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AI Global Media announces Mash as the Most Outstanding Online Payment Service Provider 2018

United Kingdom, 2018 – AI Global Media announces Mash as the Most Outstanding Online Payment Service Provider 2018 – Europe in the International Business Excellence 2018.

The International Business Excellence 2018 was launched to showcase the businesses that work hard to offer clients the very highest standards of service and support within their respected competitive industry. Mash remains one of only two companies in Europe that can offer pay later solutions in-store via point of sale and online.

Commenting on the award, James Hickson CEO of Mash said, “We are delighted to receive such a prestigious award.  This year, we have grown our payments business by over 1000% while continuing to achieve a class leading Net Promoter Score (consistently above 80%). Our commitment to wowing merchants and consumers with our pay later solution has been unwavering, this award reflects the dedication of our team as well as that of our partners.”

This award was judged purely on merit by our in-house teams with all potential winners assessed against multiple relevant criteria, including previous accolades won, company performance over a given period of time, influence within the industry, sector or region and client testimonials or recommendations.

To find out more about these prestigious awards, please visit www.aiglobalmedialtd.com

About AI Global Media

Since 2010 AI Global Media has been committed to creating engaging content that informs our readers and reaches our advertiser’s target markets.

James Hickson

James Hickson, CEO Mash

About MASH

Mash has been at the forefront of fintech innovation since 2007. Leveraging their advanced proprietary algorithms, machine learning capabilities and automated platform to deliver superior finance and payments solutions to thousands of customers every day, Mash work hard for a future powered by technology, making every transaction seamless, flexible and worry-free. For more information about Mash, please visit www.mash.com

Why IT Compliance Is Important For Your Business

Information technology (IT) compliance refers to the policies, procedures, and regulations that govern how you use technology in your business operations. These policies cover everything from information security to data privacy, which are critical components in ensuring your company can operate safely and efficiently.

Businesses must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a set of rules and guidelines that protect customers’ data. For instance, companies must obtain informed consent before collecting personal information, and they’re not allowed to store it for longer than necessary. Similarly, they must ensure it’s secure and notify individuals if a breach occurs.

When you stay compliant with regulatory guidelines relating to IT, your business stands to gain the following advantages:

1. Ensures Data Protection

Without proper security measures, it’s easy for sensitive information like financial records or customer details to get lost or stolen. An IT compliance audit can help you determine whether your employees are using their work devices appropriately. If they aren’t following policies on personal use of company devices, this can lead to security breaches and even data loss.

Give yourself peace of mind that you won’t lose confidential data that might damage your business operations by initiating an IT compliance audit. Go for the best tech & it support in Orange county, as they have already gained reputation of helping companies identify vulnerabilities before they become a problem. 

2. Boosts Customer Confidence

A secure IT infrastructure reduces risks related to data breaches and other cyber threats, so it helps increase customer trust in your business. It also builds brand loyalty among existing customers by providing them with a safe online experience when interacting with your company through websites and apps.

For instance, compliance with the GDPR gives users confidence that their data are protected and prevents them from being bombarded by spam or scam emails. This helps build trust in your company’s products and services, ultimately leading to increased sales.

3. Protects Business Assets

If you have been in business for a while, then a substantial amount of information is stored in your database. This includes business assets like customer records, payroll data, and employee information. The problem with keeping this kind of information is that if someone gets their hands on it, they can use it to their advantage. They might even use it against your company if you are not careful.

Through IT compliance, your company can protect these assets by making sure that only authorized personnel have access to them. You can also guarantee that they are kept safe from cyber criminals and other bad actors who might want to steal them or change them without your knowledge.

4. Limits Liability Exposure

In today’s world, many laws govern how businesses should operate, covering everything from privacy to discrimination among others. Suppose your company does not comply with these laws or follow them correctly. You could be held liable for any violations and damages resulting from them. This can cost your company thousands of dollars, if not millions, so staying up-to-date on all of these rules is necessary.

For example, if hackers get their hands on your customer list, they could call all of your customers, asking them to give their credit card information over the phone. This could be devastating for your business if it happens enough times that people stop ordering from you because they think something is wrong with your company. But with data compliance, you can ensure that no one ever gets access to this information and prevent such problems in the future.

5. Prevents Fraud

IT compliance can help your business prevent fraudulent activity. For example, if a computer system has been hacked, it could lead to fraud or theft of personal information. To prevent this, you must conduct IT compliance audits to ensure that all devices and software are secure and that employees understand how to protect themselves online.

If the database has sensitive data like social security numbers, credit card information, or personal medical history, then it might be used by identity thieves to gain access to bank accounts and other financial services. Another concern is that this type of information could be used to blackmail employees or company officials into doing something they would not normally do. This can lead to violating privacy laws and lawsuits against your company if anyone gets hurt.

Key Takeaway

In the business and IT field, compliance is a process that must be understood, implemented, and followed by every company all the time. Companies must be compliant with data and cybersecurity regulations to control their data correctly and protect themselves from unscrupulous cyber-attacks. If they do so, they can gain these five benefits that would save them from costly regulatory fines and customer loss.

5 Simple Ways to Wow Your High-Value Clients (and Keep Them for Years to Come)

With today’s business atmosphere becoming more and more competitive by the day, one thing is for a fact. Businesses that manage to go the extra mile to make a customer feel appreciated and extra special tend to come out on top. This is not to mention that acquiring new customers is actually much more expensive than retaining the existing ones.

And as much as you might not be able to wow every customer every time, focusing on providing the best experience to your high-value clients can go a long way in attracting their loyalty. Some of them could even become ambassadors for your brand in various capacities.

Without further ado, here are five simple ways to wow your high-value clients and probably keep them for years to come.

1. Exceed Their Expectations

More often than not, high-value clients will have high expectations from you and your business. If they order some products, you will want to ensure a seamless delivery process so they get their goods on time and in the best condition. If they paid for certain services, they’ll expect nothing short of superb quality and timely completion.

But such a customer is more likely to stick around if you go above and beyond in delivering your promises, better than they expected in terms of time and service quality. Nonetheless, always be honest and upfront with them. Be clear about what you can and cannot do.

2. Send a Gift When You Start Working Together

Corporate gifts are among the best ways to wow high-value clients and let them know how much you appreciate them as a client and as a person. A small, thoughtful gift such as a bouquet of flowers for business can go a long way in making your clients feel valued.

If you have the budget, you can also consider giving a more lavish gift, such as tickets to a show or a weekend getaway. Whatever you choose, be sure to put some thought into it and make it something your clients will appreciate.

3. Offer Them Exclusive Deals and Perks

Want another way to make them feel they are getting value for money? Especially on special seasons like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, go ahead and show your high-value clients just how special they are by offering exclusive deals and perks that they can’t get anywhere else. There’s a big chance you’ll keep them for many years to come.

4. Stay In Touch – Even When They’re Not Using Your Services

In today’s exceedingly social world, it’s essential to keep your high-value clients updated on what’s going on with your business. Keep them engaged through social media, email newsletters, and even courtesy calls every once in a while.

This gives you a chance to let them know you appreciate their business, even when they’re not using your services at the moment. On the same note, it’s good to make sure you are always available when they need you, and that you are quick to respond to their inquiries.

5. Build a Personal Relationship with Them

Last but not least, it pays to get to know your top-tier clients on a personal level and show them that you care about them as a person, not just as a client. According to digital growth strategy specialist Matt Bertram, relationship building is instrumental in fostering brand loyalty and increasing customer retention. Establishing healthy customer relationships can help boost sales, referrals, and brand image, all of which are instrumental to the growth of any business.

As a business owner, you know that your high-value clients are the key to your success. By appreciating them often, keeping in touch, providing unique deals, and building personal relationships with them, you can wow them enough to retain them for many years to come.

What is Visual Content Marketing and How Can it Help Your Small Business?

Visual content marketing is videos, photos, drawings, images and Infographics. It is content that you can quickly digest and interpret. So, it isn’t radio shows, podcasts, statistics, text, and so forth. The benefits of visual content marketing for small businesses is pretty obvious. Small businesses cannot afford to drive and draw a lot of attention. When they do get a little attention, they need content that is easy to quickly digest and interpret. Visual content marketing helps them do just that.

Video Content Through Digital Signs

Back in the old days, small businesses would put up posters on their premises and in their windows. This form of visual marketing is still popular, but digital signs are slowly taking over. This is because a digital signage content creator can offer a wide variety of content types in a single place. For example, a digital sign can show a tutorial, an advert, a demonstration, and it can show edutainment, which is where you educate your target audience about a product or service, but you do it in an entertaining way.

Branding Through Visual Appeal

We all know that a noticeable brand is good for business. That is why many of the larger brands seem to have the perfect logo. They understand the power of branding colors and logos. A small business can set up a brand and maybe even a mascot so that people recognize their business when they walk by or when they come in contact with that brand’s packaging, bags, delivery vans and so forth.

What About Calls to Action

In this day and age, the “Call to Action” is officially the most popular “Useless” marketing tool on the planet. The data suggesting that it works is so skewed that only big brands have the capacity to see through the insights and understand that calls to action do not work. All they do is punctuate when the end of the advert has occurred, at which point the user can decide if they wish to buy or not. Instead of using calls to action, you can use your visual marketing to punctuate the end of your adverts.

Luckily, a video can do this by simply ending with a flourish or a clear and defined black screen prior to the next advert coming on. Even YouTube understands this, which is why there is always an annoying gap between their adverts. Even the timer on the bottom of the advert button serves as a way of little people know when the advert is over. Don’t feel that you have to add calls to action to your visual marketing but do find a way of punctuating the end of your advert so people are prompted into finalizing their decision to buy.

Test and Contrast Using Social Media

Marketers are always going to tell you to focus on social media simply because social media offers very easy answers. Instead of focusing on social media, focus on testing and contrasting between social media and real life. Create a video advert and put it on your social media profiles and on your digital signs and see how each one does.

Remember that social media engagement doesn’t mean success. Remember that success is all about how many conversions you make (how many sales, subscriptions, etc.). With that in mind, find a way to monitor your conversions both online and offline. You may be surprised at how well some of your offline adverts do when compared with online adverts.

Also, when you create offline adverts for your digital signs and such, try to include footage of your store. People are so used to seeing things online that they feel a weird disconnect when your digital signs show adverts that also feature scenes from inside your store or business. It is quite attention grabbing. Take a look at the digital signs in hotels, when they show you the dining hall, the rooms and the reception area that you are probably stood in while watching. It is attention grabbing in a weirdly unexplainable way (at least that is how it feels for Millennials who grew up with the Internet).

Wastewater Problems Around the House: 6 Possible Solutions

Posted on 29th November 2022

We all know that water is a precious resource, yet many people take it for granted. They don’t think that every time they flush the toilet or run the dishwasher, gallons of clean water go right down the drain. And they certainly don’t think that people in some parts of the world are going without safe drinking water because of wastewater problems.

But what can we do about it? We can start by being more mindful of our water usage and finding ways to conserve water around the house. Here are six possible solutions to wastewater problems around the house.

1. Invest in a Septic Tank Pump Out

Septic tanks are a necessary evil for many homeowners – they may not be pretty to look at or smell great, but they are essential to managing wastewater from your home. However, one significant advantage of a septic tank pump out is that you can help reduce the amount of wastewater in your home. That means less water is wasted and fewer pollutants are released into our environment.

If you have a septic tank at home, consider using regular pump-outs to keep it working correctly. Pumping out your septic tank regularly will help keep it functioning efficiently and prevent overflows of wastewater and seepage into your yard. So if you’re looking for a way to make a big impact on the environment, consider investing in regular septic tank pump-out services.

How often you need to have your septic tank pumped out depends on the size of the tank, how many people live in your house, and how much water you use. A good rule of thumb is to get it pumped every 2-3 years, but it’s best to check with a local septic company to get a more precise estimate.

2. Install Low-Flow Toilets and Faucets

It’s no secret that we all need to do our part to conserve water. Every little bit helps, and when it comes to saving water in the home, there are a lot of small things we can do to make a big difference. One of the easiest ways to save water is by installing low-flow toilets and faucets.

Low-flow toilets use less than half the amount of water as traditional toilets, and they work just as well. Many people find they work better than traditional toilets because they don’t require as much flushing power. Low-flow faucets use about one-third the amount of water as regular faucets so they can add up to big savings over time.

Installing low-flow toilets and faucets is an easy way to conserve water and help protect our environment. If every household installed just one low-flow toilet, it would save more than 2 billion gallons of water daily. So if you’re looking for an easy way to make a difference for the planet, installing low-flow fixtures is a great place to start.

3. Take Advantage of Natural Wastewater Treatment Methods

The average person in the United States uses about 80 gallons of water daily. A third is used for flushing toilets, and another is used for showers, baths, and washing dishes and clothes. That means the average person generates about 26 gallons of wastewater every day. For a family of four, that’s over 100 gallons per day. And that doesn’t even include the water used to irrigate lawns and gardens or wash cars.

That wastewater needs to go somewhere, and until recently, most people just flushed it down the drain and let the municipal treatment plant take care of it. But with municipalities struggling to keep up with increasing demand and stricter environmental regulations, more homeowners are looking for ways to treat their wastewater at home.

4. Use Graywater for Watering Your Garden

Water shortages are becoming increasingly common, even in areas with plenty of water. This is due to several factors, including climate change, growing populations, and drought. One way to combat this problem is by using greywater for watering your garden. Graywater is wastewater that has been used once already in the home- for example, wastewater from baths, showers, or washing machines.

There are several benefits to using greywater for watering your garden. First, it’s a free resource- you don’t have to pay anything to get or store it. Second, Graywater is a renewable resource- as long as we keep taking showers and doing laundry, there will be plenty of greywater available. Third, using greywater helps conserve water resources- every gallon of greywater you use instead of potable water saves between 500 and 1000 gallons annually. Finally, using greywater can help reduce your carbon footprint by reducing the energy needed to pump and treat freshwater supplies.

5. Recycle Rainwater Runoff from Rooftops

In addition to using greywater for your garden, you can recycle rainwater runoff from rooftops. This has several benefits, including reducing the amount of rainwater in storm drains or sewers, which often end up causing flooding and other problems.

Collecting and recycling rooftop runoff is pretty simple- all you need is a rain barrel or tank that can hold the water, a hose to connect it to your garden, and some way of diverting the runoff from your roof. You can either build your system or buy one pre-made, and many different styles are available to suit every budget and garden size.

So if you want to conserve water and help reduce the impact of climate change, consider recycling rainwater runoff from your roof. Not only will you be doing something good for the environment, but you’ll also be helping your garden thrive in the process.

6. Educate Yourself on Local and State Regulations Regarding Wastewater Treatment

To treat your wastewater at home, you must be aware of the local and state regulations regarding wastewater treatment and disposal. Some areas have specific rules about how wastewater must be treated before it is released into the environment, so it’s crucial to understand what those rules are for your area to avoid fines or other penalties.

In general, many localities require that you connect your wastewater treatment system to the municipal sewer lines. Other areas have specific requirements regarding the size and capacity of the treatment system, so it’s essential to do your research ahead of time and make sure you can install a system that meets all regulatory guidelines.

If we want to be good stewards of the environment, we must all take steps to reduce our water usage around the house and help treat wastewater more sustainably. By following these tips, you can help ensure that we all have access to a safe and plentiful supply of clean water.

7 Ways to Pick the Top Trendy Sneakers

It can take a lot of work to keep up with the latest trends in sneakers. With so many different brands and styles on the market, how can you be sure you’re picking the right pair? Many need to learn that there are a few simple tips that can help you pick the top trendy sneakers. Here are seven ways to make sure you’re getting the perfect pair.

1. Look for Quality

When buying a sneaker, it’s essential to consider its durability. Make sure you are getting a high-quality product, as this will ensure that your sneakers last a long time. Look for shoes made from durable materials such as leather or canvas, and check out the shoe’s stitching and construction to ensure that it’s well-crafted.

Additionally, it would be best to look at the shoe’s sole to ensure it provides good cushioning and traction. Sampling reviews online or asking people who have used the sneakers will help you understand how well the shoes hold up.

Besides, avoid being tricked by low prices. Generally, cheap shoes are low quality and will only last for a while. In the long run, spending more money on a good quality product is better.

2. Research the Latest Trends

There are different ways that you can keep up with the trends in sneakers. One way is to research by reading reviews and talking to friends familiar with fashion trends. Additionally, some websites provide insight into the newest releases from major brands.

It’s crucial to stay on top of trends so that you don’t end up with an outdated pair of sneakers. Besides, following the latest trends will help ensure that your shoes are fashionable. As you look for the latest sneaker releases, check out the colour and available design options. Remember that apart from the releases, the focus should be on your taste. This is because the sneaker you pick should fit your personality and style.

3. Choose comfortable shoes

No matter how fashionable a sneaker is, it won’t be worth it if it’s uncomfortable to wear. To make sure that you pick the right pair, try on several different types of sneakers to find the one that fits your feet best. The shoe should fit snugly and provide adequate support, and it shouldn’t cause any discomfort when you wear it for long periods.

It’s also important to consider the weight of the shoe, as this can make a big difference in how comfortable it is to wear. Generally, lightweight shoes are more comfortable than heavier ones and are easier to move around.

4. Consider Your Lifestyle

When choosing a sneaker, it’s essential to consider how you plan to use it. If you like playing sports or going on hikes, you should look for sneakers explicitly designed for those activities. On the other hand, if you want casual shoes for everyday wear, you should focus more on style and comfort than performance.

It’s also essential to think about where you plan to wear the shoes. If you plan to wear them in colder climates, look for winter-ready sneakers with insulated materials and good traction. If you live in a warmer climate, look for breathable sneakers made from lighter materials.

5. Choose the Right Color

When it comes to fashion, colour is everything. Choosing the right colours can make or break your outfit, so it’s essential to take the time to pick the right shades for your sneakers. Think about what colours go well with the clothing that you usually wear, and don’t be afraid to experiment with vibrant or unusual shades.

If you need help deciding on a color, look at trends in fashion magazines or online. This will give you an idea of what colours are in style and how to incorporate them into your wardrobe.

6. Laces Vs. No Laces

Sneakers come in various styles, and one of the biggest decisions you have to make is whether or not to go with laces. Laced sneakers add style and flare to your look, but they can also be inconvenient if you don’t like having to tie them up every time you put on the shoes.

If you want a more convenient option, you can opt for slip-on sneakers or shoes with elastic bands that make it easy to take them on and off. These shoes may not have the same aesthetic appeal as laced ones, but they are still fashionable and much easier to use.

7. Think of Your Wardrobe

Shoes ought to complement the other items in your wardrobe. To make sure you pick the right sneaker, consider what clothes you usually wear. If you usually dress up or have a lot of formal wear in your closet, look for more sophisticated and stylish sneakers.

On the other hand, if you tend to dress casually every day, you can go for more colourful and fun styles. Remember that sneakers can be different from your clothes, but they should look good when paired with them.

When choosing the top trendy sneakers, there are several factors to consider. Make sure you take the time to find a high-quality product that’s comfortable, fits your lifestyle, and is available in the right colours. Also, consider whether laces are essential for your style preferences. With these tips, you’ll be sure to find the perfect pair of trendy sneakers.

A Retrospective And Prospective Analysis Of The Medical Equipment Market

Medical equipment and technology are vital in managing patients’ healthcare daily. Without these tools, medical professionals like nurses and doctors will find it very difficult to diagnose and treat their patients as it encompasses everything from tongue depressors to complicated machinery.

Many resources have debated over how to accurately depict the medical equipment market, with some expecting it to develop far faster than others. However, the one thing that all the sources agree on is that there is no chance of the market slowing down its growth any time soon.

For someone to understand this ever-growing market more, an evaluation of the retrospective and prospective analysis would be an excellent place to start:

The Retrospective Analysis And Insights

Looking back at everything that has happened in the field of medicine in recent years, it becomes clear that medical professionals have identified more needs from their patients than their current equipment and techniques could handle.

In part, analysts attribute the growth to the increased need for diagnosing patients with chronic conditions and the need for patients to do in-home-based care for themselves. Another factor that came into play was the need to remotely assist patients and minimise patient contact through robotics and artificial intelligence technology.

With that said, scientists have spent hours upon hours furthering studies on improving patient diagnosis and care. Although patients don’t always realise how much work goes into making these improvements towards the medical equipment industry, it remains one of the fastest-growing sectors of business.

Countries that experience great hardships during medical emergencies discovered that they would need to add more equipment and technology to their medical units to keep up with the demand. It thus caused a sharp and sudden increase in the market, as noted by online wholesale vendors such as CIA Medical, among others.

According to research published by the platform Statista, the fastest-growing section of medical technology includes in-vitro diagnostics at 13% growth in 2017, closely followed by cardiac care at 11.6% for the same period. Furthermore, when all the various sections of this report are evaluated, most will show an overall improvement in sales.

The Prospective Analysis And Insights

Future predictions for growth among the various sectors of the medical equipment market look rosy for all the manufacturers in the industry. Although different factors could influence how consumers buy medical goods, there is no indication of any adverse effects on the prospective outcome and numbers.

In the U.S.A., for example, the budget for research and development in the coming years has increased to over USD$30 billion, setting the stage for significant improvements in medical equipment they will use in the future. Additionally, other countries will soon follow suit as technology opens new doors and the FDA approves more medical devices for use.

One of the countries that recorded a steep increase in their medical equipment market is the Pacific Asia region, which is on the heels of their American counterparts. Collaborations between governments have also made it possible to fuel the ever-increasing market growth statistics.

Another huge driver for the market is the competition between the various manufacturers to develop new technology in the medical equipment market. Experts from all these companies constantly evaluate opportunities, challenges, driving forces, and other hurdles the business and its opposition may face. By anticipating these, they can ensure a steady increase in their own sales and development while being aware of the trends in the market and the movements of their competition.

Even with many countries worldwide spending a fair amount on purchasing or developing new equipment, it is no secret that the more advanced economies will account for a more significant part of the growth in the market in the coming years. With more financial backing, these countries can afford to hire more professionals and have a sizeable budget for these development teams.

In terms of the stock market sectors, the healthcare industry has seen the most growth among all sections, as reported by U.S. News. They also mention the impact that the aging population has on the rate at which this sector is expanding, saying that a great deal of the future focus will be on improving and maintaining the health of the senior population.

Bringing The Views Together

Economists who analyze present and past indicators for growth will agree that the medical equipment market is set to blow all other sectors out of the water. As there will always be an increasing number of patients needing care, this market won’t show decreasing numbers according to most predictions.

A steady growth rate in the past with spurts of development during crises has solidified the industry as being top of the priority list for most countries. Whether these countries have considerable financial backing for their research and development teams, they will continue collaborations with other scientists from around the world to keep their focus on improving diagnostics and treatment options for patients.

The Importance of Reducing Your Business’ Energy Consumption

Reducing costs is one of the main goals of companies looking to increase their levels of profit. This means that keeping spending as low as possible in areas such as energy consumption is a must. There are several reasons that reducing energy consumption is a must, and several steps to take when reducing these costs.

When you’re running a small to medium enterprise, keeping your overheads at a reasonable level is a must. After all, profit margins can be razor thin as things are, with rising costs of gas and electricity causing a further dent in your bottom line. Find out more about the importance of cutting your energy consumption and some tips for reducing the amount of power that your business uses.

Why is cutting consumption important?

There are plenty of benefits to cutting energy consumption in a business. The first of these is the rising cost of energy in modern society. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt stated that “it is a national mission to make sure that we can’t be blackmailed” by international powers and energy suppliers on energy prices. In an international energy market companies lack control over prices, which means that the only way to cut down on your spending is to cut down on the amount that you use.

The other benefit of cutting consumption is to help the environment around us. Whilst the amount of renewable and nuclear energy we use is increasing, there is still something of a reliance on fossil fuels. Cutting down on energy consumption as much as possible is a must whilst energy generation still has such a harmful impact on the world around us. In the future energy may be cheaper and emission-free, but that isn’t the case yet.

Tips for cutting consumption

Businesses have several steps they can take to cut down on their energy consumption. These include:

Turn devices off

There can be a temptation at the end of any workday to leave your devices on standby. However, as they sit and wait for the employee to come back to work, they continually drain power and add to energy bills. Think about implementing a company-wide policy of saving work at the end of the day and switching everything off. Whilst some servers and other infrastructure need to stay up, there’s no need for individual devices to keep uselessly using power on standby.

Use efficient devices

As a procurement officer in a business, look to use more efficient devices. According to an executive at Kingfisher, Thierry Garnier, there has been “a clear step-up in customer investment in energy saving and efficiency”. This includes people buying energy-efficient bulbs and lighting, in addition to more efficient white goods such as fridges. Think about energy consumption in every purchase your organisation makes, as this saves you money and energy in years to come.

Get a programmable thermostat

Some business premises use relatively old infrastructure, with manual heating or systems that rely on timers. Smart heating and thermostats are ideal for this. This means that you can use your heating only when it is necessary rather than based on a timer. Everyone in the office stays more comfortable with minimal effort, all whilst saving energy for the company and cutting down on bills for the business. This is both a quality of life increase and a significant energy saving.

Wardrobes, Beds, and Desks – How to Design a Childrens Room Well?

Posted on 29th November 2022

The right colour scheme for the children’s room

Until recently, children’s rooms were dominated by uniform and bright colours, such as pink, blue, or green. Currently, however, the focus is on much more subdued colours, which allow you to go a little more crazy with accessories, and are also conducive to the child while playing and learning. That is why interior designers recommend betting on minimalism – beige, white or grey, which can be broken with a colourful wallpaper and furniture with a distinct colour accent, such as pink wardrobe doors.

When choosing the colour of furniture for a children’s room, it is safest to choose classic, white furniture that will make the room very bright. However, this does not mean that there will be no other colours in the room! At https://www.dakohome.co.uk/ you will find wardrobes, shelves and other children’s furniture that combine white with interesting colours such as pink, blue, or green!

What kind of furniture for a children’s room?

Although this question seems trivial, in practice it can involve many difficult choices. A desk cannot be missing in a children’s room – even the youngest kids should have a space to draw, paint and read. A comfortable chair with a matching backrest is also necessary. Wardrobes are also an inseparable element of a children’s room. It is worth picking a model that has enough shelves and drawers to store both everyday clothes and those winter and elegant ones!

A properly fitted bed with a comfortable mattress is also significant. For small children’s rooms, bunk beds are recommended (which are suitable not only for two, but also for one child) – they take up less space and allow you to better manage the space in the room!

What accessories for a children’s room?

There can be no shortage of storage space in the children’s room. Wardrobes work well as a place for clothes, while toys can be stored in separate containers or boxes. In the middle of the room, it is worth putting a large and soft rug, which will serve as a play space. It is also worth remembering to install blinds or buy blackout curtains, thanks to which the child will be able to sleep long and peacefully!

Best Broadband Deals For Your Business to Reduce Your Bills

“No matter how small or large your business, it’s always important to focus on reducing costs. Identifying areas where you can cut costs and finding creative ways to save money can really help you maximize your profits.” – Mark Cuban, Owner of Dallas Mavericks

Margins in any small to medium enterprise (SME) are tight, as you invest your profits into high-quality products. Make savings on your utility bills and cut down on your overheads by finding the best broadband deals possible that keep your company running as efficiently as possible for the foreseeable future.

Broadband is one of the fundamental parts of any modern company. After all, your company uses its broadband for communicating with clients, transferring money and ordering in stock. Despite its importance, a broadband connection doesn’t have to be expensive. Find out more about what full fibre broadband deals are and how to get the best deals for your company in the future.

What are broadband deals?

Broadband deals refer to opportunities to cut down on the amount that you and your company spend on broadband connections over the course of a contract. This covers all kinds of broadband depending on your location, from old-style copper cable connections to full fibre broadband in modern areas with more recent upgrades. Finding a deal means successfully finding more value in your contract and getting the most you can out of your utility spending.

Tips for finding broadband deals

There are a few things that you can do to get a better deal for your broadband. The steps that you can take include:

Find a quality service

One of the more important parts of finding a broadband agreement that works for you is making sure that the provider works properly. Ofcom offers advice for businesses when looking for a broadband supplier. As a general rule, look for suppliers that have strong reviews in your area and a good reputation amongst other businesses. There’s no need to risk saving a couple of pounds by going to an unknown supplier, especially in the event that they don’t offer the service that you need in the long term.

Leverage the contract length

When you pick a broadband supplier, there tends to be a series of set contract lengths that the provider will offer you. This includes short-term deals such as twelve months, with some offering alternatives for long-term agreements such as 36 or 60 months. Use this to your advantage, as companies tend to charge less for long-term contracts. They benefit from getting a customer for an extended period of time and you benefit from saving a few more pounds on overheads every month.

Try to negotiate

When finding deals in any industry it’s ideal to shop around, and in the broadband space, you also have the capacity to try to negotiate your deal with a broadband provider. Different broadband providers work on the same infrastructure, so the best chance they have of attracting customers is by providing extra incentives. As an SME, try to use this to gain additional perks or cut the cost further, adding even more value to your deal. Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis, presents haggling or negotiating as his top tip for finding broadband deals and claims haggling has “helped people save £100s on their bills”. This applies to businesses as well, and is in fact more important when your small business starts to scale up and you relocate to offices larger than most houses with internet demands much more significant.

Take your time

Take as long as you need when choosing a business broadband provider. Use your time to gradually research all of the options available to you. This might feel like a task that you need to complete right here, right now, but it’s one that can do serious harm to your company’s prospects if you make a wrong decision. Consider getting a second opinion on your final decision too, since seeing what others think can add significantly to your chances of making the right choice.

Sellers Set to Benefit From Forex Effect

By John Foundling, corporate finance partner, Menzies LLP.

Business owners in the UK that have been looking to sell for some time – potentially since before the pandemic – could benefit from changes in foreign exchange rates that are enticing overseas buyers back to Britain’s shores. But are they ready to capitalise on any opportunities that come knocking?

For several months now, the strong dollar and weak pound have presented international trade buyers with a window of opportunity to acquire well-managed, UK-based businesses. The US Federal Reserve’s continuing hawkish approach and the somewhat muted response of the markets to the UK Government’s Autumn Statement both suggest that this won’t be changing any time soon. However, with interest rates on the rise and geopolitical tensions ongoing, UK businesses that are keen on pursuing a sale should consider going to market now.

An upturn in M&A activity certainly seems to be on the cards, with lenders, corporates and private equity firms all reporting strong liquidity, which means funding is available. The private equity (PE) firm, Advent International, recently told the Financial Times that it had asked portfolio companies to each come up with three acquisition ideas – an indication of how positive M&A sentiment has become. Elsewhere, venture capitalists have reported being bullish about 2023 and Venture Capital Trusts are reporting strong fund raising activity. Confirming growing interest in M&A activity, a recent survey by CMS Law found that 88% of senior level executives at corporates and PE firms in Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions, were considering M&A activity in Europe.

For UK-based SMEs considering a potential sale, it is important to prepare in good time to optimise their business valuation. Businesses with a strong position in a growing market are likely to achieve the best valuations, particularly if they can also demonstrate the resilience of their operating model and their ability to pass inflationary costs to customers.

A strong management team with a clear strategy is vital if seeking to attract interest from PE or  an international trade buyer. Having the right people in the right roles is essential, and building leadership teams comprising individuals with complementary backgrounds and skillsets can make a big difference. It is also important to have talented people tied into the business either through tax-efficient employee share schemes or other forms of reward and remuneration. A strong leadership team is expected, but increasingly buyers and PE  are looking for second-tier strength too.

In the current inflationary climate, with energy and fuel costs rising rapidly, many businesses are keeping a close eye on cashflow management. With costs changing on a weekly,  some businesses are finding it more challenging to keep track of operating margins. Businesses should look to remove as much uncertainty as possible by negotiating longer term energy supply contracts, for example.

Being ready should a buyer come knocking, is all about management having their finger on the pulse and knowing where they are on their strategic journey. This involves preparing robust and timely financial information, monitoring the key performance indicators and understanding past performance whilst staying focused on the future. A buyer’s due diligence process can be a demanding experience, so it makes sense for SMEs to be well prepared by maintaining comprehensive, up-to-date records and agreements, supporting the strategic direction of the business.

Finally, vendors may need to soften their approach to deal negotiations and be prepared for differences in opinion when it comes to price expectations. While favourable foreign exchange rates are an incentive for some overseas buyers, the global economic crisis is creating a climate of uncertainty for everyone and this will inevitably erode some market value.

For those that are ready  to go to market now, the strong cash position of corporates, investors and lenders could play into their hands and it is increasingly likely that they will attract the interest of an overseas buyer too.

Is Facebook Advertising the Right Choice for your Business?

No matter the industry in which your business operates, social media can act as an extremely powerful marketing tool, allowing you to expand your reach and connect with customers who may not have known about your brand otherwise. Currently, Facebook is one of the biggest social media sites that there is, providing the businesses that use its platform with a vast array of advertising options to take advantage of. Many businesses operating online will be able to yield great results through the use of such social media advertising alongside their other marketing campaigns, but is Facebook advertising the right choice for you and your company?

In the article below, we will discuss the benefits that advertising with Facebook can bring to your business, helping you to make the decision that best aligns with your business goals.

Reach A Wider Target Audience

Social media sites such as Facebook provide the businesses utilising their platforms with a great way to connect with their customer base and reach the users who may not have known about their brand otherwise. With over 2.6 billion individuals currently using Facebook, the social site is able to provide business worldwide with the opportunity to place the products and services that they offer in front of their target audience. No matter the industry in which you operate, Facebook will place your ads in front of the right people, allowing you to market your brand to a diverse and expansive user base.

Remarket your Products to Potential Customers

Remarketing provides a great advertising alternative for businesses that are still unsure as to whether marketing their products and services with Facebook’s platform is the best step for them. Remarketing is a more cost effective marketing option when compared to standard Facebook advertising options, working by targeting those users who have been seen to visit your website and show and interest In your brand in the past. This helps to keep your products and services in the minds of the customers who are most likely to complete a purchase, extending the sales funnel and helping to increase the likelihood that your site visitors return to make a sale at a later date.

Overall, there are a number of great benefits readily available to those who choose to use Facebook’s platform to market their brand to their target audience, allowing them to reach a wider customer base and boost their online visibility. If you decide that Facebook advertising is the right step for your business but find yourself unsure of where to start, what should you do?

