3 Ways a Well-Designed Logo Increases Brand Recognition

Do you ever wonder what makes a brand logo captivating and memorable? In this article, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of brand logo design, exploring key factors that contribute to making logos engaging for today’s consumers.

Moreover, we’ll provide valuable insights into how successful companies craft their perfect logos, striking the right balance between creativity and effectiveness. Get ready to discover what lies behind world-renowned branding and unlock newfound appreciation for iconic emblems!

The Power of Attention-Grabbing Visuals

First impressions are crucial, especially when it comes to capturing the attention of your target audience. A well-designed logo has the power to instantly pique the interest of potential customers, captivating them within mere seconds.

To achieve this magnetic effect, consider using bold colours, unexpected shapes or typography, and distinct design elements in your logo. These choices will not only make your brand more recognizable but also help convey its personality and values.

Moreover, be mindful of cultural context when selecting visuals for your logo design. Different cultures perceive colours and symbols differently – what works in one market may not have the same impact or meaning in another.

Consistent Communication Across Platforms

Achieving brand recognition is not only about having an unforgettable logo, but also about ensuring your brand’s message is consistently communicated across platforms. This uniformity strengthens your brand identity and makes it easier for customers to associate your products or services with positive experiences.

For example, if you run a business specializing in memorable event invitations, you would want potential clients to easily recognize and connect with your brand when they see an ad on social media, visit your website, or order custom photo invitations from you. Consistency means using the same colours, fonts, and design elements in all promotional materials – both online and offline.

Remember to take charge of your branding across platforms by reinforcing a harmonious visual presence with engaging content that communicates the same themes and values of the company. In doing so, you elevate the appreciation for the logo itself while helping build recognition that reinforces long-term success.

How Logos Connect with Customers

A vital component of a successful logo design is its ability to foster an emotional connection with customers. As people often make decisions based on emotions, it’s essential for your brand logo to evoke feelings that resonate positively with your target audience.

To create this bond, you must first understand the core values and aspirations of your ideal customer. By capturing the essence of these unique qualities in your logo, you enable your brand to connect on a deeper level by appealing to their desires or addressing their pain points. For example, incorporating elements that symbolize hope and positivity might strike a chord with an audience seeking personal growth or self-improvement.

Additionally, use storytelling to enhance this emotional connection further. Every iconic logo has a story behind it – explore how you can incorporate yours into the visual representation of your brand. It could be as simple as using shapes that represent company history or colours that echo significant milestones.

By consciously designing for emotional engagement, you’re creating a foundation for lasting relationships between your brand and its customers – thereby increasing loyalty and long-term success in the eyes of those who matter most.

The Art of Crafting Captivating Logos: A Recap

As we come to the end of our journey through the realm of logo design, let’s recap the key concepts that make a brand logo engaging and unforgettable.

1. Attention-Grabbing Visuals: Utilize bold colours, unique shapes, and distinct design elements to command viewers’ attention.

2. Consistent Communication: Ensure a cohesive visual presence across platforms for seamless brand identity and trust-building.

3. Emotional Connections: Cater your logo to resonate with your target audience’s values and aspirations, fostering lasting relationships.

4. Uniqueness in Design: Set your brand apart from competitors by prioritizing innovation and individuality in the logo creation process.

5. Timelessness: Craft logos that transcend passing trends; aim for designs that will remain appealing for years to come.

In conclusion, successfully designing a captivating and memorable brand logo involves striking a delicate balance between creativity and effectiveness. By considering these vital factors – alongside consistency, uniqueness, emotionality, and timelessness – you can craft a powerful emblem that resonates with your customers while elevating your business’s visibility in today’s competitive market landscape.

5 Expert Tips for Preventing Water Damage on Your Property

Posted on 19th May 2023

The last thing any homeowner wants to be dealing with is damage to their property. Unfortunately, taking care of this damage is a part of home ownership and there is bound to be issues that come up over time. One of the more common, and frustrating, problems that arises is water damage. With an expensive repair cost of $3 to $4 per square foot on average, learning the signs of water damage and how to prevent it can save you money in the future.

Common Signs of Water Damage

Given the high cost associated with repairing water damage, it’s important to learn how to spot the common signs that this issue is happening. By addressing the problem earlier on, you can reduce the price you have to pay for restoration. Below are some of the most common signs that your home has a water damage problem:

  • Peeling, bubble, or flaky paint in the home
  • Mould growth coming out of the walls or dark place
  • Dark brown water rings on walls or ceiling
  • Musty smells emanating from unknown origins
  • Health issues emerging
  • Odd noises or dripping sounds that cannot be located

5 Ways to Stop Water Damage from Occurring

Any of the above signs of water damage should be immediate reason to look into water damage restoration Denver services before the issues gets worth. However, the following five tips can help anybody stop water damage from occurring in the first place:

Clean your gutters every few months

One of the most common causes of water damage in a home is a clogged gutter. While gutters are supposed to carry water away from the home, severe weather can quickly cause a gutter to be overwhelmed and clogged. This can result in water leaking out and dripping down onto the walls of your home. Every couple of months, it’s best to inspect your gutters for signs of overflow or other issues.

Understand your water main and how to shut it off

In case the cause of water damage in your home is an uncontrolled water main, it’s important to know how to operate your own. Most shut-off valves to your specific water line are just outside the exterior of your home. In most cases, if you walk around to the side of your home there will be a valve sticking out of the wall of your home. It may or may not be labelled but twisting this valve will almost always control the water entering your home.

Install leak detection devices

Leak detection devices can be an excellent investment for a home to ensure that unnoticed leaks do not occur. These devices can be placed in strategic locations around a home where a water leak may occur. Should a leak start, you will be alerted right away, and the issues can quickly be addressed before it becomes serious enough to be a major financial problem.

Maintain all of your appliances

Another common cause of water damage in a home is the malfunctioning of appliances. Whether it is the pipes in a bathroom or even the connector to a washing machine or the fridge, there can be problems with the water line. By maintaining the health of these appliances, however, a person can reduce the risk of water damage via degradation of parts within the home.

Check hoses and faucets on a regular basis

Finally, all homeowners should inspect the hoses and faucets around the home on a regular basis to make sure they aren’t having serious issues. Turn off all faucets and make sure there is no drip occurring under the sink or countertop where that faucet is located. Additionally, check any exposed hoses for signs of wear and tear such as cracks or breaks in the hose. On top of all of this, keep an eye on your water bill for any abnormal movements which may indicate water is leaking somewhere in the home.

Restore your home to peak condition

Making the choice to not address water damage in a home when it occurs can have devastating consequences. From ruining the infrastructure to even putting the structural integrity of a home at risk, water damage can have serious repercussions. Use the above tips to stop water damage from occurring in the first place, but also learn to spot the signs of water damage in your home so that you can fix the problem before it becomes worse if it ever occurs.

Measuring the Financial Impact of Video Marketing for Small Businesses

As a small business owner, you will have to don many hats throughout the lifetime of your business. From content creation to brand management, and everything else in between needs your utmost concern. For anyone, adding more elements to the mix may seem like a lot, especially when it’s a time-consuming and heavy-on-the-pocket process like video marketing. To do or not to do? You must definitely do it because its benefits are many for your business.

Thankfully, we’re past the stage when people used to hold up placards to let people know about their services. Now, social media and different content formats have simplified sharing and enlightening people about what’s happening in the market. Video marketing is one method that will always bring desired results and also save your resources, both time and money. 91% of businesses are testament to this fact that video is the best marketing tool.

7 ways video marketing helps small businesses financially

The financial impact of video marketing for small businesses is significant. From conversion rates to high SEO ranking and from better brand image to more customer retention rates, video marketing is your one-stop solution. The following ways are to measure the financial impact of videos on small businesses:

Build a trusted brand identity

Trust is the foundation for any business to thrive in the global market. For small businesses, it may take years to establish and prove their name. Many brand building strategies have to be put into work for the business to flourish and make its place in households, offices and in the lives of their customers.

To build a brand identity, it becomes important to leave a definite mark in the audience’s lives. Video is one effective way to create easy, digestible, memorable and engaging content. With video marketing and features like online video translator, companies can stand out from their competitors and build a strong brand identity.

Improve search engine rankings

Everyone on the internet uses search engines like Google to get a valid response for their queries and to know more about new businesses on the block. To achieve higher recognition on the world wide web, businesses need to reserve a spot on the topmost rankings on search results.

Advanced analytics and tools have helped new businesses to scale their performance on the internet. Content in video format is the best way to let web crawlers know in detail what the business and video is all about. This will be helpful in providing accurate answers to the audience and also reduce bounce rates.

Influence consumer behaviour

Looking back the past two years, we can safely say that the number of online customers has significantly gone up. From the way we work to the way we shop, everything has gone online. The rise of ecommerce has also increased the number of online shoppers, approximately 2.64 billion people as of 2023. For small businesses, the lifespan of their business depends on their increasing customer base and video marketing is one effective way to keep the numbers flowing in.

Videos are a great way to influence purchase patterns and create need in the customers’ lives. Convenience and competitive prices are the two key reasons driving people to shop online. With the compelling videos that justify their pricing, position, and everything else is to boost their overall revenue.

Better customer feedback and retention

Following closely to point number 3 is the influence of customer feedback and retention on the financial aspect of small businesses. Today, high-quality videos can be made with mobile phones and don’t require fancy or high-end equipment. Brands can request feedback in video form, moving away from the traditional questionnaires and surveys, to boost interaction between both parties.

Video marketing helps small businesses to forge strong relationships with customers by providing information and increasing emotional connections. People place more confidence on a product or service when a video is attached to it. 

Grow audiences via email listing

Small businesses don’t have the freedom to splurge on their marketing. However, emails are the most economical way to advertise your brand, its offerings and build customer base. It’s a free tool that business owners must make use of, and its influence becomes more powerful when paired with video marketing methods.

Video, when incorporated into your email will see more keen readers as people tend to open emails that include visual aid. Don’t forget to always include a call-to-action at the end of your videos. This is your best way to encourage more shares and sign ups and grow your email listing and cashflow.

Establish brand connection and recall

Be it Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media channel, the content format that you see the most is video. Video content has more potential to be shared on social media, which thereby gives the brand more exposure and higher engagement. These factors help in building a brand connection with the current and potential customers.

Develop ROI tracking

Video marketing is one of the best ways to monitor and track the success rate of your marketing strategies. You can make adjustments accordingly and tweak metrics here and there to get the most returns out of your videos. With constant monitoring and analysis, you will soon be on the road to successfully creating videos that strike the right chord with your audience. By the end of the day, you’ll be making more profits than losses and that’s all you need.

The bigger picture on video marketing

There are innumerable benefits of video marketing, especially for small businesses. If you’re still holding back on using that camera or mobile for video recordings, then this is your sign to start using them.

By B Naomi Grace

CloudKeeper Launches CloudKeeper Auto, An AI-powered RI Management Platform, for Savings of Up to 25% on AWS Bill

CloudKeeper, a global leader in AWS FinOps and Cost Optimization space, has announced the launch of CloudKeeper Auto, a Zero-touch AI-based AWS reservation management platform. The solution is specifically designed to help organizations optimize their AWS EC2 reservations, while also providing significant cloud cost savings. 

Businesses can save significant costs on AWS through its offerings like Reserved Instances (RIs) and Saving Plans that require a 1-year or 3-year commitment. But, it is often difficult for businesses to predict their usage and make such long-term or large-volume commitments. Striking a balance between the cost of obtaining new resources and maintaining operational flexibility, while minimizing cloud waste, has always been a challenging trade-off. 

CloudKeeper Auto helps tackle this challenge by combining the flexibility of On Demand instances and the cost-effectiveness of Reserved Instances. Using CloudKeeper Auto, organizations can buy AWS compute instances on-demand, at 3-Year Reserved Instance pricing, which is the highest discount tier for reservations. Notably, the solution does not require any type of volume or term commitment from the user. 

The proprietary AI engine automatically buys/sells RIs on behalf of the organization, with just a simple IAM access to their AWS account. CloudKeeper charges only 18% of the total EC2 savings as a platform fee, which is one of the most competitive fees in the market. 

CloudKeeper Auto completely takes away all manual dependencies on RI management and delivers substantial savings with –

  • Automated buying/selling of RIs on the secondary marketplace 
  • Guaranteed buyback of RI reservations made through the platform
  • Risk-free coverage with no commitments and no billing transfer

The company also offers CloudKeeper AZ, a comprehensive cloud cost optimization solution that provides savings, software, and services, all bundled into one. The solution provides free access to their proprietary AWS Cost Analytics Platform and well-architected reviews from AWS-certified cloud experts. CloudKeeper AZ contractually guarantees savings on the entire AWS bill right from Day 1 of engagement.

However, not all AWS users could benefit from CloudKeeper AZ due to concerns with billing transfer, their own contractual obligations towards programs like AWS EDP, and more. CloudKeeper Auto, however, resolves these concerns with no requirements for billing transfer or commitment, and a zero-touch, AI-driven RI management system. With two distinct solutions tailored to meet various objectives of cloud cost optimization, CloudKeeper has now carved a niche for itself as a unique FinOps Solution Provider. 

“At CloudKeeper, we have always been committed to solving cloud cost challenges. Our new solution is a direct response to the market feedback from those who could not leverage the potential of CloudKeeper AZ, due to multiple reasons. We hope to expand our reach to a broader set of AWS consumers, with a stronger arsenal of features,” said Deepak Mittal, CEO, CloudKeeper. “CloudKeeper Auto is capable of delivering superior and sustainable cost savings to all kinds of businesses across the world, completely risk-free!”

The Benefits of Launching a Business in Australia

Choosing the right location for launching a new venture can be crucial for entrepreneurs who are starting out or looking to expand. Australia, with its strong economy and favourable business environment, has emerged as an exciting destination for startups and established businesses alike. 

New businesses are cropping up in Australia in record numbers, with a 2022 report showing over 160,000 having been started in 12 months alone. This statistic highlights the growing appeal of Australia as a prime location for business innovation and growth. In this article, we will explain some of the key factors that make launching a business in Australia a smart choice.

Strong Currency

Australia’s strong currency, the Australian Dollar (AUD), provides stability and confidence to businesses operating within the country. A strong currency ensures that investments and trade activities are backed by a reliable and robust financial system. 

Using the Australian Dollar offers advantages such as lower import costs, increased purchasing power and enhanced competitiveness in international markets. This is ideal for those firms actively looking to save money whilst they expand.

Australia’s stable economy, characterised by consistent economic growth, low inflation rates, and prudent fiscal policies, will also create a favourable business environment that has the potential to attract both local and foreign investors.

English Language Dominance

Australia’s use of the English language serves as a significant advantage for entrepreneurs from countries like the UK. English is the primary language spoken and understood by the majority of Australians, eliminating the language barriers you may encounter in other countries. 

This linguistic advantage makes it easier for international entrepreneurs to conduct business negotiations, establish partnerships, and connect with a broad range of consumers, suppliers, and professionals. By leveraging the English language dominance, businesses can seamlessly interact with the global business community.

Small Population as a Testing Ground

Australia’s relatively small population of around 26 million people presents a valuable opportunity for entrepreneurs to test and refine their products, services, or business models before expanding to larger markets. 

The country’s smaller market size allows for cost-effective and efficient market research and product validation. Entrepreneurs can gain insights into consumer preferences, fine-tune their offerings, and assess market viability without facing the challenges associated with larger, more saturated markets. 

The diverse demographics within Australia also provide a microcosm of various consumer segments, enabling entrepreneurs to tailor their strategies and offerings to specific target audiences.

Favourable Regulatory Environment

Australia has established a favourable regulatory environment that supports entrepreneurship and business growth. The government has implemented transparent and efficient processes for registering and operating businesses, ensuring compliance with regulations, and protecting the rights of entrepreneurs. 

Australia ranks highly in global indicators of ease of doing business, which reflects its commitment to reducing bureaucratic hurdles and fostering a business-friendly environment. The stability of regulations and adherence to the rule of law provide businesses with certainty, encouraging investment and reducing operational risks.

Strong Intellectual Property Protection

Intellectual property (IP) protection is crucial for businesses that rely on innovation, creativity, and unique ideas. Australia has a robust legal framework and effective enforcement mechanisms for protecting intellectual property rights. 

The country’s intellectual property laws cover patents, trademarks, copyrights, and designs, providing comprehensive protection for entrepreneurs’ innovations. Australia’s strong IP protection regime will mean your business can waste less time worrying about plagiarism and more time in research and development, fostering innovation and driving economic growth.

Skilled Workforce and Research Collaboration

Australia’s highly skilled and educated workforce is a valuable asset for entrepreneurs. The country places a strong emphasis on education, resulting in a workforce that possesses advanced knowledge and expertise across various industries. Entrepreneurs can tap into this talent pool to recruit skilled employees who can contribute to business growth and innovation. 

Australia also encourages collaboration between industries, academia, and research institutions. This collaborative approach fosters knowledge exchange, promotes innovation, and facilitates research and development partnerships. Entrepreneurs can leverage these collaborations to access cutting-edge research, develop new technologies, and gain a competitive edge in their respective fields.

Strategic Location and Time Zone

Australia’s strategic location in the Asia-Pacific region offers numerous advantages for businesses. The country acts as a gateway to both Eastern and Western markets, providing opportunities for trade and business connections across continents. The geographical proximity to Asia, which has emerged as a global economic powerhouse, allows entrepreneurs to tap into the region’s growing consumer base and manufacturing capabilities. 

Their time zone is advantageous for international businesses as well. The overlap in business hours with key markets, such as Asia and the Americas, facilitates real-time communication, minimises operational delays, and enables quick decision-making between international teams or supplies and customers in different time zones.

Australia’s strategic location and time zone also make it an attractive destination for multinational companies looking for somewhere to establish regional headquarters or distribution centres. The country’s developed infrastructure, including modern airports, seaports, and transportation networks, make it a great base for all sorts of multinational companies. 

How Is China Using AI?

China has emerged as a leading force in the adoption and implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) in various sectors. With its immense potential to automate processes, enhance decision-making, and produce art, AI has become a focal point of development and innovation within China, and has been aiding in wide-ranging sectors of life in China.

As of 2021, China had already filed the most AI-related patent applications globally, highlighting the country’s commitment to harnessing the power of this adaptable new technology. This article aims to provide some insight into the surprising ways China is using AI on a large scale.

Legal System

One notable area where China is using AI is in its legal system. With the aim of streamlining legal proceedings, Chinese courts have increasingly turned to AI technologies to assist in making legal decisions.

The city of Hangzhou, located south of Shanghai, made headlines in 2019 when it introduced an AI program called Xiao Zhi 3.0, also known as “Little Wisdom.” Initially used to handle repetitive tasks such as announcing court procedures during hearings, Xiao Zhi 3.0 quickly expanded its capabilities. 

Xiao Zhi 3.0 now assists in recording testimony using voice recognition, analysing case materials, and verifying information from databases in real time. In a trial involving ten individuals who had failed to repay bank loans, Xiao Zhi 3.0 resolved all the cases in a single hearing with one judge, delivering a decision within just 30 minutes. 

Such efficiency has been beneficial for cases involving simple financial disputes and organising debt, as well as traffic accident disputes in Suzhou, where AI was used to examine evidence and write verdicts, thereby saving judges’ time.

Another noteworthy AI platform employed in China’s legal system is the Xiao Baogong Intelligent Sentencing Prediction System. This system suggests penalties based on big data analysis of case information and prior judgments from similar cases, providing judges and prosecutors with valuable insights for criminal law proceedings. The goal is to ensure uniformity in criminal justice across different regions of China.

While AI integration in the legal system has its advantages, it also raises ethical concerns. Zhiyu Li, an assistant professor in law and policy at Durham University, points out that relying on AI for complex legal decisions might lead to a perception that AI-based judgments are more credible than human judgments. 

Navy and Military

The use of AI is not limited to the legal system in China. The country’s military has also embraced AI for various purposes, including warship design. Researchers claim to have employed an AI program to design the electrical system of a warship in just one day, a task that would typically take a team of humans almost a year to complete. 

The program exhibited 100% accuracy in solving complex design problems and navigating over 400 challenging design tasks. These findings have significant implications for China’s shipbuilding industry, potentially boosting the speed of warship manufacturing.

China’s accelerated development of its naval fleet has caught the attention of the international community. This naval fleet, which now surpasses that of the United States in terms of sheer size, is expanding at a rapid pace. 

According to Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy currently has approximately 340 ships, compared to the US Navy’s fleet of less than 300 ships. Del Toro further highlighted China’s plan to field a fleet of 440 ships by 2030, far outstripping the Pentagon’s goals.

China’s new use of AI to speed up its military designs could lead to this gap widening even more. By using AI to design its military vehicles and equipment at 300x the speed of a team of humans, China could be looking at a dramatic rate of military development. 


The realm of AI-generated art has also seen significant progress in China. Chinese video game companies, ranging from tech giants like Tencent to indie developers, have started utilising these AI programs to design video game characters, backdrops, and promotional materials from detailed text prompts. 

The rise of AI art has raised concerns among artists in the video game industry, who fear that their jobs may be at risk due to the high quality of AI-generated artwork. Chinese tech giants like Tencent and NetEase, which own large video game publishing divisions, have been actively exploring ways to leverage artificial intelligence to reduce game development costs. 

These companies have invested in AI programs that can generate game assets, such as character skins and voices, to streamline the creative process, reducing the need for artists. The rapid advancement of AI in the art generation has left many feeling disheartened and concerned about their livelihoods.

Following a widely-reported criminal investigation involving a voice actor, gaming companies miHoYo and NetEase turned to AI to generate the voices of the affected characters. This reduces employment opportunities for voice actors, leading to concerns that they will be replaced by AI in the near future.

The Hidden Cost of Anxiety and What Businesses Can Do to Support Employees

Top tips from Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing

New research from the Mental Health Foundation to tie in with Mental Health Awareness Week has revealed six out of ten UK adults have experienced anxiety that interfered with their daily lives in the past two weeks.  Other data from Mental Health UK suggests 1 in 8 people (over 8 million) are living with anxiety disorder at any one time.

To help employees suffering from anxiety, Emma Capper, UK Wellbeing Leader at Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing (HEBW), is urging businesses to normalise conversations about anxiety and to recognise that if someone is suffering from anxiety it can manifest itself in physical symptoms, as well as cognitive symptoms.

For example, The Health and Safety Executive highlights that stress, depression or anxiety and musculoskeletal disorders accounted for most days lost due to work-related ill health in 2021/22, 17.0 million and 7.3 million respectively. On average, each person suffering took around 16.5 days off work.

Emma Capper said: “Most people experience symptoms of stress or anxiety at some point in the lives; however, an anxiety disorder can affect people’s ability to work or live their life to the full. This can have a huge impact on business leading to periods of absence, a lack of productivity and effect the wider team. Understanding that symptoms can be both physical and mental is important as it may be that some of the physical conditions or reasons for workplace absence being reported in the business or being experienced by individuals are routed in anxiety.

“The symptoms can range from headaches, nausea and a racing heart rate to difficulty concentrating, uncontrollable overthinking and trouble sleeping. Left untreated people can be susceptible to a whole range of more serious conditions from chronic pain and musculoskeletal disorders to cardio, respiratory and immune system problems. However, treating the physical symptoms will only help to a degree as unless employers treat the root cause of the issue, the anxiety, and what is causing this the individual will not be able to recover as they will experience repeated flare-ups when feeling anxious.

“In Mental Health Awareness week, we encourage employers to open the conversation around anxiety to encourage people to speak up if they are feeling stressed or experiencing anxiety symptoms. This can enable employers to step in and offer support if needed, before problems escalates into something more serious.”

Other top tips on how employers can help include:

Ease of use and clear communication is key – ensuring that all employees know where and how to access support, particularly line managers who will likely be the affected employees’ first port of call is essential. There is no point spending budget on support if no one knows about it. Keeping language simple, clear and jargon free is important too.

Create a warm and open culture – it is important employees feel comfortable talking about their anxiety. This starts from the top down and is very dependent on the culture of the business. A culture where trust, respect and psychological safety are at its core will more naturally mean that people feel empowered to speak out and share experiences. This creates a positive snowball effect with people hearing others speaking about their struggles and how they overcome them, inspiring them to do the same and to seek appropriate clinical support or coping mechanisms.

Offer benefits and services – there a wide range of benefits and services designed to support and potentially treat individuals suffering from anxiety and/or the physical symptoms of this. These could include access to Private Medical Insurance (PMI) or added value services through a Group Income Protection policy. It could also include counselling or short-term therapy through an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) or access to a virtual GP (General Practitioner) for clinical advice.

Cybersecurity Thought Leaders Across Middle East and Central Asia Gather at High-Level Media Roundtable

Huawei joins other regional and global stakeholders to discuss latest cybersecurity trends and threats, expand future opportunities and deepen multi-stakeholder engagement

Huawei Middle East and Central Asia joined a high-level media roundtable on day two of the GSMA M360 EURASIA 2023 conference in Baku, Azerbaijan, to discuss the latest telecom cybersecurity trends, innovations, and contribute methods to tackle the associated threats among industry actors together. The open discussion aimed at aligning strategic priorities for the region, deepening engagement and steering collaborative efforts in the industry to advance collective action for cyber stability in the telecom industry.

Under the theme of “Build more secure and resilient telecom networks to efficiently support the future digital economy,” participants in the panel discussed various topics, including collaborations among network operators and their partners, suppliers and customers in defending against telecom cybersecurity, how regulators could promote local telecom industry’s cybersecurity development, and the role that cybersecurity plays in safeguarding critical information infrastructure and the digital economy, among other topics.

Dr. Tural Mammadov, Director of Director of the Azerbaijan Computer Emergency Response Center (CERT), was joined in the panel by Dr. Mohammad Khaled, Director, Business Development and Strategic projects, e& enterprise, Dr. Haitham Hilal Al Hajri, Sr. Executive – Cyber Security Projects, Oman National CERT, Dr. Elvin Balajanov, Chairman of the Board, Azerbaijan Cybersecurity Organization Association and Dr. Aloysius Cheang, Chief Security Officer, Huawei Middle East & Central Asia.

The telecom industry has become an integral part of modern society and is recognized as a critical infrastructure industry (CII). It plays a vital role in connecting people, businesses and governments, facilitating communication, information sharing and commerce on a global scale.

However, as telecom networks become more complex and interconnected, they become more vulnerable to cyber threats. Cybersecurity of telecoms is a critical component of national security, and therefore, it is essential to bring together telecom stakeholders to promote the development and optimization of telecom cybersecurity. This includes working closely with telecom service providers, equipment manufacturers, government agencies, and other stakeholders to identify and mitigate cybersecurity risks, develop and implement best practices, and raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity in telecom.

Dr. Tural Mammadov thanked the organizers, participants and sponsors for arranging the event in Baku while reiterating the country’s commitment to the highest cybersecurity standards. “We join the international community in highlighting the risks posed by cybercrime. Likewise, we want to work with our global partners towards joint actions in defending telecom networks, which is critical in leveraging all the digital economy opportunities.”   

Dr. Mohammad Khaled said, “As an operator, securing our networks against cyber threats and creating safe digital cyberspace remains one of our most important tasks, especially as we enter a new era of connectivity and cognitive technologies. We realize that cyber threats are global in nature – and solutions must be as well. We are therefore proud to be here, joining other partners and stakeholders in finding joint outcomes to a common threat.”

