as an LLC or a C-corp beforehand.

In fact, a business can be both an LLC and an S-corp simultaneously, because these are not mutually exclusive states.

Which one is right for you?

Speaking generally, LLCs are subject to fewer rules and restrictions regarding things like ownership structures and operational requirements than full-blown corporations, whether of the S or C variety.

For example, there’s no cap on how many owners can hold a slice of an LLC, while the 100 shareholder cap on an S-corp is just the start of the obligations and standards to which this type of business must adhere.

Having things like a board of directors, and scheduling shareholder meetings, as well as issuing stock and creating corporate bylaws, will all be a necessity if you go the S-corp route.

For entrepreneurs who are just getting started with a new business project, setting up an LLC is the obvious choice. If it makes sense to move it to an S-corp further down the line in order to optimize your taxation situation, then that’s perfectly possible without needing to also incur any additional liabilities as an individual.

What about growth?

The growth of a business is not just contingent on its structure, and you don’t need to get too bogged down in deciding between LLC and S-corp status early on.

When you eventually do get to the stage that your company is enjoying sustained growth, getting experts in taxation and legal matters involved to advise on and oversee any structural transition is wise.

How to Decide When it is Time for You to Move Your Business into a New Office

How to Decide When it is Time for You to Move Your Business into a New Office

If you have been long running your business, its needs and objectives could have changed substantially in that time, potentially rendering the organisation’s current office rather less useful for you than it once was.

Still, you might be indecisive about whether or not to shift to a new office — in which case, the following steps could help.

Assess your current office’s location

Do employees of your company often complain about how long it takes them to travel to its office or find a suitable parking space nearby? Similarly, do clients attempting to meet you at this office often phone you to ask where exactly it is?

These are both signs that the current location of your company’s operations could be hampering their success — for example, by frustrating employees before they even start work for the day, or inflicting damage to your brand’s reputation in clients’ eyes. 

Consider how efficiently your employees use their work time 

Now that you think about it, you could realise that many of these workers spend a disconcertingly large amount of that time on tasks that actually hamper workflows.

Such tasks could include setting up computers instead of working on them. It could also be the case that, towards the end of each workday, these people need to clean their own work areas because there aren’t dedicated cleaners around to fulfil this responsibility instead.

Think about how well you are budgeting 

Right now, if you are based in a traditional office, you are probably sourcing lots of services — like internet connectivity and telephony plans — separately rather than all as part of one package.

However, it would be a different situation if you switched to a serviced office. The Startups. describes this as “a workspace which comes ready-furnished, with internet and phone lines pre-connected”.

You could therefore find that many serviced offices would be easier for you to budget for compared to the office your organisation currently occupies.

Look at what size workspace you currently have  

Naturally, you need your company’s office to be large enough to comfortably accommodate all of your employees, or at least those not working from home as a matter of routine.

However, if this office is too large, there might be the potential for you to generate impressive financial savings just by moving into a new office that is smaller — since, the smaller an office is, the less you could end up needing to pay for it as well.

Take account of the wider economic outlook 

Of course, you will want your business to keep growing over the long term, but you just can’t be certain how the local or national economic picture could unfold in that time.

The Small Business website explains: “If you’re thinking of taking on extra employees in the coming months, or even years, then you’re going to want to find somewhere flexible.” 

That way, if your business is indeed hit by economic factors beyond your control, you will have the option of downscaling your workplace to keep your organisation financially lean.

How the Workplace You Choose for Your Company Could Help it to Make Financial Savings

If you run a business and are trying to save money on your corporate operations, you could be motivated by economic factors or simply a desire to give yourself a financial edge.

Ultimately, though, whatever your reasons for seeking to cut corporate costs, you might not have realised how many of those savings can be made just with your choice of workplace for the company.

Here are five examples of how, by being selective with where your business is based, you can effectively trim its expenditure.

You can avoid using a larger workspace than you need 

The job listings website Indeed advises: “Consider a survey to gather feedback on office and break areas.” You could find that certain amenities at your workplace aren’t used quite as often as you had assumed.

Therefore, you might be able to save money by scaling down underused amenities at your workplace. 

Alternatively, if you originally started renting your current office on the basis of how many workers you had at the time, it is possible that your employee count has since shrunk and would consequently justify your business shifting to a smaller office with lower rental costs.

You can consolidate costs by moving to a serviced office

What exactly is a serviced office? The Startups. website explains that this kind of office is “a workspace which comes ready-furnished, with internet and phone lines pre-connected and devices already equipped.” 

Since various amenities included with a serviced office can all be covered by just one monthly rental fee, simply switching to a serviced office could make it easier for your business to budget.

You can avoid making a long-term commitment to a specific office 

One of the major advantages of going for a serviced office is that it could be available through an appreciably more flexible lease arrangement than is usually available with a conventional office. 

While renting the latter could require you to make a year-long commitment to it, most serviced offices can be rented for as short a duration as a month, week or day.

There’s the option of a flexible workspace 

What makes a workspace ‘flexible’? Basically, if it is capable of facilitating flexible working — but what is ‘flexible working’?

Citizens Advice succinctly reveals that this term is used for “any type of working pattern which is different from your existing one.” Good examples of flexible working practices include working part-time hours or from home.

If your business enforced flexible working during the pandemic, you could continue offering flexible working options — and possibly be able to reduce your overheads as a result.

Some workplaces represent better value than others 

Certain offices might be dauntingly expensive to rent largely because they are sited in central, bustling places. However, if your particular business doesn’t hugely depend on in-person meetings, you might not need your office to be in such a location.

Your company might not suffer from relocating to a more secluded and less expensive office if, say, your corporate objectives are primarily focused on online commerce.

J. Sheekey Unveils ‘All Sheekey’s A Stage’

Covent Garden restaurant pays homage to Theatreland this Christmas

This festive season, J. Sheekey, the much-loved Covent Garden seafood restaurant, will pay homage to an array of iconic theatre productions with the launch of its latest campaign ‘All Sheekey’s A Stage’. Celebrating the world of theatreland, the restaurant invites guests into a world of glamour, heritage, and festive opulence in the very heart of London with a unique installation across its terrace. Throughout the Christmas period, guests will also be able to enjoy an array of bespoke cocktails created in collaboration with Grey Goose Vodka.

A stone’s throw from some of London’s most loved theatres, the J. Sheekey terrace will play host to an eye-catching external installation featuring an array of Christmas trees adorned with figurines, nodding to iconic London theatre productions including The Lion King, Mary Poppins and The Nutcracker. Miniature theatres dressed with red curtains will also feature on the terrace, for guests and passers-by to enjoy.

If that wasn’t enough, the bar team at J. Sheekey has worked alongside Grey Goose Vodka to create a cocktail menu of delicious tipples to sip and savour. Limited-edition cocktails include the Supercalifragilistic (£14.00), made with Grey Goose Vodka, Rose liqueur, Lychee and Vanilla, the Hakuna Matata (£14.00) featuring Grey Goose Vodka, Amaro, Framboise, Pineapple, Ginger & Lemongrass, Cinnamon and  Bitters, The Nutcracker (£16.00) featuring Grey Goose Vodka, Blackberries, Goji Liqueur, Hibiscus and Champagne,  the All the world’s a stage (£14.00) incorporating Grey Goose Vodka, Coffee Liqueur, Averna, Pistachio, Espresso, Pineapple, Bitters and last but not least, The Show Must Go On (£15.00) featuring Grey Goose Vodka, Oyster Leaf,  Fino Sherry and Vermouth.

Diners will also be able to enjoy a selection of much-loved classics from the a la carte menu throughout the festive period including, Grilled Dover Sole (£48.00) with bearnaise sauce, Monkfish and Tiger Prawn Tikka Masala (£28.00) with pilaf rice and crispy shallots and J. Sheekey’s Cornish Fish Stew (£30.00) with garlic mayonnaise.

To book a table, please visit or call 020 7240 2565.

For images & further information, please contact Morgan Green [email protected] or Isobel Stanley [email protected]

Things to Do After Getting a Stable Job That Pays Well

Not everyone is lucky to get a stable job. It takes years for some people to find the perfect job. Sometimes, people find a job they’re happy with but doesn’t pay well. It’s the opposite for others. When you finally find the right one, make the most of it. Start by straightening up your finances. You already have a well-paying job, so you can’t waste the opportunity.

Learn to budget

You might be overwhelmed since you’re getting a lot more during payday. It doesn’t mean you will spend the excess on whatever you want. It’s crucial to learn how to budget. Make sure you only spend on your needs. Prioritise the payment of bills and loans. If there’s anything left, put it in your emergency fund. Your lifestyle shouldn’t change just because you’re earning more.

If you’re from London and need help with budgeting, work with London-based accountants. They will make the job easier. These experts understand your needs and will help simplify the process.

Boost your savings

Always prioritise your savings. It’s even better to set aside an amount for savings first each month before you deal with the rest. Then, there’s an assurance that you won’t waste your paycheck on things you don’t need. If you put the savings in the end, you might forget to do it.

Determinenhow to increase your retirement funds

Check how you can increase your retirement fund. Determine if your company offers a scheme where you contribute to the fund, and they do the same. The good thing is you will barely feel it. The amount immediately gets deducted from your paycheck. It will continue to grow until you have enough during your retirement.

Never rely on loans anymore

You already have a good paycheck. Don’t rely on loans anymore. Taking out loans was an option before since you barely made ends meet. Since you already have sufficient funds, loans must not be your go-to fund source. If you still feel tempted to take out loans, there’s something wrong with your budgeting. Change it as soon as possible.

Apart from not getting more loans, you must also repay your old loans. The charges will keep rolling until you pay the amount in full. Face your creditors and find ways to make the repayment more convenient.

Never change your lifestyle

Just because you’re already getting paid higher monthly doesn’t mean your lifestyle will also change. Sure, you can plan a trip once in a while, but it shouldn’t be frequent. Continue buying affordable plane tickets instead of getting business class. You should also avoid luxury brands even if you can afford them. You work hard not to impress other people. You do it to be more financially stable and to provide for your family’s needs. Be smart in using your money.

Apart from handling your finances well, don’t forget to perform at your best. You must keep your job since you rely on it.

6 Harmful Effects of Air Pollution on People’s Health

In this day and age, everyone knows that air pollution can be extremely harmful. Yet, still, not enough seems to be being done to reduce air pollution levels.

Motor vehicles, industrial facilities, and household combustion devices, among other things, all contribute to air pollution. Pollutants like particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and sulphur dioxide are all major public health concerns.

So, make no mistake, the air we breathe is becoming more and more dangerously polluted. Here is a look at just six harmful effects that air pollution can have on people’s health.

1. Air Pollution Can Kill

According to the World Health Organisation, nine out of ten people in the world now breathe air that is polluted, which results in approximately seven million deaths every year.

Those fatalities are attributed to both indoor and outdoor pollution and include both natural and man-made sources of air pollution.

2. Air Pollution Can Cause Asthma

Air pollution can cause various health conditions that can be fatal. That includes asthma. And children with asthma are affected the most.

For instance, in a landmark legal case in the U.K. in 2020, a south London coroner stated that the failure to reduce pollution levels to the legally required limits was a contributing factor in the death of a nine-year-old girl who suffered from severe asthma.

Her death, in 2013, was caused by severe asthma, acute respiratory failure, and air pollution exposure.

The coroner even specifically mentioned that the girl’s exposure to particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide pollution, which exceeded the WHO’s guidelines, was partially responsible for her tragic death. The principal sources of those air pollutants came from motor vehicle emissions.

Indeed, it is already known that up to 14% of children around the world aged between five and eighteen have asthma that is related to air pollution. Wrongful death lawsuits could potentially be brought against those responsible for air pollution that results in individual fatalities.

If you have a loved one who you believe was a victim of wrongful death, regardless of the cause, you should contact a wrongful death attorney.

3. Air Pollution Can Cause Other Health Problems in Children

Children who are exposed to air pollutants can be harmed in other ways in addition to potentially developing asthma. For instance, air pollution has been linked to childhood cancers and cognitive impairment.

Air pollution can also negatively affect the brain growth of foetuses.

4. Air Pollution Can Cause Strokes

According to the WHO, one-third of global deaths from strokes, heart disease, and lung cancer are caused by air pollution. Strokes are a serious life-threatening medical condition. They occur when the blood supply to a part of the brain is cut off.

When someone experiences a stroke, it is a medical emergency that requires urgent treatment.

5. Air Pollution Can Cause Heart Disease

Heart disease is a major cause of death around the world each year. Symptoms to watch out for include chest pain, shortness of breath, feeling sick, feeling faint, and having pain throughout your body.

6. Air Pollution Can Cause Lung Cancer

Lung cancer starts in the lungs but can spread to lymph nodes as well as other organs in a person’s body, such as the brain. In the U.K. alone, over 43,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year.

There are few signs in the early stage of lung cancer, but many people who suffer from the condition develop symptoms like persistent coughs and breathlessness, unexplained weight loss, and coughing up blood.

While there are multiple causes of lung cancer, heart disease, and strokes, sadly, air pollution is one leading cause.

Acclaimed Photographer Adrian Houston to Contribute to the Queen’s Green Canopy Project

In May 2022, the then Prince of Wales, in his role as Patron of The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC), unveiled a nationwide network of 70 Ancient Woodlands and 70 Ancient Trees in celebration of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee.

At the behest of the QGC, photographer and passionate conservationist Adrian Houston, along with fellow photographer Charles Sainsbury-Plaice and renowned painter Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis, have spent the best part of a year capturing these historic specimens.

From 10th to 20th December 2022, these artworks, including Adrian’s photography of the 12th century Queen Elizabeth I Sessile Oak (pictured), will be displayed at a unique exhibition to be held at Sotheby’s New Bond Street.

The artworks will be sold via The Tree Art Gallery and also auctioned privately on 14th December at Sotheby’s, with a donation going to the QGC’s tree planting initiative. This project has already seen more than a million trees planted and was recently extended to March 2023 to give people the opportunity to plant trees in Queen Elizabeth’s memory.

A book featuring both Adrian’s photographs and those taken by Charles Sainsbury[1]Plaice will be published next year.

For Adrian this project is the culmination of many years as a passionate environmentalist.

In particular, he has used his most recent work to communicate the message to all age groups about the diversity, wonder and importance of our historic trees and the need to keep planting for future generations.

Commented Adrian, “Trees and woodlands are a defining and constant part of the landscape; the QGC is a unique way of illustrating how they connect us all on a universal level, as well as a timely reminder of the importance of planting for our future generations.”

The QGC exhibition will take place at Sotheby’s, 33-34 New Bond Street, London, W1A 2AA from 10th to 20th December from 9am to 5.30pm (from midday to 5pm on Saturday 17th and Sunday 16th December).

About Adrian Houston

Known for his warm, atmospheric images that fire the imagination, renowned photographer Adrian Houston’s works have been exhibited at such leading institutions as The National Gallery and The Royal Academy of Arts.

His exceptional eye for detail, as well as his meticulous, creative and relaxed approach, has earned Adrian a number of high-profile portrait commissions, among them the late Luciano Pavarotti, the Dalai Lama and Jim Carrey.

His ground-breaking images for the Mr & Mrs Smith series of travel guides helped put the company on the map and Adrian has produced a total of eight publications for this now globally recognised brand.

Adrian’s passion is conservation. His work has seen him travel to some of the world’s most unexplored and inhospitable terrains, with his powerful photographs subsequently gracing everything from advertising campaigns to magazine covers. In addition, the stunning images that resulted from him witnessing the eruption of Mount Kilauea on Hawaii’s Big Island were used to memorable effect in one of the Discovery Channel’s highest rating documentaries – Discovery People.

Adrian has enjoyed several high-profile exhibitions, including a fund-raising initiative for Guide Dogs for the Blind at The Haunch of Venison at The Royal Academy of Arts showcasing his customarily innovative portraiture, on this occasion celebrity figures with their canine companions.

Aerobic Activity Can Reduce the Risk of Metastatic Cancer by 72%

A new study at Tel Aviv University found that aerobic exercise can reduce the risk of metastatic cancer by 72%. According to the researchers, intensity aerobic exercise increases the glucose (sugar) consumption of internal organs, thereby reducing the availability of energy to the tumor.  

The study was led by two researchers from TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine: Prof. Carmit Levy from the Department of Human Genetics and Biochemistry and Dr. Yftach Gepner from the School of Public Health and the Sylvan Adams Sports Institute. Prof. Levy emphasizes that by combining scientific knowhow from different schools at TAU, the new study has led to a very important discovery which may help prevent metastatic cancer – the leading cause of death in Israel.

The paper was published in the prestigious journal Cancer Research and chosen for the cover of the November 2022 issue

Prof. Levy and Dr. Gepner: “Studies have demonstrated that physical exercise reduces the risk for some types of cancer by up to 35%. This positive effect is similar to the impact of exercise on other conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. In this study we added new insight, showing that high-intensity aerobic exercise, which derives its energy from sugar, can reduce the risk of metastatic cancer by as much as 72%.  If so far the general message to the public has been ‘be active, be healthy’, now we can explain how aerobic activity can maximize the prevention of the most aggressive and metastatic types of cancer.”

The study combined an animal model in which mice were trained under a strict exercise regimen, with data from healthy human volunteers examined before and after running. The human data, obtained from an epidemiological study that monitored 3,000 individuals for about 20 years, indicated 72% less metastatic cancer in participants who reported regular aerobic activity at high intensity, compared to those who did not engage in physical exercise.

The animal model exhibited a similar outcome, also enabling the researchers to identify its underlying mechanism. Sampling the internal organs of the physically fit animals, before and after physical exercise, and also following the injection of cancer, they found that aerobic activity significantly reduced the development of metastatic tumors in the lymph nodes, lungs, and liver. The researchers hypothesized that in both humans and model animals, this favorable outcome is related to the enhanced rate of glucose consumption induced by exercise.

Prof. Levy: “Our study is the first to investigate the impact of exercise on the internal organs in which metastases usually develop, like the lungs, liver, and lymph nodes. Examining the cells of these organs we found a rise in the number of glucose receptors during high-intensity aerobic activity – increasing glucose intake and turning the organs into effective energy-consumption machines, very much like the muscles. We assume that this happens because the organs must compete for sugar resources with the muscles, known to burn large quantities of glucose during physical exercise. Consequently, if cancer develops, the fierce competition over glucose reduces the availability of energy that is critical to metastasis. Moreover, when a person exercises regularly, this condition becomes permanent: the tissues of internal organs change and become similar to muscle tissue. We all know that sports and physical exercise are good for our health. Our study, examining the internal organs, discovered that exercise changes the whole body, so that the cancer cannot spread, and the primary tumor also shrinks in size.”  

Dr. Gepner adds: “Our results indicate that unlike fat-burning exercise, which is relatively moderate, it is a high-intensity aerobic activity that helps in cancer prevention. If the optimal intensity range for burning fat is 65-70% of the maximum pulse rate, sugar burning requires 80-85% – even if only for brief intervals. For example: a one-minute sprint followed by walking, then another sprint. In the past, such intervals were mostly typical of athletes’ training regimens, but today we also see them in other exercise routines, such as heart and lung rehabilitation. Our results suggest that healthy individuals should also include high-intensity components in their fitness programs. We believe that future studies will enable personalized medicine for preventing specific cancers, with physicians reviewing family histories to recommend the right kind of physical activity. It must be emphasized that physical exercise, with its unique metabolic and physiological effects, exhibits a higher level of cancer prevention than any medication or medical intervention to date.”

The Lake District Lays Claim to the Highest Number of Michelin Starred Restaurants Outside of the Capital

When it comes to Michelin starred restaurants, most people automatically equate them with the likes of Tokyo, Paris and New York. But did you know that, with the exception of London, the Lake District can now lay claim to the highest number of Michelin starred restaurants in the UK? Whilst most of the attention is focused on L’Enclume in Cartmel – which this year became the first ever restaurant outside the capital and the South East to be awarded three Michelin stars – no less than seven other Michelin starred restaurants are together putting the area on the map for more than just spectacular scenery!

Currently creating a particular star amongst foodies is The Forest Side, recently named Best Country Hotel of the Year in the UK by the Good Hotels Guide 2023.

The guide’s inspectors were particularly impressed by head chef Paul Leonard’s efforts to “source 90 per cent of produce from a ten-mile radius, much from the vast kitchen garden, to create his inventive dishes.”

With a growing trophy cabinet that also includes four AA Rosettes, this “restaurant with rooms” offers a series of epic tasting menus that celebrate local produce, be it aged Cumbrian lamb, 30 different types of apples from its own orchard or whatever Paul has foraged from the fellside that day.

One of The Forest Side’s most valued treasures is its extensive and original redbrick walled Victorian garden that grows a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs that are used not just in its menus, but to infuse locally made gin, vodkas, whiskeys and rums.

The result is a truly unforgettable dining experience that continues to entice guests, locally, nationally and internationally.

The Forest Side offers both 4-course and 6-course lunch menus, starting from £55 per person. While the evening offering consists of 4-course and 8-course menus, from £80 per person. Vegetarian and vegan menus are also available.

Rounding out The Lake District’s magnificent eight are: Old Stamp House, Ambleside; Cottage in the Woods, Braithwaite; Rogan & Co, Cartmel; Askham Hall, Askham; The Dog & Gun, Skelton and Gilpin Hotel, Windermere.  @the_forest_side

The Forest Side Hotel Keswick Road, Grasmere, Cumbria LA22 9RN

For further information please contact:

Camilla @ Jori White Public Relations Ltd

T: 0207 734 7001

E: [email protected]

About The Forest Side

 The Forest Side is located just minutes from Grasmere village, which William Wordsworth lived in for 14 years and described as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found”. Sitting in its own dappled forest canopy at the foot of the Lake District fells, this exceptional property has its own fellside which is home to a herd of roe deer, red squirrels and native plant species including foxgloves, wood sorrel and common sorrel. Once guests have explored the 43 acres of woodland surrounding the property, the rest of the Lakes are on the doorstep. Lake Windermere is a 15- minute drive south, and walking routes around Grasmere, Rydal, Loughrigg, as well as the Langdales are just a few of many to explore.

The Gothic mansion, previously a private home, houses 20 contemporary guest bedrooms with three categories: Cosy, Superb, or Master. All rooms have been designed by James Mackie and feature Farrow and Ball colour shades, super comfortable beds made by Harrison Spinks to an exclusive design for the hotel, luxurious textiles and wallpapers by Zoffany, deep pile Herdwick carpets by Wools of Cumbria, limestone tiled bathrooms and natural bath and body products handmade by Bramley.

The Forest Side is also dog friendly in six rooms

2023 Supply Chain Trends for Businesses to Ensure a More Efficient Supply Chain Strategy

The supply chain network is complex, full of different facilities, programmes and factors involved in production and distribution from end to end. As such, it is vital for businesses to ensure that supply chains run efficiently and productively – and in a way that meets the needs of all parties, including the consumer.