There are a number of great online business courses made readily available for entrepreneurs worldwide, providing the vital information that they need in order to achieve their goals and reach success. With the help of a quality online Facebook Advertising Course, you could learn more about how to run your own ads across the Facebook social platform, helping you to showcase your brand and the services that you provide to an expanded target audience.

What Happens When a Limited Company Becomes Insolvent?

Business owners often await budget announcements with bated breath, especially amidst the economic turbulence of the last few years. And after months of political chaos and U-turns, the chancellor’s autumn statement finally provided some clarity, allowing businesses to plan for 2023.

That’s not to say it didn’t present serious challenges, however. With extended freezes on thresholds for income tax and national insurance, analysis suggests many small businesses will need to tweak their finances – altering the way entrepreneurs pay themselves – to avoid unnecessary insolvencies.

In short, insolvency occurs when a company can no longer afford to pay its debts. With recession
widely forecast
, its likely that insolvencies will increase, be it due to cash flow struggles or increased expenses. Seeking expert advice can be crucial for survival in such situations – though there are ways to test solvency in the first instance.

Testing for insolvency

The first method is a balance sheet test. This means balancing a company’s assets against its liabilities (debts). If the latter is greater than the former, a company is classed as balance sheet insolvent.

The second test focuses on cash flow and looks at whether a company has the funds to meet its obligations in full and on time. If not, then it’s classed as cash flow insolvent.

Below, we’ve highlighted three potential avenues for limited companies who fail either test and enter insolvency.

Liquidation

Liquidation is a formal insolvency process in which a liquidator sells a company’s assets and delivers proceeds to its lenders. After completion, the company is removed from the Companies House register, and directors are investigated for wrongful or fraudulent trading activity.

The two main types are compulsory and voluntary liquidation. The first is enacted by creditors, while the second, and more desirable, is enacted by the insolvent company’s directors.

Administrative receivership

In administrative receivership, a designated receiver – such as a licensed insolvency practitioner – takes control of the insolvent business. This receiver is selected by a secured creditor such as a bank.

The receiver takes on various duties relating to recovering the debt owed by the company. This may involve selling said assets, selling the company itself, or continuing trading, depending on what will deliver the maximum return to the lender. Unlike administration – covered below – saving
the company is only an afterthought.

Only lenders with a floating charge before 15thSeptember 2003 can put a company into administrative receivership, however.

Administration

A third option for an insolvent business is administration. This option can be enacted by court, certain creditors or the business itself.

The primary goal of administration is usually to rescue the insolvent business, though it may alternatively focus on achieving an optimal result for its creditors. Whatever the case, an administrator will take control of said company and its assets to guide the process.

Ultimately, the right option for any insolvent business will be unique to its prospects and objectives.

How to Run Successful Linked In Ad Campaigns

LinkedIn has established its presence in the professional world. The platform has over 750 million users globally. The purpose of LinkedIn is to serve as a professional network for business-minded people. In addition, many LinkedIn users are decision-makers in their companies. Consequently, LinkedIn is ideal for B2B marketing campaigns.

Because of the several features available on LinkedIn, it is easy to test locations and target demographics to obtain the best results. This article discusses LinkedIn paid advertising and how to set it up

#1 – Choose an Objective

Before running ads, you need to know why you want to run the ads. For example, do you want to increase site traffic or do you want to sell your good or service, or you want to increase brand awareness? LinkedIn offers several objectives for increasing conversions and awareness.

·      Lead generation objective

This objective uses lead generation forms on the platform. The forms have prefilled fields and multiple-choice questions. So, without leaving the platform, LinkedIn users can submit their information and be converted in a few clicks

·      Website conversion objective

This objective optimises for website actions you consider essential. For example, these actions could include downloading a whitepaper, completing a purchase, or starting a trial.

#2 – Choose Your Targeting Option

After setting an objective and choosing an ad format, you must choose your target audience. Your LinkedIn ads performance depends on the target audience. Fortunately, there are several ways to target an audience on LinkedIn, including  LinkedIn audience network, matched audiences, and demographic targeting.

·      Demographic targeting

LinkedIn demographic targeting is accurate because users provide up-to-date information due to the platform’s incentives. Consequently, your ads can reach a high-intent audience. With this feature, you can target your audience based on several demographics, including industry, job function, seniority, and skills

·      Matched audiences

You can target specific users with matched audiences beyond those that fit certain criteria. To use this feature, you must create audiences within LinkedIn or retarget website visitors. The audience could be a list of companies or email contacts

·      LinkedIn Audience Network

The LinkedIn Audience Network feature allows you to target users beyond the platform. With this feature, you can also target users from several partner websites and applications. Consequently, you can expand your audiences and increase spend.

#3 – Choose Ad Format

There are several LinkedIn ad formats depending on your chosen objective for your campaigns. Some of the most popular ad formats on LinkedIn include;

·      Single image ad

Single-image ads are on LinkedIn feeds for both desktop and mobile devices. These ads consist of one image, an introduction, a headline, a description (optional), and a call to action

·      Carousel image ad

Carousel ads are similar yet different from single ads. These ads consist of 2 to 10 images, an introduction, and a specific headline for each image. These ads are great for telling your brand’s story.

·      Message ad

Message ads are unique ads that show in the message inboxes of LinkedIn users. These ads contain a subject, footer, text, and call to action. In addition, these ad format has a personalised feel since they show up in the inbox appearing like a direct message from a LinkedIn user on behalf of a company

#4 – Set Up A Budget

All campaigns on LinkedIn need a budget, ensuring that you spend enough for the desired results and not overspend. You can set daily, lifetime, and campaign group budgets on the platform. Furthermore, it is essential to understand how you are charged for budget setting. LinkedIn charges you through objective-based pricing. Consequently, each objective and placement has a different setup cost.

·      Lifetime budget

A lifetime budget is the total campaign budget within a start and end date. With a lifetime budget, the platform will not exceed your overall budget, but there may be varying daily spends

·      Daily budget

You must set a daily budget at the campaign level and use a set or continuous schedule.

·      Campaign group budget

Campaign group budgets limit the campaign spend within a single group. Therefore, when setting up a daily budget, you can also use the group budget.

To wrap things Up,

Setting up LinkedIn paid advertising is not limited to the options discussed in this article. You still have to set a bidding strategy and optimise your ads for the best results. Setting up and optimising your ads properly can help you achieve your KPIs

How to Support Employees Who Are Handling Complex Projects and Large Budgets

How to Support Employees Who Are Handling Complex Projects and Large Budgets

Whether you’re managing an in-person or remote workforce, it can be hard to keep track of all your team’s projects. And if you’re struggling, just imagine how difficult it must be for your employees. To solve your problems, you’ll need to find a system that manages their workload.

How to Successfully Manage Multiple Projects

Good project management is necessary for any team tackling large, multi-faceted initiatives. To keep track of your progress, manage your budget, and support your staff, try the following.

1. Opt for One Dashboard for Complete Visibility

If you’re struggling with a lack of visibility across your projects, you’ll need to use a single dashboard to manage them all. Planning and managing your launches in one place lets you see how many projects you have, what items they include, and the status of your project roadmap.

2. Define Project Goals, Responsibilities, and Plans

You need to define project goals, make a plan, assign responsibilities, and set expectations if you want to do away with inconsistencies. Any project goal you set should help your team finish the project to your specifications, but don’t forget to pencil in time for feedback and approvals.

3. Prioritise Projects That Make the Most Impact

While it’s tempting to work on the smallest or easiest projects first, try to resist the temptation. It’s better if you prioritise projects based on their impact on your company goals. When you plan to delegate work, determine which project will lead to better customer retention and start there.

4. Provide Specialist Industry-Specific Software

Depending on your industry, a generic dashboard may not be enough. For example, commercial real estate teams should use real estate development software found on northspyre.com. With this tool, development teams can make more predictable outcomes on all of their projects.

5. Empower Your Team to be Flexible and Adaptable

Project scope, priorities, and deliverables can change at any time, but your team needs to keep track of them, so they can pivot and reassign work. Use a single communication channel (it can be the same tool as your project dashboard) to deliver information to your entire project team.

6. Set and Manage Your Expectations Clearly

Your team will become confused and disorganised when they’re expected to follow multiple managers who have misaligned expectations. Employers should use a tool that allows them to send real-time status and progress updates with a click, like work management software.

7. Balance Workloads and Timelines Across Projects

When you don’t know how much (or how little) someone has on their plate, you’ll cause an imbalance. You should know who’s doing what, who’s overbooked, and what’s causing project timeline conflicts. That way, you can quickly defer, remove, or re-delegate tasks instantly.

8. Adjust Project Schedules to Maximize Efficiency

Project start and end dates must be coordinated, or employees become overworked, and the project gets delayed. Team leads should stagger start dates for similar projects, look out for deliverables that are dependent on another task, and flag duplicate tasks (to consolidate them).

9. Delegate Appropriately Instead of Micromanaging

Micromanaging is ineffective, costly, and a waste of time. Instead of keeping a watchful eye on your staff, trust that they’ll finish projects on time. If you don’t trust them to hand in deliverables, consider retraining them, putting them on another project/task, or speaking to them privately.

10. Track and Safe Workflows Instead of Rebuilding Them

After finishing a major project, create a template you can use to replicate your process. Don’t keep rebuilding your workflow from the ground up. With that said, you should update your template regularly with new steps and tasks you’ve added to your process or workflow.

How to Get an SME or Self-Employed Mortgage

There are many benefits to owning and running your own business but getting a mortgage in the current financial climate isn’t necessarily one of them.

Your monthly salary may be low, you might be self-employed or you might be keen to buy a home that has an unusual feature such as a thatched roof. All these and more have been enough for lenders to reject mortgage applications. We spoke to a specialist Chelmsford mortgage broker about what you need to know about how to stay special and still buy your dream property.

Why are you treated differently?

When mortgage lenders assess whether or not to accept your mortgage application, they take a number of factors into account. One of the most important is how likely you are to be able to afford to meet your mortgage repayments, i.e. how much of a risk you are.

To help them decide, lenders will look at how much you earn. If you are employed in regular job, with regular hours it is relatively easy for them to assess how much money you have coming in each week. However, you may have difficulty proving your income if you are self-employed, or an SME business owner, as again your income will fluctuate and isn’t guaranteed, or you may take a low monthly salary and pay dividends.

Lenders may also be reluctant to lend to you if you intend to buy a property such as a prefab or a listed building, that is unusual in some way. This could be because they are concerned about the resale value should they have to repossess the property, or they may wonder whether you will be able to afford the ongoing costs of a high-maintenance property, for example a thatched cottage.

What can you do?

If you are a business owner or self-employed there are some steps you can take to improve your chances of finding a mortgage. You can make sure that your books are accurate and up to date, get them signed off by an accountant, and ensure that any attempt to be ‘tax efficient’ doesn’t suggest that your income is too low to afford mortgage repayments.

However, while it’s tempting to believe that you can do everything yourself online, and many people successfully find and apply for mortgages this way, if your circumstances are unusual you could benefit from taking specialist mortgage advice.

How could a specialist broker help?

Specialist mortgage brokers have access to a vast array of different mortgage deals. Whole-of-market brokers can access mortgages from masses of different lenders, as they aren’t tied to a specific bank or building society, and frequently offer ‘broker-only’ deals that you won’t find independently.

Specialist brokers understand not only that different lenders have different criteria from each other, but also that these criteria change over time. This real time knowledge makes them invaluable to anyone looking for anything more than a standard mortgage. Matching your circumstances to a lender’s current criteria maximises your chances of success.

There may be lenders, for example, who won’t consider lending money for the purchase of a property with any signs of Japanese knotweed, while others may consider applications if a treatment plan is in place.

Most lenders treat small and medium sized business owners as self-employed, and many require self-employed applicants to provide 3 years of accounts, but there are some who will accept fewer. Carrying out due diligence and knowing what lenders accept differing circumstances, to get you the best deal, is what sets specialist mortgage brokers apart and could make the difference between having a mortgage application rejected or not.

So, if you need a mortgage or remortage to beat the increasing UK mortgage rates, don’t delay, talk to a specialist broker.

The Multiple Faces of Luxury in Monaco

If you have never been to Monaco, you will be surprised at the luxury living you will find on its streets, but also in its hotels, restaurants and casinos. From the moment you drop your bag in the hotel lobby, to the moment that you leave, you will benefit from a comfort that you will miss immediately on your way out. But the nice thing is that the doors are always opened in Monaco, so you can come back any time you want.

A Hotel for Everyone’s Desires

When you stay at one of the different hotels in Monaco, you won’t have to go far to benefit from all that the city has to offer. That is because it can be found right inside each of them, or nearby. For example. If you decide to stay at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, you will be staying on Place du Casino, which means that you will only have to walk a few steps, to enter into the most famous casino in the world: The Casino de Monte-Carlo. There, you can play as long as you want, in an elegant environment, which has been featured in many films, throughout the last century.

But you don’t even have to leave the hotel space, in order to find all you need. There is a casino inside, as well. It is famous for the variety and quantity of slot machines that it offers its clientele. But that should wait till after dinner. Who would want to miss feasting in a three Michelin stars restaurant? That is what you will find, when you walk through the doors of Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse at the Hôtel de Paris. You will taste Mediterranean food like you could not imagine existed. If you prefer to sit in front of the sea, on a panoramic terrace, you can decide to visit the restaurant Le Grill, which also has one Michelin star to its name.

And this offer is true for all the hotels. The Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo also features a Michelin starred restaurant called Pavyllon Monte-Carlo, a restaurant by Yannick Alléno. There, guests savour the very best fresh seasonal products from local producers, in a chic and intimate atmosphere. It is a continuity of the elegance of the whole structure of the hotel. Even though it is modern, the refinement of the architecture will leave you breathless, as it took its inspiration from the belle époque. There is nothing like having a drink at the Crystal Bar before or after dinner. Fine champagne and creative cocktails will fill your nights with pleasure.

Not everyone likes to sit around and enjoy beauty. Others also prefer to be more active. That is why the casual chic of the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel Resort is so popular amongst a certain crowd of Monaco visitors. One of the main reasons has to be the spa Cinq Mondes, where they can go through sessions of wellness to recharge their batteries, before heading out onto the hotel’s beach, to enjoy the sun of the French Riviera. The whole setting of the hotel is pure paradise, with 4 hectares of gardens in which architects took the time to add waterfalls as well as a turquoise sandy-bottom lagoon, that looks like an oasis. Once again, the hotel is completed by a Michelin-starred restaurant called The Blue Bay and ran by Chef Marcel Ravin. It serves a mix of Mediterranean and Caribbean cuisine, which is bold and innovative.

If you want to live the full beach lifestyle, you will now have to wait till April 2023, as the Monte-Carlo Beach is currently in pause. This is the place where athletes and those who simply like to stay in shape, reside at, when in Monaco. It is due, in great parts, to its Olympic-sized pool, where they can swim to their heart’s content. They can also eat 100% organic food at the Elsa as well as wild caught fish.

It is also where people come to relax under the sun as they can choose between a solarium, tents, cabins or bungalows, to do so. When they get bored, they head onto the water to practice their favourite sports: parasailing, tubing, boating and so much more. The fun never ends a the Monte-Carlo Beach.

Shopping at Its Finest

A Luxury stay would not be complete without a little quality shopping. That is why Monaco offers its visitors over forty luxurious brands to choose from, known all over the world, at the Monte-Carlo shopping promenade. You can start your shopping tour, right in front of the Casino de Monte-Carlo. From there, you can continue your shopping spree past the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo and on down the Avenue de Monte-Carlo and François Blanc. You will find everything from ready to wear clothes for men and women, to watches, accessories and shoes as well. You will be so happy to get back to your room in the evening, to try out everything you just bought, before going down for dinner at the starred restaurant of your choice.

6 B2B Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Although several businesses exist in today’s ecosystem, only the most human company wins. Studies show that customers prefer a more human marketing strategy. Unfortunately, this is not always the case in H2H (human-to-human) businesses.

According to GetUpLead, many B2B businesses make serious marketing mistakes that limit their companies’ growth and success. Fortunately, this article explores six marketing mistakes B2B businesses make. So, you check out these mistakes and see if your company is guilty of any.

#1 -Using A Website-Only Approach

Many companies believe that building a website is all they need to establish their digital presence, but I’m afraid that’s not right. After launching a website, you must get in front of people to establish your brand presence and tell them how you can help.

Consequently, you have to go to where your customers are and offer them content that piques their interest. It is best to start conversations with prospects, giving them reasons to check your website. It is essential to note that these conversations should not solely be about you, your product, or your company.

#2 – Relying On Referrals

A word-of-mouth business may be great, but this strategy is not enough. Referrals are dangerous for your company because you must depend on others to do your marketing. Therefore, even if your customers are passionate about your product, that does not mean they will spread the word.

Furthermore, even if these customers spread the word, there is little assurance of converting such prospects into customers. Depending on referrals puts the responsibility of your company’s growth on your customer. And, unfortunately, why should anyone market your business when you are unwilling to do so?

#3 – Promoting Yourself

Marketing may be effective in bringing people in. but focusing solely on selling may push people away. Although everyone wants to buy goods and services, no one wants to be sold to.

Moreover, many B2B companies marketing efforts are more like advertising. And there are huge differences between marketing and advertising, especially in the B2B industry.

While advertising is about selling the product, marketing is about helping. Marketing focuses on the customer knowing, liking, and trusting you, while advertising focuses on getting people to buy your product. Furthermore, advertising is purely transactional and about the immediate payoff. On the other hand, marketing is relational and a long game.

Your marketing strategy should focus on making your brand known, trusted, and liked. And providing helpful content is a great way to achieve this.

Generally, your marketing strategy should show you are human and that you care about your customer success. It should also establish you as a thought leader that can point them in the right direction. Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trust yourself. It only means your customers won’t trust or like your brand if all you talk about is how great you and your product are.

#4 – Squeezing Things In

Doing your marketing in-house means you are combining it with your actual work. Therefore, you only get to work on your strategy when you have time, which is rarely.

Marketing content needs consistent efforts to be successful. You will slow down and lose quality leads if you rarely post fresh content.

Do you blog biweekly or post on social media throughout the week? Do you have email campaigns for nurturing new leads? Are you promoting your content on social media, and are your followers increasing? And do you have people in your business whose primary role is marketing?

#5 – Failing To Plan

You may be committed to your marketing strategy. But without a plan, you will quickly lose momentum. In addition, squeezing your marketing campaigns in between other responsibilities leaves you no time to focus on the campaign.  

#6 – Cheap Marketing

Many businesses cut their marketing budget during the pandemic, hoping to stay afloat. It is understandable to cut costs on strategies that do not generate revenue and only focus on sales. But marketing drives sales.

You will cut off your lead-generating powerhouse if you don’t invest in marketing. Therefore, investing 10% of your revenue in marketing costs is essential. The cost should cover tools, advertising, people resources, and subscriptions.

Conclusively

There is no marketing approach without mistakes. However, identifying these mistakes and working on them separates the veterans from the newbies. Luckily, this article has summarised six marketing mistakes to help you get started.

SME News Reveals the 2022 Winners of the Scottish Enterprise Awards

United Kingdom, 2022 – SME News is delighted to announce the winners of the Scottish Enterprise Awards.

2022 has brought us turbulence within business, uncertainty, and instability. However, these Scottish enterprises ensure excitement, care, and overall peace of mind for all of their clients and customers.

From enticing cocktail bars to horsebox brokers, home improvements to driving training, content marketing, and more, here we present a diverse variety of opportunities and solutions. By offering – and guaranteeing – excellence, these inspirational businesses are broadening the horizons in Scotland and far beyond.

After all, the Scottish Enterprise Awards consistently searches for businesses of all sizes that elevate their industries. This year we have found business booming in Scotland, and the rest of the world can truly take note.

Awards Coordinator, Stephanie Tooby, took a moment to reflect on the winners recognised in the programme. “This year’s Scottish Enterprise Awards has been an absolute pleasure to host. Being in contact with such pioneering businesses is always eye-opening and motivating, and we wish these winners all the best as they continue to raise the bar.”

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

51% of Employees Want to Cycle to Work: How Cycling to Work Can Be Affordable & Accessible

If you want to start cycling to gain all the amazing benefits of it, but the investment is putting you off, the Cycle to Work scheme might be just what you need. Keeping healthy doesn’t have to come at a high cost, and the scheme is proving that.

Here, with some insight from the road bike helmet division at Leisure Lakes Bikes, we take a look at what the Cycle to Work scheme actually is and how you can benefit from it too.

Promoting healthier journeys to work

Cycling is a massive health booster, and the UK government is realising that. In order to promote healthier journeys to work and reduce road congestion and pollution, the government introduced the Cycle to Work scheme in January 1999 as part of the Finance Act 1999.

Since then, the scheme has had well over 1 million people across the UK benefit from it.

But the initiative has recently been seen in a new light due to a major global event. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a surge in cycling, with an increase of as much as 200% on the weekend and 100% on the weekdays.

People want to keep the cycling momentum going and incorporate the activity into their daily life. Research by Cyclescheme shows that 51% of employees want to cycle to work. But there is one thing that is getting in their way – affordability. The same research shows that 40% of would-be cyclists don’t see cycling as accessible and affordable. That’s where the Cycle to Work scheme can help.

How does the Cycle to Work scheme work?

The main purpose of the Cycle to Work scheme is to reduce the price you pay for a bike that you use to commute. In essence, your employer ‘buys’ a bike for you to ride, which you then ‘hire’ from them through salary sacrifice.

First, check with your employer to ensure they’re partaking in the scheme. If they’re not, it might be worth highlighting the benefits for both sides. You’re paying less for a bike, while your employer can save money on paying national insurance contributions for an employee who partakes in the scheme (13.8% of the bike’s value).

Here is how it works:

  • You choose a bike and accessories, such as a road bike helmet, front and rear lights, and cycling apparel, from one of the over 2,000 bike retailers that are signed up for the scheme.
  • You contact your HR department, and they issue you a certificate detailing the total amount, which you then send to the retailer as payment.
  • The amount will be deducted from your gross salary across several months.
  • At the end of the payment period, you can become the bike owner by paying a fair market value to keep it.

The fair market value you pay to own the bike depends on the original price and how long you’ve been using it. Below is a breakdown outlined by BikeRadar of what you will pay at the end of the scheme to own the bike.

Bike usage

If initial price is less than £500

If initial price is over £500

1 year

18% of the original value

25% of the original value

4 years

3% of the original value

7% of the original value

6 years or more

0% of the original value

0% of the original value

For example, if the initial cost for the bike and accessories is £1,000 and you’ve used it for a year, you will pay 25% of the original value, which is £250. However, if you use it for four years, you will only pay 7%, which equals £70. For more than a six-year-old bike, you will pay 0% or £0.

How much money can you save?

When you loan a bike through the Cycle to Work scheme, you’re not paying tax and National Insurance contributions on the monthly fees. That means the salary sacrifice comes from your gross salary, not your net salary.

If you were to purchase outside of the scheme, you would spend much more due to tax. The savings vary based on the cost of the bike and accessories you choose and your tax bracket. For a basic rate taxpayer, you will save 33.25% of the purchase price, and for a higher rate taxpayer, you can save up to 43.25%.

The Green Commute Initiative calculator helps you find out exactly how much you will pay and save based on your annual salary and the total cost of the bike and accessories. Below is an example of a breakdown of using the scheme over the course of four years.

Salary

£25,000

£60,000

Initial cost of bike and accessories

£1000

£1000

Net salary deduction over 12 months

£14.17

£12.08

Net cost of bike and accessories (excl. fair market value)

£680

£580

Saving on cost of bike and accessories

£320

£420

Total saving as percentage

32%

42%

For example, if you’re earning £25,000 per annum and your bike package costs £1,000, you will be paying £14.17 each month over the course of four years. In order to gain ownership of the bike given that you’ve used it for four years, you will also pay £70 fair market value as per the fair market value table above. In total, you would have paid £750 for your bike package, meaning you’re saving £250 on the purchase. The savings are even bigger for a higher taxpayer bracket.

The Cycle to Work scheme is a great imitative to increase your cycling activity, especially if you don’t have time to get on a bike otherwise. So, hop on a bike and cycle to work!

Disconnected Winter Holidays: How to Revive Yourself This Season

Holidays are meant to be a relax away from the everyday stresses of life. This can be anything from the stressors of work and family life to social media’s influence on your mental health. However, 68% of people continue to work while on holiday, and most people spend an average of three hours or more on their phones.

This can make relaxing incredibly difficult, and you might not benefit from the true stress relief a holiday should give you. However, a disconnected holiday could be the answer.

What is a disconnected holiday?

A disconnected holiday is a rest away from technology, as part of a digital detox. There are multiple reasons you might consider this, including boosting mental well-being, connecting with friends, family, and nature, as well as allowing you to truly experience all a holiday has to offer without the interruption of a phone screen.

Disconnected holidays don’t have access to the internet or signal and have multiple technology-less activities which involve exploring the local area and nature, allowing you to avoid the temptation of using your devices. So, pack those luxury bikinis and bestsellers you’ve been dying to read for a holiday full of rest, relaxation, and technology rejection.

Some places to visit

Italy

According to European Best Destinations, Monte Isla is the perfect place for a digital detox. Situated by Lake Iseo, this is one of the best places to disconnect from your daily life and enjoy a moment of relaxation. Not only can you get away from your daily technology use here as you don your swimsuits and dive into the waters, but also cars are banned from driving here, giving you complete peace of body and mind.

Portugal

Portugal has many locations where you can switch off your mobile phone and laptop, and step into nature. From thermal waters to volcanic eruption sites and waterfalls, Portugal has it all to distract you away from the screen.

Cascata da Ribeira do Ferreiro boasts beautiful views and walks, connecting you with nature from the rolling green hills to the flowing waterfalls. And why not distract yourself away from social media with the flavours of the countryside? Honey, flavoured by the range of wildflowers, and jams made from the guava tree are not to be missed.

The Faial Island in Portugal is another option for those adventurous walkers and family detox moments. With a beautiful botanic garden and incredible views, you cannot get bored of this location. Or even dip your toes in thermal waters by visiting Parque Terra Nostra. Allow these natural mineral waters to wash away your stress.

Austria

Or, if you are looking for a more secluded, enclosed space, Landlust in Austria offers a range of cottages for you and your loved ones to enjoy. Free from technology, you can close your mind off to the pressures of the outside world and enjoy an evening eating on the terrace, morning sunshine walks among flora, or admire the views from your bedroom window. Unwind away from the city in one of these comfortable, rural homes and spend some time exploring. This retreat even offers a card that allows you access to recreational activities and sports to help you move away from your daily life and back into healthier habits.

Whatever you are looking for, whether it is a large body of water, acres of trees, or even just a cabin in the middle of nowhere, Europe has some of the top destinations to help you detach from your technology and enjoy the beauty of nature. Rest and rejuvenate away from blue light and social influencers. Experience fresh air and reconnect with the environment, your peers, and yourself.

Virtual Learning: Four Ways to Develop & Deliver an Impactful Experience

As more and more people embrace hybrid working, training and learning sessions have had to adapt in a swift fashion. Learners have certainly not changed – they still possess a strong thirst for knowledge and are eager to enhance their personal and professional skills. However, traditional learning has gradually been rehashed to suit people’s new needs, with many classes being hosted on virtual platforms.

Who’s Setting the Standard for Sustainable Packaging?

As the conversation around the environment and sustainability becomes increasingly prevalent and with 2050’s net zero targets not that far away, we have a lot of unpacking to do around how UK businesses package products.

For instance, the Plastic Packaging Tax which was introduced in April 2022, requires all plastic packaging manufactured or imported into the UK to contain at least 30% recycled material. In 2023, the UK government is also introducing Extended Producer Responsibility, which means brands, distributors and supermarkets alike will be required to cover recycling costs for their packaging. The result of these restrictions will mean greater demand for packaging to be recycled at end of life, and for the recycling process to be as easy as possible.

The necessity for easily recyclable and sustainable packaging is only going to increase, so let’s take a look at the retailers who are already paving the way.

We all know the feeling of frustration of ordering something relatively small online followed by the never-ending game of pass the parcel with yourself just to get into it. Thankfully that’s not the case with all online retailers; in fact, reassuringly, some of the most popular online retailers are shifting behaviour and opting for fully recyclable (and simple) packaging options.

In-store, the UK’s biggest supermarket chains are also taking steps towards innovating their packaging and reducing plastic use – particularly single use.

With 66% of consumers willing to spend more on products from sustainable brands and one-third happy to pay a premium for products that deliver on sustainability claims, it’s clear that increasing numbers of people are making conscious decisions when it comes to their weekly shops. Online alternatives to the classic UK supermarket model are becoming more attractive because people know their groceries will be delivered in the most environmentally friendly and sustainable way.

Supermarkets wishing to go the extra mile can work with plastic manufacturers to help find sustainable packaging solutions. Here are some of the grocery companies that are making sustainable packaging really count.

Abel and Cole

There’s just something so wholesome about this company. What started as supplying organic fruit and veg boxes in 1988 has naturally evolved into a one-stop shop for all the household essentials. With an ethos of ‘all you need is less’, Abel and Cole offers delicious organic food and drink with less waste and fewer food miles. Customers can get pretty much everything they need and feel good in the knowledge they’re doing their bit for the planet. When it comes to their packaging waste, they’ll pretty much pick up all waste on your next delivery and recycle or reuse it again. Even plastic bags.

What’s more, they’re a certified B Corp, never use air freight, and sustainability is at the heart of everything they do.

Milk and More

Remember the milkman days? These guys do. That’s how they began their sustainable journey, 50 years ago. More recently, they saw an opportunity to go beyond the classic reusable glass milk bottles. Milk and More has now partnered with small sustainable suppliers to offer consumers eco-friendly food, drink, and more to customers’ doors. They have a zero-waste range too that spans juices, store cupboard essentials, and household must-haves, whereby they’ll collect and reuse again and again. Their charming milk floats are fully electric too.

Good Club

If you’ve not yet heard of Good Club, they’re definitely one to watch in terms of innovation and environmentally friendly packaging. It doesn’t get much more friendly than a zero-waste approach. Their ethos is to make zero-waste shopping as simple as possible, with fully reusable packaging. Consumers have the option to shop from hundreds of sustainable brands at supermarket prices for products that are either entirely plastic-free or refillable.

They offer consumers over a thousand reusable items across food, drink, cleaning, and all your bathroom must-haves. Any products they can’t offer as refillable are made from low-waste, environmentally friendly packaged solutions. Once you’re done with your empties, you simply pop them in your delivery box, and they’ll collect them the next day.

Online not for you?

If getting your weekly shop online isn’t really your thing, then here are the two supermarkets you can visit in real life that are doing better than the rest to turn the tide on the damage supermarkets have done so far, with more environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions:

 

Waitrose

In terms of a ‘traditional’ supermarket, Waitrose is one of the smaller chains, yet by comparison, is making the biggest plastic reduction. A recent analysis from Which? found that Waitrose is leading the pack when it comes to plastic use, greenhouse gas emissions, and food waste. They’re making the right moves by opting for sustainable suppliers and have committed to increasing reusable and innovative packaging solutions throughout their stores.

They have pledged that all their own-brand packaging will be reusable or made from widely recyclable or compostable material by next year, with 86% of their own-brand packaging so far meeting that goal. They just need to make sure their buyers are looking out for brands with the same sustainable packaging ethos when it comes to the items they stock.

Lidl

It wouldn’t be fair to leave Lidl out of the mix. According to the same report from Which?, they’re head-to-head with Waitrose, coming out with the same overall sustainability score of 74%. While its no-frills, low-cost business model varies dramatically from that of Waitrose, Lidl is the greenest among the other big UK supermarkets. With lower carbon emissions and eyes firmly set on reaching net zero, its plastic and packaging will continue to shift away from single use. But they need to get a wriggle on if they’re to hit that hefty 2023 target – they have a ‘Lidl’ way to go yet.

It’s clear that offering consumers sustainable packaging will require a lot of work but it is also entirely possible. It’s time for all supermarkets and grocery companies to begin investing more heavily in delivering sustainable solutions, not just for consumers but to protect our environment in the years to come.

How Holiday Lets Are Evolving the UK’s Hospitality Industry

Beyond the usual lines for security and waiting for your bags after the flight, in many areas of the UK, we have been seeing huge queues and backlogs at airports throughout the year.

A perfect storm of staff shortages and a pent-up demand for trips abroad have all contributed to the chaotic scenes. This, coupled with the current cost of living crisis, has meant many families have been choosing to save themselves the pain and the money of flights by spending their holidays in the UK instead.

This continued high demand for staycations has resulted in an ever-increasing number of holiday lets available in the UK. In England alone, there has been a 40% rise over the past three years. Nationally, according to the CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England), between 2015 and 2021, there was a 1,000% increase in short-term lets.

Converting for investment

Converting a second home, annex, or even a spare room into a holiday rental has become a second source of income for many. According to a recent survey conducted by Airbnb, over a third of current UK Hosts responded that they had decided to become Hosts to help combat the cost of living crisis. The average Airbnb also generates around £6,000 a year, so it’s not difficult to see why more people are signing up.

The Sykes Staycation Index 2021 from Sykes Holiday Cottages reported that enquiries from second-home owners looking to convert their property into a holiday let were up by 91%.

Airbnb occupancy rates are also going up in the UK. This suggests that the popularity of these types of holiday lets is only growing – but what impact is this having on the hospitality industry?

The impact on hospitality

There’s no doubt that the hospitality industry is already facing huge challenges. Whether it’s staff shortages, soaring costs of food and energy, or tax rises, hospitality’s post-pandemic recovery is being hampered.

Despite this, revenue for businesses is expected to rise by 30%, according to the recent UK Hospitality Challenges report. Most of this is expected to come from food and drink outlets such as restaurants, pubs, and bars.

More holiday lets can mean more visitors in certain areas who will go on to spend money at local businesses, restaurants, attractions and so on. So, in some ways, more rentals can give the hospitality industry a boost.

For more traditional accommodation such as hotels and bed and breakfasts, however, the rise in short-term holiday lets could see more of a negative impact. Currently, the number of holidaymakers staying in hotels versus holiday rentals is roughly equal. However, if more people choose rentals, hotels will feel the impact of less income.