Dr. Haitham Hilal Al Hajri said, “Today, the progression towards an interconnected cyber world has become a reality. Unfortunately, this has increased the threats from malicious actors and protecting our digital assets is a concern for all countries. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility and national security agencies, telecom providers and ICT industry players should work together to achieve a more robust cybersecurity posture, so telecom providers can continue to deliver cutting-edge digital services unimpeded by cyber threats.”     

Dr. Elvin Balajanov said, “We are proud to host our partners and friends here in Azerbaijan as we address the cyber risks that threaten the health of our networks and, by extension, our socioeconomic growth. Safeguarding our critical information infrastructure is a key government priority in Azerbaijan as these critical systems possess functionality that, if disrupted, can pose significant harm to the interests of the state, society, and citizens. Therefore, it is crucial that telecommunications providers implement appropriate safeguards, protocols, and technologies to mitigate risks and protect our critical information infrastructure.”  

Dr. Aloysius Cheang said, “We need to consider how to meet the increasingly strict compliance requirements of regulators on the one hand and how to provide secure and trustworthy products and services that fulfill our commitments to customers on the other. We must also embrace a defense-in-depth approach to provide better security, ensure business continuity, resiliency, improve efficiency and customer experience while always protecting user privacy.”

Global standards, internationally agreed processes and industry best practices are critical in addressing cyber threats effectively. As such, building and implementing an end-to-end global cybersecurity and privacy protection assurance system is one of Huawei’s key strategies. In compliance with applicable laws and regulations in the countries where it operates and international standards, Huawei has created an effective, sustainable, and reliable cybersecurity and privacy protection assurance system by referring to the requirements of regulators and customers and industry best practices.

NESAS/SCAS is an ideal example of global collaborative efforts in addressing cybersecurity. It offers a standardized cybersecurity assessment mechanism jointly defined by GSMA and 3GPP, the telecom industry’s leading standards-setting organizations) and GSMA 5G Cybersecurity Knowledge Base to provide useful guidance on 5G security risks and mitigation measures. Huawei has been proactively involved in the telecom cyber security standardization activities led by GSMA ITU-T, 3GPP, and IETF etc., and has joined security organizations such as OIC-CERT, FIRST and partnered with mainstream security companies to ensure the cyber security of its customers and promote the healthy development of industries.

Huawei believes cybersecurity and privacy are common challenges that all stakeholders – including governments, industry and standards organizations, enterprises, technology suppliers, and consumers – have a shared responsibility to confront. Huawei actively works with governments, customers, and industry partners to address cybersecurity and privacy challenges, thereby reinforcing the need to treat cybersecurity as a team sport and maintaining an open and collaborative environment that encourages innovation and transparency. Through these efforts, Huawei advocates for cybersecurity to be viewed as the key to protecting our digital assets and leveraging it to support business.

Huawei is committed to fostering a better life for all in the future digital world by offering secure and trustworthy products, solutions, and services where personal data is lawfully used and always protected. The company has in-depth experience collaborating with its customers on advanced tech and industry 4.0 solutions for major industry verticals. Its products and solutions are developed and delivered by observing security-by-design and privacy-by-design principles that will allow its customers to safeguard their digital future.

Access Bank Paris Launch to Strengthen Trade and Investment Links Between Africa and Europe

As part of its strategic moves to boost trade and investment between Africa and Europe, Access Bank Plc (, one of Nigeria’s biggest financial services institutions, has established a new subsidiary in Paris, France.

With this bold move, the leading Nigerian financial institution has reinforced its commitment to strengthening cross-border trade and investment between Africa and the world, connecting businesses to opportunities within the continent as Africa’s gateway to the world.

Pan-African and Global Expansion

The launch of Access Bank’s Paris subsidiary marks a significant milestone in the bank’s global expansion strategy. This move will enable Access Bank to expand its operations in Europe, strengthen its international presence, and deepen its relationships with global clients while serving as a hub for supporting the bank’s growing trade finance business in Africa. It will also enable Access Bank to provide seamless banking services to its clients doing business in France and Europe.

With a population of over 67 million people and a GDP of €2.4 trillion, France is a key player in the global economy. Access Bank’s new subsidiary will enable the bank to tap into the country’s vast business opportunities, particularly in the area of cross-border trade finance.

The subsidiary’s location in Paris is strategic, as it is the commercial and financial center of France with a vibrant ecosystem of businesses and institutions. This positioning will allow Access Bank to leverage its local expertise and extensive network to provide tailored solutions to its clients.

In his remarks at the launch event, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, the parent company of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, noted that “the establishment of Access Bank Paris is in line with the bank’s long-term strategy of becoming Africa’s gateway to the world. He also expressed confidence that the new subsidiary will play a key role in driving trade and investment flows between Africa and France”.

Wigwe, while speaking on the purpose of the bank’s strategic expansion efforts, said, “Access Bank Plc, today, has a very strong presence in the United Kingdom, but coming on the heels of Brexit, there was a need for us to establish a presence in another country in Europe, and France provides a very strong platform for us to do so.

“Beyond that, Access Bank has a great presence in the Francophone world that relies significantly—in terms of trade—on France, so Access Bank in Paris will work to support trade possibilities and trade finance solutions to businesses in those regions, ranging from large conglomerates to SMEs and more.

“Our range of banking products and services will be a valuable asset for businesses looking to trade internationally, while our corporate and investment banking services will help businesses access capital, manage their cash flow, and mitigate risk. “Furthermore, we are confident that the Bank’s trade finance solutions will help businesses to navigate the complexities of cross-border trade, and at the same time, our digital capabilities will make banking more convenient and efficient for all our customers,” he reiterated.

He also acknowledged the role of the bank’s various stakeholders in making the expansion drive successful, Wigwe stressed the value of its customers, shareholders, regulators, and the communities it operates.

“Our successes over the years would be footnotes but for the relationships we have fostered with these critical contributors. In recognition of this, we are committed to building long-term partnerships with all our stakeholders in France – based on trust, transparency, and mutual respect,” he added.

It must be noted that Access Holdings, the parent company of Access Bank Plc, has recently announced earnings of N1.38 trillion in the 2022 financial year, making the financial behemoth the first banking institution in Nigeria to hit and cross the N1 trillion mark in gross earnings.

This demonstrates the Bank’s robust risk management, strong credit rating, and high growth potential, as well as the confidence in the bank by its various stakeholders.

With its innovative banking solutions driven by best-in-class technology, customer-centric operations, and its people, Access Bank is on course to achieve its 5-year plan of processing one in every two transactions in Africa and being present in major commercial hubs in the world.

“Access Bank’s presence in France represents an important step towards achieving its goal of bridging worlds and connecting opportunities for African businesses. The bank’s latest stride also lays a marker for realising its recently unveiled 5-year strategic growth plan.

Roosevelt Ogbonna, Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, said at the event, “Over the years, we have demonstrated a strong commitment to deepening the bank’s presence across Africa and beyond.”.

“Today, we are proud to have a presence in 18 countries across four continents, serving millions of customers and businesses. Indeed, our expansion drive has been guided by our vision to become the world’s most respected African bank, and by building on our strong track record of innovation, customer service, and social responsibility, we have come one step closer to achieving this goal.”

“We remain committed to building a bank that is truly global in scope, yet locally relevant in its approach, and we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead as we continue to grow and expand our footprint in new markets,” Ogbonna added.

Access Bank UK, led by Jamie Simmonds, would oversee the operations of the Paris subsidiary and would effectively become the umbrella company for other representative offices in the country.

Access Bank Paris has already received regulatory approval from the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (ACPR) and is now fully operational. The subsidiary is staffed with a team of seasoned professionals with deep expertise in the African market and is well-equipped to deliver world-class financial solutions to its clients.

In conclusion, the launch of Access Bank’s Paris subsidiary represents a significant milestone in the bank’s expansion strategy, enabling it to provide seamless banking services to its clients in France and Europe while also promoting cross-border trade finance between Africa and the rest of the world.

Best Practices for Managing Your IT Infrastructure with Managed Services

In today’s business world, having a well-managed IT infrastructure is more important than ever. A reliable and secure IT infrastructure is essential for businesses of all sizes to operate efficiently and effectively.

There are different ways to manage an IT infrastructure. One option is to hire a managed services provider (MSP). An MSP is a company that specializes in providing IT services to businesses.

A managed IT support agency can provide a wide range of services, including:

  • IT Support
  • IT Security
  • IT Infrastructure Management
  • IT Cloud Computing
  • IT Disaster Recovery

The Benefits of Hiring a Managed Service Provider

There are many benefits to hiring a managed service provider (MSP). Here are just a few:

· Reduced Costs: MSPs can help you save money on your IT costs in many ways. They can negotiate better rates with vendors, consolidate your IT infrastructure and help you to avoid costly downtime.

· Increased Efficiency: MSPs can help you improve your IT operations’ efficiency by providing 24/7 support, proactively managing your IT infrastructure, and implementing new technologies.

· Improved Security: MSPs have the expertise and resources to help you improve the security of your IT infrastructure. They can help you identify and mitigate security risks, implement best practices and train your employees on security awareness.

· Peace of Mind: Knowing that your IT is in the hands of a qualified and experienced team can give you peace of mind, so you can focus on running your business.

· Access to Expertise: MSPs have access to a wide range of expertise that you may not have in-house. This can include expertise in areas such as networking, security, cloud computing, and disaster recovery.

· Compliance: MSPs can help you stay compliant with industry regulations. This can be a major challenge for businesses of all sizes, and MSPs can take the burden off of your shoulders.

How to Choose the Best MSP?

If you are considering using an MSP to manage your IT infrastructure, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

1. First, you need to make sure that you choose a reputable MSP. There are many MSPs out there, so it is important to do your research and choose one with a good reputation and a proven track record.

2. Second, you need to ensure the MSP has the experience and expertise to manage your specific IT infrastructure. Not all MSPs are created equal. Some MSPs specialize in managing certain types of IT infrastructure, such as cloud computing or on-premises infrastructure.

Best Practices for Using Managed Services to Manage Your IT Infrastructure

Here are some best practices for managing your IT infrastructure with managed services:

1. Set clear expectations with your MSP. Before you sign any contracts, make sure you clearly understand what services the MSP will provide and what you can expect from them. This will help to avoid any misunderstandings or surprises down the road.

2. Communicate regularly with your MSP. It is important to stay in regular communication with your MSP so that they can be aware of any changes to your IT infrastructure or business needs. This will help them provide the best possible service.

3. Review your IT infrastructure regularly. Your MSP should regularly review your IT infrastructure to ensure it is up-to-date and secure. They should also look for potential problems that could impact your business.

4. Make sure your MSP is responsive to your needs. If you have any problems with your IT infrastructure, you need to be able to get in touch with your MSP quickly and easily. They should be able to respond to your requests in a timely manner.

5. Make sure your MSP is affordable. Managed services can be expensive, so it is important to ensure you are getting good value for your money. There are many different MSPs, so you should look around to find one that fits your budget. For instance, in Australia, managed service providers like Unlimited 247 Tech provides managed IT support Brisbane businesses rely on to ensure that their business is running at an optimal level.

To Conclude

There are many best practices that you can follow to ensure that you are getting the most out of your managed IT services. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your IT infrastructure is well-managed, secure, and up-to-date.

The Importance of a Personal Injury Attorney

Suffering an injury due to someone else’s negligence can be a devastating experience, both physically and emotionally. In such situations, hiring a personal injury lawyer is crucial to protecting your rights and securing fair compensation. This attorney specialises in handling legal claims arising from accidents, ensuring that victims receive the justice they deserve. Let’s look at the key reasons why you need an injury attorney, emphasizing their role in navigating the complex legal landscape and maximizing your chances of a successful outcome.

Legal Expertise and Knowledge 

Personal injury laws are intricate and vary from state to state. A skilled personal injury lawyer hallandale beach possesses in-depth knowledge of the legal system, relevant statutes, and case precedents. They are familiar with the complex procedures involved in filing a claim, gathering evidence, and negotiating with insurance companies. By leveraging their expertise, an attorney can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case, advise you on the applicable laws, and devise a strategic plan to pursue your claim effectively.

Thorough investigation and collection of evidence 

Building a solid case requires a comprehensive investigation and collection of evidence. An attorney has the necessary resources to conduct a thorough investigation, including gathering witness statements, obtaining accident reports, analysing medical records, and consulting with experts, if needed. By meticulously compiling relevant evidence, an attorney strengthens your case and increases the likelihood of achieving a favourable settlement or succeeding at trial.

Objective Case Evaluation 

After an accident, emotions run high, making it difficult to assess the true value of your claim. Attorneys provide objective evaluations of your case based on their experience and legal understanding. They consider various factors, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and long-term consequences of the injury, to determine the appropriate compensation. This objective assessment helps you avoid settling for less than you deserve and provides realistic expectations regarding the potential outcome of your claim.

Skilful Negotiation and Settlement

Insurance companies employ teams of skilled adjusters and lawyers whose primary goal is to minimize the amount they pay in compensation. Engaging in direct negotiations with these professionals without legal representation puts you at a significant disadvantage. An attorney understands the tactics employed by insurance companies and has honed their negotiation skills to secure fair settlements. They advocate on your behalf, effectively countering the strategies employed by the opposing party and maximizing your chances of receiving appropriate compensation.

Litigation Representation

While many personal injury claims are settled through negotiations, some cases may require litigation. In such instances, having a knowledgeable attorney by your side is crucial. An experienced attorney understands the complexities of court proceedings, including filing deadlines, legal requirements, and courtroom etiquette. They craft persuasive arguments, present evidence convincingly, and navigate the intricate legal process, ensuring that your rights are protected and your case is effectively presented before a judge and jury.

In conclusion, injured individuals should not underestimate the importance of hiring a personal injury lawyer Hallandale beach. From providing legal expertise and conducting thorough investigations to skilful negotiation and litigation representation, these legal professionals play a pivotal role in securing fair compensation and ensuring justice for accident victims. By enlisting the services of a personal injury attorney, you can navigate the complex legal landscape with confidence, knowing that your rights are protected and your best interests are being pursued.

Pros and Cons of Bootstrapping Your Business vs. Raising Capital

Starting a business can be an incredibly exciting endeavour, but it also comes with a lot of decisions and planning. One of the biggest debates entrepreneurs have is whether to bootstrap their business using personal funds or raise capital through investment or debt.

Raising capital through investment returns and personal funds are a great idea. Also, owing money or other resources to a person or organization (that’s debt explained in literal terms) is not such a bad idea if you have a good understanding of how to make it work.

The major point here is It’s important to go into any decision armed with knowledge — that’s why evaluating the pros and cons of both options is essential before you make a final call on your funding needs.

Bootstrapping Pros

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, then you may be looking for ways to start your business without having to raise a lot of funds upfront. That’s where bootstrapping comes in! One of the biggest advantages of bootstrapping is its low-risk factor. Since you’re not borrowing money or seeking investors, you’re not putting yourself in debt or risking someone else’s assets.

Additionally, bootstrapping gives you complete control and ownership of your business, since you’re not answering to any outside parties. Finally, bootstrapping offers you the flexibility to change direction or make decisions as you go along without having to worry about investors or lenders.

Bootstrapping Cons

While bootstrapping a business can have its benefits, it definitely comes with its fair share of challenges. One of the main cons of bootstrapping is the limited resources available, which can create financial pressure on the business.

With limited funding, businesses may struggle to hire the necessary talent, invest in marketing efforts, or even cover basic operational costs. This can lead to a slower growth rate and potentially hinder long-term success.

However, smart budgeting and strategic decision-making can help businesses navigate through these challenges and come out stronger in the end.

Raising Capital Pros

When it comes to starting a business or expanding an existing one, raising capital can make a world of difference. Not only does it provide access to funds that can be used to fuel growth, but it also opens the door to a variety of professional resources.

From expert advisors to top-tier marketing and advertising services, raising capital can help businesses get the support they need to succeed. However, one of the most significant advantages of raising capital is the potential for growth.

With the right funding and resources in hand, businesses can scale up quickly and capitalize on new opportunities.

Raising Capital Cons

Raising capital to start or grow a business can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can provide the necessary resources to achieve your goals. On the other hand, it comes with some significant drawbacks, such as loss of control and ownership.

When you bring investors on board, they naturally want a say in how things are run, and their financial stake in the company gives them leverage to make demands.

Additionally, there is always the risk of failure, especially in the high-risk world of start ups. The uncertainty can be daunting, making it crucial to think carefully before taking the plunge.

Tips for Making a Choice

Making choices can be daunting. You don’t want to make the wrong decision and end up regretting it down the line. To avoid this, it’s important to take your time and follow some basic tips. Start by getting to know yourself and your goals.

What do you want to achieve? What matters the most to you? Then, consider the risks involved. What are the potential consequences of each option? Finally, research alternatives and options. Knowing what else is out there can help you make an informed decision.

The Bottom Line

In life, we are often presented with difficult decisions and faced with the challenge of choosing between two options that seem just as good or bad as the other. It can be overwhelming to try and figure out what the right answer is – if there even is one.

Don’t rush into a decision based on what others might think or what seems like the “obvious” choice. Take a step back, breathe, and trust yourself to make the best decision for your life.

Financial Management Tips to Sustain a Business

Business owners need sound financial management to run their business successfully. They must maintain a steady cash flow to fund daily operations, pay staff, and invest in business growth opportunities. Financial negligence can result in cash flow issues, debt, employee layoffs, and bankruptcy. Keeping a company’s finances healthy requires expert financial management skills.

They can get this expertise from consultants and reliable financial management firms like CFO Dynamics. These firms have seasoned experts with experience in appraising a company’s financial situation and developing clear management strategies to improve it. Organizations with a long-term vision need this guidance because 65% of businesses fail within ten years.

Maintaining a Healthy Financial Situation

Working with finance experts provides a solid financial foundation for a company. However, business owners can also follow these tips to keep their financial situation healthy.

Make a budget and adhere to it

Budgets help one envision how money will be spent in their organization. It provides a clear picture of expenses so changes can be made to reduce costs, reallocate funds or increase growth funding investment when necessary. It is best to make realistic income and expense estimations during budget creation. Business owners should stick to the budget they create to avoid financial difficulty if there is a shortfall.

Track cash flow

Companies depend on positive cash flow to keep operations running smoothly. They need to monitor their cash flow situation to ensure they can afford daily expenses and invest in opportunities to scale.

Business owners should create cash flow statements to track the monthly inflow and outflow of money. The statements will allow them to spot cash flow problems early so they can mitigate them on time.

Keep personal and business finances separate

Intertwining personal and business cash can cause confusion and problems with taxes. It also prevents business owners from having clarity on company cash reserves, leading to negative cash flow situations. Companies should have bank accounts strictly for business transactions. These accounts should be regularly audited and monitored so personal money will not mix with business funds.

Pay taxes when due

The government requires companies to pay taxes on their profits. Incomplete or non-payment will attract fines and severe sanctions. It is best to accurately record income and expenses and file tax returns early. Working with a reliable tax advisor or accountant will ensure they pay the right amount. Finance professionals will also identify tax credits and deductions a company is eligible to claim and ensure they comply with applicable tax laws.

Control all expenses

Businesses usually have fixed expenses like rent, electricity, water, and salaries, while essential costs like advertising, website maintenance, and logistics vary. However, all payments should be well thought through beforehand to avoid overspending. Money should always be left in the company’s account after spending to prevent cash flow problems. If expenses negatively affect the business, financial experts should identify areas where they can cut costs.


It is almost impossible to run a successful business without proper financial management. It helps to control expenses and prevent the business from cash flow problems. It also allows business owners to take advantage of opportunities to scale up their companies. Financial management firms like CFA Dynamics have the experts needed to guide companies in making the best financial decision to optimize their operations.

How the Digital World is Changing the Landscape of Civil Engineering, Architecture, and Construction

Posted on 18th May 2023


Blockchain technology emerges as a ground-breaking force with a distinct prominence in an epoch where tech advancements are swift and relentless. Renowned as the bedrock of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, blockchain’s metamorphic might is now breaching territories far removed from the realm of finance, impacting divergent sectors like healthcare, logistics, and the arts. Civil engineering, architectural design, and construction are among these sectors undergoing a monumental paradigm shift.

The Fundamentals of Blockchain: A Brief

Let’s skim over the rudiments of blockchain technology before delving into its profound impact. A blockchain is an open, distributed ledger adroit at efficiently logging transactions between two entities, incontrovertibly and indelibly. Its decentralization feature nurtures exceptional transparency and obviates the necessity for central oversight, making it an ideal tool for myriad applications, surpassing its original intent as a cryptocurrency platform. However if you are looking for a cryptocurrency platform CEX.IO is a perfect pick.

The Pioneering Influence of Blockchain on Civil Engineering

Civil engineering, the cornerstone of societal growth, crafts infrastructure that undergirds the operations of modern civilization. This sector stands to reap substantial benefits by harnessing the
power of blockchain technology in several inventive ways.

Take the case of land registration, an essential facet of civil engineering endeavours, often beset with hurdles such as fraud and contention. Blockchain technology can furnish an unalterable and transparent log of land transactions, drastically diminishing the potential for disputes and fostering stakeholder trust.

Moreover, deploying smart contracts on a blockchain platform could usher in a new era for various administrative processes within civil engineering. With the agreement stipulations directly encoded, these autonomous contracts could automate resource allocation, payments, and other procedures, leading to heightened efficiency and a notable reduction in costs and time.

Architectural Innovations Through Blockchain

Within the realm of architectural design, blockchain is causing significant waves. The technology enables architects to validate and certify their plans, thus protecting their intellectual property in a world where stealing and replicating ideas is critical.

In addition, blockchain technology can facilitate tracking materials employed in architectural projects. This is a boon for green architecture, ensuring the resources deployed are responsibly sourced and meet requisite environmental and societal standards.

The Construction Industry Reformed by Blockchain

Blockchain technology is uniquely positioned to tackle some of the most critical challenges plaguing the construction industry. From project administration to supply chain tracking, blockchain’s transparency, and traceability can foster accountability, streamline operations, and boost efficiency.

Incorporating smart contracts in the construction industry could automate payments, bolster compliance, and mitigate the risk of disputes. This could result in decreased construction hold-ups, cost excesses, and other recurrent issues that were beleaguering the sector.

Blockchain in Motion: Salient Case Studies

The hypothesis of blockchain’s potential in civil engineering, architectural design, and construction is captivating, but the natural potency of this technology is best demonstrated in practice. Numerous trailblazing initiatives worldwide serve as proof of this assertion.

In Dubai, for instance, the government has embarked on an ambitious initiative to secure all public documents on a blockchain platform by 2025. This initiative encompasses everything from building permits to urban planning projects, demonstrating the tremendous potential of blockchain technology in civil engineering and architectural design on a city-wide scale.

In another case, the firm Provenance employs blockchain technology to trace the journey of materials from their origin to the final product. This approach aids architects, builders, and consumers in verifying their materials’ sustainability, underscoring blockchain’s transformative power in the construction industry.

Looking Beyond: The Potential and Challenges of Blockchain

Despite its considerable potential, blockchain comes with its own set of challenges.

Scalability, energy consumption, and regulatory uncertainty pose significant hurdles to the widespread adoption of blockchain technology. As blockchain networks expand, they require increased computational power, raising concerns about the environmental sustainability of the technology.

Moreover, the decentralized nature of blockchain, while a critical strength, also presents regulatory challenges as traditional legal frameworks struggle to keep pace with technological innovation. Harmonizing regulations with the unique characteristics of blockchain poses a complex task that requires collaboration and forward-thinking solutions.

Nevertheless, despite these challenges, the promise of blockchain in civil engineering, architectural design, and construction remains immense. As technology advances, solutions to these problems are likely to emerge. For instance, developing more energy-efficient consensus algorithms could mitigate the environmental impact of blockchain. Additionally, the emergence of regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions can assist in aligning regulatory frameworks with the transformative potential of blockchain technology.

The road ahead for blockchain in these sectors is undeniably thrilling. The potential for streamlining processes, enhancing transparency, and improving efficiency is vast. However, realizing this potential requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders, including industry professionals, policymakers, and academia, to fully unlock the transformative power of blockchain technology.


In conclusion, the potency of blockchain technology is undeniably vast, and its integration into civil engineering, architectural design, and construction marks a momentous shift in these industries. As we navigate the digital revolution, embracing these technologies becomes crucial, as they hold the keys to a more transparent, efficient, and sustainable future.

The transformative potential of blockchain technology extends well beyond the realm of finance. As demonstrated, its applications in civil engineering, architectural design, and construction are merely scratching the surface of its capabilities. With continued development and widespread adoption, blockchain has the potential to redefine these industries, paving the way for new paradigms of trust, efficiency, and accountability.

Embracing the challenges and capitalizing on blockchain technology’s opportunities requires a collective commitment to innovation and collaboration. By doing so, we can harness the full power of blockchain and shape a future where these industries thrive in an era of unprecedented technological advancements.

The Importance of Diversification in Your Investment Strategy

The Importance of Diversification in Your Investment Strategy

Do you want to invest your hard-earned money successfully? Is maximizing your return on investment a top priority when it comes to making the most of your resources? If so, diversification is a strategy that needs to be part of your portfolio.

Today, we’ll discuss the importance of diversifying investments as part of a comprehensive financial plan, what types of investments are good candidates for diversification, and how best to go about implementing this technique into active portfolios.

What is Diversification and Why is it Important in Investing Strategies?

Diversification is a term commonly used in investing that refers to spreading out your investment portfolio across a variety of different assets, industries, and geographic regions in an effort to limit risk.

The idea behind diversification is simple: by investing in a diverse range of assets, you reduce your exposure to any single asset class or market, which can help minimize the impact of market volatility and fluctuations.

Diversification is important because it helps investors avoid over-concentration in any one area, which can prove disastrous in the event of a market downturn. By taking a diversified approach to investing, you can potentially enjoy greater stability and consistency in your investment returns over time.

Different Types of Assets and Their Role in Diversity

While many may think of assets as simply being physical possessions, there are actually several categories of assets, including financial, real estate, intellectual, and personal.

Each type of asset has varying levels of risk and reward, and diversifying your portfolio with a mix of assets can lead to greater stability and growth over time. By fully comprehending the nature of each asset category, investors are able to make informed decisions that align with their long-term financial goals.

Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out, knowledge of the diverse range of assets available to you is key to building a successful financial future.

Benefits of Diversifying Your Investment Portfolio

Diversification is the key to building a healthy investment portfolio. Investing all your money in one stock may seem tempting, but it can be a risky move. By spreading your investments across different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and commodities, you lower your exposure to any one particular asset class.

Diversification helps you avoid the risk of losing everything if one investment goes south. It also helps hedge against inflation, balances your returns, and increases your chances of profit. By diversifying your investment portfolio, you’re maximizing your chances of financial success and minimizing your risk.

Mistakes to Avoid When Creating an Investment Portfolio

Investing can be a tricky business, and creating the perfect investment portfolio is no easy feat. It requires research, skill, and a bit of intuition. However, there are some common mistakes that investors make when putting together their portfolios.

One of these mistakes is failing to diversify. Another is getting caught up in the hype around certain investments, which can lead to poor decision making. Lastly, failing to rebalance a portfolio can lead to it becoming too heavily weighted in one area.

