What Are the Best Cryptocurrencies to Invest In?

Which will be the best Cryptocurrency to invest in 2021? The answer will come from a careful assessment of each distinct asset and its suitability for investing in the global marketplace. This article examines some of the top cryptos including Forex, Gold, S&P 500, E-mini, and Nasdaq. We’ll break these down and determine which is best to use in your portfolio.

Currency trading software is a great way to manage one’s own money. It automates the process of recording buying and selling transactions as well as analyzing trends in the market. This type of software can also make recommendations on which currencies to buy based on statistical analysis of price movements within certain time frames. The largest benefit of this is that all profits are made automatically by the program.

Investing in Cryptocurrency doesn’t have to be complicated. The main point to consider is what market is being tracked. If the market is very volatile, then a different type of trading software might be more suitable. These applications are generally more targeted and can provide higher returns in smaller time frames.

When you are deciding which type of market trading software to use, it is important to remember that they are usually ranked according to the difficulty of the application. The higher the ranking, the more difficult it will be to use. It may also take longer to generate return on investment.

There are several factors which will determine which is the best Cryptocurrency to invest in. These include profitability, risk reward, speed of payouts and ease of entry. The best ones out there are based on a combination of factors which gives them the highest profit potential. They also offer the fastest payouts and ease in accessing their market. The best Cryptocurrency to invest in 2150 will be determined by how well the underlying asset will perform.

If you are planning to start an investment, the best Cryptocurrency to invest in is likely to be the one that is simple and easy to use. The popular ones are usually based on major currencies. These include the US dollar, the Euro, the Japanese Yen, Swiss Francs and the Australian Dollar. With an increase in popularity, there will be a corresponding increase in trading software applications which are made for these particular markets.

Some applications offer a wide range of choices which is great because it allows you to diversify. A common mistake with novice investors is to only look at the trading software which offers the best returns. This means that they miss out on other less profitable markets. To be profitable, you need to be investing in a variety of assets and market sectors.

Another important factor that will determine the best Cryptocurrency to invest in is its potential profit and loss. Many people choose the best items based on their personal preferences. They do this by looking at how much it costs to buy each of the items, how much the gas or airline fares cost and what it would cost to drive to the location to purchase it. If you are only going to buy the item once then it makes sense to select the best item because it will be less expensive, making it the best investment.

In addition to choosing the best market, you also need to consider how long it will take to make a profit. The longer the period of time, the greater the profit potential. This is known as the scalability of the market. Although you might lose money on short time frames, the long term should provide a higher return. The best Cryptocurrencies to invest in have a low volatility, high liquidity and high profit potential over a longer period of time. These characteristics are not always present in all markets.

The best Cryptocurrencies to invest in are often chosen based on the investment goal. It is helpful if you can determine how much you plan on spending on your investments. If you plan on spending a small amount, a conservative approach to investing may be best. On the other hand, if you are ready to spend a large amount then you can go ahead and take risks. The best Cryptocurrencies to invest in are those that have a high return on investment, low volatility and high liquidity.

There are several advantages of investing in Cryptocurrency compared to investing in stocks and bonds. The best Cryptocurrency to invest in is one that has high profit potential, low risk, high liquidity and great scalability. In order to find out which is the best Cryptocurrency to invest in, do your research. Check out the investment options available and talk to experts in the field.

Why You Should Outsource Your Playout Services

In the simplest of terms, playout is the transmission of radio or television channels from the broadcaster to the broadcast network that delivers the content to the audience or general public. For employees of the media, entertainment, and technology sector, it is a crucial step in the distribution of media content. It can be operated in-house or outsourced by an external company. Continue reading to find out why you should outsource your playout services.

 

You can focus on the task at hand

 By outsourcing your playout services, you can free up more time to focus on tasks relating to the daily running of the business. If your unique skillset lies in curating great content, you should pour your energy into doing what you do best. By doing so, you can relax knowing your playout services are in safe hands and be confident in the knowledge that you are delivering a stand-out experience for your customers as well as your employees. This can also allow you to shift the operational burden to a professional playout services specialist and benefit from playout services by companies like Red Bee that are experts in their chosen field.

You can save time and money

By outsourcing your playout services, you can end up saving a considerable amount of time and money. But this can only be achieved by selecting the right supplier. You should avoid contracts that trap you for a number of years and purchase a service that will benefit you in the short-term as well as in the long-term. As with any complex media process, the less experienced you are, the longer it is likely to take you to complete. The entire process can take days, weeks, and even months to complete from start to finish. This time can be better spent on curating the content you intend to stream. With cheaper rates producing low quality results, you must not be tempted to opt for the cheapest option available to you at the time. Instead, shop around for an industry-leading provider and weigh up its pros and cons before making an informed decision.

To keep up with the latest trends

In the media industry, digital advancements can progress at an unprecedented rate. By outsourcing your playout services, you can benefit from the latest technology for less. By working alongside your playout services provider, you can implement a series of processes that can ensure you stay ahead of the curve and stand out from the crowd. In addition, you can also choose from speech-to-text features and picture-in-picture graphics to maximise your playout services and thrust your company to new heights.

 

To prepare for the worst

By outsourcing your playout services to the right provider at the right cost, you can free up more time and money to spend on your company-wide disaster recovery solution. A number of cloud-based playout services also incorporate redundancy and diversity so you can avoid falling victim to several costly and time-consuming mistakes. A disaster recovery solution can provide a wide range of benefits and lead to virtually zero application downtime as well as less data loss. It can also reduce your data footprint by consolidating backup and disaster recovery infrastructure.

As a media company, it may benefit you to outsource your playout services. This can provide a wide range of benefits and allow you to focus on the task at hand, save time and money, keep up with the latest trends, and prepare for the worst. By familiarising yourself with the importance of outsourcing your playout services, you can manage your workflow quickly as well as efficiently.

The Importance of Pregnancy Loss Policies and Why Every Business Should Implement One

With many high-profile figures speaking out about their experiences of miscarriage, we’re talking more and more about the reality of losing a baby. However, pregnancy loss is still a subject that falls under the radar, especially when it comes to workplace policies. With the release of the new documentary this October, Myleene Klass: Miscarriage & Me, there’s no better time to talk about the importance of pregnancy loss policies.

With that in mind, let’s find out more about the pregnancy loss policies here in the UK and what we could be doing better.

What are the current pregnancy loss policies?

Although celebrities such as Myleene Klass, Katherine Ryan and Stephanie Davis are working hard to break the stigma around miscarriage and speaking out about it, the UK’s policies have a long way to come. In March of this year, New Zealand passed a monumental law entitling parents to take three days bereavement leave if they go through a miscarriage or a stillbirth (no matter what stage the pregnancy was at). Here in the UK, however, there is no entitlement to any paid leave when the loss occurs before 24 weeks. Technically, UK law doesn’t recognise anything before 24 weeks as “childbirth”. Therefore, employees don’t have any legal right to time off work, even if the time is to be taken for bereavement.

After 24 weeks of pregnancy, however, the rules change a little. Since April 2020, parents have had the legal right to take time off work for “statutory parental bereavement”. This applies if parents have suffered the death of a child, including a miscarriage or a stillbirth after 24 weeks. However, this Baby Loss Awareness Week we’re asking: does this law go far enough? The emotional and physical trauma that can accompany a miscarriage should not be underestimated. It’s simply not as easy as getting up and going to work the day after such a heartbreaking ordeal.

This year, some companies have recognised this and put some big changes in place. Channel 4 and Monzo are among the first few brands to have implemented policies specific to miscarriages. These companies now offer both parents up to two weeks of paid leave after a pregnancy loss.

Why is it so important that more companies follow?

In light of the pandemic, companies everywhere know more than ever how important health and wellbeing is to their employees. Compassion and understanding are also key in maintaining a strong and happy workforce. With so many people having to endure the pain of pregnancy loss, a compassionate approach from companies is the only way forward.

According to research by Imperial College London, around 250,000 miscarriages happen in the UK every year. In addition to this, there are around 11,000 emergency ectopic pregnancy admissions each year. The same study revealed the consequences that these tragedies often have on women’s mental health. It was found that almost a third of women who experienced either a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy later suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Anxiety and moderate-to-severe depression were also frequently reported amongst those who had been through a miscarriage. Another study which was carried out by Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research revealed that approximately one in four women would go through at least one miscarriage in their lives.

Evidently, miscarriages are more common than many people might think. The taboo around the topic of pregnancy loss has meant that this subject has too often been ignored. However, with more awareness, we should also see better policies in place for women who have had to go through such a difficult experience.

What can be done?

Although there are currently no laws in place about workplace leave after pregnancy loss, there are plenty of ways in which companies can take matters into their own hands. Like Monzo and Channel 4, it’s a great option for other companies to introduce their own formal policies. This way, people who have had to go through the pain of pregnancy loss will feel financially and emotionally supported by their workplace. That’s not the only thing that companies can implement either. There are plenty of other ways to make sure employees feel supported and heard, such as:

  • Raising awareness about pregnancy loss and tackling the taboo.
  • Making sure your staff have access to useful information sources about pregnancy loss.
  • Offering compassionate leave and mental health days.
  • Training managers and other members of staff about how to support people who have been through pregnancy loss.
  • Offering flexible working options for those who have been through pregnancy loss.

We’re certainly heading in the right direction when it comes to pregnancy loss policies and greater awareness, with public figures tackling taboos about subjects from miscarriage to postpartum depression and postpartum bleeding. However, there is still much to be done. Following this year’s Baby Loss Awareness Week, don’t shy away from the subject. Reach out to your loved ones who might be suffering and help to implement new policies in your workplace.

Healthy Eating on A Budget: Ingredients for an Affordable Diet

When you sit down at a Michelin-starred restaurant table, the fancy ambience hits you immediately. The waiter brings you an unpronounceable bottle of wine and hands you the first of a long series of miniature, sophisticated dishes that are rich in all sorts of nutritional properties. At the end of the pleasant experience, you are served with the saltiest of puddings: a hefty bill.  

Similarly, in the eyes of most people, healthy meals are often perceived as small portions of natural food that, while doing your body the world of good, will leave your piggy bank in tears. In truth, this is not necessarily the case.

We created a simple guide detailing how you can get on board with a diet without falling into financial despair, therefore debunking the myth for which healthy eating is an unaffordable practice.

 

‘Expensive’ is not synonymous with ‘better’

The temptation of buying a goji berry and spirulina smoothie or a fruit salad of exotic goods is real. Not only does it scream ‘naturalness’ from all sides, but it also provides the perfect shot to showcase your healthy lifestyle on social media.

However, there are many other alternatives that – although not very ‘Instragrammable’ – are cheaper and just as nutritious. A filling oatmeal breakfast or a glass of water, for instance, are inexpensive and serve the goal.

Of course, feel free to enjoy fancier health options from time to time. Make sure that they are seen as a treat rather than as the norm though.

 

Opt for local and seasonal products

While often overlooked and underestimated, this is possibly one of the best actions you can take to both spend less and eat healthier. In fact, by purchasing food that has grown and been picked close to your home, you are consuming more flavoursome products that have not been treated to survive the long journey to reach the supermarket. This means that it is more budget-friendly, as it does not need to travel several miles to be on your plate and is consequently a more sustainable option too.  

Moreover, consider buying seasonal products. In winter, for example, stock up on apples and beetroots, as they are cheaper and more nutritious this time of the year.   

 

Freeze or buy frozen

If you have overstocked your beetroot provisions, pop them in your freezer – they’ll be just as good when you start craving them all of a sudden on a sunny summer afternoon.

As a matter of fact, frozen fruit and vegetables are often underrated. Bags of frozen pre-chopped veggies tend to be cheaper in shops and are equally nutritious, as they have been picked at the peak of freshness and their nutritional properties remain intact.

 

Veg is cheaper than meat and fish

When at the checkout, you will realise that meat and fish are usually the most expensive food products on your shopping receipt. While still a fundamental part of your diet, to cut costs on your food shop, you may want to consider adding a few vegetarian dishes to your weekly menu.

 

Prepare smaller portions

We are not advising you to cook miniature meals in the fashion of Michelin-starred restaurants. On the contrary, it is important to always consume a decent-sized plate of food, but do not go over the top with proportions.   

By weighing your food and eating out of smaller bowls, you will be able to reduce your portions and store what is left for another day. If you are desperate for some extra nutrients, a succulent fruit salad or a handful of tasty nuts will end your balanced meal on a high.

Give cheaper brands a go

High-priced products, usually embellished by good-looking and eye-catching packaging, are not always the most nutritious options on a supermarket shelf. Indeed, store-brand alternatives may be just as good – but simply lack a fancy, attractive box.

Next time you go shopping, take a minute to read the label to both see what is inside and check the quality. If everything meets your standards, throw the cheaper store-brand product inside your basket and save some money.

Develop your green thumb and grow your own herbs

Don’t worry, you do not need hectares of land to grow your own herbs. Some seeds and a few pots, either on your balcony or in your backyard, will do the trick.

By planting your own seeds, you will end up with a long-lasting supply of herbs that will offer your room a fragrant smell and will also – in the long run – reduce your expenses.

By following these simple steps, you will finally be able to start your healthy diet with confidence and with no fear of breaking the bank. By all means, treat yourself from time to time to food that not only is good but ‘looks good’ too. However, this guide will hopefully prove that switching to a healthier menu is not a prohibitive choice and can, ultimately, be for all budgets.

Is Bitcoins a Good Investment? 4 Ways to Make Serious Money in Online Trading

Many people have asked the question: is Bitcoin a good investment? This is a simple question to answer, as Bitcoin has become the talk of town. This virtual currency is not governed by any government and it functions through the network of computers across the Internet. You don’t need to have a third party backing up your transactions, unlike paper money. You can make a trade anywhere worldwide with no restrictions. This is what makes this currency so appealing.

However, there are also some risks involved with this form of currency. Hacking and attacks on virtual currencies can be very common. You need to make sure you use the right tools and techniques to trade with virtual currencies. You should invest in trading software that will allow you to make the most of this industry. These are the things you need to consider when looking for the best trading software.

The first thing that you should look for is the security feature of the software. Hackers and other unscrupulous elements may want to use your valuable funds and destroy the value of your investment. You can avoid this by ensuring that the trading software you purchase will provide the highest level of security.

A thorough knowledge about the trading software is also vital. This is because there are various types of currencies being traded in the market. It is important to understand everything about the market so you can accurately predict the trends and movements of each currency. This will help you make informed decisions and avoid huge losses. You can benefit from its trading possibilities if you are familiar with its functions.

You should also check the support system provided by the software. Most experienced traders and investors recommend that you use one that is developed and maintained by professionals. Since you are dealing with highly volatile currencies, it is important to know that you are safe from hackers. If the developers offer technical support, they will be able to assist you whenever you have difficulties trading.

How simple is the software to use? This is a crucial question because you want the software to be simple to use. The best type of software is the one that does not require too much time for configuration. This is perfect for a person who is always on the go. You should ensure that the software works while you’re away.

The last thing to consider is how easy it is to use. Your choice should be based on whether you are going to trade regularly or if you are just trading to meet friends. If you plan to use the software for regular currency trading, you may need to spend a lot of time learning how to use it. It is best to select a currency trading software that is easy to use. In addition, the software that is created by a well-known developer may also be easier to use.

There are many options for making a good investment. As long as you can find a good investment guide with good information and safe trading software, you will have a great chance of earning profits. You may even earn big if you have a good trading strategy. There are many ways to invest. It all depends on what your goals are and how much time you have to invest in your venture.

Temasek Establishes the Asia Sustainable Foods Platform to Accelerate the Commercialisation of Sustainable Foods in Asia

Temasek today announced the launch of the Asia Sustainable Foods Platform to focus on addressing the challenges of scaling up the production of alternative proteins, as well as accelerating the growth of sustainable foods in Asia.

The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform aims to provide solutions and support, as an enabler, operator and investor, to food-tech companies as they go through their life cycle from product development to commercial scale-up.

  • As an enabler, it will provide R&D advisory and pilot-scale manufacturing facilities to support food-tech businesses accelerate their product commercialisation;
  • As an operator, it will provide manufacturing capabilities, along with market insights into commercialisation opportunities to support scaling up across Asia; and
  • As an investor, it will also provide businesses with a network of strategic connections and allocate capital to promising food-tech start-ups.

Asia is expected to require around US$1.55 trillion of investment over the next decade to satisfy growing consumer demands for healthier and more sustainable food options. We need to evolve our current capabilities to bolster food security and strengthen supply chains,” said Yeoh Keat Chuan, Deputy Head, Enterprise Development Group at Temasek.

“Temasek has invested over US$8 billion in the global farm-to-fork value chain since 2013, and will continue to increase our investments in this space. Singapore has a significant role to play in the transformation of the agri-food sector. The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform aims to support local and regional businesses, innovate, scale up and commercialise,” he added.

The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform will be managed by a core team of food-tech professionals, led by newly appointed CEO, Mathys Boeren. Prior to joining the Platform, Mr Boeren worked in the food and food-ingredients industry for more than 25 years, amongst others for Unilever, Givaudan, Symrise and Kerry. More recently, he has advised start-ups in the sustainable food space on the alignment of product attributes and consumer preferences.

Mr Boeren highlighted that “Our key differentiating factor is our end-to-end enabler, operator, and investor capabilities that provide bespoke solutions and support to aspiring food-tech companies at every stage of their growth cycle. With our support to remove friction-to-adoption, companies can speed up their product development and pilot launch, as well as accelerate their commercial scale-up and go-to-market. In the end, it is our goal to delight consumers across Asia with tasty, fresh, traceable and sustainable food.”

Accelerating Product and Process Development with the Food Tech Innovation Centre (FTIC)

The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform and A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Food & Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI) have committed to invest over S$30 million in the Food Tech Innovation Centre (FTIC) over the next three years, to provide tailored infrastructure and service offerings to promising food-tech start-ups.

FTIC will be a one-stop shop where aspiring food-tech start-ups will have access to a
food grade pilot scale facility with extrusion and fermentation equipment, shared labs, test kitchens, co-working spaces, as well as A*STAR’s deep R&D know-how.

“SIFBI is excited to partner with Temasek’s newly established Asia Sustainable Foods Platform on the FTIC, which will provide much-needed pilot scale capabilities for Alternative Protein (AP) companies to shorten time to market. We expect that this partnership will help anchor AP companies, and to contribute significantly to the flourishing and vibrant food-tech landscape here in Singapore,” said Dr Hazel Khoo, Executive Director, SIFBI.

This will address pain points food-tech businesses face in bringing their innovations to market, such as long wait-times for pilot-scale facilities and equipment; the lack of deep product & process development capabilities; and the difficulty in navigating regulatory processes and understanding unfamiliar markets in other parts of Asia.

FTIC is also pleased to announce that its first partner, Next Gen Foods, will be setting up their global R&D and innovation centre within FTIC. Next Gen Foods is a food start-up that is creating a portfolio of delicious, nutritious and sustainable plant-based foods – beginning with its popular chicken made from plants, TiNDLE, now available in over 150 restaurants across seven markets in AsiaEurope and the Middle East.

“At the core of Next Gen Foods is a dedication to creating plant-based foods that are not only sustainable – but also delicious, nutritious and scalable,” says Timo Recker, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Next Gen Foods. “We can only do this through a commitment to continuous product innovation and growth, and we’re thrilled to become the first company to put down roots in the brand-new FTIC. It is a significant milestone that reinforces our commitment to build a global impactful player based in Singapore, and we are grateful to our partners at A*STAR and Temasek’s Asia Sustainable Foods Platform for joining us on our mission to create a better food system for future generations to come.”

Robust Co-manufacturing Capacity with Leading Industry Players

The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform is exploring two joint ventures with global industry experts in plant-based and microbial proteins.

A partnership with CREMER, a German agri-food multinational with expertise in plant-based protein, through a joint venture company, will augment the Platform’s manufacturing capabilities for plant-based protein products. Key to this process is high moisture extrusion (HME), a new technology for producing texturised proteins that more closely resemble meat than other plant-based manufacturing techniques. The Platform’s investment in, and the operation of, the joint venture company are subject to obtaining all required regulatory approvals and consents.

Given the nascent technology, CREMER’s expertise in contract manufacturing and operating other HME plants globally will provide essential support for businesses in this area where few companies have mature HME capabilities and capacity, particularly in Asia.

“For CREMER, the customer has always been the starting point of our decisions. We are constantly improving and developing value-added services and products for our customers in tomorrow’s world. Recognising the growing importance of sustainability, health and plant-based foods in supporting the global food ecosystem, CREMER wants to play a major role in driving these trends by contributing production knowledge we have gained over decades. By bringing HME capabilities to Asia, CREMER aims to provide production support to the fast-growing plant-based community here,” said Damian Krueger, General Manager of Sustainable Nutrition at CREMER.

The Asia Sustainable Foods Platform has also signed an agreement with ADM, a global leader in nutrition, that will pave the way to form a joint venture that enables contract development and manufacturing services for microbial proteins produced via precision fermentation. ADM’s global capabilities, and innovative fermentation-based expertise, will help enable smaller existing food-tech companies to efficiently scale their fermentation innovations through to the pilot scale. This project is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

“We’ve talked to innovators, from startups to mature food providers, in Singapore and across APAC, and they have told us that they are eager and waiting for a partner that can provide support for food-grade precision fermentation technology,” said Joe Taets, president of ADM’s APAC business. “This first-of-its-kind joint venture in Singapore would meet that demand, and in doing so, will help further the development of the alternative protein industry in APAC.”

“EDB is pleased to be supporting ADM and Temasek’s Asia Sustainable Foods Platform efforts in building up precision fermentation expertise in Singapore. The joint venture addresses the needs of innovators in developing and scaling fermentation-based solutions, allowing them to serve global customers from Singapore. This will also strengthen our agri-food ecosystem through ensuring that the suitable infrastructure and technological capabilities are in place to spur innovation of agri-food technologies,” said Damian Chan, Executive Vice President, Singapore Economic Development Board.

Work Worries: A Quarter of Employees Are Too Stressed to Think About Healthy Eating Choices, Study Finds

Unmanageable workloads, excessive fatigue and inflexible hours are causing UK workers to make unhealthy eating decisions at lunchtime with many employees returning to the office. An average of 2 employees in every UK small business regularly skip lunch altogether.

Pandemic pressures have meant that almost half of employees have found they have eaten more unhealthy food at work in the last year. Employees have expressed their concerns that companies aren’t doing enough to support them with a healthy lifestyle as 12% of UK companies said to have stopped offering healthy food choices to employees returning to the office.

6% of employees in the UK will skip lunch altogether, which is equivalent to 2 employees in every small business regularly skipping lunch.* In the UK’s largest public sector employer — NHS England — this is equivalent to 84,000 employees skipping lunch every day.**

The 2021 Lunch & UK Workers Survey was conducted by RAMONA’s, an award-winning Mediterranean foods manufacturer specialising in houmous and falafel. It asked employees from 133 companies in the UK about their eating habits in the workplace. Data from the study looked into why workers are eating more unhealthy food and how companies can better support their employees to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

The greatest impact on employee health choices was found to be from avoidable work pressures. Almost a third of workers have revealed that unmanageable workloads are causing them to reach for unhealthy lunches, with excessive fatigue caused by workplace pressures (30%) and inflexible hours in the workplace (28%) acting as contributing factors, a survey has revealed.

Companies are being encouraged to focus on supporting the health of young employees in particular. The data highlights that the majority (64%) of under 35’s picked up unhealthy eating habits, whereas 77% of those 35 and over have been on a healthy eating curve since returning to the office.

As many workers have returned back to the office since the first lockdown in April last year, employees are having to make an organisational shift and find a new eating routine to rethink unhealthy eating habits and foster more healthy ones.

What employees want from their companies:

  • A quarter of employees are calling on companies to encourage their staff to eat away from their desks. A further 25% want their companies to encourage workers to take a full lunch break in a bid to place greater importance on healthy eating in the workplace.
  • 2 in 5 employees would like their company to offer a lunch scheme that helps to promote healthy eating across the entire workforce. Workers also placed high importance on healthy snack options for the office now that many have returned to hybrid working. 
  • 28% of workers would like to see their companies offer gym discounts and memberships to help employees achieve a healthier lifestyle 
  • 23% wish for employers to encourage finishing work on time 
  • 20% would like their workplace to offer mental health support to help with workplace pressures
  • 25% ask for increased flexible working hours to focus on healthy lifestyles
  • UK companies are falling short of being inclusive to alternative dietary choices — 40% of employees want their company to provide vegetarian or vegan food options. 
  • One in eight employees would support their office becoming ‘meat-free’. For employees under 25 years of age, this figure rises to one in four.

Ramona Hazan, founder of Ramona’s, believes that our health should be priority for the food industry:

Emotions and workplace pressures can take their toll on our diets and eating habits. The findings above show that workers are really struggling with healthy eating as a result of the pandemic. When routines are unstructured and work presents challenges, people often find themselves reaching for comfort food. Sweet, salty, starchy foods are worker favourites because they are accessible and convenient. However, workers need to retrain their eating habits to ensure their lunches are full of nutrients that will provide energy for the rest of the day, especially when work is causing a hectic schedule”.

“For those who find it easier to ‘grab and go’, supermarkets are presenting healthier lunch options for workers who are conscious to still eat healthily. Sainsbury’s ‘Lunch’ concept for instance, offers workers the chance to choose healthy and nutritious lunches that don’t compromise on taste and comfort. Otherwise, prepping your lunch in advance and organising your schedule are two first steps you can take to help towards a mindful eating routine”.

Tracey Hudson, Executive Director at the HR Dept, said:

“Over the past year, people have been grazing more because they have been at home and have unlimited access to their own kitchens – there have been a lot of conversations about how the nation has been putting on ‘lockdown weight’ so now we are back in offices, encourage your employees to have healthy eating habits by providing appropriate facilities where they can prepare proper food and don’t have to rely on buying pre-packed sandwiches or the local chippy at lunchtime.

Having a space that employees can go to eat their lunch is important because otherwise they will sit at their desks and usually that means they keep working whilst eating a sandwich at the same time so they don’t get a proper break and then are more likely to make mistakes. This might be a meeting room that you put a couple of sofas in with a TV for example, or maybe start a walking club so staff are encouraged to leave the building at lunchtime and get fresh air.

If companies ignore their employees’ wellbeing, both physical and mental, then they risk loss of productivity and high turnover as the two biggest concerns”. 

Pros and Cons of Buying a Car with Cryptocurrency

The advantages and pros of buying a car with Cryptocurrency are very much the same as with any other vehicle. This is because the main purpose of Cryptocurrency trading software or other automated trading robots is to match the amount of money coming in with the amount of money going out. And this is very important, especially in the current economic times. This is because currency rates can fluctuate and one moment can see your account balance plunge to a low as well as the next. And so you need an automated trading software program to match up this fluctuation and prevent you from incurring a loss.

So just what are some of the pros and cons of buying a car with Cryptocurrency? Here we shall go through each of them so that by the time you have finished reading this you would know which are the best for you. Buying a car when you have Cryptocurrency tied up in it obviously is a good option. This way you can have a test drive without worrying about losing money. So, here are some of the pros and cons of buying a car with Cryptocurrency.

Firstly, a car gives you the freedom of not having to keep track of your money. You can leave it as it is and relax and enjoy the ride. Or you can buy it and make sure that the price goes up and down depending on the market conditions. This would mean that you are also making some profit from the sale.

Also, when buying a car with Cryptocurrency you can set the cost that you want to pay. Of course the lower the cost the less money that will leave your pocket. But if you want the maximum amount of money leave it at the top of the page. The high cost will be reflected on the paper work and on the cost of the fuel that you use.

Another pro is that you can be assured that the car will be kept in good condition. This is because if the seller has nothing to hide then they will be open to answering questions. If you have any concerns then they will be addressed. If you see any problems with the car then you can ask the seller to have it repaired or to simply have it checked. This will help you avoid wasting time and money on something that could just get fixed.

On the other hand, when buying a car with Cryptocurrency there are a few cons as well. One of the main reasons why people tend to shy away from this type of financing is the cost. When you compare the cost of buying a regular car loan with the cost of buying a car with Cryptocurrency the cost can be quite a bit higher. Therefore, you need to weigh the cost of Cryptocurrency against the cost of regular financing.

It is also important to remember that this type of financing does not cover every aspect of your car purchase. You will have to make your car payments with Cryptocurrency instead of using cash. As such, you must be aware of the risks involved in carrying heavy amounts of Cryptocurrency with you. Fortunately, most countries have laws that prevent people from driving around with large sums of Cryptocurrency in their vehicles.

This is one of the pros and cons of buying a car with crypto that you should keep in mind before you make your decision. Make sure that you take the time to find out all about Cryptocurrency before you decide to buy a car with it. You will be able to enjoy more benefits than you might realize.

The Hallmarks of a Luxury Event

When it comes to event planning, it’s often too easy to get caught up in the swing of things and get overwhelmed by all the responsibilities. After all, most event planners want to make sure that it’s a party to remember, and the best way to get the job done would be by injecting the event with some much-needed luxury.
There’s no doubt that a luxury event will get people talking, and it will solidify your reputation as an individual (or company) that delivers the goods when it comes to event planning. If you want to plan and host an event that will stay fresh in the minds of your guests for months to come, it’s all about learning from the best. Here are some of the finest hallmarks of a luxury event.

1. An extravagant event demands lavish and relevant catering

When it comes to the overall expenses for a lavish event, you’ll likely be spending the most when it comes to catering. There are few ways to show how luxurious a party is than with fine cuisine, which is why elegant parties often break the bank to impress their guests.
However, just because you want to impress your guests during dinner doesn’t mean you have to push for the most expensive things on the menu, especially if you aren’t sure what to get. Fortunately, there are plenty of different themes you can follow to ensure that you are efficient in catering. For example, when planning the perfect cocktail party, the catering will undoubtedly reflect the theme.

2. An eye for lighting and decor can make all the difference

While much of what makes a party great can be based on the catering, it doesn’t change the fact that lighting and decor will be what wows the guests when they first enter the venue. Fortunately, for those who don’t have to worry about a tight budget, there are plenty of luxurious venues to choose from. On the other hand, those who have to deal with the decor on their own can use professional venues as an example of where to take the lighting and decor.
One thing that certainly helps would be the overall theme of the event. While understanding the theme doesn’t solve every problem, it certainly goes a long way to helping event organisers figure out the general direction to take. If you don’t have an eye for posh details, it would be wise to hire someone who can help put things into perspective.

3. The attention to detail when it comes to music matters

Music is tied to human emotion, and it’s easy to set the pace you want for the event with good accompanying music. Those who want to create a luxurious atmosphere would be wise to hire a jazz band to help set the mood. It’s even better for those with access to quality instruments and sound equipment, as hiring the right professionals is more than enough.

4. The dress code delivers a sense of extravagance to the event

Last but certainly not least, ensure that you have a strict dress code to follow, as it can help take people away from the rigours of life’s responsibilities for a while and help them enjoy your party all the more. While some might see it as a waste of effort, adhering to a strict dress code allows you to control the theme of your event, allowing you to elevate the experience further.
While hosting a luxury event can be a challenge, it is undoubtedly a task worth undertaking. The more effort you put into event organising, the easier it will be to control the flow of the party. Given enough time, your party will be the talk of the town.