The impact on local economies

Apart from the benefits listed above, a growing number of holiday rentals can also have a positive impact in other areas. They can create jobs not only in other hospitality sectors but also in services that those rentals will require, including cleaners, tradespeople, and decorators to spruce up properties. In fact, in employment terms, tourism has been the fastest-growing sector since 2010. It is predicted to be worth £257.4 billion by 2025, according to Visit Britain.

However, holiday rentals have been receiving more negative attention recently as their increased number can lower the amount of available housing. This then pushes up property prices, which residents struggle to afford. Outside of tourist seasons, it can also leave small villages emptier than they would otherwise be. This has a negative impact on local businesses.

Because of this, calls are growing for more regulation of the holiday rental market.  Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales have already begun to implement new regulations, and they are currently under consideration in England.

How will hospitality look in the future?

Since its inception in California in 2008, Airbnb has been a huge disruptor in the hospitality industry. It has grown into the third most used online travel agency (OTA) after Booking.com and Expedia.

One of the main reasons customers choose rentals like Airbnb is because it offers a more local experience. Hosts will commonly chat with the visitors and give recommendations for places to go.

Taking lessons from Airbnb, the hospitality sector is beginning to diversify its offerings. Premium services, meal kits from restaurants, and more locally-sourced produce are just some of the ways hospitality is attempting to recover in the post-pandemic world.

Hospitality is shifting more towards creating memorable experiences for guests. So before getting out the step ladders and painting, it’s worth considering what value a refurbishment can bring. Does it create a more personalised, localised experience for guests? Can it be made more customisable for those seeking more luxury staycations?

These are the questions that the hospitality industry will find itself asking going into the future.

Supply Chain Issues & Staff Shortages: Six Handling Equipment Essentials to Maximise Efficiency Within Your Business

Supply chain issues have affected businesses in every industry, both across the UK and globally. Some experts predict the continuation of backlogs and shortages for up to at least another year as the impact of volatile global markets continues to have an effect. Most recently, industrial action at the UK’s largest container port in Felixstowe threatens further delays in the movement of goods.

Turning Wine-Lovers into Wine-Makers at Quinta dos Vales

Algarve winery Quinta dos Vales launches The Winemaker Experience, a unique project that gives oenophiles the chance to own a vineyard and make wine to their own taste

Algarve based winery Quinta dos Vales has created The Winemaker Experience, a unique project that sees wine-lovers become wine-makers, with the help of a dedicated team of professionals. The only project of its kind in Portugal, it is an exciting opportunity for aspiring winemakers, who now have the chance to own a vineyard and make their own wine, in a completely hands-on approach, without having to invest millions or having to go back to University to study oenology for years.

Set among rolling hills, close to the town of Lagoa, a short drive from some of the region’s most beautiful beaches, Quinta dos Vales currently has twenty plots of vines available, ranging from red to white grapes, including Portuguese varieties such as Touriga Nacional and Alvarinho, as well as French varieties like Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, which can either be rented or bought.

Although the project was created in 2017, it is only just now being marketed, as its founders were adamant The Winemaker Experience be properly fine-tuned first. Not only did the team need to learn the ins and outs of micro-production, but they also needed to understand how to guide and educate participants in a way that would keep them fully informed, without overloading them with information. After four successful harvests, accompanying a group of international aspiring wine-makers, the team felt confident the project was well and truly ready to take off.  

How involved each aspiring winemaker is in the process, from the beginning of the production in the vineyard, to the winery, is their choice. They can either roll up their sleeves and take part in every step, or tell the winery team what their preferences are and let them do the work. The result is a yearly barrel of their own wine, that is, 288 bottles, with their personalised label, to share with family and friends or business associates.

In order to appeal to every type of wine-lover, Quinta dos Vales owner Karl Heinz Stock has created four gradual steps to becoming a winemaker, and to owning a vineyard.

  • The first is a 3-hour introduction to winemaking called the Bottle Blending Workshop (from €62 per person), during which participants learn the art of creating a unique blend with the best wines on offer at Quinta dos Vales.
  • Then there is the Barrel Blending Experience (from €5.472), which enables wine-lovers to produce their own 225 litre barrel of wine, with samples of existing unblended Quinta dos Vales top wines.
  • For those who are more ambitious and wish to take on the winemaking challenge from the very beginning, there is the possibility to Rent a Vineyard (price starting at €5.472 per year). This is the perfect opportunity to get a taste of winemaking, without a long-term commitment. It is a one-year lease, on one of the established vineyard plots of the estate, for a single harvest, to produce a vintage with the resulting grapes. 
  • Then comes the most exclusive option, the “crème de la crème” of The Winemaker Experience, buying a plot in the vineyard. This step turns winemaking into an exclusive hobby or, who knows, into a new lifestyle. By buying a plot of vines with the Own a Vineyard scheme, participants can make their own wine without the risk of starting a business from scratch, and at a fraction of the price.

Participants can either choose an existing vineyard plot or plant new vines on available virgin plots. Prices range from €30.000 to €60.000, depending on the grape variety and the location of the plot. The additional running costs include everything from the work in the vineyard and the winery, to all the materials used and the consultancy provided. Quinta dos Vales will then hand the finished product to the Private Wine-Maker, with the wine properly aged, bottled, labelled and boxed. The only extra cost being the shipping of the wine, if necessary.

The experience can even be handled remotely. Whenever one cannot be on-site personally, the team ensures that owners are fully informed and in control, whether with photos, videos, WhatsApp messages, emails or phone calls. They can even taste and blend at a distance, as the team will send samples with notes and recommendations. 

ABOUT QUINTA DOS VALES

Quinta dos Vales is the creation of German entrepreneur and artist Karl Heinz Stock, a place where his two biggest passions, wine and art, come to life in bold and daring colours. Surrounded by more than 20 hectares of vineyards, what used to be a run-down farm has been transformed into a modern wine estate, with its own sculpture park, events centre and holiday accommodation.

Regarded as the Algarve’s leading winery, Quinta dos Vales has consistently produced award-winning wines, year after year, some of which have been distinguished with the “Best Wine of the Algarve” award, seven times in the last eleven years.

For more information, please visit www.quintadosvales.pt         

An Overview Of Locum Jobs

In the medical industry, when doctors are unavailable, locum tenens physicians are called in to take their place. These are fully trained physicians that will work in place the regular physician that is now absent. In many cases, locum tenens will be utilised if a hospital is short-staffed. In each case, the physician of choice has a similar background to the professional that is not able to come in. Here is an overview of locum jobs that are often available on websites such as claritylocums.com.

The Origin Of Locum Tenens

This term originates from Latin. It literally means placeholder. It is a term that is used in many countries outside of the UK including South Africa, New Zealand, Malaysia, United States and even Canada. For example, the United Kingdom has over 3000 locum doctors that are providing their assistance to hospitals every year. They work within the construct of the NHS. The positions for locums are often filled by agencies that provide the framework for these substitute doctors. Additionally, freelance general practitioners, also called independent contractors, may often find work on their own.

The Advantages Of Locum Tenens Positions

The primary advantage to pursuing this line of work is that new doctors can gain much-needed experience. They will be utilised in different environments, assisting in a variety of areas or specialities, making them more valuable as they gain experience. Those that are pursuing full-time employment often find it easier to obtain jobs when they have years of experience working as a locum tenens. This will apply to not only jobs in the UK, but is also beneficial for foreign medical graduates attempting to get work in a country outside of their own.

Disadvantages Of Locum Tenens Positions

The most obvious disadvantage is associated with the transient nature of the jobs as they become available. There is little to no consistency in the availability of jobs, or the areas of expertise that will be required. This will lead to enhanced levels of stress for these individuals that must attempt to find work on a daily basis. Likewise, hospitals are often paying more money for locum tenens when they are desperate to have someone that is trained stand in for a missing physician or surgeon. This can lead to a reduction in full-time pay, or the elimination of potential raises, that physicians are expecting. Additionally, from the perspective of patients working with locum tenens, they may not be receiving the highest quality medical assistance from these individuals that are not aware of their medical history.

Common Locum Tenens Jobs

Locum tenens are not always physicians or surgeons. In some cases, certified registered nurses are in high demand. Many of them are required to be certified to administer anaesthesia, along with other formal types of medical treatments. Physicians are required to have basic skills such as treating injuries, diagnosing illnesses, and providing general examinations. Physicians should be able to run diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, and provide guidance for living a healthy lifestyle. There are even locum tenens that provide telemedicine at outpatient facilities in lieu of the regular physician providing this type of guidance.

Locum Tenens Salary And Benefits

Every locum tenens is regarded as an independent contractor. If you are working with a group that can find assignments for you, they can assist you in getting the best pay and benefits available. In most cases, you will receive your payment as a direct deposit into your bank account on a weekly basis. The amount that you are able to earn depends on several factors. This will include the shift type, skill set that you possess, and patient volume. It can also depend upon the facility type, location of that facility, and any specialty demands that will be placed upon you. In regard to benefits, agencies that you work with will pay for many things. This will include travel expenses, housing, privileging, credentialing, licensing, and even malpractice insurance. However, as an independent contractor, medical benefits, dental benefits, and money for retirement are things that locum tenens must deal with personally.

Is This A Viable Long-Term Career?

For those that are pursuing the medical profession, this is an ideal place to begin. It will afford young physicians the ability to gain experience in a multitude of different areas. In certain communities, their services will be in high demand. This will provide gainful employment on a continual basis. For those that enjoy traveling to different locations, they will also have the ability to live in different regions as they pursue a career in medicine. From a long-term perspective, this early work will serve as a solid foundation for finding a permanent position. All of their experience can lead to an outstanding resume that will show they are competent in many areas, one of which may lead them to their career choice.

The Primary Benefits Of Working Locum Jobs

There are several benefits associated with working locum tenens jobs aside from building a good resume. Initially, you are able to earn extra money by becoming employed at hospitals or medical practices. This money can be used to not only pay your monthly bills, but assist you paying off student loans or putting money away toward retirement. It also has the benefit of flexibility, the freedom to make your own schedule, and work at locations that you would prefer for as long as you want. More related to your future long-term career is the benefit of expanding your network of contacts. As you work at different locations, you will meet a variety of people, some of which may be instrumental in helping you find permanent employment. By developing these relationships, if you are ever in a situation where you need assistance, these relationships may prove to be your most valuable asset. At the very least, by working your own schedule, you can avoid the proverbial beat burnout. Many physicians lose their desire to remain in the medical profession because of the monotony, and the incredibly long hours, that many of them work. Finally, being a locum tenens allows you to experience a variety of cultures and recreational opportunities. This diversity in your medical experience can also be helpful in finding a permanent medical position.

In conclusion, locum jobs are a fantastic place to start for any medical professional that is new. From physicians to surgeons, as well as physician assistants and nurses, there is always a demand for locum tenens in the medical field. Whether there is the abrupt appearance of the pandemic, or a doctor shortage, there will be assignments that need to be filled. For those pursuing a full-time position in the medical industry, it almost always begins with working locum jobs that are always available.

What are the Potential Issues with Mergers and Acquisitions?

When two companies combine, it can help the new entity boost its market share and profits. The two main ways of achieving this are through mergers and acquisitions. Mergers occur when separate companies combine to form one company. While an acquisition is the takeover of one company by another. There are many complications that can occur during this process, which is why you should always seek expert advice from specialists in mergers and acquisitions. Below, we explore some of the potential issues you might encounter.

Overpaying

One of the most common issues is that you overpay during the merger or acquisition. Calculating a valuation for a business is complex work and involves projections and estimations that might not be accurate – especially when the business you’re buying won’t tell you if you’re overpaying. One way to try and avoid this is by being conservative with your offers: set yourself a suitable value for your acquisition target as a limit rather than an aim. This can ensure that you don’t overspend.

Incomplete due diligence

During the acquisition or merger process, it’s vital that you investigate your target in forensic detail. Incomplete due diligence can result in your missing a crucial detail that comes back to haunt you. To avoid any mishaps, you should ensure a complete check is carried out beforehand and that you have the appropriate seller representations and warranties documented in your agreement.

Staff retention

Even once an acquisition or merger has gone through, there are potential issues that can arise. Staff retention is one area you should prioritise. You’ll need to quickly structure the business in a way that boosts staff morale and retains the best talent in the business. Employees can often feel under threat following a merger or acquisition. You should allay fears by communicating clearly with employees and by building trust. By improving morale in your business, you can boost productivity and staff retention.

Security threats

Mergers and acquisitions can also present security threats to your business. To complete the deal, both parties will be sharing sensitive information. The danger here is that a cyberattack could leave this confidential information vulnerable. Meanwhile, if you don’t have a security plan in place or the right training for your staff, you could end up with crucial data leaks. During the process, you should prioritise your data security to ensure that all parties remain safe during a merger or acquisition.

Mergers and acquisitions can prove to be incredibly beneficial, but they’re also complex to finalise. But by prioritising avoiding the issues above, you’ll be in an excellent position to try and complete a smooth deal.

Top 5 Tips for International Shipping in eCommerce

Anyone who runs an internet business is fully aware of the complexities of international shipping. Is it worth it? Is it profitable? This is all typical scepticism.

However, if you have an excellent shipping strategy, you may quickly turn your foreign shipments lucrative. Therefore, we’ll give you some tips to start using them right now!

Our 5 Tips for International Shipping

There’s never been a better moment to grow your internet business. Simply advertising offers on your website, on the other hand, is insufficient. It might be rather pricey if you don’t have a good strategy.

We encourage you to make the decisive step with these simple tips. However, first, keep in mind these technical requirements:

Customs documentation (commercial invoice, CN23 and CN22 form, Certificate of Origin). Choose the correct HS code. Request your EORI number, if you are exporting outside the European Union. Properly wrap the item to avoid damage or overcharging.

#1 – “Free” International Shipping?

Let’s start with the psychological element, shall we? Marketing and psychology are inextricably linked, and research has shown that consumers appreciate the phrase “free.”

Furthermore, according to studies, 51% of European consumers mention high shipping costs as the most significant impediment to purchasing on international websites.

As a result, giving free international delivery would be one shipping strategy to attract more customers.

But how can you offer free delivery without making it too expensive? Well, by including shipping in the final cost. Of course, it should be made abundantly clear that shipping is free. Therefore, the client will pay the same amount.

Pickup locations are almost usually less expensive than other shipping choices. For example, include them free of charge with standard delivery.

#2 – Everyone Appreciates “Flat Rate” International Shipping Prices

Free international delivery over a specific price is another excellent strategy to ensure that your costs are acceptable and that the word “free” attracts customers.

What do you think a consumer would do if a product costs €30 + €5 for delivery, yet a message appears claiming that shipping is free after €40?

Consumers believe shipping fees to be a “waste of money” since they have already paid for the goods. Therefore, any additional money they spend on a product is considered an investment.

And by enticing them to add a second item to their shopping cart, you will enhance the sale without doing anything. Yes, it is straightforward.

#3 – Various Payment Methods in Different Nations

Consumers in each country expect to see the payment methods they are accustomed to. Keep in mind that new technology can improve the experience and add another layer of safety.

Furthermore, the consumer will likely abandon their chart since they could not discover a payment method that worked for them. As a result, it is highly recommended that you include at least a couple of alternative payment methods in your checkout:

Direct transfer or online banking servicese-Wallets like PayPalCredit or debit cards

A satisfied customer is more likely to make more purchases in the future.

#4 – Do Not Cut Corners on Overseas Shipment

The more delivery options there are, the better. While some individuals may prefer to wait for their items, others may be willing to pay a little more to receive them sooner.

This method may look strange when addressing international shipping because delivery timeframes are always longer, and there is a larger potential for delays. However, if your logistics is efficient, it is not.

Offering at least one international express delivery option in addition to standard shipping is fine if you can choose from a range of carriers depending on zones, rates, and delivery dates.

#5 – When Delivering Overseas, Use a Multi-Carrier Approach

Logistics is your greatest friend. You must have a solid logistics plan if you want to offer many shipping alternatives while delivering on time.

Don’t rely solely on a single carrier’s pricing and delivery time. If you’re serious about beginning worldwide growth, work with various carriers; choose the finest carrier depending on the needs of each cargo.

You can employ an automated logistics integration platform to implement a successful multi-carrier strategy. This enables you to select the best international carrier depending on parameters such as delivery time, package weight, and size.

Conclusion – What to Keep in Mind

If you’re just launching a small brand in your local town, international shipping isn’t something straight out of the future. Shipping overseas is part of the entire process and can do wonders for you.

What are your thoughts on all of these techniques for international shipping? Do you already have all of them in place?

Your best allies will be shipment automation and a solid logistics plan. You can spend your time and money on other aspects of your eCommerce business, allowing you to reach almost everyone on the planet.

Custom Infrared Sauna Installation: Top 5 Things Builders Should Know

Posted on 28th November 2022

Today’s post-pandemic homeowners want their living spaces to support their health goals, and a custom infrared sauna from the world’s leading infrared sauna manufacturer is the perfect solution. It’s not hard, or complicated, to install a custom infrared sauna when you work with infrared sauna experts for design and materials. However, quality, convenience, and beauty matter.

Dustin Stevens, Sunlighten’s custom sauna director, founded the custom division of the global manufacturer in 2019 after six years overseeing design, manufacture, and installation of prefab cabins. Sunlighten has helped builders create hundreds of custom infrared saunas for businesses and residential construction, professional sports training facilities and remodels. Every project is overseen personally by an experienced Sunlighten Custom Consultant from start to finish.

Here are 5 things Stevens says builders should know about custom infrared sauna buildouts:

1.   Building it is simple – all you need is a trim carpenter and electrician to install.

Custom sauna buildouts with us are easy. Most builders we work with initially think they need to subcontract a specialist. You don’t have to sub it out and you don’t need sauna experts to install. All you need is a trim carpenter and electrician. We give you everything else you need. We make installing a custom sauna easy and eliminate the need for additional labour. You can also opt to hire Sunlighten’s install team to do it for you.

2.   You don’t have to be infrared experts; we are.

Our Full Support Team supplements your expertise with our infrared expertise. Once we get your blueprints, our team designs a sauna to suit the space with consideration of heater placement and all the details homeowners care about (bench design options, finish colours, creative wood patterns, unique floor designs, special features, lighting, door treatment, etc.).

When you approve final interior and exterior 3D CAD line drawings, we review the process with you and the materials ship within the week. Design to delivery timeline is about 4-6 weeks.

3.   You don’t have to worry about materials—we provide all materials and ship to the job site.

That includes wood for walls, ceiling, floors, benches, control panel, and all the infrared heater cabinets. We pack everything in a secure crate shipped directly to the building site, ready to install when you decide the timing is right.

4.   Turnkey timelines fit within your build process.

The first step in installation is supplying the sauna power. A standard sauna will require a 240v dedicated circuit that can be roughed in any time before the walls are enclosed. Once the power is brought in, it should take the electrician around one day to bring the power into the sauna, make all the heater connections, and have the sauna ready for the carpenters. After electrical is done, the carpenters can finish out the space with wall cladding and the benches. Depending on the sauna design and size of the space, the entire process should take 3-5 days to complete.

5.   Installing an infrared sauna is a lot less complicated than traditional saunas, steam rooms or hot tubs.

Infrared saunas are dry and simple. No plumbing required; no chance of mould. And, no time-consuming drywall, mud and taping. Sunlighten’s materials are top notch—sauna wood is dry kilned for up to 70 hours. You can rest assured the tongue-in-groove pieces are cut right. And we provide easy-to-install instructions and full installation support including communication and coordination with the electrician.

Adding a custom infrared sauna in a master bath or gym (like the custom sauna designed for MLB legend Adrian Gonzalez’s home gym, for example) creates a beautiful wellness space that makes being healthy easy and pleasurable for home and business owners. Matching the design to their aesthetic creates flow with their environment and lifestyle. They get exactly what they want and something no other home or business has without creating a construction headache. It’s an easy win-win for your customer, and you.

About Sunlighten:

Shining light on infrared technology, Sunlighten® is the #1 choice for personalized infrared light treatments. Since 1999, we have been committed to innovating wellness products and services that empower our customers to improve their quality of life. Our patented SoloCarbon® technology rejuvenates the body by delivering the highest dose of infrared energy to the body – proven up to 99% effective. Our technological innovations are fuelled by passion to give people the opportunity to feel great so they can do more of what they love. Sunlighten is building a global community of businesses, consumers, and trusted experts to support each other along the way and to bring light, hope and happiness to people everywhere.

VisionTrack’s Simon Marsh Wins Great British Entrepreneur Award

VisionTrack CEO, Simon Marsh, has been recognised for his role in transforming the video telematics marketplace at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2022. He was named ‘Disruptor of the Year’ for his determination to make the roads a safer place for all by continually pushing the boundaries of what is possible and embracing the latest advances in artificial intelligence (AI).

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards showcase inspiring entrepreneurial success stories and the most exceptional UK business leaders. At a prestigious, 10-year anniversary ceremony at Grosvenor House in London, 1,400 entrepreneurs, judges, mentors, investors and partners came together to celebrate a collective £2 billion generated in turnover and over 17,000 jobs. This year, the awards received over 5,000 entries, with 98 entrepreneurs being recognised across 12 categories.

Since the formation of the business and under Simon’s leadership, VisionTrack has grown to become Europe’s leading provider of cloud-based video telematics. He has also overseen the development of Autonomise.ai, a device agnostic, highly-scalable, multi-award-winning IoT platform, which is enabling the company to drive innovation in behaviour and video analytics, machine learning, and computer vision.

As part of the company’s growth strategy, VisionTrack launched a US business in 2021. The new venture aimed to capitalise on growing demand in North America for advanced AI video telematics solutions by replicating the success it has achieved in the UK, Ireland and Europe. This was quickly followed by the multi-million-pound acquisition of SkyLab Solutions, a telematics specialist and an established VisionTrack partner, to accelerate the expansion into the US marketplace.

Simon founded VisionTrack based on an ethos of reducing injuries and saving lives. His passion to improve safety was ignited when he experienced first-hand the devastation caused by fatal road incidents and this is driving him to make a difference. He believes that all collisions have the potential to be avoided and is the very reason VisionTrack’s approach is all about prevention. The company recently launched a Fleet Risk Reduction campaign to educate and engage with customers and the wider fleet community to tackle some of the biggest threats facing their drivers and other road users.

VisionTrack has also been involved in multiple initiatives that are studying emerging technologies to improve road safety, enhance vehicle performance and ease congestion. This has included providing video support for truck platooning trials in the UK and being involved in Together for Safer Roads’ Truck of the Future program in the US. The company is also a partner of Driving for Better Business (DfBB) and road safety charity, Brake, and is co-headline sponsor of Road Safety Week.

Simon Marsh, CEO of VisionTrack commented: “I am so proud to be presented with this award, which is fantastic recognition, not just for me, but the entire VisionTrack team. To be part of an event that celebrates the creativity, ambition and resilience of entrepreneurship in the UK is really special and underlines the progress we have made as a business. Our aim is to make the road network a better and safer place, so we are continually striving to change how vehicle operations approach road safety, claims management, duty of care, fleet compliance and operational risk.”

The Art of Sales Prospecting – 5 Challenges and 5 Tips

Prospecting is the first, and one of the most vital steps in the sales process. This important stage involves identifying and communicating with potential clients with the goal of generating new business. Without prospecting, there are no customers, and without customers, there are no sales. The survival of the whole company rests on this crucial task. Effective prospecting is a sure and fast way of increasing your rates of conversion and closing. However, as important as it is, sales prospecting is also a challenge. Almost 50 per cent of sales representatives say that the task of prospecting is one of the parts of the sales process that they find the most difficult.

Why is this crucial aspect of sales so challenging?

5 Obstacles to Successful Sales Prospecting

There are several reasons why sales reps may slow down in their prospecting efforts, or even grind to a halt completely. Consider just 5:

It feels like hard work, and it takes up a lot of time. Just a short break in the habit of prospecting and it’s all the more difficult to get started again.

There is little recognition for the hard work put in. Sales reps have to face a lot of rejection as they work through sales prospecting. This can feel demoralising, and then the tendency is to look for positive reinforcement by visiting existing customers, ones that will give good feedback and create a feeling of safety and security.

Sales reps are not making the most of the tools and technology available. While the traditional methods of prospecting are painfully slow, there are great advancements in prospecting tools, with the aid of technology and software, that are making the process a lot more productive and effective. Things like the implementation of a lead generation software solution could completely change the game for a sales rep. If they try and struggle along with paper tracking system and post-it notes, the cracks in their methods are slowly going to show. Furthermore, even if software is in place, there may be a growing frustration with its capabilities if it is not up to date or suited to the task. Some processes are inconvenient and cumbersome due to the fact that the business has gone for software that puts functionality above usability. If using the technology is going to give a sales rep a headache, they’re not going to use it. Instead, it’s important that businesses look for ways to successfully get into the digital world of sales prospecting.

There is little direction and support. Without clear direction from leadership teams and explanation of the expectations in place, sales reps can end up spending time and effort on prospects that are not suited for the company. If a sales rep is left to go it alone, with little instruction from ones who know the business model well, they won’t know which prospects to focus on that will bring the most rewards. 

A sense of complacency makes prospecting seem unimportant. After scoring a few big deals, sales reps can begin to think that their job is done, and they don’t need to prospect any more. If this happens, as previously mentioned when the need to prospect arises again they will have gotten out of the habit and the idea will be as daunting as ever.

5 Tops Tips for Sales Prospecting Success

In a task that has so many challenges, how can you make sales prospecting a success? When it is done right, it has the potential to be an exciting experience that not only hones the skills of sales reps but draws new customers that fit your business. Here are 5 top tips for sales prospecting success to help get you started:

Think about the perfect prospect profile. Do your homework to discover exactly what kind of customer you want to attract, based on the customer base you already have and through some external market research too.

Find ways to contact these perfect prospects. Once you have a clear profile in mind, think about the best way to contact them. Should you have a stand at a trade show? Should you attend community events? Should you post ads on Facebook, Instagram, or another social media channel? Once you know your ideal customer, do some research into the best places to find them. In this way you will be putting yourself in the best place to make a sale.

Work on your call lists. You no doubt have many lists of different contacts to call. Improve the usefulness of these lists by prioritising the contacts you have, and then act by setting aside a little time each day to work through calling them. Don’t underestimate just how powerful a phone call can be! Be prepared and rather than using their time to offload your sales pitch, ask open-ended questions, listen to their responses, and adapt accordingly. Keep in contact with the people you reach out to, and with consistent effort and a friendly manner you will be able to turn cold calls into hot leads!

Send out emails that are personalised for the prospect. Another valuable contact tool is that of email but be warned that bulk or mass emails are far less effective. You need to make sure that for a customer to actually open and read your email, you customise it and make it personal to them. Think about their individual needs, adapt the email to read well on any device, and carefully consider the content you will include.

Always remember to follow up. Take the time to cultivate your leads and prospects. You won’t see growth from the off and it may take time to see the lead grow but be patient and persistent. Build a relationship with the prospect and demonstrate what a reliable and trustworthy business you represent.

How to Choose the Right Point of Sale System for Your Business

Regardless of how a customer discovers your business and decides to make a purchase, there is one aspect that unites them all that they will all have in common eventually – they will all make their purchase through a point of sale (POS) system. A good POS system is vital for the successful running of a business as it ensures that you can take payments efficiently and securely. To enhance the customers purchasing experience in order to encourage them to purchase with you again, the process needs to be effortless and seamless. Evidently it is vital to invest in a good POS system in order to take payment and secure business.

However, modern POS systems today are lot more powerful than simply cash registers that take payments. The POS systems of today can become crucial components in almost every aspect of your business. Invoicing, inventory, accounting, and reporting are all elements that can be affected, and assisted, by your POS system. It proves that a POS system is more than a method of making sales, it’s a way of making your business a success. With so much resting on one system, it’s vital that good decisions are made when it comes to choosing the right POS system for you, especially when there are so many different options to choose from out there. Obviously, it is very important that as an individual responsible for making decisions for your business, you learn more about the topic so that you can come to an informed decision and take the best steps moving forward.

First Things First – What is a Point of Sale System?

So that everyone is on the same page when thinking about a POS system, these are the components that facilitate a point of sales process. It is made up of both hardware and software that work together in order to process sales. These systems can be mobile, even cloud-based systems thus allowing for greater freedom and flexibility when it comes to make sales and taking payments. Furthermore, the best POS solutions allow for payments in multiple forms, including digital wallet transactions and credit card payments. As previously mentioned, POS systems today are more than stand along checkouts, they involve a back-office system too that comes with inventory management, analytics, and CRM capabilities.

Benefits of a Point of Sale System

Making the leap and investing in a good POS system will bring benefits across your entire business. Let’s discover a few:

Improved Credibility. Implementing a sophisticated POS system that accepts various types of payments and provides a smooth and stress-free purchasing experience will do great things for your credibility. Even if you are starting out as business, a POS system will elevate how people perceive you as soon as they walk through the door.

Competitive Preparedness. By embracing the technologies available to improve your business, you are going to be working hard to stay ahead, or at least keep up with, the competition. The payment landscape is changing rapidly so it’s important to keep up to date with the tech so that you can provide the best experience for your customers and prove yourself to be a contender in the competitive business industry.

Simplified Back-Office Procedures. Tracking sales and analysing your business transactions will be made a whole lot easier with the implementation of a modern POS system. You will gain a greater insight into your business, deepen your understanding of customer trends and spending habits, and keep tracking of business dealings from inventory to employee productivity. Your operations will be greatly enhanced with the help of a powerful POS system.

How to Choose a POS System

Now you know what benefits a POS system can bring to your business, it’s time to start looking for one. It’s hard to know where to start with so many different options available, but the key is to first understand your business. You can do this by asking yourself a few simple questions:

What is the state of my business? If you are new to the business world, it might be best to get something that is simple and easy to use. If you are looking to upgrade from an old or different system, you might want to consider how a system could help with issues you currently face.

What are the biggest struggles my business faces? Think about your pain points and then find a POS system that can help to address them. Consider the processes that take the most of your precious time and look for a solution that can handle them.

What tasks could a POS system simplify? As a business owner, you likely need to wear many different hats and fill lots of shoes to fill. Therefore, look out for a POS system that will take over some of the roles and save you from business owner burnout.

Shopping Around for Shopping Support

As you begin your search for the best POS system for you and your business, there are a few things to keep in mind and consider that will help you to refine your search and be successful in finding the solution. Think about the ease of use – you want a system that is easy to use and navigate in order to provide the best experience for your customers and the least headache for you. Investigate the capabilities of the software, along with the costs, to get the most value for your money and the most competent solution. What systems can this solution integrate with? If you also have other tools and apps you want to keep using, you want to make sure that the systems are going to work well together. Furthermore, what is the support for this system like? You want to sign up with a company that will give you the training your need and help you whenever you run into issues.

How To Protect Your Business from Modern Threats

The dangers facing businesses are ever evolving and becoming more and more deadly as times goes on. As many blessings has technology has brought, it has brought with it an element of malice for those intending to use it for the wrong purpose. Cyber-attacks are becoming more sophisticated, dangerous, and conspicuous so it is becoming harder and harder for businesses to put up the defences that will protect their people, their data, and their productivity. Every year, threats are emerging and developing. If this a growing concern for you and your business, you may not know where to start in implementing the changes needed to adapt to developing threats.

What are the best practises for business protection? What are the tips for cybersecurity? What software is available to build up your business’s virtual defences? You may feel powerless against the intelligent attacks that are surfacing today and daunted by the prospect of building secure barriers against them. Therefore, research is so valuable and hopefully through the information and suggestions that have been collected in the following article, you can begin your journey of education and start considering the changes you can implement to improve the security of your business.

Tips for Building a Strong Defence for Cyber Security

As the dangers change, so do the suggestions for building a defence. However, these basic principles should stand you in good stead to be prepared for cyberattacks when they occur.

Stay up to date. This principle applies to various areas of business practises. Software updates are essential to add new features, fix bugs and upgrade software. Since vulnerabilities in software will be one key way that attacks can creep in, it’s vital that you do all you can to keep software at is most up to date version. The same things applies when it comes to hardware. To support the most up to date software, you need to have up to date hardware. If not, older machines are slower to respond to cyber-attacks and could leave the system weak to threats. A major aspect of staying up to date is in education and training. Users are a vulnerability in your defences, especially if they don’t know what to look out for when it comes to cyber threats. One mistake from an untrained employee could bring cyber disaster for the whole system. Evidently training is essential, and this training needs to be constant, up to date and in line with the most relevant practises.

Think before you click. It may sound like an obvious suggestion, but so many threats gain access to system from people opening emails and clicking links and attachments without thinking about it before hand. It’s important to be on the lookout for phishing scams that cleverly impersonate a reputable source, but danger lies within. Don’t open suspicious emails, don’t download attachments from unknown sources, don’t respond to unverified requests for information. Try hovering over a link to see the destination URL before you click on it. Basically, think about things before you do them and you’re less likely to fall victim to a cyberattack that exploit your naivety.

Make the most of software. If you need to share confidential information, use a secure file-sharing software solution instead of emails that can be intercepted and sent to mistaken address. Using a secure file-sharing solution will guarantee the encryption of the information and the need for authentication for the file to opened on the receiving end. Furthermore, look for anti-virus and anti-malware software that you can implement to build up your defences against these threats. While it’s impossible to eliminate the threat completely, you can reduce your vulnerability with this kind of protective software.

Consider the strength of your network connections. Avoid using public networks which you share with everyone else that is connected to it. In these situations, any files or information you share is vulnerable to attack. Instead, secure your network and privatise the information you share by using a virtual private network, or VPN. This will protect the private data and encrypt your connection and will provide such a strong defence that even your internet service provider can’t access it.

Improve your authentication techniques. Don’t become lazy with your passwords, using easy to guess combinations on many different logins. Put more effort in to create unique passwords that add another layer of protection. Furthermore, many platforms allow you to enable a double factor authentication procedure to double up the security for your accounts. 

Ponder before you plug in. External devices, such as storage devices, can be infected with malware that can spread to your own devices if you plug them in. To avoid this danger, make sure you know exactly where the external device has come from and ensure they are scanned for malware before you plug them in and access them.

Making the Investment

It will surely take investments of time, energy, and money to implement the security upgrades you need to empower your business and its employees to be able to face cyber threats. However, it’s vital that these investments are made in order to protect your business from the consequences that arise from a security breach. The loss of data, money and reputation can be devastating if a cyber-attack is successful, so though it may feel like a big investment, it is a necessary one. Educate yourself with the guidelines and best practises that you can implement and the unique strategies that your business can introduce to protect itself from danger.