Tips for Developing a Successful and Balanced Investment Plan

Developing a successful and balanced investment plan requires careful planning and consideration of many factors. First, it’s important to set realistic goals and expectations. Determine your risk tolerance and investment objectives. Consider factors such as your financial situation, time horizon, and liquidity needs.

Next, research investment options and diversify your portfolio across different asset classes. This will help minimize risk and maximize returns over the long term. Remember to regularly monitor and adjust your investment plan as necessary based on changes in your financial situation or market conditions.


What is interest in investment?

Interest refers to the cost of borrowing money, typically represented as a percentage rate over a specific period – that’s a simple explanation of interest in investment.

What is an example of investment interest?

Investment interest expenses occur when you borrow money for the sole purpose of investing in property. For instance, if you borrowed $5,000 against your home equity to purchase stocks, the interest on that loan is considered an investment interest.

Which type of investment is most diversified?

Investors typically diversify their portfolios by allocating funds across an array of asset classes, including equities, fixed income, real estate, and digital currency.

Sustainable Design for Students: A Comprehensive Resource for Building Innovation

Posted on 18th May 2023

Sustainable design is an approach to creating products, buildings, and systems that are environmentally responsible, socially just, and economically durable. It is an essential concept that students should learn to address the challenges of climate change and environmental decline.

However, sustainable design is not just about creating eco-friendly products or buildings. It is about rethinking our intentions and approaches. Eco-design helps us reshape our design ideals and find innovative solutions to complex environmental and development problems.

What is sustainable design?

Sustainable design encompasses a broad range of topics, including energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, and the use of environmentally friendly materials. It requires a deep understanding of ecosystems and human impact on the economy. It also teaches how to balance social, economic, and ecological concerns. Sustainable design is critical because it can help reduce our carbon footprint, conserve natural resources, and improve the quality of life for everyone on the planet.

Energy efficiency

One of the most critical aspects of sustainable design is energy efficiency. Students can learn about energy-efficient design strategies that reduce the energy required to create and operate a building or product. For example, they can learn about passive design techniques that use natural light, ventilation, and other methods to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures without relying on artificial heating and cooling systems. In fact, such systems have long been used by ancient civilizations, aboriginal cultures, and many nations in tropical and dry climate zones.

Students can also learn about the importance of energy-efficient lighting, appliances, and temperature/ventilation control systems that reduce energy consumption and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Water conservation

Water conservation is another critical aspect of sustainable design. Students can learn about water-efficient design strategies that reduce water consumption and protect our limited water resources. For example, they can learn about the use of lower flow rate systems, rainwater harvesting systems, and greywater recycling systems that reduce the demand for freshwater.

They can also learn about the importance of water-efficient landscaping and irrigation systems that reduce water consumption, reduce rainwater waste, and promote healthy ecosystems. Overall, there are plenty of architectural strategies to ensure water conservation and build higher social awareness of freshwater value.

Waste reduction

Waste reduction is another critical aspect of sustainable design. Students can learn about waste reduction strategies that reduce the amount of waste generated by products and buildings. For example, they can learn about the importance of designing products and structures for reuse, recycling, and composting. They can also learn about the importance of designing products and buildings with durable, long-lasting materials that reduce the need for replacement and disposal.

In fact, students should learn about other ways to reduce waste in their daily lives. For instance, you can order research from to learn more about the issue and how to address it. And if you worry, “But is papercoach legit?” see its reviews online before moving forward with the order.


Sustainable design also requires collaboration and interdisciplinary thinking. Students can learn about the importance of collaboration between designers, engineers, scientists, and other stakeholders to address complex sustainability challenges. They can also learn about the importance of interdisciplinary thinking and how it can help identify innovative solutions to complex problems.

Bottom line

In conclusion, sustainable design is an essential concept for students to learn. It is the most effective and efficient approach that addresses current environmental and climate change challenges. After all, sustainable design is not just about creating new forms of eco-friendly products or buildings. The core of such an approach is in changing how we view product creation as a whole and aligning our needs with the Earth’s needs.

Thus, students can learn about energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, the use of environmentally friendly materials, design thinking, collaboration, and interdisciplinary thinking. Students need a deep, well-rounded sustainable design education that can give them the knowledge and tools to make a positive change in the world.

As a result, by learning about sustainable design, students can develop the skills and knowledge they need to build a more sustainable future.

The Architecture of the Future: How the Design Approach Will Change

Posted on 18th May 2023

Several centuries ago, people built houses just to live in them. They cared about the outlook and interior decoration because nothing else worried them. The modern world changes the role of architecture and makes it the way to solve many current problems, such as overcrowding, climate change, land depletion, and even poverty. We need smart and intelligent architects so that this occupation will become more popular soon.

If you’re thinking about entering college, but can’t decide what program to choose, don’t hesitate and apply for architecture. If you have writing problems with an essay, you can pay WritePaperForMe for essay writing and they will help with any questions that arise.

Since we’re living in a digital era, the approaches to design should imply the use of new technologies. So let’s discuss the possible changes in architectural design trends to know what to expect from the future.

Parametric design

When someone mentions future architecture, most people imagine the buildings in an abstract and unusual form. The parametric design uses certain modelling methods to create unique forms and structures. Even though this is widely used in many countries throughout the world, it’s still considered the future of architecture. Galaxy SOHO, Louvre Abu Dhabi, and Peix Olimpic are the most famous examples of parametric architecture. The modern world makes us forget traditional forms and rules: blending complexity, adaptability, and variety is the most effective approach in future architecture.

New building materials

We get closer to the future, and it’s not surprising that everything makes us stop using old building materials such as brick. Let’s not forget that we try to keep to the sustainability principle in every sphere of life. And architecture isn’t an exception. Innovations help modern people reduce their carbon footprint and save the environment. That’s why experts predict that brick will become a thing of the past, and we’ll start using wood, plywood, newspaper wood, glass, and reusable plastic for building and decorating houses. It’s especially important to mention that all these materials will be reusable and recycled.

New types of houses

It’s time to forget that the only possible house is one made of brick or wood. People move to new revolutionary solutions and develop types of houses that weren’t possible several years ago. Well, tiny houses on wheels don’t seem to be something new and unknown. However, the architecture of the future can’t be imagined without this type of home. Moreover, be ready that future buildings will become ‘greener.’ Such buildings impact the environment positively. The good thing is that any building can be green: home, hospital, office, and even bank.

VR and AR technologies

Virtual and Augmented reality will change the ways we create buildings and how we interact with them. The future designer won’t be able to create a single project without these technologies soon. And it’s supposed to give more benefits than drawbacks. First of all, people will be able to imagine themselves in a 3D model and understand whether this interior design fits them or not. Moreover, we believe that future houses will have many interactive and even VR elements. Smart houses are no longer something new because many people have incorporated some elements of smart systems into their lives. The architecture of the future goes hand in hand with VR and AR.

Smart cities

We’ve already mentioned that sustainability is a key principle of modern and future architecture, but it’s necessary to note there’s a separate concept based on this principle. Smart cities let architects and people make the most out of the land and resources they have. Smart cities meet the needs of people and companies. This concept prioritizes renewable energy, home management systems, green transportation solutions, fast access to some facilities, and smart consumption of resources. Smart cities are efficient cities.

How to Showcase Expertise to Grow Your Visibility Online

In 2023, it’s not possible to operate a successful business and not have an online presence. But today, search engines are looking for more than just a website that you update every now and then. Google expects businesses to showcase their expertise and build authority online, which is needed to attract customers, improve rankings and increase conversions. 

The Value of Sharing Your Expertise

Traditional marketing often fails because people today are more discerning; they want more detail when making purchasing decisions or working with one business over another. Customers today have higher expectations for the organizations they work with and the content those businesses are publishing. They want expert perspectives and proof that businesses can deliver on the claims they’re making. To stay competitive online, you need to maintain high standards and ensure that your website serves as a resource for high quality content. 

One of the most important factors for Google right now is meeting its E-E-A-T guidelines, which stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. This instructs quality rates on how to evaluate the expertise of the content creator and while it’s not a definitive ranking factor, it can help to improve traffic because Google will see your site as a resource. But while you may well be an authority in your respective industry, how do you transfer that expertise to your online presence? Here are a few tips to ensure the content you’re publishing meets the right standard and showcases you and your business in the right light. 

Let Visitors get to Know Your Team

An ‘About Us’ page doesn’t just humanize your business, but it also fosters familiarity and trust. Your audience wants to know that you have the qualifications, experience and knowledge to provide them with the solutions they’re looking for, and by extension, Google looks to sites that can deliver this proof so it knows your site is a valuable resource. 

“Search engines are more likely to reward content with higher rankings if they can trust the source”, explains Justin Aldridge, Technical Director at Artemis Marketing, “If the author is a known person, known to Google as someone who has expertise in a certain field, then it’s more likely that this content will rank above “anonymous” content”. It’s a good idea to not only create an informative ‘About Us’ page but also feature author bios at the end of blogs that further highlight the expertise the writer has on the topic in question. 

Distribute High Value Content

Not all content is created equal and when it comes to highlighting your knowledge, the more valuable resources you can create, the better. Be intentional about the content you create and how it might reflect the expertise you’ve accumulated over the years. From top tips and ideas you can share with your audience to practical strategies and workshops, you want to make each piece of content on your site as informative and helpful to the reader as possible. 

Maybe you host Live Q&As on social media, which you can then record and upload to your website; perhaps you guest post on other sites or create monthly newsletters with valuable insights. Whichever format you choose, think about how the advice you’ve gleaned from years of working in your industry can be packaged up for your audience as a resource they can use and share. 

Keep Active on Social Media

The amount of time we spend on social media has steadily increased over the years, and it’s now a large part of how many of us spend our day. A strong social media following creates an online community of people who can vouch for your business, your knowledge and raise awareness of what you have to offer. In fact, the very fact that we have influencers now is evidence of just how valuable we find the information expressed by content creators online. 

For those looking to make more of an impact online and use their knowledge to gain visibility, social media could just be the perfect platform. In addition to creating useful content, you also want to engage with your followers and answer questions they may have in the comments, guest post on industry pages and join groups on the likes of Facebook and LinkedIn. 

Optimize for your Expertise

If someone is looking for an expert on a particular topic or a resource to help them resolve an issue, one of the first places they’ll go is Google, and when they search they’ll use specific terms to find what they’re looking for. Optimizing your site to drive more targeted traffic, based on these terms, can make you and your business easier to find online. For example, if you’re a career coach and have a wealth of expertise in this area, targeting keywords such as ‘career coach’ or ‘career coach in [location]’ can make it easier for people to find you and the knowledge you have to offer. 

Ultimately, SEO can help ensure your content is reaching as wide an audience as possible and that the people who need to see it can find it easily. Optimizing blogs, web pages and your social media posts with the right keywords and phrases will get your voice and your brand out there and makes it very clear to those who find it what your area of expertise is. 

One of many drivers for directing quality inbound traffic to your website, showcasing your expertise can help to develop stronger brand awareness and bring in higher quality leads to your site. By sharing your expertise, you’re making it clear to your audience and to Google why you’re an authority in your industry and why people should engage with your organization. 

Providing evidence of your expertise is crucial to attracting customers, getting ahead of the competition and increasing your online visibility, but it’s an ongoing task. As your skills and experience in your industry continues to grow, you need to stay on top of updating author bylines and continuing to push out fresh content that will maintain your authority and keep you at the forefront of your sector. 

Mental Health Transparency At Work Is On the Rise According to Nuffield Health’s 2023 Healthier Nation Index

  • 35% said they called in sick, due to poor mental health but gave another reason*, compared to 39% from previous 2022 Healthier Nation Index
  • Over 1 in 4 (29%) people now feel comfortable enough to openly disclose to their employer if they need time off due to poor mental health*.
  • Employees are urged to ‘#Find5’ to tackle anxiety this Mental Health Awareness Week


A new survey of 8,000 UK adults has highlighted an increase in mental health transparency in the workplace.  

This year 35 percent of UK employees said they called in sick due to poor mental health but gave another reason*. While this is a significant percentage, it is lower than the findings from Nuffield Health’s 2022 report, with the percentage previously being 39 percent.

This is especially significant given that Nuffield Health’s 2023, ‘Healthier Nation Index’, also revealed that over 1 in 4 people (29%) now feel comfortable enough to disclose to their employer if they need time off due to poor mental health*. These latest findings suggest a positive shift in how employees are communicating with their workplaces about their emotional wellbeing.

Whilst this still indicates that stigma remains a barrier for people talking about their Mental Health at work, it is a promising sign that people are beginning to speak out when they need more rest, emotional support, and time away from their desks.

These findings are especially pertinent during this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which focuses on anxiety. Anxiety is a natural response particularly in these current times of uncertainty. It’s important to become aware of when we may need additional support with emotions such as anxiety so that it does not negatively impact on our lives. 

Lisa Gunn, Mental Health Prevention Lead at Nuffield Health commented:

“We are passionate about building a healthier nation and know that challenging work environments and stress can have a huge knock-on effect on both our physical and mental wellbeing.

“As well as the day-to-day worries that come with our personal and working lives, employees have also had to deal with the impact of a global pandemic and now the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. All these stressors combined can significantly affect the mental health of employees, so it’s more important than ever that businesses find ways to create open, transparent, and connected workplace environments.

“When people feel supported and able to reach out to their employer, this can have a positive impact on their mental health alone and help them better address feelings of worry and anxiety.

“That’s why we are calling on other UK workplaces to #Find5 minutes to look after their bodies and minds.  Just by spending five extra minutes on personal wellbeing a day can significantly boost mental and physical health.”

Lisa offers advice on how employers can play their part in creating a connected and transparent workplace, which prioritises both physical and mental wellbeing:


1. Notice when anxiety takes over.

In the past year, 48 percent said their work had negatively impacted** their physical/mental health, so it’s imperative companies are equipped to recognise signs of mental distress, like anxiety, in others.

The symptoms of anxiety can be seen in various ways. Physical signs include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, headaches, tiredness, and dizziness. You might notice heightened emotions in the workplace such as irritability or tearfulness.  

Employees experiencing anxiety may find it hard to maintain a healthy work-life balance. They may cancel annual leave last-minute – claiming they have too much on, to take holiday – work from home late at night or insist on coming into work when unwell.

However, spending too much time at work is counter-productive, as it can result in us overlooking our physical and mental health. According to this year’s findings, 59 percent of Nuffield Health respondents said they were also less productive at work* when their mental health was poor.

Just five minutes of conversation from employers reaching out to employees presenting with signs of anxiety or distress can have a positive impact.  This could be as simple as asking ‘Are you OK?’ or offering more regular meetings to catch up on how they’re feeling about their workloads.

2. Keep talking.

It is encouraging that more employees feel comfortable sharing with their employers when they are having problems with their mental health. However, 18 percent of us will still go to work one or two times a year when our mental health is poor, and 19 percent will go to work more than ten times a year when experiencing poor mental health.

It’s good for managers to try and understand why individuals come to work despite experiencing reduced mental wellbeing.  The more we know about the actions of our teams, the more support we can put in place to help them and reduce behaviours like presenteeism.

Aim to spend at least five minutes with employees each week, practising ‘active listening’ – a skill that requires a genuine understanding and reflection of what’s being said and providing a considered response, especially for those experiencing symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Active listening means listening attentively to what’s being said and showing understanding by paraphrasing and asking open questions to demonstrate your understanding.

Employers may also consider offering Emotional Literacy Training to staff – equipping them with the skills needed to recognise signs of distress in others and themselves and the confidence to approach them. This way they can nurture a workforce capable of recognising and tackling signs of anxiety in both themselves and others.

3. #Find5

Our 2023 study revealed 38 percent of people in the last 12 months have dedicated no time to supporting their own mental health, which includes everyday self-care, activities like meditation or speaking to a medical professional.

This Mental Health Awareness Week, Nuffield Health is extending its ‘Find 5’ campaign to encourage individuals to ‘find 5 with 5’ – spending five extra minutes a day focusing on their physical and mental wellbeing for body and mind.

In the same way, employers can play a huge role in creating an environment where employees feel a sense of connection and belonging by promoting campaigns which foster connectivity, team building and reduce stress.

Our study shows individuals are becoming more aware of the benefits of exercise on overall wellbeing, with 27 percent saying that exercise lifts their mood and helps them feel less anxious or depressed.

Encouraging employees to #find5 throughout the working day could also be as simple as promoting regular exercise in morning meetings or creating ideas to be distributed around the office or over email.

In just five minutes, managers can also arrange, or raise awareness of, physical health screenings available in the office to uncover any underlying issues among employees.

4. Be open about formal support.

While meaningful social interaction plays a key role in reducing feelings of anxiety, professional support can also be invaluable. This may include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) that offer direct and confidential access to a mental health expert.

Offering these services can help employees to understand and address feelings of anxiety using techniques such as challenging negative thoughts.

It only takes five minutes to signpost employees towards the support on offer, along with guidance and encouragement on how to access the help available. This may be via email to employees, an office huddle or a virtual ‘wellbeing hub’.

We want mental health transparency to keep increasing beyond the 4 percent we have seen within the past year and openly communicating the options available shows employees that conversations about mental health are both welcomed and expected.

5. Allow individuals to pick what’s best for them.

Finally, it’s important to remember that no single intervention works for everyone. The key to supporting the workforce is flexibility.

Employers should be flexible with letting staff choose five minutes of self-care each day, whether it’s simply stretching at their desk, going for a brisk five-minute walk between meetings or finding five minutes to do a short, guided meditation or breathing exercises.

Similarly, employers need to be flexible in how their teams choose to communicate with them. Encourage individuals to use a communication style that works best for them – whether it’s an in-person meeting or a phone call – this will make it easier for people to come forward and share their experiences. 

More flexibility means workplaces can cater to the individual and allow everyone to thrive and overcome feelings of anxiety.

The Taxes You Must Pay As An Online Seller in the UK

With figures from Aviva showing that one in five adults in the UK has taken on a side hustle since March 2020, it is important to be aware of how these income drivers impact your tax charges.

All workers in the UK must pay national insurance and income tax, but you are also allowed a trading allowance of £1,000 a year for which no tax payments need to be made to the HMRC.

For business owners earning more than the £1,000 threshold, you are subject to the same tax liability as self-employed individuals. To support individuals who have passed this structure, Hamid Bagherzadeh, Legal expert and Co-Founder of LegaMart, has outlined the applicable tax you could be paying.

Who needs to pay taxes?

If you are regularly buying and selling stock online, and earn more than £1,000 through your business, you are considered a trader by HMRC. As a trader, you will need to register your business as a company, the deadline of which is the 5th of October following the tax year you received your income.

What taxes do online sellers need to pay?

As an online seller, you may have the following taxes applied to your business: corporation tax, VAT, income tax, and national insurance.

1. Corporation tax

Online business owners will need to submit an online annual Corporation Tax Return to HMRC at a tax rate of 19%. 

Previously if your business was located outside of the UK but had an online presence in the country, your earnings were not subject to tax in the UK. These rules have now changed, as of April 2020, where all non-resident businesses are now liable to pay corporation tax.

2. VAT

If you have a business which sells products and services, you may need to start charging your customers VAT, where you are then required to submit any VAT due to HMRC each quarter.

VAT is typically charged at 20%, but some products and services are exceptions to this rule – health, energy and heating are charged at 5%, and publishing and children’s clothing are charged at 0%.

3. Income Tax

Income tax has to be paid on employment earnings, any self-employed profits (including from services you sell through your online marketplace or apps), and the majority of pensions and benefits from your job.

You do not have to pay income tax on the first £1,000 of your self-employed income as this is classed as a trading allowance. For individuals who need to report their earnings, the UK government has introduced a new tax software to allow individuals to send income tax instead of filing a self-assessment tax return with HMRC. 

4. National Insurance

National insurance contributions qualify individuals for certain government benefits and a state pension. The amount you will need to pay will depend on the business you have, your employment status, and if you have employed any staff. 

If you are the sole employee and a Limited Company Director, you must make Class 1 NICs through your PAYE payroll. If you are a sole trader, you will pay Class 2 and Class 4 NICs. If you employ staff, you need to pay NICs on salaries.

Other taxes may also be applicable like dividend tax, sales tax depending upon your business and overseas shipping.

While there are several taxes that need to be paid by online sellers, there are also ways to save on those taxes legally through various schemes and methods. We recommend working with an accountant and lawyer who understands your industry and can help you complete the taxing formalities on time. 

Poor Countries Facing Worst Debt in 25 Years

Poor countries are facing their heaviest debt burden in the last 25 years, according to a report published by the UK group Debt Justice, formerly known as Jubilee Debt Campaign. The group is calling for urgent and comprehensive debt relief to alleviate the burden on these countries.

The report states that external debt payments will average more than 16% of government revenue for the world’s poorest countries this year, the highest level since 1998. The figure is expected to rise to 16.7% next year, which is more than a 150% increase since 2011. The burden on poor countries due to debt is a significant concern, and the Debt Justice group is working to raise awareness about this issue.

Debt Justice points out that the last time the debt burden was so high, a debt-relief plan was introduced that ultimately led to up to 80% of debts being cancelled for the most indebted poor nations. 

However, the situation today is no less severe, and there is an urgent need for fast and comprehensive debt relief schemes across all external creditors, including legislation in the UK and New York to make private lenders take part in debt cancellation.

The report identifies Sri Lanka, Laos, Pakistan, Zambia, and Dominica among the world’s most indebted countries, with external debt payments expected to take up more than 30% of government revenue between 2022 and 2024. The figures are based on World Bank data.

Why Are Poor Countries In So Much Debt?

There are a huge number of reasons for debt in an already poor country including economic policies, political instability, natural disasters, and borrowing to finance infrastructure projects.

One of the main reasons why poor countries are in debt is due to their reliance on foreign aid and loans to finance their development needs. These loans often come with high-interest rates and strict repayment terms, making it difficult for these countries to meet their debt obligations.

Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes, can also cause significant economic damage and increase a country’s debt burden as they often require significant financial resources to rebuild and recover. This leads to poor countries leaning on lenders such as China to finance their development projects. 

Poor countries may face economic challenges such as inflation, high unemployment rates, and low productivity, which can make it difficult for them to generate the revenue needed to repay their debts. Political instability can also be another factor that can contribute to a country’s debt burden. In many cases, political instability can lead to economic disruption, which can exacerbate a country’s debt problem.

The report highlights that about half of the debt is due to private lenders, another 30% to multilateral institutions, 12% to Chinese public and private lenders, and 12% to other governments. 

How Is China Involved In Poor Nations’ Debt? 

China has become one of the main sources providing loans to poor countries, particularly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This money comes through China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The BRI is a massive infrastructure development project aimed at enhancing connectivity and economic development across Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Chinese loans to poor countries often come with attractive terms, such as low-interest rates and long repayment periods, making them an appealing option for cash-strapped governments in poor nations. However, concerns have been raised about the sustainability of these loans and the impact they could have on a country’s debt burden.

In recent years, some poor countries have found themselves struggling to repay their Chinese loans, which has led to accusations of “debt-trap diplomacy” by China. Critics argue that the Chinese government is using debt as a means of gaining strategic influence and control over poorer countries for various reasons, such as gaining control over Sri Lanka’s important ports. 

However, China has defended its lending practices, stating that they are intended to promote economic growth and development in these countries, and that it does not engage in predatory lending practices.

The Right Way to Fire an Employee

Firing employees is an unpleasant part of any business. It can be an uncomfortable and often costly process. It is reported that firing an individual can result in a loss of up to 200% of that employee’s annual pay. 

However it is also, unfortunately, a necessary part of any business. There are a variety of reasons that an employee must be let go, and can range from inexcusable workplace behaviour to simply poor performance in their role. 

Knowing when to fire someone is often very hard to discern, and can lead to much hand-wringing and deliberation. However, when the time does come, there are ways of making the process smoother and more comfortable for both parties. Below is a list of tips when it comes to dealing with possible employee termination. 

Follow Procedure 

Once you have realized that an individual is a bad fit for your company, it is tempting to immediately want to dismiss them from your company. However, it is incredibly important to follow the procedures that you have set out in your official disciplinary policy before doing so. These procedures may involve disciplinary meetings or warnings that must be given before an individual is terminated from the company.

Ensuring that you have followed these procedures will mean less potential legal issues, may result in the employee improving and the potential termination rescinded, and will ultimately result in a smoother, and less shocking, termination if it does go ahead. 

Be Organized and Thorough

When it comes to the termination meeting, it is important that you are properly organized and have the appropriate material at hand for the meeting. You must have all the appropriate documentation at hand, including evidence supporting their dismissal. You must also have evidence that you have stuck to the disciplinary procedures leading up to the dismissal so that you can not be considered in any way culpable for the dismissal of the employee. 

Having the correct documentation at hand will ensure a much smoother process when it comes to the termination and lead to less confusion on behalf of the company and the terminated party. 

The Right Time and Place for the Meeting

The right time and place for a meeting is essential for ensuring a relatively smooth termination process, and can ensure that the impact on your business is minimized. Many say that earlier in the week is the best time to conduct a termination meeting. It can also be conducted over lunch to help minimize disruption of the working day.

Picking the right time and place is essential in making the meeting as comfortable as possible for yourself and the party being terminated. Avoiding having too many people at the meeting, if possible, will also help allay feelings of disappointment and embarrassment. 

It is also important not to rush the meeting when the time arises. Ensure that you have arrived early and have all your objectives in order before the meeting begins. This will help reduce stress levels during a process that can be awkward and uncomfortable. 

Be Clear with the Employee

Forbes claims that “You need to be clear with the employee on two fronts- when you first hire them and if you have to fire them”. It is essential that you are open, honest, and clear with the employee about the reasons for their termination. You must be compassionate about the termination, but also firm in your resolve and leave no room for confusion or hope for re-hire. 

This clarity can come from practicing beforehand. It might seem silly, but coming into a termination knowing exactly what you need to say, and how you need to say it, will help the process be as smooth and as open as possible.

Ways to Save Money During The Firing Process

There are some effective ways to save money for your business during the firing process, whilst still paying respect to the outgoing employee. 

For starters, you can ask them to do a full handover of any tasks and processes in a shareable folder, so that it is ready for the next person who steps into their role, even if they do not meet them face-to-face.

Whilst a lot of contracts stipulate a notice period of several weeks or months, you can potentially save money by offering someone a severance package, which might make them seem they are earning a little more short term, it may be a saving for the company and the ability to get in and train someone new.

How To Manage Your Time When Working From Home

As businesses continue to shift to a balance of hybrid working, we are increasingly required to find a way to manage our time effectively when working away from the office. Working from home often requires the skill of optimizing your work day in a different environment. 

There are a number of benefits to working from home, such as removing a long commute. Of course it also comes with a new set of challenges, and maintaining efficiency is something that requires planning and focus. Below we speak to a startup, Doddler, who has actively embraced a hybrid way of working for their staff and today, they outline some ways to help manage your time working from home. 

Create a Designated Workspace

In working from your home, it is easy to find yourself distracted by the goings on of your home surroundings. In creating a designated workspace you can eliminate these distractions and allow you to focus on your daily tasks. 

To maximise your productivity from the office to home, be conscious of the things that distract you and choose a location that is far away from them, such as the television (or perhaps the fridge!). Keep your workspace organized, like you would your office desk. 