Journey To The Future

The customer journey is one which can have a transformative effect on a business’s success, with new technologies opening the door to exciting opportunities. The team at Hevolus are leading the way to a bold future in this regard. Recognised in Acquisition International’s Global Excellence Awards as Most Innovative Classroom Education Technology Provider 2022, we thought this the ideal time to dig a little deeper to uncover some of the secrets of the team’s success.

Customer experience makes up an enormous part of the purchasing process. No matter how good the product is, the experience is what most people take away from buying. As such, it pays not only to invest in the customer journey, but to continually be looking at how to improve it.

Based in Italy, the team at Hevolus are ideally equipped to assist businesses of all shapes and sizes to do precisely that. Their focus on a hybrid customer experience, which combines the physical world and the digital work into what they call phygical. This has been achieved through the use of webXR, which has allowed the team to help companies around the world to transform the way in which their business models and process work. The aim is always to provide an engaging and emotional experience, tailored to the specific requirements of the organisation.

Since opening their doors, Hevolus has stood apart from the crowd thanks to constant investment in &D. The team are leaders when it comes to the world of technologies for phygital experiences and for the metaverse, including blockchain, digital twins, NFT, virtual and augmented reality, Artificial Intelligence, IoT and cloud computing. These innovative ways of working have been at the core of the methods used by the Hevolus team to transform the user experience and business strategies of businesses in a host of different sectors.

The strategies that are offered to clients include the study of the customer journey, the R&D of IT platforms, and operational tests, meaning they are “ready to go” without the need for massive development. That the team have been able to achieve such success whilst retaining their innovative streak is a testament to their hard work and commitment to the intentions that have made the company since its inception.

Many impressive brand names have turned to Hevolus to support them in the development of new ideas and concepts, including Ferroli, Würth, Natuzzi, the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, Ferragamo and Vodafone Business to name but a few. This truly international selection of the team’s clients has turned to Hevolus primarily because of the firm’s renowned customisation which allows them to develop bespoke solutions as well as the completeness and scalability of their ecosystems. No matter what industry the team work in, they are able to adapt to suit their needs with ease.

Building a business of innovative thought has not been an easy task, and the Hevolus team have has to ensure such bold ambition is woven into the very fabric of how they work. Innovation is the core of every decision made by the team. An area where the team focus especially is that of human resources. Hevolus thrives through the careful interception and nurturing of young talents. With well-defined processes and work plans available, the Hevolus team have built a solid internal organisation, where senior resources can help to train the talents of the next generation.

Like many organisations, Hevolus was impacted heavily by the COVID-19 pandemic. Having made the active decision to follow market behavioural trends and help customers sell better by involving the consumer more, they were fully ready for the crisis precipitated by the pandemic. The team had already designed and implemented augmented and mixed reality stores for Natuzzi in pre-Covid times, and could apply what they had learned to a host of new businesses in short order. The pandemic acted as a massive accelerator on progress. Hevolus was required to react swiftly to support their clients across a range of different industries and sectors.

The solutions that the team have always championed, namely hybrid working and ways forward such as Cloud Computing, AI and Mixed Reality technologies were immensely popular. They could guarantee shared, collaborative and highly engaging experiences, even from a distance.

For many businesses, turning to Hevolus proved to be the turning point at which they could revitalise their success. Some companies would stop developing and growing at this point, with demand for their services at an all-time high. This certainly wasn’t true for Hevolus. In 2022, the team were among the early adopters worldwide of the Qualcomm Snapdragon Spaces platform for the creation of metaversic 3D environments.

The potential of digital technology is one which every business can see the potential of, but few truly understand. When it comes to creating a world which is more sustainable and inclusive, the Hevolus team see new technological innovations as playing a crucial role in addressing wider societal challenges and helping to contain the impact that large-scale industrial change is generating. Digital transformation, focused on technologies including augmented and virtual reality, additive manufacturing, digital twins, artificial intelligence, internet of things and blockchain, can offer an evident contribution to properly implement all 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.

Implemented correctly, technology can help to overcome the distinction between able-bodied users and disabled users. The Hevolus team have adopted inclusive design for precisely this reason, with apps that are developed according to the criteria of the User eXperience Design. This means that output can be closer to the habits, expectations and needs of the majority of users, creating ways for people to live positive, unique and memorable experiences.

With their eyes always looking directly ahead, it’s little wonder that the team at Hevolus has managed to achieve such tremendous success. We cannot wait to see how their innovative streak serves them and their customers in the months and years to come as businesses continue to embrace the immense power that technology can bring.

For business enquiries, contact Antonio Squeo from Hevolus via email –  [email protected] or on their website –

How To Streamline Critical Utilities Management

Posted on 7th December 2022

Utility management is one of the business’s most important but often overlooked aspects. It’s the practice of monitoring and maintaining water, electricity, gas, and other essential services that a company uses to function and knowing how they impact your business. While utility management is critically important to all companies, it can be especially challenging for larger or more complex organisations.

Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to streamline your critical utility management processes. They help you see how your utilities are being used, identify areas where you can reduce costs or optimise your services, and implement the necessary changes to support your business goals.

Here are some ways to streamline your utility management:

Use Utility Management Software

One of the best ways to streamline your critical utility management is to use specialized software that helps you monitor, manage, and optimise your utility usage. Utility management software provides real-time information about your energy, water, gas, and other utility usages, allowing you to quickly identify areas where you can reduce costs and improve efficiency.

With reliable software such as 60hertz electric utility asset management software and others, you’ll be able to automate the tracking, monitoring, and analysis of your utility usage, saving you time and helping you stay on top of your utility management. Moreover, you’ll be able to reduce any costly errors, downtime, and failures as you see how your utilities impact your business.

Create A Utility Budget

Another critical strategy for streamlining utility management is creating a comprehensive budget for your utility usage. This involves analysing how much energy and other utilities you use each month, along with any costs associated with those. By doing this, you can identify wasteful spending and areas where you can reduce costs.

Moreover, your budget can be used as an insightful data point to see how your utility usage and costs change over time, allowing you to make proactive adjustments as necessary. It also enables you to identify any unnecessary spending and develop strategies to save money in the long term.

Focus On Energy Efficiency

In addition to using software and creating a budget for your usage, it’s also important to focus on energy efficiency. This involves lowering energy consumption such as switching to more efficient light bulbs or investing in energy-efficient equipment.

Adopting an energy efficiency mindset and implementing efficient practices across your business can significantly reduce your utility costs over time, helping you streamline your utility management processes. For example, you may find that increasing your building’s insulation or upgrading your HVAC system can significantly impact your energy usage.

Engage In Utility Auditing And Analysis

It’s also essential to engage in regular utility auditing and analysis. This involves periodically reviewing how much energy or other utilities your business is using and understanding how those impact your operations. Doing so can identify areas where you may be wasting energy or additional resources and make adjustments to improve efficiency.

One way to perform in-depth utility auditing and analysis is to work with a third-party consultant or expert who can help you assess your usage patterns and provide specific recommendations. They can also help remediate any major issues that have a negative impact on your business.

Establish A Process In Your Organisation

Another way to streamline your utility management processes and ensure you’re making the most of your energy usage and other resources is to create a clear process within your organisation. This can involve implementing regular audits or using utility scheduling software to track and monitor your energy usage more efficiently.

By establishing a clear management process, you can ensure that you’re using your utilities wisely and optimising your usage as much as possible. For example, setting certain guidelines for when to turn off equipment or using a centralised scheduling tool helps maximise your usage. Additionally, it’s important to educate employees on energy efficiency best practices and the importance of minimising waste.

Review Your Utility Management Process Regularly

You need to review any regularly established utility process to ensure that it works effectively and provides the results you need. This may involve performing regular audits or using data analytics tools to monitor your usage. For example, regularly reviewing your usage patterns helps identify areas where you can save energy or increase efficiency.


Streamlined utility management is important to help you use your energy and other resources effectively while minimising waste. To do this, it’s crucial to engage in utility auditing and analysis, focus on energy efficiency, and establish clear processes within your organisation. Additionally, you should review your utility management process regularly to ensure it’s working as intended.

Safer, Healthier Air

iatrixAir is a healthtech start-up that provides mission critical products and services using sensor fusion and machine learning that detects and destroys airborne pathogens and biothreats in near real-time for commercial and public buildings. It’s a huge opportunity and a huge problem to solve. But this company has nailed it – making it deserving of being named Best AI-Based Air Quality Control Solutions Developer – North America.

Like the water we drink, we shouldn’t have to concern ourselves with the quality of our indoor air. iatrixAir’s technology makes the indoor air quality of commercial and public buildings safe and healthy, so it is clear of airborne pathogens and biothreats, in near real-time. This comes in the form of smart, efficient, medical grade filtration and air exchange products that monitor air quality 24/7/365. iatrixAir’s “Air Quality as a Service” business model delivers absolute performance with a low-cost monthly fee, and white-glove, never-touch installation by professional contractors.

The company builds relationships with independent representative firms that recruit and train building contractors to install its products and deliver its services to building owners and operators.  The key difference from competitors is that its approach is mission-critical and near real-time, with fast detection using sensors that run every ten seconds; machine learning which uses a predictive and automated approach; fast-first pass disinfection using only proven enclosed, intense UVC light; and real-time visual information via mobile and desktop apps or digital signage. Thanks to iatrixAir, a building operator or owner can now rest assured that their buildings are providing safe, healthy air to employees and visitors.

iatrixAir is on a mission to salvage the air quality industry from being full of misinformation and pseudoscience, and industry standards are also ineffective to stop airborne pathogens such as COVID-19. The rate of ventilation of air in a space should be double the current standards. It’s not so much a technology challenge but rather an education-marketing challenge backed up by improved test methods and standards.

COVID-19 cost the US economy upwards of $200b in 2021 and some reports estimate that the total costs could be up to $16T. What didn’t help in this was that at first, the experts and scientists could not agree on the mechanism of COVID-19, however they now all agree that these airborne pathogens go further and linger in the air for longer than previously thought. It took over a year for the WHO and CDC to provide guidance on the real root cause of COVID-19. Now the root cause is known, iatrixAir is speeding to the market a mission-critical solution of fast detection, fast remediation, and fast information.

The US White House has released the Indoor Air Quality Building Challenge in which a pledge is provided along with steps that a business can take in order to improve their indoor air quality, plus realise tax credits for installing indoor air quality solutions. The spotlight is on indoor air quality. A recent comment by an industry observer indicated that perhaps the building operator or owner has a bigger impact on your health than your doctor! We now spend over 90% of our time indoors so safe and healthy air is very important.

Indeed, iatrixAir continues to see an enormous opportunity with many companies needing better air quality solutions, whether workplaces, schools, shopping malls, or restaurants. Indoor air quality should not be something we have to think about. The key is understanding the air quality in the space and its air flows. iatrixAir will over the coming years have huge amounts of data in the cloud that it can use to make its products more effective and efficient using the latest AI machine learning.

Now, it is working on creating discreet products which can’t be seen or heard but still keep the air quality safe and healthy. The company is filling its patents on this approach and has licensed other patents to place these products on the market in the new two to three years.

Because UVC is a very proven science. And iatrixAir is showing the industry how it’s done. And just in time as RSV, the annual flu and a resurgence of CV-19 is occurring or what is called the tri-pandemic. The spread of airborne pathogens can be reduced with existing technology re-purposed, combined with new technologies such as machine learning.

For business enquiries, contact Marc McConnaughey from iatrixAir, Inc. via email – [email protected] or on their website –

What Colour Combinations Are Going To Be In This Winter?

What’s in a colour? A lot, actually. Colours evoke emotions and feelings and influence how people perceive your website or product. This winter, a few colour combinations will be prevalent. This blog post discusses the meanings behind some of the most popular colours this season and gives you tips on how to use them in your fashion and design projects.

Earth tones

Winter may be a time for more fabulous shades, but earth tones are still popular. Earthy colours like brown, beige, taupe, and olive green evoke a sense of calmness and comfort. These muted shades can be combined with brighter hues to create an exciting contrast or stand against white and black backgrounds. For sports apparel, colours such as navy, maroon, and charcoal can create a classic look. Regarding office wear, muted tones of grey, camel, and khaki are great choices. In designing the interior of a room, earthy tones can be used as accents or to create an overall warm and inviting atmosphere.

Monochromatic shades

Monochromatic colour schemes are still in this season. However, lighter shades of blue, such as baby blue and light grey, are favoured instead of the dark blues and greys often seen in winter fashion. These soft colours can create an atmosphere of calmness and relaxation, or act as a backdrop for brighter accents. Regarding interior design, monochromatic schemes can also be used to create a stylish yet subtle look. If you are invited to a winter wedding, shades of white and ivory will make an elegant yet timeless statement, while a party look can be enhanced with shades of pink and purple.

Muted jewel tones

Muted jewel tones such as emerald green, sapphire blue, and amethyst purple are gaining popularity this winter. These colours can be used to create a beautiful contrast against whites and neutrals or combine them for a more vibrant look. Jewel tones can be used to dress up casual wear or add a touch of elegance to formal attire. Casual wear can be jazzed up with shades of green, blue, purple, or pink, while a more sophisticated look can be achieved by using deep jewel tones. For interior design, muted jewel tones can be combined with bolder shades like red and yellow to create an uplifting atmosphere or a regal and luxurious vibe.


As winter approaches, metallics become more prevalent in fashion and design. Silver and gold tones convey luxury and sophistication. Bronze, copper, and rose gold are becoming increasingly common in accessories like handbags and shoes. It is vital to keep the rest of the outfit muted and minimal when using metallic colors to avoid looking too flashy. For instance, if you are wearing a gold top, pair it with neutral bottoms. Metallics can also be used in interior design to add glitz and glamor to a room. For instance, copper accents on furniture or gold frames for art pieces can instantly elevate the look of any space. The key to using metallics is sparingly, as too much of the shine can be overwhelming.

Bold blues

Some people may think that blue is too cold for winter, but bold blues are coming back this season. Shades like navy and royal blue convey confidence and elegance, while lighter shades like baby blue create a sense of calmness and serenity. For fashion, bright blues can be combined with other colors to create an exciting contrast or used to make a statement. For interior design, bold blues can create a modern and chic look or evoke a sense of serenity in a room. For instance, a couch upholstered in navy blue or a wall painted in royal blue can instantly make a room look stylish and inviting. 

Mint and teal

These two colours have been trending for some time now, and you’ll see plenty of them this winter. Mint is a soft shade of blue-green that suggests freshness and innocence. It can be combined with darker shades like navy for a more sophisticated look or lighter shades like white and ivory for a more classic feel. Teal is a bolder shade that conveys tranquillity and stability. In fashion, it can create eye-catching contrast against black and grey tones or as an unexpected pop of colour in an all-neutral outfit.

Ultimately, colour combinations are essential for staying fashionable this winter. Whether you opt for muted earthy tones, monochromatic shades, muted jewel tones, metallic colours, bold blues, or mint and teal, the right combination can create a stunning look. No matter what colour combinations you choose this winter, the key is to find tones that complement each other and convey your style. With the right colours, you can have a fashionable yet timeless look that will stand out from the crowd.

5 Destinations to Visit in Turkey This Winter

Turkey’s vibrant tourism season runs from May to October when thousands of people of all over the world flock totake advantage of the Mediterranean lifestyle, summer temperatures and gorgeous beaches. Outside of these months, the tourism industry winds down slightly because of the short days and long nights, but it by no means comes to a standstill. A few destinations carry on welcoming people to explore the greatness of the country and while people may think there are no benefits to travelling to Turkey during winter, low-season prices and fewer crowds are an attractive lure. The Turkish experts at Property Turkey have put together their top 5 destinations to visit during the winter months.

Istanbul’s Winter Glory

Naturally as the country’s largest city, and a major hub of business and finance as well as tourism, everything is as normal in Istanbul. All historical sites such as the UNESCO world heritage buildings of the Sultanahmet district are open to schedule, and places like the Grand Bazaar make a roaring trade from locals, so business carries on. The bonus is that a visit during New Year will introduce you to street parties Istanbul style and a stunning display of firework shows. Celebrating the New Year in Istanbul is big business. The downside is that February and March often fall foul of the rainy season and during November and December, a blanket of white snow sometimes covers the city landscape. Just remember to pack clothes accordingly and a visit will be equally as enjoyable as a summer one

The Comfort of Cappadocia and Skiing on Mount Erciyes

In the central Anatolian region of Turkey, Cappadocia is a unique landscape of fairy chimneys and cave churches. During summer, fields turn green and spring sees an abundance of flowers and trees blooming but equally as stunning during winter, is the appearance of the lunar-like and moon landscape under snow. The region is considerably quieter than summer, but all activities including the top recommended early hot air balloon ride still operate. Also open is the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Goreme Open Air Museum hosting cave churches with 13th and 14th-century original biblical frescoes. Be sure to book a hotel with built-in fireplace or air conditioning since the temperatures drop because of the high altitude. To take advantage of the winter season, travel a short distance to nearby Mount Erciyes that is one of the major skiing destinations in Turkey.

Uludag Ski Central

Staying on the subject of skiing, it is rarely associated with Turkey, but the country does have many ski resorts and efforts are underway to improve and modernised others. One of the most famous is Uludag, near the historical Ottoman city of Bursa. With two separate parts, the first development zone is completed while the second is in the process of building more hotels because of its growing popularity. The ski centre is suitable for beginners or experienced skiers, who can also take advantage of ski schools and shops with equipment for hire.


The Delights of Antalya City Centre

The Antalya region covers a vast distance and includes many coastal resorts that close down during winter but the city centre is as vibrant and active as always. The Antalya region has one of the warmest winter climates in the country. Modern shopping malls do a roaring trade and cinemas, bowling alleys, and nightlife destinations carry on until the early hours of the morning. History lovers will be delighted to learn that displaying this region’s vibrant historical timeline never stops. The ancient cities of Aspendos and Thermos still open their gates and, at least, half a day should be spent in the archaeological museum. The old town called Kaleici and the famous monument of Hadrian’s gate should be on the agenda, or, lovers of the great outdoors can head to the summit of Mount Tahtali, sometimes covered in snow. While people travel up in the cable car, possibilities to descend include paragliding, skiing, and trekking.

Ancient Ephesus

As the most visited historical site in Turkey, Ephesus is jam-packed during summer, when cruise ships dock into the nearby resort of Kusadasi while busloads of tourists flock in from the nearby holiday resorts.

The good news is that although, it is still popular in winter, the crowds are significantly less, and this means more space for you to explore the ancient landmarks. These include the magnificent old theatre seating 25,000 people, the Celsus library that once held 12,000 scrolls and the marvellous mosaics of the Roman terraced houses, home torich and wealthy influential people of the Byzantine empire. Nearby the ancient ruins, the working town of Selcuk town traditionally relies on agriculture so everything is as normal during winter. Visit Saint Johns Basilica, said to be where his tomb was, the Isa Bey Mosque of Selcuk and the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Alternatively, high up in the hills of Selcuk is the house of the Virgin Mary believed to be the place of her ascension.

The Perfect Body Care Routine For All Types Of Skin

No matter what type of skin you have, it is important to develop a body care routine that works best for you. Everyone’s skin is different, so what works for one person might not work for another. In this blog post, we will discuss the best ways to care for your skin based on its type. We will also provide tips on how to troubleshoot any problems you may be having with your skin. So whether you have dry skin, oily skin, or something in between, read on for the best advice!

Body Care Routines For All Types Of Skin – What Is There To Know

Body care is something that is important for everyone, no matter what type of skin they have. The right routine can help keep your skin looking and feeling healthy all year round. Whether that routine is a luxury body polishing treatment, or it is a simple daily shower and moisturizing, it is important to stick with it. Furthermore, it is important to make sure that the products used are suitable for your skin type. People with oily skin may need to use different products from those with dry or sensitive skin.

Body Care For Dry Skin

For those with dry skin, it is important to keep hydrated. This means drinking plenty of water, as well as using a good moisturizer on the skin each day. It is also important to use products that are specifically designed for dry skin, such as body washes and soaps that contain natural oils and hydrating ingredients. It is also important to avoid hot baths and showers, as this can strip away the skin’s natural oils.

Body Care For Oily Skin

People with oily skin may need to use a different body care routine than those with dry skin. It is important to avoid products that are too harsh or drying, as this can lead to an overproduction of oil. Instead, look for products that are specifically tailored to oily skin. It can also be helpful to use a toner, which is a product that helps to balance out the oils in the skin.

Body Care For Combination Skin

Combination skin types require different care than either dry or oily skin. The key is to find the right balance between hydration and oil control. It is important to use products that are designed for combination skin, such as gentle cleansers and moisturizers. Additionally, it can be helpful to use a clay mask once or twice a week to help draw out excess oils without drying out the skin.

Troubleshooting Skin Problems

If you are having any issues with your skin, it is important to address them as soon as possible. If you have dry or oily patches that won’t go away, consider switching up your products and routine. It can also be helpful to try natural remedies such as aloe vera gel or honey masks to soothe the skin. If you are still struggling with skin problems, it is important to talk to a dermatologist in order to get the best advice.

In conclusion, developing a body care routine that works for your skin type is essential in keeping your skin healthy and looking its best. Dry, oily, or combination types should all follow different routines in order to ensure adequate hydration and oil control. If you are having any skin issues, it is important to address them quickly in order to prevent further damage. Finally, if the problem persists, it is important to talk to a dermatologist for advice. With the right care, your skin can look and feel its best all year round!

Why Self Storage Is Useful for Your Property and Personal Belongings?

Posted on 7th December 2022

Self-storage facilities are great for people who need to store their belongings temporarily or long-term. There are many reasons someone might need to use a self-storage unit, and it can be very beneficial for personal and business purposes. In this blog post, we will explore some of the main reasons why self-storage is so useful and discuss the benefits that come with using it!

It Comes In Handy When Moving

Self-storage can come in handy when moving. It allows you to store your belongings while you are in the process of finding a new home or apartment, and it can also provide a safe place to keep items that will not fit into your new residence. This storage unit for your belongings is an excellent solution for anyone who needs to move but does not have the necessary space in their new home. Using a self-storage unit ensures that your items are safe, secure, and accessible whenever you need them. Plus, it is much more affordable than hiring professional movers or renting a truck to move all of your belongings yourself!  Self-storage can be used for short-term or long-term storage, so it is the perfect solution for anyone looking to move.  