Learn How to Trade Crypto

What’s behind cryptocoins trading? Learning what is behind cryptocoins trading so that you could trade crypto coins effectively, profitably. Taking full responsibility for all your trades, both gain, and loss, is probably the most important trait of successful Cryptocurrency traders. This article will show you how to learn how to trade with a Forex trading bot, and profit from the largest daily increase in the world of digital currency exchange. This trading strategy is used by many traders, but few truly understand its powerful abilities. There is a lot of hype surrounding this trading system, some of it questionable at best.

You may be asking yourself, how does this trading plan work? The way it works, is very simple. All of the trades that are performed through your Forex robot are made with the intention of turning a profit. This is why some traders choose not to do any manual trading, or have someone else do it for them. This system takes the emotion out of trading, which makes it much easier for inexperienced traders.

One major benefit of Cryptocurrency trading which some people aren’t aware of, is the use of a software program. These software programs are known as “Forex robots”. They are specially designed to analyze market data, and make decisions on whether or not to trade. They are designed to take advantage of technical indicators such as “Wicks Effect”, “Doves Effect”, “Lambda Curve” and “SPD Matrix”.

Many of the better quality Forex software programs will use more than just one indicator. This allows for greater accuracy in predicting future market trends. As well, good quality software will make use of more than one strategy. For instance, they may decide to use a combination of technical indicators, support indicators and moving averages together. Because the best software will use as many different strategies as possible to analyze the market, your chances of coming across a good trading bot increase.

The best programs, as well as ones which cost nothing, will also be able to make money on their own. They don’t rely on you to perform continuous manual trades. Instead, they let you trade independently, making money the moment they find a profitable trade. It is important to make sure that your chosen software has a high success rate. Because, if you lose a trade, then you have no way of getting out of the losing streak.

Another important factor in how to trade with the currencies of the world, which must be considered, is risk management. When you participate in day trading, you run a high risk of investing more money than you are able to afford to lose. A good trading software will help you understand the risks involved in each trade. It will also provide you with recommendations regarding how to minimize your losses and maximize your wins.

One last thing to look for in how to trade with the cryptosurfs is a systematic trading system. A systematic trading system takes into consideration all of the factors which affect the value of the currency being traded. The best programs will be able to predict precisely what value will be achieved next. Because your trades are being managed by a systematic trading system, it is very unlikely for you to suffer losses.

There are many ways to improve your chance of making profit when you learn how to trade with the currencies of the world. Learning how to trade with the best software is just the first step in the process. You want to be able to set up your stop-limit orders properly, choose your trading signals in order to maximize your profits, and manage your risk to make sure that your losses are as minimal as possible. Once you do all that, you will discover that a systematic trading system is the one of the easiest and most profitable ways to make money with your chosen platform.

Bespoke Financial Services Like No Other

In an industry with a tendency to focus more on market benchmarks than the specific success of each case, Artvera is a boutique money management firm operating out of London and serving a market of the most prestigious clientele. It bucks the trends of its sector in favour of absolute returns for all its customers, and today, CEO Artur Bounegra explores how this has benefitted both his company and its market.

Over the years that it has been in operation, Artvera Private Wealth Management has made its name as an independent wealth management company. A boutique business operating with prestige and efficacy to serve a small yet lucrative market, this company has developed rigorous processes of the highest standard to operate effectively. Its client-first methodologies and authorisation by the Financial Conduct Authority grant it a level of oversight that both it and its clients can trust. In tandem with this is the comprehensive and exemplary nature of its services. Between its highly knowledgeable staff, Artvera’s competencies range from comprehensive wealth planning solutions to corporate advisory services, expert in the provision of worldwide investment management. Its client base is predominantly high net worth individuals, serving their families and businesses to keep their investments secure and high in returns.

Artur Bounegra, the founding partner and CEO of Artvera, is responsible for developing and maintaining the heart of its enterprise. In this manner, he has ensured that at the very centre of all its operations, Artvera is professionally effective in wealth management, but also bespoke in its attitude towards its clients. When working with its clients, it approaches them knowing that no two people are the same, and so a ‘one size fits all’ solution to money management simply won’t do. It works hard to build long term and positive relationships with its clients over the course of time, getting to know them and their situation to give the most prudent advice.

The knowledge it shares with its clients has the basis of many years of industry knowledge. The founder himself has over 26 years of working in financial service, with 13 of those having been in banking and 13 in investment management. He brings this and his dedication to exemplary customer service to the business. Artur also bolsters the services his business offers with his personal experience of macro and micro-economics, sharing his in-depth perspective on financial management, accounting, reporting, and auditing with his team and clientele. This has fostered an attitude of respectful, effective, professional service that permeates every aspect of its inner workings.

The bespoke nature of its services allows Artvera to go above and beyond the call of duty for its clients. It doesn’t stop at simply managing the numbers in a financial book, it takes into account the full picture in order to do so; this means that it can reassure its clients that its services will be right for them, because they have been tailored to fit. It believes that financial services should mould seamlessly around a client’s livelihood and provide it structural reinforcement, granting the client peace of mind and allowing them to concentrate on what matters most.

Its services are consistently comprehensive and industry-leading, with financial planning, tax planning, legal issues, estate planning, business succession, fiduciary, and trust services all covered. Artvera’s clients find themselves secured in much better and healthier positions regarding their wealth after working with this business, and thus, it has benefitted hugely from the increased word of mouth referrals from satisfied customers. Between the hard work of the CEO and the exemplary nature of this firm in general, it has secured its path to greater success. In tandem with this, it hopes to align itself further with the needs of its market going forward, striving to secure its spot as the best in the business, a goalpost that edges closer every day.

For further information, please contact Artur Bounegra or visit artverawealth.com

China-Singapore Trade in Services Innovation Forum to Discuss New Paths for High-Level Opening-Up

The fourth China-Singapore Trade in Services Innovation Forum, an important official supporting event of the fourth China International Import Expo, was held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai yesterday afternoon. It was also the first time that the annual forum was held at the CIIE venue.

This year, the forum took as its theme ‘Digital Empowerment, Create the New Pattern of High-Level Opening-up in Trade in Service.’

How to accelerate the development of digital trade, how to set up and improve the its governance system, and enhance the ability and level of such governance have become the key issues about which all parties are concerned in the process of promoting the high-level development of trade in services.

The forum was hosted by the Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government and organized by the Suzhou Municipal People’s Government and Suzhou Industrial Park Administrative Committee. Yicai Media Group provided all-media support as the exclusive media partner.

Chi Fulin, president of the Hainan-based China Institute for Reform and Development, delivered a keynote speech entitled ‘Benchmarking International High-Level Economic and Trade Rules,’ that analyzed in detail the paths for the innovative growth of trade in services under the new pattern of development. Chi said that international economic and trade rules are undergoing profound and complex changes and trade in services is becoming the focus of global free trade and the reconstruction of rules. The opening-up process and the interconnection of domestic and foreign benchmarks should be promoted, fair competition in the field of trade in services should be facilitated, and innovative development in trade in services should be strongly spurred. 

In the subsequent keynote speech session, Qian Bin, vice president of Bank of Communications and a member of the bank’s Party Committee, shared his view on the ‘Opening-up and Development of Trade in Services Spurred by Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies in the Financial Sector,’ while Li Tao, vice president of Philips Greater China, shared his opinion on ‘Restructuring and Positioning of Multinational Corporations’ Industry Chains Under New Pattern of Development.’ And Wei Zhe, founding partner and chairman of Vision Knight Capital, discussed ‘Systematic Capacity Improvement of Companies Engaged in Trade in Services in the Digital Economy Era.’ [‘CEO Systematic Capacity Improvement in the Digital Economy Era,’ as per the previous story]

Exploring New Paths to Open Up Services

Suzhou Industrial Park, one of the forum’s organizers, is an important collaboration project between the governments of China and Singapore. It boasts the special gene that marks the partnership between China and Singapore, and it has the advantages that are richly endowed by nature in promoting the development of the trade in services and digital trade. 

The world’s first special agreement covering the digital economy, the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement, was signed by New ZealandSingapore and Chile on June 12 last year. Singapore is also a member of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership that will take effect next Jan. 1 and the country will take over the presidency of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2022.

Last December, China and Singapore also announced follow-up talks on upgrading the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement to focus on negotiations over trade in services and investment liberalization by adopting a negative list, to further liberalize and facilitate bilateral trade and investment.

Chua Teng Hoe, consul-general of the Republic of Singapore in Shanghai, signed the Memorandum of Understanding for Service Industry Development between the People’s Government of Suzhou at the forum. Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, Bank of Communications and the Suzhou Industrial Park also penned a strategic agreement, and 21 groups of company representatives in three batches inked contracts at the forum.

Suzhou became a pilot city for China to experiment with service trade innovative development in 2006. The Suzhou Industrial Park is a leader in service trade development in the city and even Jiangsu province, and in recent years has been hitting new record highs in the scale of services trade with better structure and higher quality.

Yang Yudong, editor-in-chief of Yicai Media Group, attended a roundtable brainstorming with representatives of companies and institutions in Shanghai and Suzhou at the forum on the topic of ‘Vision under the New Pattern of Shanghai-Suzhou Integrated Development: Digital Technology Rebuilding the Global Industrial Chain.’

Innovative development of digital technology has greatly improved the tradability of cross-border services and rebuilt the globe’s industrial and value chains, according to guests at the brainstorming. Digital trade is developing rapidly, and new digital industries, new business forms, and new patterns have emerged. Regional development also provides great opportunities for the development of digital trade. Building a service trade cluster in the Yangtze River Delta region is a demand and an opportunity against the backdrop of integration of the region, especially the Shanghai-Suzhou integrated development.

3 Payments Trends for Emerging Markets to Keep Eye On in 2022

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How Much Will Bitcoin Be Worth in 2030

In the next few years, one of the hottest commodities on the planet will be bitcoins. This will be an interesting topic for discussion when you read this: How much will bitcoins worth in 2030 report that was written by traders and investors. You will also find it interesting to know how much the value will be when they decide to fork over their virtual money for real world cash. Many investors are curious about how the trading software works. This article will help you understand how the system works and what kind of profits can be expected in the future.

There are many theories out there about how the future currency markets will evolve. One popular theory is that the United States will have a hard time keeping their currency because of the currency problems that they are having right now. Other experts have indicated that the United Kingdom might have a hard time with its European counterparts. Other experts have indicated that the United States will not have a very difficult time trading thanks to their dollar status. All of these theories are possible because no one knows what the future holds for the market. However, all of these things are suppositions and the truth is that no one knows for sure what will happen.

The secret of any futures market is a good trading software. A good trading software program can make profits for you even when the market is having a bad day. The trading software can analyze the market and make predictions about how it is going to behave. By using these predictions, you can make a good decision about how much bitcoins will be worth in the future.

There are many factors that will determine how much bitcoins will be worth in the future. One of those factors is how well the United States will do economically. If the United States becomes stronger than it was in the past, then the value of the dollar will go up. This means that someone who owns ten thousand dollars in dollars now will be able to buy ten thousand dollars worth of dollars in the future. On the other hand, if the United States does not perform as well as it should, then the value of the dollar will go down.

Another factor about how much bitcoins will be worth in the future is how well the United States government will perform during their next presidential term. If the United States goes into a major recession, then the value of the future currency will go down. On the other hand, if the United States does not go into a recession, then the value of the future currency will go up. This is because more people will have money to spend in the future. Even though there is a lot of uncertainty in regards to how the economy of the United States will perform, people are still very interested in knowing how much bitcoins will be worth in the future.

The last factor about how much bitcoins will be worth in the future involves how well the Chinese government will manage their future currency. Right now, the Chinese government controls about forty percent of the world’s market and they use a centrally controlled system to keep the value of their future currency up. If the Chinese government starts fixing the value of their currency then the world’s future currency value will go down. People may worry about how much bitcoins will be worth in the future because they will lose confidence in the future currency.

People are still trying to figure out how much bitcoins will be priced in the future because they do not know if the Chinese government will fix the value of their currency. Since there is a lot of uncertainty in regards to how much bitcoins will be priced in the future, people are more interested in how much they will have to pay for a car in the future. If they get a really good deal then they will be happy and if they get a really bad deal then they will be sad. People need to be happy and they need to know how much bitcoins will be priced in the future. Otherwise they will be completely upset and they will be looking for ways to get rid of their bitcoins before they sell them.

People who are interested in how much bitcoin’s price will be in the future should think about how much they would have to give up in order to gain ten times their current investment. If they were to try and sell all of their future currency they would only get one tenth of the value of their investment. This is why people are so interested in how much bitcoins will be priced in the future. They want to make ten times their money and they are willing to give up nearly everything in order to get that amount. This is how you can make money on the Internet with digital currencies like bitcoins. It is possible for you to make money using these currencies in the future and you will be able to know how much will be worth when the time comes because you will have a constant supply and the price of bitcoins never goes down.

As Part of COP26, NCH Europe Releases a Guide to Industrial Products Highlighting the Sustainable Changes Needed Across the Modern Industrial Landscape to Combat the Ecological Factors of Climate Change

NCH Europe today released a sustainable guide to industrial products, highlighting the company’s continuing drive towards better products for a healthier planet.

Across industrial operations, there are many products and processes that contribute to ecological decline. Whether it’s the type of waste they create, the energy and resources that they use or the suboptimal performance of a product that creates waste, industrial products have an associated ecological cost.

Realistically, no product of human industry can be truly sustainable in the natural sense, NCH’s team of chemists are committed to the continual optimisation of products to minimise their ecological cost. Whether it’s optimisation to remove harmful components from formulations, or finding better formats for those formulations, continual improvements made by industry leaders such as NCH allow customers to make more sustainable choices.

The guide examines several common industrial products and highlights the dangerous components to be avoided that pose a threat to workers and the ecology such as:

  • Dichloromethane (DCM) in paint removal processes
  • Harsh acids used for the removal of rust from parts
  • Lithium in lubrication products
  • Corrosive components used to clear blockages in water treatment
  • Move away from solvents to water based parts cleaning

The guide also addresses how changes in format, such a concentrating water treatment products to be smaller solids, can be an effective way of reducing production and transport pollution as well as more responsible with the use of global resources like water.

John Paul Surdo, Chief Operating Officer at NCH Europe said, “A number of the goals for this years COP26 conference are collaboration, adaptation and mitigation as means to reducing climate change with a core rooted in sustainability.”

“Collaboration, adaptation and mitigation are reflected in NCH Europe’s work to constantly develop what we do to make the incremental sustainable changes that are needed to address the ecological threats our planet faces.”

“Our team of over 40 chemists collaborate to ensure that changes in one product can feed into the formulation of another. When we adjust a lubricant used for parts, we work to make sure our detergents are effective at removing that lubricant, without an unacceptable ecological cost.”

“This process of continually adapting the products we sell and those we develop don’t just mitigate our impact on resources and the environment, but those of our customers too. Whether it’s corporate procurement, or supermarket consumers, better products create better, more sustainable choices.”

“NCH Europe is committed to always finding new ways to improve our work, because that is the true sense of sustainability, constant improvement.”

As COP26 plays out over the coming days, many interested organisations will be looking to see what they can do better, to create better outcomes for people and planets. NCH is proud of the part it plays in helping industrial organisations improve the sustainability of their facilities and their operations.

The NCH guide to industrial products is available for download from the NCH Europe website.

South Africa: Transitioning from Coal Reliance to Gas Power Generation

“Gas should play quite a significant role in a just energy transition in South Africa,” stated Akash Latchman, Senior Vice President for Gas Sourcing and Operations for Sasol, adding that, “To unleash the potential of gas is critical in alleviating energy poverty in South Africa.”

“Every time there is a discussion surrounding the just energy transition, various technologies are considered in its permutations, with clean coal technologies being noticeably excluded,” noted Dr. Tshepo Mokoka, Group COO for the CEF, who acknowledged that, “If you are well-endowed as a country with a resource, there is an opportunity to develop clean technologies in relation to coal. What needs to be looked at are the socioeconomic implications that this conversion has.”

Africa is faced with a two-pronged challenge, the first of which is the continent’s significant energy crisis – in which over 600 million people currently lack access to electricity and over 900 million lack access to clean cooking – and the second, the global climate crisis. While western nations are opting for the immediate end to fossil fuel utilisation, oil and gas is critical for Africa if the continent is to address energy poverty. At the South African panel discussion, participants emphasised how natural gas has emerged as the ideal solution to both of these challenges. Representing the ideal transitionary resource, as well as a readily available resource, gas may be the solution the country, and continent, needs to accelerate its energy transition and meet domestic demand.

Adewale Feyemi, Managing Director for TotalEnergies South Africa, noted that, “In South Africa, there is a need for energy, and what role is gas going to play?” Noting its decarbonizing potential, he added that, “Gas is going to be part of the transition. Being a good ally for renewables, we are committed to making sure that these resources are brought to shore as early as possible, and we need to work closely and collaborate with the [relevant] authorities.”

“Once we have gas in the country, from gas-to-power projects, we can ignite other industries to start using gas,” added Dennis Seemala, HOD of Electricity Licensing, Compliance, and Dispute Resolution for Nersa.

While South Africa struggles with ongoing electricity challenges, the utilization of natural gas as a power generation source offers newfound benefits for both the country and the wider region. The significant resources available in southern African nations – the most notable being Mozambique with over 180 trillion cubic feet of reserves in the Rovuma Basin alone – have established new opportunities for gas-to-power in the region.

Already, there exists cross-border infrastructure whereby South Africa can make use of Mozambique’s resources, which, coupled with recent discoveries made in 2019 offshore South Africa, are positioning the country as a natural gas powerhouse. As the continent makes moves to transition to a green economy, natural gas is undoubtedly the best resource for addressing energy poverty while mitigating climate change. Resources in key areas including Senegal, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, and many more, provide a critical opportunity for the continent to accelerate socio-economic growth and clean energy expansion. With the recent implementation of the African Continent Free Trade Agreement in January 2021, opportunities for enhanced cross border trade have opened up trade, liberalized markets, and incentivized the continental utilization of natural gas.

“There’s a bigger role for gas to play,” noted Vuyelwa Mahanyele, Regional Sales Director for GE Gas and Power, stating that, “In terms of the role gas is going to play around the transition, it is important that we bring everyone along the value chain. There’s an entire value chain downstream where there is the expectation of beneficiation around that chain. As we transition to a lower carbon economy, gas is going to play an incredible role in partnership with renewables.”

SME News Announces the Winners of the 2021 Southern Enterprise Awards

United Kingdom, 2021 – SME News Magazine has announced the winners of the 2021 Southern Enterprise Awards.

Now running successfully in its fifth consecutive year, the SME Southern Enterprise Awards programme is about proudly recognising and awarding small and medium enterprises and those professionals who have been determined to reach new heights in their industry despite the drawbacks caused by Covid-19.

The Southern region is touted for having the largest number of businesses per person in the UK and this award programme has been designed to acknowledge those businesses who have shown innovation and perseverance to serve their customers and clients with exceptional products and services.

Our Awards Coordinator, Holly Morris has commented on the success of the programme: “Hosting this awards programme has been amazing and I am so proud of every single winner. I would like to congratulate them and wish them all the best for their future endeavours!”

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

To learn more about our award winners and to gain insight into the working practices of the “best of the best”, please visit the SME News website (https://www.sme-news.co.uk/awards/uk-southern-business-awards/) where you can access the winners supplement.

ENDS

About SME News

SME News draws on our UK wide network of industry insiders to provide you with the latest news, cutting edge features and latest deals from across the UK SME landscape.

Alongside our quarterly publication we also offer an easy-to-use website, newsletter, and a series of awards programmes, making SME News much more than just a magazine, but instead a vital resource.

Bought to you by AI Global Media, the international provider of corporate news and information, this unique magazine is the perfect resource for the CEOs, leaders and decision makers in the UK based SMEs looking to keep their finger on the pulse and stay ahead of the competition.

About AI Global Media

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

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

The Timeline of Cannabis Laws in the U.S.

When we take a look at the legal status of marijuana in the US today, things look greatly promising, with only 12 states left to make a move towards legal cannabis, while the remaining of the 50 states have already turned their laws towards more flexible measures, including full legalization, legalization for medical use or decriminalization.
However, and as we all know, things weren’t always as promising as they look today, and we sure know that getting up to this point took years and years of work and efforts to actually make the people in charge of making such decisions change their perspective on cannabis.

The timeline of cannabis laws in the United States started with its criminalization at a state level in the early 20th century. It began in 1937 when the Marijuana Tax Act was enacted, making effective the prohibition of marijuana at a federal level. Medical marijuana was however still allowed but with the establishment of fees and new regulatory requirements. Things got heavier by 1970, when the Controlled Substances Act sanctioned, classifying cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, considering it a highly potential for abuse drug and banning its use, either for recreational or medical purposes. It was at this same time that other countries around the world, following the measures adopted by the US began with the prohibition of marijuana use as well.

However, not too far later, in 1973, slow decriminalization started to take place in the country, in the state of Texas, where they declared that the possession of four ounces of cannabis, or less, should be considered a misdemeanour. In that same year, the state of Oregon becomes the first in US history to effectively decriminalize marijuana, making way for other states to follow the initiative by 1975, including Alaska, Maine, Colorado, California, and Ohio, and Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Dakota, and Nebraska by 1978.

Until 2001, that was it as for decriminalization, but the slow medical legalization started taking place by the end of the 20th century, and by 1996 California successfully became the first US state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes with the approval of Proposition 215. This then led to more than 15 other states to move in the same direction, including Oregon, Alaska, Washington, Maine, Hawaii, which was the first state to legalize it through the state legislature, Nevada, Colorado, Vermont, Montana, Rhode Island, New Mexico, New Jersey, Arizona, Delaware and lastly Connecticut by 2012.

So, now that a big majority of the states had gotten in line with their measures on medical cannabis, one last step was left, recreational legalization. The pioneers of legal recreational marijuana were the states of Washington and Colorado in 2012. Along with their initiative, so started the rest of the states to make way for more liberal laws concerning recreational cannabis use in their territory, making way for this new industry to grow and new businesses to emerge. And it was this way that the cannabis evolution began taking place. The world that once prohibited any sort of cannabis-derived products had now become one where crazy new genetics such as Strawberry Banana seeds or the famous Bruce Banner are created.

Now only the states of Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming are the only states in the US left to turn the country into a fully pro-cannabis territory. It’s only a matter of time until this starts taking place. For starters, more than half of the listed states already consider cannabis as a misdemeanour.

Six Steps to Reduce Race Discrimination within Recruitment

Employment Law Expert Homa Wilson details the ways in which businesses can champion diversity when hiring

  • Research shows that those of minority backgrounds are still stifled when compared with their white counterparts in terms of career progression.
  • Organisations with inclusive cultures are eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes and twice as likely to achieve financial targets.


Homa Wilson, Employment Law Partner at Hodge Jones & Allen, has detailed six ways in which businesses can tackle racial discrimination through their recruitment processes. 

A recent report following research by the University of Bristol, the University of Manchester and the National Centre for Social Research, found that whilst the employment prospects of some people from minority backgrounds had improved since the 1970s, they were still stifled when compared with their white counterparts and were being held back by racism. 

There is a copious amount of research to evidence that increased diversity within the workforce results in better financial outcomes for the business. 

Research conducted by McKinsey clearly demonstrated that more diverse workplaces perform better financially. Another report, by Deloitte, showed that organisations with inclusive cultures are six times more likely to be more innovative and agile, eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes and twice as likely to achieve financial targets. 

The importance of having an inclusive workforce should not be underestimated by businesses. People from different backgrounds bring new and different insights to the workplace. 

Here are some steps employers can take to ensure their recruitment process is as fair and inclusive as possible: 

Outreach work 
  • Children from less affluent backgrounds do not have the same opportunities to secure work placements within professional settings. In many cases, they will have limited or no opportunity to network with professionals. To help bridge this gap, your organisation should proactively foster links with local schools and other youth organisations. The employer should also engage in mentoring, holding career workshops, and work placement schemes so that children from minority backgrounds are given an opportunity to engage with the business as well as build up their skills and network so that they are better equipped, when they do apply to your organisation for a job.
  • You should actively encourage your employees to volunteer as mentors. Examples include setting up a scheme, using your premises for the mentor and mentee to meet, allowing staff time off to participate in such initiatives.
  • Companies should have a dedicated section for ‘outreach work’ on their websites. Doing so will make information about the schemes offered /work undertaken by the company accessible for everyone. This can also be a useful way to invite schools and other organisations to approach the company and partner with them.
  • Hold workshops to fill the gaps in knowledge and soft skills. Your staff could deliver workshops giving sector-specific advice on topics such as: what to include in a cover letter and how to prepare for a job interview.
 
How you advertise
  • Start by looking at where and how you advertise. You should ensure you are reaching as wide an audience as possible. 
  • The photos used in your adverts should depict a diverse range of people – when individuals see someone who looks like them, they are more likely to feel welcomed by the organisation and therefore more likely to apply.
  • Ensure the wording of your advert does not create bias in any way and does not discriminate against potential candidates based on their race.
  • Ensure vacancies are posted on various job boards that are easily accessible to a range of candidates from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.
Introduce blind hiring 
  • Name-blind applications will increase the focus on qualifications and merit rather than the biases that even the best-intentioned person may hold.
  • Another way to really minimise bias is to hold first round interviews as text based only, this means replacing the standard face-to-face interviews. This way the applicant will only have to respond to interview answers on their screen and submit these to the panel for consideration.
 
Train staff on unconscious bias 
  • You should ensure all those involved in the recruitment process have undertaken unconscious bias training.
  • This includes those who draft the job description, as well as those involved in shortlisting and conducting the interviews.
  • Also be open to challenge assumptions based on where someone went to school or where they live.
Ensure diversity amongst staff involved in the recruitment process 
  • People tend to hire people they like; this often means those who are similar to them.
  • Also try to ensure different employees are part of the interviewing panel, avoid using the same employees over and over again. This ensures different employees have an input and can potentially bring fresh insight into the selection process. Each employee has something different to offer and, as an organisation, you should be nurturing those differences.
Employee referral scheme 
  • Encourage diverse employees in your workforce to refer their contacts to you. This can be encouraged by offering an incentive – which can be financial or some other benefit.  

ADDX Expects Significant Upside in Japan, As Partner Tokai Tokyo Receives Security Tokens License

The two companies will collaborate on issuances by Japanese real estate companies and banks, that will be offered to investors in Japan

Financial services company Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings and private market exchange ADDX have announced a new partnership to offer fractional private market investment products to investors in Japan, after Tokai Tokyo secured a security tokens license from the Japanese regulator.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed Tokai Tokyo is the holding company for a leading securities brokerage in Japan. The company offers investment and trading services to investors via its network of 144 offices in Japan. It holds consolidated net assets worth US$1.4 billion and has US$38 billion of client assets under management.

Last month, Tokai Tokyo received a license from the Japanese regulator – the Financial Services Agency (FSA) – that allows the company to deal in security tokens, also known as digital securities. With the new license, Tokai Tokyo and ADDX plan to collaborate on security token issuances by Japanese real estate companies and banks. These future deals will be tokenised on the ADDX platform before being distributed by Tokai Tokyo to sophisticated investors in Japan. In addition, Japanese investors will be able to trade the digital securities on the ADDX secondary exchange through Tokai Tokyo.

With this new business partnership, ADDX expects a significant increase to its revenue from the Japanese market. Under the tie-up, Tokai Tokyo will be the first company in Japan to distribute security tokens that are tradeable on a secondary exchange. It will also be the first in Japan to deal in security tokens for non-liquid assets, as previous security token licensees received regulatory approvals for liquid assets.

For Tokai Tokyo and ADDX, this is a partnership that began in 2019 when Tokai Tokyo made its first investment in ADDX, previously known as iSTOX. Tokai Tokyo was also a lead investor in the US$50 million Series A fundraising round by ADDX in January 2021. Other ADDX shareholders include Japanese investors JIC Venture Growth Investments (JIC-VGI) and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ), Singapore Exchange (SGX) as well as Temasek subsidiary Heliconia Capital.

Yuji Ban, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings, said: “It took a long time to get to this point, but we now have a license for security tokens. Our future collaboration with ADDX will be key to establishing an innovative business model in Japan, where a digital security exchange like ADDX does not exist yet. We and many others in Japan eagerly anticipate working with ADDX to create investment opportunities for Japanese investors and new financing options for issuers. We look forward to working with ADDX on a variety of security token projects in the near future.”

Oi Yee Choo, Chief Commercial Officer of ADDX, said: “Japan has one of the most forward-thinking regulators on the issue of digital securities – alongside those in a handful of other jurisdictions, including Singapore. This prevailing view has once again been validated by the Japanese regulator’s latest move to grant a new security tokens license. As Japan embraces innovation in the capital markets, individuals will, no doubt, be the chief beneficiaries. The community of individual sophisticated investors in Japan is deep and sophisticated. Historically, they have shown a strong interest in real estate investments. But the opportunities open to them – whether in real estate or other asset types – are curtailed because of the high minimum investment sizes in the private markets. Digital securities can fractionalise investments, helping individuals to diversify their portfolios and to invest with a strategy and asset-mix closer to that of family offices or institutions. This promises several positive knock-on effects – from better retirement adequacy to a fairer distribution of wealth.”

She added: “Tokai Tokyo is one of the oldest and most trusted financial companies in Japan, with roots dating back to 1908. We expect this partnership to yield multiple deals over the next few quarters. The possibilities are exciting and limitless, given how the two companies share the same vision on innovation in the financial services and bring complementary strengths to the table.”

Digital securities are securities issued using blockchain and smart contract technology. They are more efficient to administer, because the technology reduces the need for intermediaries and automates manual processes. Digital securities are also regulated and backed by real-world assets. The efficiency of blockchain allows minimum ticket sizes for private market products to be reduced from US$1 million to US$10,000, expanding access for accredited investors to previously out-of-reach assets, including funds, bonds and pre-IPO equity. Issuers benefit from lower fees, the ability to reach a larger investor base, a lower fundraising threshold, as well as a faster speed-to-issuance.

ADDX is a full-service capital markets platform with Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) licenses for the issuance, custody, and secondary trading of digital securities. Individual accredited investors using the ADDX platform today come from Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Americas (excluding the US).

Issue 11 2021

Welcome to the November issue of CEO Monthly.

As always, CEO Monthly is dedicated to providing the latest news and features across the business world to our readership. By sharing knowledge, insights, expertise and success stories from around the globe, we aim to inspire individuals and promote positivity in a world that is in a constant state of evolution.

When it comes to business development, companies require a tenacious individual who is willing to go the extra mile to lead their employees to victory. From sturdy systems to strong management strategies, this issue of CEO Monthly takes us on a journey through an assortment of exceptional minds.

The cream has definitely risen to the top even throughout the course of the global pandemic. Things haven’t been easy for businesses around the world, but here we have a variety of incredible people who set an example in the realm of effective business. One such individual is Jumana El Khoury Maalouf from Aesthetic Today LLC, our featured company for this month, and winner of CEO of the Year, 2021 – Dubai, The United Arab Emirates. She tells us more about the success of her business within.

Again, we would love for you to join us in this month’s reflection across this board of extraordinary CEOs. We look forward to welcoming you back next month for the final issue of CEO Monthly in 2021.