Why Moderating Your Social Media is Important as a Business

Sadly, even the most useful tool can quickly become a destructive weapon when it is placed in the wrong hands.

This fact of life permeates every industry, every family, every community. Something designed to valuable and beneficial can be used to cause harm when in the wrong hands and moved by the wrong motives. An example of such a tool is that of social media.

On the one hand, social media is a blessing. It connects people over great distances, it opens the doors to communication for people of all backgrounds, and it provides a platform for education and the sharing of knowledge and experience. Social media is a great tool for businesses and marketers, allowing companies to increase their visibility, promote their content and products, and manage their reputation. 72 per cent of adults use at least one social network, over 10 million advertised on Facebook, and in 2020, the ad spend on social media in the United States was a staggering 40.3 billion dollars. Evidently, social media can be an invaluable innovation.

However, there is a dark side to social media that is becoming more and more apparent in recent times. It has been reported that social media increases people’s stress, affects user’s mood and encourages a feeling of anxiety and depression through the comparison it generates between people. It can be a dangerous method of spreading misinformation that has devastating consequences, and it can also be a platform for cyberbullying, offensive content, privacy invasions and even identify theft. Evidently, caution is needed when it comes to the use of social media.

As a business, there is a special effort needed to make sure that this tool is used in the best way for the benefit of your customers and your organisation. It can be such a minefield that it feels difficult to navigate. It can be so daunting, that businesses become reluctant to use it at all and give up on it completely. However, being limited by this fear of the unknown will mean missing out on a world of opportunity. Clearly, moderation is needed. Therefore social media moderation is quite a hot topic at the moment and there are more and more organisations offering this as a useful service for other businesses. We will now go on to learn more about what social media moderation involves and why it is so important especially in this day in age.

What is Social Media Moderation?

As the saying goes, “everything in moderation”. This phrase portrays the simplicity of the term in general – that even good things need to be controlled. Moderation is the process of controlling the content that is posted by a business on social media. If offensive or inappropriate content is posted, a team of content moderators work tirelessly to monitor the content and remove it before it becomes viral and accessible to the wrong audience. The activities of users on social media platforms are managed and regulated by social media moderation teams to make sure that the content is in line with the platforms rules and in keeping with a brands aesthetics. While you can control the content you put out, you can’t control the user generated content that others on social media may put out there. This is where social media moderation comes into play, managing the quality of the content while working to maintain your brands reputation.

Reasons Why You Need to Moderate Your Social Media

Evidently, moderation is a basic necessity of responsible social media use. We will outline a few specific reasons why social media moderation is so important for businesses to encourage you to put the right policies and procedures in place to protect your organisation in this regard.

Effective social media moderation will…

…Improve your businesses online presence. Social media platforms are a great place to gather new customers and keep an eye on the competition. While social media promotion gives customers an opportunity to communicate, the views they share are not always positive and may not meet the guidelines of the community. In this situation, social media moderation will reduce the amount of profane or offensive comments. This makes the platform safer for everyone and improves the online presence of your brand.

…Restrict the amount of spam content. There is a lot of valid, useful information on social media, but there is also a lot of spam. In an attempt to boost their profile, some users will pot fake news or commercial spam to the pages of popular brands to get attention. Social media moderation will remove these comments, reducing spam, improving the safety for other users, and helping visitors to a page to find genuine comments and reviews.

…Protect the image of your brand. Any campaign on social media has the goal of encouraging customer engagement, boosting website traffic, and increasing profit as a result. Unfortunately, the content generated by other users can start messy conversations and deviate from the purpose of the campaign. Social media moderation will again come into play, removing unwanted content to improve your company aesthetic, and maintain the image of your brand.

…Increase traffic on your website. A negative buzz around something you post on social media will likely detract people from your website, making them less likely to check out your page and investigate what you offer. Moderating such comments will help to induce a toxic-free environment and encouraging users to look at your website and thus improve your reputation and drive sales.

Drive sales. On the topic of sales, genuine user generated content can be a great way of driving them as people are more likely to respond to objective third party reviews than self-promotion. Social media moderation will ensure that people see these recommendations and allow you to provide personalised offers and services to your audience.

Best Foodie Gift Ideas For Christmas 2022

Christmas is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to start thinking about what gifts to buy for your friends and family. If you have a foodie in your life, then we have the perfect suggestion: a gift that celebrates their love of food! In this blog post, we will share some of the best foodie gifts for Christmas 2022. Whether your loved one enjoys baking or eating out at restaurants, we have something they will love. So read on to discover all of the delicious possibilities!

List of Best foodie gifts for Christmas

1: Cooking classes

For the foodie who loves to make their own meals, why not give them a cooking class? With a variety of classes available, they’ll be able to learn new recipes and techniques that will help them become a pro in the kitchen. Plus, it’s a great way for them to spend quality time with friends. Give your loved one the gift of learning how to cook like a pro with a series of gourmet cooking classes!

2: Gourmet chocolates and desserts

For the foodie with a sweet tooth, nothing says Christmas like a box of monstrous cookies. These delicious treats are sure to be a hit thanks to their mix of flavors and textures. Everyone deserves famed monstrous cookies in their kitchen! They are made with decadent dark chocolate, creamy peanut butter, and crunchy pretzels.

3: Kitchen gadgets and utensils

For the foodie who loves to experiment in their kitchen, kitchen gadgets and utensils are essential. From measuring cups and spoons to juicers and blenders, these items can help them craft all sorts of culinary creations.

4: Specialty foods from around the world

Does your foodie love trying different cuisines? Surprise them with a selection of specialty foods from around the world. From exotic sauces and spices to unique cheeses, meats, and vegetables, they will be able to create delicious meals that are both flavourful and authentic.

The mousse duo gift box is a great option for lovers of French cuisine. It contains two luxurious Chicken liver & classic truffle flavours of mousses that are sure to please any foodie. Based on an authentic French recipe, these mousses are a decadent indulgence that will be enjoyed by all.

5: Gift certificates for restaurants and food tours

Give your loved one the gift of experiencing their favourite cuisine in person with a gift certificate for a restaurant or food tour. Whether they prefer to dine in or take a culinary journey around the city, this is an ideal present that will be remembered for years to come.

6: Themed baking kits

Baking enthusiasts will love these themed baking kits! From cookie cutters and cake pans to frosting decorators and sprinkles, these sets have everything your loved one needs to make delicious treats from scratch.

7: Personalised aprons and chef hats

Give your foodie the gift of looking their best in the kitchen with personalised aprons and chef hats. You can choose from a variety of fun designs and personalise them with their name or initials for an extra special touch.

8: Subscription boxes

If your foodie loves discovering new flavours, a subscription box is a perfect gift! From artisanal cheeses to specialty spices, these boxes are filled with unique treats that they can use in their cooking.

9: Gourmet snacks

For the foodie who loves to snack, gourmet snacks are a great option. From artisanal popcorn to homemade jerky and energy bars, these options are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters!

10: Gift cards

For the ultimate foodie, a gift card to their favourite restaurant or grocer can be a great option. This allows them to purchase whatever they desire, whether it be ingredients for a home-cooked meal or an exotic dish from a distant country!

Final Words

So, get ready to surprise your loved ones this Christmas with the BEST FOODIE GIFTS! From cooking classes and kitchen gadgets to specialty foods and desserts, there’s something for everyone. No matter which gift you choose, your friend or family member is sure to appreciate the thought and effort you put into finding them something unique and special for Christmas 2022. After all, what could be better than celebrating their love of food with something delicious?  With so many great options available, finding the perfect present should be easy. So get ready to spread some holiday cheer this season and give the gift of deliciousness! Merry Christmas and happy gifting!

How to Deal with Bias in the Workplace

How to Deal with Bias in the Workplace

Running a business is no easy feat, and dealing with the people within it, and the issues that arise from having so many different people in such close proximity, is challenging to say the least. If you have biases in the workplace to deal with, you are not alone. To think that bias is extinct is naïve and therefore dangerous – a problem that is thought not to exist is likely to do harm under the radar. Even if the bias is not malicious, it may still exist and have a negative effect of people of different groups that need to work together. In many respects, the bias may be an unconscious feeling that leads to certain people feeling like they are being treated less fairly or even being discriminated against. The imperfect nature of humans means that we all times judge people based on what we see or what we think about another person. Our brain may have strongly entrenched feelings to overcome, and it can be a battle to stop our synapses from connecting the dots and jumping to quick judgements of people and situations. Our own upbringing, the media, people around us, can all have an impact on how we see other people and while the circumstances that brought about these negative feelings may be uncontrollable, the reassuring thing is that you can do something to deal with the bias that results. Tackling these deep-seated issues is a must and if you are a business owner or in a position of authority, you have a responsibility to ensure that no one in your team is treated unfairly and to help those who need to readjust their view and remove their feelings of bias.

The Bias Crisis

Even in this modern day of age, when prejudice and discrimination should be a thing of the past, studies reveal that there are increasing amounts of women and people of colour that are choosing to leave their jobs due to bias in corporate America. There are greater challenges to minorities than ever before to the point that leaders across business and governmental agencies are treating these issues as a serious crisis. The long-term effects of these biases have severe consequences for the employees, their families, and their communicates. It is vitally important that employees and management staff work hard to address any bias, conscious or not, to resolve this issue. Doing so will improve a company’s reputation, attract, and retain employees and boost productivity.

The most threatening dangers are the hidden ones, the ones that are inconspicuous and therefore more deadly. Bias follows the same pattern, lurking in blind spots of the brain, emerging in subtle yet sinister ways. Simply by judging someone based on their name, the colour of their skin, or even their accent, gives evidence to a hidden, or implicit bias, that needs to be addressed quickly before the problem escalates. 

What can do you do tackle unconscious bias?

Top Tips for Tacking Implicit Bias

There are few key things you can do to improve your workplace environment and create a place that is safe and encouraging for all who work within it.

Accept that unconscious bias is in all of us. Part of dealing with the problem is recognising that there is a problem in the first place. To think that bias doesn’t exist in your workplace is naïve and dangerous. The Implicit Association Test created by Harvard is designed to help people see their underlying biases that they may not even know exist – it can be extremely eye-opening to experience so it may be worth completing this assessment to become more aware of the bias you and others unknowingly have.

Think about your decisions. Implicit bias is more likely to rear its head when it comes to making swift decisions or act impulsively. Take the lead, and encourage others, to slow down, take a step back and make a thoughtful, considered decision.

Widen out your social circle. Encourage social activities in the workplace that make people widen out in their circle of friends. If staff can move around that can choose to sit with different colleagues, opening their hearts to people from different backgrounds which will improve their understanding of the others and create a more related work environment.

Don’t be afraid to establish some rules and speak out. Set some ground rules for behaviour and standards of conduct, make your employees aware of them, and make them live up to them. If you notice bias in someone else, don’t be afraid to bring it up. Have a quiet word with the person involved as they may not even realise that they are giving evidence to any bias. If the problem gets out of hand, speak up and take it to HR. Remind staff that it is everyone’s responsibility to create a kind, peaceful and fair environment to work in.

Humbly apologise when you get it wrong. We’re all going to mess up and make mistakes, but you can show yourself to be a humble leader by acknowledging where you or the company has made errors in fairness in the past. This honesty and transparency will show the desire to change and improve. It will also set a good example for others, to know that even if they make mistakes and show bias, they can admit them, apologise and work hard to do better next time.

Emphasis education. Equality and diversity training is a must to help people get up to speed with current events, challenge their own thinking, and create a fair and equal environment where every team member feels valued, heard, and appreciated. Training sessions and workshops will go a long way in helping people understand the seriousness of the situation and hopefully improve the atmosphere of the office for all.

Cost-Effective Alternative to a Brick-Built Extension

Posted on 24th November 2022

Other than this, homeowners also regret spending too much on something that’s not serving the purpose. So, when building and installing home extensions, it’s important to have good planning so that you can avoid slip-ups.

In this article, we will explain the tips that you can follow to avoid common mistakes while installing a brick-built extension alternative

Schedule Tasks from Beginning

A well-built to-do list will help accomplish the extension project without delays. You will stay updated with what is happening onsite. It’s worth mentioning that building brick-made extensions is more complicated. However, setting up modular spaces such as https://dunsterhouse.co.uk/garden-rooms-and-porches will save you from excessive dust and mess.

If you have kids or a pet at home, you can instruct the construction workers to complete messy jobs at a certain time when they are out. Also, scheduling all the tasks in a manageable manner will help you stay active – both mentally and physically. 

Watch the Weather 

Extreme weather conditions are not good for any construction-related chores, particularly when building extensions, as you are already living on-site. With brick-built extension things are dusty, and everything around the house is messed up. It’s not only the workers who are dealing with complex tasks but the homeowners too. With modular extensions there is less mess and disruption to deal with. 

Too high temperatures or chill winds can make things more challenging if you are renovating your home space as part of the exterior extension project. 

Consider Storage as Major Aspect

While setting up home extensions, homeowners usually forget to keep things such as furniture and effects safe. Whether you are looking to extend your living room or add a study space, storing your belongings carefully is necessary. 

It is essential to consider the space for storing things that you have shifted from the actual room you are planning to extend. Failure to manage your furniture and other things properly will only complicate your tasks as the items will get dusty when the project is in process. However, with a modular extension, the building is added to the exterior of your property without interfering with the space inside. All your belongings can remain safe and clean.  

Get Prepared for Living at a Construction Site

One of the most challenging things when setting up home extensions is to live in the same location. Every extension and renovation project include dust, mess, and debris; so, keep that in mind. Considering these things beforehand will prevent you from spending extravagantly.

Preparing in advance will lead to more cost-effective planning when installing a brick built extension alternative as mentioned in https://dunsterhouse.co.uk/addrooms. Even though building projects can be complicated, a little consideration can prevent you from unnecessary hassles. With a pre-fabricated extension alternative the building work is completed within a matter of days, not months.

Stick with Your Plan

Planning is important to ensure everything goes smoothly; sticking with your plan is crucial. The very next mistake to avoid is changing plans often after the home extension project starts. Not only will it waste your valuable time, but money as well. So, make sure you have everything in place before you start.

Setting up a modular extension over brick-built conservatories has a set of benefits. One significant advantage is that you can improve the modular garden space with a few design iterations. On the other hand, the inability to make changes to the traditional extension restricts people from opting for it. 

Keep Budget in Mind

Budget is preferably the first thing that you should keep in mind while selecting a reliable brick-built extension alternative. This will result in choosing the right design that falls within the affordable price range and installing it without worrying about the budget. The amount of money you want to spend on the extension project is important; so, you must know your limits. 

Let people know about the realistic budget and any other limitations that can affect the progress of the project at a later stage. But make sure the budget or any other factors must not affect the quality of the extension project. To keep everything aligned, talk to the team before the project starts to set a budget. 

Why Modular Extensions Over Brick-Built Extensions and Conservatories?

First things first, modular home spaces are easy to build and don’t take too much time to construct. The product is supplied in pre-made sandwich panels ready for assembly, saving you time. With modern garden spaces, you don’t have to worry about the additional unnecessary hassles that come with brick-built extensions. 

Building brick extensions may cost you anywhere between £1,200 – £2500 pmm2 which can be extensive if budget is the constraint. However, with modular extensions, you get the flexibility to select the design and size that fits your budget. Plus, the modern spaces are fully insulated for year-round comfort and use. 

Designed keeping the DIY market in mind, these extensions are innovative in many ways, giving you the advantage to use them for multiple purposes. You can utilise the modern garden spaces as a gym, study room, playroom, lounge, or office. The transportation, loading, and offloading of panels are easy and don’t require any special arrangements. 

So, if you are planning to extend your home or office space, go for modular extensions as they are cost-effective and time-saving alternatives.

Types of Solar Companies You Should Know About

Posted on 24th November 2022

Just any other segment, the solar industry has become quite varied and diversified as well. For example, there was a time when you only had to deal with a manufacturer for everything. But, now, you have to contact a specific organisation to perform a particular task.

Hence, it’s best to know about them as much as possible.

Different Types of Solar Companies

In this article, we’ll talk about different types of solar companies and discuss how they work. You can also find a separate section on how to choose them here.

So, without any further ado, let’s jump right into it.

1: A Solar Panel Manufacturer.

As the name suggests, a manufacturer tends to fulfil the duty of creating solar panels safely and securely. However, that’s where their responsibility ends. They can deliver you whatever you have bought from there. But, they won’t install or set it up.

One of the most prominent solar panel manufacturers in the market is First Solar. Apart from them, REC, Panasonic, and LG are some other options that you can choose from.

How Should You Choose: A solar panel manufacturer should be chosen by considering what they are asking for their service. Besides, their market reputation will be a factor as well. Yes, their experience might be something to consider too. But, it’s not that important.

2: A ESS (Energy Storage System) Manufacturer.

Unlike the aforementioned, an ESS manufacturer will focus on developing the battery needed to power up a solar panel. Besides, they can also create various management tools to track the overall production of electricity. An example of an ESS manufacturer is Tesla Powercell.

However, remember, not every solar panel will require a battery to run or operate properly. In that case, it’ll be best if you talk with an expert to learn more in this context.

How Should You Choose: An ESS is a significant yet complex component of a solar panel. Thus, it will be important for you to choose someone who has been operating in industry for a long time. Their market reputation will be crucial to know as well.

3: A Solar Inverter Manufacturer.

This company will only focus on manufacturing a solar inverter that can convert DC or direct current electricity into AC or alternate current electricity. Hence, there is no need to charge it to power up your house or organisational space when needed.

The power of a solar inverter will depend on the capacity of the product. Therefore, be sure to keep an eye on it while buying such an appliance for your purpose.

How Should You Choose: There aren’t too many solar inverter manufacturers available out there in the market. Hence, if you want to buy something, you should choose from these –

  • SMA Solar Technology.
  • Enphase.
  • Solar Edge.

4: A Solar Financer.

If used properly, solar energy can help us save quite a lot of money. However, the initial cost of purchasing and installing it can be pretty costly too. Thus, if you need some sort of boost in that department, you can certainly contact a solar financer.

Besides, they tend to partner with solar installers and dealers to ensure that you are getting the product with ease and convenience. They may have a hand in the case of accessibility too.

How Should You Choose: Reputation is extremely important for a solar financer. Therefore, if you are thinking about opting for a solar financer, always check their official website first. It should tell you more about their reputation, expertise, and so on.

5: A Solar Installer.

When you are thinking about installing a solar panel on your commercial building or a home, call a solar installer. These are the people that will come to your property, take a good look at whatever you have bought and install it.

Their charge will be different from the product you have bought from a manufacturer. Also, it might ask for more money depending on the installation location or difficulty. Hence, prior to hiring them, it’s always best to learn more about what they might ask for.

How Should You Choose: When it comes to choosing a solar installer, always seek how long they have been working for in this segment. If you want to take the safest route, make sure to choose someone who has an experience of at least five years.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

In this article, we are going to answer some questions that you might have regarding the blog and the titular topic. So, let’s get started with it.

1: Who is the Most Reputable Solar Company?

When it comes to reputation, there’s more than one option available for you in the industry. If we were to choose one amongst them, though, we’d always go for SunPower. Additionally, in case you want to opt for someone else, you may try out the following –

  • Blue Raven Solar.
  • Sunpro Solar. 
  • Momentum Solar.
  • Trinity Solar.
  • Tesla, etc.

2: How Do I Know Which Solar Company to Use?

The task of choosing the best solar company can be difficult. But, if you want to find the best possible option in the market, you should always check their –

  • Experience or how long they have been operating.
  • Their market reputation.
  • The pricing they are asking for.

3: What are the 3 Types of Solar Power Systems?

The common types of solar power systems are –

  • On-grid (also called a grid-feed or grid-tie solar system).
  • Hybrid (a type of grid-connected solar system with specific battery storage).
  • Off-grid (otherwise known as a stand-alone power module).

So, Who Should You Choose?

As mentioned before, choosing a solar company will entirely depend on what you want them to do for you. However, when it comes to buying a solar panel system, it’s always best to get an idea about the organisation before choosing them.

You can do so by taking a look at their website, asking for recommendations, and so on. Also, a solar financer might be able to help you out in this aspect as well.

How SMEs Can Combat the Cost-Of-Living Crisis by Breaking the Late Payment Cycle

Amid economic turmoil following the UK Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, late payments are on the rise, significantly impacting business survivability.  

Late payments not only have the potential to disrupt the equilibrium of a business, exacerbating profitability and cash flow management issues, but they also make it more difficult to retain staff by bridging the gap between cost-of-living standards and remuneration. 

The UK economy has resulted in one of the most significant declines in living standards since record began, putting a huge strain on SMEs. According to an FSB study, one in three business owners had an increase in late payments of invoices just last year, with another report finding that UK SMEs are spending upwards of one working week pursuing late payments. Interest rates, base rates and late payment fees all serve to exacerbate late payments but can also be the result of complex payment approval processes and cash flow mismanagement. In the current economic climate, keeping people employed and mitigating insolvency remains a challenging task for business owners. 

The root cause of late payments 

There are a multitude of ways the payment process architecture causes late payments, such as complexity within the payment approval process. For example, those who work within SMEs can be responsible for various operations and might not all have access to the business’s finances and consequently are not able to pay the supplier. This reinforces the need for an organised and systemic approval system that can streamline payments. In additional, manual processes, such as inefficiently streamlining invoices or too much of a reliance on these processes, become time-consuming and increase the potential for late payments.  

Late payments lead to business fragility  

As interest rates continue to rise, the Bank of England recently hiked the base interest rate to 3%, the largest increase in 30 years, it becomes harder for businesses to break the late payments cycle. For business-to-business transactions, businesses must pay the cost of interest on late payments (Statutory Interest), which within the UK is 8% of the owed amount, plus the Bank of England base rate. As interest rates get higher, it makes it even more difficult for businesses to pay invoices on time. Essentially, the longer the interest accrues, the higher the overall debt businesses owe, compounded by businesses having to also pay penalties for late payments.  

Reputations can be negatively impacted, affecting supplier-buyer relationships in the industry and beyond, by the late payments cycle. In turn, poor supplier relationships can cause delay in the delivery of promised products and services, resulting in businesses losing their competitive advantage or worse, their customers.  

Supplier relationships are integral to business survival. Additional perks such as preferential rates, premier access to new products, and exclusive or limited supplier offers are contingent on a good supplier/buyer relationship. This helps businesses deliver consistent quality to their customers and therefore gain a competitive edge. Consistent quality improves bottom-line profitability.  

How digital tools defend against late payments 

There is a solution to this late payment cycle – harnessing digital accounting tools to ensure their suppliers are paid on time and mitigate a complex approval system. These tools both allow payments to be scheduled and allow businesses to employ a proactive approach by making payments in bulk, two lines of defence that alleviate the risk of accidentally missing a payment. In addition, specific functions such as workflow approval, supplier/buyer management, cash flow monitoring, and invoice collection save businesses time when managing their finances and allow for visibility of all transactions. Subsequently, these preventative and proactive measures made possible by digital accounting tools maintain quality supplier-buyer relationships.  

Late payments threaten business survivability. Fortunately, streamlining business finances through digital accounting tools can reduce late payments and enable businesses to stay compliant and resilient to changing business needs. By adopting digital tools to improve cash flow management and profitability, businesses can stay competitive to be able to retain the best talent.  

By Glen Foster, Managing Director UK and Northern Europe, Libeo 

Glen Foster

Useful Furnace Repair Tips From the Pros

Posted on 24th November 2022

As the cold weather creeps in and the days get shorter, many homeowners are starting to fire up their furnaces for the first time this season. And while a properly working furnace is crucial to keeping your home warm and comfortable, it’s not immune to problems. Several common issues can occur with furnaces, some of which can be fixed by the homeowner and others that require professional help. Here are a few useful furnace repair tips that can help you identify and address some of the most common problems you may encounter.

1. Check the Filters

One of the most important – and easiest – things you can do to keep your furnace running smoothly is to check the filters regularly and replace them when necessary. A clogged filter will impede airflow, causing the furnace to work harder than necessary and potentially leading to a breakdown. Most filters need to be replaced every month or two.  Though it depends on the type of filter and how often the furnace is used.

Checking and replacing the filters is a quick and easy job that can save you a lot of money in repairs down the road. It is one of the safety tips that many professional furnace repair technicians recommend to their clients. Remember when you last replaced your filters and set reminders to check them regularly so you don’t risk a breakdown.

2. Clean the Air Ducts

The air ducts in your home play an essential role in keeping you and your family healthy and comfortable. They distribute heated or cooled air throughout the house and act as a filter, trapping dust, dirt, and other allergens that can cause problems for people with asthma or allergies. Therefore, cleaning the air ducts regularly is essential to ensure they are functioning correctly. There are a few different ways to clean your air ducts, including using specialized tools and technology to remove dust and debris from the system.

3. Check the Thermostat

Another common cause of furnace problems is a faulty thermostat, which can prevent your furnace from working correctly. If you notice that your furnace isn’t kicking on or blowing air as it should be, try adjusting the settings on your thermostat to see if that solves the problem. If it doesn’t, it’s likely that a faulty thermostat is the cause of your problems. If you suspect your thermostat may malfunction, it’s vital to seek professional help immediately.

4. Make Sure Your Pilot Light Is Intact

Another common issue that can cause problems with your furnace is a faulty pilot light, which can lead to cold spots or uneven heating throughout your home. To check your pilot light, turn off the power to your furnace and wait for a few minutes. Then, use a flashlight to check for a small blue flame – if it’s there, you know that your pilot light is intact. If it’s not visible, however, you may need to contact a professional furnace repair technician to resolve the issue.

For many homeowners, a properly functioning furnace is something they take for granted – until it breaks down and you find yourself dealing with costly repairs or even needing to replace your entire system. By following these simple tips, however, you can help ensure that your furnace continues to run smoothly year after year, keeping you and your family warm, comfortable, and safe.

9 Ways To Keep Your Face Looking Youthful

When it comes to aging, most people are resigned to the fact that they will eventually look old. Many wish they could turn back the clock on their physical appearance and keep their face looking youthful, but they feel it is simply impossible. In reality, there are several things you can do to help your face look younger and more vibrant. Following simple tips, you can keep your face looking healthy and beautiful for years.

1. Do Facial Toning and Lifting

Facial toning and lifting are great ways to keep your face looking young and healthy. By using simple exercises, you can help improve muscle tone and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. You can do several different exercises, but most involve using your fingers to gently tense and release the muscles in your face. You can also use Emface, a non-surgical face-lifting device with gentle electrical currents to stimulate the facial muscles. Regularly toning and lifting your face can help keep it looking young and radiant.

2. Exfoliate Your Skin Regularly

Exfoliating your skin is an integral part of keeping it looking youthful. By exfoliating regularly, you can remove dead skin cells and reveal fresh, new skin underneath. This can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and make your skin look smoother and more radiant. There are several different ways to exfoliate your skin, but the most common method is to use a facial scrub.

Scrubs come in various textures, so you can find one that best suits your needs. If you have dry skin, you may want to use a moisturizing scrub, while those with oily skin may prefer a mattifying scrub. It is also essential to choose a scrub that is appropriate for your age. If you are over 50, it is best to use a gentle scrub that does not contain harsh chemicals or abrasive ingredients.

3. Use a Good Quality Moisturiser

One of the best ways to keep your face looking youthful is to use a good quality moisturiser. A moisturizer helps keep your skin hydrated and elastic, which can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and lines. Choosing a moisturiser that is right for your skin type is vital. If you have oily skin, choose a light moisturiser that will not make your face feel greasy. If you have dry skin, you should choose a moisturiser that contains hydrating ingredients such as shea butter or coconut oil.

4. Use an Anti-Aging Serum

Anti-aging serums are another great way to keep your face looking young and healthy. Serums are formulated with potent anti-aging ingredients such as peptides, hyaluronic acid, and retinol. These ingredients promote collagen production and help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

You can apply an anti-aging serum in the morning before putting on your makeup or after you wash your face at night. Dab a small amount onto your face and smooth it into your skin using gentle circular motions. You should give your serum about 10 minutes to fully absorb before applying other products.

5. Protect Your Skin from the Sun

In addition to using a good quality moisturizer and anti-aging serum, it is vital to protect your skin from the sun. The sun’s UV rays can cause damage to the skin that may not appear for years, but which leads to signs of aging in the long run. To keep your face looking young, you should use sunscreen wherever you go outside. You should also try to avoid being out in the sun for too long and wear a wide-brimmed hat whenever possible.

6. Avoid Smoking and Excessive Drinking

Smoking and excessive drinking can cause premature skin aging by damaging blood vessels, depleting skin moisture, and causing free-radical damage. If you want to keep your face looking young and healthy, it is best to avoid these unhealthy habits as much as possible.

If you are a smoker, try quitting. If you cannot quit on your own, consider talking to your doctor about using a smoking cessation medication or other treatment options. Try limiting yourself to no more than one alcoholic beverage daily, and try not to drink excessively on the weekends. Additionally, try to avoid alcohol if you plan to be out in the sun for an extended period, as it can increase your risk of sunburn and other skin damage.

7. Get Plenty of Sleep

Getting enough sleep is another important way to keep your face looking young and healthy. When you get a good night’s rest, your body rejuvenates and repairs damaged skin cells. This helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.

If you have trouble sleeping at night, try incorporating some relaxation techniques into your nighttime routine. For example, you could try meditating or taking a warm bath before bed. Also, avoid bright screens and other sources of blue light in the evening hours, as these can disrupt your sleep cycle and make it harder for you to fall asleep.

8. Eat a Healthy Diet

A healthy, balanced diet is also key to keeping your face looking youthful and vibrant. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help promote collagen in the skin while eating foods high in antioxidants can help protect your skin from free-radical damage.

Along with eating a healthy diet, you should limit your consumption of fatty, greasy foods and refined sugar. These foods are high in unhealthy fats and can cause inflammation in the skin, leading to premature aging. Additionally, limit your intake of alcohol and other sugary drinks, as these can also contribute to wrinkles and fine lines over time.

9. Use a Hydrating Mask Occasionally

If you want your skin to look its best, you must use a hydrating face mask occasionally. A hydrating mask can help infuse your skin with moisture, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Many different types of masks are available, so you can easily find one that suits your needs and budget.

To use a hydrating mask, apply it to your face and leave it on for 20-30 minutes. After rinsing off the mask, gently pat your skin dry with a towel. Follow up with a moisturizer and sunscreen to protect your skin from damage and further aging.

Following these simple tips can keep your face looking youthful and healthy for many years. By taking good care of your skin, you can maintain a youthful appearance and feel more confident.

How To Save Money On Materials When Renovating

Posted on 24th November 2022

If you’re trying to plan a renovation, you’ll have noticed just how expensive everything is. There is a long line of reasons for this. First, the pandemic caused supply-chain disruptions. Then, as things were getting better, inflation pushed prices up. When Russia invaded Ukraine, not only did inflation get worse, but the still unresolved supply chain issues got worse yet again.

This has led to a situation in which many people have had to cancel their renovation plans because they could not afford it. If there is absolutely no wiggle room on your budget, you may have to postpone your project. However, if you can spend a little bit more, there are ways to cut down on the cost of material to get your remodel over the line.

It is important to secure your financial situation before you start your remodel for the same reason. Materials are more expensive and your insurer may need to pay more than expected if something happens to your house. Make sure your homeowners insurance policy covers the increased costs of building materials, paying for a rebuild rather than a fixed amount. Otherwise, the pay-out after a disaster might not be enough.

Here are tips to save money on materials when renovating.

Tweak Your Design

When money for a renovation is tight, proper planning is crucial. You cannot afford to use a trial-and-error approach for any part of your project. As such, you should have impeccable designs that demonstrate exactly what needs to be done.

Often, in tweaking your design, you can save money without cutting important corners. You may find that switching to a more open-plan design can save a lot of money on building materials.

Certain luxuries may also not be as necessary as they once seemed. You can cut a luxury out and use some of the money to improve the design of something you really need. This way, you make significant improvements while still saving cash.

Reuse Materials

Materials are extremely expensive right now… if you buy them new. Often, building centres will be selling materials that have been used in since-demolished buildings. In this case, you may have to compromise on some of your design choices. You will be making do with what you can get, rather than getting exactly what you want.

Habitat for Humanity ReStores actually provide used building materials that can go a long way towards completing your project. Check if there is a ReStore near you before paying the inflated prices for new materials.

Go For Efficiency Over Size

If you’re trying to increase the size of a room – such as your kitchen – to improve its usability, you are going to have to spend a lot of money on materials. Expanding a space is an incredibly expensive project, and now may not be the best time to do so. Instead, you can try finding ways to increase the efficiency of the space you already have.

This may be as simple as knocking down a wall to create more counter space, or a complex project like efficient cabinet designs for more storage. Either way, you are saving money while still getting the benefit of a more usable room.

Sell Stuff

Since you’re doing a renovation, there are probably things that you no longer need or want. Instead of simply discarding them (or keeping them in a storeroom for the rest of your life) host a yard sale. You can also sell things on Facebook Marketplace if you want to find a wider target market.

If you don’t end up selling your old stuff, why not donate it to an organization like Habitat for Humanity? Either way, it becomes more useful than it will ever be to you again

Costs are extremely high right now, and you may be best served by postponing your home improvement project. However, if you are frugal and willing to compromise, you can cut costs and find a way forward.

iwocaPay Integrates With WooCommerce To Offer B2B Buy Now, Pay Later To Ecommerce Businesses 

  • Businesses who use WooCommerce to sell online can now embed a B2B buy now, pay later solution into their ecommerce checkouts to help convert their customers.   
  • This is thanks to an extension iwocaPay has built for WooCommerce using its new ecommerce API solution.
  • This new API makes iwocaPay the only UK-based B2B BNPL provider that’s fully omni-channel: able to integrate with invoices, checkouts and anywhere businesses take payments.
  • iwocaPay is calling for more integrations to help ecommerce businesses offer B2B buy now, pay later from their online stores.  

iwoca, one of Europe’s largest small business lenders, is today announcing the integration of its B2B payment solution iwocaPay with leading ecommerce software WooCommerce.  

WooCommerce holds 37% market share of ecommerce software platforms worldwide.  iwocaPay’s new extension will provide tens of thousands of ecommerce businesses with the option to offer buy now, pay later to their business customers.