It Is Ideal For Businesses

Self-storage is also ideal for businesses needing extra inventory or equipment space. Business owners can store items like furniture and office supplies without the worry of them taking up too much valuable space in the workplace. Access to self-storage also grants businesses the opportunity to have a place to store extra inventory or items that have been returned, helping them keep their products organized and easily accessible. This allows business owners to focus more on running their operations instead of worrying about where they can store their materials. Self-storage can be an excellent solution for businesses looking to declutter their space or store items successfully.

Expanding Your Property

A self-storage is an excellent option for anyone looking to expand their property without having to purchase or rent additional space. Whether you need more room for your vehicle, extra furniture, seasonal decorations, or business inventory and tools, self-storage can provide the temporary space you need. 

Not only does it free up room in your home or business but it also provides an extra layer of security for your belongings as most facilities have security measures such as digital cameras, alarmed units, and gated access. Self-storage is a great way to protect your personal possessions and property from theft or damage. 

Additionally, renting a self-storage unit can be more cost-effective than renting additional space. With various sizes to choose from, you can rent the perfect size unit to suit your needs. Self-storage is convenient, flexible, and secure – making it a great option for anyone looking to expand their property without breaking the bank.

In conclusion, self-storage is an excellent solution for anyone who needs extra space for their belongings or property. It can be used for both personal and business purposes, allowing users to declutter their homes or store items securely. Self-storage units also provide a safe and secure place to store your items and are much more affordable than renting additional space. Whether you need to move, expand your property, or store items for business purposes, self-storage is an excellent option that can benefit you in many ways.

5 Makeover Ideas To Transform Your Garage

Posted on 7th December 2022

Gone are the days when the garage of a home only serves solely as a car park. Now, if you see celebrity homes and other properties posted on social media and other platforms, you’ll see that there are actually a lot of great uses for garages. If you’re thinking of maximising this space, it’s time to give your garage a makeover. 

Simple refreshes and updates in your garage won’t cause you to break the bank. There are simple ways that you can do to uplift its appearance and functions instantly. No matter what purpose you’d like your garage to have, there are partial to complete renovation projects that allow you to transform your garage. 

To get you a head start, here are some excellent ideas to transform your garage. 

1. Refresh Garage Door 

The entryway of your garage is one of the most special parts contributing to your home’s curb appeal and aesthetics. Therefore, it makes sense to invest in a sturdy garage door. If your old doors are no longer functional, search for garage upgrades and accessories that you can find from reputable garage door specialists and contractors.  

Garage doors can make your garage look outdated and easy to break into if you haven’t given them much thought. It’s time to invest enough money and refresh your garage doors. You can improve the interior of your garage with this project, and it’s one of the best home improvement projects that can also boost your home value. 

When looking for the best garage door, prioritise its material type, design, and quality. Carefully inspect the garage door before having them installed by a professional. There should be proper insulation underneath and on the sides of the door if there are any gaps. If you’re going for smart, automated doors, ensure to check their mechanical features, such as remotes and locks. Finally, consider the doors’ exterior paint to make them long-lasting and weather-resistant.

2. Invest In Storage Cabinets 

It’s likely that you already have cabinets for storage in your old garage. It’s a common tendency for most properties. However, the problem is they might be over-cluttered if you fail to keep them organised and neat. There may also be issues about not having enough storage solutions. To solve this issue, it’s time to invest in additional storage. You can also apply some space-making hacks at home to maximize what you have. 

There are ways to do this step. You can either invest in new storage solutions like cabinets and drawers installed in the garage or upcycle and recycle old ones to give them more uses and save them from going out to rubbish and landfills. If you go for the latter, there are many ways to keep these old cabinets looking brand-new again. With some DIY and craft skills, you can have beautiful storage cabinets in the garage. 

3. Incorporate A Pantry 

If your kitchen has limited space, and you’re unable to store much of your food and ingredients stocks, one best way is to extend a pantry in your garage. Thus, it’s a wonderful idea to store your non-perishable goods. If your garage has enough space, you can install shelves and an extra fridge to store all your goodies.  

Install storage shelves and cabinets in your garage for canned goods and other preserved snacks. All your favourite pantry staples will be within reach in the garage, so your kitchen doesn’t have to look crowded and cluttered. 

4. Turn It Into A Fitness Gym 

There’s more to garages than parking cars and storing extra belongings. In fact, one common trend for homeowners today is to turn a portion of the garage into a fitness gym. Why do you need to subscribe monthly to commercial gyms when you can have your own at home? With minimal investment and some design, you can create a fully functional gym indoors, so you can continue sweating and working out all year long.

Many easy and cost-effective ways to design a personal gym at home exist. For instance, you can invest in the best home gym floors to make your floor workouts more comfortable and safer. You can also attach some overhead racks and floor cabinets to store your exercise gear and equipment. Consider investing in a heater to make it warm and comfortable to work out during winter. 

5. A Work Bench 

For handypersons and crafty household members, you’d want a space you can call your own. You can create and work on different projects by having a workstation in the garage. And in there, a workbench can make a big difference in helping you use space better. Garage projects requiring handy work, such as woodworking, can be completedeasily. Therefore, invest in a modular workbench so you can use it for multiple purposes. 


With these beginner-friendly garage makeover ideas, you can add beauty and order to your garage. Whether you do it yourself or hire professionals, these great garage ideas can easily transform into something more than it already is. Hopefully, you can apply the tips mentioned in this article to give more function and life to your garage space.

Driven By Efficiency

For businesses looking to elevate themselves in any area, they must completely understand their clients’ demands as well as how to meet them. Consulting businesses must find their feet in this extremely competitive industry and Hahnelt Consulting has done just that – and beyond. Here we learn more from CFO, Michael Hahnelt, as it wins the prestigious award of Leading Private Equity Post-Merger Consultancy of the Year 2022 – Germany.

Michael Hahnelt founded Hahnelt Consulting and, as CFO in the board and management position, he brings 34 years of international operational experience – and 20 of which are from the process-oriented automotive supply industry.

Today, thanks to his leadership, Hahnelt Consulting stands for qualified management consulting and interim management – from concept development to implementation. Driven by ensuring efficient commercial structures, the firm strengthens the competitiveness of its SME clients sustainably – from the short-term individual measures increasing efficiency through the long-term interim projects, e.g., the assumption of a mandate as managing director or CFO.

After all, in the current business market, recognizing and implementing optimization approaches is one of the key competencies for increasing the value and competitiveness of medium-sized companies.

To develop a company’s success that is clearly recognizable in just a few months, the practice-oriented view of numbers, facts and strategies is of key importance: the targeted, rapid realization of all necessary measures.

With its expertise in finance, business processes, and knowledge gained from around 35 years of international work experience, at top-level addresses in small and medium-sized manufacturing, Hahnelt Consulting works alongside their clients to realize their goals.

Together, the teamwork towards success for their clients, which in turn leads to success for Hahnelt Consulting. Due to this high production affinity, Hahnelt Consulting is remarkably familiar with the success factors of production companies. Many years of best practice experience guarantee that its clients enjoy the benefit of the firm’s eye for the essentials of their corporate affairs.

The firm’s projects differ in their scope of securing commercial functions and CFO services in post-merger activities, at PE portfolio companies, increasing efficiency and operational realignment. The transitions are often fluid and change during the project. Implementation takes place through interim management. Hahnelt Consulting’s focus on excellence drives the team to success. 

Specialist and management functions as a member of the board and shareholders, as well as awards as CFO Award for Excellence stand for international professionalism in finance, accounting, controlling, materials management, IT, supply chain, and production planning. 

As a consultant and implementer, Hahnelt Consulting is a business partner of private equity companies but also of independent SME companies. The firm’s vast team of interim managers is the perfect interface between the SMEs and the private equity world.

Interim managers may be involved in all phases of a business cycle, such as business start-up, growth phase, stabilization, stagnation and working in a crisis and on its potential impact.

In almost all these entrepreneurial phases, reorganizations, restructurings, realignments, mergers, splits, changes of shareholders, purchases, and sales or partial sales of companies lays a result. Due to their mostly international activities, interim managers speak several languages and are familiar with diverse cultures, which makes them so attractive to many companies.

That is why the private equity firm often uses the right specialist for the company and its situation: reorganizer, M & A or post-merger integration (PMI) expert and generalist. The prerequisite for a successful implementation of the task in cooperation with the company, the PEG, its management team and the interim manager is a detailed analysis of the current company situation. This is an essential aspect of the “positive chemistry” between the participants.

Using interim managers in these situations can support the participants in their projects and be a major success factor. Once the appropriate decision-makers have experienced a successful interim assignment, other tasks are often assigned to the interim manager in addition. The enormous treasure of experience of a carefully designed interim manager from Hahnelt Consulting can cover all management tasks of an organization and master challenges.

Overall, Hahnelt Consulting manages projects in various branches of industry and penetrates deeply into every task, and this will remain the firm’s focus as it looks towards a bright and exciting future.

For business enquiries, contact Hahnelt Consulting on their website –

Address: Aschaffenburg, Germany

Higher Bond Yields Can Be Fundamental to a Recession Investing Playbook

How we’re thinking about investing against a backdrop of inflation uncertainty, geopolitical tension, and likely recession.

By Marc Seidner, CIO Non-traditional Strategies at PIMCO

Investors who have already endured one of the most challenging years ever must now confront the question of how to invest when the U.S. and other major economies may be headed toward a recession. While financial market volatility is likely to persist, we believe the case for bonds is stronger than it has been in years, bolstered by significantly higher starting yields and bonds’ strong track record during economic downturns.

Bond yields have risen sharply in 2022 as the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks have hiked interest rates in an effort to tame inflation. Historically, starting yields have had a powerful correlation with bond returns, and today’s yields may offer investors both improved opportunities for income generation as well as greater downside cushion. The especially pronounced rise in shorter-dated bond yields means investors can find attractive coupons without taking on the greater interest rate risk inherent in longer-duration bonds.

Amid the current environment of inflation uncertainty, geopolitical risk, and potential economic contraction, we explore some reasons why bonds could offer better value compared with equities or cash.

1) Recession appears likely

A recession involves a significant, widespread decline in economic activity that lasts more than a few months, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Recessions are typically characterized by decreases in productivity, business profitability, and spending by both businesses and consumers, with the latter notable given consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), according to Fed data. (For details, please see our recent publication, “Recessions: What Investors Need to Know.”)

As the Fed, the European Central Bank, and the Bank of England continue to pursue contractionary monetary policy, we now view a shallow, mild-to-moderate recession as our base case in the U.S. and other large developed markets such as the euro area and the U.K. There is risk that these downturns could be steeper.

The first half of a recession is typically marked by a decline in economic activity from a late-cycle peak. During this phase, core bond returns (i.e., U.S. Treasuries and investment grade securities) have historically been positive, while returns for high yield bonds, equities, and commodities have typically been negative.

2) Outlook for equities is uncertain

Following losses in 2022, major stock indices may face further difficulties into next year if early recessionary headwinds gather force, as illustrated in the chart above. Continued concerns about inflation, and whether policy tightening may lead to or accelerate a downturn, could challenge equity markets in the coming months, with potential downside risks to corporate earnings estimates and margin expectations. We still see downside risk to the S&P 500 and other key equity indices from current levels (for more on our views on equities, see our latest Asset Allocation Outlook, “Risk-Off, Yield-On”).

3) Improved opportunities in bonds

While the outlook for other investments appears clouded, bonds look more attractive than they have in years, especially for income-seeking investors, given the broad repricing in 2022.

For example, the yield on the two-year U.S. Treasury note, which was just above 0.7% at the start of 2022, was about 4.5% in late November. That creates an incentive to stay invested in the market, and a platform to seek attractive income even in low-risk, short-dated government bonds.

Investors can then look to augment that yield – without taking on substantial credit or interest rate risk – by venturing into other high-quality areas of public fixed income markets. Sectors that we currently find attractive include municipal bonds (specifically for U.S. investors), U.S. agency mortgage-backed securities, and the debt of banks and companies with strong investment grade credit ratings. U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) also offer a means of hedging against inflationary risks. Other areas we like include structured credit, which in some cases has been trading at historically cheap levels, and short-dated credit, which may offer attractive all-in yields.

Although yields could still rise further, we think the steepest part of the increase may be behind us. Bonds are poised to offer increasingly attractive real – or inflation-adjusted – yields if central banks are able to get inflation back closer to their target levels over the next couple of years. Furthermore, bonds may reassert their traditional role as a source of portfolio diversification if a slowing economy causes equities to slump, potentially smoothing the ride for investors.

We still expect volatility to persist across markets through year-end and potentially into 2023. But with the attractive valuations and higher yields available across fixed income sectors today, investors who have been struggling just to play defense this year may have increasing cause for optimism.

4 Strategies Companies Use To Maximise Wealth

Businesses, like individuals, maximise their wealth through wise investment and productivity. In this regard, it seems all shareholders need a satisfactory rate of return on their investment while also having it adequately safeguarded. As a crucial factor in every business, wealth maximisation caters to these objectives. Therefore, to optimise the price of a company’s common stock, businesses must evaluate the risks and time associated with the predicted earnings per share. If properly executed, the company will have maximized its stockholders’ capital gains and future dividend streams. It’s worth noting that a company that maximises its profits ensures its long-term survival.

Risks are an inevitable part of any business operation. Although it’s impossible to eliminate, it can be addressed by careful management to prevent financial loss. Remember that wealth creation can only occur when financial risks are identified and handled correctly. That’s why investing in the best CFO consulting services is crucial to help you organize your company’s finances.

That said, here are common strategies used by companies to maximise wealth:

1. Build Credit

Credit can be an invaluable tool to build wealth if utilised well. You can leverage a good credit score to negotiate favourable interest rates and access to higher funding. Typically, planned intentional borrowing can enhance a company’s reputation when the company requires funds. You can use it to access more significant amounts at competitive interest rates from lenders. In addition, companies with good credit scores can use their access to higher capital to finance a larger expansion, enabling them to create more wealth. For instance, a company with a good credit score can be funded by a bank to purchase a property. Due to the favourable repayment terms, the company can return the loan in instalments. When they repay the loan, the property will have appreciated beyond the investment value.

Remember that by paying due accounts on time and having a reasonable number of open accounts are guaranteed ways to boost your company’s credit limits and score.

2. Maximise Investments

Wealth maximisation requires strategic planning. Companies owe their shareholders a duty to act in their best interests regarding their investments, regardless of whether the company is family-owned or not. Remember that protecting wealth is equally important as making it. In a family-owned business, there should always be a family wealth plan to ensure that the business continues even after its founders are gone. 

Most businesses’ long-term investments are in low-risk, conservative assets, such as mutual funds, real estate, and insurance products. One of the ways investment organizations maximise income is by investing in real estate investment trusts (REITs), where units invested are represented by shares. REITs enable companies to increase their cash flow while diversifying risk.

3. Use Retained Earnings

Companies use retained earnings to fund their growth. Since the money being spent is already earned, it doesn’t add to their debt or reduce profits through interest payments. Funding growth through this strategy enables companies to be in total control when deciding how much will be invested in growth activities. This way, they get to grow their investment portfolio, which in turn benefits their shareholders.

Putting a percentage of retained revenues into interest-bearing accounts is a time-honoured method for corporations to increase their wealth. It’s uncommon for firms to have idle funds. They invest a portion of their revenues in interest-bearing accounts that grow progressively over time.

4. Increase Shareholders’ Wealth

One of the main goals of a company is to increase its shareholders’ wealth. An increase in share price directly affects a company’s positioning, strategy, growth, and profits. As the stock prices rise, the company’s value increases, and so does the shareholders’ wealth. While some shareholders seek to profit from the timely sale of their stocks, others choose to hold them for the long term and receive dividends.

To achieve these objectives for their shareholders, business uses critical investment metrics that enable them to make informed investment decisions. These metrics enable them to invest wisely, thus raising earnings per share, boosting stock values, and increasing dividend payments.


Wealth management is not only about managing money; it also involves strategic planning. A company can only maximise its wealth if it performs a thorough analysis of the cash flows connected with future investments to ensure that it invests wisely.

To maximise wealth, businesses invest in projects with high investment return potential. This is beneficial to the shareholders and also increases the company’s resources. Even though you may not immediately realise benefits, sound management decisions guarantee positive returns.

Outdoor Life: Make The Garden Your New Living Space

Posted on 7th December 2022

The change in your living space that you are looking for may be staring you in the face from the kitchen window. Outdoor spaces go chronically underused. They are a high-value area of any property, but we do not invest much of our time, our money, or ourselves in the space.

For the spring and summer months, and even all year round, the garden can provide a functional space to live in that is also a beautiful place to be. Here is a collection of top tips that can help you turn your outdoor spaces into new living rooms. Take charge of the outdoors, get these spaces to work with you, and make your house more of a home.

Create An Outdoor Lounge Space

On a beautiful day of blue skies and warm sunshine, there is nowhere better to be than an English country garden. To create a lounge space for spring and summer days, you are going to need some furniture to relax on. This will help you to define the space and give it utility. Check out a vidaXL garden lounge set for the perfect example of what you need in an outdoor lounging area.

Add some homely accessories as finishing touches. Decorate the seating with cushions and throws. Hang some pictures or a mirror on an adjacent wall or fence. A mirror can be used to bounce light to illuminate a dark corner. For a finishing touch, why not add a rug? Use colour coordination and pattern to bring things together but go for light and pastel shades. Think beach chic when choosing your scheme.

Set The Stage

If you haven’t got a flat and stable area in the garden to lounge in, you are going to run into trouble. Decking is a great all-weather, year-round choice for usable space that is preferably connected to the back door. This makes eating alfresco easy, and you can quickly grab your soft furnishings and run inside if there is a sudden downpour.

You can lay decking over a weekend yourself, even with minimum DIY experience and basic power tools. Paying a professional to do the job for you is a fairly inexpensive option, especially if you would have to buy some tools. When you are plotting your decking area, take note of the amount of light it gets through the day. A little tweak to its position could get you an extra hour or two of sunshine.

Make The Space Multi-Use

To get value for money from your investment in the outdoors you need to get as much use from the space as possible. By mixing the space up with some vidaXL patio furniture, you can bring extra seating, storage, and utility to the space. Cupboards, tables, and sideboards are all incredibly useful for alfresco dining. Having somewhere to keep plates, cutlery, serving dishes, and drinks will help you to get more from your outdoor living room.

If you want an outdoor play area for the kids, weather-friendly storage gives you somewhere they can tidy their toys away. The simple addition of some storage options gives the space something more and creates opportunities for you to make use of the area. Stay away from plastics and opt for natural materials like wood.

Cooking, Heating, And Lighting

Outdoor lounging leads to eating, and then to cooking. That is the path outdoor living enthusiasts normally follow. Not long after you get started, you will begin to find more reasons to live outside and enjoy the fresh air. Adding an outdoor cooking spot is easy if you are satisfied with a simple barbeque, but what if you want more options?

Fire pits can double as a spot to toast marshmallows and bread. Other than spit-roasting a pig or rotisserie chickens, you cannot do much more with them. They are great for warmth in the late evening. Use them for heating, but for cooking, you need something more robust. Outdoor pizza ovens are perfect for the job and can do more than just pizza. Jacket potatoes, roasted vegetables, roasted meats, you can cook a full Sunday lunch outside with a big enough pizza oven.

Add Water To Add Tranquillity

If you want to create a more peaceful space, just add water. The sound of a water feature is incredibly relaxing. For a chill-out spot right outside your back door, consider adding a fountain or a small pond with a babbling and bubbling water source. The sight, sounds, and reflections from the surface will bring an air of tranquillity to your outdoor living space.

You can install a water feature in less than a day, which helps to keep down costs. The ultimate water feature is perhaps a hot tub, though they require a significant investment. Not only do you need a tub and the water supply to feed it but you also need an adjoining space to dry off, change, or take cover from the weather. Fountains are the simplest choice and are easy to install. All-in-one sets come complete with the pump installed, just connect to a water feed or hose.

Get more from your garden and make it a part of your daily life. You may have lots of space you are not using, waiting for you to make it your new living room. With a platform to build on you have plenty of options open to turn your outdoor space into the centrepiece of your home.

Asia’s Fashion Industry Looks to New Strategies to Overcome Pandemic Impacts


Business-friendly policies, and the transition to greater use of e-commerce and on-demand production, are key to helping Asia’s small and medium-sized fashion companies bounce back from the pandemic. 

The fashion industry employs millions worldwide, from artists and models to dressmakers, merchandisers, and many more. However, it has also been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as the majority of the work in the sector is carried out by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Although SMEs hold the largest proportion of the market in developing economies, they tend to have limited reliable safety nets and make little to no net revenue in their first 4–6 months of business. Many are also not fully prepared for digitalisation, which can create a communication gap between consumers and producers.

These combined factors pose serious risk for the labour force that relies on the clothing industry in Asian countries such as the People’s Republic of China and Bangladesh, the world’s leading clothing producers. Ready-to-wear apparel comprised 84% of Bangladesh’s total exports in 2019, highlighting the economy’s vulnerability to a deterioration in manufacturing. According to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the country suffered over $3 billion in losses from order cancellations and suspensions in 2020 alone, impacting the livelihoods of 2.28 million workers and leaving 4.1 million fashion-related workers unemployed.

A study conducted by Penn State’s Center for Global Workers also found that more than 72% of original purchasers declined making the full payments for raw materials (such as cloth) that were already bought by producers.

Fashion merchandise vendors and supply chains have also suffered, especially within the luxury fashion industry, which lost around $43 billion worldwide in 2021, and the figure could be even higher when accounting for minor brands. The Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks lost revenue when Chinese fashion houses were unable to attend due to the pandemic restrictions in 2020. Despite these circumstances, big fashion names began taking new approaches by utilising digitalisation—Shanghai Fashion Week pioneered a fully digital experience, and the same approach was followed at London Fashion Week.

However, this new reliance on digitalization has led to the emergence of a wide digital gap due to the lack of digitalisation among SME brands. By April 2020, daily visitors to 100 major fashion brands in Europe collectively increased by 45% through the online platform, creating opportunities to cut advertising and other publicity.

But while most major brands have websites, most smaller ones do not. On average, new companies commence online commerce within 10–15 weeks, but it generally takes longer for SMEs in the fashion industry to expand their businesses online. This reality indicates the need to bridge the digital gap and promote mass digitization, especially in Asia.

E-commerce and on-demand production can be effective post-COVID-19 strategies for the fashion industry.

Recent data shows sharp increases in time spent by SMEs sending emails, using social media, and online shopping during the pandemic. This indicates the need for governments to support fashion SMEs in dealing with these changes and increased online commerce.

Governments in Asia should consider conducting capacity-building programs to help fashion SMEs establish an online presence, provide financial help for brands to speed up online logistics, and create a community where SMEs can collaborate.

Fashion brands can start adopting online platforms to engage with their current consumers and expand their customer base even if they are not currently online. Sending consumers relevant notifications or emails, adjusting their content using personalized algorithms, and constantly improving their services by listening to customers’ feedback can be vital tools for keeping businesses afloat.