5 Ways to Scale Your Delivery Operations

As demand for delivery services grows, lots of businesses need to find ways to keep pace with the pressures of meeting customer expectations.

Thankfully there are plenty of strategies and solutions you can put into practice to scale up and achieve success in what is an undeniably competitive market.

To that end, here are some potential tactics to try out that will let you take your delivery operations to the next level without overstretching your resources.

Deploy the best software solutions to improve efficiency

Optimizations can be tough to achieve if you are having to do everything from route planning to customer communications manually. The good news is that there are all sorts of game-changing software platforms built to ramp up the efficiency and consistency of delivery services.

Whether you are wondering how to deliver packages with your car as a self-employed courier, or whether you run a whole fleet of trucks, software services can streamline your day-to-day operations in all sorts of ways.

The aforementioned route planning potential of delivery apps will let you set realistic schedules that customers will appreciate, while also being able to account for the impact of unexpected disruption, be that congestion on the roads or any other kind of courier conundrum.

Such services will not only make your operations more scalable, encompassing additional scheduled drop-off points without taking more time to hit deadlines, but also more affordable. Better planned routes means less money wasted on fuel, and these optimizations will allow you to re-invest in further growth and expansion.

Embrace outsourcing

You might be very protective of your delivery operations, in which case you could feel cautious about working with anyone else because of the fear that this will make your brand vulnerable to elements outside of your control.

However, this state of mind can be restrictive, since it is only through taking risks and leveraging external resources that you do not currently have available to you in-house that real scalability can be achieved.

For example, during seasonal peaks in demand, you could choose to outsource a proportion of your delivery duties to third parties. This could be a major national brand, or it could be a local provider.

The point is that by swallowing your pride and recognizing the business benefits of outsourcing, your delivery operations can flourish, rather than being held back without good reason.

Keep customers in the loop

Word of mouth recommendations remain a powerful tool for any business, and if you have delivery operations as part of your offerings, then you need to make sure customer satisfaction is right up there with the best of them.

This is where frequent and consistent communication comes into play. We already touched on how taxing this can be to do manually, but it is worth reiterating that letting people know where their goods are can now be automated affordably, and moreover should be done by organizations that want to grow.

Live tracking through a combination of GPS and delivery management software is an option, although you can opt for simpler solutions, such as SMS alerts sent out at key points in the journey.

Whatever the angle adopted, realizing that customer expectations are higher than ever and upping your game to meet them will bring untold branding benefits, and help you sidestep some of the more commonplace stumbling blocks in this area.

Consider accelerating the delivery cycle

If you put together the right infrastructure to support it, you could look into catalyzing your entire delivery operations and getting orders to customers in less time than you do at the moment. This type of scaling will not necessarily increase volumes overnight, but might make you more competitive, especially when stacked up against much larger rivals.

Same-day delivery is a good example of this, although it only really applies to businesses that are based in large urban areas where transport links are reliable and distribution resources are adequate to ensure orders can be fulfilled in the desired timeframe.

This is where trialing big changes before you roll them out to all customers is a life-saver. You can determine how well your accelerated delivery cycle works out based on a small number of orders, and then decide how to proceed according to the results of the test scheme.

Monitor performance to highlight issues

Even if you feel like your delivery operations are running like a well oiled machine, there is always room for improvement and you just need to be willing to look for weak links.

This is made much easier thanks to all of the software that is made for wrangling delivery services, with modern platforms offering impressive analytical abilities. As such you can see how different team members are performing, providing an indication of who is excelling and who is not pulling their weight.

This also eliminates the need for using guesswork when deciding which members of staff might be in need of additional support and training to fulfil their potential. Performance monitoring is not all about weeding out problem employees and sending them on their way, but should instead be seen as a means of managing teams with care and compassion, while still focusing on the need for productivity improvements.

Wrapping up

Most importantly, you need to get away from the temptation of thinking that your delivery operations will scale naturally as your order book fills up and demand increases.

Instead you have to be proactive about stimulating growth, satisfying customers and taking your business to the next level. There are the tools out there to help you achieve this; you just need to reach out and grab them.

A guide for an easy garden clearance

When starting a garden clearance, it can often be overwhelming looking at all the waste you need to dispose of and not knowing the best way to deal with it. Therefore, it is always best to create a plan of action before you begin. This will help to limit stress and give you a clear idea of where you will start.

Fast Skips, who offer UK skip hire deal with garden waste and speak with customers completing these projects daily to provide them with advice. Because of this, they have created a guide with their top tips for easy garden clearances.

1. Create a plan

Before you get stuck, it is always best to create a plan of action. This will all depend on how much waste you have to clear and how bulky your items are. Start by sectioning off your garden and estimating how long it will take to do one section. Then you can work out how long the rest will take you for a total amount of time.

2. Separate your waste types

Once you have created a plan and estimated how long the clearance would take you, you need to decide what to do with the waste and where to take it. The most common waste types you will have in your garden clearance are grass cuttings and other general green waste. However, there will be some other items that might be more difficult to dispose of.

Although it will depend on how much waste you have, you’ll find that your green waste can usually be put into your council garden waste bins. However, if you do not have one of these, green waste can be taken to your local tip.

Write a quick list of the different items you can see and the different types of waste and do your research on the best ways these can be disposed of and whether you’ll need to make any special arrangements.

Remember, some general waste items can still be reused or upcycled. If you don’t fancy doing it yourself, you could take it to the charity shop or advertise online on websites such as Facebook Marketplace.

3. Make the waste less bulky

If you need to take waste to the tip or you are hiring help, more often than not, you can be charged for how much waste there is and how heavy your items are. After you have separated your waste items, try to remove the bulky items as much as possible. For example, if you have lots of shrubbery and branches, try breaking them down into smaller pieces, so they’re easier to transport and do not take up as much room. This will also be beneficial if you’re hiring a skip for your clearance and want to make the most of the space available.

4. Select the best disposal method

If the garden waste you’ve got to dispose of is too much to remove yourself, you may need to hire help. The best options for you include skip hire or man with a van waste clearances. Skips are an excellent investment if your project will take you more than one day and you don’t have the means to transport the waste to the tip yourself.

The company will remove the skip for you on an agreed date and recycle each waste type correctly. There is also the option of a man with a van if you want the waste removed the same day. They will be able to help with the heavy lifting and will take the waste to their facility to be recycled appropriately.

How to Design a Seamless Login Experience for Your eCommerce Site

In 2021, the world has moved online. From our personal lives to our professional ones, almost everything we do exists in the abstract. If businesses fail to migrate their wares across to the internet, they stand almost no chance of staying afloat in the long term.

This means having a strong web presence is essential. The customer experience has never been more important, so SMEs must do their utmost to make their websites easy and enjoyable to use. As with most things in life, first impressions count for a lot, so the log-in process is one of the most vital components to get right. This process needs to be seamless, streamlined, and as straightforward as you can make it. Luckily, there are several ways to ensure this. Below, we talk you through three of the most important.

1. Offer several log-in options

A seamless log-in means different things to different people, which is why offering various options is important. Look at methods that make life easier for customers, such as using their phone number, email address, or socials, and let them choose which of these they prefer. An increasingly popular approach is to use passwordless authentication e.g. biometric technology like fingerprints or facial recognition. Whatever form it takes, passwordless login means users don’t need to create or memorize passwords, making the process more straightforward. This works especially well with mobile devices, which is handy considering the rapid growth in eCommerce.

2. Make passwords visible

One of the most common reasons why people struggle to log in is a simple one: they mistype their passwords. This is particularly easy to do when the password field is masked, and while this can be useful for security, it’s good to offer your users options. Allowing them to see what they’re typing makes it easier to identify mistakes and means they’re more likely to spot these themselves rather than contact your support team for assistance. It also stops them from having to reset their password because they wrongly believe they’ve forgotten it. It’s a good idea to inform them if the caps lock is turned on too. This is an easy error and one we’ve all made at one point or another. It’s all about setting users up for success. Make the process essentially idiot-proof and it will be easier and simpler for all involved.

3. Include a “forgot my password” function

On a similar note, make it easy to remedy the issue on the occasions when users do forget their passwords. The simplest way to do this is by including a “forgot my password” function on your login page. This should be set up so it auto-generates a password reset link, which is sent to either a mobile number or email address. This means users can easily and instantaneously resolve the issue themselves rather than having to contact you to do it for them. This makes for a much more pleasant user experience and avoids any embarrassment they may feel at having to request assistance from your team.

When it comes to creating a seamless login experience for your users, these three top tips are a great place to start. Put them to work today to make your login process as straightforward as possible.

Why Should You Keep A Diary?

Keeping a diary is one of those tips that seems too simple to really work. But often it is simple things that have the greatest impact on our lives. So, let’s try to find out why keeping a diary is important and how can it help you in everyday life?

How Exactly Keeping A Diary Helps? 

If you still hesitate whether you need to keep a diary, here are some points on how a diary might actually be useful for you.

1. Keeping a diary helps to strengthen psychological resilience. By writing down your thoughts on paper, you will be able to get rid of them and act more carefully. By reviewing the records for the year, you will begin to better understand yourself, learn to focus and worry less.

So, if you feel like you are all over because of an upcoming test or an essay at the college, writing your thoughts in the diary about s situation you have might actually bring you peace of mind. It is more likely that in the process of writing you would be able to find a solution to your problem. Like if you struggle with creating a high-quality essay for an important subject paper writing service MasterPapers could solve your struggle.

2. Concentration and purification of consciousness. Every morning we wake up with a swarm of thoughts and ideas in our heads. We think about what needs to be done today and what we did yesterday. In order not to go crazy, you need to redirect energy in another direction and throw all this flow of thoughts out. The diary is perfect for that.

3. Distancing from your feelings. Anxiety, anger, fear, insecurity, and all other feelings can be transferred to paper and looked at them from the side. Then you will understand that all these are illusions on which it is not necessary to spend mental forces.

4. Fighting self-criticism. Keeping a diary will calm down your inner saboteur – an inner voice that constantly judges you.

5. Determination of triggers. Sometimes we feel anxiety or other negative emotions, not knowing why. It may even seem to us that something is wrong with us. But if you start keeping diaries, you can identify the main causes of stress and anxiety, and not let them influence you.

Lots of students are being constantly under pressure, but just try to always keep in mind that there is no such exam or test that is worthy of your mental stress. By the way, you can use services like Masterpapers to lessen your workload and at the same time keep up with all the important assignments.

How To Start Writing

You might be afraid of starting to write things down, you might feel awkward and ridiculous, but this is normal. You have to overcome these first feelings and start writing your thoughts. We are also eager to share some of the steps which might ease the process of keeping a diary for you.

 

Write On Actual Paper

Keeping records on your computer or phone is a more passive and emotionless way. Of course, this way it will be faster. Only speed and the quantity of the written are not the goals you should strive for when starting a diary. The main thing here is self-analysis and clarity of thoughts.

 

Find Out What Works For You

The most important thing when you are just starting to keep a diary is to find the approach that works best for you. There are many different techniques, they all promise to change your world. If one approach doesn’t help you, do not despair and don’t throw a diary away. Try something else, otherwise, you will never see positive results. 

And don’t judge yourself too harshly. Don’t try to write seven days a week. Start small – with one sentence if this is what you can today, more sentences will come to you later. You may even develop a writing talent hidden deep inside, which could change your life direction completely. By the way, talking about writing skills, the article Choosing the Best Writing Companies | Top Options may be interesting for you.

Here are some more tips to help you start writing in your diary:

  • Think of only one day
  • Prepare a pen and notebook in advance
  • Get up 10 minutes earlier than usual (if you write in the morning)
  • Write one sentence. Do not worry about the content, write everything that comes to mind
  • Try to repeat the same tomorrow

 

What To Write About

Three things you are grateful for

Gratitude is a superpower that is available to us all. It helps us feel happier, less worried, and more successful at work or studies. Write down what you were grateful for today.

 

One phrase for self-affirmation

Self-affirming phrases will also help strengthen psychological resilience. Choose your words carefully to get rid of something in your life or, conversely, to create something new.

 

One fear you will overcome today

To get rid of anxiety, you need to try to face some of your fears every day. This, of course, doesn’t mean that you need to jump out of the plane every day or get fired. We all have hundreds of o fears that we try not to think about. Start small and repeat day after day. After a while, you will learn to control your fear and direct it in a positive direction.

 

Bio:

Patrick Green is a die-hard workaholic. Last semester, he has done more than fifty essays, a dozen term papers, and two Master’s level dissertations. Unfortunately, Patrick doesn’t know how to write bad essays. So it’s either a good essay, great, or excellent. With Mr. Green working on your order, it’s safe to say that there’s nothing to worry about because work will be done well in time!

How Does Bitcoin Work

Many people have heard about the idea of how does bitcoins work but many still do not know how they will be able to benefit from it. Basically, there is a group of people who started the idea of a new kind of virtual currency but they were actually only aiming to provide a platform for trading. There are now more than thirteen million bitcoins in circulation and they are predicted to go past twenty seven million by the end of the year. By using a trading bot, it is possible for anyone to take advantage of this revolutionary way to buy and sell coins.

It may seem very complicated for someone who has never heard about how does cryptosystem work before. Luckily, you do not need to be a computer genius to understand how it works. All you need is the right attitude and a little bit of knowledge. In addition to these two essential ingredients, you should also have the help of a good and reliable provider of virtual currency wallet like Bitfinex.

When you want to learn how does bitcoin work, the first thing you need to know is what all are the currencies that are included in the mix. The most well known currencies that you will find are the US dollar, Canadian dollar, Swiss franc, Australian dollar and the Japanese yen. With these currencies, you will be able to get started securing your investment as soon as possible. If you want to get started safely and securely, you should consider trading in the major currencies that are mentioned above.

Once you get started with this form of investing, you should also think about how does bitcoin work with its mining process. In the early days of this revolutionary form of investing, people were afraid that it would be difficult to mine and profit from this kind of industry. However, this is not true anymore and there are now a lot of profitable miners in the world. This is how does cryptosystem work in general.

Another thing that you should also understand when you want to learn how does bitcoin work is how does it affect the international monetary system. When you start trading, you will immediately notice that the worldwide market is trading at a very high rate of speed. This is due to the fact that the decentralized nature of the ledger is very useful to many people. Because it is kept online and protected from manipulation, you can be sure that the rates that you will be able to trade will be fair and transparent. This is why you will find a lot of potentials for investors all over the world.

There is no doubt that many new investors are flocking to the world of this new type of trading. One of the reasons for this is the fact that this trading has been designed in such a way that will allow anyone to get started without having to spend thousands of dollars on advertising. For example, if you are an investor who does not have thousands of dollars to invest, you can use the power of the internet as a platform for trading. In order to get the full benefit of how bitcoin works, you will need to read up on the various news regarding the currency. In this way, you will be able to learn about its ups and downs, and this will help you decide how to go about investing in the future.

The good thing about this form of trading is that you will find lots of information about it in the media. This includes a 1 minute review etoro. If you do not have time to read through all the content that this company provides, you can follow the links below to read some insightful information about the subject. In this video, they discuss how does bitcoin work, as well as how their platform can help you invest in the most appropriate currencies. If you are an investor who is interested in learning more about how does bitcoin work, you may consider looking into this particular social trading website.

The background of how does bitcoin work comes from the collaboration between ledger, a computer network, and bitcoin, which is a decentralized database that allows anyone to run it. This kind of work has been done before in the realm of finance, but the innovation of ledger and the subsequent popularity of bitcoin changed how we do business today. You may also want to look further into the fascinating subject of the future of finance if you are planning on using the technologies behind it such as the bitcoin protocol.

How to Buy Bitcoin

Learning how to buy bitcoins involves learning how to buy them in the first place. You can either get it online or from a broker, but learning how to buy them both involve different approaches and methods. Buying digital currencies isn’t as simple as buying shares of stock on the New York Stock Exchange, after all. But the same fundamental principles are at work when you trade in stocks and bonds. It is all a matter of understanding risk factors, knowing when to buy and when to sell, and using software to make the transition between long and short positions and shorting and longing as well.

One of the first steps to learn how to buy bitcoins is to become familiar with how they are valued. This is accomplished by reading up on how to buy digital currencies, as well as how they are traded on the Forex and other exchanges. Learn what the indicators mean, how margin requirements work, and how to determine whether or not an investment is a good fit. Take the time to study how different markets operate, how they are influenced by macroeconomic factors, and how to evaluate a potential purchase. A solid understanding of how to buy bitcoins is imperative if you want to get the best out of this exciting new way of investing.

Another thing you need to know before you can begin your foray into how to buy bitcoins is how to buy a digital currency using a trading platform. There are many popular platforms out there, such as Gox, Gemini, and many others, but the most popular is probably Metatrader. Getting familiar with how the platform works is necessary if you want to make the most of your investment decisions. There are many tutorials available that walk you through the process step-by-step.

Next, you need to figure out which exchanges to choose when you want to learn how to buy digital currency. These exchanges offer many different options for users, such as trading in just a few select currencies, trading in several different ones, and investing in an array of assets. There are many advantages to choosing these types of trading venues, such as low costs and liquidity. You also have to decide which ones you want to use, since there is no shortage of them. The two major exchanges that most people go for are Bitstamp and Gdna.

If you want to learn how to buy bitcoins, it’s important to find a brokerage firm that specializes in trading in this particular asset. Brokerage firms specialize in helping individuals buy and sell money, so it makes sense that they would have information on all of the various ways to buy and sell this form of currency. The top brokerages all have their own websites where you can look up their services. However, some of the lesser-known and less popular firms do not offer the same benefits and services to their clients. This means that you may have to find a new brokerage firm based on the price, your needs, and the opportunity that you see around you.

Many of the top exchanges, including Gdna and Bitstamp, are located in Europe. Therefore, if you live outside of the United States, you will have to take your business elsewhere. Fortunately, many of the exchanges will still allow you to buy and sell using the currency you have at home. You should also consider the fees that each firm charges. Some will be far more reasonable than others, so be sure to shop around and ask questions before buying.

There are also quite a few different ways to acquire cryptofresh. The most popular way is by purchasing a piece of software and learning how to buy it through the digital currency exchange. The two best such software programs are the Wal Mart and MT4 WalMart wallets. Both of these programs cost about forty dollars, so it may be worth your while to invest in them.

In conclusion, this brief article has given you a few starting points for learning how to buy bitcoin through a legitimate digital currency exchange. If you’re an American living in Europe, you won’t have to look far to find a number of legit trading platforms. If you happen to be from Spain, Canada, or Australia, however, you will need to look deeper into the various trading options available on the platform you choose. The important thing is to be sure that you educate yourself and become a knowledgeable trader before investing money in the market.

How a Hybrid Strategy Promotes Inclusivity and Equity of Experience

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated workplace trends that had been slowly germinating for years. Chief among them as we look to the future is the reality that distributed work is here to stay

This so-called “hybrid strategy” presents organizations with an opportunity to holistically address the needs of a highly diverse workforce with a focus on equity of experience.

By trusting employees to make choices based on their daily tasks and preferences—with support whether they choose to come into the office or work from home—organizations can reshape the office into a sought-after destination for those social and cultural connections that cannot be recreated virtually.

From substantial expense to competitive edge

Reorienting office space around three activities not supported elsewhere

Even before the pandemic, offices were struggling to consistently support people and their work. For many organizations, the physical office didn’t keep pace: It was often generic and too densely planned, while deprioritizing remote work. However, when given a choice, many employees had already begun working from home, coworking spaces, cafés, or elsewhere. As we look to the future, we see an opportunity to reorient the office so that workers feel less anchored to it and more buoyed by it, as facilities focus on hosting experiences that the isolation of the pandemic robbed from us all.

As we look to the future, we see an opportunity to reorient the office so that workers feel less anchored to it and more buoyed by it, as facilities focus on hosting experiences that the isolation of the pandemic robbed from us all.

What can organizations do to make their spaces more desirable as on-demand destinations for employees newly empowered to work anywhere? From data provided by more than 19,000 users of Herman Miller’s WFH Ergonomic Assessment tool 3  and other sources, we have identified three core experiences that the office is uniquely positioned to support. At Herman Miller, we’re focused on helping customers evolve existing environments with products and settings specifically designed with these experiences in mind.

Three core experiences best supported by the office

Community socialization

While most of us have found virtual ways to maintain a sense of connection to our closest friends and family over the past year, our “weak ties” were largely lost. This outer circle of acquaintances—whether that’s the building concierge who is on a first-name basis with everyone, or the coworker from another department with whom you like to make small talk—is vital to an individual’s social health. 4  Building these relationships is also critical for establishing and maintaining culture—and helping people feel a sense of purpose and belonging. By providing areas that encourage people to interact with their extended networks, your office can help reestablish these connections.

Team collaboration

In the prevailing model of workplace design, individual workstations are “owned” or assigned, and group spaces are shared. But organizations looking to seed spontaneous socialization and concerted collaboration need to flip this to more of a neighborhood model. In this model, team space is owned, while individual spaces are shared within it. When workplaces practice neighborhooding in this way, they better accommodate longer-term collaboration while also creating opportunities for those spur-of-the-moment chats that cannot be scheduled via videoconference.

Individual focus

The past year has stressed our homes in many ways, with spare bedrooms called into duty as classrooms, gyms, offices, or all the above. And for those of us without a room to spare, the realities of children, roommates, or extended family have made it difficult to even find a corner to work in—let alone actually finding focus. For these individuals, a return to the physical office can provide a respite for concentration and focused work, given the right spatial setup.

Returning office workers will bring new expectations for user control to the workplace

Technology has been reshaping work for decades, but it took a virus to change the office landscape overnight. In the early months of the pandemic, many organizations focused on adapting their spaces to provide safer work environments and limit the spread of COVID-19. However, organizations are now turning their attention to broader perspectives on employee well-being. Our view is that to be effective, this shift must emphasize adaptability in a deeper sense.

In the past, a workplace setting was considered “flexible” if it could be reconfigured for different uses by a facilities or maintenance team. As organizations plan their return-to-work strategies, however, the power to adapt a space needs to rest with the people working within it.

Change is always expected whenever any workplace moves from construction to post-occupancy. That said, it has never been tougher for organizations to plan for these changes than now, as employees return from this prolonged experience of working from home. We believe that shifting investments toward furnishings and tools that fit into existing floorplates can optimize space to embrace change. These kinds of adaptable solutions will meet rising expectations for autonomy, choice, and user control.

Key Insights

Examine a hybrid approach to workplace strategy

As workers return to the office, many will want to continue to exercise the freedom to work from home at least part-time. Support for that choice should be a key component of every go-forward workplace strategy. Organizations that embrace distributed work in a manner consistent with their culture will ultimately empower their employees with a robust set of choices to create positive, healthy work experiences. Companies can benefit from nurturing a sense of autonomy among their people, as an equitable and inclusive experience is essential for tapping into the productivity of a highly diverse workforce.

Embrace the unique role of the office

The office must prove its value to employees in this new era of autonomy. To do so, office design must focus on those functions that haven’t been successfully supported during this extended work-from-home experiment: establishing and maintaining social culture, supporting longer-duration team activities, and providing spaces for focused work. Ultimately, these changes will make the office more desirable and inclusive.

Empower people with the tools to reshape spaces

To remain a relevant part of the post-pandemic work experience, the office must move beyond flexibility to truly become adaptable. The distinction is subtle but important. When spaces are flexible, they can be reconfigured by a facilities team to support a range of activities. When they are adaptable, they provide a level of individual control, inviting the people who use a space to reshape it around their needs in the moment.

Useful Tips On How to Choose a Good Catering Company

For many people, the thought of organizing a party is enough to make them break into a cold sweat. It’s an unnerving prospect that can become even worse when you think about all the things that need to be taken care of before guests arrive. Even if family and friends are coming over for an informal dinner party, the quality of food and drinks is crucial. One way to ensure that all your guests enjoy the event is by hiring a catering company. 

You might think that getting someone to cater will be easy but there are many things you need to take into consideration before making an appointment with an agency. Finding a catering company can be quite overwhelming especially for first-timers. There are lots of options to choose from and you need to become knowledgeable about what matters. The choice of a catering company should be based on the factors mentioned below.

1. Experience

Think about the type of event you are planning for. It’s important to go through past work done by a catering company so that you can determine whether they have the required experience or not. If your event is being held at a specific venue, it would be great if you ask them if they have worked there before. If they have, it will be easier for you to trust them with the responsibility of getting the needed supplies.

It’s also a good idea to ask for references and testimonials from past clients. Catering companies also have a list of venues they usually cater for, so you might want to contact the venue and check out if the catering company has been there before or not. These things will give you an idea of how professional the company is and whether they’ll be able to deliver on your requests.

2. Offers and Services

Make sure you know what the catering company can provide for your event. Different companies offer different things. Some might only provide set menus while others can also do custom orders for their clients. If you want to host a party where guests will be free to choose whatever they like, the catering company must have a wide range of options for you.

Catering companies offer different types of services as well such as arranging tables and renting utensils. Some companies charge extra for these while others include these in the cost of catering. It’s important that you know what you’re getting into and that all your requirements are met accordingly.

3. Pricing and Payment

There is no such thing as a standard price when it comes to catering companies because costs differ from one company to another. The most important thing to consider is that you have a budget in mind so that you can compare prices with different companies. It’s good to set aside a certain amount of money for catering because this will ensure that all your guests are served properly.

If you don’t want the hassle of having to pay upfront, it’s also possible for you to pay in installments or even after the event is done. Just make sure that you get everything set up with the catering company beforehand so that there are no misunderstandings later on.

4. Availability

Of course, there’s no point choosing a catering company only to find out that they’re not available on your chosen day for hosting the party. You should schedule a meeting with them first to check out whether they’re available or not. Also, find out what days and times they are usually free for consultations. Remember that catering companies also have their schedules to adhere to. If there is no one available during the time you have chosen for your consultation, it might be better to reschedule for an earlier date.

5. Location and Contact Details

Of course, catering companies are not restricted to a specific location, but there are some which are available in certain areas only. You might want to get recommendations from people living in your area or you can look up the internet for reviews on different catering companies. According to the caterers at East Bay Deli, make sure that the catering services company is conveniently located so you won’t have to waste too much time during consultations. Also, find out if they can deliver within a specific radius since not all catering companies do this.

The ideal person for making arrangements with a catering company is the one who will be hosting the party. You might want to speak to them personally and ask for their contact details. This way, you won’t have to deal with middlemen, and it will be easier for everyone to get in touch as well as to plan things out for your event.

6. Food Safety and Hygiene

Since you’re going to be hosting a party at home or at some other venue where food is going to be served, it’s important to hire a catering company that is fully aware of food safety and adheres to hygienic practices. Of course, everyone wants their guests to be healthy so they won’t get sick after eating contaminated food or food cooked in unhygienic conditions.

7. Reputation and Experience

When you speak with the owner of the catering company, make sure that you ask them if they’ve handled similar events before. It’s also best to know how long they have been in the business because this will give you an idea about their experience. Never forget to check out online reviews as well so you can be more certain of your choice.

8. Business License and Insurance

When it comes to catering companies, licenses and insurance are very important. If you hire an unlicensed company, they won’t be liable for any accidents or injuries even if they turn out to be fatal. You might also want to ask about their insurance coverage since this will cover you in case the worst happens and someone gets injured during your event.

Before you sign any agreements with the catering company, make sure that everything included is written out in the contract. The catering company should be responsible for handing out menus and information on allergens. Also, see if they are willing to give you their full insurance coverage so there will be no issues later on if anything goes wrong while your event is in progress.

9. Package and Menu

What are you planning to serve at your party? If it’s only finger food, then most catering companies will be able to handle it. However, if you want full meals or buffet servings, choose a company that has the right facilities and staff for this. Aside from food choices, find out about their overall menu package. This way, you can compare prices and decide whether it’s within your budget. You might also want to check out what other clients say about the company’s menu package since this will give you a better idea about their services.

10. Service and Equipment

If you’re going to hire a catering company for a large party, make sure that they understand the number of guests you’re expecting so they can prepare for this. Also, you’ll want to know what equipment and service they will use for your event. For instance, if you don’t have enough cutleries or cups, then there’s no point in hiring a catering company.

Make sure that the catering company has everything they need to cater to your guests. This will include staff, equipment, vehicles, and other resources required for your event. You can ask them to provide you with a list of what they’ll be using for your party so there won’t be any discrepancies when the time comes. It’s a good idea to check out the catering company’s website and see what kind of services are on offer. Once you speak with their representative about your needs, they can also tell you more about specific packages which might interest you.

11. Presentation

When everything is set for your event, think about the presentation as well. The catering company you hire should be able to handle the serving of food and drinks. This also includes making sure that it’s ready on time, looking fresh, and tasting delicious. Asking for a few samples will also help you assess whether or not their dishes look appetizing. Lastly, check out the presentation of their staff and find out what kind of uniforms they wear. This way, you can be sure that your guests will enjoy themselves without worrying about anything else.

12. Follow Up

As with any event or party, you’ll want to know that everything is set for your big day. To do this, have the catering company follow up with you after finalizing your deal. If they don’t, then this might be an early indication that they’re not very professional. Make sure that all materials and equipment are in place well before the event starts. Also, check whether the catering company sent over a representative to greet you. This way, everything will be running smoothly even before the party starts.

It’s also a good idea to follow up with your catering company in the days or weeks leading up to your event. You can confirm that everything is ready so as to eliminate any issues later on during the event itself. Overall, they should be professional enough to handle whatever questions you might have about your party.

With all of these tips, you’ll be able to tell if the catering company is suited for your needs or not. If they’re not, then you should look for other options until you find the right one. Before you hire a catering company to handle your next event, make sure that they have everything you need for your party.

6 Reasons Why Drinking Tea May Improve Your Health

It is not a legend that drinking tea is good for you. Tea is a part of tradition for almost all Asian cultures. Chinese and Japanese have been consuming it for centuries solely for health improvement. In Western culture, tea is promoted as a way to treat cold and flu symptoms. However, tea is more than that. Drinking tea protects your brain and brain cells and keeps them healthy, protects your heart’s health, and prevents the risk of getting cancer. Here are just some of the benefits that drinking tea brings to your life. 

 

1. True Teas Are the Healthiest Teas 

True teas are made by using the plant known as Camellia Sinensis. These teas are green tea, white tea, black tea, oolong tea, and Pu-Erh tea. Even though all of these teas are made out of the same plant, the difference between them is mainly in color and the production process. White and green tea are true tea family members that undergo the least processing. These teas are not oxidized. The leaves are harvested and naturally dried in order to avoid the chemical reactions that turn leaves into different colors (dark brown or black). Instead, they are keeping their natural green color and are considered to be one of the healthiest teas. Meanwhile, black tea is fully oxidized and oolong just partly. Pu-erh tea is aged and is considered to be a part of the post-oxidized teas. The benefits of these teas are numerous, primarily, they improve your immune system and metabolism. The post-effect of these teas is the toxins drop, and increased water intake. 