New B2B buy now, pay later (BNPL) solution for ecommerce

This announcement comes just after iwocaPay has launched its brand new B2B BNPL API solution, and WooCommerce is one of the first companies it has connected with. The new solution allows businesses to embed iwocaPay into their ecommerce checkouts, and makes iwocaPay the only UK-based B2B BNPL provider that is fully omni-channel, letting businesses offer B2B payment terms to their customers (whilst getting paid instantly themselves) anywhere they take payments – whether that’s in invoices, in person, or in their ecommerce checkout.

The global B2B ecommerce sector is expected to expand to over $33 trillion by 2030, and growth in this market is a key tailwind for B2B BNPL – a market currently worth $1 trillion. iwocaPay recently announced that it saw 250% growth in Pay Later transactions over the past 12 months.

Embedded solutions to help SMEs – iwoca calls for more plugin partners 

Leading the way in embedded finance, iwoca is calling for more partners to integrate with their B2B payments solution. 

Lara Gilman, Co-lead of iwocaPay said: “We’re proud to be the only fully omni-channel B2B buy now, pay later provider in the UK, letting businesses offer payment terms in their invoice, their ecommerce checkouts, or anywhere they take payments. We’re delighted that WooCommerce users now have the option to include iwocaPay in their checkout, so they can offer business customers the extended payment terms they need, without carrying the credit or late payment risk.”

“We welcome more companies to integrate with iwocaPay so that we can help both buying and selling businesses grow and manage cash flow with our digital B2B BNPL payment solution.”

Small businesses owners can add iwocaPay to their WooCommerce site by signing up to iwocaPay and installing it from their account. 

Payments Expert Argues Credit Card Challengers Add to Payments Industry Growth & Maturity

Although Visa and Mastercard have lost the unequivocal leader status as far as payments industry market share is concerned — they are still perceived as ones to beat. Payments industry expert argues that consumers and merchants stand to benefit if payment providers continue to challenge each other to deliver new solutions to market, but only if new offers offer substance

Payment service providers Visa and Mastercard are one of the biggest brands in the payments industry. Merchants and consumers associate them both with high fees, especially in the US market, where both legislative and market challengers are hoping to curtail their duopoly, since the payments processing fees are uncapped like in the EU. However the payments industry is more complex than just the transactions at the check-out counter. It is often overlooked that as a result of influence and pressure from the two card giants, a lot of payments industry innovation was initiated across the globe, especially in cross-border payments and e-commerce.

Frank Breuss, whose local payment Fintech company Nikulipe operates in fast-growing and emerging markets, argues that “killing” credit cards should not be the focus of market challengers and that the presence of diverse industry players in the payments industry is necessary for the payment technology to advance.

An environment that fosters competition

Visa and Mastercard’s payments industry popularity has pushed Fintechs and even governments across the globe to look for alternative payment infrastructures and methods. Most payments solutions, including A2A payments, Online Banking, Pay by Bank and Local Payment Methods were initially introduced as challengers to dominant market players. Since local payment methods are becoming the dominant choice around the world — the narrative is changing slightly, but the sense of challenge is not going away. The good news being that as in any free-market, the competition will always benefit the consumer.

A2A payment innovation

Account-to-Account (A2A) payments move money directly from one account to another without the need for additional intermediaries like in card payments. Even though this technology has been around for many years, mainstream adoption was not possible due to a lack of infrastructure. That’s why for the past 10 years around 80% of Central Banks around the world have invested in building the infrastructure that enables A2A payments. The simple reason being elimination of transactional fees or extra costs. The money travels directly from the account of the customer to the account of the merchant.

“With the goal of eliminating payment processing, assessment, and interchange fees — that only benefit the transaction operator such as Visa or Mastercard, many Fintechs started developing payment solutions with the A2A technology,” explains Mr. Breuss. “Aside from the reduction of transaction fees, such payments offer a more flexible infrastructure as well as accepting and collecting payments faster which benefits both the consumer and the merchant.”

Major ‘pay-by-bank’ and LPM adoption

Close to 59% of Europeans use online banking and ​​this share is constantly increasing and has more than doubled since 2007 when it stood at 25%. Aside from a diversified and competitive market, online banking adoption allows Fintechs to develop innovative Local Payment Method (LPM) solutions for particular countries or regions using Open Banking technology. Solutions such as banklinq, LPM for the Baltic region, benefit the merchants and consumers alike, offering an integrated payment solution that allows consumers to pay via their favourite bank if integrated by a global merchant.

“Open Banking solutions in the form of LPMs benefit both the customer and the merchant. For both parties the fees are significantly reduced, transactions are faster and chargebacks are virtually eliminated for the merchant which is a big issue in e-commerce,” says Frank Breuss. “Furthermore, Fintechs are able to offer a more convenient shopping experience for merchants with enhanced user experience and region-specific aspects such as language or payment options.”

Most recently, banks like JP Morgan have made a strong push for ‘pay-by-bank’ alternative payments processing system, hoping to push out credit card market dominance and escape the threat of “non-banking competitors beating JPMorgan to the punch.”

Credit cards as innovation enablers

Aside from local payment methods gaining adoption over credit and debit cards, the two credit card giants themselves are acknowledging the need for innovation in the payment industry. Both Visa and Mastercard work with fintechs, digital banks, and Fintech enablers across the globe. Both companies run partner accelerator programs and provide Fintech startups guidance and investment to grow their companies. Although the innovation is consolidated as companies who choose to enlist in these programs have to work within the frames and guidelines of Visa & Mastercard. Visa has even launched an initiative to act as a mediator between banks and Fintechs and thus increase their efficiency in cooperation.

“Legacy institutions can also drive innovation. They support startups that create solutions involving money 3.0, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence,” adds Mr. Breuss. “The downside is that innovation is often kept within a controlled environment that is convenient for both Visa and Mastercard. Perhaps Fintech-driven disruption can change this dynamic.”

Levelling the playing field

The discussion on how to balance the dependence between consumers, merchants and the card giants is still developing. Mr. Breuss suggests we don’t try to punish a party who has ushered payment infrastructure stability and facilitates global commerce. “Rather than penalising Visa & Mastercard, we should embrace the free market and all the new technologies or players that are entering it. Whether it’s government subsidies or new legislation, it should be targeted towards fostering more innovation and not limiting one’s activity.” He adds, “I hope credit cards don’t die for the simple reason of ensuring that consumers get the best of both worlds until the best solution within the payments industry will be found and adopted.”

How Does the Advertising Landscape Change Over the Festive Period?

Christmas is a period of festivity, merriment and giving – it’s also the perfect time for brands and advertisers to launch marketing campaigns and promote their products.

The entire run-up to Christmas and New Year is a marketing frenzy for brands and retailers around the World. When your advertising is spot on, Christmas can be the most lucrative time of the year for brands and businesses. From Black Friday to Boxing Day, the Christmas season is the most vital advertising period of the calendar.

If you’re wondering how the advertising landscape changes over the festive period, we’ll break it down for you in this article.

The power of Christmas advertising

Since advertising first came about, Christmas has always been an integral time of the year for brands and advertisers. After all, it’s the time of year when you can guarantee consumers of all types will be buying gifts for people of all ages – if your goods can be bought as gifts and can be consumed over the festive season, you want to make the most of advertising.

Most brands will have marketing and addressable tv ads intended for all year round as well as advertising tailored specifically for the Christmas period. Christmas is the most profitable period for retailers when they get their marketing right.

Recent studies from the Bank of England found that households spend £740 more in December than they do in subsequent months. Accordingly, the typical Christmas expenditure represents a 29% increase above monthly spending. However, the worsening cost-of-living crisis is set to see these figures reduced – although consumer spending will still be higher in this quarter of the year than others.

Increased sales mean the opportunity to boost sales with advertising

Christmas makes way for a huge increase in sales for a myriad of businesses and retailers since it’s a time when everyone is buying for many reasons – be it buying presents or purchasing mouthwatering cranberry sauce and stuffing for Christmas dinner.

In other words, Christmas is a huge opportunity for businesses, of all shapes and sizes, to generate a great number of sales and profit through the power of advertising. As much as your advertising needs to encourage consumers to buy your products or services over Christmas, you need to ensure that it is tailored to achieve long-term success too. By getting your name and products out there at Christmas, you might be able to attract long-term customers who stay with you for the long run.

Customers and messages matter more than sales pitches

While we’ve discussed that Christmas is the time when sales are booming, advertising tends to become less sales pitch-esque and more relatable and friendly. Advertisers generally focus more on the customers and the magic of Christmas, if you like, than their actual products and sales pitches when producing and displaying festive advertising.

Notice how most Christmas TV and video advertisements focus less on the brand itself and its products but more on depicting a heartfelt story with a message that spreads love or cheer over Christmas. Products can still feature in Christmas ads, but they’re never the main focus most of the time.

6 Reasons Small Businesses Should Consider OOH Advertising

The term ‘OOH advertising’ refers to out-of-home advertising — which, as the term suggests, appears in public places rather than, say, in magazines or on smartphone screens.

Good examples of OOH media include roadside billboards and bus shelters as well as digital screens in shopping centres. 

Furthermore, if your business is relatively small and — as a result — cash-strapped, OOH can constitute a surprisingly convenient advertising avenue for your firm. Here are several reasons why…

OOH ads can cut through the noise 

An online ad can too easily disappear under a deluge of other content, since these ads are placed where people are purposefully paying attention to things other than the ads.

Few people who casually peruse Google search results or a Facebook news feed, for example, are likely to look at the adjacent ads for very long. However, in the modern, media-saturated landscape, OOH ads can stand out simply due to being offline-based.

OOH ads can’t simply be skipped 

People can easily just scroll past ads on Google and Facebook, and might habitually click the ‘X’ button even on ads that take up a significant proportion of a webpage. 

Some people might even opt to install ‘ad blocker’ software to prevent online ads from appearing in the first place. In contrast, the physical nature of OOH ads makes them harder to ignore.

OOH ads garner trust 

In a study conducted in the UK, 40% of participants revealed that they trusted billboard and poster advertising, Statista reports.

This revelation particularly warrants attention given how disinformation and misinformation have blighted the image of social media, where many online ads are displayed. Through building trust, your small business can encourage its customers to make repeat purchases from it.

Research shows that OOH ads spur responses  

On average, some 45% of adults in the UK have admitted responding to outdoor ads in one manner or another. This figure is even higher when it comes to specific groups — like parents, Millennials and Londoners.

Many people have responded to out-of-home ads by searching for the advertised products, making online purchases and visiting stores. 

OOH ads are great for building brand awareness 

According to one statistic shared by Home Business, about 70% of outdoor ads promote local businesses. However, this social proof isn’t the only reason why your company should seriously consider renting billboard space.

This advertising tactic can easily pay for itself — and then some — by strengthening awareness of your brand. After all, during the time that this brand is featured on a billboard, many of the same people could keep passing it and seeing it — and remember your business as a result.

It’s delightfully easy to get started with OOH advertising  

If you run a start-up, you could take advantage of Clear Start — the start-up accelerator programme run by Clear Channel, a major provider of UK ad space.

Since the company’s network of OOH ads reaches 93% of the UK, there is likely to be Clear Channel-maintained OOH advertising space for you to rent in your firm’s geographic coverage area.

Heritage Resorts, Mauritius Announces its Unique Christmas and New Year Festivities Programme from International DJs to Nature Excursions

Heritage Resorts in Mauritius is inviting families and couples to enjoy a sensory escape over the end of year holiday season, to reconnect through nature and invigorating experiences. From December 20, 2022, to January 6, 2023, the Mauritian hospitality group has a unique programme for guests called ‘ALIVE’ involving DJ sets with Parisian DJs, wellness activities and gastronomical delights.

With ALIVE, the highlights include

  • International music artists over 8 days
  • 100% locavore culinary experiences
  • Wellness activities in nature such as meditation sessions overlooking an emerald lagoon and forest bathing
  • Christmas decoration workshop at the Timomo mini club
  • ‘From Trash to Music’ -Creating an instrument with recycled items for a jam session
  • Encounter with Mr Belal at Heritage Awali – gemologist and special stones artisan.
  • Movie under the stars at Kaz’alala
  • Excursions in the UNESCO classified Bel Ombre Nature Reserve
  • Sunset rum tasting on the terrace of the Château de Bel Ombre
  • Sunset music set by French DJ Julia Gautier by the pool of Heritage Awali
  • DJ set by Saint Lanvain at C Beach Club
  • Treasure hunt around the Bel Ombre Territory for teenagers

Every single day will be loaded with activity options, for family, friends or couples.

More than a stay in Mauritius, ALIVE is a promise to experience Mauritian authenticity in the heart of a preserved nature area, that promotes authenticity, sustainability and inclusiveness.

Guests can stay at one of the following properties in Bel Ombre:

Heritage Le Telfair is a plantation style all-suites hotel that provides luxury and contemporary sophistication nestled respectfully amidst nature and history. The hotel blends understated luxury and comfort with the delights of fine dining and culinary experiences – enjoyment of exclusive spa facilities, and award-winning golf course, with authentic encounters amongst the diversity and richness of local culture and heritage.

Heritage Awali provides all-inclusive, affordable luxury and unforgettable family adventure in Bel Ombre.  The hotel’s authentic warmth and generosity is reflected in the very soul and nature of this place, where relaxed comfort and quality sit easily amidst the vibrancy and energy. Effortless casual luxury, suffused with ethnicity and genuine hospitality, combines with an extensive, thoughtful range of facilities, quite literally offering something for every age, and guaranteeing memories to treasure for a lifetime.

Heritage The Residences offer guests the privacy and seclusion of a villa holiday but still access to five star resort amenities. The two, three and four bedroom villas have private pools and expansive terraces for enjoying outdoor BBQs and entertaining. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy the 18 hole championship golf course or 9 hole short course. Other facilities include 12 restaurants, 2 spa villages, kids and teen clubs, a kite surf school and The C Beach Club.

THE HEADLINERS

MISS KRISS

A key figure in the Parisian high society, Miss Kriss is the founder of the Mk Agency, as well as being a DJ and sound designer. In Paris, she occupies the leading role of Art Director for the Bristol and distills a Deep House, sexy and festive sound during fashion weeks where she performed at prestigious evenings for brands such as Chaumet, Chanel but also in Saint-Tropez for Louis Vuitton, and with The Avener at the Cannes Film Festival.

JULIA GAUTIER

Artistic Director, DJ and sound designer for the most beautiful palaces, Julia Gautier brings a distinctive glamorous universe as evidenced by her latest residency at the Hotel Crillon as well as her collaborations in the world of luxury: in Paris for De Beers, Chopard or Breitling, in Capri for Chanel or in Saint-Tropez for Bvlgari. Join Julia to discover her Nu Disco and House sound.

FEATHER HED

Originally from Canada and based in Paris, Caroline Fraser, known as “Feather Hed”, mixes organic sounds between deep and melodic house. Her sets make souls wander to connect with others around her distinctive vibes. Feather Hed has a residency in Paris at the Plaza Athénée as well as on Radio FG and plays regularly in Ibiza, Italy and Portugal. An AfroDeep-House selection is an ideal match for the mesmerizing sunsets in Bel Ombre.

DAMIEN PEPONNET

DJ of the most select parties, in Paris and abroad, for private and corporate events, Damien offers an open-format Disco House sound. Inspired by travels in Ibiza, south of France and Italy, his music is renewed every year and remains a safe selection for a demanding audience.

ABOUT HERITAGE RESORTS

Part of the Rogers Group, Heritage Resorts plays a leading role in driving sustainable growth in the Mauritian economic arena, within the hospitality resort sector. Staying true to their group’s pioneering spirit and passion for authenticity, they are dedicated to creating some of the most remarkable travel experiences possible on the island.

Since October 1st, 2021, Heritage Resorts, part of Rogers Hospitality, has been offsetting 100% of the carbon emissions of its guests’ stay through the Now For Tomorrow initiatives. Because Rogers Hospitality understands that today’s challenges are tomorrow’s opportunities, the group has made energy transition, sustainable development, biodiversity protection, living and integrated local communities and inclusive development its five priorities.

In addition, since January 2022, 100% of the supply of fruits and vegetables, seafood, poultry, and meat are from local and regional partners, farmers, producers, and suppliers.

For more information on the company visit www.heritageresorts.mu

For more information on ALIVE visit https://heritageresorts.mu/events/alive-festive-season

Indonesia in the Spotlight

Indonesia has proven to be an attractive investment proposition this year and now represents approximately 10% of our GEM portfolio. A key rationale for our positive view of this market is a major derating of our favoured businesses coupled with a macro tailwind. The economy has benefitted from an increase in exports, notably from commodity products which has helped improve the government’s fiscal position. Additionally, GDP is expected to grow by 5% over the next few years. We focus on companies which are domestic champions in their sector and have identified several that will perform whilst consumers’ behaviours are changing due to increased prosperity.

It is well known that the country has abundant natural resources including nickel deposits which make it the largest global supplier of the raw material. In 2021 Indonesian mines accounted for over 35% of global supply. This year, output has increased by 41% meaning that, year-to-date, Indonesia has supplied 47% of the world’s nickel.

The dominant position in this market meant that, in 2020, Indonesia’s government decided to take advantage of the growing demand generated by the electric vehicle manufacturers and banned raw nickel exports. As a result, battery and EV manufacturers such as CATL and Tesla have formed partnerships with local companies (as evidenced by Tesla’s USD 5bn nickel purchasing contract) to develop domestic refining and processing facilities. This has led to a lasting job and wealth creation rather than just a simple revenue stream from exports.

The rise of commodity prices has been benefiting Indonesia’s trade balance and fiscal position. This in turn allowed the government to increase the 2023 infrastructure budget by 8% and set a c. 90bn USD investment target for next year. Other initiatives such as easing regulations to enable further job creation, increasing minimum wage by 7% and increased support for the national health insurance programme will help consumer confidence of the population that exceeds 270m (of which, Gen Z and the millennials make up over half).

Historically, Indonesia has been seen as more dependent on commodity cycles and at risk of currency depreciation. Post covid, the government has exhibited good fiscal policies. Indonesia’s economy is running steady and the G20 summit this month is an opportunity to showcase this stability to a global audience. Furthermore, the government has been able to manage the reduction of the fuel subsidy efficiently in response to higher global oil prices. Costs have been gradually passed on to consumers, hence sentiment and actual spending remain relatively strong. We have taken this as an opportunity to invest in consumer companies that have been on our watchlist for some time.

Bank Rakyat is Indonesia’s largest bank in terms of assets and is recognised as one of the world’s leading microfinance institutions. It has a rural network of some 10, 000 branches and five hundred thousand agents enables them to reach smaller towns across the archipelago and a 30m strong client base, many of whom prefer face to face rather than online interaction.

Telkom Indonesia is the largest telecommunication operator in Indonesia with 175m subscribers. The company has benefitted from consolidation in the sector as five operators have been reduced to three. We believe Indonesia is at the sweet spot of consumer data adoption via mobile phones and fixed telecom acceleration as users demand for content increases.

Sumber Alfaria is a leading player in the growing mini-market sector with its Alfamart brand attracting 6m customers to their stores every week. This number is likely to grow as Indonesians move from the traditional wet-market to the more modern mini-mart shopping experience. Sustainable GDP growth will support the disposable income growth and, in turn, will drive sales increases.

Kalbe Farma is a pharmaceutical company in a fragmented marketplace serving over two hundred thousand outlets nationally. Its offerings include nutrition products such as powdered milk, prescription pharma and consumer healthcare. The government has suggested that the support for the Indonesia National Health Insurance programme will increase, and Kalbe Farma would be a key beneficiary of this development.

With the 2024 election in mind Joko Widodo, Indonesia’s president, will have consumer confidence and increased prosperity at the forefront of his efforts to cement his popularity for re-election for an unprecedented third term. Further measures to this effect are likely to benefit our domestic champions in the medium and long term.

How to Maximise Your Marketing Budget

SME owners could easily be excused for feeling envious of people running much larger firms. According to statistics shared by Website Magazine, while the average larger business pours about 9-12% of its revenue back into marketing, the average small business can end up spending just 2% on marketing.

However, while your SME might be at a financial disadvantage straight away, you can still utilise various clever tips and tricks for making the most of your marketing budget.

Make sure you have both data and goals 

If you fail to set specific corporate goals, your financial expenditure could turn out to be rather inefficient. However, before you do set goals, you should be careful to define your target audience lest you market in a manner that doesn’t reach or resonate with your prospects.

While it would bode well for your business to be data-driven or at least data-informed, no amount of data will be useful for you if you are unsure how to use it wisely.

Make social media a key part of your promotional drive 

The idea of engaging heavily in social media marketing is immediately attractive on the basis that social media can be used without requiring any upfront fee. You can also use social to post marketing content instantaneously, mine significant amounts of data, and generate leads. 

Indeed, in a 2017 survey of marketers, 92% said that they deemed social media important to their business. Meanwhile, 78% revealed that, by using social media, they had increased traffic for their business.

Collaborate with other brands complementary to your own 

The genius of this particular strategy is that it would enable you to offload at least some of the financial burden inevitably incurred with a marketing campaign for your business.

You also might not struggle to find willing would-be collaborators, as your brand isn’t just about your own company’s offerings — it’s also about the broader ecosystem surrounding them. This ecosystem will include products or services offered by companies other than your own.

Apply the Pareto Principle 

As explained in an Entrepreneur article, the above is “also known as the 80/20 rule”, and is where you would “identify the top 20% of your traffic sources that generate 80% of good results”. You would then focus your budget on those most lucrative sources.

As further explained in the article: “Especially for smaller budgets, it is often times more effective to allocate it on the 10% that is generating 90% of results.” 

Keep your brand seamless across various marketing channels 

You might already be accustomed to delivering an ‘omnichannel’ experience, where you interact with customers via multiple channels. These can include a website, social media accounts, and physical stores run by your company.

As revealed by McKinsey research findings shared in a LinkedIn article, omnichannel shoppers buy 70% more frequently and spend 34% more compared to people shopping in stores.

However, you should make sure that your marketing messages are consistent across all promotional channels used by your business — as, otherwise, your brand value could be needlessly hampered.

7 Ideas for SMEs to Weather Increasing Inflation

This year, UK consumer price inflation has reached 10.1% — its highest rate for over four decades, as the Startups website reports. Unsurprisingly, the increased inflation has taken its toll on SMEs — but, if you run one, you can still steer it towards a financially healthy course. 

Here are several steps you can take to help lessen the strain of inflation on your SME.

Increase prices, but be judicious about it 

Claire Tasker, founder of the Hertfordshire-based business Claire Tasker Jewellery, recently told the Startups website: “I really don’t want to have to raise my prices but, long term, my current prices just aren’t sustainable.” 

If you are in Claire’s position, you could think about raising prices only gradually, and ideally on your less popular products or services.

Switch to a subscription-based payment model 

With financial experts having warned that we can expect high inflation for the long haul, you could consider beginning to offer a range of subscription-based pricing plans.

That way, you can budget more confidently for the future, as you will have a better idea of how your corporate finances should shape up over the coming months.

Rent a serviced office 

The Startups website defines a serviced office as “a workspace which comes ready-furnished, with internet and phone lines preconnected and devices already equipped.” When you rent a serviced office, the office provider can handle the facilities management costs. 

SMEs don’t even have to compromise with the visual appeal of their workspaces; consider, for example, the case of the serviced offices in Belfast’s recently refurbished Custom House.

Audit your staff and their working hours 

Another good reason to consider renting a serviced office is that it could give you more flexibility in how you are able to scale your workplace up and down in response to staffing changes.

Alas, you might feel more inclined to drop employees than recruit them in the current economic climate. However, one alternative cost-saving strategy could be to simply rein in existing employees’ work hours.

Reassess your profit margins 

This advice comes from ecommerce entrepreneur Sam Barrante, who adds as quoted by American Express: “Start by reevaluating your costs and then analyse what margins you are facing in today’s economy.”

The next step would be to “start looking into solutions to increase those margins, while continuing to ensure quality products and services.” 

Stock up on supplies in advance 

Since you can’t be certain that inflation won’t be even worse a few weeks or months from now, it could prove financially convenient for you to source various core materials early, before they get a chance to increase even more in price.

Prepare for an influx of new customers 

“Inflationary periods are unnerving to many,” Stuart Robles, the co-author of The New World of Entrepreneurship: Insiders’ Guide to Buying and Selling Your Own Business in the Digital Age.

“As a result, customer segments and market niches previously unreachable can become attainable as your company is seen as a beacon of light in terms of potential lower prices and rates.”

Eight Steps for Long-Term Employee Wellbeing

In the wake of a 25% increase in anxiety and depression worldwide, triggered by the pandemic and compounded by economic instability and digital overload, strategies and policies that protect employee mental health must now be the norm.

“Employers have a moral responsibility to their workforce to commit to supporting their health and wellbeing for the long-term,” says David McCormack, CEO of HIVE360.

“Indeed, 83% of employees say they believe their wellbeing at work is just as important as their salary.

“One in four people in the UK experience mental health problems at some point in their lives, and work is cited as the biggest cause of stress and anxiety. Together with the unprecedented levels of mental health issues in the workplace, this impacts employee engagement, productivity and business reputation,” he says.

“A recent Mental Health Foundation and London School of Economics and Political Science survey estimates that mental health problems now cost the UK economy around £118billion a year, and the cost in the workplace is estimated to be in excess of £2,000 per employee per year, with 59% of long-term absence caused by stress and mental illness.”

In a modern working environment, Employee Wellbeing Services are essential to maintain a business, with specific mental health support improving workplace culture and staff productivity: “This cannot be achieved overnight, and employee wellbeing support must be maintained to remain effective,” adds David.

HIVE360 shares its eight steps for a long-term approach to employee wellbeing:

1. Provide the right investment for mental health

There can be no ‘one size fits all’ answer to employee mental health. Long-term, companies need to make the right investment in a range of services to support staff, starting with training mental health first aiders and offering employee wellbeing programmes.

2. Support career wellbeing

A lack of purpose and direction at work can deteriorate employee wellbeing over time. Establish career wellbeing by providing Employee Training Solutions, outlining a clear job progression, and offering meaningful responsibilities.

3. Create a positive community

Cultivating a more Inclusive and Diverse Workspace will take time, but it’s an effective way of making the workplace a supportive environment for employees. 

4. Build openness

Work should be safe space for open and honest discussions about employee wellbeing. Supported by providing managers with mental health resources, offer employees self-assessments and questionnaires, and encourage co-workers to reach out if they need to talk.

5. Emphasize job security

The cost of living crisis is having a huge impact on the financial wellbeing, as well as anxiety and overall mental health, and so it is essential employees feel valued for their work and that their job is safe. Free tools and resources on budgeting and household finances planning can help ease employee worries, alongside staff recognition programmes, and clear career and promotion pathways.

6. Work-Life balance

One of the best methods for supporting long-term mental health is to listen to what your employees want from work. Support initiatives that improve their work-life balance, such as hybrid working practices, employee wellbeing days, or even newer options like a 4-Day work week, allow staff to take the time they need to look after their wellbeing.

7. Track results

Staff wellbeing and employee engagement work hand in hand. Measuring and tracking engagement can be great for supporting wellbeing services, by identifying what works and what employees want, to enable modifications and enhancements to how a business approaches employee support.

8. Employee benefits

Have an employee benefits package that offers relevant, new and exciting discounts and services. This should be in-tune with discounts and savings on everyday bills and expenses to help ease financial worries. This reminds staff that they are valued.

Enjoying a Luxurious Vacation: 7 Practical Tips to Follow

Spending a few days at a five-star resort may do wonders for the mind, body, and spirit after a long year of coping with the stresses of daily life. Your productivity and motivation will increase as you treat yourself like a king or queen. It’s preferable to enjoy oneself while spending extra cash than to lament one’s inaction. Many people automatically associate luxury with obscene amounts of money, but this is false. What makes a trip luxurious is that it caters to the traveller’s tastes. Having a nice trip is possible for everyone who takes the time to plan.

Set Up Your Stay

Finding a comfortable place to stay is essential to enjoying a vacation. The vacation accommodation you choose is of paramount importance. From private villas to five-star hotels, opulent lodgings come in various forms. Find the one that gives you the most pleasure. When choosing where to stay, keep the following in mind: It must be convenient to your desired destinations. For instance, Costa Rica is one of the best, with beautiful ocean scenery. The place of stay should be near enough to see the expansive ocean view. You wouldn’t want anything to spoil your trip, so ensure it’s safe and secure. When choosing villa rentals in Costa Rica consider the quality of their service, amenities, and rooms. They also provide a unique and remarkable adventure that will leave visitors feeling pampered and fabulous. Never forget to prioritise your needs and preferences and the location you intend to travel to.

Research

You should find out what kind of things to anticipate at the destination you are visiting before you even leave for your trip. Keep an eye on the forecast, the local weather forecast, and local cultural landmarks and rituals to make sure you’re ready for anything. It’s possible to get all the information you need about a destination before you arrive there by searching social media and chatting with locals there.

Making A Budget Plan

After settling on a destination and lodging arrangements, it is time to start thinking about how much money you will need for your upcoming holiday. Never let the pursuit of comfort excuse you from responsibility. It makes no difference how much you are willing to spend on your vacation lavishly. A budget is something that you need to make. Making sensible plans that take into account one’s financial situation requires the establishment of a budget. You should set a firm budget before you leave on your trip so that you can be aware of your spending. You may get more out of your budget if you think about it. Compose a detailed budget that includes everything from airfare to souvenirs. Be aware of all the costs associated with your trip, including some that may not be immediately obvious. Get your finances in order in case you incur any unforeseen bills. 

 Use A Professional Travel Agency

 It can be nerve-wracking to plan an entire holiday on your own. You’ll need to get in touch with various people to go around, eat, and find your way around your destination. Everything here is on par with the kind of work that no one wants to perform while on vacation. One way to deal with the stress of planning a trip is to hire a travel agent. Travel agents know all the tricks to make their clients’ trips unforgettable. They’ve worked with other tourists before, so they know the area and what to expect. Just explain what you hope to get out of your trip, and they’ll figure out how to make it happen.

Early Booking

When planning a vacation, one of the most significant ways to obtain exactly what you want is to book far in advance. Unfortunately, many travelers procrastinate until the last minute, which means they have fewer options and pay higher prices. The best way to ensure that your trip is as wonderful as you want is to plan, especially if you have a specific destination or vacation. One more perk of making reservations ahead of time is the potential to save money. You can save money on hotels and flights when you book in advance. To cut down on travel expenses, use these deals.

Construct A To-Do List

You could like to accomplish many things when on a luxury vacation. You should develop a list and begin crossing items off as you finish them. This will ensure you have a fantastic day and don’t neglect anything crucial. The following is a checklist for organizing a high-end vacation: Wherever you’d like to go that holds significant meaning for you or others. Happenings that are either uniquely local to the area you’re in or characteristic of the time of year you’ll be there. It would be best to plan places to eat and the food you’re anticipating. 

Create An Amenities List 

When on vacation, most people spend a lot of money on the basics: a comfortable hotel room, tasty meals, and plenty of alcoholic beverages. However, don’t forget the finer details that can elevate your vacation to a luxurious getaway. What follows are some suggestions for enhancing the quality of your trip without breaking the bank. An option is to go for a suite that offers more comfort than the standard room. A personal driver can be hired for your trip to add even more luxury. This will eliminate travel stress, allowing you to enjoy the ride in your vehicle. Alternatively, you might treat yourself to a spa day or a candlelit meal at a quaint restaurant. Make the most of your time away, whatever you do. A vacation is a beautiful way to relax and unwind from the pressures of everyday life.

Vacations are thrilling and enjoyable for those who like to see the world and learn about different cultures. Planning and researching what to expect and how to prepare for your trips will ensure that your vacation is as beneficial and fun as possible. Do not overstuff your bag; leave behind any trinkets or extras you won’t need. Keep a journal of your travels as you go, detailing your experiences so that you can look back on them with fondness afterward.

Tips in Buying a Luxury Property in Singapore

Posted on 24th November 2022

Buying property in Singapore can be a wise move, as it can provide a secure future and lucrative returns. However, you should keep the following things in mind before jumping into a purchase:

Why do people buy properties?

There are several reasons why people buy properties. The most common is living in, which means you will own the property for yourself and your family. When you purchase property to live in, you benefit from being able to pay off your mortgage before it reaches its full term. This also means that when you sell the house later on, you can also profit from this.

Other people buy properties to rent them out so that they can make money from renting out their properties instead of having their cash tied up in the form of mortgages for many years before selling them off at some point later on down the road (if ever).

Buying properties in Singapore

Buying properties in Singapore is a complex process that involves many parties and agencies. The government controls the property market, imposing restrictions on foreign buyers, local buyers, investors, and developers.

If you’re planning to buy property in Singapore, you must understand how the nation’s housing market operates and how your involvement will fit into this system.

This article will examine the basic rules surrounding property investment in Singapore, so that you can better decide where to invest your money and how long it should take for your investment to pay off.

Who are the buyers of new launch condos?

There are many different types of buyers who purchase new-launch condos. Some of these buyers include:

• Singaporeans and Singapore permanent residents (PRs)

• Foreigners with work permits

• Foreigners who are married to Singaporeans or PRs

Where is the best place to buy land in Singapore?

Choosing the right location is essential when buying land in Singapore. Consider the following criteria:

• Area of the land. It will be easier to resell your property near amenities like shops and restaurants. This will also be a factor if you want to live close to a beach or park. Furthermore, you must carefully assess all areas of the country before deciding where you want to buy land in Singapore. You can consult a real estate agent who can help with this process and advise on which locations meet your needs best.

• Proximity to amenities such as public transport systems, schools, hospitals, and other facilities like supermarkets are also essential for determining where you should look for property in Singapore – especially if several children in your family need access.

There is an upcoming luxury property in the West Coast of Singapore, Terra Hill. Terra Hill is a new development next to the serene park and along the beautiful neighbourhood of Pasir Panjang with highly convenient access to retail, f&b and schools. Book a Preview to Terra Hill Showflat for more information.

How much is a property likely to appreciate in Singapore?

You might wonder, “How much can I expect my property to appreciate in Singapore?”

Property prices have been increasing in Singapore over the last decade. They have raised more than the cost of living and wages. This means that buying a home is more valuable than ever before. If you purchased a house for $900,000 five years ago and continue to hold it today, its value may have appreciated significantly—perhaps by as much as $95,000 or more! Now imagine what will happen to your investment if you invest for just one more year.