Across the United States, Europe, and the People’s Republic of China, online shopping has continued to maintain a relatively high percentage since 2019. To improve sales volumes, fashion companies can combine the digital approach with greater human interaction to increase access by customers.

For example, in 2020, several Chinese fashion brands sent their customers QR codes that would connect them with sales representatives on the phone, mimicking offline shopping experiences. Similarly, in Latin America, companies used WhatsApp to promote their brands by signing customers up to group chats.

Another issue facing many fashion houses is supply chain disruption. The differences in the recovery speeds of the US, Japan, Western Europe, and the People’s Republic of China have been large. The four regions have bounced back to pre-pandemic demand since Q1 2021.

However, with large-scale worldwide travel restrictions, commodity exports have experienced challenges in production management, causing economic downturns in some economies and resulting in fewer purchases of fashion items while producing excess goods that very few can afford.

In response to this challenge of demand-supply mismatching, fashion brands should consider an on-demand production model and produce only the designs and amounts agreed upon with their customers. This model will improve business management and facilitate the transition to more ecological and financially sustainable production in the long run.

E-commerce and on-demand production can be effective post-COVID-19 strategies for the fashion industry, facilitating increased sales, reducing detrimental excesses, and promoting sustainable practices across multiple supply chains. SME fashion companies should leverage these strategies to reap the benefits and implement cost-efficient production.

These SMEs are usually not obligated to store massive amounts of clothing, so they can be more flexible and responsive with their business decisions—two important traits for competing in the digital era. Governments must do their part and ensure a smooth digital transition by introducing SME-friendly policies, such as technical and financial support, and collaborating with fashion brands to create a sustainable and long-term on-demand manufacturing model.

he fashion industry is thriving at the moment. Every year, this sector produces more than 100 – 150 billion items of clothing

What makes this industry so special is that it’s not concentrated in certain parts of the world. Rather, it’s flourishing on all continents. The Asian fashion industry is a prime example of this. Asia’s fashion market is expected to experience a growth of 8.96% in the next five years, which would lead to a market volume of over $641 billion by 2027.

Does It Make Sense To Start Your Own Fashion Boutique

Taking the plunge and starting a new business can be scary. However, starting your own boutique could be a great business venture to embark on in 2023. Fashion is a lucrative industry after all. 

A recent report from McKinsey shows that a lot of industry players are in a much better position now than they were during the pandemic. During 2020-21, the fashion sector experienced an increase of 21% in revenue.

This year, it’s estimated that revenue from the apparel market will exceed $1.7 trillion. So, there’s certainly a lot of money to be made in fashion!

Financial Tips Boutique Owners Need To Follow

Of course, a profitable business is never a guarantee. It requires hard work and determination. 

Organization Is Critical To Be Profitable

Simply throwing your receipts into a file won’t cut it. You need to set aside time every week to assess your numbers so you can stock inventory wisely and make intelligent business decisions. 

Aging Inventory Will Hold Your Cash Hostage

To build a profitable fashion boutique, it’s vital to turn products over at a quick rate. So, if your cash is tied up in a line of shoes that won’t sell, these shoes are holding your business hostage and preventing growth. 

You may think the obvious solution is to discount the products heavily. But wait. Start off by assessing how the products are presented. Maybe you could showcase the shoes with a new outfit? Sometimes, all you need is a new take on an old design. 

Blanket Sales Aren’t The Answer

You need to discount products with a strategy. Utilize slow-turning items as your loss leader to bring new visitors to your online store and fresh faces to your boutique. While they’re excited about an excellent deal, they’ll also locate add-on items they didn’t know you sold. 

Be Smart About Who You Target And Why

You must be clever about who you target and why you’re targeting them. Yes, it’s lovely to grow your new customer count or follower count. But most boutiques find that most of their revenue comes from a small section of their list. 

Of course, when you start a business, everyone is a new customer. However, you’ll soon build lists based on repeat purchasers and loyal brand advocates. Send them VIP emails or go the extra mile with personal text messages or phone calls. Do this, and they’ll always come to your brand first when they need fashion items.

Know Your Cost, Margins, And How To Set Prices

If your markups are low, you have a hobby, not a company. It’s as simple as that. You should be marketing up items at least 2.5 to 3 times. If your markup is less, how do you expect to thrive? 

You won’t be able to pay yourself, make future investments, or pay your employees when you grow

A price is a number we establish based on the margin or markup we require to cover our operating expenses, costs, and profit. Yes, we use math. But we also ask ourselves key questions. 

How much are other businesses selling this item for?

How much do you think the product will bring?

Furthermore, price is also the point whereby the perceived value of the item is greater than the perceived pain of the cost. So, the benefits of owning a new, stylish skirt outweigh the cost of paying for it. 

With Passion, There Can Be Profit!

You can jump into a thriving marketplace, but without a solid plan and the right execution, success is not guaranteed. Choose a business you feel passionate about, and this will ensure you have the drive needed to navigate the bumps in the road and ensure a profitable outcome. 

Make Platform Payments Your Superpower

Vertical market software is particularly niche, and it should be tailored to each business – as well as across every industry. From practice management to field service business software, property management to gym/fitness facility software, and non-profit/charity software or other verticals, Payrix has solutions that we can’t refuse. Here we explore its values and aims as it wins the exciting accolade of Best Mobile Commerce Solutions Provider – Southeast USA.

A great example of vertical market software is a point of sale (POS) system which is a combination of hardware and software that allows merchants to receive payments from customers, instantaneously – the communication between banks and payment processors is made possible by POS hardware and software.

There are many benefits to POS systems such as increased sales, better cash flow management, lower chances of theft, and customer convenience. When a customer buys things, they want the payment to go through instantly so that they may receive their goods right away.

Cash flow management is improved for businesses through POS systems because the money is usually transferred to the bank at the end of the working day. Alongside this, these electronic payments are easy to account for and resolve. As a bonus, since the reconciliation process can be automated, costs for businesses can be lowered.

Customer convenience plays a huge part in the benefits of POS systems as they wish to carry less cash. Also, by offering great POS systems, businesses can actually make more money as customers impulsively buy more. The ROI of the company then skyrockets as a result of this.

Also, a plethora of businesses are more likely to suffer theft and, therefore, it is great for them to be able to reduce the presence of cash on the premises. In the same vein, companies can save a substantial amount of money from security services by using POS systems, as there is less cash around. Also, when money is transferred electronically, we can guarantee less spread of viruses such as Covid-19 that has rippled throughout the world.

Introducing Payrix, we take a moment to look at how it is changing the world of mobile commerce solutions for intricate and innovative POS software. As a dedicated and intelligent team of payments and software experts, Payrix offers vertical software companies with a full-service platform where they can grow their business for the long run. This passion for easy payments to transmogrify a business puts Payrix in good stead, increases its success, and nurtures its network of business cooperation.

Payrix is on a mission to be the preeminent provider of embedded payment solutions for software businesses who want to monetize their platforms and eliminate friction. It’s why we combine expertise, quality and innovation with a flexible, all-in-one platform to empower our clients to focus on growth and pursuing their passion.

With strong ethics and values, Payrix lives by its desire to support its customers in a sustainable and fair way. With its product roadmap and customer experience entwined, Payrix “can unleash our possibilities”. Guaranteeing a streamlined service, and relationships that are nurtured from the beginning, Payrix has a surplus of customer and hiring experience that has allowed it to flourish.

Its values are integrity and accountability, client experience, innovation, continuous improvement, and teamwork – all of which have boosted it forward in the competitive industry. Staying true to its word and by being committed to its customers, Payrix is clear, honest, and understanding. In this way, Payrix is flourishing from all of the connections it has made – and kept – over its time.

Building solid relationships with its clients is the number one priority for such a provider. Always searching for ways to perfect and innovate its products, it empowers its customers and constructs a relationship that will stand the test of time. Not only this, but Payrix is devoted to sustaining the relationships within its team. Working side by side, the entire team have compassion for one another – and the end results truly show it.

Payrix ensures green to fuel growth, property management software, higher growth and returns, simplified processes, and much more. For example, field service business software can hugely benefit from Payrix’s solutions. Due to the fact that Payrix has the perfect set up to allow quick payments with simple billing and fee models, and better maintenance, a field service business can get paid via web, mobile, or ACH.

As a new vertical software platform supporting a plethora of industries and services, Payrix promises – and delivers – the best user experience possible. This is due to the launch of its product with an embedded payment solution that is compatible with all different payment types. Payrix knows that it is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution – which is exactly why it tailors its services to fit each business, never-mind each varying industry.

Dealing with underwriting, risk, and liability processes, Payrix analyses data so that its customers can have peace of mind and the smoothest experience. Manually and automatically collecting data is no small feat, however, Payrix has solutions that make it all swift and successful every time. This analysis contributed towards risk management of any business, and allows for breathing space when it comes to compliance regulations.

Charities can also hugely benefit from Payrix’s aid as it helps registered payment facilitators to switch over to a single platform for all of their payments needs. By doing so, each charity can severely reduce the costs of multiple software tools and vendors whilst keeping the same user experience throughout every service.

For the future, Payrix is going to become a giant in its industry, spreading around the world at a quick and unstoppable rate. It is already well on its way to this. The possibilities are endless with Payrix as it continues to invent easier and more effective solutions, and this is exactly why Payrix has won Best Mobile Commerce Solutions Provider – Southeast USA. We look forward to seeing what it does next.

For business enquiries, contact Billie-Anna Maher from Payrix on their website –

People Power!

In today’s world, organisations need to act with purpose and with high impact as much as possible. Erika Giorgana is Humand CEO & Founder, as well as a passionate believer in the power of people and the impact they can have on businesses. Named CEO of the Year, 2022 – London, the United Kingdom, by the team at CEO Monthly, we thought it was the right time to catch up with Erika to uncover more.

Founded just five years ago, Humand had already managed to establish itself as a leading player, especially when companies are looking for people who can revolutionise the way they work. Businesses will need to find ways of becoming simpler, faster, and more flexible, and achieving this will require the right people in the right positions. Big companies struggle because they cannot always provide a boutique service – one perfectly matched to the needs of the business. That’s where Humand thrives.

Humand offers a way of achieving large-scale business transformation, leveraging digitalisation and agility to help organisations from every industry and of any size to reconfigure their operating models. For them, however, it’s not the technology that is most important to achieving success. It’s the people. That’s the secret that has allowed its CEO & Founder, Erika Giorgana, to thrive in an immensely competitive sector.

Erika has overseen growth at a tremendous rate whilst at Humand, building on her own deep experience at the frontline of organisational agility. Her strength of purpose has seen her partner up with many passionate leaders, all of whom are thinking towards the future of what business can and will be. “We are consultants, but we have a strong ‘why’, behind everything that we do,” Erika explains. “Our Purpose is to mobilize organizations into Purposeful and High-Impact Human systems. At Humand, “we sell what we do.”

Since opening the company’s doors, Erika has managed to build an incredible team of experts around her who not only share her dream, but have her passion for the field. “We collaborate, experiment, innovate, and deliver value at speed,” she says with a smile. “We are not just advisors – we work hand in hand with our client’s transformation teams to make what they believe is almost impossible, possible.”

Erika doesn’t just offer empty words when it comes to growth. She applies the same techniques to her clients as she does to her own company. Whilst the big firms such as McKinsey, BCG, and Bain bring their own reputations and brand recognition to the table, she has immense experience on her side, not just on how to support these businesses, but on how to support her own staff.

These thoughts have very much guided her approach to running her own business. “I believe top-down leadership is outdated, and, more importantly, counterproductive,” she tells us. “Unfortunately, there are still too many organisations and leaders that haven’t realised that by focusing too much on profit and end goals, and not on people, whether it’s employees or consumers, they are making it more difficult to achieve their own desired outcomes.”

In Erika’s experience, leadership has to change in order to ensure that businesses are able to thrive in an ever-changing world. “A leader’s main responsibility is to help people feel purposeful, motivated, and energised so they can bring their best selves to work,” she tells us. “It is not easy to achieve this. It takes hard work and new mindset. Every day I try to do my best to be a servant leader, to be humble and to do everything that is in my hands to help the people from my team grow as human beings, providing tangible and emotional support as they do so.”

As a result, Humand has been able to develop a team atmosphere where anyone and everyone feels welcome to contribute to the group. Instead of everyone being siloed into specific tasks, the company structure builds on each person’s strengths and accepts their weaknesses. “At Humand, we’ve realised that we can’t transform businesses and provide a world class experience without talented and passionate people,” Erika explains. “Once we find the best talent, we make sure we give them the freedom and foundation to shine at their brightest.”

This structure has allowed the team to make quicker decisions better than many other consultancies. There are no hierarchies, with the business built around multiple empowered teams. Each is responsible for specific clients, with the ability to set their own objectives, key results and backlog. These small but powerful teams are multidisciplinary, meaning that a mix of skills is always on hand. Working in this agile fashion has allowed Humand to support clients through varying challenges with a consistent degree of success. “This, I believe, creates an atmosphere that encourages everyone to be themselves and be at their best,” Erika tells us. The results certainly speak to this sterling effort.

The challenge for Erika, however, remains finding top talent to support her and the team she has been proud to build. “For us finding the right skills is super important, but not everything,” she explains. “We also need people who match our values, vision, and, most importantly, our purpose. If there’s anything the last few years has taught us is, it’s that skills are important, but people who share your vision and are aligned to your purpose can not only grow within the organisation but grow the organisation. So, finding the combination of the two is our biggest challenge.”

Whilst it’s clear that people are at the heart of Humand, technology has an increasingly important role to play. “During the past three years, at Humand, we have been experimenting with more technology-heavy offerings,” Erika tells us. “One of our most important has been the development of an online tool that allows our customers make their agile people ecosystem come to life. Our platform helps companies create agile HR processes and build responsive teams through a skill-based approach.” Development of this exciting idea is still ongoing, with 2023 seeing the launch of a new and improved version of this platform. For Erika, her team, and her clients, it’s certain to be a gamechanger!

Looking forward, Erika plans to continue on a path of pushing into bold new territory and exploring brave new ways of working. “If I assume that my experience of the last 16 years is what’s going to help me be successful in the next few, I would be very wrong!” she laughs. “I know that what got me here will not necessarily get me there. So, my plans for the future are basically focused on listening to our clients’ needs, and continuing to innovate and learn new skills.”

For business enquiries, contact Erika Giorgana – Humand CEO & Founder/ from Humand via email –  [email protected] or on their website –

This Is How You Can Winterproof Your Small Business

As a business owner, the whole week can be flipped upside down checking the weather forecast to see if the local area has a dreaded amber or red weather warning approaching. 

David Woodfield, Insurance Director at Business comparison site Bionic, has put together a checklist to prepare for the uncertain British winter. Whether it’s upcoming storms, floods, high winds, snow, or ice, here’s how small business owners can protect themselves over the next few months.

How to protect your business from storm damage

Fixing the damage caused by storm damage can cost a lot of time and money. The best way to protect your business from storm damage is to make sure everything on the building is as​ secure as it​ can be, so look out for the following:

  • Make sure all roof tiles are secure and any broken or loose ones are replaced.
  • Make sure all gutters are properly attached and any blockages are cleared.
  • Keep all external doors, windows and gates securely closed.
  • Secure all fences and fence posts and remove or secure all outdoor furniture/displays.

If high winds have been predicted in your area, then you should:  

  • Make sure staff vehicles or company cars or vans are parked away from any trees and are in a safe area.  
  • Make sure any company signs, outdoor seats, and basically anything that’s not fixed to the floor, are taken inside so they can’t be picked up by the winds and cause any damage.  

The UK is always hit with a cold snap, so it’s important to know what you can do to prepare and protect your business when things freeze over.  It has been estimated by business groups that the disruption caused by heavy snowfall will cost businesses £1 billion.

Here are some steps to help make sure your premises are protected against snow and ice: 

  • Make sure all internal and external pipes are insulated, especially in unheated areas like the attic or basement. You can insulate them with foam or rubber tubes, remember to check them regularly to avoid erosion damage.  
  • Clear any outside paths of obstacles and put all outside seating and plant pots away.  
  • Take note of where your internal stop tap is so you can turn off the water supply to the premises in an emergency.  
  • Make sure that any outside drains are unblocked as ice and snow will make the issue worse.  

How to protect your business from flooding

It might sound obvious, but the best way to protect from flooding is to make sure you have a robust business flood plan in place, for both the short and long term. In the short term, check the Environment Agency website and see if there are flood warnings in your area. It’s also worth taking a look at the live flood warning map – you should immediately start planning for the worst if you spy a warning near you.

If you’ve ever been the victim of flooding, then the odds are ​you’ll fall foul of floodwaters again at some point. So, it makes sense to put long-term plans in place to protect your business against future flooding.

  • Replace any downstairs carpets with sealed wood or ceramic tiles.
  • Fit any water entry points, including doors and airbricks, with flood skirts and use water-resistant sealant on doors, windows, and skirting boards.
  • Raise electrical sockets as high up the wall as possible.
  • Plaster walls with waterproof lime plaster and get a chemical damp-proof course.
  • Regularly check drains to make sure they’re clear from any blockages, which can exacerbate rising water levels, and fit one-way valves to pipes and water outlets so no water can flow back up them.

Emerald Cruises Expands 2023 Europe River Cruise Lineup

Additional Christmas Market and Douro River Sailings Now Available

Hollywood, FL – In response to increased demand from travelers looking to explore the rivers of Europe, Emerald Cruises has added four additional 2023 sailing dates to three of its most popular river cruise itineraries.

Two new dates have been added to Emerald Cruises’ Christmas cruise season, which takes guests to the charming Christmas markets and sparkling streets of European cities such as Budapest, Vienna and Cologne. The popular Douro River cruise season has also been extended, with two new dates inviting guests to enjoy the sights and tastes of Portugal into the autumn and the holiday seasons.

Christmas Markets and Yuletide Cheer

Visiting Christmas Markets is an ideal way to spend time experiencing the festive season in the heart of Europe, and two additional sailings have been added to the 2023 calendar to help guests explore: the eight-day Christmas Markets on the Rhine departing on December 16, 2023 and the eight-day Christmas Markets on the Danube departing on November 24, 2023.

The eight-day Christmas Markets on the Rhine Cruise between Basel and Amsterdam calls on some of Germany’s favorite markets in Cologne, Koblenz and Strasbourg in addition to Amsterdam, where guests can sip glühwein, sample traditional holiday treats and shop to their hearts content. Fares for the December 16, 2023 sailing start from $3,395 per person based on double occupancy.

The eight-day Christmas Markets on the Danube is a festive twist on Emerald Cruises’ classic itinerary. Visits to the Christmas markets in Vienna, Austria; Budapest, Hungary; Bratislava, Slovakia  and Regensburg, Germany offer guests the chance to experience the holidays across four different countries. Fares for the November 24, 2023 sailing start from $3,395 per person based on double occupancy.

Secrets of the Douro

Sailing roundtrip from Porto, the eight-day Secrets of the Douro itinerary is a must for river cruise lovers. The enchanting Douro valley lined with vineyards makes for incredible scenery while the included excursions such as a visit to an 18th century vineyard estate in beautiful Quinta do Tedo, a canoeing excursion in Régua, a guided tour of Salamanca and dinner at Quinta da Pacheca wine estate. Two new sailings have been added for the Secrets of the Douro, extending the season further into autumn to show off the valley in all its golden glory. Departing November 18 and 25, 2023, fares start at $3,695 per person based on double occupancy onboard Emerald Radiance.

Emerald Cruises offers a diverse lineup of river and yacht cruises on three continents. Emerald Azzurra, the line’s first ocean-going vessel which debuted in March 2022, is a 100-guest, luxury yacht sailing the warm waters of the Mediterranean, Adriatic and Red Seas, and new for the 2023/2024 season, the Caribbean & Central America. In November 2022, Emerald Azzurra was named Best New Luxury Ship in Cruise Critic’s 2022 Editors’ Picks Awards. Emerald Sakara will be the brand’s second luxury yacht and launches in 2023. On the rivers, Emerald Cruises sails eight branded Star-Ships in Europe and one on the Mekong. The brand offers innovatively designed ships, outstanding service and a focus on active shore excursions and onboard wellness offerings through their signature EmeraldACTIVE program. Emerald Cruises is part of Scenic Group, which includes Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Mayflower Cruises & Tours and Evergreen Tours in Australia.

Emerald Cruises can be found on Twitter at @emerald_cruises, on Facebook as EmeraldCruisesGlobal and on Instagram as

Additional information can be found by contacting your local travel advisor; on Emerald Cruises’ website,; or by calling the consumer/travel agent reservations line at 844-428-8389. Digital brochure downloads are available on the website.

Edge Ecosystems, 5G and Hybrid Cloud to Drive Infrastructure Change in 2023

If data is the fuel powering the global economy, then data centres are the backbone on which it sits. Despite economic slowdowns, the war in Eastern Europe, lockdowns in China and continued supply chain dislocations, the upward trend in cloud infrastructure and mobile connectivity has continued.

RAKEZ Supports Construction Industry Investors Set Up and Expand in the UAE

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) takes part in the Big 5 to help investors in the construction industry set up and expand their operations in the UAE. The economic zone’s participation underlines its commitment to the industry and reflects a world of opportunities for construction investors in the business haven of Ras Al Khaimah and the wider UAE.

Group CEO of RAKEZ, Ramy Jallad, said, “The construction industry in the UAE is projected to reach a value of more than USD 133 billion by 2027, according to the Global Data Report, which means that the prospects for companies and investors in the country’s construction supply chain are simply vast. And we aim to be at the forefront of this plan, helping stakeholders grow and expand into global markets.”

“RAKEZ has an ideal business ecosystem for investors in the diverse sectors of the construction industry. With us, an investor’s journey doesn’t end with company formation. Our support is available every step of the way, from liaising with government entities for securing relevant approvals at the initial stage to helping them connect with financial solution providers and the right suppliers within the industry on their onward journey,” he added.

The economic zone is already a fertile ground for hundreds of construction companies that chose RAKEZ as their base for growth. Steel fabrication and construction expert Fabcon Industrial Services is a prime example of a company that has benefitted from the RAKEZ business ecosystem. The firm’s General Manager, Binu Jacob, said, “We have consistently grown over the past 15 years, adding facilities and bringing projects from across the globe, thanks to RAKEZ for providing excellent support in terms of infrastructure and government interfaces, leaving us free to focus on the business.”