 

2. Benefits of the Herbal Teas 

Herbal teas are made of various compounds such as infusing fruits, leaves, roots, herbs, and stems. Another term for herbal teas is herbal tisanes. Dried fruits, such as berries, can affect your health in ways you cannot imagine. For instance, the amazing health benefits of black currant tea include anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties. Also, it has no caffeine nor any sugar added. These teas are incredibly beneficial since they consist of various compounds, which, when combined, have multiple influences on your body. Some of the most popular herbal teas are chamomile and peppermint tea, ginger, and hibiscus teas. 

 

3. Heart Health 

Drinking tea, regularly, may significantly lower the risk of some serious heart diseases. Teas have anti-inflammatory effects and therefore soothe tissues in arteries. This helps reduce blood clotting and restrict blood circulation. Some tea compounds may reduce high blood pressure and lower cholesterol. 

 

4. Energy Booster 

Tea acts as an amazing energy booster. For instance, green tea contains a small amount of caffeine that increases energy. Lower caffeine amounts of green tea make it a much healthier alternative to coffee. The reason why green tea is such a good energy booster is the amino acid known as L-theanine. This amino acid slows down the absorption of caffeine and has a longer-lasting effect and is more steady than caffeine taken from a cup of coffee. Your focus will be increased and the effect of caffeine will not wear off after a short period of time. 

 

5. Weight Loss 

Higher water intake will have an amazing effect on both your general health and weight loss. For example, green tea can make your weight loss a rapid thing. Due to its composition and the amino acids it contains, green tea can signal the body to burn the stored fat. Green tea boosts energy, which later on can be channeled into some effective and efficient workouts. By drinking green tea, you will have the same effect as if you are taking weight loss supplements. One of the ways it works is by making your body crave water. Green tea is a sugar and calorie-free drink, so you can drink as many cups as you want without feeling guilty. Since it contains no calories, and if you drop sodas and gym drinks, you will reach your goals sooner. 

 

6. Mental Health 

Intake of certain teas may reduce the risk of some neurological diseases and decrease stress levels. Teas, like green tea, prevent brain damage diseases such as Parkin’s and Alzheimer’s disease.  Most of the teas have calming compounds that will ease down your nerves and help you go through the day. Teas contain antioxidants that throw out toxins causing mental health problems. 

There are numerous benefits of having just a cup of tea during the day. It prevents heart diseases, regulates blood sugar, mental health problems, and helps you drop some extra kilograms. There is an endless list of benefits that tea brings with itself, but general health is at the very top.

Top Tips for How Small Businesses Can Join in the Black Friday Hype

With many big brands pushing their sales in the run-up to Black Friday, experts at Tide have revealed their top tips for how small businesses can join in the Black Friday hype. 

Understand your objectives

Preparation is key. Understand what you want to achieve, for some this will be increasing sales, for others, it will be aiming to increase their profits or simply gaining new customers. By understanding your objectives, you can align your offerings and marketing across your communication channels. 

Online presence

Research suggests that 44% of UK adults are going to be shopping exclusively online this Black Friday, compared to just 17% who shop exclusively online outside of the festive period, so it is important your website is up and running effectively. Oliver Prill, Tide CEO suggests “do a virtual walkthrough of your website, make a purchase and explore how you can make the experience as easy as possible to minimise people abandoning their cart.”

Mailing Lists

If you have a mailing list, consider sending out your Black Friday deals ahead of time. Oliver explains: “This allows your loyal customers to be prepared and get what they want from the sale. It also increases customer loyalty, as telling them your deals ahead of time makes people feel valued.”

Social media listening

Consumers are on social media days, even weeks before Black Friday, searching for deals and talking about what they’re looking for in the sales. Oliver suggests: “Consider setting up a social listening centre for people in your local area to see what they’re posting about. This will give you insight into the types of products people want to see. You can also get involved in the conversation and talk about what you have on offer.”

Check your stock

Once you know what your potential customers might want, ensure you can accommodate the demand and be prepared when it comes to stock. However, be careful to not over order on certain items. Black Friday is, for many businesses, a great chance to clear any unwanted stock ahead of Christmas.

Get people excited

Use your social media channels to get people excited about your Black Friday offerings. Oliver says “Give people sneak previews of your deals and build momentum ahead of the big day.”

In-store experience

While a lot of customers will be online this year, don’t forget about the in-store experience. Ensure people know you’re participating in Black Friday by transforming your storefront and window displays to showcase the deals and the products you have on offer to entice people in. 

Small, local businesses have the added benefit of their local community, so reach out to other small businesses in the area to see what their Black Friday plans are and work together to create a local shopping experience. This might include staying open late to give shoppers more opportunities to buy.

Oliver suggests “be prepared to be busy and ensure you have COVID measures in place, this might entail putting tape on the floor to navigate customers and hand sanitisers at the door and till.” As the contactless pay limit has increased, it is now easier than ever for customers to pay, reducing queues. 

Sharing

When customers make a purchase in-store or online, consider asking if they could spread the word or even share their purchase with their followers, writing a review, or geo-tagging the store. Oliver says “Since the pandemic there has been a surge in support for shopping local and supporting local businesses. Take advantage of this! People often love to share their purchases from local businesses and many customers will be more than happy to help out a small business, so it’s always worth asking.”

Stay true to your brand

Remaining true to your brand is crucial and shouldn’t be compromised, especially for a quick sale or in trying to keep up with big brands. Small businesses offer perfectly unique products, branding and customer experience, and this is key to having a successful Black Friday. Keep all communication in line with your brand values and ensure the way you communicate with your customers is authentic. In fact, a study showed that 88% of consumers said authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support.

There’s always Cyber Monday

Thankfully, if you do miss out on Black Friday this year, the sales continue through the weekend and into Monday, also known as Cyber Monday, so there are plenty of opportunities to further increase your sales. 

While we have shown the ways small businesses can get in on the Black Friday action, it’s important that small businesses don’t try to directly compete with larger rivals. Small business owners should be thinking about their unique offering and what they can offer consumers that big businesses can’t. It isn’t just a battle of price, in fact, shoppers are also driven by incentives such as unique products, loyalty, referral bonuses and extended returns.

We hope these tips help small businesses to consider getting involved in the action of Black Friday this year, as more people are looking to spend their money locally.

3 Tips for Providing Home Care to a Loved One with Dementia

Caring for a loved one with dementia can often be as frustrating for you as it is for the person suffering from an impaired ability to think, make decisions or even remember small things. They get easily frustrated trying to communicate their needs and as their caregiver, you can get as easily worried over whether or not you are understanding them. This can lead to further complications and this is why it’s so important to learn a few tips on providing what they need.

 

1. Limit Frustrations

Quite often, when someone is suffering from dementia, they are unable to do the simple tasks they once handled routinely with ease. Even eating can become problematic and they are likely to dribble food down their face and onto their clothes. This is often the case when dementia is caused by Alzheimer’s disease where a person loses fine motor movements. Frustration can lead to agitation and that’s what you want to avoid at all costs. It helps to get washable clothing covers, commonly known as an adult bib, where you can easily tell them it’s no problem. They haven’t spotted their clothes, and all is well. Once you learn the things that cause them to become frustrated or agitated, you can take steps to avoid those situations.

 

 2. Stay Calm

This leads to the second most important thing you can do when caring for a loved one with dementia. When you see that they are not in control and are about to become agitated, stay calm. Reassure them that all is well and that it’s something easily fixed. If you get agitated, that will feed their frustration and it can soon get out of control. It is imperative that you maintain your composure at all times so that your loved one doesn’t feel less than normal. There is nothing quite as dehumanizing to a person suffering from dementia and still having enough of their faculties to know that they are unable to do the simple things they once did easily. Sometimes it’s worse asking for help than it is needing that help in the first place, so stay calm and reassure them that all is well.

 

3. Keep It Simple

Finally, it is important to give them simple structure in their life. Stick to a routine so that nothing comes as a surprise. Mealtimes will be at the same time every day and they will have activities planned routinely. For example, after breakfast every day they go out to the patio to watch the birds feeding at the feeders you’ve place around the lawn. Or maybe there’s a time when their favorite game show is on the television or perhaps you walk around the block with them. No matter what it is you do, keep it simple and make it a routine so that they know what to expect at any given moment. The easier and more structured you make their lives, the happier they will be.

One thing you may want to do is find relief for yourself. Get a sitter or perhaps in-home healthcare for a few hours a week so that you can get out as well. There may come a time when more help is needed, especially when a person is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, but for as long as your aging loved one is in your care, these tips should make life better for everyone involved.

How to Create Business Apps Without Coding

The low-code tech simplifies modern business activities through advanced tools and features. It’s quite a boost for many start-ups and established businesses. The technology requires fewer development funds but offers high productivity—a rare balance for businesses using traditional coding systems. Low code helps Companies build business-related apps without coding or hiring a professional workforce. It’s a fast and effective system that suits customers and Entrepreneurs.

Low code incorporates other digital platforms to help ease business production. Organizations investing in Low code systems can automate their workflow and improve the business process.  The system transforms basic IT users into citizen developers. It’s an advanced technology for non-technical teams making business operation easy for all departments.

Application building entails experts, advanced platforms, time and resources. However, low code narrows the requirements to visual graphical features that require drag and drop to build apps. The system eliminates the need for IT specialists, resources, longer process time and potential errors.

What can organizations build using low code platform

Low code systems offer a sense of creativity, giving business room for expansion and innovation. There is a various application that is easy to build with low code as follows.

  • Workplace apps
  • Process automation app such as workflow software.
  • Employee engagement apps
  • Customer services apps
  • Line of business apps
  • Operation improvement apps.

 

Low code and customer relationship

Low code platforms are designed to help in the application building process. The system doesn’t seem to favour customer relationship building. However, the system has a significant impact on organizations in fulfilling customer demands. Today customers tend to work with digitalized businesses. They want fast quality services. Companies need to grab every digital tool to improve and deliver services on time.

The low code platforms help reduce the new pressure by introducing an automated system and fast application development. New business apps allow customer’s access services online. Today customers can request products and services online. They can also pay via convenient online platforms without leaving their homes. Low code opens for team collaboration, thus merging all departments under one system. This improves customer relations as the teams offer the same quality services with the aim of high productivity.

Steps to build low code apps

Though low code offers citizen developers chances to create a new application, the process requires some commitments and plans.  The developers need to address the what, why, when and how questions.  It’s advisable to develop a productive application and not just any app.

First, establish the need of building the app.

Besides the freedom of building business fast without professional help. Organizations or IT departments should have proper plans when developing any application.  The entrepreneur needs to discuss with teams members. The team’s contribution has had a great impact on the formation of the app. After listening to all opinions, create a comprehensive app to suit different needs.

 

Layout the needs and plan

To have an effective plan divide the plan into achievable sections such as basic, sub-basic needs. Organizations can lay out a plan which involves primary and secondary needs. For example sales application, the team should consider customer details, ease of use and how to communicate and deliver through the app effectively.

 

Merge the modules

When laying out the plan, the user segments the plan into parts called modules.  Each module has a specific function in the app development process. The modules are parts that help build an app to complete the system. After getting the correct module details, merge the parts to have a complete app.

 

Test the app

Once you merge the application, have a pilot program and test the functionality. This will help developers adjust or correct possible errors. Now make the changes and implement the app again to see the results. Once satisfied, the Company can launch the app and evaluate the production level.

 

Ensure to add and modify the app as time goes

Companies can never finalize designing an application. They need to keep adjusting and adding new features to suit the Companies and customers’ needs.

Organizations can follow the simple steps to create various business applications. They can also hire professionals based on the complexity of the applications. However, a low code system provides simplified features to help any developer.

 

Why businesses should implement a low-code system

Low code primary aim is to ease business operation and increase productivity.  The process automates different functions giving the employee time to implement new plans.  There are several factors why businesses should consider low code platforms.

User-friendly features

A low code system is easy to utilize for any user. It’s designed with a user-friendly interface that contains visual graphics. The features operate through drag and drop, making it easy for citizen developers to create new apps. Note low code systems also work for IT developers and programmers. They help organizations build strong and secure systems. IT developers find it easy to use low code, unlike the traditional coding system, which took longer to develop.

Cost-saving

Low code systems don’t require a specialist to build a business application. The system suits non-technical teams that build any application through visual graphic features. The process saves time and cost, which is directed to new projects. Traditional coding took months to build and also required IT professionals or developers to build.

Inclusivity and collaboration

The majority of low code platforms easily merge with the existing business system. This helps teams learn fast and produce more. Organizational departments can collaborate by utilizing single apps for various services. The link offers the same business goal for all team members.

Unlimited app usage

Today businesses can create an application to cover different services. It helps automate all services, thus relieving the employees. Low code apps are not limited to one service/operation. The user can modify or incorporate a new service in one app.  The app can easily fit new market changes without the need to develop new applications.

Conclusion

Low code applications developed require a good plan to avoid business frustrations. Businesses should offer all stakeholders (employees, customers, entrepreneurs) to view their opinions before creating any app. It’s wise to analyze the importance of the app and the strategies in which you will implement the app.

New Report Reveals Growing Belonging Crisis Amongst UK Employees

  • 16 million UK office workers don’t feel as though they belong within their current company
  • 72 percent of these individuals are considering leaving their role in the next 12 months
  • This means 11.5 million workers are seriously reconsidering their roles
  • The belonging crisis is 10 times bigger and twice as important than is being realised

The Belonging Crisis

New research has revealed a looming HR crisis amongst British businesses, with just a third of UK office workers feeling as though they belong within a company. This means that as many at 16 million employees are currently suffering from a feeling of isolation in the workplace.

This is set to have serious consequences for UK employers, with almost three quarters (72 percent) of those who don’t feel as though they belong considering leaving their job in the next 12 months. This equates to an incredible 11.5 million people thinking about imminently walking out of their current roles.

The research, conducted amongst UK office workers and HR professionals by Connectr, the leading HR tech platform for building businesses where people belong, reveals that the pandemic has changed employees’ priorities significantly, with emotional support and a sense of belonging valued more highly than ever before.

Whilst salary remains the number one priority for employees, only 63 percent of workers now view this as key to their happiness at work, seven percent less than in February 2020. This is making way for cultural benefits, with feeling valued being cited as the second most important workplace perk for UK office staff, overtaking the likes of annual bonuses and health insurance.

Similarly, 20 percent of workers now believe that having their individuality recognised is one of the most important workplace benefits. This has more than doubled since February 2020. Other benefits that have become more important to employees since the pandemic include being proud of the company they work for, having their opinions listened to, and being part of a supportive and inclusive team.

Millennials and Gen Z employees were found to be the driving force behind these workplace trends. Just 44 percent of 16-24-year-olds consider salary as the most important workplace benefit. With Millennials set to make up over 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, this demonstrates a significant shift that employers will need to actively respond to in order to attract and retain talented and diverse individuals.

Challenges Being Overlooked by Employers

The research, published in a new report that explores the UK’s growing belonging crisis, demonstrates that this shift in priorities is going largely unnoticed by business heads, which is compounding the crisis. Just 14 percent of HR heads believe not fitting in is a key reason why employees leave a business, demonstrating a clear misunderstanding of the scale of the problem.

Even for those businesses which do want to focus on belonging, resource is preventing them from doing so. Four in five HR heads say they don’t have time to prioritise building a sense of inclusion, whilst a staggering 92 percent struggle to get buy-in from senior leadership. The pandemic has worsened the situation, with 89 percent admitting that belonging has become less of a focus as a result of COVID-19.

As well as increasing staff turnover, this oversight could also be having an impact on a business’s productivity, reputation, level of diversity and inclusion, and ultimately its bottom line. The research found that a strong sense of belonging makes employees more motivated, loyal, engaged, and ambitious, which has a huge impact on productivity.

Building a Sense of Belonging

When it comes to building a sense of belonging, nearly half of office workers state that feeling valued is crucial, with a third claiming that clear progression opportunities are essential if they are to feel as though they belong. A significant number of employees also cited access to digital employee engagement platforms and mentoring schemes as key to cultivating a sense of belonging. These digital tools are particularly important for employees who are working from home. Almost half (44 percent) of remote workers who managed to maintain a sense of belonging during the pandemic put this down to online support platforms or mentoring schemes.

Despite clear demand from UK workers for digital platforms designed to support staff, just a third of organisations use them, whilst only 28 percent offer mentoring schemes. This demonstrates a clear disparity when it comes to employees’ needs and the provisions being offered by employers.

What the Experts Say

Will Akerman, Founder and Managing Director at Connectr, comments: “The research demonstrates a huge imbalance between employee demands and businesses’ priorities. What’s more, the growing belonging crisis amongst British employees is going largely unnoticed, with many employers still failing to recognise the importance of building a sense of inclusion. In fact, the belonging crisis is 10 times bigger and twice as important than is being realised. If this isn’t addressed quickly, UK businesses are set to face a huge resourcing challenge which could be catastrophic for many who are still coping with financial impact of the pandemic.

“The good news is, there are solutions to the challenge. Our research clearly shows the important role that online employee engagement tools and mentoring platforms can have in building a vital sense of belonging amongst staff. The digital nature of these platforms makes them accessible to all and easy to roll out at scale, meaning that all employees can benefit, regardless of their background, level of seniority or where they are based. More needs to be done to tackle the UK workforce’s belonging crisis, and it’s the businesses that make a conscious and active effort to truly engage, support and nurture their staff that will come out on top.”  

A Guide on Using the IVA Procedure to Get Rid of Debt in 2021

IVA or Individual Voluntary Agreement is a legally binding agreement between yourself and the creditors that you owe money to. It is the bankruptcy alternative and will allow an individual to be debt-free in 5 years.
You will agree on an amount you can afford each month over five years. At the end of the five years, they will clear your unsecured loan.
Being in debt can be stressful, and understanding the best debt solution is equally strenuous. Therefore, you must have a guide to explain your best options.

Understanding IVA

IVA might be what you need to consolidate all your debts into one payment that you can afford monthly over five years. The IVA procedure will allow you 60 months to organize how to pay your debtors.
Over these 60 months, you can pay a lump sum to settle your debt early as there is no set time in the 1986 Insolvency Act. It can last less than five years. Here is a guide to using the IVA to get rid of debt.

Comparing IVA Companies

Not all companies that claim to represent IVA are genuine. So it would help if you took the time to compare the companies before settling on one.

As you make the comparison, remember that IVAs are not for everybody. A good IVA company should tell if it\’s good for you.

Step 2; Make the Proposal

After speaking to a good debt consultant company, they will tell you if IVA is for you. If so, they will collate all your credit information into a proposal for a case referred to an Insolvency Practitioner.

The proposal will have all the information the IP will need. Then he will present it to your creditors in a professional manner.

The Paperwork for the Proposal

Before the IVA can draft the proposal, you must provide them with proof of your financials. Your IP will need to have the details of the circumstances that have led to your current financial difficulty.

Let your IP understand your income and expenditure so that they understand whether or not you will be able to maintain the payments that the creditors will be given for assessment. The details they will need include.

Total income
Total debt
Your expenses
Family situation (about partner)
Rent, mortgages,
Assets

The IP will need paperwork to confirm the current financial situation, rent or mortgage agreement, food, utility bills, and bank statements. Your wage or payslip will also be required to verify that you can afford the proposed IVA before it is proportioned to your creditors.

Statement of Affairs

The statement of affairs will also contain the creditor details and a breakdown of income expenditure. Your IP can gauge your disposable income from the analysis, which he will use to see what monthly installment you can afford.

Then, an interim order stops your creditors from taking further action until the IVA has been considered and either approved or otherwise.

The Sip 3 Call

Your IP will now put in a Sip 3 call when the statement of affairs is appropriately organized. This step is a legally required IVA process that helps the drafter familiarize with the applicant\’s situation.

The SIP 3 call allows the drafter to get into the history of the applicants\’ financial problems to understand how they got where they are with debts.

Step 4; The MOC

The MOC, which stands for \’meeting of creditors,\’ comes after the selected insolvency practitioner has packaged the case. Your chosen IP will arrange a venue, time, and date where the creditors will meet. However, this only happens in theory, and the creditors communicate via emails or letters.

The Meeting of Creditors Vote

All the information collected, including disposable income, debt levels, and proof of debts, is forwarded to the creditors. A proxy voting is then set up, and they either accept or reject the IVA proposal.

Here, your IP will provide a figure you can afford to pay every month.
75% of the creditors must approve the IVA for it to go through. Most creditors only agree because it is their only way of getting some money back since the other option could be bankruptcy, where the creditor receives zero.

3 Ways to Be Environmentally Friendly At Work

More of us are being made aware of global warming and the negative effects our daily actions have on the environment. Although we can do so many things at home to offset some of these adverse effects, there is so much we can be doing whilst at work, too.

Fletchers Waste Management, who provide Skip Hire Sheffield as well as many other waste management services, has put together three easy ways we can all make small changes whilst at work to help improve our carbon footprint from the office.

1. Change to green cleaning products
If you are the decision-maker for what cleaning products are being used in the office, have you thought about looking into eco-friendly options? Although it has become common for many of us to choose the cheapest options when it comes to bleach and other cleaning products, it is not always made clear just how costly this can then be to the environment.

Standard cleaning products, although affordable, are made of very harsh chemicals that affect both the indoor and outdoor environment. Commercial buildings are cleaned so regularly, especially since the pandemic, it increases the chances of air pollution and increased plastic waste and water pollution. Now more than ever, it’s essential to look into green cleaning alternatives.

As these products are naturally derived, they are much safer for the environment and your staff. These greener alternative products come at a slightly higher cost; however, some cleaning companies may only choose to use these products, so they may be able to offer better deals because of this. Although somewhat more expensive, these environmentally friendly cleaning products are naturally derived, meaning they are much safer for your staff and the environment.

If you do not make the decisions, it may be worth still sharing your concerns with your manager or cleaning company to see if anything can be done.

2. Turn off those lights

When working in an office environment, it’s sometimes easy to forget the importance of still turning lights and other electrical items off at the switch when they’re no longer in use. A great way to enforce this and encourage saving electricity is with a Switch Off Policy.

These can be easily implemented in the workplace by sending emails to remind people to turn lights off when leaving empty rooms and make sure items that can be safely unplugged when going for the day are done so daily.

Posts can also be put on walls near switches as an extra reminder if needed!

3. Switch to green energy
In the UK, it is still predominantly fossil fuels that are used for our electricity and gas, which is not great for the environment as they release large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

There is a better alternative, though, and that is green energy suppliers. Green energy is created by renewable sources, which can include solar panels and turbines. Sounds expensive, though, right? Well, green energy is actually very competitive in its prices and can be compared using most energy comparison websites.

Like with choosing your cleaning products, you may not always be able to make these changes quickly, but by speaking with your manager or your office landlord, they might say yes if they weren’t aware of the benefits before.

Ultimately, we can all make lots of small changes when going to work, and these are just 3 of them. There are many other suggestions online, and remember, to make a positive change, you just have to start small!

5 Ways to Untwist Your Construction Payroll Processes

The construction industry is booming, and with the increase in demand for skilled workers, it’s no surprise that construction payroll processes are feeling the pressure. Fortunately, there are several ways to untwist this process and make things easier for everyone involved.

By deploying a self-service model, using cloud-based human capital management tools, and other automation software, you can untwist your construction payroll processes to avoid costly mistakes, streamline the process and ensure proper tax payments are made.

This blog post will explore common ways you can work things out in the construction payroll processing.

1. Deploy a Self-Service Model

One of the best ways to untwist your construction payroll process is to implement self-service tools for employees. These are simple portals that allow them to clock in and out, update their personal information or record their absences without filling out timesheets.

Time tracking software provides incredible amounts of data about your business operations, so there’s no reason to make employees track their time manually.
Implementing a self-service tool can help reduce mistakes and verify the information your managers rely on is accurate, resulting in more smooth processes.

2. Cloud-Based Human Capital Management (HCM) Solutions

Adopting cloud-based human capital management (HCM) solutions in construction enterprises can also help in untwisting the payroll processes.

The benefits of HR cloud solutions include automation, integration with other business apps, and seamless data management.

Working in tandem with a self-service portal, HR cloud solutions will play an essential role in streamlining construction payroll processes.

Some of these providers will provide an answer to the most common payroll questions . Their online websites will capture a spectrum of queries you may like to understand better.

3. Automate Tax Calculations

Tax calculations are essential for construction companies, but they can be an absolute headache to do manually. When every pay period comes, it’s time to calculate withholdings and submit payments.

However, this calculation depends on several different factors, including hourly vs. salaried pay rates, bonuses, and commission payments, among other things.

Several tax calculation tools on the market aren’t too expensive to buy and can save you a lot of time and money in the long run by automating your calculations.

They help ensure you’re not paying too little or too much, and they can also eliminate any mistakes made by manually calculating taxes.

4. Be Transparent: Clear Communication Improves Construction Payroll Processes

Another effective approach is to be transparent about how you are communicating with your employees. Clear communication helps reduce the chance of mistakes and ensures workers feel like they are getting all the information they need. This is important in making you competitive
One aspect of clear communication in construction payroll processes is providing regular updates about the status of their project, including any potential risks or delays.

This transparency will help reduce anxiety in employees because they know what to expect in terms of timeline and deliverables. It also helps them plan for their own lives, alleviating the stress that might otherwise lead to procrastination.

5. Use Construction-Specific Payroll Software

Construction-specific payroll software can help your business manage taxes, commissions, bonuses, and more. This type of software is designed to meet the unique needs of construction industries. A lower-cost option for construction companies is to use a cloud-based solution.
You have the flexibility to pay employees with direct deposit or by check for less than $250,000 per year.

Your construction payroll process will be easy because, with many cloud-based solutions, you won’t have to be burdened by maintaining the necessary hardware or staff for this process. You’ll be able to automate tax calculations and stay compliant with federal, state, and local laws.

In conclusion, there are ways to help with untwisting your payroll process and, for instance, adopting cloud-based human capital management. It brings more transparency and reduces anxiety in employees because they know what to expect as far as timeline and deliverables.

This is an example of how technology can create efficiencies for construction companies that could be leveraged to drive higher profits or decreased costs over time. Automation of tax processing and finding self-serving models is also vital.

Real Estate Development CEO of the year 2021 (KSA) Khalid Al Telmesani

Rua Al Madinah Holding Company is one of the Public Investment Fund companies (PIF) involved in the investment of Saudi Arabia’s vision for progression and evolution for 2030. Rua develops the most distinguished projects in line with the 2030 vision which seeks to enrich the position of the city and its Islamic heritage. Khalid M. Al Telmesani, recognised as CEO of the Year, 2021- Saudi Arabia, describes Rua’s role and importance within the Kingdom.

Rua Al Madinah Holding Company, one of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) corporations, aims to develop and diversify the economic base of Saudi Arabia by strengthening the position of Al Madinah Al Munawara as a prestigious religious destination with a modern infrastructure derived from its Islamic history. Furthermore, Rua inspires to raise the readiness of the central area of Al Masjid Al Nabawi – or the Prophet’s Mosque, built by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and opened in 622AD – by developing integrated hospitality, commercial, residential and edutainment projects that serve the Madinah people, pilgrims, and its visitors.

Rua Almadinah project, focusing on this vision for 2030, is embarking on a unique transformation of economic and social reform to reinvent Saudi Arabia to the world. This strategic framework would reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil and diversify its economy by developing public sectors such as infrastructure, recreation, and tourism. Its fundamental goal is the reinforce economic investment activities and promote a softer image of the Kingdom. Rua’s initial design and initiation were to reinforce the position of Al Madinah as an Islamic destination by harnessing expertise, capabilities, and all modern technologies in its projects. The Rua project is known for its character by its strategic location and direct view of the Prophet’s Mosque from its eastern side, with a total area of 1.35 million square meters. In addition, the project is based on several essential elements, including complete separation between the movement of vehicles and pedestrian paths.

Rua has a modern design within a sustainable green environment, enriching the visiting experience while respecting the sanctity of the place. The project extends past the unprecedented urban renaissance experienced by Saudi Arabia and, therefore, reflects the community, with rich history and a bold, fresh outlook as a pillar holding up the municipal area. The Rua project is directed towards pilgrims, visitors, and Madinah residence and aims to host additional visitors to Al Masjid Al Nabawi. The project will do this by increasing the capacity of hotels and providing unique commercial, residential, and cultural projects in a great area, enriching the spiritual and cultural experiences of pilgrims and visitors.

It also hopes to develop cultural centres and museums around the area, comprehensive and modern systems for pedestrian passages, and facilitate arrivals and departure procedures. Additionally, the project is integrated and directly connected to the eastern yard of the Holy Mosque.

At the helm of this impressive project is Eng. Khalid M. Al Telmesani who joined Rua as Chief Executive Officer in 2019. Having previously served as a board member in several reputable firms, lectured in various seminars, and attended numerous accredited courses and executive programs in international institutes such as IMD, Lausanne – Switzerland, Eng. Al Telmesani is a leading authority in his field. He received his graduate degree in Systems Engineering and Operations Research from King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUMP) in 1985 and since then has worked his way up the ladder of several significant and reputable companies before landing the role of CEO at Rua Al Madinah Holding Company, where he was recently recognised as CEO of the Year, 2021 – Saudi Arabia. He, like the team around him at Rua, is driven by the vision for 2030 and all that their project can contribute to this ambition: “We need to create a true sense of place, a destination and an opportunity,” he states.

Rua Almadinah project has adopted a lifestyle rich in serenity and spirituality. The project acquires its importance by facilitating the services of visitors from all countries of the world, offering pleasant stays next to the Prophet’s Mosque, and providing the highest standard of hospitality. Therefore, the project’s master plan was designed by world renowned consulting firms with local and vast international experiences based on best practices and standards of international quality and technology worldwide.

However, like many places around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically and significantly affected the real estate market since the beginning of 2020. This was the biggest challenge to overcome for the Rua project; however, the staff and team members have been highly willing and open to working from home whilst carrying on with the responsibilities required. During this period, face-to-face and personal experience with staff members are appreciated. It has been seemingly underestimated how important human interactions are for team members and staff members within the workforce.

For Rua, the employees are the actual assets of the organisation as they are the ones who contribute effectively towards the successful functioning of the company, the community, and the project itself. They strive hard to deliver the utmost best performance, of high quality, standard and regards and achieve the assigned targets and above within a timely and respectable manner. Therefore, the Rua hiring policy is based on but not limited to those who show long-term potential, enthusiasm, and passion. Additional aspects considered are loyalty, dependability, self-reliance, team players, and dedication to the business by working hard, practical, and intuitively. The team has been more productive throughout this virtual journey due to fewer interruptions within the workplace or working area. With this vastly unexpected progression, the Rua project has accomplished more than expected in its projected timeline and is looking forward to the future and the oncoming years. Rua will then be able to showcase all the hard work its dedicated members of staff have taken on during this time with a clear mission to enhance Al Masjid Al Nabawi and the incredible nation that surrounds it by 2030.

For business enquiries contact Khalid M. Al Telmesani at Rua Al Madinah Holding via www.ruaalmadinah.com.

How to Choose the Right Managed IT Services Provider

In today’s highly competitive market, businesses owners like you should look for ways to streamline their operations and maximize productivity. Since your organization can’t operate without technology, networks, and digital data, having a functional and updated IT (information technology) infrastructure is crucial to its growth and success.  

Working with a managed IT service provider can be an excellent idea to boost your IT system. With them at your side, you can free your company from several IT responsibilities and problems, helping it to focus more on its core operations. However, the process of picking an IT partner can be challenging. Since there are several companies to choose from, it’s essential to select one who meets your business requirements.  