Can you buy properties as an investment, and how does one get started?

As an investor, you should buy properties with good capital appreciation and growth potential.

However, there are several considerations before you decide to make such a huge investment.

The first thing is to decide if buying property in Singapore is suitable for you. If it is, then it’s essential to determine what kind of property would suit your needs. You’ll want something that has both good rental potential and can improve in value over time.

Conclusion

Investing in properties takes work, especially if you are new to them. However, it can be made easier with the proper knowledge, experience, and guidance from a trusted source.

4 Types of Fur Coat to Buy this Holiday Season – the Ultimate Guide!

‘Tis the season, which can only mean one thing: shopping for Christmas gifts is about to get real!

But what are you getting *you*?

What are you pampering yourself with this holiday season, if not with a unique high-end fur jacket?

Nothing says timeless luxury like a fur coat and if you’re looking to buy one, now is the time to do it.

To help you in this endeavour, eFurs has created a list with the most sought-after coats to up your style game.

Are you ready to find out more about the different types of fur? We’re most certainly swooning over them already!

Mink fur coats – A top choice today

Soft, smooth, and shiny – almost wet-looking – mink is among the most popular fur types.

With a dense underfur that feels like silk to touch, it is considered a very high-quality fur, bound to make you stand out.

Darker colours, like black, brown and blue-grey are all-time-classics that never go out of style – an investment piece that deserves its spot in your closet.

Chinchilla fur coats – A must-have among fur enthusiasts

With a density of more than 20.000 hairs per square centimetre that makes it inhabitable to parasites, the chinchilla fur coat is among the most wanted types of fur coat today.

It doesn’t get better, or more luxe to be honest, than adorning ourselves in an oversized, lavish coat on a chilly day.

As a gift to a beloved friend, family-member, or simply to yourself, the chinchilla fur jacket will be a big hit – this year and for seasons to come.

Fox fur coats – The perfect fur vest does exist

Definitely take the outerwear route this holiday season but think outside the box: instead of your typical fur coat, invest in a cape, shawl, or vest to mix things up.

Fox fur shawls and vests can help you indulge while staying within budget. Isn’t that the whole purpose of gift-giving?

Exaggerated details, unexpected colours and different kinds of fur mixed together to add dimension, pair perfectly with both your casual and… not-so-casual wardrobe!

Cashmere coats with a twist – Luxury is in the (fur) details

Cashmere is a gifting staple – and for good reason; a material so elegant and luxe that not only does it warm up winter but our hearts as well.

Your office attire never looked better, trust us: a women’s cashmere coat with fur details on the collar, cuffs, or pockets will look great with your finest winter sweater.

Throw it over your everyday outfit and even your coffee runs will look straight out of a fashion magazine.

But enough with the different types of fur! What colour should your fur coat be?

Going for timeless elegance with a beige, black, or silver fur jacket or looking to add a showstopping pop of colour? The magenta coat is as fresh as they come!

No matter what you choose, eFurs can create the perfect fur coat for you, based entirely on your preferences and measurements.

With more than 50 years of experience in the market, this European furrier offers the know-how, consistency, and after-sales service you need.

Shopping online had never been easier!

‘Sharjah Outlook Forum’ Inaugural Edition Kicks Off February 1

  • Forum brings together representatives of government and semi-governmental bodies and international experts
  • People’s quality of life is at the core of all policies
  • Event to explore key global experiences in changing work week system
  • Forum’s output and recommendations will be provided to decision- and policy-makers

The Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) and the Department of Statistics and Community Development (DSCD) have announced the launching of the region’s first-of-its-kind ‘Sharjah Outlook Forum’.  The annual event will analyse, deliberate and evaluate specific developmental milestones, experiences, initiatives introduced in the emirate as well as the best practices adopted by its entities.

Each year, a specific central initiative will be discussed by a host of representatives of local and federal government entities, in addition to experts from different developmental sectors with international experiences to meet the needs of the emirate’s residents and the community at large.

The inaugural edition will kick-off on February 1, 2023, under the theme, ‘4X3 Indicators and Prospects’, and will discuss Sharjah’s pioneering 4-day work week mandate with a 3-day weekend, the world’s first-of-its-kind system in terms of its scope and impact. The new work week system offers public sector employees, including education and healthcare institutions as well as all government entities, a three day weekend. The four-day work week system had only been previously adopted on an experimental or trial basis in specific sectors and was not approved and adopted officially.

The announcement was made during meeting held today (Wednesday) at the Department of Statistics and Community Development headquarters in the presence of Sheikh Mohammed bin Humaid Al Qasimi, Chairman of DSCD; Sheikh Sultan bin Abdullah bin Salem Al Qasimi, Director, DSCD; HE Tariq Saeed Allay, SGMB Director General, HE Alya Al Suwaidi, SGMB Director, to address the impact of the new work week system on the quality of life of residents and the productivity of human resources, in addition to reinforcing the emirate’s appeal for living, working and investment.

HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Humaid Al Qasimi, Chairman of the SCTDA, underscored that the forum translates the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, on the relationship between development and the human being who is described by His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah as the essence, purpose and maker of development. At the same time, the forum exemplifies the emirate’s keenness to engage all community members in ensuring the success of its developmental project, HE added, pointing out that people’s quality of life, social stability, creative and innovative abilities, and self-development capability are evaluation and assessment  tools for all policies and experiences.

“The Sharjah Outlook Forum will provide significant data to public and private entities dedicated to tracing the emirate’s development journey, particularly in light of the world’s first of its kind inclusive adoption of the four work week, given that it had a direct impact on local communities, business community, productivity, and continuation of offering services to the public. Although this experience is promising, it is essential to discuss it subjectively, transparently, and scientifically, in order for us to develop and build on our experiences and progress forward,” said HE.

Annual evaluation and assessment platform

For his part, HE Tariq saeed Allay, Director General of SGMB, said: “The form will be an important annual evaluation and assessment platform that convenes a host of decision-makers and high-ranking officials in public and semi-government sectors to discuss and deliberate a specific experience through exploring its results and impact as well as its development and amendment mechanism. The forum will also enable us to compare our experiences with those of other societies to maintain Sharjah’s position as an incubator of society, families and individuals alike, along with being a champion of culture and inclusive development.”

“Countries that experimented with the four work week system trials in some sectors were looking for mechanisms that strike a balance between the quality of life on the one hand, and improving productivity, reducing costs and resource consumption, and stimulating creative economy on the other hand. Since each experience has positive and negative aspects, the forum will host a number of experts and representatives of key global experiences to share the means through which they successfully bridged the gap and shortcoming of their experiences, particularly in terms of the projected impact on some sectors,” HE added.

Increase in productivity and prosperity

On the forum’s projected output and results, the Director General of SGMB remarked that the milestone developments the world has been seeing over the past two decades, including AI, digitisation, transformation into modern work and life styles, are time-effective and can increase production without compromising people’s daily lives and needs. He added that the expected output of the Sharjah Outlook Forum will comprise how to harness technology in ensuring successful experiences and supporting communities’ quest for more prosperity. It will assess the experiences of Sharjah and other cities utilising scientific methods and data to enable policy-makers take evidence-based decisions.

Proper Preparation for Plastic Surgery is Key to Quicker Best Results: Surgeon Has Special Advice for Women

Initial plastic surgery results might take six months to see, and the final outcome is usually visible after a year. However, specific surgeon-recommended steps can facilitate the recovery process and expedite healing.

Last year plastic surgery procedures jumped by 54%, with liposuction, breast augmentation, and tummy tuck leading the way. The esthetic procedures help a lot of people to attain new levels of confidence in their appearance, however, to speed up the desired results, they should also make due preparations before the surgery and take it easy during the recovery period.

Why post-surgery recovery takes patience

“What people undergoing surgery need to remember is that healing takes time and might be a toll both on the body and the mind, especially on the second week post-op. With plastic surgery, expectations tend to run high, but the results take time—they are usually visible after six months, and the scars can heal for a year—so the image people see in the mirror after the procedure is not final and will change once the body recovers, the swelling reduces, and the tissues heal,” Dr. Andrius Pajeda, a plastic surgeon at Nordesthetics Clinic, one of the leading medical tourism clinics in Europe, said.

Since the recovery depends largely on a person, their health history, and the type of plastic surgery, it is generally very individual to each person. So to reduce stress during the recovery, people are advised to listen to their bodies and not plan any major events, like weddings, vacations, or long flights, immediately after the procedure.

At the same time, although there is no single method that would expedite post-surgery recovery, people can do several different things.

“First of all, they shouldn’t overdo with physical activity, but rather stimulate venous circulation by moving their feet often and going for a light walk. Lymphatic drainage massages reduce inflammation and swelling and are beneficial to the healing period, the same goes for a healthy diet,” the surgeon commented. “Respiratory exercises promote lung ventilation, and proper wound care speeds up healing.”

Dos and don’ts of preparing for plastic surgery

To get back on one’s feet faster, the plastic surgeon recommends implementing specific life changes well before the surgery. For instance, if applicable, contraceptive pills should be discontinued four weeks before surgery, and hormone replacement therapy—two weeks before the procedure to avoid any potential complications. Regarding other medications, the patient should discuss all details with their medical team in advance.

“Nicotine increases post-surgery risks because it affects blood vessels. The area around the surgical incision does not get good blood supply and might hinder the recovery process or trigger infection and tissue necrosis risks,” the surgeon maintained. “Therefore, smokers should quit smoking for up to six weeks leading to the procedure and three weeks post-surgery. For those who have been smoking for over ten years, we recommend stopping smoking as early as possible in preparation for the surgery.”

In terms of what patients should do to prepare for their plastic surgery, Dr. Pajeda advises them to lead a healthy lifestyle—minimize alcohol intake, eat a well-balanced diet rich in vegetables and protein, and take their time to have quality rest.

“Other forms of pre-surgery preparation include health monitoring. If blood tests and ECG performed before the procedure indicate some health issues, the surgery would be postponed to avoid unnecessary health risks,” the surgeon added. “Also, transparency about current health and past health issues is essential—patients should advise their surgeons on their health history, especially if they have anemia, iron deficiency, or have had a weight loss surgery in the past.”

G-Star Raw and Master Milliner Stephen Jones Join Forces to Create Denim Headwear

Launching a unisex Haute Denim Capsule Collection – empowered by two ready-to-wear hat piece

Master milliner Stephen Jones combines his legendary craftsmanship with the denim expertise of G-Star RAW to collaborate on an innovative headwear collection. The capsule will feature 5 Haute Couture hat pieces and 2 ready-to-wear limited editions including a bucket hat and baseball cap.

Haute Couture meets crafted denim

The G-Star x Stephen Jones collection features five couture denim designs. Each exclusive piece shows the exquisite craftmanship from both collaborators, all created in a responsible Cradle to Cradle Gold Certified® denim fabric. Taking inspiration from Jones’ earlier couture creations, the hats become supersized in denim without overlooking any of the intricate, luxury details. In addition, two ready-to-wear hats complete the collection, taking inspiration from classic streetwear styles that boast global popularity; the bucket hat and baseball hat. Both limited edition, ready-to-wear pieces will be available from December 1st via g-star.com.

“Everybody around the world knows what denim is and what denim signifies. I took denim out of its comfort zone and made it what it wasn’t. G-Star gave me complete carte blanche,’’ says Stephen Jones.

Short documentary about Stephen Jones

Additionally, a short documentary has been filmed in Jones’ atelier in Covent Garden, London. The film will not only give a rare insight into his atelier, creative process and ground-breaking designs but also gives a glimpse of his rebellious past and status within the high fashion world. And it seems that the anarchist attitude of Jones’ pushes the limits of denim design once again, turning denim streetwear into Haute Couture. Whilst the audience receives an insight into the designer’s life, learning how he became the legendary milliner he is today.

The making of a milliner

Stephen Jones (Cheshire, 1957) burst on to the London fashion scene during its explosion of street style in the late seventies. By day, he was a student at the well-known fashion institute Saint Martins; after dark he was one of the uncompromising style-blazers of the era at the legendary Blitz nightclub – always crowned with a striking hat of his own idiosyncratic design.

Over the years, the designer’s creations have graced rock stars and royalty. His popularity has never wavered, with his hats remaining firmly at the forefront of fashion having been worn by multiple celebrities. From Rihanna to Mick Jagger and Lady Gaga to Diana, Princess of Wales.

Stephen’s sculptural way of approaching headwear design has been embraced by the fashion world, which can be seen in his unconventional work for iconic houses like Christian Dior, Vivienne Westwood and Marc Jacobs. Utilizing his background in womenswear design, Stephen will always think of a hat within a whole outfit and starts each new design with a line drawing of a person’s back. The prestigious designer continues to take the creative industry by storm, and it seems the famous milliner is certainly not slowing down.

The G-Star RAW x Stephen Jones collaboration launched November 22nd, 2022. The two limited edition ready-to-wear hatpieces will be available from December 1st, 2022 at g-star.com.  The G-Star x Stephen Jones Double Bucket hat is priced at $240.00. The G-Star x Stephen Jones Winged Baseball cap is priced at $220.00.

Advantages of Monitoring Your Own Website

By Rasa Sosnovskytė, Head of SEO and Growth Marketing at Oxylabs

Any company website, in its entirety, belongs to a wide range of teams and owners. Everyone, from C-level executives to customer support, hold some stake in how the content is distributed, what is displayed, and what should take priority. Over time, more stakeholders continue to be added as a company expands its operations.

While these ownerships are a natural course of evolution for businesses, they present a unique headache to SEO teams. Maintaining order and best practices across a sprawling website gets harder over time as SEO experts hold claim over all parts of the website.

Inevitably, some changes will go unnoticed, be miscommunicated, or otherwise lost as everyone adds a piece they deem important. As a result, SEO teams are faced with a dilemma where they have to monitor the website without indulging in the micromanaging of others.

Changes keep compounding

Working with the idea that all teams will diligently report all the proposed changes to the SEO team is a bit naive. After all, not all changes may seem so important that they would warrant disturbing someone else’s work. Some changes may seem purely technical and, to a person without SEO knowledge, outside the scope of optimization.

So changes inevitably slip by accidentally and non-maliciously. Over time, minor changes or missed opportunities (such as a misformed meta title, an erroneous canonical URL, and many others) will start piling up, and the SEO health of the website will start buckling.

Sometimes even major changes might slip by, such as a change in the header or footer. Most teams will rarely attribute the same importance to these parts of the website as we do, so the changes will seem insignificant.

Enumerating all cases and events where changes might go unnoticed is nearly impossible. I think everyone can remember a time when something important had been changed without ever being brought up.

Neither can all the potential impact be outlined. Everything can happen – from minor drops in performance to an algorithmic penalty. So, there’s a good reason to keep everything in check to ensure that all changes follow SEO best practices.

Unfortunately, that puts SEO teams in a tricky situation. There’s no way to establish a role that monitors changes effectively. Even if such an approach were viable, that would essentially mean hiring a dedicated micromanager for other teams. We all know where that would lead to.

Establishing strong processes for information sharing is a viable option, but it doesn’t solve the issues mentioned above. Unless every team in the company has a great understanding of SEO, minor changes will still slip by. Information sharing processes, though, will likely prevent significant changes from going unnoticed.

Automation, I believe, is the answer to the issue. Most of us take huge strides to monitor the performance of our competitors, keep a watchful eye on their changes, and analyze any new content that crops up. So, why not do the same for ourselves?

Getting started with automation

There are various ways to implement self-monitoring tools that would notice any inadvertent or unsolicited changes. For the tech-savvy and daring, web scraping can be relatively easily applied to an owned website.

Web scraping usually runs into issues due to CAPTCHAs and IP bans as the process naturally sends thousands of requests. None of them, however, are as pressing if you own the website. Any running monitoring bot can have its IP address whitelisted to avoid bans and CAPTCHAs.

Additionally, scraping solutions break often due to unexpected layout shifts or major design revamps. Neither of these issues are as pressing when you’re running a scraper on your own website as they happen less unexpectedly.

So, building one is significantly easier than it regularly is and won’t even necessitate the usage of proxies, which usually runs up costs. Basic parsing solutions like BeautifulSoup can be included, although not necessary.

Monitoring website changes with a homemade scraper isn’t difficult either. All it takes is to collect the data and run a comparison against one stored previously. With a few loops, any difference, if it exists, can be outputted for review.

But taking such strides is not necessary, especially if budgets aren’t a concern. There are plenty of ready-made tools on the market that do just what I described above, except they also include numerous quality of life features.

Personally, I’ve used ContentKing ever since it launched a few years ago. Not for any particular commercial or marketing reasons done by the company behind it, but because of one feature I hold dearly – real-time alerts.

Additionally, with pre-built monitoring tools, you get various useful integrations into other software, which minimizes the time spent working through large backlogs of data. All of these features could be built into a homemade scraper, but it’s a lot easier with existing toolsets.

Conclusion

Each website change can potentially have both a positive and negative impact on a website’s performance. As many stakeholders who lay claim to the content and its distribution won’t be SEO experts, changes can be made without receiving a notice.

To avoid any long-term issues with such changes, monitoring tools should be implemented. They can help us counteract any potential performance hits while enabling the team to have a constantly fresh understanding of the state of the website.

In-House Legal Team: Should You Invest or Continue With Outside Help?

There is no hiding from the fact that companies, both large and small, need to invest in legal aid to help with the smooth running of their operations. And, with more than 90% of legal and tax professionals saying their work provides them with a significant sense of professional purpose, it would appear their contributions are meaningful and essential.

The list of legal help available to businesses is exhaustive, so it begs the question of whether it’s better to bite the bullet and hire an in-house legal team or to export help to a third party. Both approaches have their good and bad points, so it can be a difficult decision for business leaders to make.

From reviews and housekeeping to informed advice, due diligence and regulatory compliance, corporate lawyers must wear many hats. But which is better, in-house or third-party corporate lawyers and legal aid?

In-house lawyers: Why choose them?

Companies and organisations considering an in-house legal team will need to be aware that it will require a significant outlay to acquire one. However, with that increased investment comes improved efficiencies and wider benefits to the business.

Time savings and efficiency improvements

One of the key targets for companies around the world is to improve efficiency and save time on their processes and admin. While an in-house lawyer might not be able to improve any technical aspects of your business, they can certainly speed up any legal processes and market changes.

From understanding the intricacies of your intellectual property and how best to protect it, to delivering tailored advice to a demanding business, internal lawyers and solicitors. 

External lawyers won’t necessarily understand the business-specific requirements of your company, which can cause delays in decisions as they need to be brought up to speed. An internal legal professional will have no such delays and can help to anticipate, resolve and identify laws and regulations before they become an issue.

Reducing costs

Deciding to bring an in-house lawyer into your team does represent a significant initial outlay, with significant expenses in the first year including recruitment fees and employment costs. But with the costs of external lawyers regularly costing over £500 per hour, those costs quickly rack up.

An internal legal professional can provide their expertise on corporate, commercial and finance or regulatory matters swiftly and with a tailored focus on growing the business.

While an external lawyer can also do those things, they take longer to become familiar with the specific needs of the business, and at a significant hourly rate, costs can quickly escalate. For growing businesses, perhaps seeking acquisitions, and subsequent reorganisation efforts, outside legal help begins to make less cost sense. 

Greater accountability

Using your own legal team means you don’t have to give up control of your projects to a law firm that may not be as committed to your success as you are. Your projects will be completed to your company standards without the need for constant back-and-forth guidance, which can be time-consuming with outside assistance. For hands-on guidance, it’s best to trust an in-house team that already has a detailed understanding of the inner workings of your company.

What are the benefits of third-party legal assistance?

All leadership teams must seek legal advice from time to time, whether that is frequent or not. But it’s not always black and white whether you should opt for your own legal assistance or whether a third party is the safer approach. While often more expensive, there are clear reasons why businesses should choose outside legal help rather than in-house options.

Specialist knowledge and experience

While it’s great to have your own legal representative within the company, by nature they must have a more broad understanding of the law. Opting for a third-party lawyer means you can hire specialists in their field, often with many years of experience in their particular niche. Not only do they have the talent but they also have the contacts, network and resources to make a special project as watertight and legally compliant as possible.

It’s important to ask yourself whether you believe your existing team and framework have the capability to complete quality work in the areas required for any project. If you think the answer is a ‘no’ then it’s better to reach out to a specialist to ensure the right boxes are ticked throughout the process.

Gaining outside perspective

An in-house legal representative is a great choice because they are familiar with your processes and needs but that does mean they are at risk of losing some perspective. Particularly during busy times and intense projects, it can be hard for them to see the wood for the trees.

This is where an outside legal representative can come to the fore. They will provide an unbiased opinion and perspective, helping to deliver outside-of-the-box thinking which can help find solutions to problems in a much faster timeline.

Internal or outside legal help – which is better?

Ultimately, there is no one approach that is overall better than the other. Internal legal teams are great for more efficient processes and accountability while third-party lawyers can offer a depth of knowledge your company lacks. With commercial law and intellectual property law ranking highly in the most sought-after law fields, it’s clear that this area of the legal process is an essential one.

To ensure your business remains competitive, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons in each scenario your business finds itself in, remaining flexible to ensure you choose the right solution for your budget and time constraints.

How to Select the Best Coffee Table for You

When selecting the perfect coffee table for your home, remember a few things. Size, style, and material are all critical factors to consider when making your choice. Here are a few tips on selecting the best coffee table for you and your space.

What is a coffee table, and what are its uses in a home?

A coffee table is a piece of furniture typically found in the living or family room. It is designed to hold small items, such as books and magazines, and can also be used as a place to set drinks or snacks while relaxing on the couch.

The different types of coffee tables available on the market

Many different types of unique coffee tables are available, including traditional wooden tables, unique and modern designs, and multi-purpose options that can be used as both a table and storage space. Some of the most common types include:

Traditional wooden coffee tables: These classic pieces feature a simple, sturdy design that is perfect for homes with a more traditional décor style. They typically come in various styles, including Mission and Shaker designs, which offer flexibility when styling your living room.

Modern coffee tables: Sleek and sophisticated, modern coffee tables are ideal for contemporary spaces. Made from materials like glass or metal, these unique pieces add a touch of elegance to any home.

Multi-purpose coffee tables: If you are looking for a unique coffee table that can also function as extra storage space, many multi-purpose options are available. These pieces typically feature shelves, drawers, or both to help keep your living room organised and clutter-free.

How to choose the right coffee table for your home

When choosing the right coffee table for your home, there are a few key factors to consider. These include size, style, and material. To select the best option for your space, start by considering how much room you have in your living room and what kind of look you are trying to achieve.

One important consideration is size. When choosing a coffee table, be sure to consider the amount of space available in your living room and whether or not the piece will fit comfortably within that space. It’s also essential to choose a design that complements the overall style of your home décor. For example, a classic wooden coffee table might be a better choice than a sleek, modern design if you have more traditional furnishings in your living room.

Another critical consideration is material. Depending on your budget and personal preferences, you may choose a coffee table made from wood, metal, glass, or some other material. Remember that different materials can have unique benefits, such as durability and ease of cleaning.

Ultimately, the best way to select the right coffee table for your home is to consider all your options and carefully weigh the pros and cons of each one. By doing so, you can be sure that you are making a decision that will enhance the look and functionality of your living space for years to come.

The benefits of having a coffee table in your living or family room

One of the main benefits of having a coffee table in your living or family room is that it provides a convenient space for you and your family to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Whether you enjoy a cup of coffee, reading a book, or watching TV, this furniture can help improve your overall quality of life by making these activities more enjoyable. Additionally, many modern coffee tables feature unique designs that can add visual interest to your space, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking to create a stylish and functional living area. With all of these benefits, it is clear why so many people choose to include a coffee table in their homes.

How to decorate and accessorise your coffee table for maximum impact

One of the best ways to decorate and accessorize your coffee table is by using various objects, such as candles, decorative vases, small plants or flowers, trays for drinks and snacks, and other unique items. You can also use a more minimalist approach and leave your coffee table bare, allowing it to serve as the blank canvas on which you build the rest of your living room décor. No matter how you decide to style your coffee table, be sure to keep these tips in mind to help create a unique and beautiful space.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a unique and functional piece of furniture for your living room or family room, a coffee table is perfect. With so many different styles and materials, there is no shortage of options for selecting the best coffee table for your home. So consider your space and personal preferences carefully. Use these tips to find the perfect option to enhance your living area and help you create a comfortable space where you can relax and spend time with family and friends.

What You Should Know About Ethereum Before Purchasing It

Cryptocurrency has seen a huge increase in popularity over the past few years, something that has been heavily influenced by the pandemic. During the pandemic, people had a lot more time on their hands and could also not spend their money on things like shopping or eating. This led to a lot of people investing in cryptocurrency, as they could spend their money wisely. One type of cryptocurrency that has seen a rise in popularity is Ethereum, which is what we are going to discuss in this article.

Cryptocurrency is considered a high-risk investment, which is why it is important to know what you are getting into before you invest. So, if you are considering investing in Ethereum, then this article is for you. Keep on reading to find out more.

Understand The Basics Of Cryptocurrency

Before you invest in Ethereum, you must first have a clear understanding of the basics of cryptocurrency. If you are new to the world of investing and cryptocurrency, then it would be a good idea to do some reason into how cryptocurrency works, so that you know how to invest your money wisely. As mentioned in the introduction, investing in cryptocurrency can be risky, but if you understand the basics and recognise when it is the right time to invest, you should end up with a successful investment.

Manage Your Expectations

Another thing to be aware of before you purchase Ethereum is managing your expectations. The crypto market can be volatile, so you need to have reasonable expectations of what money you will make. Although keeping an eye on the markets will be helpful, starting off your investment with a sensible expectation will help you make smarter investment choices. Before you invest, you should do some research into how to securely sell Ethereum as this will give you a good guideline of what to expect if you do choose to sell in the future.

Keep An Eye On The Market

When investing in any sort of cryptocurrency, it is important to keep an eye on the market. The financial market can be volatile, and cryptocurrency is no exception. Keeping your eye on the market will be useful throughout your investment as it means you can recognise when prices are changing, and you can make any adjustments to your investments as you see fit. It would perhaps be a good idea to download an app that helps you manage your investment, as the app will be able to tell you when prices are changing. Additionally, keeping up to date with financial news will be helpful, as you can get daily updates on what is happening to your investment.

Be Wary Of Scams

Although cryptocurrency is secure, there is still the potential to be scammed when buying Ethereum. It could be that one site is offering a particularly good deal and that draws you in or they are promising you a high return on your investment. The best way to avoid a scam is to research the website well and check that they are a legitimate seller of Ethereum. It could also be beneficial to read some reviews and see if people have had a positive experience dealing with the site.

What The Leap In Personal Injury Claims Mean For Small Businesses

It’s no secret that personal injury claims have increased and are becoming a nightmare for small business owners—not just because they’re expensive.

While it’s true that most small businesses don’t have the resources to fight these kinds of claims, understanding them is important, and business owners need to know how these claims affect a business. After all, information is the first step to making informed decisions.

Are you a small business owner who wants to know how much of an impact personal injury claims have on your bottom line? If yes, this post will look at how personal injury claims affect small businesses and what you can do to avoid them in the future.

1. They can create a negative business perception among customers

First, increased personal injury claims are bad news for your business and customers. Here is why

When your customers hear that employees are filing and winning personal injury claims against your business and you’re paying to settle these cases, it can create a negative perception of your business that might make these customers unlikely to shop with you again.

Because business success often boils down to how customers perceive your business, it is important to ensure that you’re properly managing your risks before something happens.

Here are some tips you can use to reduce the odds of workplace accidents—and the resultant claims:

Train your employees—always have safety training sessions scheduled to ensure employees know what to do to stay safe in the workplace. Safety training should be among your topmost investment priorities as a business owner.

Ensure all equipment is well maintained—you wouldn’t take your car out in bad weather just because it looked good, would you? Likewise, ensure that employees work with well-maintained machines, especially those with moving parts.

Keep employees informed about emergencies—ensure they know where the nearest fire extinguisher is and how to use it.

Ensure everyone has access to first aid kits at all times—they’re not expensive!

2. Increased legal spending

As a small business owner, you know that most things you do within your business cost money. When your business has to fight many personal claims, you will spend more on defending your business, which can be very costly, especially when you don’t have an in-house attorney.

Fortunately, you can reduce such instances by being careful about how you manage your employees. Ideally, you want to adopt a managerial style that makes employees happy and satisfied with their work because it can quickly become an expensive problem if you get it wrong.

However, because workplace accidents never announce themselves, you can protect your business against such claims by hiring an on-call personal injury lawyer for your small business if you have any concerns about employee safety or health. A personal injury lawyer will know how to handle all legal issues related to accidents, property damage, and any injuries that may occur on or near your premises.

Additionally, an on-payroll general counsel will also represent your small business in court and offer advice on any legal issues arising from these accidents—such as whether or not it’s worth pursuing an insurance claim or if there are other ways to seek compensation.

3. Increased general liability insurance premiums

A commercial general liability insurance policy is one of the first things you should get when starting your small business. It covers you in case someone gets hurt on your property, including slip-and-falls and car accidents, or gets injured by something you sell. Your general liability insurance policy also protects against lawsuits that result from claims made against your business.

Unfortunately, when many employees file personal injury claims against a business, the insurer can decide to increase the insurance premiums, which can have far-reaching effects on a business and its profitability.

Conclusion

As a small business owner, the last thing you want to worry about is being liable for someone else’s medical bills. Fortunately, as highlighted in this post, you can take action to safeguard your business against the rising cases of personal injury claims.

8 Admirable Organisational Traits That Promote Retention & Engagement

Companies that operate on multiple continents with hundreds of employees didn’t get there without having effective organizational structures. From janitors to engineers, employees have the right to have their emotional and financial needs met.

Employees’ well-being will significantly increase their overall productivity and help them build better relationships with their managers and higher-ups. A significant number of employers, to be precise, 84% of them in 2019, have observed that wellness plans led to an increase in the performance of their employees.

Besides the obvious, there is a variety of methods and traits that will bring positive changes to your workplace. Committed employees will allow your company to have a high performance, and an increase in talent retention is of great importance in the long run.

The majority of the traits mentioned on the list are zero cost. However, they will require collective effort and time to be implemented.

1. Reverse mentoring

There are many benefits of reverse mentoring, and they can all have a positive impact on the engagement of employees. For those wondering, reverse mentoring is just what it sounds like. It is a process in which a junior employee mentors a senior employee.

The main reason behind this is that senior employees aren’t usually up-to-date with the latest technologies and methods, even though they might have considerable knowledge of their job. Reverse mentoring builds a relationship between employees, and sometimes even managers or CEOs can be mentored by junior employees.

With the emergence of the internet and social media, reverse mentoring was extremely important in fields such as marketing and software development. This process empowers junior employees by giving them a confidence boost in their skills while at the same time helping older employees to improve their skills and perform better. 

2. Useful employee records management

Employee records management is a process of maintaining and expanding the data about employees. With modern employee records management software, HR professionals can keep records on employees in an accurate and easy-to-access manner.

Such software allows HR experts to have an overview of employees. Both personal info, such as name, address, marital status, and information on work performance, can be tracked using records management software. 

This tidy system will allow companies to get to know their employees better and improve the processes within the company. It might seem more convenient and affordable to store employee data in Excel or Google Sheets, but the serious downside is that the employee data isn’t secure in that format.

Data stored in employee management software is usually encrypted, requiring the user to authenticate before using it. This is valid for both cloud-based and offline solutions.

3. Established culture and values

Organizational culture is a culture that a certain company possesses that usually isn’t defined in any guide or rule book, but it is present. Culture is a summary of how employees communicate with each other, fix problems, the type of workplace relationship, and their ability to identify with the purpose of the company.

Many studies show that workers who believe their company has a worthy mission or a purpose are more motivated to work and perform better. Company culture helps employees feel as if their work is contributing to society in a positive manner.

Companies that show that they care about ongoing problems in society, such as racial or sexual discrimination also provide their workers with a greater sense of motivation than companies that ignore such topics.

4. Straightforward onboarding process

Onboarding is the first direct situation in which an employee can get to know a company’s internal processes. A relationship between a company and a new employee can start in two different ways:

By company reaching out to a potential employee

By creating a job post to which people can apply

In both of these situations, the company should show professionalism and create a positive experience for the applicant. After the initial application, interview, and screening, a new employee needs to be welcomed to the company.

During the onboarding process, the job of a manager or an HR is to introduce the employee to the business processes of a company, the culture of a workplace, and his responsibilities. Other people that might get involved in the process are senior employees that can train the fresh employee.

5. Empowering employees

Starting from kindergarten up to large companies with millions in revenue, each individual wants to be appreciated and recognized for their efforts. Empowering your employees by trusting their decisions, giving them autonomy, and encouraging them when they have unique solutions to problems is a path to long-term success.

Employees can feel unnecessary pressure if you implement strict schedules or time-tracking platforms to “make them” do their tasks. These methods might be effective to some degree, but people feel much better when they can choose at what time of the day they want to work.

A certain individual can do a certain task in one hour, while another one can do it in three. Rather than encouraging people to do the job at their own pace, you will encourage those that do the job faster to slack off, and pressure those that can’t manage the workload.

6. Considering the well-being of employees

People need to care for each other, and companies should do their best to help workers improve their well-being and minimize their stress. Unfortunately, work is the number one cause of stress in the UK, and the situation isn’t much different in other countries.

Companies need to recognize their workers as individuals with lives outside of the workplace that struggle with their own problems when they leave the office. Financial struggles and social problems are common stressors outside of work, and companies need to be aware of that.

Actionable steps toward promoting the well-being of employees are:

Having a mental health fund for every employee

Larger breaks

Lowering the workload

Giving your employees too much work might make them have a higher output, but only for a short period of time. Overworking will quickly lead to burnout, and their productivity will decrease in the long run. With work, less is often more, and people that have a manageable amount of work will constantly deliver results without exposing themselves to burnout.

7. Monthly surveys

You can’t improve and maintain a good environment at your workplace if you don’t receive any feedback. That’s why surveys of various kinds can help you get an insight into the satisfaction of your employees.

These surveys can be done anonymously or personally, and they can be done through software or on paper. No matter which one you prefer, you need to allow your employees to leave honest opinions on different aspects of the company.

If their feedback is positive, you can continue to improve the current state, or if the feedback is negative, you should segment and fix the problems. In the long run, these surveys will allow you to track and implement gradual improvements for your company.