Along with Fabcon, many other companies are eager to benefit from the current and predicted growth in the industry. Ahmed Al Ghalayini, Project Manager, Rad Asphalt (a branch of Rad International Road Construction), said, “The UAE construction market is projected to grow more than 3% between 2023 and 2026, providing the contractors in the field the opportunity to thrive. The good news for companies who wish to utilise ecosystem business models, but otherwise lack the structures and maturity, is that there is RAKEZ, a growing body of leading companies, and an increasingly large workforce that understands the practical elements of building and operating an effective ecosystem function.”

Similarly, Fala Group Vice Chairman, Hani Ihsan Kurbaj added, “We set up Fala Asphalt Industry with RAKEZ in 2012 and our organisation has undergone a great deal of change since then. We got governmental infrastructural projects, hired more employees, welcomed diversity and gender balance in the workplace, and diversified our investments in the UAE and overseas. In all this, RAKEZ has been our supportive strategic partner understanding our needs and always working hand-in-hand with us. We are optimistic that if we continue like this, we can double our efforts to expand in the years to come.”

RAKEZ is one of the leaders spearheading growth in the construction sector actively supporting investors in their journeys. At the Big 5 International Building & Construction Show this year, the economic zone is extending its expertise and services for new as well as established companies that wish to expand their reach globally.

Optimising Heavy Equipment Hire: What You Need to Know

Posted on 6th December 2022

Hiring heavy equipment is costly and time consuming whether you are a construction company or an individual project. There is a process to be observed, and after securing the contract, it is essential that you get the most out of the equipment during the time it is with you. This post focuses on what you need to know about optimising your time with any heavy equipment hire so that you don’t lose out on essential outputs.

What You Need

If you’re not sure which heavy machinery option is best suited to your particular project, it is better to enquire with the experts to avoid spending money on an incorrect asset. To keep a construction zone running smoothly, the machinery you hire in has to fit the brief. Figure out what you need in exceptionally clear terms and use this as a sounding board for negotiations when you have shortlisted a few options to peruse.

Prepare the Turf

Regardless of which stage you bring in the heavy equipment, the project site has to be ready for it. There is little to no sense in bringing in the machinery just for it to sit dormant, therefore wasting time and money, while you then prep the site for use. So, well in advance of securing the contract, plan your space and get it ready for the machinery stage. This includes:

  • Informing any workers about what’s to come and helping them prepare
  • Clearing the area of anything that would impede task completion objectives
  • Acquiring the basics like PPE and zoning props
  • Completing any mandatory training well before the hiring day

Trust the Experts, Avoid the Scams

When searching for digger hire, or similar, the source company has to be reputable. If it turns out to be less than credible, for instance, not only is your whole project at risk but your health and safety will be too. Companies like Boels understand what you need, the most direct way to get the job done, and provide trustworthy equipment that you can rely on. Heavy machinery needs:

  • Regular maintenance schedules to check all the parts are doing as they should be
  • Frequent cleaning to remove debris and ensure a high-quality output
  • Parts inspections after a period of use
  • A person from the company on standby with any safety advice if necessary
  • There are lots of scam companies that exist to take your money while providing you with dodgy equipment that puts your life at risk and project too.
  • Be wary and steer clear of any corporation that has outdated material with little or no proof of maintenance history.

Furthermore, anywhere where there is no provided contract or stipulated safety protocol to follow.

Work within a Limit

Everything on earth has a limit, and heavy equipment machinery is not exempt from this. Though you might be tempted to push boundaries, it is advisable to avoid this at every stage. Why? Simply because, if you ask too much of the machine it will most likely malfunction and put everything in peril. You risk becoming injured or hurting someone close by and you open the door for the machinery becoming broken and therefore uprooting the whole project. Despite the desire to get things done quickly and as efficiently as possible, in this context, patience really is a virtue. Understand the limits and stick to the boundaries so you don’t risk everything and leave yourself liable for repair costs, hiring penalties, compensation claims or hospital stays.

Verify the Maintenance and Upgrade History

Always ask to see maintenance logs because it proves the machinery is up to date and safe. Safety is a clear concern when carrying out construction projects in any setting. Proper maintenance is the responsibility of the owner, and whoever is hiring it too. Though the more substantial jobs such as part replacement and upgrade modifications are always in the remit of the owner, other things like cleaning and observations should be carried out by the person currently using the machinery. These are tasks such as basic cleaning, dusting and debris removal to remove any danger of blockage and seizure.

Consider an Operator

Without comprehensive training, lots of equipment is inaccessible. Thankfully, there are options if you don’t want to spend time completing training hours and tasks. The easiest route is to find room in the budget for an equipment operator. Most reputable hiring firms will have a bunch of associated contractors that they also hire out to operate machinery. By taking this route, not only do you guarantee that everything will be done properly by a highly trained professional, but you save time as well and minimise potential mistakes being created by a novice user. It is also usually more convenient in general, as most firms that offer this option will provide operator and machine as a package deal that is taken away at the end of each day, therefore eliminating the need for you, the renter, to provide secure storage while not in use.

Ultimately, what you hire will depend on the task that needs doing. Regardless, it is something that demands time, money and space so it needs careful consideration in any context. This is not a decision to dive in headfirst without thinking it through. To really optimise your hire period, make sure every aspect you can prepare for, is prepared. Do the training, obtain the safety gear and keep the team up to date with any developments.

How To Promote and Ensure Physical Store Success Before Launch As a CEO

How To Promote and Ensure Physical Store Success Before Launch As a CEO

The success of a physical retail store is not just dependent on the quality of its products or services. It also depends on its management and marketing.

Generally, promoting a business is crucial since the success or failure of any business will rely heavily on how well it manages to attract steady customers.

There are many ways the management of such an undertaking will ensure the success of their physical store before launch.

In this article, we will explain some of the best practices for promoting your physical retail outlet before its launching to achieve optimum success for the business.

The importance of promotion in physical store launch

Publicity is primary in launching a physical store. As the owner or a business leader, you need to ensure that your store is well-promoted before it opens its doors to the public.

Promotion is an essential element to consider when selling your services or products to a consumer. The business is sure of long-term success as long as the strategy is well thought out and planned.

Still, what exactly is it about a promotion that makes it so important to your goal of a successful retail store launch?

It is crucial to the development of a unique brand

When it comes to launching a new retail brand, promotion is necessary. Creating a unique brand identity and using strategic marketing and advertising techniques will build excitement and anticipation for your new store.

With a well-executed promotional campaign, you will generate interest in the new brand, build an initial customer base, and separate yourself from your competition in the retail landscape.

It places your store on the map

The effect of this strategy on your brand is how it creates awareness around your retail store, especially by using media, which may include billboards and newspapers.

This gives your store a presence in the minds of your target customers, increasing inquiries about your retail store and its services.

It helps you reach a wider audience

Effective promotions make your customers more likely to spread the word about your retail store.

When they use your promotional notepads during work meetings or serve guests with your store’s promotional mug, they get word of your business without extra costs!

Launching a retail store requires promotion. When discussing its usefulness in creating unique brand identities, building brand awareness, and reaching a broader audience, we see the distinctive role promotions play.

However, as awesome as the idea of promotion is, there are other means to ensure success with retail store launches.

By implementing well-planned strategies, you will help your business achieve success in the long term.

Let’s see other best practices that will guarantee a successful retail store launch.

Five steps to package your store for success before launch

Learn more about your business before creating your business plan

Defining your goals is the first step to packaging your store for success. What do you hope to achieve with your store? With a clear plan, measuring your success and determining the steps you need to take to guarantee success will be easier.

You’ll need to research and understand how your business model operates. You also have the option of learning from other similar brands to get a clearer understanding of how the business works.

For example, if you plan to open a boutique store, you’ll need to learn from other boutique stores. Click here to learn more about how to start your boutique business.

Create a brand name

Creating a brand name for your retail store is a necessary process. It will help you take your business to the next level and give you a competitive advantage over other similar stores.

To create a brand name, you need to know what the name should be and what makes it unique. Here are some things to consider:

Target audience: Who will shop at your store? What are their needs? What are their values? Make sure your name targets this audience.

Market analysis: Is there already a store in the same category that has similar products or services? If so, what makes yours unique? If not, how do you differentiate yourself from competitors?

Brand strategy: Do you want to brand yourself as an upscale clothing boutique or a more casual one? Please clarify that you’re targeting people who love fashion but don’t want fussy clothes with high prices.

Find the right location with geospatial data platforms

Location is everything with retail stores. The right location will help you maximize your sales and minimize the risk of opening your doors for the first time. Collecting data on past visitors to your competitors’ locations will determine what type of customers are coming into your area.

Geographic information systems (GIS) are powerful tools that help you find the best retail locations.

Geospatial data platforms provide databases and information of all kinds of data, including real estate information, demographics, and more. Hence, retailers can quickly locate specific areas on maps and use them as reference points for future locations.

Research your competition

This is another important step to consider when launching a store. You need to know what they offer and how they compare to your store.

You should also check their social media presence to see if they have sponsored posts or special offers.

Once you have some basic information about the competition, you will use it to help improve your store.

For example, rethink your offerings if you notice that there are many locations nearby, and all of them sell similar products. Also, if one of your competitors offers free shipping on certain items, this may be an opportunity for you to offer free shipping.

Ensure a personalised experience for your customers

The retail industry is competitive. Most store owners aim to stand out in the crowd. A possible way to impress your customers and gain their loyalty is to provide a great customer experience through personalisation.

Customers expect a certain personalization from their favourite brands and retailers. Customer experience is critical as consumers get familiar with the products, services, and businesses they buy from.

They want to know more about what they’re buying, where it comes from, and how it will fit into their lives.

Customers want to feel like they’re getting the most out of their retail experience—even if it’s just a store visit.

Basic things to consider when starting a physical retail store

The target market

Your target market is the members of a demographic that your retail store needs to appeal to. For example, you plan to open a boutique that sells kids’ wear and school items. It is only natural‌ that your target demographic would include parents of young kids. It is essential to understand your target market before launching since the members of this demographic determine the number of sales for your business.

Capital required

Capital refers to all the financial assets and money you will require to start a business.

Your capital affects the quality of goods and services you will provide your customers. When you provide substandard services due to a low budget, you leave your customers unsatisfied, which is unhealthy for your store. As a new CEO, you have the option of partnering with other individuals to raise more capital.


We’ve mentioned competition and its importance to the successful launch of retail businesses. It’s almost only possible to thrive in any market by learning about your competition and their actions.

Unless your store location grants you a monopoly, surviving the market will only be possible with a grand strategy.

Store location

Where you decide to open your retail store will have a significant impact on the public’s knowledge of your presence. Picking any location that doesn’t consider factors like foot traffic and parking spots will impede the business’s potential to grow and succeed.

Setting up your store before launching is fundamental

In a world where online shopping is increasingly prevalent, it’s easy to forget the importance of physical retail stores. However, physical stores still play a vital role in our lives and the economy.

Setting up a physical store is no small business. With the capital and mental investment it costs, business managers must go out of their way to ensure their stores successfully launch.

Creating publicity around your brand is an excellent method to ensure the success of your store launch. This article equips store owners with the practices they need to ensure the successful launching of their physical stores.

Why Packaging Could Be A Worthwhile Investment For Companies And Their Products

When you are planning to create and sell a product, packaging might not be the first thing that comes to your mind. However, it is the first thing your customer sees when they get the product into their hands. Of course, its main purpose is to keep the product inside safe. Therefore, the packaging should be strong enough to maintain its purpose. At the same time, it needs to be eye-catching. Here are reasons why packaging could be a worthwhile investment for companies and their products.

You Can Influence How Customers Perceive The Company

Putting effort into the packaging of your product can help you to make a good first impression and allow you to shift the way customers perceive the company. For instance, if your packaging has a luxurious feel and looks beautiful, your customers might start to think the same about your company. Luxury packaging suppliers like Maxipos can help you to create the best customer experience possible. Make the design work with the brand identity and bring a piece of luxury to your customers.

Increase The Sales Of Your Product

If you design your packaging carefully, your products will become more attractive to your current and potential customers. At the same time, the luxurious experience will make your brand more appealing to others. And if customers find your brand appealing, you might notice a rise in the sales of your product. As a result, your business will become more profitable, and you will be able to keep running your business smoothly.

Improve Your Brand Awareness

During the process of designing the packaging, you should ensure that the logo or name of your company is visible. After all, before the package gets to the customer, it goes through the hands of many different people. If the packaging of your product looks unique and intriguing, all these people might be curious about the company and try to find out more. Make sure that the packaging design goes hand in hand with your branding strategy. Then, you will be easily recognisable from your competitors.

Support Your Sustainability Efforts

Perhaps your business is well known for its sustainability policy and efforts. In that case, you might want to project your mission into the packaging as well. Choosing sustainable packaging will help you to show your customers that you truly care and are trying to do your bit to combat climate change. Of course, you need to consider the material the packaging is made of. However, you should also consider your supplier and find out where they stand when it comes to sustainability.

Let Customers Learn More About The Brand

Finally, you can utilise the packaging of your products to allow the customers to learn more about the brand. Naturally, there should be a name and the logo of your company. However, you might also want to include some contact information for your business. Make sure that there is a website for your business and that it is easy to read. Then, your customers and everyone else who sees the parcel can easily find out more about the company.

Intellectual Property Rights – Four Top Tips

The protection and maintenance of a business’ intellectual property (IP) is often overlooked and misunderstood by business owners. The IP of a business is a valuable asset, and in the correct circumstances can be utilised to help generate additional income with relatively minimal effort through licensing. 

Pete Konieczko-Hansom, Head of Intellectual Property at Blacks Solicitors, shares an overview of matters that business owners should consider when it comes to protecting their IP.

What are intellectual property rights

Intellectual property is something that is created using the mind – for example, a story, an invention, an artistic work or a symbol. This typically gives the creator exclusive rights over the use of the creation for a certain period of time. Copyrights, patents, designs and trademarks are all types of IP protection and these can be used to protect the unique creation of names of products and brands, inventions, the design or appearance of a product and things written or produced.

Protecting a brand name

It’s important for a brand name or logo  to be protected by seeking to register it as a trademark. A trademark is a sign, design, logo or expression that is capable of identifying a product or service from a particular enterprise2. 

Once a brand name is trademarked it will be easier for businesses or individuals to stop others from copying their brand. This can be seen with licensed sporting goods, for example, if a product bears a football team’s logo the customer will know that they  are purchasing the official merchandise of the team. 

Protecting unique inventions

If a business or individual creates unique or innovative processes or ways of operating, it may be worth protecting  this process with a patent. There are very strict rules and regulations in place to obtain a patent, and so businesses should seek advice from a professional sooner rather than later. Obtaining a patent presents many benefits, whether this is through passive income through licensing out the invention or restricting your competitors by forcing them to use inferior materials or products. 

A patent is a type of IP  that gives the owner the legal right to stop others, for a limited period, from making, using or selling the invention without their permission.

Protecting confidential information

If a business’ process or procedure isn’t capable of being patented, this can still be protected  by restricting access to essential and confidential information. There may be several reasons why a business chooses not to patent its product, particularly  as a patent only protects an invention for a limited time, after which anyone else may use, sell or create the patent. 

The protection of information can be secured in a variety of ways, from confidentiality agreements to physically limiting the number of individuals who have access to the relevant information. An example of this is the closely guarded secret regarding the Coca-Cola recipe. Whilst it is potentially capable of being patented for a limited time, the company chose against divulging the recipe to the public and instead chose to rely on contract law. This has therefore allowed the Coca-Cola recipe to remain a secret since its invention in 1886 by simply restricting the number of individuals who have knowledge of the key ingredients. 

Obtaining licensing

For anyone with a well established brand name, there is always the option of expanding into new areas that they do not already operate in via licensing. This can be related to different geographic areas, or to different areas in terms of products, services and sectors. An example of this is Games Workshop which  has a variety of licensed products from candles, to clothing, to an escape room. 

The 5 Most At-Risk Small Business Industries This Winter

It’s no surprise that the past three years have been some of the hardest in living memory for businesses across the UK. Following two years of uncertainty during the pandemic, the rising cost of living, inflation soaring and energy prices hitting an all-time high, it’s safe to say times are tough for small businesses across the country, and things aren’t set to get any easier as we face a long, cold and costly winter.

In a new study, Bionic has revealed the sectors of the small business community that really need a bit of extra support from the British public this winter. The business experts analysed industry revenues over a ten-year period across a variety of sectors to determine the areas of the UK economy that have seen the greatest fall in their incomes.

The Top 5 Businesses Most at Risk this winter are:


Internal data shows that for the past few years over the Christmas period, cafés saw a drop in revenue at an average rate of 8.64%. We can broadly predict, based on the last five years of Q4 data, that the cafe and pubs sector will see a drop in revenue of £3.2 billion in the winter of 2022!


Between the fourth quarters of 2020 and 2021, sales of Wine, Cider, and Beer fell by 12.88%. However, this didn’t recover as we entered 2022, as revenue continued to fall by another 15% in the first half of the year. Alongside the annual sector revenue drop of 8.64% over, this winter is likely to ensure a tricky time for independent pubs.


Over a ten-year period between 2012 and 2021, the hotel and restaurant industry saw an average drop in revenue of 9.24%, equating to £3.2 billion, in Q4. Of course, due to the pandemic between 2020 and 2021, this fall reached 19.9% and 16.3% respectively. Excluding these two years, there is still a drop in revenue across the Q4 period, averaging 7%.


 For licensed restaurants, turnover fell by an astonishing 29.75% between 2022 and 2021, which was significantly different from the 3% increase in revenue from 2020 to 2021. For unlicensed restaurants, the pattern was the same. Between 2020 and 2021 there was a turnover increase of 9.77%, whereas between 2021 and 2022, revenue fell by a massive 21%.

Beauty Services

The cost of living crisis means the general public has lower disposable incomes and putting money aside for “luxury” treatments can be tough. Over the last five years, there has been an average 7% fall in revenue over the winter months, so it’s likely we will see this trend continue in 2022.

Les Roberts, Content manager at Bionic comments on the findings, and offers tips on how to support small businesses even on a tight budget:

“Small businesses across these sectors really make up the bread and butter of our society but are often the most at risk when we head into tricky times; which is exactly what we’re expecting this winter. Income for this sector frequently drops in the last three months of each year. This year, owners are likely to see an unprecedented increase in running costs, which is not only going to impact their staff and other suppliers up the chain.”

Here are some ways you can support small businesses throughout a tough winter:

  • Share their posts on social media.
  • Use small businesses and services as gifts, such as a nice meal at a local independent restaurant for your parents.
  • You can treat your loved ones to a gift card, like for your mum to get her nails done as a treat. 
  • If you are heading out for dinner or drinks, choose a local independent establishment over a chain.
  • Recommend your favourite independent brands to your friends and family.
  • Post positive reviews online.

Adapt Or Die

In an ever-changing world, businesses need to adapt quickly to survive. Agile working is crucial to this, and the team at Adventures with Agile know this better than anyone. Under the leadership of Founder and CEO Simon Powers, the firm has achieved amazing success. Named CEO of the Year, 2022 – United Kingdom, London in CEO Monthly, we caught up with Simon to find out more about what drives him forward, and what has kept him and his team at the forefront of the agile revolution.

When things go wrong, it’s easy to assume that other people are to blame. This is especially true of those in leadership positions. These businesses are often run by people who struggle to adapt to changing circumstances. In the modern world, change is not only the only constant, but happening at an increasingly fast rate. Change happens at the top, no matter how big the organisation, and the team at Adventures with Agile are ideally equipped to bring that change to life.

For corporates, governments, charities, and other large entities around the world, this small but mighty firm has managed to establish itself as a pioneer in the world of agile working. Over the years, the team have specialised in building safe spaces for growth, innovation and risk management. While many leaders believe that agile is for software, it is very much a mindset that involves an entire business. There are enormous benefits that can come from this way of working if leaders are willing to take the first step into uncertainty.

Guiding people to run businesses better is something that Simon Powers feels passionately about. “I had spent many years working in organisations and as a freelancer, going in and doing work,” he tells us, but after six months, I’d lost enthusiasm for the job. It was always the same old problems. I started questioning myself: “Why did I start moving jobs every six months and so on? Is it me? Is it the people? Is it the technology? I loved them all.”

For Simon, the world of work was one which was inherently static and inflexible. Once established and successful, many businesses don’t change because they don’t see the need to. “It occurred to me that it was the culture of most organisations that are so dead,” he explains. “We come into the office with a quarter of ourselves. No wonder I wasn’t happy because I like to bring my full self to whatever I do, and I had to leave half of that at home. I had a choice. Either put up and shut up, quit work altogether, or do something about it. Change the world of work, change the culture of our organisations.”

Change is not easy in any situation, but it was a new challenge which Simon brought his full self to. Uncertain if he was the only one, he organised a business leaders’ meetup, with a guest speaker who would talk about culture and work. Eighty people turned up. “I realised that everyone feels like this,” he says with a smile. “So many people have wanted to make a difference to their way of working. I thought I was alone, but loads of them were interested.”

From these humble beginnings, the meetups continued. They soon grew from a passion project into the thriving success that is Adventures with Agile. The business offers impressive enterprise and team coaching to executive teams and HR departments. Over the years the team have managed to transform how firms operate. “It’s not about people doing a good job,” Simon tells us. “A good job can be the wrong job to do. It’s about finding new ways to adapt to new situations.”

Since founding the business in 2013, Simon and his team have had to learn and adapt quickly. Whilst many competitors focus on implementing standard processes and frameworks, Adventures with Agile has always prioritised staff capability. “It seemed to me that there is one common element in every organisation, and that is people,” Simon tells us. “Our values come from a deep understanding of how people face, embrace, or reject change. Our models and approach are based on a deep respect for people, and a belief that most people want to do the right thing, work hard, and create great products, services, and experiences”

The successful expansion of Adventures with Agile has been a direct result of this approach. “Enabling and empowering people has always worked in an organisation’s favour,” Simon observes, “and when coupled with our belief of thinking big and starting small and incrementally, we have been able to grow ourselves and our clients progressively whilst keeping risk and disruption low.”

Perhaps one of the keys to the team’s success is the way in which they view themselves as partners as opposed to purely consultants. If a business is not interested in change, then Adventures with Agile will not work with them. “We have been able to grow a strong loyal culture across our network through authenticity and inclusion and have been able to keep adapting without burning out through our use of our own models and approaches,” Simon tells us.

This commitment to authenticity not only keeps the team grounded, but has allowed Simon and his team to develop a tremendous reputation within the industry at large. Simon’s team haven’t had the need to engage in traditional sales activities. Instead potential clients approach the team, having heard about them through others. “Our business is about people and that means relationships are everything,” Simon says. “This starts from the first interaction with our clients and usually lasts many years. We attract the right clients who resonate with our approach as they read our thought leadership about organisational change and want us to create that capability inside their own organisations.” Because one of the core aspects of agile is creating the space to make that change, it’s easy to see why many company leaders struggle to adapt to the challenges the team present.