Here are some ways to choose the right managed IT service provider:

Understand Your Business Needs  

When searching for the perfect managed IT service provider, it’s essential to understand your business needs. Since not all service providers are equal in terms of offered services and expertise, you need to figure out what your company requires for your IT infrastructure.  

For example, if your company deals with healthcare IT, you need to look for a provider specializing in that industry to meet your business needs. By choosing an IT partner like the Seattle managed IT services provider Executech and others who know and understand the ins and outs of your business, you can ensure your networks and systems are in safe hands.  

Familiarize the Services They Offer  

This is another way of choosing the proper managed IT service provider for your business. By knowing what they can offer, you’ll figure out whether they’re perfect for your needs. Typically, there are different types of IT services available in the market. These can include: 

  • Budget planning for IT expenditures; 
  • Data backup and migration; 
  • Disaster recovery planning, firewall protection, and other cybersecurity measures; 
  • Electronics repair; 
  • Website monitoring; 
  • Cloud storage management; 
  • Mobile device management, and many more.  

Whatever IT services your business needs, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with what your potential service provider can offer. For example, if you need an IT partner to handle cybersecurity, you should check first whether they provide such services to businesses like yours. That way, you’d be able to pick the right one that suits your needs, saving yourself from headaches down the line.  

Conduct a Thorough Background Check  

With several options to choose from, it can’t be easy to find a managed IT service provider that can satisfy your IT requirements. As such, it’s crucial to perform a thorough background check when choosing the right one. 

When conducting a background check, the following factors should be taken into consideration: 

  • Location: Although hiring an offshore IT company can be a good idea, partnering with a local service provider can offer many benefits to your business. When your IT partner is located in your area, it would be much easier and faster to provide on-site support for network installations or address technical issues. 

Given the location’s proximity, you can take advantage of personalized and more hands-on IT services from a local company. So, if you operate a business in Seattle or wherever you may be located, getting managed IT services in Seattle would make a lot of sense.

  • Expertise and experience: These are two other important things to look for in an IT company. Generally, the best service providers in the market have been in the business for many years. They usually have a dedicated team of IT experts specializing in various fields, including cybersecurity, network management, and many more. 

Also, most experienced companies know how to adapt to new trends and market demands. To check your prospect’s level of expertise and experience, you can check their certifications and training as well as accreditations.

  • Reputation: It’s also vital to search for a reputable service provider for your business. An excellent reputation means they’re reliable and trustworthy. So, they offer superior quality IT services to their clients. 

To ensure you hire an IT partner to entrust your company with, look for referrals. Consider some recommendations from family and friends and customer testimonials to know whether you can trust your prospect for handling your networks and systems. 

  • Availability: There would be instances when your business would have to deal with unexpected software bugs, Internet connection troubles, cybersecurity threats, and other technical issues. Hence, it’s important to check your prospective managed IT service provider’s availability for addressing problems. 

If you want full assistance, you should work with a 24/7 company to handle all issues quickly and without delays. For example, you may need an IT partner who can ensure uptime for your website to maximize productivity and profitability.

  • Customer service: You should also check how quickly your prospective IT service provider can respond to your calls. When you’re calling for any queries, they should be able to answer you right away as part of their excellent customer service efforts. Refrain from working with companies that put customers on hold for a long time or direct your call to a call center representative. These partners can’t guarantee a quick response time, so opt for those who can do otherwise.
  • Pricing: Another thing to keep in mind when doing a background check is the pricing. Although maintaining an IT infrastructure can be costly, you can save some money by partnering with a managed IT service provider that offers flexible rates. 

However, depending on your budget, you can choose from various pricing options. These can include a la carte pricing, which covers the specific IT service you need, per-user pricing, which covers all the devices your employees use, and the all-inclusive package, which charges your company with the comprehensive service through a flat monthly subscription plan.

Final Thoughts   

Partnering with a managed IT service provider can be a significant investment for your company. This is because they have a team of professionals who can make your business operations more efficient by providing IT solutions that work best for your needs. They also have the resources in the form of tools and equipment to support your company in the long run.   

Because of this, it’s crucial to pick the right service provider for your business. By keeping these ways in mind, you can make the hiring process more seamless and trustworthy. Consequently, you’ll become more confident knowing your IT infrastructure is well-taken care of.

Top Tips For a Great Gatsby Themed Party

Planning a party is excellent, but nothing beats the thrill that comes with setting up a themed party, especially a Great Gatsby party. The fun is picking out the costumes, the shiny bright lights, and colors, the fancy food and studded jewelry, the make-believe  Roaring twenties setting, or the Age of Jazz as it is popularly known all come together to create a great ambiance.

This Great Gatsby party is inspired mainly by the book of F. Scot Fitzgerald, who effortlessly captures the exhilaration of the Jazz age as described in the essay on The Great Gatsby you should read. The ideas for throwing such a party should stem from a place of genuine interest, and it is important to have guests that will be just as excited to attend. It could be a birthday party, dinner, fundraising gala, wedding party, bridal shower, or even a corporate gathering. To throw successful Gatsby-inspired parties, here are a few hints that can guide you to “Old Sport,” as Gatsby would say, as you plan.

 

Finding the right venue

Finding a venue or location is significant when organizing. The forum will determine whether or not you’ll be able to capture the essence of these parties. It would be best if you are looking for a venue with a 20’s feel or one that can quickly adapt to the time you need.

It could easily be a hotel, ballroom or a lovely house with a fancy hall with high ceilings and decorative chandeliers. This is so you can quickly achieve an exotic look and feel as well as elegance. You will also require decor with geometric prints, gold colors, metallic and mirrored pieces.

Although things such as a gold backdrop mirror and a focal piece sound like you would have to break the bank to achieve a 20s era venue, there are thrift stores where you can find available selections for your use or even a rental store for an affordable rate.

 

Setting the mood

There’s nothing minimalist about a great 1920s party because of the bright lights and iridescent colors. You can select colors like black, gold, and silver colors with lots of glitter and sheen to set the mood. Leather materials, feathers, and gold balloons should be visible; these feed into the era’s aesthetics, thus setting the tone. You can have a welcome sign written in gold and props such as a yellow car from the 1920s.

Everything about the atmosphere for a Gatsby party decor should scream 1920. This could be you glamming up the chairs with pearls, having wine bottles with feather centerpieces, with lace ribbons and faux pearls, having enough crystals and glass; as well as white roses on the dessert table to add elegance to the setting, decanters to serve drinks and wine and lastly serve Champagne. Having a Champagne tower on a sturdy board made with champagne glasses won’t be a bad idea if you want to go all out.

Dress code

Dressing up for a party theme is where the excitement is heightened because this is where you fully take on the personality and style of one who lives in the historical period called the Jazz Age. The dresses for women or dames and broads as they were called are usually elegant, with sequined designs, sleeveless, mostly knee to ankle length, and are generally loose on the body. They’d typically be adorned with beads, and fringes, while accessorized with boas, pearl necklaces, diamond-studded headbands, tiaras, and gold bangles.

For the fellas or cats(men), they are expected to wear a tailored black suit with a tailcoat, or it could be pinstripes, plaid, or pastels. A bowtie helps put everything in place perfectly but to sum it all, a fedora, top hats, and newsboy caps complete the look. If a man is to go hatless, his hair should be laid in a sleek manner like was done in the times.

 

Music and sound

The age of Jazz was when Jazz was mainstream music. So, when making a music selection, put this into consideration. You want your party ideas to feel authentic. Have a long jazz playlist or live band to play or make jazzy music your guests can dance or groove to. Some of the artists you can play include Duke Ellington, King Oliver, Louis Armstrong from back in the day.

Another source of inspiration for music is playing soundtracks from the film. This features singers such as Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Andre 3000.

 

Invitation cards

Invitation cards for a Gatsby theme party as such are a big deal and should be creative and made with gold touches. With social media, you may want to create a rave for your party with your card on the eve. This is the effect of social media on identity, as many will want to share even without attending. It doesn’t matter if the cards will be sent virtually or delivered to guests in person; what matters is the essence and details of your event coming through in the cards being sent out.

You can choose many card styles for the card, such as the classy cocktail, the Art deco milestone, Jewel of the East, etc. Some are online and extra easy to customize to fit your preference. You get to determine the font, material, and feel of the card and the messaging. The message should be clear on the theme, date. Venue and if they should RSVP, and if there’s a deadline to RSVP.

 

Conclusion

Putting all of these in place while hosting will allow you to capture the sophistication and luxury of a 1920s party. It keeps guests happy with Champagne, cigars, cocktails, and appetizers. If you can’t plan it all by yourself, there are party planners you can find who are skilled in throwing your perfect dream Gatsparty. All you need is to tell them what you want and how you want it and leave the rest to them.

Top 7 Eco-friendly Fashion Designers

With environmental issues such as global warming, overpopulation, and ozone layer depletion at an all-time high, people across all industries, including fashion, are looking for more sustainable ways to help preserve the remains of the already depleting earth.

The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries. It is the second-largest consumer of water supply on the planet and is responsible for more than 10% of the world’s carbon footprint because it emits more than 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gases, as seen in the essay examples on pollution, each year. This calls for better ways of working because the ecosystem needs to be taken care of.

To begin with, slow fashion is a social philosophy and movement that encourages environmental responsibility. This allows brands to make and use clothes, shoes, and other fashion wears sustainably. This is to preserve the environment like films about problems of environment try to do.

This type of fashion is also referred to as ethical fashion. Here are the top 7 eco-friendly fashion designers trying to improve the state of the environment through planet-friendly ways such as using fabrics with minimal effect on the planet.

 

Stella McCartney

Stella is one of the best-known. She is a London-born designer who has been changing the fashion scene since the launch of her fashion house in the year 2001. She is also one of the pioneers of environmentally-friendly and cruelty-free (no fur, ethically sourced wool, recycles textiles) pieces.

McCartney is constantly setting the bar high by exploring new ways customers can prolong the life of their garments by using reusable products and better ways of doing things. She uses; recycled polyester, sustainable viscose, and Koba, which are all planet-friendly. She also gives back to society by making donations to organizations such as Bioplanet, Million Trees Miami as well as Memorial Sloan Kettering.

 

Eileen Fisher

To create this list without Fisher would be an incomplete list. She is particular about upcycling textiles and making them into sustainable materials or clothes. She is known for her passion for disrupting the linear production model by using a circular model. Part of her sustainability goals allows her to use organic and recycled garments, dyes, and secondhand shops.

Some of her secondhand shops are also initiatives such as the Renew and Waste No More, making her a certified B Corporation.

 

Mara Hoffman

In 2015, the luxury fashion designer Hoff began her journey to sustainability after examining her ways. She discarded them because of their impact on the environment, further urging the consumers to evaluate their relationship with their clothing. She uses sustainable fabrics in her luxurious collections and latest work, such as organic cotton and other plant-based materials that are environmentally friendly alternatives.

The New York-based designer makes women’s wear such as swimwear from pre and post-consumer waste. To cap it all, Hoffman works with practices for shipping, packaging, and branding accepted internationally by environmental and human rights standards.

 

Gabriela Hearst

After Hearst founded her line in 2015, she has not stopped looking for innovative ways to support the industry through sustainability better. She has set the bar for others to follow in her approach and collections. In 2017 during her Fall show, 25% of her collection was made from deadstock material or unsold surplus fabric. It was the first show to be certified carbon-neutral. For spring 2021, she produced the first carbon-neutral show by offsetting her carbon footprint to donate to EcoAct’s Madre de Dios Amazon Forest Conservation Project.

 

Rag and Bone

Marcus Wainwright and Nathan Bogle founded the Rag and Bone designer brand almost twenty years ago in New York. It is a sustainable luxury brand creating new meaning for urban style. It is all about local production and sustainability. They initially started as a denim brand with roots in casual wear and accessories.

To foster planet-friendly initiatives, in 2017, Rag & Bone partnered with Cotton Incorporated’s Blue Jeans Go Green to start a denim recycling program or trend that nudges people to bring in their old jeans for recycling in exchange for a 20% discount on the purchase of full-price from them.

 

Sandra Sandor

She is the owner or brain behind the Hungarian brand Nanushka. She doesn’t use exotic animal skin. Her focus is on recycled leather and animal hair. It launched over a decade, but with the gentle shift and growing demand for sustainable fashions, the brand had found its way to the spotlight. Her use of upcycled materials allows her to design bags and apparel for both sexes. She hints at a nature lover and is gradually becoming a label to reckon with both in the digital space and offline.

 

Coclico

 It is a footwear brand that uses sustainable practices like minimizing textile waste and engaging alternative suppliers to control their carbon footprint. They use reformed material responsibly sourced skin, which includes quality Italian leather, upcycled cork, and natural wood. Its beautiful designs are original and timeless, with second hand shops available. They are ethically hand-made in Spain.

 

Conclusion

Sustainable fashion design is based and made on a lot of principles, and it takes a lot more than simply using organic fabrics, dyes, and textiles, and cruelty-free products. It is a movement that can change the nature of luxury design from a polluting one to one that is environmentally focused, thereby improving the earth’s condition by reducing carbon footprints and waste.

The Surprising Benefits of Cycling

Cycling is a fun and exhilarating activity that’s been around for centuries. It’s something the whole family can enjoy, and it has a wide array of benefits. It also doesn’t discriminate; all kinds of people of all ages, all cultures, from all walks of life, can easily learn to ride a bike.

Cycling has become extremely popular over the last 50 years, for a multitude of reasons. More and more people are trading their non-environmentally friendly cars in for bicycles for their daily commute to work. In the wake of the pandemic, the UK predicted that 14 million people were ready to swap their driving for pedal power. There’s also been an increase in people taking up cycling as a sport and it’s a popular way to spend your leisure time too. You can explore all kinds of places, and it’s a far faster mode of transport than traveling by foot.

There are so many amazing benefits of cycling. But now, we’re going to look at a few of the benefits of cycling that are a little more unusual.

Before we dive in, here are some interesting and lesser-known facts about cycling:

  • According to the WHO, 30 minutes of cycling a day reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by 35%. 1 hour of cycling per day decreases your risk of death by 35%.
  • The aerobic exercise from cycling releases endorphins and other happy hormones, which helps to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Cycling improves your circulation, which in turn helps to reduce arthritis and speeds up the recovery time if you’ve gotten cut or bruised.

And finally, here are 7 surprising and unexpected benefits of cycling that will change the way you view this age-old activity.

1. Sleeping Better

Who would have thought that cycling every day could affect your sleep routine? A study conducted on healthy older women shows that just 1 hour of cycling in a day improved their quality and duration of sleep.

Cycling is a freeing and de-stressing activity. An evening ride to wind down your day could have some surprising benefits for your sleep health and quality.

2. Improves Awareness, Concentration, and Problem-Solving

Whether you are riding on the open road, a busy highway in peak hour traffic, or on a forest trail, cycling requires attention to detail and situational awareness. When a sport always requires that you’re in a state of full concentration and totally aware, it stretches your abilities to the maximum.

If you make a wrong turn or aren’t concentrating properly, you can put your life and possibly someone else’s in danger. Some of the unexpected and surprising benefits of cycling are the wonderful way in which it challenges you to become more aware, to concentrate harder on your surroundings, and to think outside the box when it comes to problem-solving.

You need to be quick on your feet (or in this case, on the pedals) and make fast decisions to ensure your safety and the safety of other vehicles or people around you.

3. Improves Your Balance and Strengthen Your Core

Keeping yourself upright on a two-wheel contraption whilst pedaling isn’t always easy, especially if you’re on rough terrain. But cycling every day helps you to improve your balance and build the core strength needed to keep yourself and the bike upright at all times.

When you’re staying balanced whilst looking behind you to change lanes or grabbing your water bottle for a quick drink, your core muscles and balance intuition are called to work in full force.

4. Give Your Bowels a Boost

Cycling provides a unique combination of adrenalin-fueled cardio and an extensive core workout. It’s an aerobic exercise that stimulates the heart rate and breathing and combining this with the core exercise that happens whilst balancing on a bike does wonders for the stomach and intestines.

Every time you contract your core muscles whilst cycling, you’re helping your bowels to avoid any sluggish behavior. If you struggle to stay regular, then perhaps cycling is just the sport for you.

5. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Cycling is an eco-friendly way to get around and get some fresh air and exercise. Not only are you working on your fitness and stamina levels while getting from one place to another, but you are not emitting anything harmful into our atmosphere whilst doing so.

Cycling as your chosen form of transport means you’ll emit less pollution, less noise, and less carbon emissions.

6. Cycling Can Improve Your Sex Life

Any exercise will go a long way to improving your sex life, but cycling is specifically great for this topic. It’s proven to boost sex drive in women and is associated with a lower risk of erectile issues in men.

Additionally, cycling activates, works, and strengthens a specific set of muscles that are all vital to a healthy sex life. The muscles that get worked and strengthened whilst riding a bike are the same muscles used during sex. The more developed and stronger these muscles are, the more athletic and longer-lasting intercourse will be.

7. Cycling is Eco-Friendly

Cycling is one of the few popular sports that have almost no negative impact on the environment. The only place where there’s any impact is the energy and materials used to construct bicycles and biking accessories, such as helmets and sportswear. Even in saying this, the materials and energy used for the biking industry have a significantly lower impact on the environment than most other popular sports and leisure activities.

Another way in which cycling is supportive of the environment is that cycling doesn’t require any electricity. It also requires no gasoline, no building or building maintenance, no outdoor maintenance or watering of fields, parks, or grounds. You can cycle anywhere, on just about any terrain, without any accommodations required.

Suffice to say, the benefits of cycling run far deeper than you may have initially thought. This type of exercise is hugely beneficial to you and the planet, and it’s affordable and enjoyable too.

7 Factors to Consider Before Launching a New Marketing Campaign

A marketing campaign is vital for any business to reach out to potential clients and gain leads. Creating one from scratch could be a daunting task. If it’s your first attempt at creating a marketing campaign for your business, there are several considerations worth reflecting on before taking any steps.  

It could be easy to start planning but most people tend to give up halfway, this shouldn’t always be the case. If you want to boost your business to a whole new level, you need to have grit in generating a unique and effective marketing campaign.  This is needed to stand out from possible competitions.  

The critical element in creating an effective marketing campaign is proper planning.  If you fail to fully establish your strategy, it will lead to stress and frustration. On the other hand, a firm grasp of your vision for the campaign might ensure success.  

Here are several factors to consider before launching a new marketing campaign for your business. 

1. Look for Ways to Amass Funds

It could be challenging to look for options to finance a new marketing campaign for your start-up business. In most cases, it might take some time before your business could gain profits. If you have a tight budget, there are options worth checking out.  

  • Save money: It might seem impossible to have savings for marketing expenses when you have operating costs to think about. Although, keeping even a small amount set aside cash can make a difference over time.  
  • Try crowdfunding:  This involves presenting your business to eager investors. If these investors favor what you’re offering, you’re likely to gain decent funding. 
  • Borrow money: Loans can help business owners accomplish several goals, such as marketing and advertising. You can consider taking a small business loan online or through the nearest bank to gain funds for your upcoming marketing campaigns.  

2. Know Your Audience 

To prepare for a new marketing campaign, you need to thoroughly know your audience. If you fail to create information for your targeted audience, you might not be able to attract their attention.   

You may also gather data through the following steps:

  • Do your research about who often buys your products or services,
  • Determine other possible groups of consumers that your business could also cater to,
  • Identify what they’re both searching for online,
  • Answer how your business could provide it.

After figuring out their wants and needs, you may then answer how to reach your target audience. One way to effectively entice and bring customers to your website is by providing specific content for them. 

Then, you can think of a set of objectives to help you set up the foundation of your marketing campaign.  Learning more about your audience will ensure your marketing strategy focuses on them.

3. Deciding On Your Objectives 

Although the main objective of your marketing strategy is to sell your products or services, it might not be a simple process. Bear in mind, you need to come up with one primary focus for your marketing campaign.

It would be best to decide what your new main goal wants to accomplish.  You may choose goals such as gaining more followers, selling a specific product, or attracting visitors to your blog. Depending on your particular vision, you need to focus on these points and collaborate with your team.  

4. Utilize the Suitable Marketing Strategy 

You can utilize many tactics, but one approach worth considering is Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing. This is done through companies offering products or services to other businesses Generally, it involves providing valuable skills and relevant content from one business to another. If you want an effective way for your business to engage with other businesses and potential prospects, you may utilize this strategy.

This may improve productivity and revenue; thus, it might eventually establish your business as one of the reliable experts in the industry.  If you want to learn more about this marketing tactic, checking out the best b2b digital marketing agencies would be a good start. 

5. Follow a Content Calendar 

When you’re sharing content on different platforms, it could be hard to keep track of everything.  It might be detrimental to your marketing campaign if you fall behind, overlook a platform, or miss out on a post.

Also, it could be challenging to remember what, when, and where to post the content without a content calendar. Sending out unpredictable messages or infrequent posts will make your customers think you don’t value your online presence.  

Always remember that in any marketing campaign, consistency is vital. A content calendar will keep your posts organized and stay on the right track. Additionally, a content calendar will allow you to have a better perspective of the entire marketing process. Thus, you can readily trace how every content works hand in hand with the campaign. 

Don’t forget to avoid cramming your calendar. It’s better to take slow and steady steps for your marketing campaign. 

6. Measure the Results 

One way to assess the success of your marketing campaign is to measure the outcome. Depending on the objectives you want to achieve during the planning phase, you need to pinpoint the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you wish to measure. 

Make sure the indicators identify the type of content your targeted audience prefers, the most robust ads, and if you’re effectively reaching out to your audience.  Take note that these KPIs could provide you with a viewpoint on whether you’re attaining your objectives.

7. Make the Appropriate Changes 

After figuring out your marketing campaign’s strengths and weaknesses, you need to reevaluate and weigh possible options. Always be mindful of how your target audience is responding. Also, be ready to shift your strategy if it seems to be heading in the wrong way. If it does seem like it’s not yielding many results, don’t hesitate to make any necessary alterations. The information during your current marketing stint will serve as a basis to improve your next marketing campaign.

Final Thoughts  

A successful marketing campaign for your business requires careful planning to ensure the best results. This usually depends on how well you know your targeted audience and how you allot time for preparations. It would be best if you were systematic, especially when delivering the content to gain attention. You’ll have a successful marketing campaign over time by considering these factors before launching a digital marketing campaign for your business.

Woodworking as a Hobby: Tips for Setting Up Your Workshop

Do you have a passion for woodworking? If so, you might be looking to take up the hobby as a way to spend your free time. Maybe you want to make furniture or toys for your kids. No matter what reason has motivated you, it’s important that before beginning the process of setting up your workshop, that you do some research and plan ahead. 

In this post, we’ll cover some tips for getting started on the right foot with woodworking as a hobby.

Ensure You Have Enough Space

One of the most important things to do when setting up your workshop is to make sure that you have enough space. Before beginning, take a look around and measure everything you might want to use for projects in your shop. Make sure there’s plenty of room for all of it!

With the right space, you’ll be able to do more and improve your creativity. If you’re short on space, that might become frustrating rather quickly. A good space size should accommodate all your tools and also enable you to move around. You don’t want to have a lot of excess space, which can be wasteful and unnecessary for your small hobby shop.

Have the Right Tools at Your Disposal

Having the right tools is also essential when setting up your workshop as a woodworking enthusiast. Whether you’re looking to make toys or furniture, there are certain power tools that will make the process easier.

However, you shouldn’t get worried if you can not afford some tools. There are several hacks that you can use in order to get the same results. For instance, you can start practicing squaring up boards without a jointer plane or other several tips. This will save you money as you learn the tricks. You will only need to get the basic tools while improvising on other areas. 

Make Sure Your Workshop is Safe and Comfortable

When setting up your workshop as a woodworking enthusiast, make sure that it’s safe and comfortable. You don’t want to have any safety hazards in the space where you work with tools on projects every day. Take a look around at everything, from your workbench to your lighting. If you have any potential safety hazards, take care of them right away so that they don’t cause an accident later on.

Make sure the area is comfortable as well, whether it’s too hot or cold, noisy or bright. You should be able to focus and concentrate in comfort while working with wood down there. If you don’t like something or feel that it’s not right, change is immediate.

Mind About Storage of Tools and Supplies

Be sure to mind the storage of your tools and supplies. You don’t want them cluttering up the space or rolling around everywhere you go. Some people prefer using cabinets for their woodworking supplies, but it can depend on what type of projects you’re interested in doing. It’s also good to have some shelving or open space for keeping smaller items.

Proper storage will ensure that you have everything that you need at your disposal. You won’t lose anything, and it will be much easier to find the supplies when you need them for a project. Also, properly stored tools will last longer and work better.

Have a Good Workflow

Going back to having the right tools for your desired projects, you should know what type of project will require certain types of supplies and tool use. For example, if you’re interested in doing more intricate woodworking with small pieces that need sanding often, then it’s essential to have a dust collection system in place.

Use what you’ve learned from your research and planning to determine where everything should go, such as the best places for power outlets or storage cabinets. You want it all laid out ahead of time so that when you get started, there won’t be any confusion about where things should go and how they’ll work together.

Philosophy

While you will be doing woodworking as a hobby, you should still think about the philosophy behind it. Having a good philosophy will give you more motivation to do better and continue learning new things as well. Always be open to trying new things and experimenting with techniques that others have used before, whether or not they’re professionals in the field or amateurs like yourself.

Philosophy is important because, without it, you won’t be able to move forward and make your woodworking as a hobby into something more. You should always think about how what you’re doing can improve yourself or the world around you in some way.

In conclusion, having the right tools, storage and workflow are essential for woodworking as a hobby. You should also mind about safety in your workspace and make sure that you have an area where comfort qualities are met. When you use these tips wisely, you should have a flourishing workshop that will be able to help you grow as an individual.

Five Explosive Stocks from the Past Year

By Dáire Ferguson, CEO at AvaTrade

The traditional rhyme commemorating Bonfire Night begins, “Remember, remember the 5th of November”. This Bonfire night, we remember five explosive stocks from the past year.

Tesla

The electric vehicle manufacturer’s shares have exploded so far this year, more than doubling in the last six months alone. Tesla’s market capitalisation has whooshed past $1 trillion, making this figure nearly 1.5 times more than the combined market capitalisation of the next five largest automakers. 2021 has been a strong year for the company, with Tesla putting plans in place for its foray into India, one of the largest emerging car markets in the world, while demands for its cars are booming. For example, the Model 3 is the top-selling premium sedan in the world and it is currently the best-selling vehicle in Europe. Nevertheless, shares are significantly higher than fundamentals suggest they should be. While the company currently has momentum, the bubble could burst at any point – is a crash back down to earth at some point inevitable?

Macy’s Inc

The price of Macy’s, the major American department store chain, has skyrocketed this past year. Shares are up considerably over 100% since the start of the year, with the company managing its post-pandemic recovery expertly. Macy’s management team significantly reduced expenses on a permanent basis and increased the emphasis on its digital sales channel. With these moves, it’s apparent that management has acted decisively to ensure the business is in a strong position to ride out the current economic uncertainty, causing Macy’s long-term profit margins to soar like a firework. The burning question on the mind of many traders is whether the trend will continue or fizzle out.

Royal Dutch Shell

Royal Dutch Shell has sparkled. The stock plummeted after the initial outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the oil and gas giant has recovered over the course of the past year, reporting revenue figures of over $200 billion. What’s more, the recent oil and gas shortages around the world caused energy prices to skyrocket, which has also contributed to the increased share price of Royal Dutch Shell. But these shortages are not here to stay forever, so will this stock continue to rise?

American Express

American Express has seen its shares light up the sky with an increase of over 40% since the start of the calendar year. In terms of its quarterly performances, the credit card services company beat analysts’ forecasts by 70% and 68% respectively in the first and second quarters of 2021, and once again exceeded predictions in the third quarter. AmEx putting a greater focus on new and younger customers that may use their products for years to come has also contributed to its stock dazzling and whizzing into the top of the charts. Traders are asking themselves if this trend is sustainable.

Citrix Systems

For Cirtix Systems in 2021, its share price has fizzled, falling with a bang and a puff of smoke. There are a number of factors which have contributed to this fall. This includes the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider’s CEO, David Henshall, surprisingly stepping down with immediate effect last month, as well as poor financial results for all three quarters so far this year, leading to a sharp decline in the company’s profits. Will the company be able to halt this drop off, or will this downward spiral continue?

SME News Reveals the 2021 Winners of the Welsh Enterprise Awards

United Kingdom, 2021 – SME News is thrilled to announce the winners of the annual Welsh Enterprise Awards.

For most small and medium enterprises in Wales, the year 2021 has predominantly been about recovering from the pandemic and preparing their businesses for a post-pandemic future. The Welsh business community has shown resilience and unbreakable spirit during these turbulent times and have continued to be the flagbearers of the Welsh economy. As a country, Wales boasts its expertise in a number of sectors from entertainment to tourism, to aerospace, construction and energy.

The Welsh Enterprise Awards programme is dedicated to award and celebrate certain Welsh businesses that have played a role in driving the country’s economy and have pushed the envelope to reach new heights of success within their respective industry. SME looks to recognise small and medium enterprises based purely on merit, quality of work and contribution to their industry of expertise.

Our Awards Coordinator, Emma Pridmore, has expressed her joy on the success of this year’s Welsh Enterprise Awards programme: “It was an honour to host the Welsh Enterprise Awards programme this year and I would like to congratulate all of the winners as they have displayed a contagious amount of strength and resilience to keep moving forward despite all hardships.”

To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated enterprises that have been selected for them, please visit https://www.sme-news.co.uk/awards/welsh-enterprise-awards/ where you can view our winners supplement and full winners list.

ENDS

About SME News

SME News draws on our UK wide network of industry insiders to provide you with the latest news, cutting edge features and latest deals from across the UK SME landscape.

Alongside our quarterly publication we also offer an easy-to-use website, newsletter, and a series of awards programmes, making SME News much more than just a magazine, but instead a vital resource.

Bought to you by AI Global Media, the international provider of corporate news and information, this unique magazine is the perfect resource for the CEOs, leaders and decision makers in the UK based SMEs looking to keep their finger on the pulse and stay ahead of the competition.

About AI Global Media

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

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

Top Ten Tiktok Cleaning Tips

TikTok fans who are short on time to clean and tidy their homes are in luck. TikTokers have been sharing cleaning tips and hacks on the platform, from getting stains out of carpets to dusting ceiling fans with pillowcases.

Home cleaning and maintenance services company Fantastic Services analysed TikTok data and discovered the platform’s ten most popular cleaning hacks.

By following the viral #CleanTok tag users will find a flurry of videos sharing tips and tricks for keeping a clean house. #CleanTok is the most used cleaning TikTok hashtag in 2021, with more than 20 billion views.

One CleanTok video alone gained a massive 33.1 million engagements alone, so let’s check out which cleaning tips people loved the most.

The most popular TikTok cleaning hacks

At the top of the list of most popular TikTok cleaning videos was one that showed users how to get tough, sticky stains out of the carpet. The video was posted by user @carpetcleanlng.com, a self-described ‘professional carpet cleaning gal’. In the video, we saw them smear caramel onto a clean carpet, then clean the mess up using only water, paper towels and soap.