If you have the space available, also try to designate this space away from the areas you normally use to wind down in. This will allow your mind to disconnect from work when you need to. 

Schedule Your Day

A vital practice in time management is creating a work schedule when working from home. Block time aside for your work tasks and schedule sensible breaks. 

It could even help to pretend you are going to the office for the day so that your weekly schedule is not totally off. Waking up at your normal time and setting yourself a lunch break can help keep your ‘work clock’ in check. 

Think about when you work best at certain times of the day. Look to focus on more creative work in the morning when you have more energy and save the afternoon for any repetitive tasks. Think of yourself as the designer of your day!

Eliminate Distractions

Once you have created a schedule for your day, think about posting this somewhere physically so that you stick to it. If you share a house, this can be helpful to let others know your working hours and eliminate distractions from them. This can also help from unwanted disruptions to any virtual meetings.

Turn off notifications on non work-related social media that can easily take time away from your tasks. Keeping technology to a minimum, for example muting your phone, can prevent wasted time and allow you to focus on your to-do list. 

It could help to set personal boundaries whilst working from home. For example not completing personal commitments during your work day.

Learn to say No

This is an important tip not only for working from home but also when looking to manage your whole workload. In some instances when managing your business priorities, sometimes it is in fact necessary to say no. It might not be in your nature to turn down an opportunity but sometimes your work day simply isn’t long enough.

Of course this could also be a case of delegating a task to someone else in your team or waiting to complete something until you have more time to give a task the time it requires. This is all part of growing your decision making skills. 

Remain In Contact With Your Office Team

Working remotely has notable benefits however one thing that can be lost is interaction with your colleagues. To prevent feeling isolated, try to stay connected with your team through virtual calls. Continuing a strong channel of communication is also important for keeping your work on track. 

Avoid Making These Common Small Business Mistakes

All business owners make mistakes, whether they’re new business owners or seasoned professionals in charge of multi-million-dollar corporations. While everyone is capable of making mistakes, that doesn’t mean you can’t avoid certain ones by being well-informed. The more you learn as a small business owner, the easier it might be for you to avoid making some of these common mistakes:

Not Receiving Professional Advice

If you want to avoid painful business mistakes, aligning yourself with business experts is an excellent place to begin. Many new business owners want to save money when they launch their business for the first time, so they forgo enlisting the services of lawyers, accountants, and business mentors.

While these professionals can cost money, they might also save you a considerable amount of money with their helpful knowledge and advice. You might also rely on them to take care of a number of tasks that can be overwhelming for the average new owner, such as obtaining employer tax numbers, drafting employment offers, establishing budgets, and choosing abusiness structure.

Not Paying Attention to Your Competition

What our neighbors are doing is of no concern to us. Unless, of course, those neighbors are your competitors. While you might be more than satisfied with currentbusiness growth, your profit margins, and your customer base, there’s no harm in checking out how your competition is doing, any changes they’re making, and what their everyday operations look like. Competition keeps us on our toes, and when we know what they’re doing, we can do our best to stay one step ahead of them.

Spending Too Much Money

Starting a new business can be exciting, especially when you get to use your savings or a business loan to turn a premises into a perfect store or office. However, it’s important to remember that every business needsworking capital.

While it’s tempting to purchase new furniture, vehicles, stock, and machinery all at once, think about your current operating costs and how you’ll afford to cover them. Instead, purchase goods slowly and as your business starts turning a profit. You might also like to consider leasing business vehicles and machinery, rather than purchasing them outright.  

Not Prioritizing Marketing

When you’re passionate about your products and services, it’s easy to assume that everyone else will be too, and that you’ll have a line out your door from day one. However, that’s rarely the case. Marketing can be crucial for building and maintaining a loyal following.

Even before your store opens, consider contacting a marketing company to assist with advertising options for an official launch. You might also look atmarketing tools to help you master social media marketing, search engine marketing, and email marketing.

Working Alone

Even if you came up with the idea for your business and launched it on your own, that doesn’t mean you need to work alone and manage everything yourself. Being a business owner can be hard, and it’s easy to burn yourself out with long working hours. Rely on friends and family for support, consider looking for a business mentor, and hire staff to share the load.

Everyone makes mistakes, and there’s potential for you to make some of these common ones above. However, being aware of them might mean you stand a good chance of avoiding them and seeing your business thrive.

Things To Do In Cape Town This Summer Season

Cape Town is affectionately known as ‘the Fairest Cape’ – for good reason. Located on the southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Town’s rich and beautiful landscapes match its rich and beautiful history. There’s no doubt about it, Cape Town is a unique paradise that runs very hot in summer. Tourists here are almost spoilt for choice, with countless sandy beaches, charming villages, markets and more to explore.

With that said, how do you choose what to do in Cape Town this summer season? Fortunately, we have the answer for you. Read on for more information about the activities you should try in Cape Town this summer…


If you want to make the most of Cape Town’s hot weather and beachy landscape, we recommend surfing! This summer, Muizenberg Beach at False Bay will be the best spot for riding the waves, and even has a highly reputable surfing school on-site.

Learn how to surf with local pros, and dive headfirst into the inviting waters.

Music Festival

Throughout Cape Town, there are various music festivals hosted each summer, and every one is unmissable. Nestled in the Cederberg mountains, ‘Wolfkop Weekender’ gets particularly excellent reviews, with a range of electronic dance music and deep house played so you can really party the night away!

Summer Markets

Cape Town is much loved for its lovely summer markets, selling everything from handmade clothes and organic goods to sculptures and artwork. The most famous market is Old Biscuit Mill in Albert Road, the finest hotspot for adventurous tourists. You’re sure to find the perfect souvenirs here to bring back home.


Summer in Cape Town is nothing without exploring the great outdoors. The most distinguishing landmark that Cape Town has to offer – Table Mountain – is a flat-topped mountain that is definitely worth the hike, with magnificent views to be found at the summit!

If the hike is too much, and the sun gets too hot, you can also cableway to the top.

Safari Experience

Cape Town has plenty of thriving flora and fauna to be found across its many, sprawling landscapes. This makes a Safari experience one of the best things to do in Cape Town this summer season! As recommended by TripAdvisor, tours like the BokBus Garden Route Adventure give tourists the opportunity to see adorable hippos, elephants, lions, rhinos and giraffes up close and personal – perhaps for the very first time!

Travel to Cape Town with Rovos Rail

Ready to travel to Cape Town this summer, and experience everything that South Africa’s oldest city has to offer? Consider travelling there with Rovos Rail’s Cape Town to Pretoria route, a locomotive lovingly restored, with luxurious carriages and cabins inside. Rovos Rail maintain the elegant appearance of much-loved historical trains, with all the modern amenities you’d expect from a first-class flight or cruise. There’s no better way to traverse Africa’s beautiful landscapes.

Issue 5 2023

Welcome to the May 2023 issue of CEO Monthly.

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

It’s been one rainy May here in the UK, with the wet weather having tried its hardest to dampen the King’s coronation celebrations – but us Brits are resilient and it didn’t stop us venturing out to a nearby street party. Indeed, we have been grinning and bearing the rain, and we are finally making it to the other side, where the sun is beginning to break through and the rainy days are a thing of the past.

Now, this month’s cover feature is Aizad Hussain, CEO of Sprint Logistics, a company which provides inbound freight, storage kitting, picking, packing, and shipping of hundreds of thousands of packages each year. Aizad has transformed Sprint Logistics into a leading logistics provider, continuing to guide his expert team to deliver the most outstanding customer experience with great speed, flexibility, and innovativeness.

Also in this issue, we are excited to be featuring behemoth advertising agency, Ogilvy, which is led by CEO, Antonis Kocheilas. Having contributed to the growth of major brands, Dove, IBM, Coca Cola, Nestle, and others, we discover Antonis and his team’s secret sauce for getting a brand’s message out there – while making an impact.

We hope you find this issue to be inspiring and insightful, and wish you a wonderful month ahead!

12 of the Best Things to Do in Tampa

In recent years, more people have been flocking to Tampa to enjoy its variety of tourist attractions than ever before. In the past, a good year of tourism in Tampa might have generated about $30 million in tax collections. However, in the past few years, Tampa has been enjoying almost double that!

But what is leading to such incredible growth in tourist activity in Tampa? In the past, not that many people knew about all of the amazing things to do in Tampa.

However, as more people learn about what Tampa has to offer, Tampa is enjoying all of the benefits that come with being a hot tourist attraction. But what has Tampa done to provide so many different things to do for visitors and residents alike?

Read on to learn all about the most fun and unforgettable things you can do in Tampa on your next visit!

1. Enjoy the Beaches on Your Trip to Tampa

Of course, no visit to Tampa is complete without spending some hours or days on some of the incredible beaches. Tampa has multiple famous beaches that all provide amazing surf, sand, and sunlight. However, you can enjoy certain unique activities at several of the most famous beaches in Tampa as well.

The Ben T. Davis Beach is only a few minutes away from downtown Tampa. That makes it the perfect destination if you want to spend some time on the water while also visiting some of the exciting events in town. You can often find people playing beach volleyball at this beach.

On the other hand, Clearwater Beach is located right next to the Florida botanical gardens. It is rare to find such an amazing combination as a pristine beach and a gorgeous garden right next to each other.

You can also take a quieter trip to Honeymoon Island. This beach is quieter at certain times of the year and is a great place for swimming, fishing, and hiking.

2. Add Parasailing to Your Vacation Planning

If you have ever been parasailing, then you will appreciate what an unforgettable experience it can be. On the other hand, if you have not yet been parasailing, you should put this at the top of your list of activities to try in Tampa. Of course, parasailing in Tampa may ruin parasailing in most other parts of the world for you.

As amazing as parasailing can be on its own, enjoying it in Tampa provides a special experience. As you parasail in Tampa, you can enjoy the many gorgeous beaches below as well as the impressive buildings out of the city center.

You can enjoy a view of the islands as well as drink in the beauty of the gardens and other aspects of the natural beauty that Tampa has to offer.

3. Check Out the Aquariums When You Visit Tampa

Tampa is the perfect place to see amazing marine life at an aquarium. This is also a top activity if you plan to visit Tampa with your family.

The Florida Aquarium has more than 8,000 animals. It has won awards for attraction features for children and adults alike. Many of the features at this aquarium are designed to maximize both education and fun.

If you do decide to visit the aquarium, you might want to go before you spend too much time on other water activities in Tampa. Learning more about sea life can add an extra layer of fascination when you get up and close to it later on.

4. Add a Zoo Visit to Your Trip Planning

Tampa also boasts an incredible zoo. Try visiting the Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park and enjoy seeing the more than 1,300 animals that live there.

Tampa has collected a wide variety of tropical animals as well as species from a wide variety of other habitats. You can feed the giraffes during one part of your visit and then enjoy the water play areas during another.

5. Enjoy the Thrill of Busch Gardens Tampa

Busch Gardens Tampa is one of the top amusement parks in the country. It has a huge number of roller coasters as well as special activities like the Serengeti Safari. It also includes live entertainment shows and attractions designed especially for younger members of the family.

You will also find that the food at Busch Gardens Tampa is a cut above what you can find at many other amusement parks. You can spend a whole day enjoying the restaurants, cafes, bars, and more at Busch Gardens Tampa.

6. Visit the Tampa Museum of Art

Many people come to Tampa just to visit the Tampa Museum of Art. If you have a special appreciation for art, then you might want to put this activity at the top of your itinerary.

The museum has a wide collection of both contemporary and ancient art. You can enjoy a varied range of collections and presentations that will help you appreciate art objects like never before.

If you are a fan of visual art, you might also want to visit the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts while you are in Tampa. This museum is located in Tampa’s Cube building, a unique architectural achievement. You can enjoy dozens of major photographic exhibitions at this museum to enjoy another take on visual art.

While you are at it, you might also consider visiting the Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa. This museum has the special goal of preserving some of the most significant contemporary art exhibitions in the world. Many scholars end up visiting this museum to study the intricate nuances of a precise aspect of contemporary art.

7. Check Out the Museum of Science and Industry

On the other hand, you might be more interested in subjects like science, industry, and history. The Museum of Science and Industry contains hundreds of exhibits that will help you better understand science and the technology that has helped build our civilization.

Many of these activities are interactive, allowing you to do much more than simply watch and learn. You can also learn much more than you might know now about modern technological advances. There is a whole area dedicated to drones and robots and another devoted to 3D printing.

You might also want to visit the Tampa Bay History Center. The more you fall in love with Florida, the more you might appreciate learning about more than 12,000 years of its history.

8. Make the Most of the Tampa Riverwalk

Ask most people about what to do in Tampa and they will be sure to mention the Tampa Riverwalk. This is a beautiful pathway that runs all along the Hillsborough River. As you walk along it, you can enjoy the natural beauty of the view as well as the well-maintained public parks nearby.

You will also find plenty of restaurants and entertainment venues to help you round out your walk.

9. Visit the Unforgettable Big Cat Rescue

If you have a special affinity for cats, then visiting Tampa’s Big Cat Rescue Sanctuary might be the highlight of your trip. This animal sanctuary is dedicated to taking care of wild cats that suffer from injuries or isolation.

It has 11 species of big cats with more than 100 animals.

10. Take a Tour of Fun Things to Do in Tampa

You might want to start out your trip to Tampa by taking a guided tour to learn about all of the fun things you can do there. However, you might find a tour of Tampa much less tiring if you can take it on a Segway. The Magic Carpet Glide guided tour leads tourists around the city on Segways, showing them some of the most amazing attractions worth visiting.

You can also discover Great Escape Rooms in Tampa. There is a reason that quality escape rooms are becoming more popular all the time. They can be an absolute blast!

11. Catch a Show at the Straz Center

You should definitely take a minute to check out some of the performances that will be available at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts while you are in Tampa.

Many amazing shows come to Tampa and one of them might be the perfect addition to your vacation plans.

12. Enjoy the Beauty of Tampa’s Nature

You can also check out Not a Clue Adventures to enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities. You can learn about bird watching or how to track wildlife. You can also learn about survival techniques or horsemanship.

You do not really know Tampa until you have seen some of the incredible variety of flora and fauna present outside of the major city areas.

Enjoy All the Best Things to Do in Tampa

The more you learn about the amazing things to do in Tampa, the easier it is to understand why there has been such an explosion in tourist demand. Tampa has so many fun things to do that you can come back year after year without ever having to repeat your vacation itinerary.

In Tampa, you can enjoy the peace and beauty of nature as well as the excitement of unforgettable thrills.

To learn more about the latest information in tourism, business, and more, take a look at our other articles!

Training Video Production: What You Need to Know

From brands migrating online and working teams switching to a remote-first approach—to the world’s top-rated universities launching online courses for international students, the value of e-learning tools becomes more evident from day to day.

And even though you have yet to leverage online education programs at your company, it doesn’t mean the approach can’t multiply your profits (or at least save your budgets) right away.

Think of engaging onboarding tours for your clients that reveal your product’s hidden advantages and turn impressed customers into brand ambassadors. Consider resources you can save by creating and sharing an educational series for employees dedicated to efficient online office space or digital data protection. And don’t forget about training videos as an excellent way to collect unique knowledge from your current team—with a later possibility to share them with newcomers and scale your projects!

Intrigued? So let’s dive into training video production to see what you need to create one for your clients or employees. 

What is a training video?

A training video is a content created for online or blended education purposes.

A good video of a training type should speed up the learning process, make it more efficient in terms of understanding and memorizing information, and turn the overall education process scalable—be it a traditional university course on ancient literature, civil rights explainers for people heading to elections, or half-practical training for employees dedicated to non-toxic behaviour.

A training video may take various forms, with a one-minute narrow subject-specific film on the one side of a spectrum and a 10-hours series that audiences should watch for weeks.

Like classic offline training, one based on training videos often ends with tests or other activities to check what students learned. This part is also critical for further training video production, as it helps to understand what visual or storytelling approaches worked well for specific audiences.

Critical aspects of training video production

Video production requires time and budget; it’s better to have a clear view of what you need and how to get there before the creative process starts (pre-production stage).

At Blue Carrot, a training animation studio with years of experience, we recommend you start by defining your initial purpose of creating a video. What goals you’d like to reach with your training? Who is your target audience? What’s your subject, and what ideas are you planning to share? Look for references online to better understand what your training video content may look like.

Consider that several factors influence production budget and timing: the complexity of your subject, video style and length, and additional requirements you may have (like live shooting integration featuring a well-known expert in your field).

In turn, sound design influences the final cost less. And clear communication between a production team and your representatives may lead to fewer edits in the late production stages and save you some money.

An essential difference between a typical explainer or promo video script and one for a training video is that the least should be developed in highly close cooperation with a client’s subject-matter experts (SMEs). That’s why it is always advantageous to have your basic educational materials organized in advance.

Final thoughts

Training video production is a good step you make take to turn your corporate learning processes into more efficient, scalable, and standardized ones.

Consider that training videos require a thoughtful approach to the pre-production stage (business needs clarification, defining the depth of knowledge, outlining target audience profiles, etc.) and prepared materials you’d like to dedicate your course to—with both aspects making it easier for you to set a realistic production budget and training release date.

If it’s your first experience launching a video-based course, start by looking for a reliable production partner—with a portfolio featuring videos similar to what you want to get at the end.

What Does a Psychiatric Nurse or Mental Health Nurse Do?

If you are interested in a career that allows you to make a difference in people’s lives while also experiencing personal and professional growth, becoming a mental health nurse may be the right option for you. As a psychiatric nurse, you will have the opportunity to work closely with patients with mental health issues, providing them with care and support.

Not only is this job highly rewarding, but it also offers numerous benefits such as competitive salaries, flexible scheduling options, and the ability to work in various settings such as hospitals and community clinics. In this article, we’ll explore the job role of a mental health nurse in more detail and showcase the benefits of this career option.

What Do Psychiatrist Nurses Do?

As a psychiatrist nurse, you would be taking care of patients with mental disorders. Mental health nurses work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities to help patients achieve better mental health through various treatments such as therapy and medication.

These specialized nurses are trained to identify symptoms of mental illness and provide compassionate care for patients who are suffering from these conditions. They engage with patients and their families to help them understand the nature of their illness and guide them through the process of treatment and recovery.

Overall, mental health nurses provide vital support for individuals who are facing some of the most challenging obstacles in their lives.

Roles and Responsibilities of Psychiatrist Nurses

As a psychiatric nurse, you will play a crucial role in the mental health care system. Your responsibilities can vary widely depending on your work setting, but they will typically involve treating patients who are experiencing various mental health issues. You will work alongside psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists, mental health counsellors, and other healthcare professionals to deliver treatment and care.

Some of your critical roles and responsibilities will include the following ones:

  • Assessing and diagnosing patients with mental health illnesses
  • Carrying out thorough evaluations of a patient’s symptoms and medical history
  • Developing diagnoses to guide treatment decisions
  • Cooperating with psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to create treatment plans
  • Managing medications and other interventions such as individual and group therapies
  • Monitoring a patient’s progress and health status
  • Taking vitals and administering therapies
  • Interacting with a patient’s family members

Perhaps most importantly, as a psychiatric nurse, you’ll bring high levels of compassion and empathy to support your clients throughout their difficult times.

How to Become a Psychiatric Nurse

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a psychiatric nurse, there are several steps you need to take. First of all, you will need to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN) or an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN), and then gain some experience working as a registered nurse (RN). You can begin specializing in psychiatric nursing by finding the right psychiatric NP program for you.

This program should provide relevant coursework and clinical experiences focused on mental health disorders and their treatment. The curriculum may include classes on pharmacology, psychotherapy, patient assessment, and crisis intervention.

Once you have completed your degree and obtained certification as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, you will be ready to work with patients experiencing mental health issues.

A Career as a Psychiatric Nurse: What to Expect

If you’re considering pursuing a career as a psychiatric nurse, setting your expectations correctly is the first step to take. Firstly, when it comes to salary expectations, psychiatric nurses tend to make slightly over the average nursing salary. On average, in the US, mental health nurses make between $86,949 and $106,822 a year. Keep in mind that salaries may vary based on factors such as location, level of experience, and educational background.

In terms of work schedule, psychiatric nurses can usually expect to work a traditional 40-hour workweek with occasional overtime hours. Some facilities may require nurses to work evening or weekend shifts depending on their patients’ needs. However, many hospitals and mental health clinics offer flexible scheduling options.

Overall, if you are interested in pursuing a career as a psychiatric nurse you can expect competitive pay rates coupled with fulfilling opportunities in helping individuals facing mental health challenges. However, if you still have donuts whether this is the right path for your career goals, you should consider working with a career coach or collecting the experiences of current mental health nurses.

The Role of Analytics in E-Commerce: Key Types and Benefits

Ecommerce stores and marketing channels produce vast amounts of valuable data that retailers need to analyse and translate into actionable insights. This way, companies can identify the best way to improve their operational and business performance, adjust marketing strategies, and address persistent problems.

Given that ecommerce analytics can be a complex process, retailers can embrace its full potential by relying on ecommerce services. This article covers six major types of ecommerce metrics and how merchants can benefit by tracking them within their ecommerce analytics strategy.

What is ecommerce analytics?

Ecommerce analytics is capturing, measuring, and interpreting data relevant to an online store, helping merchants analyse every stage of the customer journey to better understand their audience, evaluate ecommerce performance, discover areas for improvements, and build future sales strategies.

Six types of ecommerce analytics

Since ecommerce analytics comes from various data sources, ecommerce experts can monitor hundreds of data points. Here are essential metrics to help brands monitor their store’s performance and discover underlying trends.

1. Audience

According to IMRG’s predictions for online retail growth in UK in 2023, 64% of shoppers admit that ecommerce experiences keep them loyal to the brand. Thus, getting to know your web store’s returning customers and new visitors is vital for catering to their needs and ensuring their loyalty. 

The critical audience metrics include demographics, describing users’ age, gender, location, language, and income level. Store owners can also determine the audience’s interests, values, product or service preferences, and dislikes. The analytics data also provides details like the browser or device visitors use, operating system, and screen orientation.

With this data, ecommerce merchants can flesh out distinct buyer personas and use micro-segmentation to deliver more personalised ecommerce offerings and create tailored marketing strategies.

2. Acquisition

Ecommerce businesses can benefit from knowing how many people visit their store, how they found it, and the cost of customer acquisition.

Since audiences come from various sources, including social media, email, search engines, and paid marketing channels, businesses can use specific metrics to check what communication channels bring the highest number of visitors.

For example, click-through rate shows how many people clicked on a particular link or ad after seeing it and measures the channels’ effectiveness for reaching a target audience. If a channel has a high CTR, the store owner can invest more money and efforts in it.

Businesses can also calculate a customer acquisition cost that indicates companies’ total investment to acquire one new customer. The metric can be further compared against the average customer spending tracked as customer lifetime value. Using it, the owner can clearly gauge the web store’s profitability and the necessity to optimise customer acquisition expenditures.

3. Behaviour

Statistical data can be used to understand how users behave once they land on the ecommerce website. For example, digital merchants can track bounce rates to evaluate how many people enter a storefront and leave it without interacting with the page or viewing other products. If a store has a high bounce rate, then it’s likely that users are dissatisfied with the store or are not engaged enough to stay.

Other helpful customer behaviour metrics include the number of first-time visitors and repeat buyers, pages per visit, the time spend on the site, and time to first purchase. 

Additionally, companies can track what site features are frequently used by returning buyers and position them as you competitive advantage to attract more customers. Finally, store owners can dig deeper and analyse site visitors’ paths to identify what marketing messages and products generate the highest conversions and sales.

On the whole, behavior analytics helps store owners understand how customers interact with the website and discover segments of the customer journey that can be improved.

4. Conversion

In addition to bringing people to their online stores, businesses need to understand how and when visitors convert into customers. Conversion rates help evaluate your ecommerce performance and identify possible issues and overlooked touchpoints along the customer journey.

Also, using the data about average revenue and the number of items bought per transaction, ecommerce stores can better plan discounts and promotion campaigns.

Unfortunately, some website visitors can add products to their shopping carts but leave the store without completing the purchase. Tracking the cart abandonment rate, ecommerce merchants can identify the percentage of people who don’t finalise the checkout and identify the drop off points and then optimise the checkout flow and increase sales.

5. Retention 

Retaining existing customers is more cost-effective for ecommerce stores than converting new ones. Businesses can monitor customer retention and returning customer rates to track how many of their customers make a repeat purchase over a specific period.

In addition, the churn rate will show the percentage of customers lost over time, allowing companies to analyze when and why customers leave. For example, according to Qualtrifics’ UK Consumer Trends report, 46% of online shoppers are dissatisfied with their customer service experience. Digging deeper into your customers’ dissatisfactory experiences, you can take measures to timely remedy them and reduce customer churn significantly.

Another important retention metric is customer lifetime value. Indicating the monetary value customers bring as long as they purchase from the brand, CLV helps retailers find the best combination of short-term and long-term marketing strategies to maintain good customer relationships.

6. Website metrics

The way an ecommerce website functions affects its search engine ranking, customer experience, and, in the end, sales. For example, Unbounce’s survey states nearly 70% of consumers say page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer. Therefore, businesses should closely monitor the loading speed and other website performance aspects.

Key benefits of ecommerce analytics

A better understanding of customers

With accurate customer data on hand, retailers can better know their audience’s expectations, demands, and pain points to offer relevant products. 

Uncovering trends

Analytics gives a clear picture of how an ecommerce business is performing now and in the future. By discovering trends and patterns, companies can keep their top products in stock, expand popular product categories, and invest in the channels their consumers use most often.

Price optimisation

Ecommerce merchants can analyse consumers’ behavioural data to understand how the audience reacts to different prices for a particular product and find the optimal price that will yield the highest revenue. 


Ecommerce analytics enables retailers to accurately segment customers and craft personalized shopping experiences, boosting engagement and loyalty and increasing sales.

Product portfolio improvement

Digital merchants can not only detect their bestsellers and underperforming products but also uncover the reasons why this happens and optimise their product portfolio accordingly.

Improved inventory management 

Customers shop online for convenience and don’t want delays in delivery, so products displayed in your web store should be available in sufficient quantities. Ecommerce analytics help determine the most optimal time to replenish the stock and plan inventory for the future.

More efficient marketing strategy

Analytics helps retailers gauge their current marketing efficiency and provides the foundation for improved data-based decisions, effective campaigns, and a strategy that will bring consistently favourable results.

Wrapping up

Companies that build strong relationships with customers and meet their needs will be best placed to profit in the competitive ecommerce industry. Ecommerce analytics helps to understand customer behaviour, optimise consumer touchpoints for more rewarding experiences, and encourage customers to buy more.

Moving Out of Your Rental Home: Essential Responsibilities for a Smooth Transition

Posted on 17th May 2023

Moving out of a rental home can be a whirlwind of tasks, checklists, and some stress. To ensure a smooth transition and to recover your bond or deposit, there are several responsibilities you need to fulfill. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process, from handling repairs to opting for vacate cleaning and house painting services.

9 Responsibilities You Must Get On Top Of When Moving Out Of A Rental Home

1. Thoroughly Read Your Lease Agreement

The first step to a hassle-free move is to understand the obligations outlined in your lease agreement. This document is your guiding star, detailing exactly what is expected of you when moving out. Familiarise yourself with conditions relating to notice periods, cleaning, and repairs. If anything seems unclear, seek clarification from your landlord or a legal professional.