Like many businesses, Adventures with Agile had to change dramatically as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our coaching and training were all in-person,” Simon explains. “Overnight, we lost all our sales.” With a full staff to maintain, Simon and the Adventures with Agile team did what they do best. They adapted. They changed. And they did it fast. They were the first organisation in their sector to offer courses publicly online, a mere six weeks after the announcement came through. “I attribute this incredible turn around to our company culture and our ability to enact the agile ways of working that we help our clients with,” Simon says, proudly.

The continued success of Adventures with Agile has driven massive changes in how the team operates. It has also empowered the team to make new and exciting decisions. “The most significant shift for us in the next twelve months though will be the formation of a new organisation to allow our existing AWA global brand to focus on training,” Simon explains. “The new organisation will focus on supplying highly trained coaches to work inside of organisations to build their change and coaching capability. Unlike the larger consultancies we are not offering to do the change for our clients, we are instead helping them build internal capability so they can make the changes they need themselves.”

For Simon, therefore, the future is bright indeed. “As we grow, I am learning more about myself and how I conduct business,” he tells us. “I love learning for learning’s sake and each year I like to take on a new personal challenge to learn something new.” He has just released his book, “Change”, a guide to enterprise agile coaching. Looking forward, he’s planning to spend his time writing more articles and white papers around human-led change. As the world continues to adapt in the post-pandemic world, it’s clear that the guidance of people like Simon is going to be crucial.

“T we are successful is because we do what we teach others,” Simon says as we round off our interview. “We eat our own cake. By embodying what we teach we have not only proven our approach works for our clients, we have proven it works through our own company.” For Simon, agile isn’t just an approach which applies to business. It’s one which will begin to shape the world in which we live. “Nobody knows what the future will hold. There’s enormous ambiguity – things aren’t clear and still have to navigate through. There’s no perfect route, but agility gives a way to include everyone as far as possible.” We can’t wait to see more of the world he hopes to create come to life.

For business enquiries, contact Simon Powers Adventures with Agile via email – [email protected] or on their website

Issue 12 2022

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

As 2022 soon draws to a close, there couldn’t be a better time to celebrate the successes of our businesses who have been rebuilding and thriving after a tough few years due to the pandemic. From a healthtech start-up solving the huge problem that is airborne pathogens and biothreats, to a world-first company simplifying corporate risk profiling data management, they have truly been showing their industries how it is done – and are nearing the end of a highly successful year.

The weather might be getting colder, but these businesses are on fire as they continue to defy the odds and exceed expectations. They’re making lives easier, and some are even saving them. In this issue, we explore the ground-breaking work being done with next-level expertise and resilience in what have been some of the toughest times, where business are putting their clients above themselves and are devoted to providing only the very best service.

We hope you find this issue informative and motivational, and we look forward to seeing you again for a next edition in the new year.

Medical Device Digital Transformation: Trends for 2023

The medical device industry is undergoing a significant transformation. As the healthcare industry continues to digitise and become more connected, it’s becoming clear that medical device digital device transformation needs to be advanced and secure. However, devices are still being produced as they were decades ago – which means many companies within this space need to adapt their strategies to keep up with consumer demands. In 2023, we expect some of these changes will take place within the medical device industry.

Device Manufacturers Will Adapt to New Digital Transformation Demographics Faster

Medical device manufacturers will adapt to the new digital transformation demographics faster than their peers. The demographic of medical device manufacturers is changing as more diverse people enter the field and younger generations take over leadership roles. 

As a result, you should also expect your product development efforts to become more globalised

Artificial Intelligence Will Bring Better Data Quality and Consistency

Medical device manufacturers can use AI to collect, analyse and interpret data. This will allow them to make better decisions about their products more quickly. For example, suppose a company has thousands of patient records from multiple hospitals worldwide. 

In that case, AI can detect patterns in how each patient responds to treatment and then share those insights with customers treating similar cases.

AI also helps medical device companies predict outcomes by analysing large sets of complex data and finding correlations between factors that might affect patient outcomes over time. This type of analysis allows you to see what’s going on today and get ahead of it by identifying trends or warning signs before they happen so you can take action before any issues arise (and thus avoid costly recalls later).

Hospital Systems Will Partner for Digital Transformation Initiatives

Hospital systems have many resources, but they could be more efficient and quick to adapt to the changing needs of patients. Hospital systems must work with device manufacturers and software developers to achieve better outcomes.

Device manufacturer partnerships: To integrate devices into patient care, hospitals need device manufacturers. This can be tricky because these companies need to adapt their products for use in the hospital setting faster and may resist sharing data with other organizations that could benefit from it.

Integrating multiple technologies: Hospitals already use many different technologies, such as EHRs (electronic health records), radiology imaging machines, and other specialised equipment; this makes it difficult for any one person within a hospital organization—whether it’s an administrator or doctor—to oversee all aspects of digital transformation efforts across all departments within their facility.

The Rise of Medtech/Biotech Collaborations

The rise of Medtech/biotech collaborations: As the medical device market continues to shift towards digital transformation and automation, medical device companies are collaborating with other healthcare providers. This trend is also reflected in the growing number of mergers between MedTech and biotech companies. These partnerships will considerably impact how devices are designed, manufactured, and distributed.

Sharing data: One primary reason these partnerships are so beneficial is that they allow organisations to share data related to patient needs or treatment outcomes. This can help create new products more quickly than before by using knowledge from multiple fields simultaneously.

Sharing technology: Another benefit of this trend is that organisations can work together to develop new technologies that were previously inaccessible due to a lack of resources available for research purposes only within each field (ahem). If someone had an idea about how something could be improved but didn’t know where else it could go besides just their own company, then there’s another option available, thanks to these collaborative efforts.

The Medical Device Industry Will Consolidate Further

Companies are looking for ways to increase their market share and maximize profits in a competitive market like the medical device industry. The most obvious way to do this is through mergers and acquisitions (M&A). In 2021, there were over 860 M&A deals in the global MedTech space. Companies are looking at consolidation to gain more customers and increase their market share.

However, even though there are many opportunities for companies in the medical device industry to merge with other firms or acquire them outright, they will likely stick with partnerships instead of full-on acquisitions because they don’t want any regulatory issues with regulators such as FDA (Food Drug Administration).

Software as a Medical Device Will be the Norm

Software as a medical device (SaMD) is a software application designed to be implanted into the human body. SaMDs can monitor, diagnose, and treat diseases.

This growing trend in the medical device industry has been influenced by several factors, including:

  • Increased adoption of smart mobile devices for healthcare.
  • Growth in population data collection capabilities through networked sensors and wearable technologies.
IoT-Enabled Analytics Will Drive More Intelligent Decisions, More Value from Data, and Improved Patient Outcomes.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of intelligent devices connected via the internet that can communicate with each other to exchange information or control actions. IoT allows for faster decision-making and increased efficiency by automating processes, reducing human errors, and optimizing workflows. 

This technology offers opportunities for healthcare providers to improve patient care by collecting real-time data on vitals and providing actionable insights into treatment options without relying solely on human input.

Information Security Is Non-Negotiable.

Organizations need to focus on information security because it directly impacts their bottom line, which can result in legal implications for companies if they fail to protect their data adequately. The problem with not investing in securing your systems is that you leave yourself vulnerable to breaches—and once your data has been compromised, there’s no going back from that point. 

If you haven’t yet started taking steps toward improving information security, now’s the time: It’s both critical and imperative that you do so before something goes wrong.

Benefits of eCommerce for the Medical Device Industry

The benefits of eCommerce for the medical device industry are many. They include:

  • Increased revenue through increased sales and conversion rates
  • Reduced costs in marketing, logistics, and customer service
  • Improved patient satisfaction through better product selection and personalisation of treatment plans

Improved patient outcomes due to better communication between doctors, patients, and insurance companies

Increased brand loyalty among existing customers

eCommerce is the future of medical device sales. It’s an excellent way for companies to increase their reach while reducing costs associated with traditional brick-and-mortar sales like retail stores or call centres.

Hybrid cloud deployment models will dominate the landscape.

Hybrid cloud deployment models are the most flexible and cost-effective way to deploy and manage a secure, scalable, and reliable IT infrastructure. It offers the best of both worlds: On-premises and cloud.

The medical device industry is adopting hybrid clouds because it offers a more secure environment for data than public clouds; however, some businesses still need to be more open to adopting a fully managed private cloud solution due to its complexity. For example:

You need to keep track of which parts of your infrastructure are in use based on their availability zones or regions; otherwise, you could be paying for services that aren’t being used yet still have access rights set up so others can log into them if needed at any time without having any idea about how much money is being spent because there’s no way for anyone outside this particular team (or even inside) who doesn’t understand how things work behind the scenes.

The Medical Device Industry Will Be Changing Digital Transformation Tactics in 2023. Be Ready.

The medical device industry will be changing digital transformation tactics in 2023. You better be ready.

As the healthcare industry moves into a new era of technology, many challenges exist—one of which is understanding how to approach digital transformation while still focusing on patient safety and satisfaction. 

The best way to do this is by first understanding your business and then establishing your purpose as it relates to customers and employees. Once you have a better sense of who you are as an organization (and what makes them care about), it becomes easier for everyone involved in the process — from leadership down through the ranks — to move forward together with confidence toward reaching their goals.

To Conclude

The medical device industry is a booming industry that is expected to grow. In the next few years, more innovation and new technologies will be introduced into the medical device industry. It’s vital to understand how these recent changes will affect your industry so you can make data-driven business decisions..

Cost of Living: The Impact On Our Mental Health

By Faz Parkar, Clinical Lead at Onebright

Public spending and borrowing increased across the world during the pandemic and as a result, this has led to tax rises that have contributed to the cost-of-living squeeze, while most people’s salaries have remained unchanged.

As the cost of living continues to increase, people across the UK are feeling the strain more now than ever. This, coupled with the challenges many have faced because of the Covid-19 pandemic, means more people are struggling to maintain good mental health.

With money worries growing and feelings of uncertainty surfacing, people can start to feel depressed and anxious about their financial situation, so it is important to find help before it has a negative impact on daily life.

Poor mental health can affect anyone, no matter what their circumstances

Depression and anxiety disorders can affect anyone, but certain financial stressors may increase our vulnerability to mental health difficulties.

If we think about the cost of living, we can think about the work of American Psychologist, Maslow, and his hierarchy of needs. Why the link between the two? Because the cost-of-living crisis is having a negative effect on the ability of an increasing number of people to meet basic human needs.

Maslow’s well-established theory explores how it is difficult to achieve personal growth (a sense of belonging, self-esteem, self-actualisation) if basic physiological and safety needs cannot be met. For example, the ability to pay for food, clothing or heating and rent/mortgage payments. These factors can have an impact on people’s mental health because basic physiological and safety needs are unexpectedly under threat or may continue to be under threat due to growing financial pressures.

When basic needs are not being met, hopes are dashed and many start to experience hopelessness. Eventually, motivation is lost and this unfortunately leads to a spiral into depression, as illustrated by Abraham Maslow’s famous ‘Theory of human motivation’ (1943) and his ‘hierarchy of needs’.

Although money doesn’t always guarantee happiness, it certainly can help to cover our basic needs and can motivate us to achieve more for ourselves.

Regardless of whether we have a common mental health problem, such as mild to moderate depression or an anxiety disorder, the cost-of-living crisis is creating a lot of uncertainty for people, and significant worry can also cause people to feel depressed.

Managing negative feelings

Everyone can have problems from time to time, regardless of who you are, or what you do. Problems are an aspect of life. The issue isn’t having a problem, it is how we respond when we have such problems.

How do you know if you are struggling with your mental health due to your financial situation? Some people may feel shame or embarrassment and try to hide the problems. Shame often implies that the person has done something wrong or improper, the truth is, the majority of people have not done anything wrong or improper.

There are many reasons that we are in the midst of a global economic crisis – a pandemic, outbreaks of war, broken fuel supply, manufacturing and supply chain disruption are only some of the reasons, therefore people need to reconsider any guilt or blame they may be attributing to themselves.

If people are already having difficulty coping with uncertainty, the cost-of-living crisis is essentially supercharging their anxiety levels due to all the ‘what-if’s’. If someone is already having a very negative view of themself or the world, their mood is likely to be very low with motivational difficulties and they may lose motivation and a sense of purpose.

Key symptoms of depression involve negative thoughts and withdrawal. Sometimes people will find it hard to even get out of bed or they might find themselves struggling to find the motivation to do normal chores, housework, work, or engage in hobbies. 

Add on to that the cost-of-living crisis, and it can lead to a sense of hopelessness – that things will never get better and things are too difficult. Unfortunately, this has the potential to lead some people to self-harming behaviour or suicidal thoughts.

Practical tips for improving mental health in a cost-of-living crisis

Whilst the rising cost of living may not be ideal circumstances, no one has chosen on purpose to struggle financially. Many of the factors are external and not within our control.

Coping with feelings of embarrassment can be done by challenging why you feel this way.

People may have made past decisions that have been unwise. Whilst reflection is healthy, excessive thinking about “why did I do that” doesn’t change anything and often maintains us in a cycle of self-destruction.

Sometimes, it is worth acknowledging that the situation is not ideal and out of our control.  This step will help someone to validate their difficulties. A simple “hey, that sounds difficult” or a “sorry to hear you are having a tough time” may sound hollow.

The first steps that we can take to alleviate that stark outlook might include exploring what meanings the person has placed on themselves when finding it hard to cope. Imagine a parent who is not able to buy enough food for their family. Might they have beliefs and assumptions about being useless, a failure or a bad parent? There are a number of thoughts leading from this that can easily cause a range of negative emotions resulting in low mood, anxiety and depression.

Helping someone learn how to question themselves can help them identify that a thought is a thought, not a fact. Simple questions to ask include:

  • What evidence is there that this is true?
  • Is there any other time you have found this to be incorrect?
  • Could there be any other perspectives to look at this from?

So rather than relying on emotional response and biased thinking, people can seek out more accurate and realistic information. This can then be used to create a powerful revised or alternative thought that is based on actual evidence in which we can have confidence in, and hopefully a reduction in the distressing emotion.

How do we encourage people to have a conversation about this and ask for help if needed?

First, we need to normalise that this is a widespread problem and it is not a reflection of themselves, their worth or value as a person. Despite how modern life is portrayed by the media through TV adverts and the constant flow of lifestyle messaging on social media, it is normal for people to have problems from time to time.

Encourage people to approach their friends, family, or employers to talk about things or ask for help if needed. If someone is hesitant or reluctant to discuss their difficulties, then we may want to try to help them see the benefits of discussing the problem and asking for help. Try to think about what the opportunities are that may be present because of this situation, rather than focusing on the negative outcomes and blocks to progress. 

Act now – don’t wait for motivation to come to you

At times, we may feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. There is a misconception that motivation will come and then we will act, however, I would encourage people to act first, and then see what effect that has on our motivation.

There may be tasks you are aware of that need doing, such as calling the bank, or energy company, or planning a budget, or selling unused items around the house for example. Prioritise which task’s might be most important and then schedule them into a weekly diary. The same principle applies for other activities for general and mental wellbeing, such as engaging in an activity or hobby that you may enjoy.

Why do we need to do this? Well, if doing things when we feel motivated or in the mood works for you, then carry on. However, if you are finding that important tasks are not being done and you have lost interest and motivation in your hobbies, then why would you want to continue using a strategy that you know does not work or give reliable results. The choice is to continue doing something that you know does not work or choose to do something a bit different that may work.

To summarise, decide what needs to be done over the week, plan and schedule it in, and then try to stick to the plan even though you may not feel like it at the time. If it is important to you or your situation, then act on it, do not wait for motivation which may never arrive.

3 Ways Video Advertising Can Broaden Exposure For Your Business

3 Ways Video Advertising Can Broaden Exposure For Your Business

Videos are one of the most versatile and accessible marketing tools today

83% of businesses use video content marketing, and they believe it gives them good ROI. There is a solid reason underlying this stat. Well, one of the most important reasons is accessibility. Undoubtedly, mobile users are increasing daily, and they prefer content to be accessible than ever. This need makes video marketing a solid marketing strategy.

If you are a startup or an established business and video marketing is still uncharted territory for you, read on. This article talks about three ways video advertising can broaden your business exposure. Let’s get to it.

Google recognises videos

Every business wants its customers to look for their brands online. Optimisation comes into the picture here as it plays a crucial role in making your brand Google-recognizable. Search engines prefer videos against written content as they consider it quality content. Thus, creating videos is interesting for your users and a fantastic way to attract backlinks.

However, get an SEO expert to optimise your video to be on the top Google search results. Below mentioned are a few ways to help your video be SEO-optimised.

Automatically generate subtitles and add them to the video Adding subtitles is a great way to boost the SEO of your video. You can automatically generate subtitles using a subtitle generator tool. You need to upload your video file and access your subtitles within a few minutes and publish.

Create a unique thumbnail Viewers look at the thumbnail before heading toward watching the video. Ensure you design an eye-catching thumbnail.

Create an engaging video title and description Along with adding subtitles to the video, include relevant keywords and key phrases in your video’s title and description. Make it exciting and optimized.

Reaches a wider audience

Reaching a wider audience is a stepping stone to driving more traffic.

Yes, businesses aim to drive more and more traffic to their website. Achieving this, however, is only possible when your product/service reaches more and more people. Videos are an efficient way to do so.

There’s a reason YouTube gets five billion views a day!

Users come to such platforms from different backgrounds, demographics, ethnicity, locations, etc. Platforms offering video content are the only way to reach this broader and more diverse audience.

If you decide to incorporate video marketing, keep the following tips in mind.

Keep it genuine Gone are the days when you needed to spend a hefty amount on video production. Yes, the video quality matters; however, keeping it real matters more.

Keep it short Shorter the video, the higher the engagement. Ensure your videos are sharp and crisp to make them more shareable.

Use closed captions About 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. Ensure you include closed captions in your videos so that they are optimized for the disabled audience.

Showcases your business effectively

Only when you show off your business effectively can you broaden it.

Videos are a great way to showcase your products as they take minimal attention from a user. While written content is also an effective marketing tool, it often takes a while to get to the point.

97% of marketers state that videos help users better understand the businesses products and services. A video you post about your product or service is a teaching device to your audience. A well-thought video is also likely to be more shareable on social media platforms.

Ensure you create videos of high quality to keep attracting new users while retaining your already existing customer base. It will also lead to more conversion rates, eventually, more sales. Make sure to catch the user’s attention in the first few seconds of the video.

It’s time to incorporate video advertising

The article discusses ways video advertising will help you expand your business and reach a global audience. However, if videos are not a part of your current marketing strategy, doing so could be a little daunting. After all, creating a video is about creatively showcasing your business in a way that emotionally connects with potential customers.

If you are a small business, start by analysing your competitors and examining how you can produce videos at a minimal cost. While if you are an established business, reach out to your sales team to come up with creative video ideas. Ensure you also dive into different aspects of video marketing.

Keep ideating and keep creating. Good luck!

What to Look for When You Are Switching to a New Credit Card

According to a May 2021 Federal Reserve report, as many as 83% of Americans have at least one credit card, leaving approximately 17% that currently don’t have a line of credit. But it’s becoming more complicated to live without a credit card, given how often the average person does business with online companies, as well as local companies which are improving their online presence.

If you’re considering getting a new credit card, switching to a new credit card, or reapplying for a card after the “seven year swipe”, read on for some suggestions.

1. Choose a big, reputable credit card provider

Try to avoid smaller credit card companies if you can. By applying to some of the biggest credit card companies out there, like Chase Bank, American Express, Citibank, Capital One, Bank of America, Discover Card, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo, you’re more likely to receive quality customer service and support.

You will also be getting a highly flexible card that can be used almost everywhere.

2. Figure out what kind of card best suits you

Ask yourself: What do I want from a credit card? For some, cash back cards are best, where you earn cash back for things like groceries and gas. But first you will have to make sure that you can get cash back from your local stores and gas stations.

If you would prefer a travel or international card and want to charge purchases abroad or redeem miles, you will have to figure out if it’s worth it for how much you travel and if these cards are accepted at the airlines you want to fly with.

3. If you’re planning on buying a house or a car soon, don’t apply for a new card

If you’re planning on making a big purchase like a car or house within the next 12 months, you should hold off on applying for a new credit card. This is because the credit card company will do a hard inquiry on your credit, which will hit your credit score and cause some damage there.

However, if you have better than fair to good credit, a credit check may knock off only a few points off your credit score. Refresh your memory on what can push a credit score down.

4. Diversify your applications in case you get turned down

There are many different uses for a new credit card, including funding a new business, or even refinancing an old debt. But don’t put all your eggs in one basket!

Just like with anything you apply for, like a job or a gig, make sure when applying for a credit card that you don’t just go with one company. After all, they might turn you down, especially if you have a large credit limit with another company.

Focus on how much you’re using off of your card every month. This is called the credit utilization ratio, and it should be kept as low as possible before you start applying.

5. Search for better introductory rates are temporary

Many favourable introductory rates are temporary. If the interest rate on a card looks low, that’s what is commonly known as a teaser rate.

It is federally required by law that credit card companies may allow a teaser rate to go on for as long as 6 months, but it can be withdrawn even earlier than that if you’re more than 60 days late on paying off your bill.

Be sure to ask up front if the rate provided is a teaser rate and what you’re really expected to pay once the grace period is over. For more on the subject, read about the rights of credit card providers and common practices.

6. Analyse all of your older accounts

True, closing your old accounts will keep you safe from identity fraud, especially if you don’t plan on checking it regularly.

However, keep in mind that closing multiple credit accounts will often lead to a dip in your credit score. Be mindful of this before closing all of your accounts that you could still use periodically for better credit.

Tips on Using Your New Card

One of the best feelings after applying for a card (at multiple locations, ideally) is being approved for a new card. But when activating your card and getting it all set up, consider setting it up to accept direct deposit with your job to make sure there are no barriers to you getting your money.

You can also set up autopay for your credit card bills so you never forget to make a payment on time. Also, if you’re transferring a balance from one of your old cards, you will usually have your provider work that out on their side so it should be in your account by the time you officially open it.

As life goes on, you might find yourself in need of more than one credit card. You may also find yourself in the market for a new credit card if your previous creditor just isn’t cutting it for what you need.

It’s always a big decision to open a new credit card account, but hopefully with these tips you’ll be able to make a sound decision that works for you and your situation.

The Benefits of Using Bespoke Joinery in Your Upcoming Refurbishment

Posted on 5th December 2022

It is a common misconception that traditional carpentry and bespoke joinery are one in the same. However, there are actually a number of key differences between these two aforementioned crafts, the quality that the final product will provide to your refurbishment, as well as the skillset and experience required to execute the job at a professional level both vital factors in distinguishing one trade from the other.