In the context of well-being at work, employees can present their emotional or psychical state and how their workload reflects on that. This will allow you to create better mental wellness programs and promote the well-being of your employees.

Your employees will endorse good organisational traits

A good job doesn’t end with an attractive salary. Employees are individuals that have a variety of needs and worries that need to be taken care of. Every company needs to develop a culture that will retain employees and help them improve their careers.

Even with a high salary and a nice office, workers might experience burnout or negative feelings caused by a lack of purpose at work. The traits mentioned in the article are something that every enterprise needs to consider implementing.

While changing the production or product development process might lead to additional expenses and extra time required, traits on this list won’t require significant investments.

Wealth & Finance International Reveals the 2022 Winners of the Venture Capital Awards

United Kingdom, 2022 – Wealth & Finance International is delighted to announce the winners of the Venture Capital Awards.

The launch of the Venture Capital Awards is here and we are incredibly excited to present this award supplement to our readers.

With all of the developments in the venture capital industry as of late, we are here to celebrate and commemorate a selection of experts that are altering the current investment markets for the future. Recognising them for all of their hard work has been a great pleasure, as their aptitude and capability propels us forward into a more financially secure period.

Adapting to current trends is the very crux of these companies and they are setting bar high for those to follow. The venture capital industry is progressing yet again and it is with great satisfaction that we introduce there dedicated firms enhancing the private equity financing sphere.

This programme considers and honours firms of all proportions and areas of skill – and it does so to offer our readers the chance to feel motivated, inspired, and safe. We hope you enjoy perusing this supplement, and we sincerely wish all of our winners the best for the future.

Our Awards Coordinator, Kaven Cooper, is proud to host this fine selection of winners, saying, “I am thankful to all of our participants and pleased to be able to shine a light upon their success. They are improving the industry for all and we are happy to share their stories with our readers.”

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

ENDS

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

Best Accessibility Inclusive Design Company 2022


Based in St Austell, Cornwall, Enable Accessibility CIC helps people with disabilities to enjoy greater freedom and access. We speak to the firm’s Founder, Jamie Hanlon, as it is rewarded with such a respected award.

Established by Jamie Hanlon, Enable Accessibility CIC hires accessibility equipment and offers consultation and design services through its experienced and qualified experts.

“Through design, I want to make a difference,” Jamie explains. “To fit around your life and what you need. Good design is a powerful way to improve the quality of life in your home and business.”

Jamie is highly qualified and experienced in his work as an interior design specialist and inclusivity and access design consultant. He has more than 15 years of residential property experience, six years of commercial property experience, and over six years’ of experience as an access audit consultant.

Having lived with hearing impairment for more than 30 years and having been involved with a wide range of charities supporting people with disabilities and different needs, Jamie can readily understand the needs of a wide range of people and create designs to cater for their requirements.

“My passion is focused on helping to create a space that is unique to your needs, aesthetically pleasing but also functional, whilst ensuring equal access for all,” he enthuses. “I excel at looking at commercial buildings, office spaces, holiday accommodation, hotels, open spaces, and homes, always thinking about how I can make them more inclusive to fit the needs of someone with accessibility issues whilst enhancing the aesthetic appeal and functionality.”

Enable Accessibility is committed to providing a unique blend of disability awareness, legal knowledge, and specialist interior design ‘know-how’, working with large and small businesses, the public sector, local government, charities and voluntary organisations, and private homeowners too.

The term ‘inclusive design’ is defined by the British Standards Institute (BSI, BS8300) as “the design of mainstream products and/or services that are accessible to, and usable by, as many people as reasonably possible – without the need for special adaption or specialised design.” It furthers on this definition by saying that it is not simply a stage that can be added in the design process, and it is not solely about designing products for a specific capability loss.

“Accessibility isn’t easy to define, as it depends on each person’s specific needs,” Jamie elaborates. “Society is made up of individuals, and inclusive design can bring forth interesting perspectives – ultimately changing our horizons and the landscape around us.”

In order to fit a home or work building around a person’s requirements, Enable Accessibility will first conduct an audit to cover all elements and very much following the ‘journey’ of the individual with a disability. This addresses things such as approach to a building and car parking, entrances, receptions, and corridors. This can also deliver for lifts and stairs, internal doors, toilets, signage, communication, and escape routes or fire exits.

As part of the audit service, Jamie and the Enable Accessibility team will help building owners to understand the term ‘reasonable adjustment’ and will provide them with practical assistance and practical recommendations for improvement based on current regulations and advice.

Once this is completed and the findings discussed, a design consultant will be able to assist in ensuring that the project delivers its contractual obligations.

“I want you to look around a building and consider, for a brief moment, what steps have been taken during its design and build to allow the structure to be accessible and usable by ‘as many people as possible,’” Jamie states. “Can you also honestly say that if a friend or colleague had a life-changing incident, would they still be able to visit you?”

In the UK, it is thought that some seven million people of working age have a disability, which all adds up to an awful lot of spending power. This is known as the “purple pound” and is reckoned to be worth around £274bn to the economy. If you make your business more inclusive, you will make more money. It really is that simple.

Recently, Enable Accessibility was recognised in the Southern Enterprise Awards 2022 and rewarded for its hard work with the title of Best Accessibility Inclusive Design Company 2022. This prestigious accolade is a testament to the dedication and commitment of Jamie and the whole team as they work towards a more inclusive society.

For business enquiries, contact Jamie Hanlon from Enable Accessibility CIC via email – [email protected] or on their website – http://accessibilitycornwall.uk

The Advantages to Trading using MetaTrader 4

What is MetaTrader 4?

MT4 is a trading platform that brings a host of unique tools and functions to trading indexes, stocks, CFDs, commodities and Forex. As it can be tailored to suit a range of needs, even brokers can use it instead of their own proprietary platforms to remain competitive and on top of the latest trends. All a trader will need to do is download MT4, either directly from the website or from their broker’s, and start making the most of what’s on offer.

The advantages of using MT4

1. Real-time access to market prices

One of the top features of MT4 is the ability to access the most up-to-date trading information with real-time currency quotes and estimates with the Depth of Market feature. This depicts aspects of market activity, such as the buy orders for numerous currency pairs. Traders can use other vital data portrayed in the ‘Watch Window’, such as margin ratio, contract size, margin currency, spread and more.

2. A user-friendly interface 

This platform was designed with usability in mind, so that traders of all skill levels will be able to get involved with little fuss. Supporting a host of strategies, two ways to carry out trades, automatic triggers, charts, trailing stop orders, access to personal trading history, unlimited technical tools, demo-trading capabilities, educational resources and simple-to-use controls; it’s flexible and straightforward to use.

3. Automated trading options

Traders have the ability to set automated trading algorithms to minimise emotional bias and time spent trading when other things can be taken care of.

4. Stability and accessibility

There is little to no downtime with MetaTrader 4, so you’re not likely to miss worthwhile trades due to freezing or similar functionality issues. As a result, trade executions are fast and have little chance of slippage. Traders can use the platform on a multitude of devices, so you can trade whenever and however you want on smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers.

The mobile app features:

  • Interactive graphing, sorting and analytical functions
  • Push alerts
  • Real-time communication

5. Expert advisors 

When you want to execute trades automatically, diversify your portfolio and more, there are a host of Expert Advisors to choose from. This gets even better when you learn that each will be uniquely designed to meet your trading needs and that you can even create your own and run it with little difficulty.

6. Security

As security is a major concern where your financial assets are concerned, you’ll be pleased to know that MT4 is not only reliable, but secure. All information is encrypted (including IP addresses), RSA digital signatures are supported and as the platform is global, it complies with a host of location-based.

The cons

As this is such a widely-used platform, there are of course some downsides that need to be considered before downloading and using MT4. Some users report difficulty when tailoring the platform to their needs, as some programming knowledge is required. Some also find that the platform is better suited to businesses and brokerages than the individual trader and this can prompt them to use the proprietary software provided by their own trading platform instead. Recent updates seem to have caused some discourse in the community also, and the structures of Fibonacci charts and trend lines have become a little less accessible.  

The final downside is that customer service seems to be lacking and can be considered the most frustrating issue of the platform.

Risk management

As trading can be volatile, it’s essential carry out research into the latest market data news for industries you’re looking to trade in. Make use of demos accounts as well as stop losses to protect yourself from losses.

Overall thoughts on MetaTrader 4

With all of the above in mind, this platform does have some worthwhile advantages alongside notable disadvantages, but it is still one of the most widely used trading platforms out there. It’s important to do your research and consider your trading needs before downloading it, so click here to find out more about MetaTrader 4 to ensure you’ll get the best from your trading efforts.

Disclaimer:
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. The vast majority of retail client accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Marketing for CFDs and spread betting is not intended for US citizens as prohibited under US regulation.

Occupational Health Practice of the Year 2022 – South West 

Platinum Occupational Health Ltd is a confidential and independent service led by Consultant Occupational Health Physician and Medical Director, Dr Martin Ezan and Operations Director, Robyn James.

Platinum Occupational Health Ltd has been supporting businesses and their employees since 2018. Based in Bristol, the company provides a full range of services to help its clients keep their employees healthy, safe and in work.

The company’s leading focus is to offer impartial advice to companies and their employees on the impact of health on work and work on health.

Platinum Occupational Health Ltd aims to assist employers to put measures in place to manage ill health effectively, whilst involving employees and promoting good health and wellbeing for enhanced productivity.

Their occupational health service exists to improve the health of their clients work force, help prevent work related illnesses, provide early interventions for those who develop a health condition thus, preventing avoidable sickness absence and increase the efficiency and productivity of their clients’ organisations.

Their values for success are based on the principles of accountability, fairness and integrity, whilst using client’s feedback to optimise the efficiency in every step of their Occupational Health journey. In short, Platinum Occupational Health Ltd provides their clients with an efficient high value service at a reasonable price point.

Platinum Occupational Health Ltd is a relatively unique entity within the Occupational Health Industry, being an Associate Occupational Health Physician and Consultant based business. They do not employ Nurses or Technicians, like many of their competitors. They are completely committed to their business model and the opportunities of being exposed to individual complex cases within many organisations including, Corporate, Fire Service, Local Government, NHS, Police Service and Tertiary Education.           

The Occupational Health Industry in general is experiencing an increase in demand. It has certainly been their experience throughout COVID-19. Having the opportunity to support their clients through these uncertain times, has been challenging. Nonetheless, they are grateful for the experience and loyalty they have obtained and received individually, and as a Team.

Platinum Occupational Health Ltd is based on the M4 / M5 corridor, which is accessible for commuter’s and has plenty of green space to explore. The Team enjoys the networking occasions their location in the South West has produced.

Platinum Occupational Health Ltd are a close Team, having known and worked with each other for many years, their sound professional foundation has allowed them to create an Occupational Health Company, where they not only have the clinical and business skills required to run an organisation in this sector, but the ability to provide exceptional customer service for every client.

Recently, Platinum Occupational Health Ltd has increased their Team with an additional Associate Occupational Health Physician, a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) And a Quality Specialist. They all bring immeasurable amounts of knowledge gained within the Occupational Health Industry and beyond.

Platinum Occupational Health Ltd achieved their certifications for ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 in June 2022 and have maintained their Cyber Essentials certification for the second year running. Alongside this, they are working towards their Safe Effective Quality Occupational Health Service (SEQOHS) accreditation.

The remainder of 2022 will be concentrated on continued improvement, as they have been doing since 2018. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is important to them on an individual and Team basis. They are continually applying, improving and learning.

The Team is looking forward to celebrating Platinum Occupational Health Ltd’s Fifth Birthday on the 2nd January 2023.

For business enquiries contact Platinum Occupational Health Ltd via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.platinumoccupationalhealth.co.uk

Best Unique Property Agency – Bedfordshire

Established in 2017, Homes2Homes is a highly reputable estate agent providing competitive sales, lettings, and property management services to match every need of its clients. With a ‘treat every home as if it’s your own’ approach, it prides itself on delivering unparalleled levels of service, professionalism, and transparency to ensure a smooth, attentive, and seamless lettings and management process for landlords and tenants alike.

Located in Toddington, Bedfordshire, Homes2Homes’ aim is to be the best at what it does in order to make sure that not only its clients are happy, but also everyone working at the business. With a proven track record, many referrals, and renewal tenancies, it quickly became the preferred property agent in its village, while also serving the rest of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and London, along with multiple boroughs throughout the east of England.

Director of Homes2Homes, Mumin Muqtadir tells us about the benefit of the business’ location in the south of England: “The main benefit of being based in the south is that there are a lot of new developments around. This has led to us managing a full block of flats. Also, people are selling their current homes to buy new ones, which means more management contracts are coming through.”

Homes2Homes’ popularity is shown through a long list of five-star reviews from clients, tenants, vendors, and buyers, with the agent understanding the importance of reviews and how they have helped it to gain more and more customers. People value a business with top reviews, and Homes2Homes’ reviews show just how above and beyond it is willing to go in order to get the job done – whatever the job may be.

One delighted client comments, “Homes2Homes are brilliant. They have been managing my six properties now for over three and a half years. I cannot fault them; they are outstanding. I recommend them to everyone. They were very fast in getting my properties let to. I have attended my properties recently and they have been kept in excellent condition.”

Another client shares, “Homes2Homes are an exceptionally outstanding estate agent. In all honesty, with them being a small agency, I didn’t think they would be able to sell my property, but they did and they did fast. I recommend them highly now to all my friends and family. Always speak to Mumin or Naomi – They get the job done.”

A third client says, “I purchased a property from Homes2Homes. From the initial viewing and up to the completion day, I had regular updates via email and telephone. In my opinion, good old-fashioned values and courtesy. Homes2Homes certainly out-performed one of the national estate agents who sold my original property.”

Contributing to such outstanding service from Homes2Homes is the culture of teamwork that is upheld within the team. Each and every employee makes an important contribution to the agent’s offering, always working together to ensure clients get the best results and that they are satisfied with their experience. The team works hard to make sure that both tenants and landlords realise the maximum value and benefit, supported by the company’s extensive database of desirable applicants.

All of Homes2Homes’ staff are trained and given the same opportunities to develop and grow within the business. Mumin says, “It’s essential for me to ensure that everyone is treated with the same respect and fairness, as this essentially then feeds into working together as a team. I ensure that staff understand what we can do for customers, so they feel confident when picking up queries and being able to sell our services.”

When it comes to adding new staff to his team Mumin says, “It’s important for me to look for someone who is passionate with their work, has a growth mindset, and is an honest and hardworking individual.”

Now, Mumin and his team’s plans for the remainder of 2022 are to open two franchise offices in order to expand the business in the future through franchising. Mumin will also be looking to expand the business by recruiting and opening offices in other regions, for example, there are prospects up north in Harrogate that are yet to solidified.

Indeed, Homes2Homes has proved itself worthy of the title of Best Unique Property Agency – Bedfordshire, between its extraordinary work, sterling reputation among customers, and great ambition for the future. We are truly rooting for the agent and look forward to seeing its continued success.

For business enquiries, contact Mumin Muqtadir from Homes2Homes via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.homes2homes.co.uk

Anxiety stress in brain, overload in mind. Depression, adhd, ocd.

OCD In The Workplace

In honour of Mental Health Awareness Day and OCD Awareness Week starting on the 10th of October 2022, AI Global Media are continuing to focus on the importance of mindfulness & wellbeing within the workplace. Last year, we organised a 10k night time walk in support of Mental Health, AI Global Media have installed this as a weekly feature in our work routine with Wednesday Walks to show support for our staffs wellbeing.

In light of this, Rowen Dales, one of our trusted Researchers reflects on how having OCD has impacted her time at AI Global Media.

 

Can you please explain to us what OCD is like?

Everyone can experience intrusive thoughts, and although they’re not very pleasant, most people can differentiate these thoughts from their own. Unfortunately, for a person with OCD, intrusive thoughts spark extreme anxiety and distress. They will ruminate, question, and obsess over these thoughts until they’re forced to act out a compulsion to ease their anxiety. This can be done through mental checking, seeking reassurance, obsessive googling, and avoidance.

 

What is OCD like for you as an individual?

Since I have pure O (which stands for purely obsessional but means that the compulsions are all mental rather than external), my work and daily life are not impacted in the stereotypical perfectionist way that the media shows. Although, I like having a tidy workspace and sometimes it’s nice to make sure my excel spreadsheet cells are equal, my OCD is set off by things that don’t centre around cleanliness and preciseness.

 

Has there been any difficulties having OCD at work?

Concentrating on tasks became extremely difficult, and the mental compulsions alongside this interfered with my productivity as they were often time-consuming.

Other people also have the potential to unintentionally trigger me and accidentally set off an obsessive thought. This meant that I sometimes wanted to avoid being around people to ensure that no negative thoughts were activated. But at the same time, being all alone was even worse. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The thoughts often made me zone out to the point where I didn’t feel like talking to people. This caused me to worry about whether people thought I was standoffish or boring. I was worried that people would think I was making things up for attention since on the surface I didn’t really ‘look unwell’.

 

How has work accommodated to help you manage your mental health?

They have created an environment where I have felt able to confide my issues, which has meant that I have never felt like I was a burden or a nuisance. My colleagues that know about my OCD have also provided support and comfort during flare-ups. We are very lucky to have a few mental health ambassadors within the workplace, and I’d feel very comfortable talking to any of them about my issues.

Thankfully, we also still have our Work-from-Home scheme in place which has been incredibly helpful for me to work around my sessions.

By having this many lifelines at work, it has significantly decreased my anxiety, which has also helped me in my daily life too.

 

Do you have any tips on how you manage OCD flare-ups at work?

  1. Try and list 5 senses (5 things you can see, smell, hear, taste, and feel). This mindfulness technique is good for any mental health condition as it allows you to be present and escape from your brain for a while.
  2. Use your work as a distraction. The key is to not try and get rid of the thoughts but allow them to be there without them controlling your day. By staying focused on the tasks at hand, you are less likely to be ruminating on your thoughts.
  3. Don’t be afraid to have a little break away from your desk. Sometimes all you need is a few minutes alone to calm yourself down without feeling like people are staring.
  4. If comfortable doing so, mention to someone at work that you are struggling.
Rowen Dales

Best Private Equity Investment Group – East Asia

AEI Capital is passionate about dealing with the capitalization of corporate vision. It knows that anything is possible with the correct strategy alongside a smart capitalization model and a knowledgeable blueprint for the most effective, essential parts of the Private Equity industry. Looking to nestle itself within the industry as a great business to work with for the global capitalization and re-stratification opportunities of the modern world. Here we look at the industry as AEI continues to grow.

AEI Capital is a Private Equity (PE) firm with over 20 years of accumulative experience. With over 500 Million USD of Assets Under Management (AUM), it is growing exponentially and with great tenacity.

PE is a financial approach that helps companies to acquire funds from firms or accredited investors instead of stock markets. It makes a direct investment that doesn’t depend on stocks as the PE industry offers equity stakes in businesses that aren’t listed. This global market is something to be tapped into by investors.

The goal of PE investments is to create a space where each business can grow rapidly, so that it can go public or become recognised by a larger company. In exchange of this investment, investors are benefitted by huge shares of improved profits that allows them to also become part of the company’s shareholders. All of this means that companies can reap the rewards of larger funds without having to fundraise via public listings or acquire business loans. Investors look for PE so that they can earn more than what can be achieved in public equity markets.

In the present times, PE refers to a variety of subcategories within investments that are all connected via the process of raising funds from private investors. Venture capital is one of the most important strategies that aids the start-up of a business and helps to provide it with the ability to evolve early. It is mainly concerned with technology firms with ideas and products that are moulding the modern way of life.

We have recently seen an explosion of alternative data sources that rely on collection and scraping processes. Traditional data can include investor presentations, SEC filings, financial statements, and press releases. However, alternative data includes externally sourced factors such as company size, location of HQ and branch offices, website traffic, reviews, employee salaries, organizational structure and more.

Over the next decade, it is predictable that we will see even more advancements in the industry and harvesting of data as we see more in-depth machine learning through the studies of algorithms that can solve new problems without humans having to program them. PE firms are using machine learning to analyse and evaluate investment opportunities that help them to discover better investments for the future. Machine learning plays a crucial part in the future of PE as it substantially improves the efficiency of opportunity analysis.

With automated data comes higher levels of efficiency and the expansion of the tools used to improve the process. These tools generally mean less mistakes are made, and a lot of money is saved. As technical challenges arise it is most important for us to move away from the human bias against technology, as with this tool it is more possible to feel the benefits and keep up the pace within the industry.

As AEI continues to work with tech scalable businesses and it is able to aid the growth of businesses by means of technological developments. It focuses on three levers of the capital force such as capitalization, strategy, and digitalization to ensure a wide scope of growth.

With regards to COVID-19, many industries have had to implement remote work strategies very quickly. This increased the rate of virtualization of a selection of PE procedures. With more meetings, decisions, and deals happening online, the pandemic has meant that remote work and virtualization has been entirely helpful and is never going to return to the normal amount, as things have actually been more positive this way than imagined before.

Continuing through 2021 and beyond, virtualization of the workflow will help to remove the barriers set by distance. It also reduces unnecessary administration as moving towards remote work, we learn to recognize which procedures or documentations are nonessential and even redundant. All of this leads to improved efficiency and sustainability for PE firms.

AEI understands every business as a continuously evolving living being that needs to be nourished and taken care of. It helps businesses to thrive and build on what they already have as well as giving them further life after they may have collapsed.

Intending to reach a target in the Greater China Region or Southeast Asia, AEI is aware of the “new economy” that is a combination of globalization, information technology, and the communication revolution. This applies to all high growth industries such as internet, financial technology such as e-commerce, O2O retail, renewable energy, AI, Cloud-based technology, healthcare, education, and other consumer-driven, big data or digitally enabled properties that ensure the capitalization of global trends. According to AEI these characteristics allow businesses that follow global trends to grow and adapt along with the industry changes, pandemic or not.

Overall, AEI Capital offers the best solutions and services to its customers that are based all around the world. It has adapted swiftly to any problems that have arisen due to the global pandemic, and it is picking other businesses up with its viable solutions.

For further information, please contact John Tan or visit: https://aeicapital.com/ 

Inheritance Tax Receipts Reach £4.1Billion in the Months from April to October 2022

Figures out from HMRC this morning show that the Treasury raked in another £4.1billion in inheritance tax receipts in the months between April and October 2022. This is £500 million more than in the same period a year earlier, continuing the upward trend. These figures are revealed just days after the Autumn Statement in which it was announced that the inheritance tax threshold of £325,000 will be frozen until April 2028.

These new figures demonstrate just how much the government’s inheritance tax take seems to be increasing without the need for any more freezes, thanks largely to the steady increases in house prices which are pushing more regular hardworking families above the threshold who are relying on money being passed down through the generations.

While the average bill is currently £216,000, research conducted by Wealth Club shows just that with this extended freeze combined with rampant inflation, average inheritance tax bills are conservatively estimated to reach £297,793 by 2025-26 and £336,605 by 2027-28.

Alex Davies, CEO and Founder of Wealth Club said: “There has been a total U-turn on inheritance tax over the last few months. From Liz Truss raising the hopes of the nation with a cut back in September, and now Jeremy Hunt announcing the extension of the freeze until 2028. This is another stealth tax and the case of the boiling frog is apt. The treasury hopes by leaving rates and allowances unchanged, inflation can do the hard work of turning the temperature up on tax payers without them noticing.

Contrary to what many think, inheritance tax doesn’t just affect the super-rich. It will be the thousands of hardworking families that will bear the brunt. Rampant inflation, soaring house prices and years of frozen allowances will magnify the tax take in the years ahead. More and more families are going to find themselves hit by death duties they might not expected or planned for.”

How inheritance tax is calculated

  • Inheritance tax (IHT) of 40% is usually chargeable if one’s assets exceed a certain threshold, after deducting any liabilities, exemptions and reliefs.
  • The threshold (nil rate band) has been £325,000 per single person since 6 April 2009 – and will stay frozen at this level up to and including 2028-29.
  • There is an additional transferrable main residence nil rate band of £175,000 available when passing the family home down to children or other direct descendants.
  • Any unused threshold may be transferred to a surviving spouse or civil partner. So, a couple could currently potentially pass on up to £1 million before IHT might apply.

“The good news is that with some careful planning there are lots of perfectly legitimate ways you can eliminate or keep IHT bills to the minimum, so more of your wealth is passed on to your loved ones rather than being syphoned off by the taxman.”

1. Make a will

Making a will is the first step you should take. Without it, your estate will be shared according to a set of pre-determined rules. That means the taxman might end up with more than its fair share.

2. Use your gift allowances

Every year you can give up to £3,000 away tax free. This is known as the annual exemption. If you didn’t use it last year, you can combine it and pass on £6,000. You can also give up to £250 each year to however many people you wish (but only one gift per recipient per year) or make a wedding gift of up to £5,000 to your child; up to £2,500 to your grandchild; up to £2,500 to your spouse or civil partner to be and £1,000 to anyone else. Beyond these allowances, you can pass on as much as you like IHT free. So long as you live for at least seven years after giving money away, there will be no IHT to pay.  

3. Make regular gifts

You can make regular gifts from your income. These gifts are immediately IHT free (no need to wait for seven years) and there’s no cap on how much you can give away, provided you can demonstrate your standard of living is not affected.

4. Leave a legacy – give to charity

If you leave at least 10% of your net estate to a charity or a few other organisations, you may be able to get a discount on the IHT rate – 36% instead of 40% ­– on the rest of your estate.

5. Use your pension allowance

Pensions are not usually subject to IHT for those under 75 years old – they can be passed on tax efficiently and, in some cases, even tax free. If you have any pension allowance left, make use of it.

6. Set up a trust

Trusts have traditionally been a staple of IHT planning. They can mean money falls outside an estate if you live for at least seven years after establishing the trust. The related taxes and laws are complicated – you should seek specialist advice if you’re considering this.

7. Invest in companies qualifying for Business Property Relief (BPR)

If you own or invest in a business that qualifies for Business Property Relief – the majority of private companies and some AIM-quoted companies do – you can benefit from full IHT relief. You must be a shareholder for at least two years and still be on death though.

8. Invest in an AIM IHT ISA

ISAs are tax free during your lifetime but when you die, or when your spouse dies if later, they could be subject to 40% IHT. An increasingly popular way of mitigating IHT on an ISA is to invest in certain AIM quoted companies which qualify for BPR. You must hold the shares for at least two years and if you still hold them on death you could potentially pass them on without a penny due in inheritance tax.

9. Back smaller British businesses

The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) offer a generous set of tax reliefs. For instance, SEIS offers up to 50% income tax and capital gains tax reliefs, plus loss relief if the investment doesn’t work out. But EIS and SEIS investments also qualify for BPR, so could be passed on free of IHT. 

10. Invest in commercial forestry

This is an underused option for experienced investors. Pension funds and institutions have long ploughed money into forestry. The Church Commissioners has a forestry portfolio worth £400 million. Commercial forest investments should be free of IHT if held for at least two years and on death.

You should also benefit from capital appreciation in the value of the trees (and the land they are on) and from any income produced by harvesting the trees and selling the timber (this income may also be tax free).  

11. Spend it

One sure-fire way to keep your wealth away from the taxman’s hands is to spend it.

Key IHT stats

  • One in every 25 estates pay inheritance tax, but the freeze on inheritance tax thresholds, paired with inflation and decades of house price increases is bringing more and more into the taxman’s sights. 
  • While you can pass on money IHT free to your spouse or civil partner, the estate could still be subject to IHT on their death though they may be able to make use of your pass-on allowance.  
  • The main threshold is the nil-rate band, enabling up to £325,000 of an estate to be passed on without having to pay any IHT. This has been unchanged since April 2009.
  • There is also a Residence Nil Rate band worth £175,000 which allows most people to pass on a family home more tax efficiently to direct descendants, although this tapers for estates over £2 million and is not available at all for estates worth over £2.35 million.
  • Wealth Club calculations suggest the average inheritance tax bill could increase to just over £266,000 in the current tax year. This is a 27% increase from the £209,000 average paid just three years ago. 

Is PR Still Relevant in 2022?

Ever thought about where public perceptions about PR come from? For many people, it’s 1990s/early 2000s pop culture – where PR is shown to be all about long champagne lunches with clients, glamourous product launch parties, and the famous ‘little black book’ of contacts.

Today, marketing activity increasingly takes place online, and the power of SEO, Pay Per Click, influencer marketing and targeted social media ads has left many business owners wondering whether PR has become irrelevant. If they can amplify their message to millions through targeted social media ads, and get their website to the top of their audience’s search results – why would they need PR?

Harriette Bond, PR and Content Director at PMW Communications, discusses:

“The historical portrayal of PR in pop culture is certainly not accurate in 2022. People often reference the sitcom ‘AbFab’ – which is definitely not an accurate depiction of PR at all!

“Just as the media has changed dramatically in the last decade, so has PR. Digital media and technology have changed the media landscape, resulting in more media outlets and greater opportunities to measure PR activity. PR can also support an SEO strategy. At the same time, the traditional media is still a highly trusted and much-loved source of information for many consumers, so traditional PR activities – like pitching to newspapers, magazines, television, and radio – are still alive and well.

“However, for nearly all our clients, traditional PR activity takes place alongside a digital PR strategy. Far from being irrelevant, the opportunity to take advantage of new forms of media and support marketing activity in other areas like social media and SEO, means PR campaigns are more creative – and more technical – than ever.”

Here are five reasons why PR is still relevant in 2022:

Customers spend many hours per day consuming media

A 2022 survey by eMarketer found that the UK population spent an average of 6hrs 6mins consuming digital media and 4hrs 8mins consuming traditional media (this included multitasking – such as listening to the radio while driving or scrolling on social media while watching TV). Brands need to be where their customers are – and it’s clear that consumers are interacting with a huge amount of both traditional and digital media every day.

Each type of media attracts a different demographic – giving brands a great opportunity to focus their PR campaigns on the outlets their target audience is interacting with.

PR enhances credibility

Every business wants a positive brand image. Companies can shout about how great they are themselves, or pay for advertisements, but what really builds credibility is when someone else says how great a brand is.

According to research by the Content Marketing Institute, 80% of business decision-makers would rather gather their information through articles, than through advertisement, and 70% of consumers would rather get to know a company via articles than ads.

PR is all about getting other people (aka. unbiased, third-party media outlets that consumers trust) to speak positively about a brand. This enforces a business’s credibility and builds an excellent reputation among their industry and their customers.

Digital PR builds backlinks

Backlinks represent a ‘vote of confidence’ from one site to another and are a crucial pillar of good SEO. A digital PR campaign is one of the best ways to achieve high-quality backlinks. PR professionals will embed relevant links into press releases and outreach articles. People reading the article may follow the links – but the real win is that these links help a site to become more visible. Credible backlinks are a primary Google ranking factor, so having lots of them in the right places can help a site climb up the Google rankings.

PR and social media are a match made in heaven

Social media is the most influential of all the new forms of media that have emerged since the advent of the internet. And the good news is, PR and social media campaigns do not need to be separate – in fact, they complement each other brilliantly. Social media can boost PR’s efforts to share information and build trust in your brand.

Remember Doritos’ Wimbledon-inspired Strawberries and Cream flavoured crisps, or Lynx’s Marmite scented social distancing body spray? A great PR stunt can go even further than it could in the past – by creating a buzz on social media. Check out these examples of PR stunts that went viral.

Content is king

Whether it’s through blogs, thought leadership articles, case studies, or opinion pieces, having a constant flow of original content benefits businesses enormously.

According to research by HubSpot, B2B companies with blogs generate 67% more leads per month on average than non-blogging firms – and 68% of consumers like reading content from a brand that interests them.

PRs are experts at producing great content for their clients – demonstrating expertise and providing added value through great content that has a real impact on a customer’s purchasing decisions.

PR professionals can also work alongside an SEO team to create keyword-rich website articles that answer the questions their clients’ customers are asking online – increasing relevant web traffic and providing greater opportunities for leads and sales.

How To Create A Winning Real Estate Listing? Tips, Tricks & Best Practices

Posted on 22nd November 2022

The real estate industry is one of the most lucrative yet competitive industries we have today. Research has indicated that millions of existing and new homes are sold every year. This shows how crowded this industry can get for real estate agents.

However, this does not mean that you cannot get your listing on top of other listings. With millions of homes on sale, you need to make sure that you have implemented the right tips, tricks, and best practices when creating a real estate listing.

Unfortunately, most real estate agents do not know what to do to make their listings stand out from those of their competitors. Here are the tips, tricks, and best practices you need to follow when creating a winning real estate listing;

Observe SEO Practices

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plays a vital role in helping you create a winning real estate listing. Before you create your listing, you should make sure that you are using the right keywords and phrases that define the listing you are creating.

This is critical in making sure that your target audience can easily find your listing in search engine results. If you are a real estate agent, make sure that you have used words like neighbourhood, state, or city near the location of your listing.

If you were the customer, what would you be looking for? You need to answer this question and then ensure that you are using the right keywords.

Use Social Media Platforms

Social media is transforming real estate marketing. You, therefore, need to make sure that you are using different social media platforms depending on your target audience.

Chances are that you have created a social media account for your business. It could even be your personal account. You have grown your followers over the years but do not know how to benefit from them.

You can create a post on these accounts letting them know about your listing. You can add a link to the listing as well. This is important for SEO. Make sure you are using high-quality photos.

Use a Modern Phone System

When creating a winning real estate listing, you need to include your contact details. If you do not, how are potential clients going to contact you? It is important to note that some clients prefer making calls to sending email addresses.

You can do this by getting a modern business phone for real estate professionals. These business phones allow you to create local numbers for every location that you operate in. This is important to some clients who deal with local businesses.

In addition, they allow you to send all your phone activity to your CRM. This means that you do not have to manually update your CRM every time you have contacted a potential client. This way, you will find it easy to handle your clients and track activity from your listing.

Take High-Quality Photos

People love looking at high-quality photos. If you want them to notice your listing, then take high-quality photos of the house you are selling.

Even though modern mobile phones come with amazing cameras, you should not rely on them. Instead, look for a professional camera. You can also get a professional photographer to help you with the photos.

If you do not have this budget, then you can find hundreds of free photography materials and courses online. Take a class and invest in a good camera to always take high-quality photos of your listings. This will make it easy for clients to notice your listings.