2. Provide Proper Notice

Most rental agreements require you to give notice before vacating the property. The notice period may vary but is typically 30 days. Ensure you give your written notice and keep a copy for your records. Timely notice will help maintain a positive relationship with your landlord and may even lead to a good reference in the future.

3. Repair and Replace

One of the primary responsibilities when moving out is to return the property in the same condition as when you moved in, barring normal wear and tear. This may involve repairing broken fixtures, replacing burnt-out light bulbs, and fixing any damage caused during your tenancy. If there are more significant issues, like a broken appliance in your care according to the lease, discuss this with your landlord.

Also, over time, walls can become scuffed or discoloured. To restore them to their original glory, you should wield a paintbrush. Stick to the original colour scheme, unless you have explicit permission from the landlord to do otherwise. If you need more confidence in your painting abilities, consider hiring professional house painting services. These experts can rejuvenate your living space, enhancing the chances of a full bond refund.

4. Opt for Vacate Cleaning

Cleaning is often the most labour-intensive part of moving out. It’s not just a regular clean; you’ll need to deep clean everything from the oven to the bathroom tiles. One often overlooked area is the carpets. Many landlords require professional steam cleaning, so check your lease.

Instead of tackling this mammoth task yourself, consider hiring a professional vacate cleaning service. These companies specialise in end-of-lease cleaning, ensuring every nook and cranny sparkle. They’ll handle everything, including the kitchen, bathroom, windows, and floors, leaving you more time to focus on your move.

5. Remove All Personal Belongings

It might seem obvious, but ensure you remove all your personal items from the property. Check all cupboards, drawers, and storage spaces. Remember to clear out your garage or garden if these areas are part of your lease. Leaving items behind can lead to cleaning or removal fees, which could be deducted from your bond.

6. Conduct a Final Walk-Through

Once you’ve cleaned and cleared the property, conduct a final walk-through. It’s best to do this with your landlord or property manager, comparing the property’s current condition with the initial condition report. This is your chance to discuss potential issues and avoid misunderstandings regarding your bond refund.

7. Return the Keys

Finally, arrange a time to hand over the keys to your landlord or property manager. It’s essential to do this promptly to avoid any additional rent charges.

Moving out of a rental home involves a fair amount of work, but with careful planning and a little help from professional services, it’s entirely manageable. Remember that every effort you put in now — from repainting the walls to investing in a professional vacate cleaning service — can pay dividends as a full bond refund.

8. Update Your Address

In the midst of all your moving responsibilities, it’s easy to forget to update your address. Be sure to notify your bank, utilities, subscriptions, and any other relevant services of your address change. This will ensure you get all important correspondence and save you the hassle of tracking down lost mail later on.

9. Leave a Forwarding Address

Lastly, provide your landlord or property manager with a forwarding address. This is where they’ll send your bond refund, and any other correspondence, once the final inspections are complete. It’s also a courtesy to the new tenants, who can then forward any stray mail that comes to your old address.

Final Thoughts

Moving out of a rental home can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. By understanding and fulfilling your responsibilities, you can ensure a smooth transition. From reading your lease agreement thoroughly to hiring professionals for vacate cleaning and house painting, every step you take contributes to a stress-free move and the recovery of your bond.

Remember that maintaining open communication with your landlord throughout the process is key. When both parties know what to expect, it makes for a more amicable parting. With some organisation, a touch of elbow grease, and a dash of diligence, you’ll be on your way to beginning the next chapter in your new home.

Workplace Injuries – Tips and Tricks for Recognizing, Preventing Accidents

When an injury occurs at the workplace, liability for the injuries typically falls on the employer with very few exemptions, for example, if a third party caused the injuries.

Workplace injuries can have a huge financial impact on a business due to the increased cost of insurance premiums, making workplace safety a priority for most employers. If you are an employer looking to improve workplace safety, this guide can help you with tips and tricks for recognizing and preventing accidents.

Recognizing Hazards

Different work environments will have different hazards, so before you can work on preventing accidents, you first need to identify the hazards that apply to your work environment. Common hazards include:

Physical hazards. Physical hazards include objects and conditions that can cause harm, such as slippery or chipped floors, poor lighting, broken handrails, and unguarded machinery.

Chemical hazards. These include substances and chemicals that can cause harm, such as cleaning agents, solvents, acids, poisonous gasses, paints, etc.

Ergonomic hazards. These hazards result from poor workplace design, tool design, repetitive movements, and improper posture.

Biological hazards. Biological hazards are common in the healthcare sector, where employees are exposed to bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms.

Preventing Workplace Accidents

Once you have identified the hazards relevant to your industry and workplace, the next step should be to prevent them by implementing various measures, including:

Comprehensive Safety Training

Safety training is among the best ways to enhance safety and prevent workplace accidents. The best time to start safety training is when you are onboarding new hires but also have a continuous training program to ensure that safety is always at the front of the mind of your employees at all times.

Topics to cover in the training include hazard recognition, emergency procedures, reporting protocols, and proper use of equipment.

Regular Inspection and Maintenance

You can only prevent accidents by identifying where and when they are more likely to happen. So, conducting regular inspections to identify hazards is necessary.

You may not always be present to conduct the inspections, but you can delegate that role to some of your employees. Once a hazard is identified, it must be addressed following the laid out protocol.

Use Appropriate Safety Equipment

Different hazards call for different safety gear. So once you identify the hazards in your industry, equip your personnel with the safety equipment necessary to enhance their safety.

Industries have different standards for PPEs, so ensure you meet the industry standard. For example, construction workers may need hard hats, high-visibility clothing, steel-toed boots, and fall protection equipment. The provision of PPEs is not enough. Ensure that your employees get training about their proper use and that having them when on the job is mandatory.

Incentivize Compliance

Employees may not always be so keen on safety, and incentivizing it is one way to engage them more. You can create a program that pays bonuses to employees that report potential hazards.

It doesn’t always have to be reporting. You can keep records of employees that prioritize safety and offer bonuses to the best performers. While this approach may sound expensive, it is nothing compared to the losses of an accident.

When an Accident Occurs

When an accident occurs at the workplace, employees have a right to compensation through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Recovering compensation for work-related injuries should be straightforward, but it is not always so.

So, you should consider hiring local lawyers with experience handling cases similar to yours if you have been injured at work and feel that the injuries have a life-changing impact on you. For example, if you suffered injuries in an industrial accident in New York, skilled NYC lawyers for industrial accidents are best suited to handle your case.

Final Words

You cannot eliminate the chances of an accident in the workplace by 100%. But the tips highlighted in this guide can help keep those chances low. If you are a victim of an accident, you should be able to recover compensation for your losses by filing a claim through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.

Acquisition International is Proud to Announce the Winners of the 2023 Business Excellence Awards

United Kingdom, May 2023: Leading B2B publication, Acquisition International, has launched the 2023 edition of the Business Excellence Awards.

Now in its ninth year, the Business Excellence Awards are truly the cornerstone of Acquisition International’s annual celebratory programmes. Awards Coordinator Holly Blackwood commented on eve of the announcement: “This programme gives us a fantastic reason to celebrate those businesses and individuals who are shaking up the corporate landscape. They are each on an upward trajectory to unrivalled success as they continue to innovate their industries for everyone to benefit. Congratulations to each and every one of our winners.”

Business Excellence is defined by those not only looking to improve their operations, but those who are actively taking part in building business to have a positive impact on the world. With client service at their core, they each offer expertise, innovation, and fruitful visions with a pathway to success for the future. We are proud to announce our 2023 winners as they elevate our experience of business.

Acquisition International prides itself on its awards and winners. The awards are given solely on merit and are awarded to commend those most deserving for their ingenuity and hard work. To learn more about our award winners and to gain insight into the working practices of the “best of the best,” please visit the Acquisition International website where you can access the winners supplement.





About Acquisition International Magazine

Acquisition International, is an international, monthly digital business magazine committed to bringing its readers up to the minute news, comment and analysis. As the voice of modern business, here at AI we are dedicated to delivering vital updates to our corporate readers so that they remain ahead of the curve.

Acquisition International launched in 2010, and has, over the years, evolved into a business title that professionals rely on to bring them the business knowledge, insight and news they need. Each month our magazine is circulated to in-excess of 85,000 professionals, including Top Tier Managers, Investment Professionals, Business Advisers and Service Providers.

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Top Tips for Growing An Agency

With Google updates, social media changes, and economic shifts; staying ahead of the curve is essential in this day and age if you’re running an agency. Economic changes, as a result of the pandemic, and recessions in the UK and US, have led to increased competition and a greater focus on ROI, forcing agencies to become more efficient and data-driven in their approach.” says Joe Davies, Co-Founder at FATJOE.The marketing industry as a whole has become more dynamic and fast-paced, requiring agencies to stay on top of the latest trends and technologies to remain competitive.

FATJOE has been servicing clients since 2012, offering outsourced content and links. Turning over more than $10million per year, Joe Davies shares 6 tips for agency growth.

Top Tips for Growing an Agency

1. Identify your Unique Value Proposition

The digital marketing market is saturated, with new agencies opening their doors every day it seems. My first tip is to ensure you identify a unique value proposition for your agency. If you’re a specialist, make it known to your audience. Perhaps you’ve got a one-of-a-kind approach to your niche. Use this value and proposition yourself as a trusted expert in this area.

After myself and Joe Taylor became colleagues, we pondered on whether there was a better solution for SEO and marketing agencies to outsource their content and link building. At the time the market was very limited to offshore and very low quality solutions, so we seized the opportunity ahead of us to create a company that offered higher quality outsourced services at affordable prices, specifically for marketing agencies. That was our selling point. 

2. Invest in the right people

You can develop a strong brand identity on the front of it, but it’s the people who carry the work and deliver results who make the difference. Hire right and you’ll open doors you didn’t know existed. Hire wrong and you’ll be constantly chasing your tail. 

What’s always been imperative for us is that we invest in people who want to drive the company forward. My advice to any agency is to always strike a balance in your team between technical skills, creative minds, and leadership. But above all, it’s important to invest in people who are aligned with your values and vision, to help foster positive company culture. A strong team always equals better results.

3. Establish a clear brand identity

Developing a brand that is consistent across all channels, including your website, social media, and marketing materials, is key for a clear identity and messaging to prospective clients. To really cement your agency’s position as a unique solution to a problem, ensure your messaging reflects the core mission and values. Our ethos has never changed: to help agencies scale and deliver better SEO. From the time we spent working for agencies ourselves, we’re very familiar with the issues they face and the dreaded burnout that so many experience. This is reflected in our brand identity online.

4. Focus on Lead Generation

As a marketing agency, it should be a no brainer to you that focusing on lead generation will grow your business. Invest in marketing strategies and practise what you preach – yielding results from both outbound lead generation with sales pitching, and inbound marketing by optimising your site and creating a strong brand. As a business we’ve historically focused on our brand awareness, investing a fair amount into our own digital marketing since day dawn.

5. Nurture Client Relationships

Closing the deal doesn’t mean that client sticks around forever. It’s so important to develop a client retention strategy that focuses on providing exceptional customer service and maintaining open communication with your clients about their marketing results. Not only will this retain your existing clientele, but it’ll likely lead to word of mouth referrals.

6. Make sure the price is right

Depending on whether your agency is generalist, specialist, or offers full service marketing, it’s important to get a good grip on industry pricing. Take time to research (and continuously revisit) your competition to make sure you never lose a deal from being outpriced. And if you still feel your agency offers more, make that messaging clear with your brand. 

Joe summarises: “The marketing industry as a whole has become more dynamic and fast-paced, requiring agencies to stay on top of the latest trends and technologies to remain competitive. This has been exacerbated by recent economic changes, and generally the advancement of the web. Clients, now more than ever, are looking for real ROI.”

Fixing the Wellbeing Gap – Employees Take a Week Off Work On Average Due to Mental Health

Against the backdrop of an extremely tough year for the country, workers are facing a mental health recession and taking more time off due to mental health.

A study conducted by Westfield Health found that on average employees take a week off work due to their mental health. Despite this, the majority of workers (66%) aren’t accessing any mental health support.

Unfortunately, the study also revealed there is little sign of things improving, with 46% of those surveyed feeling their mental wellbeing will not improve in the next year.

Businesses have committed to tackling the problem, they are spending more money on wellbeing, with 42% of businesses increasing their wellbeing spending in 2022 and nearly a half expecting to further increase it in 2023. Despite this, more than half (56%) of workers with access to wellbeing support at work do not use it.

This is resulting in a wellbeing gap as mental health worsens but businesses are still not seeing engagement with the support they offer. Westfield Health warns that spending wisely is more important than spending more, especially as budgets are squeezed.

To tackle the mental health recession employers need a strong wellbeing strategy focused on what employees need. Unless the support offered by businesses has an impact, the crisis will continue to spiral and ultimately affect talent retention and the bottom line for businesses.

Commenting on this, Vicky Walker, Group Director of People at Westfield Health, says: “While it’s encouraging that businesses recognise the importance of wellbeing at work, the decline in workers’ mental health across the country is cause for concern and needs action.

“Many businesses are planning on spending more on wellbeing in 2023, but budget worries are on the horizon. Our research found that the top barrier for HR teams investing more in wellbeing was a lack of budget. It’s not just about what you spend, it’s about how you spend it.

“To avoid the wellbeing gap worsening, businesses need to get strategic. To get the most out of their investments, employers need to have a wellbeing strategy that’s effective, measurable and impactful with engagement from employees. Without a strategy, their efforts may go to waste.”

One of the top reasons why employees are not engaging with their employer’s wellbeing support is due to a lack of two-way communication. The research found that 41% of employees were not being asked to input into their workplace’s wellbeing strategy and only half (51%) feel their manager is there for wellbeing support.

Vicky continues: “Businesses need to do more with less this year and that means there is added pressure to prove a return on investment for employee wellbeing. Our research found that only 43% of workers said their employer had a wellbeing strategy or measured wellbeing.

“Employee wellbeing is hanging in the balance as mental health worsens which will inevitable hit productivity and bottom lines. Creating an employee wellbeing strategy is the most effective way for businesses to help their people through this.”

With communication and support being key, Vicky shares the steps to what an ideal wellbeing strategy should involve:

  1. Engage with employees and collect data – ask them how they feel about what they need to improve their wellbeing, the organisation’s culture, values and their wellbeing at work to identify areas of concern for the organisation;
  2. Identify themes and objectives;
  3. Review against business priorities;
  4. Create or update wellbeing strategy;
  5. Implement and monitor the strategy.

“It’s important to continually review your strategy, it’s a cycle, not a linear process. So when step five is underway, it’s time to return back to step one and repeat the process again and again.

“Measuring your wellbeing strategy’s success is what will lead to real engagement from employees. This, in turn, leads to a return on investment. At a time when HR needs to prove an impact, and balance budgets and wellbeing, the importance of strategy can’t be ignored.”

How Are Card Payments Kept Secure?

Contactless, tap and go, chip and pin – quick and convenient, card payments are rarely given a second thought these days. But how do you know that your money is going to the right place at the right time, and that your information is kept secure? The experts at tapeeno – the card payment app for small businesses – explain more. 

In the UK, debit and credit cards account for more than 85% of payments made to businesses each year. This figure is expected to grow to more than 95% by 2031.

However, despite cards being a preferred method of payment for so many people, there is still an element of uncertainty and misunderstanding about how secure cards really are.

Although they might look simple, credit and debit cards (including those loaded on a device), are built with multiple layers of technology that safeguard cardholder details from fraudulent activity.


When card payments are made, the information sent to the receiver is encrypted using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) technology. This scrambles the information into a format that can only be read by authorised parties and prevents cybercriminals from intercepting and stealing the information.

Tokenisation This is a process where sensitive data, such as the cardholder’s primary account number (PAN), is replaced with a unique string of characters called ‘a token’. This protects the cardholder’s data from being exposed in the event of a data breach.


Card payments will typically require authentication to verify the identity of the cardholder. For example, a PIN (Personal Identification Number). Increasingly, card networks are implementing multi-level authentication, requiring card holders to verify payments using their banking app or by providing a code that is texted or emailed to them. Biometric authentication, like facial recognition and fingerprint identification, is also used regularly for approving payments. 

Fraud detection and prevention

Banks and other financial institutions use sophisticated algorithms and tools to detect and prevent fraudulent transactions. Many utilise machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyse patterns of behaviour, such as when a card is used overseas or to make a large payment, in order to flag suspicious activity.

Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance

PCI compliance is a set of standards established by the card networks to ensure that businesses that accept card payments are following best practices for security. Merchants must comply with these standards to ensure the security of the cardholder’s data. Those not complying with these standards face financial penalties and charges as well as damage to their reputation. In the UK, this applies to all businesses, including start-ups. Using a third-party provider to process payments that is PCI DSS compliant, such as tapeeno, will help ensure businesses are adhering to the regulations.

Leading Provider of Holistic Health Programmes 2023 – Europe

MINDiet Hungary LLC (MINDiet) offers award-winning holistic health programmes, for which it has recently received the award for Leading Provider of Holistic Health Programmes 2023 – Europe. The team at MINDiet help individuals that need to change their lifestyle for the sake of their health and quality of life.

Losing physic balance has a negative effect on people’s mind and body. Over time the body begins to show signs of a health decline, and in severe cases people suffer from consequent disabilities. As a result, their mental health is affected and it can seem like a never-ending battle, but it isn’t – it can get better. That is where MINDiet comes in with the aim to build a successful and long-term sustainable lifestyle for its clients to help them thrive again. 

MINDiet uses network science and behavioural science to provide each client with the right tools to bring forward life changing results. Its programme helps them achieve results in 4-9 months, however it may be extended depending on the individual’s circumstances. Regardless, they are only expected to complete 1-2 hours of activity per week, and the team works closely with all clients to help them adjust into healthy living.

People find themselves in these situations due to habits chosen years prior without knowing what it could lead to. The team at MINDiet want to provide clients with another chance at building a life that they are motivated and excited to wake up to. The Director, Roland Kasek shares, “Clients more than often report higher decisional awareness, increased overall motivation and realistic pacing of health-goals, personal success and internalized self-acknowledgment, improved coping and solution- focus, improved self-esteem and self-acceptance.”

In the last nine years, MINDiet has developed its own working models and frameworks, diagnostic process, and triage system, which allows it to continuously monitor the physiological and psychological factors of all clients. It is able to have access to data such as lab results, blood pressure, body composition, and metabolic age. Having real time access to its client’s status allows the team at MINDiet to adjust their health behaviours throughout the programme. This means clients will be guided in a journey that is tailored specifically to ensure that they are on the right path towards reaching their health goals.

When the changes in lifestyle have been implemented for long enough, the body quickly starts to show signs of improvement. Roland adds, “Clients’ medical report indicates reduced inflammation, normalised blood pressure, improved metabolism, improved sleep, high compliance and adherence to – and often consequent cessation of – medication.”

MINDiet has been able to succeed in helping clients incorporate a heathy lifestyle thanks to its approach. The mind is a powerful tool, and MINDiet is able to show clients how capable they were to begin with. You could just be a decision away from changing your life – To find out more, check out MINDiet’s website and get in touch!

How to Make Sure AI Works for Your Business

By Pete Hanlon, CTO at MONEYPENNY

According to 2022 statistics from the government, there are 5.5 million SMEs in the UK making up 99% of the total business population. They are the backbone of a healthy economy and generate growth and employment opportunities.

AI has the potential to revolutionise how these SMEs operate. Pete Hanlon, Group CTO at Moneypenny, is an advocate of embracing AI technology to accelerate people, business and the technology itself. Below, he answers some of the burning questions surrounding the use of this game-changing technology:

How can AI help SMEs become more efficient?

There are many ways AI can help businesses of all shapes and sizes. It can help with everything from repetitive tasks, for example to predictive analytics, finding trends in noisy and complex data and pulling out those small nuggets of information that were previously hidden in the noise or analysing large amounts of data to identify anomalies, for example, in identifying fraud or security threats.
For SMEs, however, AI can be a powerful tool in customer experience. From using chatbots to provide a timely and seamless service to automated support tickets and order confirmations, AI can help to create a more efficient customer experience, driving growth and loyalty. Al can also be used to personalise the customer experiences by analysing customer behaviour, purchase history and preferences to improve your customer’s experience. In addition to this, SMEs can also use AI to help them to create the content, based on analysis of what performs best, like product descriptions.
Please note in all of this, that people are an essential component of checking the AI and in its potential.

Where should you start when considering introducing AI into the business?

You need to start by trying to understand where AI can have the most impact. Look for areas where your business is experiencing pain points around manual and repetitive tasks, where there are high error rates or where processes is too slow. 
Determine if your business has the necessary data and volume of data to support an AI based solution. Be clear on the business objective you’re trying to solve through AI, is it cost reduction, improved experience, or efficiency. 
Evaluate AI solutions to see if they can help with the pain points you identified. Once a solution has been identified create a plan with a clear set of success metrics and ensure your train and educate your teams on the new technology. Often introducing AI will be a big cultural shift for a business so it’s important that you take your people on the journey and explain how the technology will help.

Can AI really revolutionise how you do things?

When evaluating AI solutions, it easy to get caught up in the amazing things the technology can do but it’s also important to understand its limitations. First, review case studies of other businesses that have used the technology successfully and ideally talk to them about the challenges they faced. Ensure there are no regulatory issues impacting your use of the technology and understand your responsibilities in this space. Make sure you have a robust set of test criteria that you use to test how the technology works for edge cases. If your use of AI is complex, seek out expert advice that can give insight into the technology and ensure it’s right for you.

What role will AI play in the business of tomorrow?

It’s unclear where the AI journey will take us but what is clear is that businesses that adopt AI now will be best placed to take advantage of new capabilities as they are created. Businesses that are open to digital transformation and are agile enough to pivot and adapt as the technology evolves will benefit the most. AI will help businesses to be faster decision makers, more cost effective and more resilient to change.
It’s important to remember that if a business can’t afford the time and money to buy in AI, or other tech services, it could consider outsourcing to a company that provides this tech and knowledge.  For example, our Moneypenny products are tailored specifically to what a business needs and large number of our clients would never have access to this communication technology on their own, but we’re providing this access every day.

What impact will AI have on the security of my business and supply chain?

AI is already having a huge impact on business security and the supply chain. It is being used to improve threat detection, identifying potential security threats in real-time such as cyber-attacks and data security. Processing streams of data in real-time to identify and classify anomalies such as sensitive data being accessed that could indicate a security breach. Increasingly AI is being developed to pro-actively block inbound attacks and to learn during an attack so that it can better protect a business from a cyber threat.
AI is also being used to optimise the supply chain by providing real-time visibility and predictive analysis of inventory levels, shipments, and deliveries. Helping businesses to be lean while reducing the risk of running a just in time supply chain.

The ethics of AI: what do you need to do to have the right checks and balances in place?

It is important to take the time to reflect on the ethics and impact of AI to ensure that it benefits everyone. While it is easy to focus on the positive aspects of AI, it is equally important to consider unintended consequences that may arise. Ideally you should have a person or group within your company to oversee AI initiatives. This group should evaluate projects based on a set of principles, including transparency, privacy, fairness, and the potential for discrimination and bias. They will be responsible for ensuring that any AI initiatives align with the company’s values and expectations, and that relevant regulators are informed and give their approval for the project.

How do you find the sweet spot between people and tech?

You can find the AI sweet spot by identifying initiatives that help to remove repetitive and mundane tasks or help to supercharge your staff through efficiency gains and insight. If the AI is helping your people to work on more fulfilling tasks or they are performing their jobs at a higher level with the use of AI, you’ve nailed it.
At Moneypenny, AI and our people work hand in hand: we’re developing communications technologies including AI and deep learning technologies to increase the efficiency of our teams who handle calls, live chats and digital communications for thousands of companies in the UK and US, across multiple sectors.  For example, we’re working with tech giants including Microsoft, Nvidia, Twilio and Jabra to enhance the customer communication experience for both employees and clients.  Using the very latest technologies allows us to develop solutions that provide an understanding of intent and sentiment and can propose best actions for the PAs to use within live chat for example, for maximum efficiency. 
SMEs need to embrace the potential, and see the amazing places this technology could take us. The technology cannot get there without a vital missing component: people. And people cannot get there as efficiently without technology. People will accelerate the technology, and technology will accelerate the people, sending business on a sustainable growth trajectory whilst at the same time also doing better business.

Managing Your Canadian Payroll: How to Avoid Penalties and Fines – 2023 Guide

As an employer in Canada, managing your payroll accurately and efficiently is essential to ensure compliance with the country’s complex tax and labour laws.

Failing to meet your payroll obligations can lead to penalties and fines, potentially harming your business’s financial health and reputation. In this 2023 guide, we will provide valuable insights on how to avoid such penalties and fines, helping you to accurately perform Canada payroll.

Before delving into the details, it is crucial to have a solid understanding of your payroll obligations as an employer in Canada. These obligations include calculating and deducting payroll taxes, making the necessary contributions to government programs, remitting the deducted amounts to the appropriate authorities, and issuing accurate and timely pay statements to employees.

To avoid penalties and fines, it is crucial to ensure accurate payroll calculations. This includes calculating the correct deductions for income tax, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions, Employment Insurance (EI) premiums, and other applicable deductions. Utilizing reliable payroll software or engaging the services of a professional payroll provider can streamline this process and minimize the risk of errors.

Meeting tax reporting deadlines is vital to avoid penalties. Employers must file various tax forms, such as the T4 and T4A slips, to report employees’ income and deductions. These forms must be submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) by the designated deadlines. Being aware of these deadlines and having an efficient system in place to prepare and submit the required forms is essential.

Another critical aspect of managing your Canadian payroll is remitting the deductions withheld from employees’ wages to the appropriate authorities. These deductions include income tax, CPP contributions, and EI premiums. Failing to remit these amounts on time can result in penalties and interest charges. To avoid such penalties, it is crucial to stay up to date with remittance deadlines and promptly remit the deducted amounts.

In addition to tax obligations, employers must also comply with various labor standards to avoid penalties and fines. These standards encompass areas such as minimum wage requirements, vacation entitlements, statutory holidays, and overtime pay. Familiarize yourself with the labor standards specific to your province or territory to ensure full compliance.

Maintaining accurate payroll records is essential for both compliance and effective payroll management. Ensure you keep detailed records of employees’ wages, deductions, remittances, and any other payroll-related information. These records should be readily accessible and retained for the prescribed period, typically six years. Accurate and well-organized records will help you respond to any inquiries from tax authorities and ensure compliance during audits.

Managing your Canadian payroll effectively is crucial to avoid penalties and fines. By understanding your payroll obligations, accurately calculating deductions, meeting tax reporting deadlines, remitting deductions promptly, complying with labour standards, and maintaining accurate records, you can minimize the risk of penalties and fines. Stay updated on the latest regulations and consider utilizing payroll software or professional services to streamline your payroll processes.

The Dos and Don’ts of Interacting with Insurance Companies After a Personal Injury

Law theme, mallet of the judge, law enforcement officers, evidence-based cases, and documents taken into account.

Personal injury accidents can be a traumatic experience for anyone involved. From car accidents to slip and falls, the emotional, physical, and financial strain can be overwhelming.