Bespoke joinery is a craft that is able to provide unique, quality furniture pieces that are custom-made to your exact requirements, a significant amount of skill and dedication going into the creation of each and every piece.

Within the article below, we will discuss the main benefits of using bespoke joinery throughout your upcoming commercial or at-home refurbishment, allowing you to completely transform your space with quality design that is truly unmatched.

Make the Most of the Space that you’re Working With

Bespoke furniture provides home and business owners alike with an ideal way to make the most of any and all limited spaces within their residence, to which conventional furniture pieces may not be suited. These bespoke, handcrafted pieces can be custom-built to occupy any given area, regardless of its dimensions or size. This makes it possible to fully utilise all of the available space throughout your refurbishment project, ensuring that nothing is wasted and your design is fully optimised as well as functional.

These bespoke furniture products work to bring unique, custom creations into your commercial or at-home space, providing a level of style and quality that will elevate your interior design.

Express your Style and Individuality

Bespoke joinery is not only the perfect addition to your refurbishment project through the lens of functionality and proper space utilisation, also working to provide a great way to express your personality and get creative within your design. Your bespoke furniture pieces are one-of-a-kind and completely exclusive to you and your project, expertly designed to suit your needs and requirements. Using bespoke joinery in your furniture is the perfect way to let your style and personality shine through with your interior design, expressing yourself through the creative process!

This can be particularly beneficial across commercial refurbishment projects, allowing your business to stand out from the crowd, express its personality, and build a unique brand that will have a good lasting impression on your customers!

To conclude, there are a range of benefits to opting for the use of bespoke furniture pieces within your upcoming interior refurbishment project, allowing you to make the most of the space that you have to work with while also allowing your style and personality to show within your interior design.

Fully customised furniture pieces that are expertly hand crafted to your exact style requirements and specifications are able to offer up a level of quality that is simply unmatched, meaning your bespoke creations will withstand the wear and tear of daily use and provide an investment that you can enjoy for years to come. No matter the scale of your refurbishment, bespoke joinery can help you to take your vision from the simple ideas, straight through to the final product.

What Should You Know about Ethereum Before Purchasing it

Cryptocurrency has seen a huge increase in popularity over the past few years, something that has been heavily influenced by the pandemic. During the pandemic, people had a lot more time on their hands and could also not spend their money on things like shopping or eating. This led to a lot of people investing in cryptocurrency, as they could spend their money wisely. One type of cryptocurrency that has seen a rise in popularity is Ethereum, which is what we are going to discuss in this article.

Ethereum is an ideal option for EU investors, because, unlike other digital currencies, it is deemed eco-friendly by European lawmakers, and could help eco-conscious European citizens to make money without increasing their carbon footprint. Also, as countries in the EU look to legalise and legitimise cryptocurrencies, this popular coin is a likely option to be allowed to be sold, traded and used as a form of payment as it meets the EU’s strike sustainability criteria.

Cryptocurrency is considered a high-risk investment, which is why it is important to know what you are getting into before you invest. So, if you are considering investing in Ethereum, then this article is for you. Keep on reading to find out more.

Understand The Basics Of Cryptocurrency

Before you invest in Ethereum, you must first have a clear understanding of the basics of cryptocurrency. If you are new to the world of investing and cryptocurrency, then it would be a good idea to do some reason into how cryptocurrency works, so that you know how to invest your money wisely. As mentioned in the introduction, investing in cryptocurrency can be risky, but if you understand the basics and recognise when it is the right time to invest, you should end up with a successful investment.

Manage Your Expectations

Another thing to be aware of before you purchase Ethereum is managing your expectations. The crypto market can be volatile, so you need to have reasonable expectations of what money you will make. Although keeping an eye on the markets will be helpful, starting off your investment with a sensible expectation will help you make smarter investment choices. Before you invest, you should do some research into how to securely sell Ethereum as this will give you a good guideline of what to expect if you do choose to sell in the future.

Keep An Eye On The Market

When investing in any sort of cryptocurrency, it is important to keep an eye on the market. The financial market can be volatile, and cryptocurrency is no exception. Keeping your eye on the market will be useful throughout your investment as it means you can recognise when prices are changing, and you can make any adjustments to your investments as you see fit. It would perhaps be a good idea to download an app that helps you manage your investment, as the app will be able to tell you when prices are changing. Additionally, keeping up to date with financial news will be helpful, as you can get daily updates on what is happening to your investment.

Be Wary Of Scams

Although cryptocurrency is secure, there is still the potential to be scammed when buying Ethereum. It could be that one site is offering a particularly good deal and that draws you in or they are promising you a high return on your investment. The best way to avoid a scam is to research the website well and check that they are a legitimate seller of Ethereum. It could also be beneficial to read some reviews and see if people have had a positive experience dealing with the site.

7 Reasons Small Businesses Should Consider Cloud Migration

By John Allen – Director, SEO, 8×8

Business costs are rising. Hybrid and remote working opportunities are increasing. Employees expect a streamlined and convenient approach to their everyday work processes. And, more businesses are seeking innovative ways of bringing their company into a modern environment. 

So, cloud-based infrastructures are becoming a favorable option for businesses. Rather than relying on outdated hardware that takes up space in the office, businesses appreciate the advantages of migrating to the cloud. 

If this is something you’ve thought about (or even if you haven’t) read on to discover why cloud migration could be your optimum choice. 

What is Cloud Migration?

Cloud migration can sound like a scary, technical term that people unfamiliar with the concept shy away from. But it doesn’t need to be a big business challenge. In reality, it is not all that scary. Nor is it difficult to understand the basics, which are all you need to know to benefit from cloud migration. 

Simply put, cloud migration is the process of moving your data from your onsite server to the cloud. The cloud is normally based in a data center and is managed by IT professionals i.e. those clever techy people who know all there is to know about servers.

The cloud is used for lots of business solutions. In addition to your data being hosted in the cloud, you can also use technologies such as a cloud hosted phone system to optimize business communications.

Why Should Small Businesses Consider Cloud Migration?

Here are seven reasons why small businesses should consider cloud migration as part of their growth strategy:

1. Remote Access

With cloud migration, your workers can access your data from anywhere. They could be traveling on a train, picking the kids up from school, or even working on their sun tan on a Mediterranean beach. As long as they have an internet connection and permission to access your data, they can do so. 

This is particularly useful as the trend for remote and hybrid working continues to grow. Stemming from the Covid pandemic, workers and employers have discovered a flexible solution in hybrid working and cloud migration. In 2021, a global Statista survey showed that 73% of workers wanted to continue with a hybrid, flexible work approach. 

Cloud migration will help to contribute to your remote working style by affording you more flexibility and agility. Remote working will enable you to give presentations, have video chats, and share your pitch deck, amongst other things, all from outside the office.

2. Cost Effective

Server hardware is costly. There is no getting around that fact. Businesses with on-site servers spend a lot of money on their IT infrastructure and operations. With cloud migration, you will pay a regular, but significantly smaller fee based on your specifications. 

In addition to the hardware costs, cloud migration will save you money on maintenance. Everything on the server side is taken care of. Your cloud contact center will offer IT support when you run into any technical problems. Conversely, if you had your own hardware, you would need to hire an IT specialist to do the job for you. 

3. Space Saver

Cloud migration frees up space in your office or place of business. You do not need to have any special equipment or hardware onsite. A good cloud ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system can integrate multiple business operations into one place. This leaves more room for other necessary business equipment or your employees to simply enjoy the extra space. 

4. Scalability

Cloud-based migration is scalable and tailored to each business. As you grow, so can your data capacity. Use application modernization cloud solutions to move your business forward. These will help you manage your growing list of employees or your expanding workload. 

When you have onsite hardware, scaling up is considerably more difficult. You need to purchase new servers, set them up, and even spend money on new software and licenses. This is costly, inconvenient, and time-consuming. There is also a chance of experiencing downtime while you are adjusting your set up. 

Additionally, with cloud-based servers, there are options to only pay for what you use. That means that you don’t need to worry about wasting money on resources you don’t need or want. You simply get what you pay for and scale up as you need to. 

5. Performance-Boosting

Technology is becoming more robust and powerful. And, cloud-based servers are no exception. Cloud-based servers are powerful, reliable, and quick to process data. Most providers are diligent with their speeds and availability, offering a 99% uptime guarantee. 

6. Secures Your Data

When implemented correctly, the cloud can be a much more secure place to store and manage your business data. Cloud service providers put strict measures in place to protect their clients’ data from hackers and cyber threats. One such measure is ensuring your network is closed off from unauthorized traffic. 

Another security enhancement measure of reputable cloud solutions providers is the regular, automatic updates of their systems. An updated system is less vulnerable to breaches and cyber attacks. So, maintaining updates is a priority. 

More still, businesses can select a provider that offers the level of security they need. Some have more stringent security measures in place than others. Businesses are free to pick and choose one based on their requirements and budget. 

When considering what security measures are best for your business you should consider the Key Risk Indicators (KRIs) from Auditboard to better understand your potential exposure and the likelihood of risk. This enables you to quantify each risk and its impact, and establish a warning system to manage these risks.

7. More Collaboration

All things in the cloud exist in real-time. It supports the hybrid workplace because data is saved and synchronized automatically. This means that everyone with access to data or a document can view changes as and when they are made. 

Cloud migration enables teams to work on projects together, regardless of where they are located. They can use communication platforms and other tools and software that will optimize collaboration and project management. 

Will Your Business Migrate to the Cloud?

Cloud migration is quickly becoming a must. Create process maps to determine whether it is the right direction for your business. On the whole though, cloud migration enables access to a range of business-boosting online tools and software. 

It is more convenient, cost-effective, and secure than a traditional data storage setup. Furthermore, the cloud is an essential component of facilitating remote and hybrid working environments. 

How To Choose The Best Dog For Your Family

When it comes to choosing the perfect dog breed, there are a lot of options to consider. But which one is right for your family?

There are a variety of different dog breeds out there, each with its own unique set of characteristics and personality. So which one should you choose?

Here are five considerations you should make when choosing a dog breed:


Some people prefer small dogs, while others prefer larger ones. Some people want a dog that will fit easily in their home and car, while others don’t mind a dog that takes up a bit more space.

Size is also important when considering things like exercise and activity level. Smaller dogs generally require less exercise than larger ones, and they may be better suited to a more sedentary lifestyle. On the other hand, larger dogs often need more exercise and may be better suited to a more active lifestyle.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, and there are plenty of small dogs that are very active, like the French bulldog, and large dogs that are relatively sedentary. But in general, size is something to keep in mind when choosing a dog breed.


Each breed of dog has its own unique personality traits, so it is important to find a breed that will fit well with your family.

For example, if you have a young family, you may want to consider a breed that is known for being good with children. If you have an active lifestyle, you may want to consider a breed that is known for being high energy and good for running or hiking.

Knowing what you are looking for in a dog’s personality will help you narrow down your choices and find the best dog for your family.

Energy level

Just like people, each dog has an energy level that ranges from low to high. Some dogs are high energy and need a lot of exercise, while others are low energy and are content with a leisurely walk around the block. Make sure to choose a breed that matches your own energy level.

If you have a young family with small children, a high energy dog may not be the best fit. Conversely, if you have an active lifestyle, a low energy dog may not be the best choice. The best way to determine which energy level is right for your family is to speak with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist.

Grooming needs

Some dogs require very little grooming, while others need to be groomed regularly to maintain their coat and skin in good condition.

If you’re not willing to commit to regular grooming, then a low-maintenance dog is probably the best choice for you. But if you don’t mind spending some time grooming your dog each week, then you have a wider range of options to choose from.


An important factor to consider is your family’s size. If you have a large family, you might want to consider a large breed of dog, such as a golden retriever. However, if you have a small family, you might want to consider a small breed of dog, such as a French bulldog.

Whatever you decide, make sure to choose a dog that will fit well into your family’s lifestyle.

There are a lot of great dog breeds out there, so it’s important to choose the one that’s right for you and your family. This article should give you some ideas about how to choose the perfect dog breed for you and your loved ones.

Africa Must Industrialize: 10 Key Points That African Leaders Committed to at the Just Concluded Summit On Industrialization and Economic Diversification

With increasingly growing concern over the slow progress in the implementation of the Industrial Development Decades for Africa (IDDA) I, II and III; the Strategy for the Implementation of the Action Plan for Accelerated Industrial development of Africa (AIDA); and other continental strategies and programmes relevant to industrialization, structural transformation and development towards the achievement of the African Union Agenda 2063, African leaders have committed to far-reaching and firm decisions to accelerate industrialization, economic diversification and trade on the continent, with full ownership by the citizens.

The leaders reaffirmed their determination to ensure that Africa’s industrialization and economic diversification is financed in a predictable manner and with the urgency of identifying and addressing the impediments to productivity and growth through infrastructural development, energy, access to finance, digitalization, innovation, and skills development to achieving economic diversification.

Here is a highlight of the key points of commitment at the just concluded African Union Extraordinary Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification, and the Extraordinary session on the African Continental Free Trade Area convened in Niamey, Niger on the 25th of November 2022.

  1. To accelerate a commodity-based industrialization as an engine of growth, productive jobs and economic diversification through a regional value chains on the continent’s natural resources endowments, with priorities on health and pharmaceutical, automotive, minerals beneficiation, food and nutrition and apparels of cotton industries in order to reduce the continent’s external dependency. In this regard, the African Union Commission will now draft a report with clear recommendations on strengthening regional value chains.
  2. To increase investments in infrastructure and energy with the support of financial institutions and partners to reduce production costs, and boost the competitiveness of the African economies.
  3. To enhance domestic resource mobilization to ensure sustainable financing on Africa’s industrialization, and allocate a minimum of 5 – 10% of the national budget dedicated to the industrial development.
  4. To develop sustainable Special Economic Zones and Industrial Parks as well as work with and support existing ones in member states as a means to overcoming existing industrial infrastructure constraints, and become hubs for regional value chain integration.
  5. To ensure inclusive and sustainable industrialization, the Heads of State and Government and other stakeholders will have regular dialogue with the private sector in order to scale up high level engagement on industrialization. The African Union Commission in collaboration with other institutions will strengthen support to Member States in creating an enabling business environment for private sector to thrive.
  6. The leaders endorsed the African Union Small and Medium Strategy. Relatedly, the African Union Commission is tasked with establishing and operationalising the Africa Enterprise Network. The African Union Commission will also work with the African Regional Standards Organization (ARSO) and the Pan-African Quality Infrastructure (PAQI) to expedite the finalization of the Made in Africa Standards and Guidelines.
  7. The leaders have committed to reserve a minimum of 10% of public procurement to local enterprises, to strengthen the private sector development and industrialization;
  8. At the Summit, the leaders agreed to establish, at the national levels, programmes for industrial linkages between the educational system and the labour market, aimed at promoting competitiveness of the private sector through development of soft and hard skills necessary for industrialization in particular in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); technical and vocational education and Ttaining (TVET), and robotics and artificial Intelligence. Relatedly, the African Union Commission and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) will prepare a feasibility study on the establishment of an African Manufacturing Institute to support Member States and the private sector in the development of modern manufacturing skills and fostering innovation in the manufacturing sector that will accompany the ongoing structural economic transformation in Africa.
  9. H.E Mohamed Bazoum, President of the Republic of Niger, was appointed the African Union Champion on Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization and Productive Transformation, to provide political leadership and awareness, and ensure a follow-up on the progress regarding the industrial development on the continent in order to achieve Africa’s transformation under Agenda 2063. The African Union Commission will set-up an Inter-Institutional Coordination Mechanism to provide technical assistance to the AU Champion.
  10. With prevailing exceptional circumstances that justify the extension of the TRIPS Agreement to cover therapeutics and diagnostics for a comprehensive response for COVID-19, and to diversify production, the Heads of State called on all WTO Members to support the extension of the TRIPS waiver to cover the production and supply of COVID-19 diagnostics and therapeutics no later than 17 December 2022. Africa accounts for less than 5% of global production of all medical products, exposing the continent to vulnerabilities and fragility during pandemics.

Working with development partners, the African Union will also produce and disseminate amongst Member States, an annual Africa’s Industrial Development Report base on an African Industrial Development Index, and fast-track the establishment of the African Industrial Observatory.

The leaders called on the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat to support the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) under the Guided Trade Initiative in collaboration with the African Civil Aviation Commission, African airlines and other relevant stakeholders. Further, the Secretariat is expected to fast-track the implementation of a work programme related to the Annexes for Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) specifically in the areas of standards harmonization.

How to Choose the Right BI Consulting Provider

As the volume and variety of data soar, enterprises require more advanced analytics tools. Therefore, increasingly more organizations upscale their investments in business intelligence (BI). According to Industry Research, the global BI market will reach $35,380 million by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 5.6% during 2022-2028.

Despite the growing demand for advanced analytics, not every organization is ready to initiate BI-related projects. After all, BI development is no easy task, which implies the integration of different data sources and assuring data quality. 

For this reason, those who decide to initiate business intelligence projects usually fall back on BI advisory and utilize third-party expertise to mitigate the development challenges. This article discusses why the choice of a BI consultant plays a critical role in project success and provides tips on finding the best service provider.

Why is the choice of a BI consultant essential?

Typically, consultants are involved in BI projects at multiple levels. For example, a consultant first provides business and technical advice to validate a client’s idea, concurrently helping to draw up the requirements and project plan. Then the same consultant participates in BI development and implementation and is involved in coding, design, testing, and optimization.

Apparently, such a wide range of tasks requires a broad set of skills and proficiency in BI development from both business and technical perspectives. In addition, a consultant must have relevant industry expertise – after all, developing BI for logistics, telecommunications, and healthcare would slightly differ.

Suppose a consultant does not meet these requirements. In that case, an enterprise risks deploying a useless or defective BI solution and ineffective budget spending. On the contrary, choosing the right BI consultant with relevant skills and domain expertise increases the chances of project success.

How to find the best BI consultant?

To increase the chances of finding the best BI consultant, we would recommend corporate decision-makers the following algorithm:

Step 1. Preparation

If an organization considers initiating a BI project and starts looking for a consultant, we would recommend doing a little preparatory work in advance. In particular, decision-makers should elaborate on their business requirements and define the project goals, as this information may come in handy while searching for a BI consultant.

Decision-makers may initiate meetings with linear managers and enterprise IT experts to discuss relevant questions:

  • What pain points do we want to solve with business intelligence?
  • What kind of BI software do we need? What features and capabilities should it provide?
  • Are there examples of similar BI solutions on the market?
  • What technologies and tools will we use during the development?
  • What budget and resources are we ready to allocate?
  • What assistance do we require from a BI consultant? What skills and expertise do we need in the first place?

Based on the answers, decision-makers can formulate their requirements for a potential consultant. For example, an organization plans to utilize a microservices architecture. In this case, it goes to a consultant with a deep knowledge of a microservices concept. 

Step 2. Researching

After an organization has determined the basic requirements for a BI consultant, it can proceed to gather a pool of candidates. At this stage, decision-makers should try to collect all relevant information about each potential consultant. 

To start with, they may look at the consultants’ websites. There they can find general information about consultants, their services, domain expertise descriptions, and specific certificates.

Also, it is advisable to look through the portfolio section. First, the portfolio highlights a consultant’s expertise. Second, it helps understand whether a consultant had experience with similar BI projects. In addition, a portfolio may provide insight into how a consultant approaches BI software development.

The research stage should imply visiting directories (such as Clutch, G2C, etc.) and reading reviews of the consultant’s clients. Both good and bad reviews can provide a lot of valuable info – whether customers are generally satisfied with the services, what they say about a consultant regarding data and project management, communication, and meeting deadlines.

Among other things, decision-makers may try to reach out to the consultant’s clients directly and ask some questions about their past interactions. On completing all these steps, an organization can gain a comprehensive view of a particular BI consultant and decide if it deserves further consideration.

Step 3. Filtering

At this stage, an organization should already have a pool of candidates potentially suitable for the role of a BI consultant. Now an organization should filter out consultants to determine the most worthy ones.

For convenience, decision-makers may create a table in Excel or Google Spreadsheets and fill it with the research results. This way, they can compare all the relevant parameters – the relevance of experience, company location, and the ratio of good to bad reviews – and identify the leaders. 

Step 4. Communicating

After an organization has filtered out the most relevant candidates, it is time to contact them and start discussing the project idea. At this stage, it is critical to analyze the communication with BI consultants, as it will help to make a more confident final choice.

Here are some communication aspects that are worth considering:

  • Does a consultant show interest in our idea? Is a consultant committed to answering our questions?
  • Is a consultant open and transparent about its expertise?
  • Is a consultant ready to share contacts of its clients?
  • Can a consultant’s team explain why we should prefer them over competitors?
  • Does a consultant make a good impression?

If a candidate has passed all the filters, the organization can choose it for providing BI advisory. However, if none of the candidates meets the requirements, corporate decision-makers may consider initiating a new search cycle and searching for other providers.

Final thoughts

Today, implementing BI technology may be considered a natural step for any growing enterprise aiming at enhanced decision-making and competitiveness. Since BI development is very challenging, many organizations prefer to engage third-party BI consultants, who can validate ideas, create project plans, and, if necessary, take over the BI implementation. 

However, an organization should not contact the first BI consultant it comes across, as it may lead to project failure. A clear understanding of business objectives and a comprehensive candidate analysis are the keys to choosing the right BI consultant.

Calculating Your Software ROI: Essential to Your Company’s Growth And Success?

By Emily Rollwitz – Content Marketing Executive, Global App Testing

There are so many tools out there to help SMEs compete with big businesses. And cloud services and SaaS solutions can do a lot for small businesses. 

But not every software investment is the best one. With so many solutions, features, and prices to choose from, how can businesses make an objective decision?

What is software ROI, and why is it important?

Software return on investment (ROI) is a metric used to determine the financial benefits of investing in software. This could be anything from a new CMS to an iPaaS system that makes it easy to move data across apps.

Measuring software ROI is an integral part of your business analysis process because it allows organizations to make informed decisions about whether or not to invest in a new software system. By putting a number on all the costs and benefits, organizations can make more informed decisions about whether or not it’s worth the cost.

What makes this tricky is that software’s price tag isn’t the only cost. Other factors include the ongoing costs of using and maintaining the system; time spent onboarding team members; and financial risks associated with investing in this system. Also, it is difficult to work out the overall financial benefit of some software, such as a programme used to improve presentations and make them look and feel more professional. While this doesn’t directly generate income, it contributes to any situation where you may be expected to make presentations.

Making better decisions

By understanding the ROI of their investments, businesses can make more informed decisions about where to allocate their resources. 

Whether a software company should push out a release now to spur sales or needs to review the Global App Testing smoke testing guide again can be easily determined by ROI. In this case the ROI determines the budget relative to the expected return. If another round of testing would exceed that budget then it’s objectively not worth the money.