This cleaning trick has gained a whopping 28.8 million views on TikTok, and an impressive 4.3 million likes. If you have a luxurious carpet in your living room, then it’s good to know there’s a simple hack out there in case sticky sweets end up on the floor.

As well as keeping floors, bathrooms and kitchens clean, TikTok creators revealed their tips on keeping our tech sparkling and hygienic. The second most popular cleaning video on TikTok (with 15.6 million views) showed viewers three hacks: one was how to keep Airpods clean using Q-tips, Blu-tack, Antiseptic, a toothpick, and paper towel. Earbuds and headphones are notorious for getting grimy and, given how hyper-aware people are about germs, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not surprising that this video got so much attention.

The video, posted by @cleanthatup also showed viewers that they don’t have to go out and buy new dusters to keep their house clean, they can dust ceiling fans with an old pillowcase. Not only that, they can spruce up their hairbrushes using items everyone has in their bathroom, like shampoo and toothpicks. With 19.3 million engagements, viewers were clearly impressed by these three easy hacks.

The third most popular CleanTok video was New York City-based user @lovetoclean_myhouse’s video on cleaning sink drains. As drains can get quite grimy, TikTokers were eager to see how to clean them using detergent pods. The video hit 13.6 million views and over 19.8 million engagements, including views, likes, and comments.

User @homewithchloex’s tip on toilet cleaning using ‘pink foamy products’ featured an aesthetic type of cleaning common in TikTok videos. By filling up their toilet bowl with the foamy products and scrubbing it, the TikTok user left their toiler sparkling clean. The satisfying video attracted 13.4 million views, almost as many as @lovetoclean_myhouse’s video on cleaning sink drains.

The next two most popular videos on the list shift focus away from cleaning the house to deodourising your car and getting your Airforce 1’s looking brand new.

@brightly.eco’s video on how to get rid of car odours showed viewers that white wine vinegar gives prompt results. According to the video, leaving a cup of white wine vinegar in your car for a while will make foul odours fade. With over 13.1 million engagements, this is the fifth most popular video on cleaning TikTok. It attracted 646,2000 likes, about double as many likes as the toilet cleaning video (which received 374,300 likes but more total engagements).

The sixth most popular CleanTok video showed viewers how to clean Air Force 1’s. It revealed that using ‘The Pink Stuff’ cleaning product can restore shoes to brand-new condition. As this hack applies to any shoes prone to getting dirty, user @frenchcleaner.asmr’s cleaning hack racked up many likes (1.7 million) from TikTokers happy to find a solution.

Moving back into the category of house cleaning hacks, the seventh most popular video in this list showed how to deep clean mattresses. User @cleanwithsash’s video received 10.3 million engagements for showing a simple hack using carpet stain remover, baking soda, a hoover, and fabric freshener. They left the mattress looking brand new by rubbing out any stains with these products and freshening it with fabric freshener. Although the video received 1.1 million likes in total, it was only viewed 9.5 million times.

Next up, who would’ve thought burnt pots could be cleaned with baking soda? @judithcollinz adapted the famous baking soda and vinegar drain cleaning hack in her TokTok video which received over 10.2 million engagements. It turns out that the simple trick of adding soap to baking soda and vinegar and letting the mixture boil in a burnt pot leaves your pans looking shiny and new.

Second to last, @mrslaurenelms’s video on laundry stripping has over 8 million engagements. The end results left many TikTokers surprised as she uses seemingly clean towels that turn the water she uses brown. Her laundry stripping technique uses products most people already have at home, Borax, Arm & Hammer, and Tide. She puts everything in a tub filled with water and leaves them in for five hours, stirring occasionally.

In the end, the towels go through a normal wash cycle in the washing machine while the tub is full of dirty water. The laundry stripping technique got a total of 855,600 likes and over 8 million engagements from those looking to learn new cleaning techniques on CleanTok.

Finally, the tenth most popular video on cleaning TikTok shows viewers how to make air fresheners themselves. This video had 6.9 million views, four times fewer than the top-ranking video on carpet stain cleaning.

A spokesperson for Fantastic Services commented on the study:

“It’s interesting to see the trend of cleaning on TikTok gaining so much popularity over the year and how the platform offer’s many different and creative suggestions of cleaning which can be useful towards daily household tasks.”

The data they collected to develop the top ten TikTok cleaning hacks is closely related to the top ten cleaning hashtags in 2021. Using these hashtags, Fantastic Services have found that there were 60,620,400,000 views on cleaning videos that featured cleaning hashtags on this side of TikTok.

Top Ten TikTok cleaning hacks

TikTok Hacks

Likes

Views

Total engagements

How to clean tough stains from carpets

4,300,000

28,800,000

33,100,000

Dusting your ceiling fan with a pillowcase

3,700,000

15,600,000

19,300,000

Clean your drains with clothing detergent 

291,600

13,600,000

13,891,600

Toilet Cleaning using ‘pink foamy’ products 

374,300

13,400,000

13,774,300

How to get rid of car odours by using white wine vinegar 

646,200

12,500,000

13,146,200

How to make your Air Force 1’s look brand new again by using ‘The Pink Stuff’ 

1,700,000

9,500,000

11,200,000

Mattress Deep Cleaning

1,100,000

9,200,000

10,300,000

Clean burnt pots with baking soda

717,700

9,500,000

10,217,700

Laundry Stripping

855,600

7,200,00

8,055,600

DIY Air Freshener 

526,300

6,900,000

7,426,300

 

 

What are the top three most popular hashtags on cleaning TikTok?

Cleaning TikTok’s top hashtags are #CleanTok, #Clean, and #CleaningTikTok.

Videos tagged #CleanTok received 20.7 billion views on TikTok in 2021, 200 million more than the second hashtag in the top, #Clean.

Users who tagged their videos with #CleaningTikTok received about half as many views as the top two hashtags, 10.3 billion views this year.

TikTok content creators can use multiple hashtags to boost their views and chances of featuring on the ‘For You’ page and go viral. They also increase their chances when using a trending hashtag such as #CleanTok, which is why the most popular hashtags tend to have far more views than others.

Top 10 Cleaning TikTok Hashtags 2021

Cleaning TikTok Hashtags

Total Views

#CleanTok

20,700,000,000

#Clean

20,500,000,000

#CleaningTikTok

10,300,000,000

#CleaningHacks

2,700,000,000

#CleaningSZN

2,400,000,000

#CleanWithMe

1,500,000,000

#CleaningASMR

943,200,000

#DeepClean

724,400,000

#DrainCleaning

443,400,000

#CarCleaning

409,400,000

 

Summary

Home cleaning can be quite the task when other responsibilities have a higher priority and household chores pile up. From saving an expensive carpet from stubborn stains to keeping the home smelling lovely, CleanTok has an array of trending cleaning hacks that accumulate up to 33 million engagements per video.

CleanTok’s popularity on the social media platform suggests that people want quick and easy ways to keep their homes and valuables tidy. TikTokers solved this problem as a community. By sharing quick and efficient cleaning hacks that don’t rob people of their precious time, they helped CleanTok videos trend on TikTok.

Most Popular Landmarks in New York

Travel experts Find a Cheap Flight have taken us on a journey through New York’s most famous landmarks with their latest research. Their study shows which New York tourist attractions are looked up the most online per month in the US.

It is no wonder that Americans want to know more about the places they’ve seen in their favourite shows time and time again. The 10 most popular New York landmarks have all made it to the big screens. Every single one of the most popular tourist attractions has featured in a film or TV series at least once.

Four of the 10 least popular landmarks in New York are memorial sites, ending with the FDNY Memorial Wall. The search trends suggest Americans’ preference for pop culture over history when visiting New York.

Surprisingly, New York’s Statue of Liberty is not its most popular landmark. Instead, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the most popular New York landmark as it receives 673,000 monthly searches. The runner-up, the Statue of Liberty, is quite a long way behind in popularity. New York’s symbol of freedom receives almost half as many searches online, 368,0000 per month.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, also known as ‘The Met’, is the USA’s largest museum. Many might be tempted to go to the Met for reasons other than its art. The Met has also been a set for When Harry Met Sally and The Thomas Crown Affair remake in the 1990s.

The Statue of Liberty is no stranger to being a tourist attraction for its iconic scenes in popular films. A symbol of welcome to immigrants, the statue has been featured in films, such as Titanic, Splash, X-Men, and the original Planet of the Apes.

That’s not all for the Statue of Liberty, though. Ellis Island, home to the colossal statue, has also made it seventh in the list of most popular New York landmarks. The location where Chandler and Monica take their kids’ birth mother sightseeing in Friends is Ellis Island. Ellis Island is not as famous as the actual statue, but it receives 90,500 monthly searches nevertheless.

The Empire State Building is almost twice as popular as Ellis Island but surprisingly three times less popular than the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It receives 201,000 searches per month in the USA as one of the country’s staple buildings. You’ve probably seen or heard of at least one film or show that featured the massive building since there are over 250 of them today. Some of the most popular are the 1933 original King Kong, Oblivion, Elf, and Sleepless in Seattle.

The Central Park of New York is yet another famous filming location that made it to the list of the most popular landmarks in New York. With 165,000 searches per month, the 843-acre park is the fourth most popular NY landmark. It is the most visited urban park in the United States and features in countless shows and films like How I Met Your Mother, Home Alone, and Love Story.

Times Square is the fifth most popular landmark in New York, receiving 135,000 searches per month in the USA. It features in many famous action films, like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Captain America: The First Avenger. One of the most iconic scenes is from Vanilla Sky when the camera spins around with Cruise to reveal the neon advertising and billboards that make Times Square the bright, busy place it is.

Brooklyn Bridge is as popular as Ellis Island according to the study. The bridge that connects Manhattan and Brooklyn is looked up 90,500 times per month.

Madison Square Garden, the Trump Tower, and St Patricks Cathedral are at the end of the top 10 most popular New York landmarks.

Madison Square Garden is looked up by Americans 74,000 times per month, nine times less than The Met. It comes up in one of the most famous American TV shows, Friends, which has scenes in a few of the popular landmarks.

Trump Tower, named after and developed by the former US President Donald Trump, is most famous for showing up on The Apprentice. Although not as prominent as the others, it is a popular landmark that Americans look up 60,500 times per month.

St Patrick’s Cathedral surprisingly makes the list with only 49,500 searches per month. Most famous for scenes from The Godfather III, this landmark does come up on TV but is not as remarkable as other New York tourist attractions.

Most popular New York landmarks

New York landmark

Monthly searches

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

673,000

The Statue of Liberty

368,000

The Empire State Building

201,000

Central Park

165,000

Times Square

135,000

Brooklyn Bridge

90,500

Ellis Island

90,500

Madison Square Garden

74,000

Trump Tower

60,500

St Patrick’s Cathedral

49,500

 

Which TV show features the most New York landmarks?

The TV show that features the most New York landmarks that are popular amongst Americans is Friends. The sitcom that premiered in 1994 and aired its last season in 2004 has the most references to New York life since it is set in the big city. Throughout the ten seasons of Friends, you can spot at least 10 New York landmarks.

Out of all the Friends sets in New York, three have made it to the list of most popular landmarks in New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island, and Madison Square Garden. Be it Ross coaching Joey for his date with Charlie through the museum or Phoebe dressing up to meet her husband Duncan at the garden, Friends has some notable scenes throughout the Big Apple.

Other famous landmarks that haven’t made it to the top 10 include:

  • The American Museum of Natural History
  • Solow Building
  • Pulitzer Fountain
  • Bloomingdale’s
  • Lucille Lortel Theatre
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum
  • The Friends Apartment

 

Which New York landmarks fall off the radar?

Some landmarks in New York are not as popular as the others. It’s easy to lose track of the smaller tourist destinations when the city spoils tourists for choice with locations that were once film sets.

The New York landmarks that fall off the radar are mostly those that haven’t been in films or shows, with a few exceptions. The Friends Building, also known as the Friends Apartment, is one of the least popular New York landmarks. It only gets looked up 1,600 times per month, which is the fewest monthly searches for any Friends set.

Some other less popular New York landmarks include memorials, such as the Irish Hunger Memorial and the John Lennon memorial, which both get looked up 880 times per month. With even fewer searches, the African Burial Ground National Monument follows suit at 590 searches per month. The FDNY Memorial Wall finishes off the list of all New York landmarks, with only 30 monthly searches.

Least popular New York landmarks

New York Landmark

Monthly searches

Time Warner Center

2,400

The Friends Building

1,600

St Pauls Chapel

1,300

World Trade Center Station

1,000

Irish Hunger Memorial

880

John Lennon Memorial

880

Alice in Wonderland Statue

720

African Burial Ground National Monument

590

Governors Island National Monument

480

FDNY Memorial Wall

30

Air Cargo, Up 9.1% in September, Capacity Remains Constrained

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released September 2021 data for global air cargo markets showing that demand continued to be well above pre-crisis levels and that capacity constraints persist.  

As comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted, all comparisons below are to September 2019 which followed a normal demand pattern.

  • Global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs*), was up 9.1% compared to September 2019 (9.4% for international operations).
  • Capacity remains constrained at 8.9% below pre-COVID-19 levels (September 2019) (-12% for international operations).

Several factors impacting global air cargo demand should be noted:

  • Supply chain disruptions and the resulting delivery delays have led to long supplier delivery times. This typically means manufacturers use air transport, which is quicker, to recover time lost during the production process. The September global Supplier Delivery Time Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) was at 36, values below 50 are favorable for air cargo.
  • The September new export orders component and manufacturing output component of the PMIs have deteriorated from levels in previous month but remain in favorable territory. Manufacturing activity continued to expand at a global level but, there was contraction in emerging economies.
  • The inventory-to-sales ratio remains low ahead of the peak year-end retail events such as Single’s Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This is positive for air cargo, however further capacity constraints put this at risk.
  • The cost-competitiveness of air cargo relative to that of container shipping remains favorable. Pre-crisis, the average price to move air cargo was 12.5 times more expensive than sea shipping. In September 2021 it was only three times more expensive.

“Air cargo demand grew 9.1% in September compared to pre-COVID levels. There is a benefit from supply chain congestion as manufacturers turn to air transport for speed. But severe capacity constraints continue to limit the ability of air cargo to absorb extra demand. If not addressed, bottlenecks in the supply chain will slow the economic recovery from COVID-19. Governments must act to relieve pressure on global supply chains and improve their overall resilience,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. 

To relieve supply chain disruptions, including those highlighted by the US on supply chain resilience on the sidelines of last weekend’s G20 Summit, IATA is calling on governments to:

  • Ensure that air crew operations are not hindered by COVID-19 restrictions designed for air travelers.
  • Implement the commitments governments made at the ICAO High Level Conference on COVID-19 to restore international connectivity. This will ramp-up vital cargo capacity with “belly” space.
  • Provide innovative policy incentives to address labor shortages where they exist.

September Regional Performance

Asia-Pacific airlines saw their international air cargo volumes increase 4.5% in September 2021 compared to the same month in 2019.This was a slowdown in demand compared to the previous month’s 5.1% expansion. Demand is being affected by slowing manufacturing activity in China. International capacity is significantly constrained in the region, down 18.2% vs. September 2019. Looking forward, the decision by some countries in the region to lift travel restrictions should provide a boost for capacity.

North American carriers posted a 19.3% increase in international cargo volumes in September 2021 compared to September 2019. New export orders and demand for faster shipping times are underpinning the North American performance. International capacity was down 4.0% compared to September 2019, a slight improvement from the previous month.

European carriers saw a 5.3% increase in international cargo volumes in September 2021 compared to the same month in 2019. This was on a par with August’s performance (5.6%). Demand was strongest on the large North Atlantic trade lane (up 6.9% vs September 2019). Performance on other routes was weaker. Manufacturing activity, orders and long supplier delivery times remain favorable to air cargo demand. International capacity was down 13.5% on September 2019.

Middle Eastern carriers experienced a 17.6% rise in international cargo volumes in September 2021 versus September 2019, an improvement compared to the previous month (14.7%). International capacity was down 4% compared to September 2019.

Latin American carriers reported a decline of 17.1% in international cargo volumes in September compared to the 2019 period, which was the weakest performance of all regions. This was also slightly worse than the previous month (a 14.5% fall). Capacity in September was down 20.9% on pre-crisis levels, an improvement from August, which was down 24.2% on the same month in 2019.  

African airlines’ saw international cargo volumes increase by 34.6% in September, the largest increase of all regions for the ninth consecutive month. Seasonally adjusted volumes are now 20% above pre-crisis 2019 levels but have been trending sideways for the past six months. International capacity was 6.9% higher than pre-crisis levels, the only region in positive territory, albeit on small volumes.

How to Successfully Boost Your Online Sales?

Did you know that in 2020 the eCommerce retail sales reached $4.28 trillion? It’s a tremendously big market and if you’re part of it, be sure that there’s a piece of it for you too. You just need to know how to make sales and use your website perfectly.

If you have some sales but are not satisfied with them, you need to do something about it. If you feel like your brand or products have more potential, then you need to learn how to boost your online sales and make the most of them.

That’s what we’re going to do in this article – we will explain what you must do and what tools you should use if you want to increase the sales. Follow up and see the most crucial things to mind and what tools you need to use.

 

1. Create a perfect website with an easy checkout procedure

It is proven that slow websites and those whose procedure to get to the checkout page is complicated see fewer sales than those made better. The most important part of a website is its speed. If it takes forever to load, users will not continue to the checkout and never make the sale.

They’ll see another website during the time your e-store loads. They’ll see something more interesting, or they will simply forget about the product they were about to buy, resulting in your loss.

Another mistake that many e-stores make is having a complicated procedure to get to the checkout page. Every product must have an immediate button to take you to the checkout location, and the consumer must know at all times where that button is. This needs to be done as simply as possible.

 

2. Use affiliate marketing software tools

One of the best ways to make money from your website is to start an affiliate marketing business. However, this is not a direct sale of products. With affiliate, you get a percentage of the sales that go through your website.

As a seller, you must do everything in your power to get consumers to see the products you offer in your e-store. Getting more visitors to your page also means more sales.

Since the affiliate business is not easy, a lot of people use affiliate software that does most of the work for them. This type of software will track, analyze, optimize, and often automate sales.

 

3. Try native advertising rather than traditional channels

When you want more traffic to your page, you need to create a marketing campaign. We talked about affiliate marketing conversion techniques, but you first need to have consumers on your page to convert them.

To get more visitors, you need to advertise your page. Today’s shoppers on the internet hate ads, and they’ll either ignore them or turn off the page if they see it is pure commercial content. That’s why you need to invest in native advertising.

Native advertising will make your efforts look natural. Consumers won’t even notice that you’re sending them ads and invite them over to your page. This is the best conversion channel of them all at the moment. Use the right software to get native ads and see how your sales rise from day to day.

 

4. Control the organic search market

When consumers want to shop for an item, they often go to search engines and look for a product. A lot of them go directly to Amazon, for example, and search there. If you manage to control their search and suggest your product before they even start choosing from the list, you have the most chances to make the sales.

Luckily for you, there’s software for it. It is called performance marketing platform, and it helps its users come up as first results when users search for an item online.

For example, if they are looking for smartphones, and you’re selling them, the system will provide your result first as they type in the search field. Before they even finish the word and click enter, your name will be there. That gives you a head start in front of the competition, which definitely leads to more sales.

Outsourcing the Pharmaceutical Product Lifecycle

By Timm Pauli, senior director and head of global regulatory informatics and operations at PharmaLex. Dr. Marie-Charlotte von Brevern, associate director of global program management at PharmaLex.

How to improve efficiency and drive innovation with limited resources

Ongoing lifecycle maintenance of medium or large portfolios puts a tremendous resource strain on pharmaceutical companies. These activities are crucial to keeping your products on the market but can stretch teams thin, making it harder for companies to focus on new product development, line extensions and further global roll-out activities.

At the same time, both product maintenance and product development are becoming more complex. Ever-changing regulations across global markets, specific CMC requirements for special product categories, a move toward innovative clinical approaches (such as decentralized clinical trials, adopting Bayesian models for trial designs, and applying digital tools for electronic patient reported outcomes), and increased digitization of many regulatory processes all require specific expertise that might be unavailable in-house.

Outsourcing can provide needed relief for management in numerous ways. In-house teams can regain time to focus on value-added tasks. Leadership can save on the budget by avoiding costly staffing and technical infrastructure upgrades. External expertise and perspectives can support teams in innovative ways, offering new, more efficient approaches and methods to support product lifecycle activities.

Taking a strategic approach

However, if such outsourcing projects are carried out piecemeal, most of your management and oversight activities will still fall to internal resources. Instead, outsourcing programs that adopt a strategic approach are more likely to give internal teams the support and flexibility they need to focus on new projects. Truly transformational outsourcing should combine operational activities for any product portfolio with state-of-the-art program management and coordination, KPI and reporting measures, as well as ad-hoc support for any additional one-off projects, and would also involve the outsourcing partner taking full responsibility, or ownership, of the program.

Typical reasons mid- to large-sized pharma companies choose to outsource:

  • Enable internal resources to focus on value-added, strategic activities
  • Reduce complexity for in-house teams
  • Foster scalable and flexible resource models
  • Quickly connect with a large pool of external expertise in flexible and cost-effective ways
  • Gain access to the latest technology solutions without having to make changes to existing on-site infrastructure, saving the company time and money
  • More seamlessly manage new technical requirements (based on new or changed technical requirements from health authorities)
  • Tap into operational excellence across different therapeutic and functional domains as well as process expertise and technology innovation

A primary consideration for companies is how to achieve cost-effective and flexible portfolio maintenance, while not jeopardizing quality and compliance. There are different ways in which a comprehensive portfolio maintenance outsourcing program can benefit pharmaceutical companies.

The first is that outsourcing allows companies to leverage strategic, expert-driven support to streamline maintenance operations across all regulated functions, both at a central and local affiliate level, all backed up with quality measures, KPIs and reporting tools.

Another reason companies seek outsourcing support is if they need more information about regulatory requirements in certain markets, but lack the in-house expertise on the topic or process. Alternatively, sometimes companies have a workload peak and need short-term support to supplement their internal resources.

Other increasingly important considerations today are that technology solutions are becoming ubiquitous throughout the business and must be regularly updated and improved to keep pace with new developments, requirements and specifications. This has become an even greater priority with the move to advanced technologies, such as automation and natural language processing as companies embrace the digital transformation. What makes the process more complex is that most pharmaceutical systems require appropriate quality management testing and validation, further increasing the administrative burden. Outsourcing the pre-configuration, testing and validation to experts helps companies to stay on top of the digital transformation.

Considered partnerships

Regardless of where you seek to leverage support, when choosing to outsource it’s important to select a partner that will take responsibility for your process or portfolio. After all, your marketed product portfolio is your most valuable intellectual property and the basis of your success. At its best, an outsourcing partnership can provide you with a new level of support and insight. This opens the door for a wide range of opportunities, including:

  • Switching your focus to innovation. By removing the burden of handling the regulatory maintenance of your company’s mature product portfolio, your internal team of experts can turn their attention to new products and processes.
  • Access to an expert pool of external resources, including specific knowledge around product types, technologies and processes that may not be available in-house. These might include:
    • Therapeutic areas
    • Technology capabilities, including expertise in implementing, validating and maintaining regulatory solutions such as regulatory information management systems; deep knowledge of new data standards such as Identification of Medicinal Products; as well as experience with leveraging innovative technologies to support operational excellence, such as robot process automation (RPA), natural language processing (NLP)  and machine learning.)
    • Market access and real-world evidence
    • Local or regional regulatory intelligence
    • Strategic advice during development, initial filing, and lifecycle maintenance
  • Having access to local regulatory support for global maintenance of a mature product portfolio to meet ongoing compliance requirements.
  • Expanding local presence by partnering with external staff based in markets where you do not have on-site operations.
  • Addressing resource gaps when your in-house team is working at maximum capacity.
  • Adopting a cost-effective solution rather than investing in additional full-time specialist staff.
  • Reducing technical and administrative burden and alleviating the pressure to keep up with the digital transformation pace by shifting system ownership to outside vendors.

Stay current, stay compliant

The pharmaceutical industry is faced with mounting pressures amid ever-changing requirements around pharmaceutical product development and lifecycle maintenance. As a result, companies must stay current to ensure compliance. This can best be achieved by looking to external partners for support, ensuring workload flexibility for your internal teams and the opportunity to focus on value-adding activities without compromising compliance. It’s important that your outsourcing partner is willing and able to take ownership of the programs or projects they manage. Furthermore, with innovation now intrinsically entwined with technology advancements, any outsourcing partner should have demonstrated expertise with supporting the digital transformation, for example, by helping to streamline processes through automation and by leveraging capabilities such as NLP and RPA to support innovation.

Gaining access to specialist expertise, flexible global work forces and innovative state-of-the-art technology solutions provides long-term value for pharma companies across multiple areas of the business.  Strategic, well-considered outsourcing ensures you focus on and build upon innovation; it gives you access to the type of dedicated and specific expertise that you are unlikely to have internally; it allows you to expand into new and emerging markets while ensuring you understand and meet local requirements; it allows you to leverage support during peaks; and it ensures you keep pace with the latest digital developments. Importantly, as the article explores, all these opportunities can be gained through outsourcing based on partnership, collaboration, trust and demonstrated expertise.

GHP Magazine Announces the Winners of the 2021 Fitness and Nutrition Awards

United Kingdom, Nov 2021 – GHP Magazine has announced the winners of the Fitness and Nutrition Awards 2021.

The year 2021 has been about recovering from multiple lockdowns while also adapting to live with Covid-19 virus. The pandemic has had a huge impact on our bodies and the way we look after our overall health which has led to a rise in demand for exceptionally high-quality fitness and nutrition products and services.

Our Fitness and Nutrition Awards programme seeks to recognise businesses and professional individuals who have stayed consistently driven and dedicated to help their clients to achieve their health-related goals. GHP appreciates how certain businesses and individuals have not allowed the pandemic to hinder their business but rather have used their experience and expertise to amend their products and services to cater to their customers.

GHP Magazine, as always, endeavours to recognise those that are going above and beyond, or indeed, the businesses that are making meaningful steps forward, no matter how small they might seem on the greater landscape. That’s why we launched our awards programme, and why we continue to spotlight the work of exceptional companies and individuals.

Our Awards Coordinator Jessie Wilson has commented on the success of the awards programme which is now running in its third year: “Our bodies have been through a lot through the past year and I’m glad that we are finally beginning to come to normalcy. With that in mind, I would like to congratulate all the businesses and professionals who have won this year as they have been brilliant in providing high-quality products and services to people when they have needed it the most. It was a pleasure hosting the awards programme this year and I would like to wish all the winner’s good luck for all of their future endeavours!”

To find out more about these leading lights and discover what has led them to becoming who they are today, please visit https://www.ghp-news.com/awards/fitness-and-nutrition-awards/ to access our winners supplement.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

About GHP Magazine, a publication under AI Global Media

Global Health and Pharma magazine is a global information sharing platform & a multi-disciplinary member’s community. The publication was established to enhance communication networks & collaboration across all themes and disciplines within three main categories: Human, Animal & Environmental Health.

About AI Global Media

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

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

Wealth & Finance Magazine Announces the Winners of the 2021 Fund Awards


United Kingdom, 2021-
 Wealth & Finance magazine have announced the winners of the 2021 Fund Awards.

Our 2021 Fund Awards programme is designed to recognise and award those businesses and professional individuals who have not only provided excellent products and services but have also provided unbeatable commitment and dedication towards their clients and customers. The industry is constantly transforming

Now running in its sixth year, the programme is never subjected to just one particular industry. Our awards programme covers a range of financial sectors from Banks to Insurance companies and Family Offices. The Fund Awards acknowledges those who have reinvented fund services with their experience and expertise and continue to do so to serve their customers with nothing less than the best.

On the success of the winners, our Awards Coordinator Steve Simpson has stated: “I am proud of all the winners of this year’s programme as we have strived to acknowledge all those who have worked effortlessly this year to provide their customers with outstanding services. I wish them all the best for their future endeavours.”

To learn more about our deserving award winners and to gain insight into the working practices of the “best of the best”, please visit the Wealth & Finance website (https://www.wealthandfinance-news.com/awards/fund-awards/) where you can access the winners supplement.

ENDS

Note to editors.

About Wealth & Finance International

Wealth & Finance International is a quarterly publication dedicated to delivering high quality informative and up-to-the-minute global business content. It is published by AI Global Media Ltd, a publishing house that has reinvigorated corporate finance news and reporting.

Developed by a highly skilled team of writers, editors, business insiders and regional industry experts, Wealth & Finance International reports from every corner of the globe to give readers the inside track on the need-to-know news and issues affecting banking, finance, regulation, risk and wealth management in their region.

About AI Global Media

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

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

IT Consulting 101: How It Works and Why Your Business Needs It

Any business that wants to remain relevant and competitive must utilize information technology (IT). IT involves the use of modern tools and applications to promote business efficiency. Though a business can work with an in-house IT service team, working with an IT support firm can provide more benefits. That is where IT consulting comes in.

This article will walk you through all you need to know about IT consulting—how it works and why your business needs it.

An Overview of IT Consulting

IT consulting is essentially the practice of seeking help from specialists to ensure that you’re maximizing your company’s IT infrastructure well and to decide what other technologies or strategies you could use for your business. In other words, it involves entrusting a third-party firm with all your IT concerns and questions. Some of the major aspects you can discuss with an IT consulting firm include information security, web development, computer systems analysis, and much more.

This may go hand in hand with hiring IT service providers. So, rather than working with an in-house IT team, you could hire an IT firm on a seasonal basis. For instance, you could consider working with a Boston IT services company like NENS or other similar companies once you’ve gathered enough information and advice from your consulting firm.   

Reasons Why You Should Work With an IT Consulting Firm 

There are several benefits to working with an IT consulting firm. Some of these include the following. 

1. Helps Minimize Costs 

One of the major benefits of working with an IT consulting firm is that it can help minimize your overall business costs. Minimizing costs is essential, especially for businesses operating under a tight budget.  

With that said, IT consulting can help you reduce business costs in several ways. For instance, it can help reduce your labour costs. Working with an IT consulting firm means you can hire a few professionals on a seasonal basis or when needed. You won’t need to work with a full in-house IT team. Thus, you avoid paying huge monthly salaries, allowances, and other bonuses.

In addition, if you outsource your IT services, the IT firm will utilize its own infrastructure, and it often ensures that it has the latest tech available to be able to provide the best service. This means that you won’t need to spend on expensive computing systems and equipment yourself. This results in a significant reduction of costs that your business might have had otherwise. That being said, you could check out https://www.cloudsecuretech.com/1/managed-it/boston/ for options on which IT service provider could give you the best deal.

2. Allows You to Focus On Other Core Business Functions 

There’s no doubt that most business owners aren’t IT experts. They’d make better use of their time if their sole focus was on managing their business. This is easily achievable if they outsource their business’s IT functions. 

Outsourcing your IT functions can give you more time to focus on other vital business operations, which allows you to maximize what you can do to help your business operate better. You will no longer have to spend time trying to understand or fix problems in your business’s infrastructure, as IT consulting firms will have a ready answer for you straightaway. 