In such circumstances, many individuals turn to their insurance companies for assistance. However, dealing with insurance companies can be tricky, and one must know the dos and don’ts to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve. Dealing with insurance companies can be overwhelming, especially when you’re recovering from injuries sustained in an accident. Hiring a Beverly Hills personal injury attorney can help ease the burden and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. An attorney can handle negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf, ensuring that you receive a fair settlement.

DO Contact Your Insurance Company Immediately After the Accident

The first and most crucial step after a personal injury accident is to contact your insurance company. Doing so will allow them to start investigating the incident and start processing your claim. You should provide them with accurate and detailed information about the accident, including any injuries you sustained, the date and time of the accident, and the names and contact information of any witnesses.

DON’T Give a Recorded Statement Without Consulting a Personal Injury Attorney

While it may seem like a good idea to provide a recorded statement to your insurance company, it’s advisable to avoid doing so without consulting with a personal injury attorney first. Your words may be used against you later, and the insurance adjuster may try to manipulate your words to diminish or deny your claim.

DO Document Everything

Documentation is essential when it comes to personal injury claims. Make sure to keep track of all medical bills, doctor’s appointments, and other expenses related to the accident. Additionally, take photos of any damages or injuries sustained, as well as the accident scene. This documentation will help strengthen your case and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

DON’T Accept the First Offer

Insurance companies may try to offer a quick settlement to close the case as soon as possible. However, the first offer may not always be the best offer. Before accepting any settlement offer, consult with a personal injury attorney to ensure that the offer is reasonable and fair.

DO Seek Medical Attention

Even if you don’t think your injuries are severe, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately after an accident. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and delaying treatment can worsen your condition. Additionally, seeing a doctor will provide you with documented evidence of your injuries and will help strengthen your claim.

DON’T Sign Any Documents Without Consulting with an Attorney

Before signing any documents, read them carefully and make sure you understand what you are agreeing to. If you have any doubts, it’s best to consult with a personal injury attorney before signing. Insurance companies may try to include clauses that can limit your ability to pursue further compensation, so it’s essential to have an attorney review the documents before signing.

In conclusion, dealing with insurance companies after a personal injury accident can be a challenging task. However, by following these dos and don’ts, you can ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Mortgage barriers very high for first-time buyers

Getting a mortgage can be a prerequisite for most people who want to own a home. However, young people in 2023 face considerable barriers when it comes to getting approved for their first mortgage.

Only 28% of young people (aged between 25-34) own a home. This is a huge drop from the previous generation, as 51% of people in the same age range owned a home in 1989. This article looks at the most common barriers young people face to getting approved for a mortgage. 

Relying on High-Street Lenders

In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic led to financial disruption for most people, with huge waves of firings. This has led to many people having missed payments or long periods of unemployment on their record. They may also have limited or bad credit histories. 

“This means an increasing number of borrowers are struggling to get regular finance or loans from high-street lenders because they are failing to meet the strict criteria many lenders have,” explains Gavin Cooper of finance watchdog, Claims Bible.

“However high-street lenders are far from the only option for borrowers in 2023. Plenty of reputable online lenders are willing to overlook limited credit histories, instead focusing on borrowers’ current situations and current ability to meet monthly payments.” 

Saving For a Deposit

The average price of a house in the UK in January 2023 was £258,297. Most lenders require a deposit of around 25% of the total asking price. This means that first time buyers will need an absolute minimum of £64,574.25 in the bank to buy their first home before adding legal fees and stamp duty.

In the current cost of living crisis, as energy bills, rent, and groceries soar in price, young people are struggling to save enough for such a huge deposit. They have less disposable income to put aside, as a growing chunk of their salaries are being spent on basic necessities. 

56% of first-time buyers aged under 35 years old have received financial support from family to help them onto the housing ladder. This money comes from their parents and grandparents who have had more time to save up, and are able to gift deposits or interest-free loans.

Many families are even choosing to remortgage their homes as a growing number of people have recently become asset rich due to the increasing value of property in the previous years. Families often opt for second charge mortgages. These are great options for people who can afford to make monthly repayments on another loan on top of their mortgages.

Disinterest In Shared Ownership

With shared ownership, first-time buyers can take out a mortgage on a percentage of a home. A housing association would own the remainder of the property. Because this percentage is smaller, it means the deposit and loan will also be smaller, making it easier for first-time buyers to take their first steps onto the property ladder.

This means homeowners can start building up equity in the percentage of the property they own. However, they will have to pay rent on the non-mortgaged part of the property alongside their monthly mortgage payments, which can often cost as much as (or more than) the monthly cost of paying off a full mortgage. 

Borrowers have the option to increase the percentage of their ownership up to 100% through ‘Staircasing’, which refers to the process of buying an additional percentage of a shared ownership property. The value of the remaining percentage fluctuates with the current market, meaning it could be cheaper or more expensive depending on the present situation. 

Lack of Knowledge About Grants

In March 2023, the Government’s Help to Buy scheme reached its conclusion. This has led to many first-time buyers believing that there are no other support options from the Government that they can take. However many more options exist such as LISAs (Lifetime ISAs) and the Government’s First Homes scheme.

The First Homes scheme allows buyers to purchase newly built homes for 30% to 50% less than that property’s market value. To qualify for this scheme you must be a first-time buyer aged 18 and over, and your income must not exceed £80,000 per year (or £90,000 for Londoners). 

How to Improve your Chances of Being Eligible for a Claim

You have a chance to claim back hundreds or even thousands of pounds if you have ever been overcharged or mis-sold financial products. 

A good example of this, and one of the most famous claims on record, was the PPI scandal. This resulted in £38 billion of claims returned to customers who were mis-sold PPI. In this article, we provide some insight into ways in which you can maximize your chance of being eligible for a claim.

Gavin Cooper, the founder of Claims Bible, explains “it’s important to find a good claims partner to work with.”

“A good start is to see if they have a success rate, and a good estimate for how long they think the claims process will take.”

“Some firms help clients obtain any documents and evidence they might need, including evidence to support their claims, based on just a few details. Others might ask you for more information. If this is something you need, check with your claims partner beforehand.”

“Be sure to check whether your claims partner provides clear information about the claims process.”

There are many reasons that a claim can and should be made. One of the most common reasons to make a claim is personal injury that was not the fault of the claimant. If this injury impacts the claimant financially (for example, the injury prevents them from working), and occurred within the last three years, then they can qualify for a claim.

Another common reason for claims is mis-sold loans. A loan may be considered to be mis-sold for a wide variety of reasons. These include:

  • If the customer was misled by unclear, ambiguous wording
  • If the customer was pressured into taking out loans that they cannot afford, or pressured into purchasing unnecessary add-ons
  • Lack of transparency, i.e. when a loan provider neglects to explain clearly the fees, total costs, and interest rates attached to a product
  • If the customer was sold a product that they were ineligible for. This can include being sold products restricted by age, residency, or employment status. A good example of this is a loan being sold to people who are currently bankrupt.

These kinds of issues can be seen in many different types of loans, such as payday loans, logbook loans, and short-term loans. Anyone who was mis-sold a loan for the above reasons is eligible to make a claim. 

Another common reason that individuals file claims is over mis-sold catalogue credit. This is the type of scenario whereby a shop uses a ‘Shop Now, Pay Later’ scheme without carrying out the necessary affordability checks. When this occurs, customers are entitled to claim back the interest charges that they incurred.

The documentation needed for any claim will depend on your claims partner, and the reason that you are making a claim. Some firms are able to work from minimal evidence and look for the documents on your behalf, while others may need more information. Generally, the documents that you may be asked for include:

  • Bank Statements
  • Credit History
  • The original finance agreement
  • Personal details and proof of address
  • Documentation about key events and dates
  • Proof that you have tried to resolve the dispute prior to making the claim

It is important that you check whether these documents should be delivered digitally or printed.

It is important that you ensure that your claims partner is being fully transparent about any fees or hidden charges. Many claims partners will offer to take your case on a “no win no fee” basis. This means that if you are unsuccessful with your claim, you will not have to pay a contingency fee. This is usually clearly advertised by the partner.

5 Ways to Save Money on Car Finance

It is estimated that around 90% of people purchase a new car on finance such as PCP. However the rates that you pay every month are dependent on a number of factors. In fact, two people that buy the same car at the same dealership at the same time often come out with two different prices.  

From buying at the right time or negotiation hard at the dealership, there are many ways that you can save when purchasing a car. In this article, we list X ways to save money on car finance.

When you arrive at the dealership, be prepared to use negotiation skills to get a price that is best suited for you. You can use the below negotiation tactics to find yourself the best deal available:

  • Reject the first offer that you are given
  • Start at a much lower price point than the one that is advertised for the car
  • Don’t be afraid to walk if you are unable to get the right price for you
  • Speak to multiple staff at the dealership
  • Visit more than one dealership to find the best price
  • Bring in offers from competitors, advertisements, and magazines

“Car dealers have particular targets that they need to meet each quarter,” explains Gavin Cooper, the founder of who have seen a huge surge in mis-sold car finance in the last year.

“It is therefore advantageous to buy a new car closer to the end of these target periods because the dealership will be more likely to slash prices and offer you a better deal”.

“Based on quarterly sales, the best times to buy are at the end of March, June, September and December. Not only can prices be cheaper during these periods, but they may offer large deposit contributions on their models.”

Similarly, it is important to try and avoid busy periods such as peak summertime where people are looking to buy convertibles or perhaps wanting to buy cars as a reward for their children’s exam results or college journeys.

Ensure that you are looking for a new car during quieter periods of the year, where bargains will be easier to find and negotiations for better prices may go more smoothly. 

Pre-reg cars can provide opportunity for a real bargain, and can come with a discount of up to 70%, because these are vehicles that are purchased up to 6 months before by the car dealership so that they can hit a particular target.

Despite being brand new, these vehicles are classified as used, since they have technically already had an owner. Better still, the car dealer has already hit their sales target, so you can drive an ever harder bargain on these cars. 

Like the vehicles used for test driving, or those used in showrooms, pre-reg cars are brand new, but are cheaper because they are not out of the box. Dealers will be looking to sell these as quickly as possible, so you are in a good position when you begin to negotiate.

Generally, the better your overall credit score, the better rates that you should receive on a car loan. This is predicated on the idea that you are considered to be at a lower risk of default because you have successfully repaid other types of credit on time in the past.

Of course, credit score is not the only factor in the rate that you will receive. Income and affordability will also play a part. Even if you have a good credit score, you may be limited if you have a considerable mortgage, several other cars, and other sources of debt.

For young people who have no credit or little credit histories, and for those who have bad credit histories, there are a few things that you can do to improve your credit score in the short-term, such as joining the electoral register and canceling any small credit cards that you do not use.

In the long-term, you can improve your credit score in a number of ways. These methods can include consolidating and paying off any debts and using a credit builder credit cards to build your score.

8 Best Ways to Save for Your Retirement!

Are you in your 50s and starting to think about retirement? You’re not alone! Saving for retirement in your 50s can be daunting for many people like you. It’s never too early or too late to start saving for your future. But with so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin.

That’s why this post puts together 8 of the best ways to save for retirement in your 50s. Check them out!

8 Best Ways to Save for Retirement in Your 50s

Whether you are starting out or have been saving for years, these 8 tips will help you make the most of your retirement savings. So, let’s dive in and explore the options!

  1. Establish a Health Savings Account (HSA)

An HSA is a type of tax-advantaged savings account that can be used to cover certain kinds of medical costs. In order to make contributions to an HSA and benefit from the tax advantages, you must be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP).

Your HSA contributions are tax-deductible, and your gains grow tax-free. In addition, withdrawals for legitimate medical costs are tax-free. You can lower your medical expenses and have more money to put towards retirement savings by making an HSA contribution.

What is Self Directed 401K or Solo 401(k) Plan?

  1. Obtain Money From Other Sources Apart From Investments

While investing is integral to retirement savings, it’s not the only option. There are other ways to obtain the money that can be used to save for retirement. For example, you can sell assets you no longer need or want, such as a second home or a boat.

And why only think about how to save for retirement at 50? You can also consider earning additional income through a part-time job or side hustle that can be put toward retirement savings.

  1. Take Part in 401(k) and Other Retirement Plans Offered by Your Employer

If your employer offers 401(k) options and other retirement plans, take advantage of it. These plans allow you to save money for retirement on a tax-deferred basis, meaning you won’t pay taxes on the money until you withdraw it in retirement.

Some employers even offer a matching contribution, which is essentially free money. Be sure to contribute enough to take advantage of the full match. If you’re self-employed, you can set up a solo 401(k) or a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan.

  1. Set Sensible Objectives

When it comes to saving for retirement in your 50s, setting sensible objectives is critical. You need a clear idea of how much money you need and how much you can realistically save each year. You may need to adjust your retirement timeline or lifestyle to achieve your goals. Don’t forget to factor in the following when setting your objectives:-

  • Inflation
  • Healthcare costs
  • Potential market fluctuations
  • Any retirement benefits you will receive from social security or a pension plan
  1. Clear Your Mortgage

One of the biggest expenses for most people is their mortgage. If you are still carrying a mortgage into your 50s and beyond, it’s time to think about paying it off. Not only will you save thousands of dollars in interest, but you’ll also free up more money for retirement savings.

Imagine how much more you could save each month if you didn’t have a mortgage payment hanging over your head!

  1. Maximize Your Social Security Benefits

Social Security can be a major source of retirement income for many people. But did you know that you can maximize your benefits by delaying your claim? Every year you delay claiming Social Security, your benefit will increase by around 8%.

So if you can afford to hold off on claiming until age 70, you’ll receive a much larger monthly benefit than if you claim at 62.

  1. Utilize the Catch-up Contributions

One of the best ways to save for retirement in your 50s is to make catch-up contributions to your retirement accounts. This means you can contribute more than the standard limit and make up for the lost time.

For instance, the maximum amount a younger worker can add to 401(k) is $22,500, and for IRA, it’s $6,500 starting in 2023. However, if you’re 50 and above, you can contribute up to $30,000 in 401(k) and up to $7,500 in IRA.

  1. Consult a Professional

Finally, it’s always a good idea to consult a financial professional regarding your retirement planning. A professional can help you create a personalized plan based on your unique situation and goals.

They can also help you navigate the complex world of retirement accounts, tax laws, and investment options. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – it’s a smart move that can pay off in the long run.

In conclusion, saving for retirement in your 50s may seem daunting, but there are plenty of strategies you can use to help secure your financial future. You can work longer, downsize your lifestyle, or invest in a mix of stocks and bonds. With a little bit of effort and discipline, you can set yourself up for a comfortable retirement and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Author Bio

Rick Pendykoski is the owner of Self Directed Retirement Plans LLC, a retirement planning firm based in Goodyear, AZ. He has over three decades of experience working with investments and retirement planning. Over the last 10 years, he has turned his focus to self-directed accounts and alternative investments.

How Debt Impacts Climate Disasters

Most of the countries that are vulnerable to climate disasters are also struggling with debt, which is making it harder for them to respond effectively to climate-related emergencies. This was revealed in a new report by international charity ActionAid, which said that 93% of countries in the Global South that are most affected by global warming are under significant debt distress. 

Of the 63 most climate-vulnerable countries, only four are at low risk of debt distress, while nine are already reeling under debt distress, including Somalia, Malawi, and Mozambique. The report highlights the urgent need for developed countries and international financial institutions to provide financial support and debt relief to climate-vulnerable countries to enable them to build resilience and adapt to the worsening impacts of climate change.

What Is The Environmental Cost of Debt?

The report, which was released during the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meetings, disclosed that 38 of the 63 most climate-vulnerable countries are cutting back on essential public services to service their debt. 

The situation is further exacerbated by the fact that these countries are forced to repay their debts in foreign currencies, mainly US dollars, which compels them to invest in extractive industries like fossil fuels and large-scale industrial agriculture, exacerbating environmental degradation and worsening climate change impacts.

According to the report, the debt crisis and climate crisis are inextricably linked, creating a vicious cycle that traps vulnerable countries in a downward spiral. David Archer, ActionAid International’s head of programmes and influencing, warned that urgent debt cancellation for climate-vulnerable countries and a radical transformation of global debt management is needed to address this pressing crisis. 

The report also called for immediate action from international financial institutions to make finances available to poor countries facing increasing pressure due to the climate crisis.

What Is An Example of the Climate Impact of Debt?

The report cited Malawi, which recently suffered the brunt of cyclone Freddy, displacing over half a million people and causing widespread destruction, as an example of a nation weighed down by debt. The country’s government is being forced to allocate limited resources to repay old loans, leaving it ill-equipped to rebuild and recover from cyclone Freddy. 

The situation is similar in Ghana, which defaulted on its $28.4bn external debt in December. The country is forced to spend more on debt servicing than on education and health, perpetuating a destructive cycle where the country lacks the necessary resources to invest in climate adaptation, resilience, and disaster preparedness.

John Nkaw, country director at ActionAid Ghana, stated that the country needs about 60% of its debt canceled if it is to return to a path of sustainability. He added that if they are free of debt, Ghana would be able to strengthen small and medium-sized businesses, invest in renewable sources of energy, smallholder farmers, and agroecology. However, these choices are not an option at present. 

The report also revealed that 42 other African countries are at high risk of debt distress due to the impacts of climate change and other factors. These countries face a vicious cycle where they are forced to spend more on debt servicing, leaving fewer resources to invest in climate adaptation, resilience, and disaster preparedness.

Small Businesses at Risk: 630,000 Microbusinesses Could Close This Year

The COVID-19 pandemic and recent financial turbulence has significantly impacted small businesses, leading to a challenging economic environment. This impact is hitting microbusinesses hardest. These are businesses with 10 employees or fewer. 

Micro businesses represent 96% of all businesses in the private sector in the UK. A recent report reveals that nearly 630,000 UK microbusinesses fear they will have to close down due to rising costs, with the cost of living crisis being the most significant challenge faced.  

What Happens if Micro Businesses Close?

The report highlights that if the 12% of micro businesses under threat actually do close, it would wipe £12bn from the economy. 

“Microbusinesses play a vital role in the economy, and their closure can have significant consequences,” explains Mike Needham from finance startup, Doddler

“They are active employers, and their closure could lead to significant job losses. Additionally, microbusinesses often operate in niche markets, providing goods and services that are not offered by larger corporations. When micro businesses close, it reduces competition, which can lead to increased prices and reduced consumer choice.”

“Micro businesses are also often an essential part of the local community, providing goods and services that meet local needs. When small businesses close, it can lead to a reduction in community cohesion and have a negative impact on the quality of life in the area. Therefore, it is crucial to support microbusinesses, particularly during challenging times, to ensure their long-term viability and success.”

Who Is Most At Risk?

A worrying finding of the study is that the cost of living crisis is disproportionately affecting micro businesses owned by racial minorities such as Black and Asian people. This highlights the need for more equitable policies and support.

Racial minority business owners may be struggling more due to a variety of systemic and social factors. One significant factor is discrimination, which can limit opportunities for racial minorities in various ways such as difficulty accessing financing, lack of access to resources, lack of mentors who understand their unique struggles, and lower levels of trust from potential customers.

The impact of the cost of living crisis on microbusinesses is also significant, with over three-quarters of owners stating that it is the most significant challenge they have ever faced, with the price of energy being the biggest single concern. 

What Can Be Done?

The report notes that only 42% of micro business owners are seeking support in the form of tax incentives and broader business support, including technical assistance for business development and digital strategy. Only a fifth of micro business owners believe the government is doing enough to support them.

The report’s findings indicate a need for more substantial support from the government to help micro businesses survive in this challenging economic climate. The cost of living crisis has made it challenging for small businesses to cover essential expenses, including rent, utilities, and supplies. 

The UK government has pledged to provide support to businesses struggling with energy bills by providing billions of pounds in support. However, it remains to be seen whether this support will be sufficient to prevent the closure of many micro businesses. 

Revamping Your Home: A Guide to a Successful Interior Design Project

Embarking on an interior home design project journey can be both exhilarating and challenging. Done correctly, it’s an excellent way to breathe new life into your living space, transforming it to match your evolving needs and tastes. Whether you’re aiming to create a more comfortable and functional environment for your family or to boost your property’s appeal for a prospective sale, this guide is designed to equip you with crucial insights and practical tips.

Over the next few sections, we’ll delve into the strategic aspects of planning and executing a successful design project. From understanding the inherent value of home interior design projects to budgeting and choosing the right professionals, we aim to provide a comprehensive road map to navigate your home transformation journey.

Understanding the Value of Interior Design

Interior design can serve a dual purpose. Firstly, they can substantially enhance your everyday living experience, creating spaces that reflect your personal style and cater to your lifestyle needs. Secondly, they can significantly increase your property’s market value, making it an attractive proposition if you decide to sell. Strategic improvements such as updating your kitchen, adding an extension, or enhancing energy efficiency can yield high returns on investment. However, beyond these quantifiable gains, interior design projects can transform your house into a home that you truly love and enjoy living in. This intrinsic value – the joy, comfort, and satisfaction derived from a well-designed home – is priceless and should be a key consideration when planning your renovation project.

Setting Clear Goals for Your Interior Design Project

The first step in any successful project is setting clear, well-defined goals. This crucial stage involves determining why you’re changing up the interior and what you hope to achieve. Are you looking to improve your quality of life by creating a more comfortable and functional space? Or are you aiming to increase the resale value of your property? These goals will directly influence your design decisions, material choices, and budget allocation. If selling your property is the primary aim, then it’s important to focus on interior design projects that appeal to a broad range of buyers, such as updated kitchens and bathrooms. However, if the renovation is for personal enjoyment, your preferences and lifestyle should take centre stage. By identifying your interior design project goals early on, you can ensure a more streamlined, effective planning and execution process.

Building Your Design Budget: What to Consider

Establishing a realistic budget is an essential component of any successful design project. This involves considering all potential costs, from materials and labour to permits and even a contingency fund for unforeseen expenses. When budgeting, it’s important to balance your desires with your financial capabilities to avoid overextending yourself. Be sure to seek quotes from several contractors to ensure you’re getting a fair deal. But remember, the cheapest quote isn’t always the best choice. Consider factors such as the contractor’s reputation, quality of work, and warranty provided. Additionally, keep in mind that while certain interior home projects might require a larger upfront investment, they can lead to long-term savings, like energy-efficient upgrades. LED lights not only save money, they can also suit your designs, too! A well-planned budget will help keep your project on track, prevent cost overruns, and ensure you achieve the maximum value from your renovation.

Choosing the Right Professionals for Your Renovation

A key determinant of your interior design project’s success is the team of professionals you choose to bring your vision to life. Depending on the scale and complexity of your project, you might need a variety of experts, from builders and electricians to plumbers and architects. Hiring an architect, in particular, can provide invaluable expertise in the design phase, helping to maximise space, enhance functionality, and ensure your interior design project aligns with regulations. When selecting professionals, consider their experience, reputation, and previous work quality. Don’t just settle for the lowest quote; remember, a well-executed renovation is an investment that can significantly increase your home’s value. It’s crucial to ensure you have a good rapport with your team, as clear communication will be key throughout the project. Lastly, always check for appropriate licensing and insurance to safeguard your investment.

Balancing Aesthetics and Functionality

Designing the ideal interior of your home involves striking a balance between aesthetics and functionality. While it’s important to incorporate design trends and personal style preferences, these should never compromise the overall practicality and liveability of your space. Start by considering how you and your family use each room. What layout will facilitate movement and activities? What storage solutions will help keep clutter at bay? Once these functional elements are in place, you can start thinking about aesthetics. Choose colour schemes, finishes, and fixtures that reflect your personal style and create a cohesive look throughout your home. Ultimately, the best interior design techniques are those that seamlessly merge the practical with the beautiful, creating a home that’s not only visually appealing but also truly liveable.

Maximising Space with Clever Interior Design Techniques

Optimising space should be a top priority. This is particularly relevant in the UK, where many homes, especially period properties, may have smaller rooms or awkward layouts. By removing non-structural walls, you can create a sense of spaciousness and improve flow between rooms. Multi-functional furniture, such as ottomans with storage or wall beds, can also help utilise space efficiently. Additionally, smart storage solutions like built-in wardrobes, under-stair storage, or custom cabinetry can keep clutter at bay and make rooms feel larger. Don’t forget the power of illusion – using mirrors, light colours, and strategic lighting can give the impression of a larger space. Lastly, extending upwards or outwards, with a loft conversion or extension, can provide valuable extra space, although planning permission may be required. With careful planning and creative design, even the smallest home can feel spacious and comfortable.

Final Thoughts

Embarking on a home interior design project is a journey filled with creativity, strategic planning, and decision-making. It’s an opportunity to transform your living space into a reflection of your style and needs, while potentially increasing your property’s value. From setting clear goals and building a realistic budget to choosing the right professionals and balancing aesthetics with functionality, each step plays a crucial role in the success of your project. Remember, the key is to maximise your space smartly and create a home that’s not just visually appealing, but also comfortable and functional. Your home is not just a property; it’s a space where memories are created and lives are lived. By investing time and effort into thoughtful renovations, you’re investing in the quality of your life.

What Is A Jumbo Loan & Will It Work For You?

Conventional mortgages may not suffice when it comes to purchasing expensive properties, which is where jumbo loans become relevant. They serve as an ideal choice for homebuyers who desire to acquire high-value estates that exceed conventional loan limits.

Opting for a jumbo loan can be a prudent decision that might result in significant cost savings if you search the market for costly real estate investments. Nevertheless, bear in mind that there are specific aspects of jumbo loans distinguishing them from typical mortgages. Here are some key factors worth noting.

What is a Jumbo Loan?

A jumbo loan is a specific type of mortgage that’s tailored for buying high-priced properties, which are often beyond the limits of conventional loans. These types of loans can be used to purchase luxurious single-family homes, multi-unit dwellings and other opulent real estate ventures.

One significant advantage of opting for a jumbo loan is that it allows borrowers to acquire premium property without having to exhaust their savings or dispose assets in order to do so. If you’re contemplating taking out this form of financing, here are some essential points worth considering beforehand.

Higher Loan Limits

Jumbo loans differ from traditional mortgages by their higher loan limits. This is why many may choose a larger jumbo home loan instead of a conventional mortgage. Looking to buy a luxurious home in an elite neighbourhood with property values beyond traditional loan limits? Jumbo loans are the solution.

In fact, jumbo loans can be an exceptional option for buyers who want to invest in luxurious properties without sacrificing quality or location. With ample financing options and flexibility, choosing a jumbo loan means unlocking opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be available through traditional lending channels.

Jumbo Loans Often Come with Stricter Requirements

Jumbo loans offer an incredible opportunity for those seeking to finance their luxurious home purchase. However, it’s crucial to note that these loans often come with more rigorous requirements than conventional loans due to the substantial amount of money being lent by lenders and the associated risks. But fear not! If you have a high credit score and a proven track record of financial responsibility, obtaining approval for a jumbo loan shouldn’t pose any challenges.

In essence, jumbo loans are tailored for individuals looking to acquire exclusive properties beyond the limits set forth by traditional lending methods. With this in mind, securing a jumbo loan could be one of the wisest decisions you’ll ever make when it comes to buying your dream property.

Higher Interest Rates

It is essential to emphasize that jumbo loans generally entail more substantial interest rates compared to standard mortgages. Nevertheless, this rise in interest rates frequently compensates for the advantages associated with jumbo loans such as expanded loan limits and increased flexibility. If you are pondering about acquiring a jumbo loan, it is crucial to assess the probable long-term expenses and benefits of this financing alternative so that you can make a well-informed decision.