Monitoring and controlling costs

ROI is a useful tool for monitoring the performance of software over time because it allows businesses to track and measure the financial benefits. 

If software’s pricing model changes, it’s easy to compare the expected cost over the next 12 months to the financial benefit from the previous year. A price increase might be small, but it might be enough to make the software unjustifiable.

Conversely, the software provider might introduce a lower pricing tier with fewer features; if you can put a number on the benefits of specific features, you can make an easy decision on whether to “downgrade” to the cheaper option.

How do you calculate software ROI?

The easiest way to calculate software ROI is to divide the financial benefit of using the software by the costs of the software. This will provide you with a ratio that can be used to compare the ROI of different systems. 

One simple way to calculate the new software’s true cost is to take the initial cost of the software and add in the ongoing costs of using and maintaining the system, including subscriptions and pay-as-you-go features. 

“Costs” should be as comprehensive as possible, including the total cost per hour taken to onboard the whole team onto the new software. You should also consider the potential risks of this software and consider the resources you’ll need to set aside to mitigate them. This will provide you with a total cost of ownership for the software.

To calculate the expected revenue, you’ll need a baseline to compare it to. How much does it cost you per man-hour to do tasks like email campaigns or processing sales leads with the software you currently use? What are the upfront monthly/yearly costs, and how much free cash flow does that leave you compared to other options? 

Only once you have that baseline and can measure your current software ROI can you calculate the expected ROI of new software to streamline those everyday business operations.

What are the benefits of calculating software ROI?

There are many benefits to calculating software ROI. 

It helps teams determine whether an investment is worth the cost. But it also allows them to compare solutions and make a business case for the best one. 

Additionally, calculating your software ROI beforehand can help you measure the success of that software as it’s implemented within your company.

Weighing up the cost

There are a few key factors to consider when deciding if a software investment is worth the cost. 

The first is to consider the size and scope of the projects that software is going to help with. If they’re large projects with lots of moving parts, then it would be good to automate them. This will speed up execution while reducing the chance of human error. 

But if any one small task like getting a document signed is repeated enough, the cost of doing it inefficiently adds up quickly. This is the kind of task HRM software can help with. In either case it’s worth putting a value on that inefficiency and looking for an affordable solution.

Justifying the investment

Business purchases often have a lot of decision-makers. If you’re convinced that you’ve found the right accounting software, you have to be able to convince executives that this is a worthwhile investment. 

A well-thought-out ROI calculation is a great way to address concerns around its expense, and show your stakeholders that this is a sound decision that will help the business grow.

Make a calculated decision for your business

Calculating your software ROI is essential for growth and success. Without it, you don’t know whether that shiny new piece of software is actually a sound investment. 

Calculating software ROI enables you to make better decisions around software purchases and monitor how well they’re paying off in the long term.

The Rise in Popularity of the “Second Stepper” Property

Given the on-going cost of living crisis, with sky high energy bills and mortgage repayments going through the roof, it is hardly surprising that doom and gloom predictions of a house price crash are everywhere right now. Indeed, most property experts seem to agree that a fall in prices of around 10% over the next 12 months should be expected.

From an affordability point of view, this, of course, makes sense. Since the summer of 2020 we have seen an unprecedented rise in house prices, with an average annual house price rise of 15.5% in July 2022, the highest rise since 2003, thanks to the impact of pandemic induced government incentives like the stamp duty holiday, low interest rates and the disparity between supply versus demand. This has particularly been the case when it comes to larger properties, offering more indoor and outdoor living space, as home offices and larger gardens have topped wish lists nationwide thanks to various lockdown periods and home working.

As we are tightening our belts in 2022 though, there has been a distinct cooling off amongst potential buyers. Indeed market activity has fallen since September, with new survey instructions and mortgage approvals falling to pre-pandemic levels and fewer property transactions taking place. There have also been more asking price reductions reported, up from 2% to 23% in October 2022 according to Rightmove.   

However, there has been a property stalwart bucking the downward trend. The so-called “second stepper” home, traditionally a 3-4 bedroom semi-detached or detached property sought by homeowners wanting to move up the ladder from their first property and gain more space.

According to estate agents Knight Frank, the number of new homebuyers seeking this type of property has jumped by 27% in the past year and the property type getting the most interest on Rightmove right now? You guessed it, the three-bedroom semi.

The popularity of family homes in catchments areas for good schools is nothing new for ‘upsizers’, with many happy to pay over the odds for their home if it means saving thousands on school fees and lands them a premium property in a sought-after location. However, today it seems, the “second-stepper” is the holy grail for a multitude of different buyers – more so than any other property type in fact – spinning the traditional property ladder on its axis.

Indeed, as the average age of the first-time buyer has increased, and therefore in many cases, so has their salary and the size of their deposit, lots of savvy first time buyers are leaping up the property ladder a few rungs. Given the cost of moving house – currently around £12,000 on average – it makes sense to secure longevity in a home which will grow with you wherever possible.  

At the other end of the market, empty nesters whose children have left home are looking to downsize without losing too much space. Particularly as concerns grow over rising energy bills this winter, which is encouraging many downsizers to take the plunge. According to Savills, a whopping 77% of buyers are now taking into account the amount they will need to spend on energy in a new home before they buy, with smaller, more energy efficient new-builds popular.

Interestingly, many downsizers are also taking advantage of the equity in their previous homes to help their children get a foothold on the property ladder by increasing their deposit to make mortgage rates more manageable. Indeed, this homeowner group could unlock an impressive £129,000 on average from their existing properties by downsizing. Of course, inadvertently this does pitch parents against children when it comes to the types of properties they are searching for, as one heads up the property ladder and one down. By selling larger, more expensive homes during the recent housing boom, downsizers are often able to buy a new property mortgage free, in cash, keeping the price of second-stepper homes in popular areas high and making it hard for first-time buyers and second steppers to compete, especially with rising interest rates and more expensive mortgages repayments to consider.

The continued popularity of three and four-bedroom properties amongst such a broad range of buyers, and the shortage of these homes available to buy right now versus this strong demand, means that many second stepper properties have been shielded from the impact of falling house prices – so far.

What Changes Have Been Made to Capital Gains Tax Allowances and How Will they Affect Anyone Thinking of Selling a Second Home or Buy-to-let Property?

What is capital gains tax?

Capital gains tax is a UK tax which is charged on the profit you make when you sell an asset that has increased in value since it came into your possession. You pay tax only on the amount by which the asset has gained in value, not the full amount of money you have made by selling it.

You are liable to pay tax on a number of different chargeable assets including property, although there is an annual tax-free allowance which currently sits at £12,300. For jointly owned assets, you can combine your tax-free allowances.

When it comes to property taxes, capital gains tax is generally only applicable on sales of second and buy-to-let homes, commercial premises and property which has been inherited. The amount that you pay is dependent on your tax status. If you are a basic rate taxpayer, you would pay 18% of the gain you make on a property after your tax-free allowance has been deducted. If you are a higher or additional rate taxpayer, you would pay 28%.

What changes have been made to capital gains tax?

In his recent Autumn Statement on 17 November 2022, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that changes would be made to the capital gains tax free allowance rates as part of a number of measures to cut the £54 billion deficit in the UK’s finances. Other measures include a 50% reduction on the dividend allowance from £2,000 to £1,000 and freezing the income tax personal allowance and higher rate thresholds for an additional two years to April 2028.

The capital gains tax allowance threshold will be reduced by more than half from £12,300 to £6,000 as of 1 April 2023. The rate will then be cut by a further 50% to £3,000 from 1 April 2024.

This means that any gains over and above these amounts will be taxed accordingly depending on the individual’s tax status.

For properties which are jointly owned, by a married couple for instance, you can continue to combine your tax-free allowance which means a figure of £24,600 up to 31 March 2023, £12,000 from 1 April 2023 and £6,000 from 1 April 2024.

Should I try and sell my property before 31 March 2023 then?

If you are in the process of selling your property already, then there is certainly an advantage to getting the transaction done and dusted by 31 March 2023.

Since the summer of 2020, property prices have sky-rocketed by 24%. Assuming that the property you wish to sell originally cost or was valued at £234,073 (the national average property price in June 2020) and you have sold it for 24% (£56,177.52) more than it was worth when you bought or inherited it, then your capital gains tax payments would be as follows before and after 31 March 2023.

  Capital gains tax payment for a basic rate taxpayer paying 18%* Capital gains tax payment for a higher or additional rate taxpayer paying 28%*  
Until 31 March 2023   £7,897.95 £12,285.71
From 1 April 2023   £9,032 £14,049.71
From 1 April 2024   £9,571.95 £14,889.71

*These figures are based on the assumption that there have been no other taxable gains within the year.

Whilst there is a saving to be made should you sell before 31 March 2023, if your property is not yet on the market and may take some time and refurbishment to prepare for sale then the benefit of rushing it through may not be worth the upheaval, particularly given the volatility of the housing market right now thanks to the looming recession and jump in mortgage and interest rates.

If you have a mortgage on the property, then depending on the timing of your sale in relation to when you took out the mortgage, you may also find yourself liable for early repayment fees which would eat into any savings made from a lower capital gains tax payment.

It also takes around 20 weeks to complete the sale of your home at the moment according to Rightmove, which means even if you have recently agreed the sale with a buyer you would still be very pushed to meet the 31 March 2023 deadline.

How To Choose A Cloud Service For Your Small Business

Running a small business nowadays requires careful consideration, especially with the technology used. If you want to maintain an edge in your industry, cloud technology is something to keep in mind. Cloud services allow convenient accessibility of data. Keep in mind that all it takes for your company to fail is a power outage, a cyber threat, or a technological malfunction.

The cloud will ensure your daily business operations flow seamlessly, ensuring better productivity and security. Today, you have an array of cloud services available at your disposal, which can make the selection process a challenging one. To streamline your company’s daily operations, consider checking out and other reliable online sources to centralize all data into a simple interface. 

What Is Cloud Service?

The increasing availability of cloud services allows a wide range of options for storing databases, files, and servers. With cloud services, you know that all sensitive business data are safe. Generally, the service is cost-effective and includes several convenient features. 

Additionally, cloud services ensure seamless accessibility of data from any location. The feature makes the collaboration process among the workforce convenient.

In simple terms, cloud service allows businesses to have dedicated fixed storage in a secure place. It also allows access to data in a remote server. Today, there are various types of cloud services available, and the most popular include cloud backup, cloud hosting, and Software as a Service (SaaS).

Knowing more about cloud services is one way to ensure a head start. Consider checking out snowflake cloud services and similar providers to understand better what they can do for your small business.

Considerations When Choosing A Cloud Service For A Small Business

If you want to ensure your small business maintains an edge, cloud services are worth considering. Another advantage of the service is helping cut down costs since it minimises the need to maintain an in-house IT team and on-premise hardware.  

Today, the abundant providers of cloud services can make it challenging to choose the right one for your small business. Luckily, there are valuable pointers to remember to help you make the right choice.  

1. Determine The Specific Needs Of Your Business

A common mistake by many business owners you must avoid is diving headfirst into researching cloud computing without figuring out the specific needs.  

It’s crucial to remember that cloud services can meet the various needs of the business. With this in mind, prioritise your business needs.  

Nowadays, you can find cloud-based team collaboration tools, cloud Customer relationship management (CRM) or Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, and cloud file storage options. As your business grows, consider more advanced cloud services that meet your growing IT needs. 

2. Learn About The Certifications And Standards 

Cloud service providers capable of complying with the recognised standards and quality frameworks clearly adhere to the industry’s best practices and standards. Although the standards will not determine which service you’ll choose, they’ll go a long way in helping you shortlist potential options.  

During the selection, you should look for effective data management, structured processes, visibility of services, and superior knowledge management. It would be best to determine how the provider you’re considering plans to resource and sustain strict compliance with the standards. 

3. Know The Quality Of Customer Support 

A key consideration when selecting a cloud service is the quality of customer support. The ideal way to know is to check out online reviews. Good customer support is crucial to making the utilization of the technology manageable. Try to shortlist providers capable of providing technical support 24/7 via chat, phone, or email.   

4. Look For Proper Documentation

Good documentation is one of the key indicators to watch out for when selecting a cloud service. Consider it a positive sign if a provider offers straightforward documentation on its website about using the service. Today, some trustworthy service providers offer in-depth guides for their products.

If you want to avoid the hassle and ensure your business operations run seamlessly in the cloud, proper documentation will help ensure you stay on the right path.

5. Scrutinize The Service Level Agreement (SLA) 

The service level agreement (SLA) should be an important consideration when selecting a cloud service. Generally, it’s an agreement that establishes the minimum level of service to expect. While assessing the capability of a cloud service provider, thoroughly read the SLA and check out the essential elements, such as what the provider can do in case of unforeseen events such as power outages or data loss, security practices, and potential downtime.   

Final Thoughts 

For small businesses, investing in the right technology, such as the cloud, is worth considering. Cloud technology plays a key role in streamlining operations by saving time and money, especially with the technical aspect of running your business. These valuable insights will guide you in choosing the right cloud service for your small business.

10 Online Money Management Strategies for eCommerce

10 Online Money Management Strategies for eCommerce

More than 260 million people will buy from eCommerce websites by 2026. The future of retail belongs to eCommerce platforms, and we’ll see more online-offline hybrid stores in the coming years. The reasons behind this phenomenon are apparent:

  • It’s easier to buy from eCommerce stores
  • The range of options is vast
  • Availability of high and low-end products on the same platform

Despite a booming eCommerce market, many eCommerce businesses fail to succeed. The success rate in the eCommerce market is less than 20%. Most of these businesses fail because they’re poor with money management.

10 Online Money Management Strategies For eCommerce

Among other things that eCommerce CEOs require to succeed in this space, money management is at the core, and eCommerce websites are no exception. Without cash flow and proper money management, your inventory will dry up, your business will be in debt, and you’d be forced to shut it down if no miracle happens.

To succeed, however, is no secret. Putting into play effective eCommerce marketing strategies that place money management at the forefront is the fastest path to becoming cash-rich and profitable. Here are ten money management tips that all eCommerce businesses can follow to succeed.

Keep Enough Inventory To Match Demands

How will you sell products and make profits if you don’t have anything to sell in the first place?

Many businesses make the mistake of cutting expenses by not keeping enough inventory. Making money and converting customers is definitely exciting, but then maintaining an inventory is crucial to provide a great experience to the customers.

Having 12 weeks of inventory is the safest approach. If 12 weeks is too much, try to keep at least 8 weeks of inventory. Having sufficient inventory allows you to meet demand when there’s a spike. It’s the only way to maximize profits when the market presents you with the right opportunity.

Restocking inventory on short notice is expensive, if not impossible. Prevent difficult business situations by keeping your inventory ready to meet any surge in demand. If time is a concern, and you have the money to outsource, consider hiring third-party eCommerce fulfillment services.

Keep KYC (Know your Customer) And Other Regulations In Mind

Various governments and regulatory bodies mandate Know Your Client banking (KYC) and other identity verification measures. If your business is found breaching any of these regulations, it’ll be charged a hefty fine.

Billions of dollars go into fines and penalty payments every year. Even if your eCommerce store is fined a small percentage of its net revenue, it’ll have serious ramifications on the financial health of your business.

eCommerce stores use SaaS tools to stay compliant with regulations and rules. Alternatively, they can work with a compliance specialist. However, adding a technology layer to compliance management is necessary to keep up with the ever-evolving regulations.

Neglecting regulations and compliance is a mistake that many small businesses make. Founders and entrepreneurs should dedicate their time to understanding different regulations and what they entail.

Evaluate Business Credit And Funding Options

Many eCommerce platforms raise funds with the expectation of taking the business to the next level. Raising funds isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. As long as your business is bootstrapped, you’ve absolute control over it. With diluted ownership, you’ve to take into account what every stakeholder has to say.

Understanding when to use funding as a debt tool is essential for business success. It’s advisable to have a business credit card for SMEs for times when you need quick cash. Shortage of working capital necessitates strategic and well-planned debt.

It’s important that your business doesn’t exclusively rely on external funding. It should be an expansion move, not a sustenance move. Every business can benefit from strategic funding, but mindlessly raising money won’t provide the benefits you’d expect it to.

Factor In Recurring Annual Costs

A structured budget is the backbone of financial health in any business. While creating a budget for your eCommerce business, always remember to account for recurring costs. It includes not just recurring monthly expenses, but also recurring yearly costs.

Let’s assume that after paying your regular monthly expenses, you have $2,000 in working capital each month. This money might be readily moved to be used for marketing, staff bonuses, new product inventories, or just about anything else. However, if you spend all of that money and then have to pay a $1,200 yearly subscription for your SEO tools, you’ll be in trouble.

Keep these seasonal and/or annual expenses in mind when budgeting for expenses and savings. It demands meticulous record-keeping, but the results are worth the effort.

Aim For A Steady Gross Margin

If your gross margins are fluctuating month on month, you’re making some mistakes either in accounting or in pricing. A steady gross margin is a sign of a healthy and functional business. Keep your gross margins consistent if you want to make steady and incremental profits over the long run.

Fluctuations in gross margin are more common when you are offering heavy discounts on your products. It’s good to offer discounts to boost sales, but keep the larger picture in mind.

Will the buyers continue to buy your products once you lift the discount?

If they don’t, what impact will it have on your gross margins?

Strategise your pricing keeping gross margins in mind. At the same time, make sure there are no accounting mistakes.

Work On Shipping Costs

Spending too much money on shipping is equivalent to pouring money down the drain.

Shipping costs are often overinflated, and they can start draining your profit margins. All eCommerce businesses struggle with shipping, but the successful ones eventually crack the code.

When searching for an eCommerce platform, you must start considering delivery costs. Numerous platforms feature a wide range of partners with apps that assist entrepreneurs in discovering the most affordable shipping solutions. Some might even provide options for cheap shipping. Use these options to bring down shipping costs, and you’ll see your profits skyrocketing.

It can take some time to find the right shipping partner. Don’t rush through it and settle for a shipping partner who is charging you more than you can afford.

Don’t Overspend On Marketing

eCommerce businesses make the mistake of assuming that spending a lot of money on marketing will solve all their problems. Nothing can be farther from the truth. All your marketing spending is going to waste unless you have great products and services.

Instead, focus on cost-effective marketing channels. For example, you don’t need to run paid ads if your organic content marketing is on spot. It’ll surely take more time to show results, but in the long term, the Return on Investment (ROI) would be insane.

When it comes to marketing, focus on low-hanging fruits before aiming for the stars. Spend a reasonable amount on marketing, but never overspend. Continuously evaluate and measure the success of your marketing campaigns. If something isn’t working, discard it and look for something else.

Hold Sufficient Cash

What’s the difference between businesses that crashed during Covid-19 and those that survived? Businesses that had enough cash could take the hit and still keep going. But if a business didn’t have any cash to go through a few months of zero revenue, it’d surely sink.

The valuation of your business and its gross annual revenue are fancy metrics when you don’t have the cash to back them up. Unless you are backed by the largest investors, you won’t be able to run a cash-starving business. It will eventually reach a point of no return.

Before anything else, make sure you fill the cash reserves of your eCommerce business. Part of it is for emergencies, and part of it is for the overall sustenance of your business.

Maximise Profits When You Have The Opportunity

Every business has feast seasons and famine seasons. While your eventual aim should be to balance the inconsistencies, you should also focus on maximizing profits when you have the chance.

Go all out during the festive season to boost revenue. If a cultural phenomenon is driving more people toward your products, make the most of it. Seize every opportunity you get and always be ready to deliver on short notice.

Strategic planning is also necessary to do this. For example, plan your holiday sales well before the holidays arrive. Use every opportunity you get to your advantage.

Reduce Additional (And Unnecessary) Expenses

Cost-cutting is necessary for every business, especially bootstrapped eCommerce ventures. The aim of cost-cutting is to identify areas where you are spending too much without the equivalent benefits. Take the time to identify all such areas in your business, and see where you can make major changes.

Cost-cutting can’t be a one-time thing. You have to continuously check your balance sheets to see where expenditures are high but corresponding results are unsatisfactory. It could include everything from sales to marketing to operations. Moreover, you could also be losing money to fraud and scams.

Remember that for every dollar you save, you can invest the same amount somewhere more fruitful. Cost-cutting doesn’t only reduce expenditure but also gives you the ability to spend money where necessary.

Money Management Is Essential To Keeping Your eCommerce Business Alive

By following these ten tips, you can keep your business thriving even in the most difficult market conditions.

When the fundamentals are in place, money management is easy for anyone.

Basic Security Measures for Your Small Business

Security is not often the most pressing concern facing you as a business owner. As inflation rates continue to rise, many entrepreneurs and business owners have more on their plate than the relatively quotidian task of shoring up their office security – not to mention the possibility of budgetary difficulty. But as a potential depression looms, security could be the one thing that prevents your business from losing liquidity altogether. What are the most effective measures you could employ?


The most commonly-considered form of commercial security measure is perhaps the CCTV camera, ingrained as it is in our cultural consciousness as an objectively useful monitoring tool. Security cameras certainly have their uses as part of a more comprehensive security system, but not quite in the way you might suspect.

The core function of security cameras is to monitor environments. Without a 24/7 security team on task on your premises, this core function will not necessarily prevent criminal activity. Rather, it will capture and record it. You may suffer financial losses or property damage, but the evidence is there to potentially identify the perpetrators and validate an insurance claim.

However, alongside other effective security measures (and in the absence of an active security detail),
there is an ancillary effect that security cameras can have: one of deterrence. If your security cameras are prominently displayed and obviously in operation, potential trespassers may be less likely to attempt their entry.

Alarm Systems

Deterrence is the essential purpose of alarm sirens as part of your office security system. Sirens attached to motion detectors or other forms of intrusion detection serve to draw attention to a given location or premises, supposedly increasing the likelihood of investigation by local law enforcement or even passers-by.

Whether or not someone would actually turn up and catch a would-be criminal in the act is unimportant; the result is a heightened level of trepidation on behalf of would-be criminals to attempt trespass. Of course, alarm systems can also be hooked up to automatically alert local police or a private security team.

Security Lighting

Another strong deterrent comes in the form of lighting. Just as alarm sirens can be tripped by motion or light detection, so too can high-powered security lights. These are particularly effective on the perimeter of your office premises, to illuminate the location of a would-be trespasser – exposing them both to passers-by and to your camera system for easier identification.

Keyless Entry

Not all criminal entries are done in the dead of night, though. Many criminals attempt entry in broad
daylight, through attempting to impersonate a member of workplace personnel or even a courier. Entry during office hours can be much harder to police – rendering unique entry systems incredibly effective at heightening your daytime security. With fob entry, only employees and visitors with the correct RFID tag
can enter.