3. Helps Boost Productivity 

Most IT consulting firms work with qualified and experienced workers. For that reason, they’re able to implement new technologies into your business, thus streamlining most of your operations. This is a good way to promote your business’s efficiency. This means using fewer resources and time to produce maximum outputs. 

4. Allows You to Get Professional Advice Easily

If you want to take your business to the next level, you should work with experts. An IT consulting firm can give you several of them, most of which may have different areas of specialty. Working with an IT consulting firm can allow you to acquire new knowledge and experiences to boost your business performance. You can get tips and advice from their team on how to improve your computing systems.  

In addition, the IT professionals of the firm can advise you on the best modern business trends and technologies to implement. This will go a long way in helping to promote the growth of your business.  

5. Helps Enhance Your Online Security 

Another reason you may want to work with an IT consulting firm is to enhance your business’s online security. Promoting security is essential, especially in the digital world, where most businesses are prone to cyberattacks and other online threats.  

If you want to protect your business against these threats, it would be a good idea to work with an IT consulting firm. They can utilize modern tools to safeguard your business and conduct assessments to analyse which areas of your infrastructure may be prone to attacks. Since most IT consulting firms have extensive knowledge about the threats that might face your firm, they can advise you on the best security measures to implement to protect your business. 

6. Provides Ease of Scalability 

One of the major challenges facing most businesses today is the lack of resources.  Some of these include capital, human, equipment, and other essentials. This is especially true for business enterprises looking to grow or expand.  

The good news is that, in the aspect of IT at least, businesses can solve this problem by working with an IT service provider. If you’re going to be outsourcing your IT functions, you will be working with a readily scalable firm. Thus, you won’t have to be worried about the lack of IT resources even when your business expands.  

7. Reduces Downtime 

Reduced downtime is another major reason to work with an IT service provider. These firms work around the clock, maintaining and updating business systems, to ensure that your computing infrastructure is always working, thus reducing any chance of downtime. In effect, this helps promote your business efficiency and productivity.  

8. Gives You a Competitive Edge 

Any business that wants to remain relevant and competitive must adopt new business trends and technologies. Though there are several ways of achieving this, one of the best ways is by working with an IT consulting firm.  

The IT firm can keep you updated on the latest technologies and trends, and they will know how to integrate these new technologies into your business’s systems, thus promoting efficiency. This will enable your business to gain a competitive edge in the market. 

 

Takeaway 

No business can go against current market competition without using information technology. Because there are so many new technologies, it’s possible you may get overwhelmed and not know where to start. In that case, the best option would be to work with an IT consulting firm. As mentioned above, there are several benefits to making this move and, ultimately, one end result—the betterment of your company’s systems.

ADDX Launches First Crypto Product, With Listing of Institutional-Grade Digital Asset Fund by Trovio


The fund, which aims to offer a reliable option for crypto investing, recorded a net return of 215% in 2020 and 205% in the first ten months of 2021

Private market exchange ADDX has launched its first cryptocurrency product, with the listing of a digital asset fund by investment manager Trovio Capital Management (TCM). The fund aims to provide accredited investors with a reliable option for crypto investing and has put in place institutional-grade safeguards in relation to the trade execution and custody of the fund’s underlying digital assets.

The TCM Digital Asset Fund takes a diversified approach to crypto investing. On top of core positions in Bitcoin and Ethereum, the fund invests in a set of seven other top-performing cryptocurrencies that are identified and reviewed regularly through a proprietary method of quantitative analysis. The fund recorded a net return of 215% in 2020 and 205% in the first ten months of 2021.

Relying on an institutional-quality infrastructure, the fund has an independent administrator, auditor and custodian. It is among the first digital asset funds to be audited by KPMG. Custody and trading services are provided by the Nasdaq-listed Coinbase. Investors on the ADDX platform can subscribe to or redeem units each month with the fund manager. The fund’s minimum investment size is US$10,000.

Founded in 2017, the Australia-based Trovio Group is led by veteran bankers Jon Deane and Bob Tucker. Trovio CEO Jon Deane has more than 15 years of experience managing large complex risk positions for investment banks, including JP Morgan and UBS AG. He was Managing Director and Head of Asia Commodities Trading at JP Morgan from 2014 to 2018.

Mr Deane said: “It has been a fantastic experience bringing our flagship fund to ADDX’s MAS-regulated platform. We are continuing to witness significantly wider adoption and appreciation of digital assets as a standalone asset class in a diversified portfolio. ADDX’s platform is enabling investors to seamlessly access these asset classes, whilst reducing friction often experienced via traditional channels. We look forward to working with the ADDX team on launching our other products over the coming months.”

Oi Yee Choo, Chief Commercial Officer of ADDX, said: “Cryptocurrencies are very likely the digital gold of our age. There is robust demand among investors for exposure to these digital assets. The traditional world of finance tried to keep a cautious distance initially. But today, major financial institutions either have a crypto offering or are seriously considering one. We believe the time for discussing whether cryptocurrencies have a place in an investment portfolio is all but over. The more relevant question now is around how one should manage the risk of crypto investments, from an asset custody as well as a price volatility standpoint. Professionally managed crypto funds with a good track record can potentially address these risk concerns for investors.”

Ms Choo added: “ADDX is pleased to work with Trovio on this first crypto offering to investors on our platform. The team led by Jon Deane has deep expertise in both traditional finance and the crypto space, and this is reflected in their rigorous approach to conceptualising and bringing to market this institutional-grade fund. As Singapore establishes itself as an important global hub for regulated crypto activity, ADDX seeks to make a positive contribution to the crypto landscape of the city, by adding to the rich diversity of high-quality offerings available to investors.”

ADDX, previously known as iSTOX, is a full-service capital markets platform with Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) licenses for the issuance, custody, and secondary trading of digital securities. Launched in 2017, the financial technology company raised US$50 million in its Series A round in January 2021. Its shareholders include Singapore Exchange (SGX), Temasek subsidiary Heliconia Capital and Japanese investors JIC Venture Growth Investments (JIC-VGI) and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ). Individual accredited investors using the ADDX platform today come from 27 countries, spanning Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Americas (excluding the US).

7 Ways to Cut Business Costs Through Cloud Computing

Various businesses all over the globe are eager to find ways to minimize their operating costs. With the advancements in the industry, a steadily increasing number of companies are turning to the cloud.  Cloud-based technologies are becoming a popular choice by businesses in various industries as they can help reduce costs due to multiple reasons, such as the current financial condition and the need to modernize data.  

Managing a business entails hard work and a steady stream of funds. The advancements in technology, specifically the cloud, can help take your business to greater heights. One of the advantages of cloud technology is significantly lowering operating costs.

If you want your business to have lower operational costs, here are several ways to make it happen with cloud computing. 

1. Lessen Spending On Software And Maintenance

With the help of Intellicomp’s managed IT services in Baltimore or any reputable service provider in your area, you’ll gain a drop in the overall operational costs, especially on support and maintenance. Software is an expensive resource for businesses. An approach worth considering is to subscribe to cloud-based software and services. Doing so will prevent your business from spending and maintaining separate software packages for every computer unit in your company.  

The majority of the cloud solutions by reliable providers come at a low monthly fee to help cut down on the operational costs of these infrastructures. Additionally, once you reduce routine maintenance, your IT personnel will have more time to focus on important initiatives and development. In some instances, it might even allow you to cut down on the staff size. 

Companies that lack the resources to accommodate an in-house IT department should consider cloud solutions to eliminate third-party hardware repair fees. 

2. Affordable Initial Capital Investment

Generally, cloud solutions are available in a ‘pay-as-you-go’ price scheme. The method can provide your business with better savings and flexibility in various ways.  

For instance, your business doesn’t have to spend on software or service not being used. Additionally, you can cancel a pay-as-you-go software or service at any time, reducing any financial risk on those that don’t work best for your business. The up-front cost of cloud solutions is also affordable than in-house solutions.  

Additionally, cloud computing can help cut down costs in other aspects. Since data and applications are on the cloud, employees can access them in any location, helping improve work-from-home capabilities. In the long run, your business will need less office space and help reduce rental and utility payments.  

3. Data Security and Backup

Losing critical data and applications can be detrimental to any company. Unforeseen events can damage the infrastructure in various ways, such as power outages, network failures, human errors, data breaches, and many more. If you cannot access your data and applications even for a day, it can spell disaster or even put it at risk for bankruptcy. 

With cloud solutions, your business can conveniently retrieve the latest versions of data in case a disaster or on-site system failure occurs. Hence, it might be best to consider cloud-based disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) to backup crucial data automatically to a safe location and minimize disruptions when the unexpected occurs.

Having secure data backup in the cloud can effectively prevent expenses on repairing your business after a breach. With that said, visit https://www.cloudsecuretech.com/1/managed-it/baltimore/ or other service providers to ensure the security of your business.   

4. Widen Reach or Coverage

Collaboration in a workplace is only efficient if the entire team is working in the same place. It was the situation before remote work considerably evolved to a whole new level. Fortunately, cloud-based solutions can significantly improve the level of remote work, allowing your business to expand its coverage. For one, the cloud allowed real-time updates and better communications, enabling you to decentralize your workforce.

Additionally, cloud computing will enable your business to access technical talent without employing full-time. Doing so will allow you to allot finances to core employees. 

5. Boost the Productivity

Cloud computing solutions can be an advantage for businesses since they can boost workforce productivity levels. Once you decide to integrate cloud software and services, the deployment is relatively faster than a conventional installation. With this in mind, employees will spend less time waiting and continue with their tasks.  

There’s also a drop in the length of adoption time since employees can readily access any software as a service (SaaS) application. Additionally, the majority of cloud-based solutions are available anywhere with an Internet connection. 

6. Update the Infrastructure

Cloud computing will allow your business to adopt a new approach to technological infrastructure.  

While the necessary adjustments are crucial in getting your system on the cloud, consider it a step in developing a cloud-based architecture that allows your business to utilize capabilities that aren’t possible with traditional frameworks.  

One of these aspects is no other than system security. A cloud environment ensures highly secure facilities that allow specific access levels to different areas. 

When you rely on a dependable managed IT service provider to handle the infrastructure, your employees can focus on the core work of your company. In the long run, it ensures better productivity in creating solutions to gain more clients and leads. 

7. Growth Management

If you have a small business, incorporating cloud technology is a practical approach in facing challenges along the way. Cloud technology will provide your business with a better chance for further growth. This is because one of the best aspects of cloud services is allowing convenient expansion. Thus, you no longer need to worry about buying extra equipment since vendors will take responsibility when handling any hardware concerns.  

For those working in an industry with seasons of expansion and contraction, cloud computing will significantly help. Proper growth management can significantly cut down your overall costs. 

Conclusion

With the convenience brought about by cloud technology, you should consider what it can do for your business. If your main objective is to maximize your budget, cloud computing is worth the try.  

Taking an initial step in migrating to the cloud can be intimidating, but all the benefits your business will gain are worth the time and effort. Aside from saving money on operating costs, your business will enjoy other advantages in the long run. Make the right move by integrating cloud computing to help your business reach better heights.

Why Fad Diets Don’t Work: Your Lifestyle Habits Matter

A full stomach makes a happy heart; But you’ll be more content when you concentrate on maintaining long-term habits.

Your heart-healthy diet starts with your eating habits, in accordance with the American Heart Association’s latest scientific declaration, “2021 Dietary Guidance to Enhance Cardiovascular health.”

This doesn’t mean you have to give up the convenience of take-out or that quick food kit purchased from the supermarket completely. The diet guidelines encourage people to integrate these habits into their lives.

The report identifies 10 aspects of heart-healthy diets -and includes advice on how to combine the right diet with exercise and get the most nutrients from supplements or food and eat whole grains, cut down on sodium as well as alcohol, and added sugar consumption; make use of non-tropical plant oils, and eat foods that are minimally processed in comparison to ultra-processed food items.

“What’s crucial now is that people implement changes that are sustainable in the long-term,” said Alice Lichtenstein, director of Tufts’s Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory and chair of the writing group that wrote the new AHA statement.

The group’s research evaluated the literature and came up with 10 characteristics of heart-healthy eating patterns. The group also expanded the guidelines, acknowledging the importance of sustainability as well as the social issues that can create obstacles to attaining healthy nutrition.

Lichtenstein noted that eating habits have changed since AHA last issued the statement that included dietary guidelines fifteen years back. The primary choices were eating out or dine-in and eat in, however eating habits have not been as regular, given the state of the world’s recovery from a pandemic. There is a growing trend, exacerbated by the pandemic, of increasing convenience food options like delivery, meal kits, and prepared meals.

Make modifications that stand the test of time

The main focus of the AHA’s new guideline, Lichtenstein said, is to follow the path that works best for you, regardless of the restrictions on your diet or cultural adaptations you’d like to implement. Lichtenstein cautions against making radical changes based on trendy diets. Instead, continuous efforts to incorporate these healthy habits could prove more advantageous in the long term.

Lauri Wright who is the chair for the faculty of dietetics and nutrition in the University of North Florida and national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics supports this long-term approach. Wright was not part of the AHA’s statement, highlighting the importance of establishing habits of living regardless of age and backgrounds.

“When we’re discussing patterns or lifestyles it’s not just about the diet, but something that is temporary,” Wright said. “This is a way of life that will accommodate your personal preferences.”

A diet that is heart-healthy could also have other advantages as well, the statement stated encouraging more sustainable practices that benefit the environment. This is the first time that the AHA guidelines have included sustainability. Lichtenstein acknowledged that there is space for further research on alternative sources of nutrition, like vegan animal products. These aren’t always the best alternatives. In general, eating greater amounts of whole food and less animal products will benefit your health as well as the environment.

The statement also acknowledges societal problems in the very first instance like food insecurity, diet myths and structural racism that affect people’s eating habits and accessibility to foods. A 2020 Northwestern University study found Black and Hispanic households are more at risk of experiencing food insecurity.

Take care of one adjustment at one time

A more comprehensive education on food from the age of 5 can help instill children with healthy eating habits for the rest of their lives. The focus should be on education and prevention Lichtenstein stated, and not immediate solutions.

Healthful foods are now easier to access, she explained. Fruits and vegetables frozen are often cheaper than fresh and are equally healthy. Dairy products have low-fat as well as nonfat alternatives. Seltzers with flavors are also accessible as an alternative to soda.

Making these changes all in one go could be overwhelming, however Lichtenstein stated that the shift might begin by implementing just one item at a time. Check the label on a snack that you buy each week, like crackers, and choose whole-wheat alternatives. Choose the low-fat and sugar-free options if readily available. Maintaining these habits involves making small adjustments and gradual shifts.

“Think about your entire dietary patterns, not just specific food and nutrients,” Lichtenstein said. “We simply need to make the most of what we didn’t even know was available.”

Could the Interim Save Christmas?

By Leigh Anderson, Managing Director at Bis Henderson Recruitment

As supply chains struggle to meet the challenges of a fast-recovering economy, labour scarcity and post- Brexit trading complexity, fears are growing of empty shelves leading into peak season. Rising ecommerce volumes and the driver shortage are creating the perfect storm. Interim managers can provide the skills needed to save Christmas, but firms need to act now to secure the best talent.


At almost every point in every supply chain, companies are facing unprecedented levels of change and uncertainty. Challenges from Covid to Brexit, driver shortages to microchip shortages, eCommerce to ethical consumerism, mean that businesses are having to learn, change and adapt their logistics operations at great speed, and often in areas where they lack high-level skills and expertise.

Existing managers and executives may be highly competent within business models that have evolved over decades with clear goals, but they aren’t necessarily well suited to drive through rapid and radical changes, or to identify and implement viable solutions to multiple crises.

Critically, companies need to access the talents of individuals with quite unique skill sets and experience, often at a level that would be considered unaffordable and unjustifiable when stability returns. Nor indeed are these talents possessed by the sort of people who settle down for the long term. In these conditions the professional ‘interim’ manager, executive or technologist comes into his or her own. While pre-Covid, this had been a market in decline; in the past year Bis Henderson Recruitment has seen a very significant uplift in requests by companies seeking our help in making short-term appointments. This is even more pronounced now as supply chains enter the run-up to the crucial Christmas season, with every day bringing a new challenge.

Demand for interim assistance is up by around 500% – and there is a clear correlation with a comparable collapse in responses to advertisements for conventional, long-term employment.

In particular, we are fielding urgent requirements for Warehouse and Operations Managers, Transport Managers and Planners, and Shift Managers to plan and execute additional pick and delivery volumes through the peak.

However, we find that many companies, small and large, are cautious, even fearful about going down the interim route to meet their short-term skill needs. In this paper we explore the reasons for this, and reveal our poll findings that refute some of the myths and misconceptions around interims.

What is an Interim?

Firstly, let’s be clear what we mean by an interim manager or executive. This is not a catch-all term for any short or fixed term employment: indeed, technically, it isn’t employment at all.

An interim is someone who brings a particular and rare combination of skills and experience to bear on a specific task, well-defined by goals and duration, typically of a project nature – although the approach can be applied to short-term senior management cover, or in ‘disaster recovery’ situations.

The emphasis is usually on successful implementation on time and to budget, rather than strategic planning and evaluation of options, which is more the realm of a consultancy. In our field the task may be bringing a new DC into operation, or implementing a new WMS, or, very topically, reconfiguring the transport network to make better use of available drivers.

Often, the appointment is additional to, rather than replacing, existing management – the latter of course still have the challenges of the day-to-day running of the business. There is often an expectation of significant skills transfer, to enable the permanent staff to successfully operate the new arrangements after the interim has moved on. Typically, an interim assignment will be for six months or less.

We say ‘assignment’ not ‘employment’ because the interim is not an employee – the relationship is that of a contract for services, not a contract of employment. The interim may be contracted with directly as a self-employed individual or via their own personal service company, or through an intermediate such as Bis Henderson Recruitment.

However, an interim is not a substitute for what would normally be a payroll position. It isn’t a tax avoidance scheme, for either party, although if appropriately applied, an interim appointment can reduce taxation paid. Nor is its purpose to allow the company to avoid non salary labour costs – a sort of gig economy for the higher paid – although reduced employment costs can also be the result.

Importantly, it isn’t appropriate, or lawful, if for example it is envisaged that the same interim will carry out a whole series of back-to-back projects – which has been a common abuse in IT and other fields. Less clear-cut, but it may also not be appropriate when the appointment is simply to ‘hold the fort’ while the search is on for a long-term employee. In these cases, a short or fixed term contract of employment is the way to go and Bis Henderson Recruitment can help here too.

What Our Survey Reveals

Although our in-box is full with enquiries about interims, we know many companies still have reservations. To better understand the reasons for this we recently ran a survey among our contacts on LinkedIn, with interesting results. Four particular concerns stood out.

Cultural Alignment

Nearly a fifth of our respondents cited concerns over the linked themes of ‘Slow Integration’ and ‘Cultural Alignment’.

Worries about the speed at which the interim can be integrated into the organisation are misplaced – one of the virtues of appointing an interim is precisely that these are people who expect to hit the ground running from hour one, day one. This is how they make their reputations. In practice it may be the interim who is more concerned about how quickly the permanent staff that he or she will be working with can come up to the required sense of urgency.

Cultural alignment can be somewhat more problematic, especially since one of the reasons for bringing an interim in may be precisely to over-ride ‘not invented here’, ‘we’ve always done it this way’ attitudes. A lot depends on the ability of the company’s managers and directors to pave the way, explaining why the interim is being brought in and what it is intended should be achieved. This has to be done skillfully, without suggesting that existing staff have in any way failed or are in some sense inferior – after all, they will still be with the business long after the interim has moved on to their next assignment.

The Dreaded IR35

Some 25% of our respondents voiced concerns about their liabilities under the famous ‘IR35’ rules, which were finally introduced for larger private companies in April this year, after a long period of controversy and, some might say, scaremongering.

Bis Henderson has worked hard to create a seamless process for recruiting interim managers and has taken the hard work and risk out of ensuring that contracts are ‘IR35 proof’.

The rules exist to prevent individuals and companies evading tax, especially National Insurance, by falsely claiming self-employed or contractor status. The rules themselves haven’t changed much – what is new is that whereas it used to be for the individual to assert their self-employed status, for larger companies the onus is now on them to show that they have considered each case and that the self-employed/ contractor status is genuinely ‘outside IR35’ and therefore off the payroll.

Consequently, some businesses have panicked and placed a blanket ban on off-payroll appointments. This is quite unnecessary and, in so far as it denies them access to the skills they need, positively harmful. We can help businesses who are unsure how to navigate the legislation, and find that in practice most cases are fairly obvious. If the assignment is tightly defined, of limited duration and unlikely to be renewed or extended, and it requires skills and experience at a level the company wouldn’t normally need, or can’t maintain in-house, then that should be safely outside IR35.

On the other hand, if it is contemplated that the interim will be tackling a series of back-to-back assignments of a similar nature, or the timescale is open-ended, or a significant part of the task is normally carried out by a salaried employee, then that may well attract the attention of HMRC, which can involve payment of back taxes, penalties, possibly retrospective benefit payments to the ‘employee’ and general unpleasantness. If you really have to go through hoops to justify off-payroll status, then you probably shouldn’t.

In our experience, though, it is a mistake to think just in terms of IR35. If the requirement is indeed ongoing, regular, or recurrent, surely it is a core element of the business – why wouldn’t you make every effort to bring that in house rather than relying on external parties (interims or consultants or various third-party support services) at considerable extra-long term cost.

 

Cost and Value

Which brings us to our clients’ principal concern around interims – that of cost: a worry for 39% of our sample – and therefore, a far bigger concern than the IR35 issue.

Of course, an interim will expect a day rate equating to significantly more than the salary of a full-time employee in a similar role. However, any comparison should consider all the costs.

In the first place, a comparison assumes that similar skills are readily and immediately available on the conventional jobs market, which is less than likely. And the extra money is limited to the short duration of the contract, usually just a few months. It should have no impact on future employment costs once the interim has moved on. In the end, the client company is paying a premium for instant access to high-grade skills. Is it worth making that investment? Is it worth taking the risk of not making the investment?

Your Call

And when we look at the bottom line, the cost difference, while still real, is substantially less. As every company director knows, there is a lot more to employment costs than annual salary, and a lot of these disappear under an interim contract for service.

Most obviously, there is no employer’s National Insurance to pay, which would be £30,429 extra on a £140,000 salary. There is no holiday pay. There is no employer contribution to pension schemes. There may be savings on a range of other employment benefits, depending on what the company offers, but these might include bonus schemes, healthcare plans, gym memberships, stock options. The company isn’t paying for a laptop or a company car, or unless otherwise agreed a range of business expenses. Being off payroll, the contract doesn’t increase the firm’s Apprenticeship Levy payments.

Taken all together, the difference in employment cost between an interim and a permanent staffer of comparable abilities, if such were available, looks not unreasonable.

There are other less tangible benefits. There are no extra HR, Payroll and other admin costs (the interim is paid by Bis Henderson Recruitment, and we invoice the client for our services). There should be no training or on-boarding costs. A large part of the recruitment costs, from scoping the requirement to conducting interviews and assessments, are included in our service charge as are necessary background checks, verification of adequate Professional Indemnity insurance, work permits if relevant, and so forth.

Crucially, the interim route delivers results fast – we average seven days from initial client contact to a contract being signed, and there is a negligible learning curve: interims start making a contribution on their first day.

In the current climate and with a Christmas peak looming that may be quite unlike previous years, firms need to be asking themselves some critical questions:

1. What could possibly go wrong?

2. Do we have a full management team in place for the peak, with the support they will need?

3. Are they all battle-ready and war- gamed?

4. Are we confident that our plan is robust?

5. Do we have contingencies in place for most eventualities?

 

If this reveals vulnerabilities, discuss with us the potential for appointing interim managers to reinforce the team.

In Summary

We don’t claim that the interim route is the way to go for every situation – we can offer objective advice and indeed, we can help with your short or fixed term employment requirements as well. But in twenty years we have made more than 2,000 very successful high-level appointments, with repeat business from our clients and our interims.

In these turbulent times, logistics and supply chain companies need motivated individuals with the right skills who can quickly understand and augment a rapid response to a given challenge. Interim appointments offer a keyway of achieving the necessary agility quickly – and for many businesses, if they can see past some of the perceived barriers, they might just save Christmas.

Bis Henderson has seen the supply chain sector through numerous stages of its evolution; from high street to internet, from paper to handheld, from spreadsheets to blockchain. This next era whilst daunting, may just herald the most exciting changes in supply chain recruitment since the emergence of the Web.

If you need an Interim to support you during the upcoming Peak Period, someone who can hit the ground running and bring value from day one – our interim recruiters have access to a pool of hand-picked, personally vetted specialists. Act now to secure the top talent you need.

New Report Reveals 86% of Middle East IT Leaders Agree Remote Working Compromises Business Networks

Even though 93% of Middle East technology leaders are confident on visibility into IoT devices of remote workers, 91% believe their organisation’s approach to IoT security needs improvement

Palo Alto Networks, the global cybersecurity leader, today released their second annual The Connected Enterprise: Internet of Things (IoT) Security Report 2021, research conducted by global technology market research firm Vanson Bourne, which shows that 86% of Middle East IT leaders (global average: 81%) have agreed that the shift to remote working during the pandemic has led to an increased risk and vulnerability from unsecured IoT devices on their organisation’s business networks.

While 93% of Middle East IT decision makers (global average: 85%) have enough visibility into IoT devices of their remote workers that connect to the corporate network, the report shows that 91% of Middle East IT Leaders believe their organisation’s approach to IoT security requires improvement. Although 100% of the respondents surveyed in the Middle East have a specific IoT security strategy in place, many difficult-to-secure personal IoT devices are increasingly being connected to corporate networks by remote workers, creating new opportunities for hackers to infiltrate organisations to launch ransomware attacks, steal data and launch crypto jacking operations. Security incidents are defined as an event that may indicate an attack on an organisation’s network.

COVID-19 has impacted organisations greatly, and 91% of Middle East IT organisations have seen a rise in the number of connected devices on their organisation’s network in the past year, including devices such as baby monitors, pet feeders and gym equipment leaving organisations vulnerable to attacks. Top devices that Middle East IT leaders have spotted within their networks are connected pet devices (37%), kitchen devices (36%) and sports equipment (35%).

Haider Pasha, Senior Director and Chief Security Officer at Palo Alto Networks, Middle East and Africa (MEA) said: “As work-from-home models are being normalised amongst many organisations in the Middle East, it is important for security teams to have visibility into all of the IoT devices being connected on corporate networks. Organisations in the Middle East have great confidence in their visibility of the IoT devices connecting to their network totaling up to 82%, which is a big jump from last year’s 72%.”

“During the pandemic, organisations were forced to rapidly scale their remote work infrastructure to ensure business continuity. With employees working from home, having the right cybersecurity strategy in place became critical. According to our research, all the Middle East IT leaders who were surveyed have a specific IoT strategy in place, to help them manage their networks more efficiently. Pasha added. “It is crucial for organisations to follow IoT security best practices at all times, these include: having real-time visibility of devices on a network, monitoring them continuously to identify abnormal behaviour and segmenting IT and IoT devices on separate networks. Additionally, enterprises need to ensure that they are promoting cybersecurity awareness and educating their employees on security best practices on an ongoing basis, in order to maximise impact and minimise the chance for cyberattacks to take place, in both professional and/or personal environments”.

Key data of the second annual IoT survey in the Middle East (UAE & Saudi Arabia)

  • 86% of Middle East IT Leaders Agree Remote Working Has Led to an Increased Risk from Unsecured Devices on their Organisation’s Network
  • 93% of Middle East decision makers have enough visibility into IoT devices of their remote workers that connect to the corporate network
  • 91% of Middle East IT Leaders believe their organisation’s approach to IoT security requires improvement
  • 100% of the respondents surveyed in the Middle East have a specific IoT security strategy in place
  • 91% of Middle East IT organisations have seen a rise in the number of connected devices on their organisation’s network in the past year

7 Efficient Tips to Maximize Automated Product Inspection

Product integrity is a real issue for manufacturers and consumers alike. Companies heavily invest in equipment and technology to aid in fast production. However, the speed at which the products are produced, packaged, and labeled leaves room for possible defects. One unidentified defect in the production chain may affect both the brand and the consumer.

Manufacturers are now focused on product inspection to help identify and correct any defect before it goes further into the production line. But still, the fast nature of production means manual inspection isn’t the best way to conduct an inspection. Therefore, many manufacturers have resorted to using automatic inspection systems.

Using an automated system offers several advantages such as higher accuracy, higher speed, lower costs, and consumer protection. However, achieving these benefits doesn’t come automatically once you purchase an inspection system. There are a few crucial practices that you’ll need to do to get the best out of it. Here are some tips that will help you maximize automated product inspection: 

1. Choose a Reliable Vendor

Once you decide to automate your inspection system, ensure that you’re working with a reliable vendor. If you’re purchasing an inspection system such as TDI Packsys food metal detector or an X-ray inspection system, it should be from a provider who prioritizes quality inspection. 

One way to choose a good vendor is by searching online and reviewing their profiles to see if they match what you need. You can also ask for referrals from people who have purchased inspections systems before.

2. Create an Inspection Baseline 

Your inspection system team should have a baseline to work with. The baseline will help them know what’s acceptable and what isn’t, and what counts as a correct label and a defect label. This will help them know what products can move to the next level and what needs to be corrected first. 

If you have a customizable inspection system, then you can fit it with an inspection baseline. Every product that passes the baseline will be moved to the next level, and those that fall short will be flagged. 

3. Train Operators 

While the inspection process can be repetitive and operators can master the basics, it’s still possible to forget the principle. Additionally, there can be cases where you change your inspection system when pursuing higher quality or if you have to be compliant with new standards.  Your operators should then adjust to suit the new requirements.

Therefore, you should train them every time you change the system. Test them with a series of principles you expect to see from the new automation system.  

4. Control Material Movements 

Your automated quality systems should have interlocks enacted to prevent the movement of products until the necessary actions are taken or inspection is passed. In some inspections systems, a contaminant can be identified, but it may still go to the next stage because of the fast process and the number of products. 

Your automation system should be able to identify the products that have defects and remove them from the production line. If a product passes one stage and develops a defect before the next stage, it should also be flagged and removed. This will maximize the efficiency of the inspection as no defect will be missed at any stage. 

5. Monitor and Redesign 

Over time, your system may develop calibration problems and defects, and it may flag products that are okay. It could also fail to identify defective products and let them move to the next stage. Such misses could mean you spend more resources correcting products with no problem or releasing defective products to your consumers.

Because this is a concern for your finances and reputation, always inspect flagged products for any misses. If you notice any misses, test the system using predetermined products that have contaminants and those that don’t. This will enable you to identify where the problem is, so you can redesign, recalibrate, or change the system entirely. 

6. Use Data-Driven Inspection 

Machines become better in decision-making as more data is fed into them. The same is true for inspection systems. More data about products records, previous defects, and other anomalies will help your system learn to perform more quality checks on products. Machine learning will efficiently help the inspection system detect anomalies, parts, quality, and quantity as they are exposed to more products. 

Ensure that the system records data every time it carries out an inspection. Over time, the system will use the data collected to improve inspections with limited human intervention. 

7. Proper Instrumentation 

Sometimes manufacturers can lack the proper instrumentation to achieve the level of accuracy that they desire. For example, only inspecting the finished products means missing substandard components that have entered the production line through the raw materials. 