Work with a Reputable Lender

If you are in the market for a grandiose home purchase and considering a jumbo loan, it is imperative that you partner with an esteemed lender. Keep in mind that not all lenders possess equal expertise when it comes to handling jumbo loans. It’s important to seek out a seasoned lender who has considerable experience navigating the complex world of jumbo loans, and can provide bespoke solutions tailored specifically to meet your unique financial requirements.

You should not allow the intimidating interest rates linked to jumbo loans to discourage you from considering this funding alternative for buying your ideal home. A reliable lender will be by your side throughout the entire process, guaranteeing that you are content with the loan conditions and providing guidance in fulfilling any prerequisites.


It is imperative to note that jumbo loans may initially appear intimidating due to their elevated interest rates and more stringent requirements. Nevertheless, if you possess an unwavering determination to acquire a lavish estate beyond the confines of conventional lending options, then pursuing a jumbo loan should unquestionably be on your radar.

Collaborating with an esteemed lender who possesses in-depth knowledge regarding the intricacies of this type of financing can prove instrumental in ensuring an effortless and successful funding journey. It is highly advisable that you thoroughly explore all potential financial alternatives while also seeking expert advice so as to make informed decisions based on your specific fiscal circumstances.

What Is The MEA Market and How To Navigate it

For the studious, dedicated financial guru, it behoves to stay abreast of all the potential endeavours one can pursue. Take any reputable trading platform, for example. They will often open the window to all sorts of markets including the US, UK, and EU shares. One area that is sometimes overlooked by many is the MEA markets.

Through them, you can add a significant profit margin to your trading ROI. To that end, this article is here to bullet-point the basics to give you a greater idea of how to get started.

What Is The MEA Market?

The MEA market is the Middle Eastern and African markets, and they are predicted to reach a compound annual growth rate of 7.6% by 2027, which is double what it is worth in 2023. That’s why it is a good ground, where you can get into a lift.

Purchasers in these regions are changing to contactless and otherwise electronic payments more and more, and moving away from the standard use of cash. Thus, the prevalence of how they make their purchases is shifting. Of course, this is down to technology growing in prevalence. The use of smartphones has exploded and become fundamental for survival, as has the internet.

COVID-19 was another part of this. These secure, rapid trading processes, modes of trading such as Bitcoin, QR codes, and biometrics became used more widely in these regions. Equally, telco-led virtual cash and the rapid growth of automation have led to this shift, which took place over two decades.

How To Navigate the MEA Markets

There are a number of reputable companies in multiple industries that are doing great work in 2023 and will continue in the long term. An African Commerce firm operating in the B2B sector (Marketforce) managed to get 40 million USD in a fundraising campaign to expand its workforce for the distribution of digital finance products in Africa. As a forerunning example, this is a solid place to begin. And there are others.

As for the Middle Eastern regions, there is a whole plethora of stock markets that have rising and falling figures. Using your expert skills as a trader of versatile industries, you can use this information to diversify your trading strategies.

But one of the best ways to manage, plan, and structure your trading endeavours is to find a great trading platform like Equiti. This way, you will be able to see your investments, clients, and transactions first hand. Transparency is key, as it increases accountability and allows you to assign trading tasks accordingly.


All in all, the MEA regions are fruitful, versatile markets with a lot of potential. Not just now either. The use of contactless payments and cashless systems (not to mention the rise of Bitcoin) is only going to grow exponentially from now until 2027/28. After that, all bets are off. It could become just as useful as the US, EU and UK marketplaces.

Young middle eastern woman shop assistant using touchpad working at clothing store

Australia’s Interest Rate Hike: The Impact On Real Estate And The Surprising Resilience Of Car Loans

In December of 2022, Australia’s annual inflation peaked at 8.4%, falling to 7.4% in January and 6.8% in February. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), which has the ability to manipulate rates to keep inflation within a target of 2% to 3%, left its benchmark interest unchanged at 3.60% for the first time in 11 meetings in early April. At the time, RBA’s governor, Philip Lowe, said that the bank forecasted inflation to return to target and that continuing to tighten monetary policy might be necessary. Holding interest rates steady would give the Reserve Bank of Australia more time to monitor and assess the state of the economy in the nation amidst significant uncertainty.

This move came amid growing evidence that the combination of several factors, including higher interest rates, cost-of-living pressures, and a decline in housing prices is contributing to a substantial slowdown in household spending. In an April press conference, Finance Minister Katy Gallagher acknowledged that Australia’s inflation is the “key challenge in the economy” and, therefore, “getting back to target range is a priority.” According to Gallagher, the main focus would be to make decisions that would not worsen the inflation problem. Amid the crisis, opposition treasury spokesman Angus Taylor urged the government not to increase taxes to avoid deepening the burden of the mounting cost-of-living pressures.

On the second of May, however, the Reserve Bank Board lifted the official cash rate from 3.6% to 3.85%. Lowe cited the importance of returning inflation to target within a reasonable timeframe as the driving factor for this surprising decision.

So what is triggering inflation? What has been the impact of hiking interest rates on the cost of living and real estate in Australia? And what is the reason behind the surprising resilience of car loans amidst economic uncertainty? Let’s discuss.

The factors triggering the rising inflation rates in Australia

Experts point out a combination of factors, including the recovery from the worldwide recession sparked by numerous COVID-19 lockdowns. Amid the unprecedented health crisis, the government supported businesses and helped to keep Australians employed through emergency stimulus packages such as the JobKeeper payments. In addition, programs like HomeBuilder aided a range of initiatives focused on the residential construction sector.

According to experts like economist Saul Eslake, inflationary shocks are being felt more deeply because prices had a downward tendency in the twenty years prior to the pandemic. During the lockdowns, prices began to increase as people were spending more on high-end products such as entertainment equipment, fitness machines, and cars. Simultaneously, lockdowns led to the closing down of factories, which in turn caused supply shortages. And, because many ships were no longer operating, shipping costs boomed by 400%.

The Russia/Ukraine war has also had an enormous impact on the global energy and commodity markets. After all, Russia is the second-largest gas supplier
and the third-largest oil supplier. The country is also a key producer of various metals such as copper, aluminium, platinum, nickel, palladium, and titration. Both Russia and Ukraine produce massive quantities of cereal, wheat, and oilseeds. Losing all or part of this supply significantly spikes prices.

What’s more, research from the Australia Institute shows that big businesses’ profits account for 69% of the inflation which is above the RBA’s
target range of 2-3%. This contradicts the belief that workers’ wages are a significant driving factor of the nation’s inflation rate.

Other factors like extreme weather events (floodings, heavy rain, and droughts) prompted by climate change across the globe have also affected agriculture, pushing up freight costs and contributing to inflation.

The cost-of-living pressures faced by Australian homes and businesses

The cost of living has a great impact on personal finances as it measures how much money an individual needs to buy necessary items. Economists determine how much it costs to live somewhere by taking into consideration various metrics such as the cost of buying basic necessities (food, shelter, and clothing), whether people can afford them, and how cost changes impact different demographics.

In Australia, the cost of living is the amount of money needed to cover food, housing, transportation, healthcare, utilities, and taxes. These expenses tend to fluctuate depending on a time period or regional area. While it is challenging to determine the cost of living in Australia, the database Expatistan estimated that an individual would need $3,799 per month to get by, making it one of the most expensive places to live in the world.

With the inflation rise in 2022, the cost of living has exponentially soared, impacting Australians in several areas of their lives. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) of food and non-alcoholic beverages, which was at 3.5% in December of 2021, rose to 7.8% a year later, making it difficult for some Australians to afford the usual grocery shop basket. Similarly, the CPI of clothing and footwear rose from -0.3% in 2021 to 5.3% in December 2022. Alcohol, tobacco, communication, recreation, education, insurance, financial services, furnishing, and household equipment services are much more expensive right now.

For Australians, home-related costs are the most draining item in their bank accounts. Fluctuating CPIs can have a substantial impact on rent, mortgage payments, house prices, premium home insurance packages, and utilities like electricity, water, and the internet. Those who spend more than 30% of their income on house-related expenses are considered to be  under “housing stress”.

Opinion polls and surveys show that, in general, cost-of-living pressures have climbed to the number one spot in the national worry list. In late December of 2022, the Resolve Political Monitor (RPM) revealed that voters ranked “keeping the cost of living low” as the top monetary policy followed by tackling climate change. Resolve director Jim Reed said that some Australians, “especially those on fixed incomes, are now telling us that they are having to make tough choices about what essentials to spend their money on, like food or utilities.”

Yet another poll, the March 2023 Ipsos Issues Monitor, which asks participants to identify three main challenges facing the country, showed that the number one concern for 62% of people is the cost of living, followed by the cost of housing (36%), the economy (34%) and healthcare (31%).

What about businesses? While some of Australia’s largest companies like Woolworths, Woodside, and Qantas are thriving, many other businesses are struggling. Cost-of-living pressures mean that consumers have a weaker purchasing power and, as a result, businesses will see lower profit margins. In addition, the increase in energy and material prices, translates into higher operating costs and hiking interest rates causing the rising cost of credit. The construction industry, for example, saw company collapses jumping by 28% due to rising building costs and supply issues.

The impact of the interest rate hikes on real estate in Australia

The Reserve Bank’s aggressive rate-hiking measure has affected real estate in Australia, triggering the greatest decline in over four decades. This new slide exceeds both the previous record-breaking decline that occurred from 2017 to 2019 and the downturn triggered by the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2008. Housing prices in Sydney have led this recent nosedive, dropping 13% from their highest mark. Brisbane prices also tanked 10% followed by Melbourne at 8.6%.

The aggressive monetary policy has hit homeowners who are still paying their mortgages. Around 60% of Australians have been affected by the measure, being forced to carefully analyse their expenses and decide where to start cutting back. For those who recently took a new loan, needing to find extra dollars in order to meet their mortgage repayments has become one of the main concerns amid the cost-of-living crisis.

The RBA’s governor and treasurer argue that the combination of low levels of unemployment and big household cash buffets means that the majority of people are well-equipped to deal with the Australian interest rate. As per data from the Commonwealth Bank, 78% of CBA home loan consumers are ahead of their mortgage repayments. On average, homeowners are three years ahead of their repayments. Yet, households have had to consider whether to use their financial buffers to cover the extra costs or keep their buffets as they are and opt for cutting back on their expenses instead.

While the increase in existing borrowers’ repayments has garnered a lot of media attention, the monetary policy also impacts future lending in Australia. Essentially, a higher interest rate not only means an increase in future repayments but also a reduction in the maximum loan size for prospective consumers looking to purchase property. A bank or lender calculates the maximum loan size for a borrower by making sure that the sum of the loan repayments and the borrower’s expenses don’t exceed their income. Current interest rates aren’t taken into account in that calculation, but rather an interest rate that is at least 3 percentage points higher. Overall, the situation has reduced Australians’ borrowing capacity by 30%. In such a panorama, lenders and banks might be reluctant to lend money at high-interest rates amidst fears of recession. Smaller banks and non-banks have taken a hit from rising funding costs as they lack large deposit bases to fund their loans.

The state of car lending in Australia amidst soaring inflation and housing prices

While Australians might struggle to purchase property or find affordable renting, getting a car loan is still fairly easy. Why? Because most car loans offered by banks are secured car loans. A secured car loan is a type of loan that is taken out to purchase a car and is secured by the car itself. This means that if the borrower cannot repay the loan for any reason, the lender can repossess the car to recover their losses. Because the underlying asset retains its value, unlike real estate, car loans are much safer for lenders.

When someone applies for a secured car loan, they will typically be required to provide collateral in the form of the car they are purchasing. The lender will use the value of the car to determine the amount of the loan and the interest that the borrower will be charged.

Secured car loans have a number of benefits. For instance, they generally come with lower interest rates than unsecured loans since the lender has collateral to seize in the event of default. This reduced risk for the lender means they are willing to offer lower rates to borrowers. Because the lender has the security of the car as collateral, they may be willing to lend borrowers more money than they would with an unsecured loan. This can be particularly helpful for someone who needs to purchase a car that is more expensive than they can afford to pay for in cash.

Secured car loans often come with longer repayment terms than unsecured loans, which can make monthly payments more manageable. Furthermore, this can help borrowers build their credit score over time by making consistent, on-time payments. Finally, since secured car loans are secured by the car itself, lenders may be more willing to approve borrowers who have less-than-perfect credit or who have limited credit histories.

Despite inflation and cost-of-living pressures, vehicle sales in Australia rose 1.8% in February, compared to the same period last year. According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, February sales alone reached the highest levels since 2019, as Australia’s growing affinity for sustainable vehicles increased. Battery electric vehicles represented 6.8% of sales, or 5,932 sold vehicles while zero and low-emissions vehicle sales accounted for 13.9%, or 12,102 sold vehicles.

The future of lending in Australia

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s recent move of resuming interest rate increases has shocked financial markets and borrowers alike. The future of lending looks uncertain and it isn’t clear whether the RBA will continue pushing up rates. For those repaying their mortgages, the situation has been particularly difficult as they are faced with difficult financial decisions in order to meet their repayments. Applying for housing loans is also harder with reluctant lenders and borrowers who have lost up to 30% of their borrowing power. By comparison, car loans, specifically secured card loans remain more accessible amid the economic uncertainty.

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Real Estate Career

Posted on 16th May 2023

A career in real estate is exciting. However, it comes with several challenges. You must research the real estate market in your area first. Familiarize yourself with the industry regulations. With hard work and dedication, a real estate career can lead to a fulfilling profession. Here are some mistakes to avoid when getting into a career.

1. Lack of a Business Plan

Creating a business plan is essential when starting a real estate career. Your business plan should include your goals and financial projections. Without a plan, you may deviate from your main objectives. You may lose focus on what’s important for your business. Your business plan should be a living document. Refer to it regularly, and update as your business evolves. It should be realistic, achievable, and clear about your path to success.

2. No Budget

Starting a real estate career can be expensive, and many new agents don’t take the time to create a budget. Without a budget, you can overspend. You may struggle to make ends meet. Your budget should include all of your business expenses. It should specify your office rent, marketing materials, and professional development. Budgeting helps you manage your finances and make informed decisions.

3. Failure to Build a Network

Building a strong network is crucial for your success. Many new agents make the mistake of thinking they can rely solely on their brokerage for leads and referrals. While your brokerage can provide support, you need to build your own network of contacts. Your network should include other real estate professionals. It should also include lenders, attorneys, home inspectors, and other professionals. You can network by joining local business organizations. You can attend networking events and volunteer in your community.

4. Not Investing in Professional Development

Real estate is a constantly evolving industry. You must keep up with the latest trends and technology. Many new agents make the mistake of thinking that their initial training is enough. They don’t invest in ongoing professional development.

By investing in professional development, you can provide better client service. You can differentiate yourself from your competition and increase your earning potential. Find the best real estate investing books and journals for business success. Don’t treat your real estate career as a hobby or side hustle. Think of it as a severe business instead. Professionalism promotes focus and consistent income. It ultimately promotes career success.

5. Not Specializing in a Niche

Real estate is a broad field, and it can be tempting to try everything. However, this approach can slow down your success. By specializing in a niche, you can differentiate yourself from the competition. You can become an expert in your focus area and attract clients specifically seeking your services. Your niche could be a specific geographic area. It could be a particular property type or a specific demographic.

6. Impatience

Real estate can be a challenging and competitive field. You must stay patient to succeed. You are unlikely to record immediate success. Usually, it takes several months to build a successful career. With some patience, you can weather the ups and downs of the industry. You’ll ultimately achieve success.

Starting a real estate career can be a lucrative and fulfilling opportunity. It is perfect if you are willing to work hard and learn the industry. With the industry continually growing, there are many avenues to explore. Avoid the above mistakes and you’ll succeed.

The Best Tongkat Ali Supplements: Global Insights & Buying Guide

Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longifolia) is gaining new grounds as the most popular herbal supplement for men and women. Our global market insights reveal some of the best Tongkat Ali supplements in the world.

Tongkat Ali is popular among aging males, young athletes and fitness enthusiasts for its potential energizing and stamina-enhancing effects, increase endurance, and improve physical performance.

In reality, not every Tongkat Ali supplement is created equal. And choosing the right supplement may unlock more, if not all of the potential health benefits from Tongkat Ali.

Our global insights analyze more than 1,300 Tongkat Ali brands and shortlists the best Tongkat Ali supplements that’s worth buying.

Best Tongkat Ali Supplements That You Should Try

Clinical tests and reviews from real-world verified customers form a robust evaluation framework in our market analysis.

From our research on reviews published by Men’s Journal, Amazon, Portland Monthly and Houstonia Mag, we have shortlisted the best Tongkat Ali in the world for 2023.

Clinically tested Tongkat Ali such as Doublewood Supplements, AKARALI Tongkat Ali, Nutricost and BIOVEA LJ 100 Tongkat Ali deserve to be in our top list of best Tongkat Ali supplements with quality extract.

These supplements are shortlisted for having the highest efficacy, quality and purity. Customer review analysis showed that global Tongkat Ali brands such as AKARALI Tongkat Ali, Doublewoods LJ100 and Standard Process Tongkat Ali are reported to be safe for long term consumption with minimal side effects.

Our market analysis and consensus from herbal experts such as Professor Kerry Bone conclude that Tongkat Ali supplements with standardized hot water Tongkat Ali extract performs better. It delivers higher bioactive ingredients and higher safety limits when tested in high doses.

AKARALI US-patented Physta Tongkat Ali extract is reported to have the highest number of clinical trials in the world, with more than 26 randomized placebo-controlled clinical tests conducted on both men and women.

Tongkat Ali Supplements That You Should Avoid

On the other hand, it is best to avoid Tongkat Ali supplements that are not clinically tested, and those which use non-standardized extracts, or ethanol-based extracts.

US Tongkat Ali brands such as Huberman Momentous Tongkat Ali, Solaray TestoJack Tongkat Ali, Nootropics Depot Tongkat Ali, Elm and Rye Tongkat Ali, ELMNT, Nootropics Depot Tongkat Ali and Empire Herbs Tongkat Ali are best to avoid as they cause more side effects.

Our market analysis showed that consumer avoid buying non-standardized Tongkat Ali supplements, such as Solaray Tongkat Ali or Huberman’s Lab Momentous Tongkat Ali.

Ethanol-based Tongkat Ali extracts are common in the US but generally less effective and do not provide consistent benefits.

While Tongkat Ali has more potential to offer from its wide range of health benefits, consuming low quality Tongkat Ali may not be the best option if you want to get the most. It is also crucial to keep in mind the potential risks and limitations.

Side Effects & Cautions

Quality and purity of Tongkat Ali products vary widely in the market. It is crucial to choose a reputable Tongkat Ali brand to reduce unwanted side effects.

Our analysis showed growing consumer complaints on Tongkat Ali side effects from taking Solaray Tongkat Ali, Nootropics Depot and Elm & Rye Tongkat Ali. This could be due to wrong dosage, or due to contaminants / impurities.

Side effects reported include restlessness, difficulty sleeping (insomnia), increased aggression, elevated heart rate, gastrointestinal disturbances (such as stomach discomfort and diarrhea), and changes in mood.

Individual responses and side effects of Tongkat Ali may vary. Contaminated Tongkat Ali may also have an impact on hormone levels too, which may lead to hormonal imbalances if used excessively or for prolonged periods.

Please refer to Healthline or Medical News Today for more information on Tongkat Ali usage and side effects.

Parting Thoughts:

In conclusion, the best Tongkat Ali supplements in 2023 that tops our list is AKARALI as it is backed by 26 clinical trials and toxicity tests. This makes it the a reputable brand that has the highest number of clinical trials in the world.

AKARALI contains single-sourced Tongkat Ali that is clinically tested using MIT-derived Physta formulation. It is also independently lab-tested by EUROFINS, thus comply to the highest pharmaceutical safety standards in the world.

AKARALI remains the best Tongkat Ali choice on Amazon under the Testosterone Supplement category.

7 Steps to Efficiently Build Your Team in a Short Timeframe

Whilst many organizations can allow for steady, organic growth of their workforce as their brand develops and work picks up, in an ever-changing world such as tech, sometimes it is necessarily to respond to changing needs with rapid work force development. It is important that this is done properly; failure to successfully grow a team could result in a drain in resources, rather than an upturn in productivity.

On the surface, the tech world appears to have swerved from one extreme to another, with the tech talent gap followed by the big tech lay off. However, in reality, the layoff only impacted the major tech companies; there is still plenty of demand for tech talent, and there are tech jobs out there for those who know where to look. For companies who need to grow their team – and fast – it helps to take a considered approach.

Plan for tomorrow – not just today

Before you know the resources that you need to build your future, you first need to know what your future might look like. By setting goals for your organization, you should be able to see what your staffing needs are likely to be in the future, as well as right now. From your organizational plan you will be able to see where you want to go, and you should have a good idea of what – and who – you need to help you get there.

Develop existing talent

You may not need additional management now, but if your strategy shows you that you will in the future, it may pay to take on staff at a lower level who are able to fulfil your current needs and develop them to take on progressively more responsibility. By developing in-house talent, you are ensuring high quality training, creating a healthy working environment, and developing a team of loyal leaders who understand your organization from the ground up.

Welcome diversity

Whether you are operating in an industry that is known for its inclusion and diversity, or you are breaking the mould in your pursuit of a diverse workplace, the data is clear: diverse organizations are more effective (Forbes, 2018). Diversity allows you to build a strong network of people based on their personal attributes. A mix of age, gender identity, race, cultural and socioeconomic experiences will allow you to gain maximum benefit from your growing team, as each member is encouraged to play to their strength.

Manage expectations

One of the keys to growing a team quickly – and retaining that talent – is to manage expectations – both yours and new and existing team members’. From job descriptions to individual targets and progression opportunities, clarity of what each person has to offer, what is expected from them, and what they have to gain will promote a hardworking, cohesive environment that is most likely to allow your team to grow steadily and effectively, without having to manage layoffs and additional recruitment rounds.

Take advantage of the current climate

According to data, the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023 saw unprecedented layoffs among the FAANG companies (Meta – formerly Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Alphabet (formerly Google). This Big Tech layoff saw more than 150,000 redundancies and, understandably shook the tech world.

For recruiters, the layoff may prove to be an advantage, as skilled experts move away from big tech, with a generous redundancy package, and have the financial buffer and the career gap to allow them to take on new tech jobs with start ups and rapidly growing organizations. This is, in fact, a unique opportunity for growing organizations to engage talent that would have automatically been snapped up by big tech in the past.

Get specialist support

If you are in a position to need to rapidly grow your team, then you are probably an expert within your field. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you are an expert in recruitment. One way to manage rapid growth needs is to engage a recruitment specialist, who will be able to apply their extensive, industry-specific knowledge to help you to find personnel who will fit your organizational needs today, while allowing ongoing development in the future.

Develop your leadership skills

Running an organization can be a challenge, but leading a growing organization amid a time of flux comes with its own set of trials. Make sure that the leadership team are able to steer the organization through this period of change successfully and sustainably by ensuring that you – and your team – have the skills, resources and support to do so.

How to Support An Employee with Social Anxiety Disorder

By Dan Kentley, Practice Manager at Onebright 

It’s Mental Health Awareness week and this year’s theme focuses on anxiety. Most people can relate to feelings of anxiety around a social activity, be it a family gathering, big work meeting, or starting a new job. 

Social anxiety disorder (or social phobia), however, can be far more debilitating than the ‘normal’ nervousness that we can all experience, and it can have a significant impact on the wellbeing and relationships of those it affects, as well as those around them. 

Dan Kentley asks what can impact these difficulties and how we can best support those affected.

What is social anxiety disorder?

The concept of social anxiety has been around for almost as long as humans have been philosophising about their experiences on earth, and it is estimated that as much as 12% of the population will experience a social anxiety disorder at some point in their lifetime.

Whilst there is no specific “cause” for social anxiety, we do know that many people report having experienced the feelings associated with it for as long as they can remember – suggesting that often it emerges during childhood. Research and twin studies have also shown that a genetic factor is likely, as well as the environment individuals experience in their early years (for example being exposed to socially anxious parents, carers, or peers).

Life events, experiences, and trauma (such as abuse or loss) can also have an impact on an individual’s resilience and susceptibility to anxiety, and there are also links with substances such as alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and drugs, often used as a negative coping strategy.

For some people with social anxiety, the isolation it brings can come with feelings of inadequacy, sadness, or even shame, sometimes mimicking or causing depression. 

How do we recognise social anxiety disorder?

Unlike the ‘normal’ psychological and physiological (‘fight or flight’) symptoms of anxiety we experience as humans, social anxiety disorders can present as a persistent fear or dread of a specific or various social situations that could be considered disproportionate to the actual threat posed by the situation. Often individuals will fear being judged or criticised by others or humiliating themselves in some way such as by sweating, shaking, or blushing, or coming across as anxious or incompetent.

Social anxiety disorder can be separated into two main types: ‘general’ and ‘specific’. Those experiencing general social anxiety (the most common category) often describe themselves as shy and will experience distress around the prospect of any social situations (often avoiding them altogether). This can have a significant impact on the day-to-day lives and functioning of individuals and lead to becoming more isolated as a means of avoiding potential criticism or judgement by others.

Specific social anxiety disorder (as the name suggests) is limited to a particular situation in which individuals experience the distress associated with anxiety and as such, many people can function well in all other areas of their lives, increasing the chances of their difficulties going unnoticed. Examples include:

  • Public speaking or presenting
  • Eating or drinking in front of others
  • Writing in front of others
  • Using public toilets

Other symptoms of social anxiety disorders can also include physical sensations such as nausea, tension, dry mouth, needing to go to the toilet, palpitations, and dizziness, as well as cognitive, or emotional, feelings such as intense fear before and/or during a social situation, and over-thinking or ruminating about an event after it has happened, often focussing on self-criticism or ‘flaws’, and expecting the worst possible thing to happen as a result of an interaction (catastrophising).

The combination of physical and emotional symptoms will often lead to avoidance of doing things or speaking for fear of embarrassment, and avoiding potential situations where attention may be drawn to an individual. 

Treatments for social anxiety disorder

NICE recognises that social anxiety disorders often go undiagnosed due to factors such as the early age of typical onset (age 13 being the median) and the potential to be ‘masked’ by other mental health difficulties such as depression. There are, however, a range of effective treatments including talking therapies available.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the first line recommended treatment for individuals experiencing social anxiety disorders and can be facilitated in either individual or group sessions. Specific CBT treatment models for social anxiety may include:

  • Education around social anxiety
  • Experiential exercises identifying negative coping strategies
  • Creating and examining videos of the individual’s behaviours
  • Designing and completing behavioural experiments to test beliefs
  • Identifying automatic and alternative, more balanced, thoughts (cognitive restructuring)
  • Graded exposure (working up gradually to a particular situation)
  • Relapse prevention

Progress is monitored during therapy, usually by a variety of measures such as the Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN) and can be helpful in identifying individual successful strategies. Some adults may also be prescribed medication such as an SSRI or SNRI (antidepressant) alongside or as an alternative to talking therapies, and this should always be monitored carefully by a GP or psychiatrist. 

Supporting others

If a colleague or team member is experiencing social anxiety, it can often be difficult to know how best to support them. Although we might not be able to relate to some of the experiences or triggers they describe, it’s important to remember that they are very real for that person, and they may be sensitive to feeling judged because of them.