Provide a Detailed Description of Your Listing

As much as you can use photos to show everything about your listing, you also need to provide a detailed description of the listing. Make sure that you understand everything concerning the home before creating your listing.

Talk about all the features that the house has, amenities, proximity areas, and places such as hospitals, shopping centres, and schools nearby, among many other things. These things will be vital in selling your listing.

Potential clients are likely going to ignore your listing if you do not talk about these things. They might assume that you are not legit and might even blacklist you.

Selling a property is not a walk in the park. You need to make sure that you have done everything right for your listing to stand out from the rest. The tips, tricks, and best practices discussed above will help you create a winning real estate listing.

Swiss Cuban Cigars Reviews the Montecristo Brand

Swiss Cuban Cigars is the biggest retailer of authentic Cuban cigars online. Based in Gran Canaria, Spain, Swiss Cuban Cigars has been selling Cuban cigars online to cigar lovers all around the world

A combination of great customer service from the experienced team and the largest selection of the most popular cigars available online makes the Swiss Cuban Cigars experience a customer favourite.

Avoid fake Cuban cigars by buying Cuban cigars online from reputable sellers

Cuban cigars are, of course, one of the most commonly counterfeited products in the world. Customers looking for only the best Cuban cigars and a guaranteed avoidance of fake Cuban cigars have to go with a reputable retailer.

Fake cigars are easily available online and those looking to buy Cuban cigars for a special occasion need to be careful where they search.

Swiss Cuban Cigars prides itself on having a great customer service team who can advise on all the cigars available, but also on its absolute guarantee that all cigars are very high quality and come complete with the green seal and original sealed box that proves authenticity.

A wide range of different brands are available from Swiss Cuban Cigars

From Romeo y Julieta to Montecristo, there are lots of great cigars available from Swiss Cuban, all with fast worldwide shipping, secure payments, fast delivery and a fair price.

Swiss Cuban Cigars believes that whether this is the customer’s first purchase, second third or 100th purchase, the service and quality is always there.

The customer service team understand that customers looking to find cigars are either aficionados or those looking for a special occasion purchase.

Either way, they offer the same great service, exact boxes and expert knowledge from the first order to the last. All cigars should arrive in good condition, for example, with a great price and guarantee of no fake products.

Reviews of cigar brands helps customers make the right choice

As well as the excellent service, secure payments and sheer range of cigars available from Swiss Cuban Cigars, the team also write reviews of cigars.

These reviews cover everything from the flavour profile to analysis of the tobacco growing regions of origin (usually the Vuelta Abajo region in Cuba).

So, whether you’re looking for guidance on what to buy for a wedding or other special occasion, or want to find out how a specific brand smokes, for example, there’s plenty of knowledge on offer.

In this blog, the Swiss Cuban team is looking at the history of the Montecristo brand of cigars, including how the same cigar tastes and what kind of smoked experience customers can expect.

The origins of the brand

Montecristo cigars are produced by Habanos SA in Cuba and, separately, in the Dominican Republic. Here’s the history of this brand.

Back in July 1935, Alonso Menendez acquired the Particulares Factory, which used to produce its own brand. On buying the factory, Menendez created and launched a totally new brand of cigars – the Montecristo.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the name originates from The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. It’s said that this book was extremely popular with the men rolling cigars on the factory floor.

While these torcedores worked at rolling cigars, the lector would read from various books of the day.

Developing the brand logo and design

The logo for the Montecristo cigar brand was designed by John Hunter Morris for the cigar brand’s distributor in the UK. The logo is a design of six swords forming a triangle around a central fleur de lis.

Twelve months after buying the Particulares Factory, Menendez founded a brand new company – Menendez Garcia y Cia. And, as the Montecristo cigar brand became more and more popular, Menendez and his business partner were able to buy another factory.

This second acquisition was the H Upmann Factory, which had been established in 1844. By 1937, however, it was struggling and the then owner J Frankau SA was more than happy to sell to Menendez.

The production of the Montecristo brand was immediately transferred to this new factory.

One of the most popular Cuban cigars in the world

The popularity of the brand increased steadily all around the world. Today, the Montecristo cigar brand is responsible for about 25% of the global sales of Habanos SA. In other words, it’s the most popular Cuban cigar in the world.

During the revolution in Cuba, both partners fled the country and while they attempted to relaunch the brand in the Canary Islands, the state company Habanos SA forced them to drop that idea.

Taking the brand forward into the 1970s

Following their demise, the reigns of development were handed over to one of the best torcedores (rollers) at the factory. His name was Jose Manuel Gonzalez and he began to bring the brand up to date.

During the 1970s and 80s, five brand new sizes were added to the range of cigars. These were:

  • The Petit Turbo.
  • The Joyita.
  • Especial No. 1.
  • Especial No 2.
  • The A.

Throughout these decades, the brand continued to become more and more popular in Cuba itself and around the world.

Special editions and additions to the range

Fast forward to 2022 and the No 2 is one of the most popular and best loved Cuban cigars around.

In 2004, another size was added to the range – the Edmundo. This is a robusto and so is large and is named after Edmond Dantes, the hero of the Dumas novel the entire brand takes its name from.

Habanos SA frequently includes the brand in its special edition and limited edition releases for anniversaries, special occasions and charitable causes.

One of these regional special edition releases in 2007 came with the Edmundo Dantes 109. These special releases are all numbered and, of course, the number produced is extremely limited making them real collector’s items.

Anniversary lines added

Further releases include the 2009 line featuring lighter cigars. This was released at the Festival de Habano and, while the line was originally going to be named ‘Sport’, EU rules forced a change to ‘Open’.

The Open line included vitolas (sizes) of cigars named after various sporting pursuits, ranging from yachting to golf.

March 2015 was the 80th anniversary of the Montecristo cigar, and at this point the 80 Anniversario was released.

Ultra exclusive, this cigar came presented in a beautiful polished wood box. Released in August 2016. this line only ever consisted of 30,000 boxes.

What is the smoking experience and flavour profile of the brand?

Let’s have a closer look at what the Swiss Cuban team think of the smokability of the No 2. As we’ve touched on, in addition to the great service, fast shipping and wide range of cigars on offer to buy online, Swiss Cuban Cigars really care about the cigar itself.

Part of their excellent service includes reviewing a specific cigar and assessing its quality, how the smoke can be enjoyed, where the tobacco comes from and the general quality of the brand and size.

Here’s what they think of the Montecristo No 2.

The No 2 is made by Habanos SA in Cuba and is a Torpedo shaped cigar. It is also very large, tapering out at the head and becoming wider towards the base.

It has a 52 ring gauge, which gives you a good indication of its large size. The cigar has a light brown wrapper surrounding well-paced tobacco. And, of course, each cigar has the well known brand logo.

Its flavour profile is complex, with a spicy, bold mouthfeel. However, while it’s rich it’s not too rich and the complexity remains harmonious. It’s this blend that has led to its immense popularity with smokers, as they enjoy the mix of flavours.

Hand rolled using the finest tobacco in Havana

The No 2 is hand rolled and packed with Cuban tobacco, which gives the unmistakably enjoyable smoke experience so loved by aficionados the world over. It uses tobacco from the Vuelta abajo region, which is home to the finest grade Cuban tobacco, and each box is carefully packed.

While the hand rolling technique does lead to a cigar that is tightly packed with high quality tobacco, it remains open enough to give a pleasing draw when you inhale. In fact, one of the most commonly cited positives for the No 2 is the consistency of the draw all the way through the smoke experience.

The first cold draw on the cigar introduces hints of cedar and espresso – these bold flavours blend together very well. Soon enough they become rather sweeter before switching to creamy and leathery flavours. Finally you can expect oak and cedar woody flavours too.

Review: mouthfeel and taste profile

The first third gives you hints of nutmeg, almond and cinnamon with light and aromatic smoke. You can expect it to feel mild during the first third of the cigar, but as it burns it will become more solid.

The second third gives you immediate flavours of black and white pepper. This comes off the back of the woodsy flavours during the cold draw and first third, before resolving into a creamier cinnamon flavour.

While the smoke remains smooth it does start to become stronger at this point, as the cigar becomes heavier. So you can expect a spicier flavour profile here. These shifting flavours are a mark of the Montecristo brand, as it becomes fuller as you head towards the final third.

Changing flavours and richness

By the time you reach the final third of the No 2 it’s become a full bodied, rich and bold cigar. However, the quality of the blend means it doesn’t become too overpowering or too rich, maintaining an enjoyable mouthfeel all the way through.

It burns consistently well, all the way to the end of the final third, making it a great cigar for new smokers as well as those who have long enjoyed this brand.

Overall, it’s definitely a case of the quality matching the size when it comes to this cigar. It’s complex but never loses the subtle smoothness that you need to truly enjoy the smoke, and there are surprises along the way.

Best sellers and it’s easy to see why

The company sells many boxes of this Havana special, and consistently have great feedback from customers, whether they’re placing their first order or one of many.

While Swiss Cuban Cigars is based in Spain, its knowledge of cigar brands is firmly based in Cuba itself.

There is a reason that Cubans remain some of the most popular cigars available on the market, and as a shop, Swiss Cuban Cigars is careful to give all of the relevant information on different brands as well as great service.

The company is backed by a team with years of experience in selling Cuban cigars at the right price. Each box is clearly marked as authentic Cubans, allowing customers to shop freely with peace of mind.

And, of course, their reviews give customers a great idea of what to expect from each box of cigars on offer.

This in-depth knowledge complements the easy and secure payments, competitive price points and excellent services offered by the site.

Montecristo is one of the best selling brands for the site, given that they are consistently high quality, with the reviews to back this up.

How Hearing Loss Can Negatively Affect Our Elderly

Loss of hearing is one of the main problems of elderly people. Studies show that this condition has a connection with falls, dementia, and walking issues. The sense of hearing is important for staying independent and alert. That is why losing it can be devastating, especially for those who live alone. Below are some of the details about the negative effects of hearing loss on our elderly.

It Affects Mental Health

According to a hearing aids survey, loss of hearing can affect an elderly person’s mental health. Adjustment disorder and depression happen as natural reactions to hearing loss and affect the person’s quality of life. In some cases, the loss of hearing aggravates an elderly person’s existing mental health issues. A person with this condition can experience feelings of inadequacy and humiliation. It can be distressing and shameful to become an incapable member of society.

Facing someone whose words you cannot hear can make you wonder how other people see you or think of you. This often results in negative feelings that tend to be debilitating, especially to older adults. Even if they wear hearing aids, concealing these devices becomes a problem as well. Most elderly patients even refuse to wear hearing aids because they are afraid that other people will ask them about the devices or that people will pity them.

Many elderly people resort to isolation because of this condition. They want to avoid misunderstanding what other people are saying. Preventing feelings of shame is also a reason for staying away from other people. This then causes or worsens depression.

It Triggers Self-Blame

Elderly people with hearing loss tend to feel guilty about not being able to hear anything. They often blame themselves for not being able to communicate well. Elderly people find apologising necessary each time they fail to understand or react correctly. They do not have a choice but to ask for help in participating in an event or understanding what was just explained.

It Breaks Up Relationships

Hearing loss also results in loneliness due to self-imposed isolation. This happens among friends and within their families. Missing the conversations during gatherings and then asking what happened can be tiring. Retreating to a quiet corner or choosing not to go at all is the common solution. The unseen impairment affects the relationships. Those who forget about the hearing loss become upset and argue with the patient who cannot even understand them.

It Worsens Helplessness

Senior citizens are often set aside because they cannot do the things that they used to do. The addition of hearing loss worsens the feeling of helplessness. This results in lower energy levels in different activities. Hopelessness and suicidal thoughts may occur as well. Elderly people with hearing loss are often seen as tiresome and stupid. Once the elderly patient takes these negativities seriously, self-esteem lowers even more.

Hearing Loss Can Affect Elderly People in Unexpected Ways

Elderly patients already feel useless because of their deteriorating health. Once hearing loss starts, the negative feelings worsen. This pushes them to separate themselves from the people they know and love. Hearing loss can deteriorate their self-esteem as well. People around them should make an effort to help them so that the elderly patients can feel useful and relevant once again.

What Is a Good Marketing Budget for a Small Business

While there’s no solid rule, in general, your marketing budget should be a percentage of your revenue. The Small Business Administration (SBA) recommends that small businesses with revenue of less than $5 million should spend 5-8% of their revenue on marketing. This means that a business with annual revenue of $1 million would have a marketing budget of $50,000 to $80,000.

If you don`t have enough income to support a marketing budget that`s a percentage of your overall revenue, another way to determine how much to spend on marketing is to use the SBA’s ”3% Rule.” This rule of thumb says that you should spend 3% of your gross monthly sales on marketing. So, if you have monthly sales of $30,000, your marketing budget would be $900 per month.

Of course, these are just general guidelines. Your specific marketing budget will depend on a number of factors, including your industry, your target market, and the size of your company.

How to Plan a Marketing Budget?

When you’re putting together your marketing budget, think about both long-term and short-term marketing goals. For example, if you’re planning to launch a new product, you’ll need to budget for market research, product development, and advertising. If you`re focused on building brand awareness, you might need to create an SEO budget plan and spend more on advertising and public relations than if you were trying to increase sales of an existing product.

Create a Marketing Strategy

Before you start planning your marketing budget, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your marketing goals. What are you trying to achieve with your marketing efforts? Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, or increase sales of a particular product?

Once you know what you want to achieve, you can start to put together a marketing plan that will help you reach your goals. Your marketing plan should include a mix of different marketing tactics, such as content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing.

Choose the Right Marketing Tactics

Once you know what you want to achieve with your marketing efforts, it’s time to start thinking about the marketing tactics you`ll use to reach your goals. There are a number of different marketing channels you can use, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

For example, if you’re trying to increase brand awareness, you might want to use advertising or public relations. If you’re trying to drive traffic to your website, you might want to use search engine optimisation (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. And if you’re trying to increase sales of a particular product, you might want to use email marketing or direct mail.

Once you’ve selected the right marketing tactics for your goals, you can start to put together your budget. When you`re determining how much to spend on each tactic, think about both the cost and the effectiveness. For example, SEO can be very effective in driving traffic to your website, but it can also be quite expensive.

Evaluate Your Results

Once you’ve implemented your marketing plan, it’s essential to take a step back and evaluate the results. Use such tools as Google Analytics or even a simple Excel spreadsheet. What worked well? What didn’t work as well as you’d hoped? Based on your evaluation, you can adjust your budget and marketing tactics for the future.

What is the Importance of Marketing for Small Businesses?

Small businesses often have a limited marketing budget, which makes it important to use marketing strategies that are effective and efficient. Marketing can help small businesses attract new customers, build brand awareness, and increase sales.

When done correctly, marketing can be a powerful tool for small businesses. However, remember that not all marketing activities are created equal. Some, such as creating a website or running a social media campaign, can be quite costly. Others, such as writing blog posts or sending email newsletters, are relatively inexpensive.

The crucial thing is to choose the right mix of marketing activities for your small business. By focusing on the most effective marketing strategies, you can get the most bang for your buck and achieve your marketing goals.

Common Mistakes in Setting a Marketing Budget

One common mistake businesses make when preparing a marketing budget is failing to allocate enough money for marketing. Marketing is a vital part of any business, but it’s often one of the first areas to be cut when budgets are tight.

Another common mistake is failing to track results. It’s important to track the results of your marketing efforts so you can see what’s working and what’s not. Otherwise, you’re just throwing money at a problem without really knowing if it’s making a difference.

Finally, businesses sometimes make the mistake of thinking they need to spend a lot of money on marketing to be successful. While it’s true that you need to spend some money on marketing, it’s also important to remember that there are many free or low-cost marketing tactics you can use to reach your target market.

When you’re setting your marketing budget, keep these common mistakes in mind. By avoiding them, you can ensure that your budget is more effective and efficient.

Final Say

The most essential thing to remember when creating a marketing budget is that it’s not set in stone. As your business grows and changes, so too will your marketing needs. Be prepared to adjust your budget and marketing tactics as necessary to achieve your goals.

5 Tips to Avoid Bankruptcy After a Workplace Injury

Bankruptcy is a terrifying word for anyone who has ever even been close to filing for it. When you experience a workplace injury, the creeping presence of bankruptcy can suddenly become uncomfortably close. However, there are benefits, tools, tips, and lifestyle changes you can use to avoid this tragic financial situation. To help you stay afloat financially, here are five tips to avoid bankruptcy after a workplace injury:

1. File a Workers’ Comp Claim

While it may seem like a no-brainer, many people fail to file workers’ comp claims after experiencing a workplace injury. Almost all employers are required to have workers’ comp insurance claims (either through the state or a private entity), so you deserve to use this benefit to stay afloat as you heal from your workplace injury. If you’re finding it difficult to file your claim, or if your boss is trying to keep you from filing a claim, it’s worth getting a quality workers’ comp attorney involved in the situation.

2. Consolidate or Settle Debts

If you want to stay on top of your finances and avoid bankruptcy as you recover from your workplace injury, you need to seriously consider any avenues you have for consolidating and settling debts. You can look into lowering interest rates on your loans, and if you pay them all off, your credit will likely be in a position where you can borrow a loan that will help you stay far away from bankruptcy territory. With debt settlement, you’ll want to contact a quality debt relief company to help you reduce your debts. Depending on the nature of your debts, and whether you’re a veteran or disabled, you may even qualify for special forgiveness plans in some states (or through federal programs). By using both of these strategies in tandem, you can strengthen your financial situation significantly.

3. Maximize Your Income

Although it may seem difficult to swing, there are some nifty ways you can maximise your income and avoid bankruptcy after a workplace injury. Finding secondary work that you can do while you heal is your best option. There are tons of online job sites that are dedicated to remote work, after all. If you’re able to drive, there are many freelance gigs available to you as well. While this option may not be accessible to everyone who has suffered a workplace injury, it’s one of the most effective ways to fight off bankruptcy in today’s economic landscape. Additionally, you should consider selling any valuable items you have that you no longer need or want. Almost everyone has some type of expensive gadget or piece of furniture that they rarely use, after all.

4. Create a Budget

Budgeting is the absolute best way to get control of your finances and can help you live within your means. Without a solid budget, and without the drive to follow it, you’ll get uncomfortably close to filing bankruptcy. There are many ways you can handle budgeting, and there are many online websites and services that can help you determine your best budget options. Be sure to allow yourself money for self-care and hobbies, but make sure you’re prioritising your financial stability above all else. You can expand your budget by cutting down on expenses as well, especially if you’re able to downgrade to a smaller living space, a cheaper car, or if you’re able to make some other type of drastic budgetary cut.

5. Cut Spending on Subscriptions

In today’s world, we all have at least one subscription. Whether you’re subscribing to music or movie streaming services, you’re spending at least a solid chunk of your expendable income on subscription services every month. Many of us are even paying for subscriptions that we had no idea we had! Scanning through your monthly bank statements can help you ensure that you’re not wasting money on rarely-used or never used services. If you want to get your finances under control and avoid bankruptcy, you may have to make some tough cuts (but it will be worth it once you finally get your financial situation back under control).

Reclaim Your Financial Stability

With these five tips, you can quickly reclaim your financial stability. Budgeting, debt consolidation, spending cuts, workers’ comp benefits, and investments can all help you boost your credit and avoid bankruptcy. Ultimately, these actions are an investment in your financial future.

SME News Reveals the 2022 Winners of the Southern Enterprise Awards

United Kingdom, 2022 – SME News is pleased to announce the winners of the Southern Enterprise Awards.

Entrepreneurs and multi-sized enterprises throughout the South of the UK are not only surviving, but they are flourishing in the face of any adversity. Evolving to support such a diverse selection of industries and trends, they are thriving!

Either starting up during the pandemic or expanding throughout this challenging time, the winners of these sublime awards have earned themselves a spot at the top. The Southern Enterprise Awards 2022 is full of seasoned experts sharing their homemade produce, educational aid, consultancy skills, workflow automation solutions, and much more. We would love to congratulate all of the winners as they soar to great heights.

Our Awards Coordinator, Jessie Wilson, commented on the magnificent success of the winners in this supplement: “I am proud to present the Southern Enterprise Awards, and all of the business featured here. We wish them all the best for the future as they continue to alter the corporate landscape for the South of the UK.”

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

SME News Magazine Reveals the Winners of the 2022 Welsh Enterprise Awards

United Kingdom, 2022 – SME News is thrilled to announce the winners of the annual Welsh Enterprise Awards.

2022 has seen an influx of small and medium enterprises expand and thrive even in the face of adversity. Either starting out or simply continuing their long journeys, these companies have all defied the odds of the pandemic, cost of living crisis, and all other possible challenges. The realm of business in Wales has broadened horizons for people everywhere, and we are pleased to see these inspirational businesses flourish. From dog training to agricultural technology, house improvements to workplace mediation, and more, this supplement showcases a number of leading companies making a huge impact on their industries.

The Welsh Enterprise Awards programme is here to celebrate and congratulate Welsh businesses that are not only improving people’s lives now, but they are inevitably influencing the future of business. SME is delighted to showcase this superb selection of companies that have earned such prestigious accolades – all received due to their tenacity, flexibility, and impressive contribution to the world.

Our Awards Coordinator, Kaven Cooper, has expressed true pride on the success of this year’s Welsh Enterprise Awards programme: “I am honoured to host this year’s edition of the Welsh Enterprise Awards programme, and I would like to sincerely congratulate each of these winners as they have influenced the richness of the corporate landscape in Wales and beyond.”

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

Steps to Increase Your Business Security in Recession Times

When recession fears start to appear in the headlines, companies and organizations first come up with ways to cut their spending and increase the budget. Often, they will make a mistake and try cutting the budget in the areas they should instead work on improving, such as cybersecurity.

Recession and business security

While there have been several recessions throughout European history, since 1960 Europe as a whole has experienced only four of them according to Rabobank research. While some lasted months such as the first oil crisis, others, such as the Global financial crisis tortured nations for years. Worst of all is that even once the recession is over, economies still have a long recovery process. For some countries such as Ireland and Greece, recovery from recession took a lot longer than a recession itself. Not knowing when it will start, how long it will last, or even which industries will be affected the worst makes it one of the greatest fears any business owner can have. This is why they always focus on the bottom line, trying to prepare their business as best as possible. Unfortunately, that means reducing the budget and cutting what they consider unnecessary expenses. Quite often, they will feel cybersecurity is one of those expenses. The truth is that the situation should be completely opposite as in desperate times, there is more danger of criminal activity, especially fraud.

Your cybersecurity strategy is the only thing that stands between your business and malicious actors. The irony is that the fact that the cybersecurity strategy is so effective is the reason business owners believe they don’t need it and can get away with reducing it. Don’t wait for cybercriminals to prove you the opposite. Dealing with recession and accepting the necessary changes doesn’t mean you have to reduce your cybersecurity strategy. Instead, you should approach it smarter. By making informed choices, you will not only have an effective strategy, but you could even improve it despite the recession.

How can you increase your business security despite the recession?

Companies often get lulled into a false sense of security because they haven’t yet been victims of a cyberattack or other fraudulent activity. They convince themselves it is because they are not big enough to attract the attention of scammers, so they should be fine. Unfortunately, we live in a world where fraud attempts are increasing daily. The question is no longer whether you will become a victim but when. By introducing the following steps, you can improve your business security and mitigate the risk of online dangers even in recession times.

1.    Assess your security strategy

You might be losing your money on unnecessary aspects of your business without even realizing it. By reviewing your security strategy, you will be able to identify any possible vulnerabilities and weak points fraudsters can exploit and fix it before that can happen. Not only that, you will be able to use your findings to identify areas you should concentrate on, allowing you to use your funds more efficiently instead of wasting them on unnecessary elements.

2.    Accept changes

Keeping up with industry trends is essential in any element of your business, especially cybersecurity, as this area is constantly changing, trying to stay ahead of cybercriminals. It is time to accept those changes instead of relying on the same old methods that left you struggling to keep up. Innovative cybersecurity companies such as SEON utilize machine learning and artificial intelligence to transform and update necessary processes such as onboarding or customer verification to ensure the business and customers’ safety. These technological advancements allow them to create adaptable cybersecurity tools that can reduce operational costs while increasing efficiency.

3.    Prioritise your employees

Your employees are your first and your last line of defense. You are putting your business in grave danger by leaving them unprepared for dealing with the new security challenges. You would train them how to deal with any other element of the business you deem necessary, so why is cybersecurity any different? You can strengthen your cybersecurity layer by educating your employees about recognizing, reacting to, and preventing malicious attempts. Just consider how much more cost-efficient it is to educate and train your employees than to deal with the aftermath of a cyberattack.

4.    Introduce and implement clear and strict security policies and procedures

This step applies to your employees and customers, as threats can come from anywhere. The security policies and procedures explained by Polyglot Group, define the rules of operation, standards, conditions, and guidelines your employees and customers need to follow. This helps you ensure your business stays protected from potential threats while staying compliant with regulations.

Conclusion

We can’t prevent a recession, but we can change how it affects us. By thinking long-term, planning, and implementing changes before the worst happens, you will be on the right track to survive it and increase your business security in the process.

A Comprehensive Guide To Building A Mould-Resistant Home

Posted on 21st November 2022

Mould is common in commercial buildings and homes. They usually grow in areas where moisture is present. However, this issue can cause adverse health issues for tenants or homeowners and poor indoor air quality and affect the market value of a property since such homes are relatively hard to rent or sell.

As such, whether you already own a home or just planning to build one, as a homeowner, one of your priorities should be making your home mould-resistant. With that, this article will look into ways to help you build a mould-resistant home. Read on to learn more.

What Causes Mold Infestation?

As you build a mould-resistant home, it can help to understand the causes of mould infestation first. As mentioned, the primary cause of mould infestation in a house is uncontrolled moisture content, often in the form of high humidity or condensation. If the moisture content within an area in your home is high, it will only take a day or two for mould to start growing.

While there is no such thing as a mould-proof home since mould spores are available in the air, you can co-exist in a friendly way and discourage its growth. As a good start, you can reach out to professionals and service providers like Atlas Labs, who can conduct thorough inspections of your home. And from there, you can take the necessary measures to deal with the issue.

Building A Mould-Resistant Home

If you’re building your home from scratch, you can be in an excellent position to design a mould-resistant home quickly. However, nowadays, most homes are designed with energy efficiency in mind, which can make airflow in your home’s interiors more restricted.

Generally, this can be a problem since good and efficient ventilation is vital for preventing mould infestation. Fortunately, you can still design an energy-efficient home without compromising good airflow, making your home mould-resistant. To help you achieve that, here are considerations you can keep in mind as you build your home:

  • Construct your home using mould-resistant materials like mould-resistant drywall that uses fiberglass. You can also use building materials that were treated with anti-mould chemicals.
  • Ensure your building materials are stored in a dry area or environment and assess for any construction flaws that can lead to moisture retention.
  • Design the floor, foundation, and exterior walls of your basement with waterproof concrete. To do this, you can invest in a waterproofing system to enhance breathability and prevent moisture accumulation.
  • Invest in a reliable moisture barrier on the basement floor and the concrete slabs.
  • Invest in electronic air cleaners or a filter for your HVAC system to aid in removing mould spores present in the air.
  • Ensure your water-supply pipes are well insulated to prevent leaks and any possible cracks.
  • Invest in programmable dehumidifiers as they are effective in eradicating humidity indoors and exhaust your fans to remove moisture.

Making Your Existing Home Mould-Resistant

Routine inspection of your home can significantly help prevent mould infestations in your home. But as homeowners, there are simple steps you can do to keep your home safe from mould growth, even without professional help.

As a good start, you’ll need to block moisture, warmth, and food that moulds require to thrive. For food, this can be any household material or item from your beddings to draperies, carpets, furniture, shower walls, ceiling tiles, wallpapers, and windowsills.

Moreover, here are some helpful tips you can consider:

  • Be more vigilant of places of spills and potential moisture in your home. It would also be best to repair leaks and seepage within the shortest time possible.
  • Reduce humidity in your home by using dehumidifiers and your fan to improve airflow. This is essential, especially if you’re living in a place where it’s usually hot and humid.
  • Clean your roof gutters more often.
  • Maintain and clean your AC unit drainage lines and pans regularly.
  • Vacuum and maintain your home more often and get rid of food that mold feeds on, such as dust particles.
  • Improve ventilation in crawl spaces.

Conclusion

Moulds are generally common in any home, especially since they can grow and thrive in damp and moist places easily, such as the shower or tub, kitchen, basement, and attic, to name a few. However, aside from affecting your home’s indoor air quality, mould exposure can also cause health risks.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to ensure your home is mould-resistant. By reading this guide, you can be guided on how you can build a mould-resistant home, so you and your family live in a healthy environment.

Five Tips To Help Employers Combat SAD In The Workplace

As winter approaches some employees may be finding that they go to work and come home in complete darkness. This lack of daylight exposure can cause some to experience winter depression, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This disorder impacts around 20% of the population and typically causes low mood, fatigue and increased irritability.

Obviously these symptoms can affect the productivity of workers and the overall office morale. To help combat the impact of SAD at work, the experts at We Are WildGoose, team building activity providers, have put together five ways that employers can help their staff stay motivated through the winter months.

Review your flexible working policy

For some getting to work while it is still dark may make being ready for their day a little more difficult. Employers should review their flexible working policies to give employees the option of starting and finishing later to allow them to start their working day in the daylight. It is also worth seeing if remote working options fit with your business, if not already an option. 

Offering employees the opportunity to work from home will allow them to get up slightly later and will perhaps provide them with the opportunity to experience more daylight than if they were in an enclosed office.

Light up the office

One of the main triggers of SAD sufferers is the dark mornings and evenings. Your body’s circadian clock responds to light as a signal to be awake, this means that without sufficient light during the day, employees can feel lethargic. There is not much that can be done about this outside, but employers can ensure that the inside of the office is sufficiently lit using daylight imitation bulbs. 

If there is the space for it you could even set up a corner of the office where there is a comfy chair and a SAD lamp to give employees the option of getting 30 minutes of exposure to help combat their SAD symptoms.

Promote going outside

It can be a difficult argument to make when the weather is wet and cold, but encouraging your employees to spend time outside will do them the world of good. Remind your employees to take regular breaks and get lots of fresh air. If possible, it’s also worth investing in your outdoors office spaces. If you can fit heating outside, it will be easier for your staff to walk around in the winter and stay warm. It also means they can take quick breaks from their desk without having to go too far from the office.

Invest in more team building

Team building is a great way to get your staff motivated and boost the mood in the office. Whether it’s games, virtual escape rooms or more adrenalin-based pursuits such as a treasure hunt, autumn/winter is a good time to plan something fun and engaging for your team to help improve morale. A Gallup study showed that employees work 20% better when motivated.  For anyone in your team who is struggling with SAD, renewed focus from taking part in a team building activity will help them to take their mind off it and will boost productivity as a result.

Introduce healthier office initiatives

Those suffering from SAD may be tempted to comfort eat in order to try and boost their dopamine. But this might not be the best strategy for dealing with a low mood. Exercise and a good, vitamin rich diet are known to enhance serotonin levels, making people feel happier and healthier. 

Consider introducing healthy initiatives at work, simple things like treadmill or standing desks, promoting regular screen breaks, a free fruit bowl and healthy snacks are a great start. If you have some extra budget, you might also consider organising some fitness classes such as yoga or zumba for your employees.

It is also important to ensure that your employees’ mental health is being addressed, as well as their physical health. Consider subscribing to a mental wellness app and offer training on mental health to help break down the stigma within the office.

5 Health Tips For Everyone Who Works Remotely

Working from home is a great way to increase your flexibility and save money. Having said that, it can be challenging to maintain good health if you lack access to the same facilities as your coworkers. Fortunately, there are some easy precautions you can take to maintain your health while working from home:

Set Up A Reasonable Schedule

The creation of a timetable that works for you is among the most crucial things you can accomplish. Regular breaks and time to engage in enjoyable activities and/or exercise should be feasible to fit into your schedule. Additionally, it’s crucial to plan healthy eating routines so that your body has enough fuel for the upcoming workday. Last but not least, make sure there are times when you can decompress from all the pressures of being on call—whether it’s by napping or spending time with friends who are aware of how difficult it can be!

Work At Different Locations

Working at various sites each day is one of the best strategies to maintain good health. You can accomplish this by working in a separate room, area of the house, or even in a different city! Try working at a different place the next week if you can find work there all week.

You won’t have to spend all day in the car, which will encourage you to keep active and get some fresh air. It also allows your body time to adjust so that it doesn’t feel as though you’re returning from one extremely hot or extremely cold climate to another extremely hot or cold climate.

Take Breaks Frequently

You’ll be more productive and remain awake and aware throughout the day if you take regular, brief breaks. Taking 10-minute breaks per hour is the most effective method to accomplish this. If there is nothing else going on that requires your immediate attention, you can do this in between chores or even just for five minutes at a time (like an email).

Try going for walks outside if you can; it will help you relax and give your thoughts some fresh air! Additionally, try not to concentrate too much during these intervals; instead, unwind and enjoy some fresh air and sunlight while conversing with someone nearby who might find the chat amusing enough to keep them entertained until their next break.

Separate Home And Workspace As Much As Possible

  • As much as you can, keep your home and office separate. If you can’t, try to spend as little time at your desk as possible. Try to leave your desk at least once a day to go for a run or walk. It is like you’re king of your own business as there are the best membership website builders that offer plenty of benefits.
  • You can do anything on these website builders, be it photo editing services, content services, or anything else.

Communicate With Your Team Regularly

It’s crucial to communicate with your team frequently if you want to ensure that they are focusing on the right tasks. In the event of an emergency or question, they should be able to contact you, and they should be aware of your availability.

You Can Stay Healthy While Working From Home

Working from home can help you maintain your health. There are more methods to be healthy while working remotely besides making sure you keep a suitable schedule for yourself and take frequent breaks.

  • Keep your home office and workspace as separate as you can: By doing this, you can avoid being seduced by distractions while concentrating on other things (like watching TV). Additionally, it could be more comfortable if your workstation is located in a different room from your living space.
  • Regularly communicate with your team: Make sure everyone is aware of the tasks that need to be completed and when—and don’t forget about yourself!

Conclusion

A fantastic strategy to be productive and complete more work in less time is to work from home. Additionally, it’s crucial to keep in mind that you still need to care for yourself, so watch your work-life balance! In addition to offering advice on how to stay healthy while traveling, we hope this guide has helped you better understand how working from home can improve your health.