Therefore, manufacturers should have proper instruments at different stages of production. For instance, you may need an X-ray inspection to identify bugs or hair strands on the raw materials. A combination of different inspection instruments may achieve better results.

Conclusion 

An automated inspection system will achieve better efficiency than manual inspections. However, you’ll need to observe certain practices to get the best out of it and ensure your products only leave the factory after it passes all the required inspection standards. The tips discussed in this article are great ways to maximize automated product inspection.

Instrument Furniture – London

Best Bedroom Furniture Online Shop in the UK

Instrument furniture is a luxury bedroom furniture manufacturer that creates one-of-a-kind wardrobes and bedroom sets – with customer satisfaction guaranteed!

“With four consecutive Feefo Awards under our belt, we can proudly boast that we offer a premium customer service to complement our elite range of bedroom furniture”.

At Instrument furniture, we pair quality materials with innovative designs to create unique wardrobe solutions for contemporary homes. Our creations will add character and individuality to your living spaces while adding high-end touches of modern elegance to your rooms.

Embracing different tastes, we have divided our furniture ranges into two popular themes. Customers can enjoy modern minimalism, which incorporates form and lines, complete with clean geometrical designs, mirrors, and sleek surfaces. Or you can choose from our urban and industrial collection, which features reclaimed materials, distressed wood, and vintage-inspired pieces.

We also pride ourselves on providing a reliable, trustworthy service.

In 2018 and 2019, we received the Gold Trusted FEEFO Service Award. In 2020 and 2021 we strived to excel, and we took home the PLATINUM Trusted Service Award for BOTH years – for constantly delivering nothing less than excellence.

You read right – We are 4 x FEEFO Service Award Winners!

We’re delighted with this badge of honour, which proves that our customers trust us.

Our model has been developed to not disappoint. We want our customers to revel in our products and service from the point of browsing our ranges through to delivery and assembly. Our online store has been structured for user-friendly navigation with safe purchase options. Our customer service team is available from start to finish to provide advice and assistance. We even offer an exclusive service where we deliver and assemble furniture using our own in-house team.

If you are looking for an award-winning bedroom furniture supplier with EXCELLENT COMMUNICATION and an outstanding record for delivering modern and luxury home storage solutions – choose Instrument furniture! 

7 Business Benefits of Hiring Managed IT Services

Besides accounting, one of the most outsourced jobs is managed information technology (IT) services. And for a good reason. Hiring managed IT services involves hiring third-party specialists to take charge of a business’ needs. As such, entities can focus on running their business without worrying about IT downtimes or a significant cyberattack. 

If you’re on the fence about getting one, here’s a curated list of benefits a business is entitled to when hiring managed IT services:

1. Minimizes Business Disruptions  

All businesses, whether large companies or small entities, experience IT downtimes. While reasons vary, it can both be an internal or external hardware and software problem. However, the fact remains that any business disruption will impact the brand. 

IT outages cause product-making and service interruptions, taking a toll on your online and in-person sales or payment facilities. Furthermore, having frequent downtimes can lead to reliability issues and clients’ distrust of your business—no matter what type of business you operate and wherever you may be in the world.

For instance, if you’re in Canada, a Toronto-managed IT service from Buchanan Technologies will be on top of your IT needs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Similar IT firms will also make sure your systems are up-to-date, making them more resilient to online attacks. And, in the event of a significant disaster or massive system failure, a managed IT service takes a proactive approach to protect all your business assets and minimize downtimes.  

2. Cost-Effective 

Hiring managed IT services entail costs, but one that, in most cases, is cheaper than maintaining an in-house IT team. Before signing a contract, an IT service provider will send you a quote for various services included in a specific service package. 

Compare these costs with what your business needs to spend for the same period on monthly salaries, overtime pay, paid time offs, office spaces, computer equipment, training, and other legally mandated employee benefits, and you’ll be surprised to find the difference. 

Your business will have predictable spending with managed services, unlike hiring IT firms on a break-fix basis. When opting for the latter, you may think that you’ll save on costs. But considering that you’re only hiring experts when something happens, your organization may not have the type of online and data management protection it direly needs. 

Since you know how much you’re going to spend monthly, you can align your budget better—and use it for essential activities, such as product research and development. This means you can have extra money to spend on other essential things.    

3. Proactive Defense Against Cyber Threats

In a highly competitive business environment, enterprises must use technology to survive and thrive. Cyberattacks happen several times daily. Hackers have become more sophisticated and are less picky when it comes to their victims. That’s why businesses must take a proactive approach to prevent cyber threats from infiltrating their systems and inflicting costly damages. 

With a managed service provider, your business will have the protection it needs through preventive maintenance methods, robust data protection, software, and security updates. Managed IT services also train your organization on cyber security and help you develop a disaster recovery plan.          

4. Ensures Compliance to Regulations 

Various governments have acknowledged the role of digital technology in making business operations seamless. At the same time, regulations are in place to protect data privacy, safeguarding consumers against cyber hacking, unauthorized information use, and improper handling. 

Businesses have local and national laws requiring firms to have policies and proper tools to ensure these are upheld. If you don’t know these rules or don’t have someone who can help you comply with specific IT requirements, you’re exposing your business to a potential lawsuit and hefty penalties for non-compliance

Hiring a managed IT service ensures that your business is compliant with government regulations. Doing so can improve your brand’s reputation on the market, as consumers choose to transact with you over other companies with less IT protection. 

5. Access to IT Experts

If you’re not IT-savvy yourself or can’t afford to pay an IT expert’s standard salary rate, it’ll be challenging to hire a staff to take care of your business needs. Simply put, you won’t have access to an IT expert if you can’t afford one. 

On the other hand, an IT managed service provider has stringent rules in screening and accepting its pool of experts. Additionally, they make sure that these professionals have updated training and certifications to tackle the latest and emerging trends in cyber security and then the IT field in general.     

Hiring a managed IT service means you’ll have access to these highly qualified professionals even if you run a small business. This allows you to enjoy the services of experts that typically only large corporations can afford to hire.     

6. Time-Saving 

In addition to saving money, hiring a managed service provider can save a business venture time by taking over IT activities that otherwise take several working hours to complete. Creating a cyber security and risk awareness training or program, for instance, takes careful planning. So does the drafting of a disaster recovery plan. With the help of these services providers, businesses can be more confident of their capacities to perform them or outsource the work to an IT firm.   

When something goes wrong, organizations don’t need to wait long to have the issue addressed. A representative will be online to respond to your concerns quickly. Besides, service provider representatives are available all the time, unlike your in-house staff, who may not like to be bothered during non-working hours.  

7. Focus on Your Business

Instead of spending your time calling and waiting for an IT service to fix system errors or wondering which topics your cyber security training must contain, you can delegate all these tasks to your managed service provider.

Not having to worry about vital IT activities, you and your colleagues will have more time thinking about your next big product launch. Without worrying too much about whether you have enough tools to protect your business from cybercriminals, you’ll have more time thinking about how to improve your business processes or manufacturing workflows.

Final Thoughts 

Boosting your business’ cybersecurity requires professional help—one that either an in-house IT staff or a managed IT services provider can provide. These IT professionals know the most efficient strategies and software to defend your business from digital risks.

An IT managed services provider can help ensure that your business’s network, systems, and data are protected from potential cyberattacks. These professionals are your first line of defense against costly damages such as potential lawsuits and hefty non-compliance fees.

How Does Nature Impact Children’s Well-Being?

How often do you see joyful children playing outside with their peers, swept up in the excitement and jubilantly singing alongside the chirping birds? Unfortunately, that seems to be a less common scene these days. The never-ending games of hide and seek have been replaced by multi-player sessions of Animal Crossing.

Console games provide a variety of mind-stimulating opportunities. But they fail to address the overall well-being of developing children. Thankfully, time spent in nature can counteract the effects of technology and closed-up spaces and make a positive impact on children’s wellness.

Today, parents want to create a healthy outlet for their children, and nature seems to tick all the boxes. From improvements in mental focus to reductions in aggression and stress, nature might well be the next ‘quick fix’ but with a guaranteed long-term positive effect.

Let’s explore the range of benefits that come along with nature activities for children.

Intellectual benefits

Think of nature as a real-life encyclopaedia. It provides children with an interactive learning experience through stimulating all five senses. It’s the perfect accompaniment to indoor lessons, offering an immersive experience of their new knowledge.

Outdoor sessions are a swift way of piquing children’s curiosity and thirst for knowledge while elevating their well-being. Time in nature is proven to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills. This is because it stimulates children to enquire about their surroundings. In return, kids are likely to experience a boost in confidence and a desire to continue developing outside of the classroom.

A recent study by the Institute of Education at University College London (UCL), commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts, evaluates the impact of nature on children. Through a range of outdoor activities performed by over 450 primary school children, such as identifying plants and trees, they observed an increase in the children’s well-being both in the short and long-term.

The children also gained intellectual benefits which span across their wider personal and social abilities:

🌳 90% of children felt they learned something new about the natural world.

🌳 79% felt that their experience could help their school work.

🌳 After their activities, 84% of children felt that they were capable of doing new things.

🌳 79% of children reported feeling more confident in themselves.

Emotional benefits

The fact that nature on its own can reduce ADHD and anxiety symptoms speaks greatly about its immense ability to improve mental health and emotional well-being in children.

A recent study compared the aftereffects of 49 activities conducted in green outdoor settings versus those in indoor setting on children’s ADHD symptoms. It was concluded that green outdoor activities reduced symptoms significantly more than those conducted in other environments. This is true even when activities were matched across settings.

The emotional benefits of outdoor activities affect children of all ages and mental states. The change of scenery that nature provides offers a break in the usual routine, as well as a calmer state of mind. This can be a great learning stimulant and can also open a child’s mind to new perspectives on their lessons.

Social benefits

Outdoor activities are a great way for children to interact with their peers outside of the classroom and learn new social skills. Play dates for both younger and older children give them the chance to collaborate, use their imagination, and have fun with their friends.

A group environment teaches children valuable social skills, which include active listening, sharing, creating and following rules, and showing empathy towards a group member who is sad or hurt.

79% of the kids who participated in The Wildlife Trusts study reported better relationships with their classmates after engaging in group outdoor activities.

Physical benefits

As we already mentioned, the health benefits of spending time in nature are immense. When combined with group or individual activities, children have the chance to effortlessly build stronger muscles and bones and exert energy. This results in an overall improvement in health.

We all know that things can get quite messy, especially when children are still little and excited about their surroundings, no matter the weather. That’s why stocking up on essentials for all weather conditions, including wellies, a baby puddle suit, hats, gloves, and winter coats, is a must.

Let’s not neglect the advantages of natural sunlight, which increases a child’s amount of vitamin D and boosts their immune system. Fresh air and an appreciation of the natural world are also massive bonuses.

We tend to take nature for granted, so we often fail to realise its many benefits on our well-being. With children still developing, it’s crucial to make efforts to promote outdoor activities. Then, we can watch the children of tomorrow flourish in wellness.   

Benefits of Getting Your Children Into Gardening

There are many reasons why you should encourage your kids to pick up gardening. It makes for fantastic entertainment, it will become a hobby your children will nurture for the rest of their lives, and it refines their palate. In fact, there will be no crocodile tears next time they are presented with carrots or broccoli at the dinner table!

Outdoor trips are great fun, but we also strongly believe that you can have a brilliant time in your own back garden. Here is a brief guide that explains why gardening is the perfect pastime for your little ones.

 

They will love it

Let’s face it – gardening can be mucky and very messy. As we know, children are more than happy to get covered in soil and mud. You may have to put the washing machine on straight afterwards, but it will be worth it.

From mixing their own compost and searching for bugs to planting vegetables and making mud pies, gardening keeps your kids busy and amused. They do not need specific tools either – with a big spoon in their hand, they can dig all day long.

A life-long hobby

Studies show that children who take up gardening tend to perform better at school. In fact, it is an activity that stimulates all five senses. They can see, smell, touch, and feel a wide variety of plants, and it enhances their motor skills too!

Moreover, it is a hobby that gets all the family involved. Whatever the weather or the season, you can join them in the garden as they put their kids’ wellies on. During the colder months, you may also want to encourage your children to build a DIY greenhouse or a den in which to keep their own-grown plants. This will also allow them to garden regardless of the weather.

A different lesson every day

There is nothing better than an activity that is both fun and educational. Gardening is an inexpensive hobby that will get your kids’ grey cells working, teaching them everything they need to know about nature and the environment.

By digging and playing with soil, while watching their plants and vegetables sprout, gardening will spark your children’s curiosity and creativity. Not only will seeding develop their patience and sense of responsibility, but it will also enhance their organisational competencies.

They will grow strong and healthy

Both a mind-body workout and playful activity, gardening is a brilliant way for your children to unwind and burn energy. By planting their own vegetables and watching them grow, your kids will also develop an interest in healthy eating. In fact, they will no longer hesitate in front of a plate of carrots or celery if it is their own ‘creation’.

They will appreciate natural food    

Not only will your children eat their veggies without having a tantrum, but they will also appreciate the importance of consuming natural food.

Do not worry if you do not have a garden. The good thing about growing greens is that you can do so from the comfort of your own kitchen, as herbs like basil, oregano, mint, and rosemary survive warmer indoor temperatures too. By putting the pots on your windowsill, your budding little gardeners will be able to check on them whenever they like.

Why not start with fast-sprouting seeds such as cress? This way, your kids will not have to wait too long before seeing the results of their hard efforts.

As you can see, gardening is a perfect activity for curious and energetic children. Both fun and healthy, it is a brilliant hobby for them to grow up with!      

8 Technology Solutions to Help Expand Your Business

Modern businesses must rely on various digital technologies to thrive and expand. From accounting, project management, and office communication to customer service and digital marketing, there are multiple solutions that can streamline and ultimately improve business efficiency.

If your business is looking at digital resources to boost internal processes further or enhance the delivery of products and services, consider the following technologies that help drive business growth:

1. Cybersecurity Tools and Services

Cyberattacks happen daily and to all types of entities, including small businesses. So if you think you’re immune to online hacking, think again. Cybercriminals have become more sophisticated in deploying malware, spyware, and ransomware. Organizations must keep up by hiring information technology (IT) experts wherever they may be in the world.

If you want to access one of the best IT service firms in the northeastern part of the United States, consider providers like this New York City IT consulting company to provide you with a vast array of solutions to expand your business.

2. Mobile Technologies

With billions of users worldwide, smartphones have become the most common portable device people use to access the internet. As such, you need to prioritize online presence to drive business growth. The more visible you are in the digital world, particularly on social media and similar online platforms, the higher the chances of your business getting noticed. So check whether your website is mobile-friendly and if it’s easy for customers to engage with your enterprise using their device.

Additionally, tapping mobile technologies can help develop employee productivity. Allowing your staff to work even outside the office allows for the improvement of workflow efficiency. Mobile technologies will enable them to access, view, and edit specific business data like reports and contracts, considerably reducing their downtime.

3. Cloud Storage Solutions

There are many reasons small businesses should use the cloud. But the changing landscape in the workplace, particularly the steady rise in remote working arrangements, is one of the major drivers.

Businesses no longer have to purchase costly servers and physical storage to access and store data and applications with cloud computing. Apart from being a cost-saving solution, using the cloud allows your business to store crucial business data safely and recover them even after a major cyberattack or natural disaster.

4. Collaboration and Project Management Apps

Businesses, no matter how small, rely on collaboration to ensure smooth operational processes. For instance, your sales team will depend on the marketing or communications team to provide input and materials to attract new customers or nurture leads. Additionally, your project manager needs to stay on top of field projects while performing office responsibilities.

Various collaboration and project management apps allow staff members and managers to experience seamless communication even when they’re not located in one place. With these apps, employees can share and edit documents and reports. Additionally, the team can communicate and overcome challenges or celebrate milestones, improving overall productivity and business outcomes.

5. Digital Marketing Tools

Complementing a mobile-friendly website and a robust digital presence are multiple digital marketing tools to boost your business. No matter how revolutionary your product or service may be, your business can still fail without proper marketing strategies.

Small businesses need to develop a strategic online marketing strategy to thrive in the digital age. Almost half of small businesses shut down within five years of existence due to financing issues, improper management, planning, and marketing problems. 

If you’ve started carrying out your marketing efforts, use data analytics to measure performance and find gaps in your strategies. For instance, consider including videos in your posts or using appropriate memes to increase user engagement if those appeal to your customers. Additionally, understand how to reach your target audience better by analyzing their behaviors and preferences so you’ll know how, when, and where to post. Digital marketing helps enterprises grow because it can facilitate customer retention, broaden one’s customer base, and eventually increase revenues.

6. Customer Relationship Management Technologies

Customer is king in any business. Without them, a company is left without their lifeblood. With that being said, customer service should be a priority for all enterprises. Businesses must have a clear understanding of their customers in order to provide the right services. Apart from using web analytics, organizations can conduct surveys and institute easy feedback mechanisms to improve customer relations.

All your customer touchpoints—from your website to your social media accounts—should provide a great customer experience, whether they have queries or concerns or want to schedule an appointment. Some customer service technologies allow your business to deploy bots to reply swiftly to customer concerns or help them with basic troubleshooting.

Customer relationship management (CRM) software technology allows you to identify leads, customize marketing pitches, provide faster responses, and promote better customer retention. This all-in-one customer service solution can help grow your business by providing valuable insights into attracting and keeping more clients.

7. Web-Based Payments

Apart from customer relationship management tools, another way to potentially reach a wider audience is to offer multiple web-based payment options. With diversified payment solutions, customers can make purchases on your website and any other e-commerce platform with only a few clicks.

Online payments continue to rise, partly due to the pandemic. With movement restrictions and store closures in effect for most of 2020, many individuals have resorted to online shopping. In 2018, the market was valued at USD$3,417.39 billion and is likely to grow to USD$7,640 billion by 2024, according to industry estimates. The market is expected to steadily increase alongside the continuous hike in global internet connectivity.

8. Technological Outsourcing 

Small businesses and startups consider outsourcing a smart move because of its time-saving and cost-effective benefits. Outsourcing, which uses third parties to perform non-core business activities, helps businesses save on resources, allowing entrepreneurs to focus on things that matter.

Owners can hand over several business activities to external firms that handle human resources, payroll, IT, digital marketing, and accounting. Of these services, IT outsourcing is perhaps the one activity that can save a business the most. By hiring third-party services, a company no longer needs to pay for the monthly salary of in-house IT professionals. They can also skip budgetary allocations for employee benefits, desk and office space, and the purchase of costly IT infrastructure such as servers, networks, and databases, among other IT tools. 

Apart from those services, a small business can hire virtual assistants to perform a wide range of tasks, from small and repetitive administrative tasks to heavy and specialized activities related to marketing, that take time to fulfill.

Outsourcing also saves owners and managers time, so they can focus on running and developing the business. In addition, companies can realign the money saved from costly services to either product and service improvements or marketing campaigns.

Final Thoughts 

Depending on your business needs and current situation, choosing one or several of the available technologies discussed above would help ensure that you’re on the right track to reach your goals. With numerous benefits such as streamlining operations, increasing productivity, and making campaigns more effective, technology allows you to experience unrestricted growth and development.

The Most Influential Business Women from Around the World

It wasn’t long ago that possibilities for women were severely restricted. Executive and managerial roles were reserved for men, whereas female employees could only aspire to second-class positions. However, with the advancement of gender equality, women are finally being offered the possibility to showcase their qualities as leaders and directors too.

This said, we have detailed a list of the world’s most influential businesswomen. Join us in the celebration of inspiring ladies that are sure to motivate future generations of bright female (and male) minds.

 

Mary Barra

Following in the footsteps of her father, a die-maker at General Motors for 39 years, Mary Barra grew up with a strong passion for cars and engineering. There is no hiding that, arguably, the automotive industry was always bound to be the perfect sector for her to thrive in.

Barra and GM’s journey together started in 1980, when the firm awarded her a fellowship to study at Stanford Business School. Once she graduated, she progressively worked her way up in the ranks and covered several different roles within the business. In 2013, she was chosen as GM’s Chief Executive Officer, becoming the first female CEO of a “Big Three” automaker. 

Fully invested in the science of climate change, Barra is striving to ensure that GM has only zero-emission vehicles on the market by 2035. What is more, she acts as an empowering source of inspiration for women, urging ladies to throw themselves at life-changing chances. Finally, she is a signatory of the OneTen coalition, which aspires to expand economic opportunity for those people who currently struggle to make their voices heard.

Gail Boudreaux

Gail Boudreaux’s academic career perfectly encapsulates the famous Latin saying “mens sana in corpore sano”, in that practising physical activity fosters one’s lucidity and mental wellbeing. While netting points and breaking records for her basketball college team Dartmouth Big Green, Boudreaux excelled as a student and graduated from Columbia University with high honours.

Mindful of the importance of team development, support and collaboration from her athlete days, Boudreaux understands how to lead a group of colleagues to achieve ambitious goals. Dedicated to improving people’s lives and to making US healthcare more accessible and affordable, she is in charge of American insurance firm Anthem since November 2017. Prior to this appointment, she was the CEO of UnitedHealthcare.

With numerous special mentions in both Forbes and Fortune’s lists of Most Powerful Women, she is undoubtedly a businesswoman that many look up to with respect and admiration.

Carol Tome

Similarly to Figaro, the renowned barber of Seville, Carol Tome is a true factotum. The American businesswoman started her career as a commercial lender at the United Bank of Denver and, following a long spell as Johns-Manville Corporation’s banking director, she served as the Chief Finance Officer for Home Depot from 1995 to 2019.

As if her CV was not impressive enough, Tome stepped out of retirement in June 2020 to take on the delicate role of CEO at United Parcel Service, a global and logistics services firm. She revealed that retired life on her farm was seriously boring, and she jumped at the opportunity of becoming UPS’s first female CEO – as well as the first woman president in this specific industry.

While focused on improving employee development, diversity and inclusion, and sustainability within the business, Tome’s charismatic leadership allowed UPS to efficiently distribute COVID-19 vaccines all over the world. 

Emma Walmsley

Born in Cumbria and raised in Kent, British businesswoman Emma Walmsley is a prominent figure in the pharmaceutical industry. She may have studied languages and classics at the University of Oxford, but she made a name for herself through marketing and managerial roles at L’Oréal in the UK, Europe, China, and the US.

In 2017, Walmsley replaced Sir Andrew Witty as CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, a well-known multinational pharma company. She originally joined GSK in 2010 and supervised the European consumer healthcare sector. As COVID-19 gradually had the world on the ropes by the early stages of 2020, Walmsley announced that her company would collaborate with global alliance Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), playing a significant role in finding a vaccine for the novel virus.

Julie Sweet

Another eclectic mind in the world of business is Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture in North America. Having joined the IT services and consulting firm in 2010 and having held various positions from secretary to general counsel, Sweet reached the company’s pinnacle in 2019.

The US-based businesswoman is also a member of the World Economic Forum Board of Trustees and is on the board of directors for the Business Roundtable, for which she chairs its Technology Committee. Moreover, Sweet strives to help young adults with disabilities who have just completed college to find meaningful jobs. Indeed, she serves on the board of trustees for the Marriott Foundation for “People with Disabilities – Bridges from School to Work”.

Not “only” that, but this inspiring and influential lady is a key component of the Center for Strategic & International Studies, an American think-tank that aims to aid decision-makers chart a course towards a better world. All things considered, it is no wonder Sweet was named No. 1 on Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women in Business” in 2020.

With the outstanding careers of these businesswomen in plain sight, it should be obvious to all that there is no place in this world for any form of gender discrimination. We hope that reading the achievements of these bright and successful women has both filled you with inspiration and motivated you to always give it your best shot.     

Extensive Cooperation between China and Japan in Digital Society and AI

Co-hosted by China International Publishing Group (CIPG) and Japanese non-profit think tank the Genron NPO, participants from both countries shared ideas and held in-depth dialogues on digital economy, artificial intelligence(AI), economic and trade cooperation, and cultural exchanges during the two-day forum.

At the sub-forum of the 17th Beijing-Tokyo Forum on October 26, both Chinese and Japanese experts held candid and in-depth discussions on the prospects of bilateral cooperation in digital society and AI, and reached consensus on relevant issues.

Sino-Japanese digital cooperation boasts great prospects

Xu Zhilong, editor-in-chief of the Science and Technology Daily said at the forum, “The development of digital economy is not merely the development of digital technologies or products, but to build an ecological system of digital economy.”

Tatsuo Yamasaki, distinguished professor of the International University of Health and Welfare expressed his hope that this platform could explore solutions to the issues concerned the community with a shared future for mankind, such as the care of the elderly in an aging society, AI enabling climate change monitoring, tracking carbon footprint through AI technology, reducing energy consumption, and integrating traditional energy with new technologies.

Pang Dazhi, vice president of NetEase believes that the young generation in China and Japan gets to know each other’s culture through digital products, such as animation, games, music and movies. “In fact, based on the same cultural heritage and highly complementary technology on game development, the two countries have broad space for cooperation in the field of digital culture and digital economy.”

Novel trends and scenarios of digital economy

Duan Dawei, Senior vice president at iFLYTEK Co.Ltd. said, there is great room for cooperation between China and Japan in the field of AI. “China and Japan face common challenges in education, medical care, care for elderly people and other areas. Thus, we can discuss how to offer better service to the public through AI technology.”

Taro Shimada, Senior VP of Toshiba corporation, said that the use of logistics data is vulnerable to natural disasters. “Both China and Japan are committed to improving the toughness of supply chain through sci-tech. Facing the shock of COVID-19, logistics data presents both opportunities and challenges. Common sense has been reached on the sharing of logistics data, promoting the use of logistics data to a new level.”

Jeff Shi, vice president of SenseTime, said AI can help solve the aging problem faced by both China and Japan, dealing with the practical challenge of productivity shortage. “AI can help solve the productivity shortfall. Meanwhile, AI itself is trying to improve productivity by reducing its reliance on data and humans.”

“Zero carbonisation” gains momentum through digital economy

AI helps develop new materials such as new catalysts, said Junichi Hasegawa, COO of Preferred Networks. “Photovoltaic, hydraulic and hydrogen energy are all commonly discussed energy sources, whereas they all belong to secondary energy sources. Therefore, carbon emissions are unavoidable in the production of these new energies and how to reduce carbon emissions in producing these energy is an important issue.”

In addition, human society is inseparable from computers. How to reduce the power consumption of its data centers and develop new computers with higher efficiency and less emissions is also worth thinking about.

“Total global carbon emissions fell by a record 7 percent in 2020 from the previous year due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Liu Song, vice president of Pingkai Xingchen (Beijing) Technology Co.Ltd., “However, economic activities did not suspend, the reason is the vigorous development of Internet economy.”

Liu said that online activities can significantly reduce carbon emissions while ensuring normal economic development. We may seek new path on energy conservation and emission reduction through the use, transmission and storage of data in the future.

Data protection and security are focused

Hiromi Yamaoka, board member of Future corporation, said that developing AI needs to address concerns on privacy collection. “The application of AI requires the collection of high-quality data, which involves the aspects of data governance, privacy protection and other issues. In the process of developing AI, the concerns should be tackled. In addition, when it comes to cross-border data flows, countries around the world should reach a consensus to ensure the security of data flow,”said he.

Liu also shared idea on this topic, saying that the boundaries of national security and personal privacy need to be clearly defined. China has paid attention to the dialectical relationship between development and security of data flow.

The Safest Way to Invest: A Guide for Generation Z

By Hamzah Almasyabi, CEO at MintedTM, an investment platform which allows individuals to buy and sell precious metals.

The pandemic has caused financial concern for many, but particularly for the younger generation, who are now facing uncertain career prospects and the rising cost of living. With more than ever to consider financially, the need to save and invest for the future has become even more apparent. Taking financial security into their own hands, Generation Z have turned to modern technology to make smart investments.

Cryptocurrencies and app technologies are changing the way people manage their money, by offering a more accessible and modern route into investing. Research undertaken by precious metals savings app, Minted, found that 71% of 16–24-year-olds are investing their money, compared with only 35% of those over 55. When looking at the financial difficulties so many young people are currently facing, this statistic comes as no surprise. Up against a higher cost of housing and rising national insurance costs, Gen Z has been left with no option but to think tactically about their future, which has led many down the path and investment. The pandemic added to this need, prompting over 60% of 16–24-year-olds to start saving more and over half to start investing. With precious metals, stocks and shares, and cryptocurrencies amounting to almost 60% of total investments for this age group, it’s clear they are not afraid of exploring differing investment options.

Social media has also played a large part in the increasing number of young investors, with terms such as bitcoin and dogecoin regularly featuring on trending pages. Platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit are useful sources of information for younger investors looking to get started and there are a number of ‘how to’ guides readily available.

Gone are the days when a physical bank is needed to support investing habits and a rise in fintech companies has seen a number of smarter investing and banking solutions hit the market, app investing being one of them. Offering users low entry costs and starting amounts, young people can delve straight into building their investment portfolio using just their smartphone.

On a mission to offer a safe and convenient route into investing, Minted is encouraging more young people to invest their money where it matters. Investing should be a viable option for the everyday person, whether they’re looking to boost their bank account, or building an investment portfolio of precious metals and cryptocurrencies.

However, as with any form of investment, a certain amount of knowledge is crucial. Proper research and education into investment routes is vital to mitigate against any potential risks. Users must be aware of the ever-changing financial landscape and that markets can be volatile, which was evident when the value of bitcoin dropped approximately 15% after Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla would no longer be accepting the currency as a form of payment back in June.

Each investment has different levels of risk. For example, cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin can be considered particularly high risk, due to their volatility. Investments into more traditional stocks and shares, or precious metals, such as gold or silver, which hold their intrinsic value, could be considered the safer option. Ultimately no matter where the money is invested, proper research and understanding is still pivotal.  

Investors relying on modern technology, such as apps, should begin by undertaking thorough research into the platform of their choice. Users should ask themselves what they are looking for from their investments and what their long-term goals are. Is it to make money quickly, or invest slowly over time for a more gradual financial growth? Are they looking for a physical product, such as gold? Establishing these goals can help ensure that the investor is making smart financial decisions that will benefit them and which suit their situation.

Looking at the credibility of platforms is also crucial; users should research how established the company is and what has been written about them online. This will give users an idea of how reliable the platforms are and whether or not they are the right option for them. Being aware of any additional fees, details of the terms and conditions, and what exactly the app is offering, is essential in preventing any nasty shocks further down the line.

For young people taking their first steps in investment, starting slow and building up experience can be beneficial in the long-term. It is generally also good practice to spread risk by investing in different asset classes and industries. Setting up a range of smaller investments, rather than one large sum, ensures that users are better protected against substantial loss and able to build a wider investment portfolio. Being realistic around affordability is another key factor to consider, as this will prevent against any financial difficulty. Markets can change quickly, so not reacting rashly to a changing landscape is vital if a portfolio is to be managed effectively.

As investment apps and cryptocurrencies continue to rapidly diversify, no one can say for certain what is on the financial horizon. Whatever the future holds for investment, it is certain that the younger generations have a significant role to play in popularising new and developing platforms, as well as challenging the stereotypes of what people invest in, and more importantly, how.