  • Stay calm, be patient and don’t criticise. The journey to recovery can sometimes seem like a long one, and having support from colleagues, a line manager, and HR can be invaluable. More regular check-ins or 1:1 meetings may help colleagues feel more supported, especially if behavioural experiments or graded exposure include workplace situations.
  • Asking how someone is feeling (as opposed to why they are anxious) can help them up about their thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and potentially how they may be positively or negatively affected by work.
  • Actively listening to an individual and asking helpful questions that help them gain perspective and balance their thoughts can also help, for example “when was the last time you felt like this? What did you do?”, “what is a positive thing that could come from this experience?”.
  • Suggesting an activity can help distract away from the anxiety, for example suggesting a walk or reading a book, and allowing flexibility in the workplace can provide space to engage with these strategies.
  • Supporting others in seeking treatment can take many forms, whether it be emotional support, making a doctor’s appointment, or finding or suggesting a support group.

Sectors to Watch After Eurovision 2023

Maxim Manturov, Head of Investment Research at Freedom Finance Europe, gives sectors to watch after Eurovision 2023 song contest

Eurovision is the song writing competition held for Europe and beyond. Starting in 1956, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) organise the annual concert that showcases musical talent across winning countries, acting as a significant event for creative and artistic industries. The competition brings together artists, musicians, producers, and other professionals, providing a unique opportunity for the music and arts industries to reach an international level and generate income through performances, merchandise sales and broadcasting rights.

2023s concert took place on May 13th in Liverpool, making investing in music and arts companies’ stocks an attractive investment opportunity for those interested in the entertainment sector.

Here are some potential sectors investors should watch:

Music streaming services

With the growing popularity of music streaming platforms, companies such as Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music have achieved significant growth in recent years. These companies generate revenue through subscription fees and advertising, and their stocks could be seen as potential investment opportunities.

Music production and record companies

Major music production and record companies such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group, have a significant presence in the global music industry. These companies invest in music production, promotion, and distribution, making their stocks worth monitoring for potential investment opportunities.

Concert and event companies

Companies involved in organising and hosting live concerts, events and festivals can also be potential investment opportunities. These companies, such as Live Nation Entertainment, organise and promote concerts and events around the world, generating income from ticket sales, sponsorships, and other sources.

Entertainment conglomerates

Large entertainment conglomerates that have diversified into several segments of the music and arts industry, such as the Walt Disney Company, could also be potential investment opportunities. These companies have a wide range of revenue streams, including music production, live streaming, merchandising and intellectual property rights.

How to research for companies

Investing in stocks involves risk. Ensure you conduct careful research and analysis before making any investment decisions. Factors such as financial performance, market trends and the company’s prospects should be considered. In addition, the music and art industry can be highly competitive and subject to changing consumer preferences and technological advances, which can affect stocks performance in this sector.

Going to Great Lengths – Asia’s Most Remarkable Resort Pools

There’s a reason why top resorts and hotels make their main pool the focal point of their property. It’s a place where guests can relax, socialize or strut their swimsuited stuff for social media. Of course, almost every luxury property on the planet offers their patrons a place to go for a dip. But numerous resorts and hotels around Asia have gone off the deep end in style. From palatial art-deco pools in classic colonial hotels to infinity stunners amidst tropical surrounds, here are some of the most impressive bodies of water in the region.



At Trisara, one of Phuket’s most exclusive hideaways, every one of its pool rooms, suites and villas has a private pool. But the resort’s most seductive body of water is its fabulous main 45m saltwater lap pool, which stretches along the resort’s beachfront, surrounded by inviting day-beds and sun loungers.

Angsana Lang Co

As part of the expansive Laguna Lang Co integrated property in Central Vietnam, Angsana Lang Co has long been well-regarded for its family friendly qualities. At the heart of the action at the resort is its mega free-form pool — one of the country’s most extensive resort pools — that winds more than 300 metres around the entire property.

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Set within the iconic 120-year-old luxury hotel’s garden courtyard, the swimming pool at Metropole Hanoi evokes timeless elegance and sophistication, with comfortable sun loungers and stylish parasols. The poolside Bamboo Bar, with its thatched roof and wooden floor, adds a further touch of the tropical to the upscale surroundings.

Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor

Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor originally opened in 1932 as a rest stop for archeologists and adventurers seeking to explore the ancient kingdom of Angkor Wat. The luxury hotel’s famous swimming pool, set within lush tropical gardens, draws inspiration from ancient royal baths and harmonizes well with the terrace boundary wall that is patterned after Angkor’s temples.

TIA Wellness Resort

Since private pools complement every villa, guests don’t need to paddle far for a dip. The more dramatic plunger, however, is in the resort’s infinity pool, which reaches for the ocean and comes with a soundtrack of waves.

Avana Retreat 

Tiered like the terraced rice fields that surround it, Avana’s cloud pool is really multiple pools in one. The heated swimming spot is aptly named for the layer of cloud that sometimes settles below, leaving swimmers to splash about above the clouds. 

Tanah Gajah, a Resort by Hadiprana

Towering Ganesh sculptures feed Tanah Gajah’s main pool, which is flanked by lush tropical greenery, lotus ponds, and Balinese stone carvings. More than just a place to cool off and relax, the picturesque spot is often the backdrop for floating breakfasts, poolside cocktails, and afternoon tea.

Fusion Resort Cam Ranh

While Fusion Resort Cam Ranh’s oceanfront pool offers a stunning waterfront perch, the property’s second swimming spot in The Hideaway, Fusion’s resort within a resort, wins the award for the most spacious at 1,643 sqm. 

Alma Resort Cam Ranh

A dozen swimming pools cascade down to Long Beach at the Alma Resort, including a 75 metre-long infinity pool with submerged loungers.

The Anam Cam Ranh

One thing is a constant at The Anam Cam Ranh; pool waters as brilliantly blue as the sea and sky. Whether plunging into the Anam’s stunning infinity pool (pictured) that meets Long Beach, two other capacious swimming pools for the whole family, or one of 27 private villa pools, pool-goers are spoilt for choice.

The Anam Mui Ne

Perched on 1.2 hectares fronting Vietnam’s Mui Ne Beach, The Anam Mui Ne, that opened January 11 this year, features two spacious swimming pools – a capacious freshwater pool adjacent to the grand lobby and a stunning 266sqm saltwater pool (pictured) by the sand that gives way to the East Sea.

Meliá Chiang Mai

Situated in the heart of Thailand’s mountainous Chiang Mai, urban hotel Meliá Chiang Mai’s second floor is dominated by an outdoor swimming pool flanked by cabanas, sunbeds and Tien Pool Bar that serves tasty snacks with a Spanish flavour. In a nod to Chiang Mai’s culture, the striking tiling of the pool makes for a contemporary interpretation of textile patterns the locals call “teen jok”. 

Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort

In addition to Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort’s 1500sqm main pool replete with a swim-up bar, guests staying at the property’s “resort within a resort”, called The Level Villas, are afforded exclusive access to The Level Pool (pictured), surrounded by cabanas and outdoor daybeds.

4 Ways to Capitalise on Customer Insights

In a competitive business landscape, we all know how important it is to understand who exactly we’re selling to.

Thanks to technological advancements in recent years, we now have access to software and apps from companies like Little Stream Software that not only allow us to identify our customers, but study them and their behaviour too.

But what do we do with all that information, and how can we use it to grow and improve our businesses?

Here are four ideas to get you started on capitalizing on your customer insights and using them to your benefit.

Product Development

We all know that the product development process can be tough at times, but knowing what your customers want makes all the difference. Customer insights can be an absolute goldmine of great information about what sells and what doesn’t.

Take a look at your feedback, purchasing patterns, user behaviour and other metrics to help you understand what really works, where unmet needs lie, and what you might be able to do to create better products overall. Knowledge is key, and when you’re trying to design for the people, knowing the people is crucial.

Customer Experience

Oftentimes, we really just need to work on our customer experience strategy to start seeing growth in our businesses. When it comes right down to it, the way your customers experience your business, products, and services, is going to be the ultimate determiner of your success.

When you have access to customer insights, you’ll be much more capable of adapting what you’re doing to better fit their needs and improve their experience. In this case, paying special attention to feedback and reviews will be helpful, but you can also use information about purchasing history and consumer behaviour to help make your customers feel more valued and understood.

Customer Service

Using the right technology, such as customer insight software, can really help you refine your customer service as well. Customer service is a crucial aspect of any business, and it contributes massively to the overall experience, which we have already discussed as playing a big role.

By understanding your customers’ pain points, frustrations, and overall expectations, you’ll be able to figure out exactly which areas you need to work on. Monitor customer satisfaction, support tickets, and survey responses to help you dig deep into what works and what doesn’t when it comes to your customer service.

Marketing Strategies

Yes, you can even use your customer metrics to help improve your marketing tactics. When you have a clear idea of customer preferences, buying habits, online behaviour, and conversion rates, it becomes simple to adapt how you sell yourself.

Figure out which marketing channels get the most engagement and start producing content that really resonates with your specific audience. Once you have a clearer understanding of the market, this becomes much simpler than it sounds. When you align your marketing efforts with a specific type of person, your return on investment will skyrocket – trust us.

6 Common Issues With Medical Billing — and How to Overcome Them in Your Business

Running a medical billing business can be an incredibly rewarding endeavour, but it is not without its challenges. Every day, healthcare businesses face complex and ever-changing regulations that must be navigated to ensure accurate payments for services rendered.

Additionally, there may be issues related to coding inaccuracies or incorrect patient information that can lead to costly delays and errors in payment processing.

This article will discuss some of the most common issues associated with medical billing and how they can be overcome to maximize efficiency in your business operations.

1. Understanding Medical Billing and the Challenges Involved

One of the biggest challenges associated with medical billing is ensuring accuracy in data collection. This includes understanding and interpreting claims, coding practices, and regulations related to various types of insurance plans.

Knowing the policies and procedures specific to each patient’s healthcare plan is essential to ensure proper reimbursement for services rendered.

2. Improper Coding

Incorrect coding is one of the most common issues associated with medical billing and often leads to reduced or denied service payments.

To ensure accuracy, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the codes assigned by various insurers and how they are associated with specific treatments and procedures.

Additionally, it is important to be aware of any code changes that may occur over time so that claims can be processed efficiently and accurately.

3. Incorrect Patient Information

Another common issue with medical billing is incorrect patient information. This includes erroneous addresses, phone numbers, and payment details which can lead to delays in payments or denied claims.

To overcome this issue, verifying all patient information upon registration and periodically reviewing any changes as they occur is a good practice.

4. Streamlining Payment Processes with Automation

Automating payment processes is a great way to improve medical billing efficiency in your business. It eliminates manual entry errors, reduces paperwork and other administrative tasks, and provides greater visibility into payments as they are processed.

In this situation, having the right medical billing software is key. Quite a few services can give you what you need, but CollaborateMD will cover everything you need to help you automate most of the process.

It can also help streamline the appeals process should any discrepancies arise during claims processing.

5. Managing Denied Claims and Other Delays in Payment

Unfortunately, even with the most stringent quality control processes in place, denied claims and other delays in payment are bound to occur.

To address these issues quickly and effectively, you need to clearly understand why the claim was denied and develop an action plan for resolution. Establishing procedures for filing appeals when necessary can help minimize payment delays.

6. Overcoming Reimbursement Issues

Finally, it is essential to thoroughly understand reimbursement issues and how to navigate them to maximize payments for services rendered.

This includes recognizing what types of services are reimbursable by various insurers and developing strategies for negotiation with providers who may not be willing to accept certain payment terms.

Leveraging technology solutions such as analytics can help identify trends and develop more effective reimbursement strategies over time.

By understanding the common issues associated with medical billing and implementing solutions to address them, your business can maximize efficiency and accuracy in payment processing while minimizing delays and denials.

With the right approach, you can ensure that claims are processed quickly and accurately so that patients receive their payments in a timely manner.

The Takeaway

Healthcare businesses can ensure greater accuracy and efficiency in their operations by understanding common issues associated with medical billing.

Any business can maximize reimbursements for services rendered through proper coding practices, verifying patient information regularly, streamlining processes through automation, and managing denied claims quickly and effectively.

If you found this article informative, check out this one on streaming your online payment process.

Shipping your Car During A Corporate Relocation

Moving for a new job can be an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. You have to pack up your entire life and move to a new place, which can be daunting. One of the most significant decisions you must make when moving for a job is whether to ship your car or drive it to your new location.

Shipping your car can be a convenient and hassle-free way to transport it to your new home, especially if you’re moving across the country. But there are some things you need to know before you decide to ship your car.

The first thing you must consider is the cost of shipping your car. Shipping a car can be expensive, and the price can vary depending on the distance you’re moving, your car type, and the shipping method you choose. It’s essential to get quotes from different car shipping companies to compare prices and find the best deal.

The next thing you need to think about is the shipping method. Two main ways to ship a car are open transport and enclosed transport. Open transport is the most common and affordable method, but your car will be exposed to the elements during transit. Enclosed transport, on the other hand, is more expensive but provides better protection for your car.

Once you’ve decided on a shipping method, you must prepare your car for transport. You should clean your car thoroughly and remove all personal items from the interior. You should also inspect your car for any existing damage and take photos for your records.

Before the shipping company arrives to pick up your car, you should also ensure that your gas tank is less than a quarter full, your battery is fully charged, and your tires are properly inflated.

Once your car is picked up, it will be transported to your new location. The shipping company will give you an estimated delivery date, but it’s essential to be flexible because there may be unexpected delays along the way.

When your car arrives at your new location, inspect it thoroughly for any damage. If there is any damage, you should document it and contact the shipping company immediately. Most car shipping companies have insurance to cover any damage that may occur during transport, so make sure you understand their insurance policy before you ship your car.

In conclusion, shipping your car can be a convenient and stress-free way to transport it to your new location when moving for a job. However, it’s essential to consider the cost, shipping method, and preparation for your car for transport before you decide to ship it. With the right preparation and research, shipping your car can be a smooth and easy process, allowing you to focus on your new job and settling into your new home.

Tongkat Ali Market Insights: Are Consumers Getting the Most Benefit?

The herbal industry has experienced significant growth and transformation in recent years as more people turn to natural remedies with reported benefits.

The landscape of the herbal industry encompasses various sectors, including herbal medicine, dietary supplements, herbal teas, essential oils, and herbal cosmetics.

Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma Longfiolia) was introduced to the market as early as 1995, but the market was filled with quality issues due to impurities and adulterants.

According to Dr. Andrew Huberman from Stanford University, “The supplement market is filled with garbage.”

However, things have changed in the last decade as more clinical trials were conducted to validate Tongkat Ali’s benefits.

Fast forward to 2023, consumers are shifting to quality Tongkat Ali supplements in recent years to benefit from its purportedly wide range of health benefits – despite concerns of rising side effects.

Further investigations to the top supplements in the US showed that most best-selling Tongkat Ali supplements are not clinically tested. Only less than 1% are lab tested and clinically tested to work.

It means consumers are not getting the benefits of Tongkat Ali as advertised.

In the background, placebo-controlled clinical trials on Tongkat Ali continue to rise to verify its wide range of health benefits such as testosterone, libido, muscle strength, fat loss, anaerobic performance, immune system and mood.

We reached out to Shahid Shayaa, Founder of AKARALI, to better understand the consumer insights and landscape.

AKARALI is a leading Tongkat Ali supplement that is clinically tested with more than 26 clinical trials on humans, manufactured in an FDA-approved facility, and lab tested by EUROFINS.

“We have seen a significant shift of consumers buying more clinically tested Tongkat Ali supplements due to better efficacy and higher safety standards”, he said.

He added the best Tongkat Ali supplements are using standardized hot water root extract to gain the most benefits due to higher eurycomanone, eurypeptides, glycosaponin and pollysacharrides.

“We live in the digital world where consumers expect faster results and higher gains from Tongkat Ali”, he further explained.

With expected benefits in 30 days or less and new levels of safety tests being conducted each year, does that mean more medical professionals are recommending Tongkat Ali to their patients?

We reviewed some of the top medical professionals to get more insights and their thoughts about Tongkat Ali.

Dr. Rena Malik, Dr. Andrea Militello, Dr. Ismail Tambi, and Professor Kery Bone are part of a growing number of medical and healthcare professionals who are passionate about Tongkat Ali benefits.

According to Dr. Rena Malik (M.D), an urologist specializing in men’s health from the University of Maryland, she covered extensively on Tongkat Ali’s supplementation and its effects on health.

“If you want the best Tongkat Ali, watch out for hot water root extract”, she said in her last video of Tongkat Ali.

Andrologist Dr. Andrea Militello (M.D) mentioned Tongkat Ali’s benefits and how it may benefit men’s fertility and reduce ED-related symptoms. Dr. Miltello is an award-winning doctor based in Rome and runs more than 7 clinics in Italy.

Whilst you do not require any prescriptions from doctors to buy Tongkat Ali, you are advised to consult your medical professionals first before using it, and also to check for other underlying medical conditions or drugs interactions that may cause severe side effects.

But in reality, that rarely happens. And Consumers continue to purchase Tongkat Ali to achieve their health goals.

And we are seeing more older men and women buying Tongkat Ali for overall revitalization to restore hormonal balance. According to WHO, 1 in 6 people will be aged 60 by 2030, and the usage of Tongkat Ali as an aging supplement is expected to rise exponentially.

With more than 500 Tongkat Ali products on Amazon, consumers are now overwhelmed by choices.

This means doing your research on Tongkat Ali brands that are reputable and backed by quality Tongkat Ali extract is more crucial than simply falling for the marketing hype.

As the world is experiencing a major shift to more natural supplements, consumers want the best.

If you want the best, clinically tested Tongkat Ali supplements using standardized hot water extract sets a new benchmark that will exceed consumers’ expectations and industry standards.

What’s left is your own effort to do your research before buying one.

Looking to Obtain Dual Citizenship? 4 Important Things to Consider

With the world becoming increasingly connected, it’s no surprise that more and more people are considering dual citizenship. In fact, if you want to obtain citizenship in the Caribbean, St Kitts and Nevis passport is one of the easiest to apply for.

A second passport can offer many benefits, such as traveling freely and working internationally. But before you take the plunge, consider a few important things. In this article, we’ll go over four important things to consider when obtaining dual citizenship, such as the costs involved and the impact on your taxes. By the end, you’ll better understand whether dual citizenship is right for you.

Copyright: Coverkit on Unsplash l Licence: CC0 Public Domain

The Possibility of Dual Citizenship

If you’re looking to obtain dual citizenship, it’s important to understand the rules and regulations surrounding this process. Applying for and attaining dual citizenship isn’t an easy process. There are many factors that must be taken into consideration before deciding.

Each country will have its own rules about applying for dual citizenship. However, some of the requirements include the following:

  • You must live in a country for 3-5 years before you can apply for a second passport
  • You must have a clear criminal record
  • Police clearance report from your home country
  • Before you can think about the requirements needed to apply for dual citizenship, there are a few factors you need to consider:

The Cost of Dual Citizenship

The cost is one of the most important things to consider before obtaining dual citizenship. Depending on the country, obtaining dual citizenship can be quite expensive. In addition to the fees associated with applying, other costs may be considered, such as language tests, travel expenses, and even immigration lawyers. It is important to keep in mind that the cost can vary greatly from one country to another.

Once you obtain dual citizenship, you might be liable for taxes and other related costs. As such, the cost and expenses don’t stop once you obtain citizenship. Luckily, there is a chance of your taxes being decreased.

The Benefits of Dual Citizenship

It’s not all about the money when it comes to dual citizenship. Although there are costs associated with obtaining dual citizenship, there are also numerous benefits. One of the most significant is gaining access to additional opportunities.

With dual citizenship, you will gain access to another business market and the opportunity to work in another country. With virtual work being the new norm, you might be able to do business in two different countries at the same time.

Another key advantage is being able to access additional education opportunities and even health care benefits. Furthermore, dual citizenship is an excellent way to increase cultural understanding and open the door for potential investments.

Other benefits include:

  • Being able to protect yourself in the event of political instability
  • Being able to leave a country should the need arise
  • Visa-free travel. For example, a Canadian passport will allow you to visit Iceland, Sweden, and the Netherlands without a visa

The Process of Applying for Dual Citizenship

The application process will vary greatly depending on the country you wish to obtain citizenship. Generally speaking, though, there are a few key steps you’ll need to take.

First, you will have to ensure that you meet all eligibility requirements. Once you’ve established that you do, you’ll need to submit an application along with all required documentation. Some of these will include the following:

  • Proof of nationality
  • Passport photos
  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Police clearance reports
  • Proof of financial stability After submitting your application, you’ll typically have to wait for the decision to be made. This can take 4-6 months to process, depending on the country. Once a decision has been reached, you may have to take additional steps to finalize the process. This can be anything from having to visit the country to sign documents to applying for another I.D. or passport.

The Likelihood of a Citizenship Exam

In certain countries, you must take a citizenship or civic exam before becoming a citizen. Most countries require that you take an exam in person or online. For example, in America, the civics test is done orally, where you need to answer ten questions.

The length of time it takes for each test varies from country to country, but most exams usually last between 1-2 hours, and they test basic grammar rules and vocabulary as well as knowledge about local culture (languages).

7 Key Ways to Keep Costs Down When You’re Moving House

Moving house is sure to be an exciting time in your life. But the costs associated with moving can soon mount up. Therefore, it is a good idea to actively look at ways in which you can reduce your expenses long before the move date.

The more prepared you are, the more affordable you can make your move and the smoother the moving process will be. To help you get started, check out the following seven key ways to keep costs down when you are moving house.

1. Get Rid of Items You No Longer Need

We all accumulate more and more stuff over the years, which means we probably all have items that we no longer actually need. So, when preparing to move house, it is a good opportunity for you to identify items you do not need or want. You can then get rid of them by recycling them, giving them away, or selling them.

If you do the latter, you will gain additional cash to spend on your move. By getting rid of belongings you no longer need or want, you can also significantly cut down the costs associated with moving.

After all, with fewer items to move, you will not need to hire such a large truck and the packing and transportation process will be sped up. You will need to purchase fewer packing materials, too.

2. Choose a Budget-Friendly Moving Company

While you can save costs by handling the move yourself, you will still need to rent a truck, buy packing materials, and spend valuable time packing and moving all of your belongings.

So, it could be worthwhile hiring a moving company to take care of everything for you. And by choosing a budget-friendly moving company, you can keep your costs down.

Thankfully, by using an online platform for comparing different companies, you can easily find an affordable moving company.

3. Move Mid-Week

You can further reduce the cost of hiring a moving company by being savvy with your move date. Typically, moving services cost less to hire during the week than at weekends.

So, if you can, plan your move for a weekday. If you have even more flexibility with your move date, you could move during off-peak times of the year, such as in the winter rather than in the summer, to further reduce the costs associated with hiring professional movers.

4. Book Early

Following on from the last suggestions, you can reduce the cost of hiring a moving company even more by booking early. Typically, the earlier you book a move, the cheaper the cost will be.

On the other hand, if you leave things until the last minute, the cost of booking a moving company is sure to be higher.

5. Obtain Free Packing Materials

The cost of packing materials can soon mount up, so look at ways of getting your packing materials for free. Ask friends, family members, work colleagues, and neighbours if they have boxes and materials like bubble wrap that you could use.

You can also use sites like Freecycle to get free packing materials. Another option is to go into your local stores and ask if they have empty boxes you can take for free.

6. Use Items You Already Have to Pack Your Belongings Safely

You can further reduce the cost of having to buy packaging materials like bubble wrap to keep breakables safe during the move by using things you already have. For instance, wrapping glassware and fragile items in clothing and bedding can provide them with just as much protection as bubble wrap.

You will need to pack and move clothes, bedding, and soft furnishings anyway, so it makes sense to use such items to wrap and protect your fragile belongings.

7. Enlist the Help of Loved Ones

Time is money. If you have to take time off work to do things in preparation for the move date, you will not be able to earn as much. On the other hand, if you can keep working during the moving preparation stage, you will have more money to spend on things like hiring an affordable moving company.

One way of reducing the amount of time you need to spend on preparation work, such as sorting out your belongings, packing items, and cleaning your home, is to enlist the help of family members and friends.

Workplaces More Stressful Than Relationship For Over a Quarter of Workers, According to New Research from Westfield Health

  • Workers are ranking workplace stress (27%) as being more stressful than a relationship breakdown (8%)
  • More than 800,000 employees were impacted by workplace stress in 2022.
  • Statistics are a warning sign to businesses to review their strategies for supporting employees with workplace stress.

Research has found that workplace stress is having a greater impact on individuals than relationship breakdowns. According to recent research conducted by Westfield Health, more than a quarter of workers (27%) ranked their job as more stressful than a relationship breakdown (8%). These worrying statistics highlight the negative effects of workplace stress on individuals, surpassing even stressful personal circumstances.

These findings are consistent with other recent research indicating that mental health in the UK workforce is declining. On average, employees are taking a week off work due to mental health issues every year, yet a staggering 66% aren’t accessing any mental health support. As a result, an astounding 17.9 million working days were lost across the UK in 2022, having a direct impact on businesses in terms of costs related to employee absences.

Given that more than 800,000 workers were affected by stress in 2022, it is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed. More than half (51%) of all work-related ill health cases were due to stress, depression or anxiety, up from 40% in 2014, highlighting a new priority for businesses to focus on.

If unchecked, these figures pose a substantial threat not just to individuals’ long-term mental health, but also to employers. There are proven links between workplace stress levels and drops in productivity, which can directly impact a company’s bottom line.

Richard Holmes, Director of Wellbeing at Westfield Health, says: “The research shows a definite shift in how people are perceiving their work life, with more people suffering from the negative impacts of workplace stress and finding it even more stressful than their personal circumstances. These findings give employers an insight into the issues their workforce is facing, with workplace stress becoming a new priority and allowing them to address and potentially resolve some of these stress triggers.”

“With increased cost-of-living pressures accompanying high levels of workplace stress, this can become a huge risk factor for organisations. Not only does workplace stress impact morale and culture, but it can also have detrimental effects on productivity, staff turnover and ultimately the company’s bottom line.”

Employers must be aware of the tell-tale signs of workplace stress within an organisation to reduce the negative impact it can have on the business. Team members having difficulty concentrating, forgetting deadlines or displaying unusual behaviours can all be indicators of stress. Additionally, employees taking an unusual number of days off, particularly sudden instances of extended annual leave, may also be a warning sign, advises Richard.

“HR teams should be well equipped to spot, approach and support employees in managing workplace stress. This support could include encouraging them to take time out by making sure they take regular breaks, frequent catchups between managers and employees, and additional support such as providing helplines for employees that may be struggling.

“Overall, businesses should try and create a positive culture where employees are encouraged to be open and honest about how they are feeling. This approach could help to reduce the incidence of workplace stress in the first place and empower those who may be struggling with stress to speak up to HR or their manager on how the business can support them.”

There Are 50,000 Cyber-Attacks Daily in the UAE; Here’s How You Can Help

The UAE aims to be the data hub for the Middle East by 2031, but the acceleration towards a digital transformation has its challenges.

On a daily basis, the country is forced to deter 50,000 cyber-attacks, ranging from ransomware to cyber terrorism.

“And that number is only rising,” said Dr Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security, Government of the UAE. “This is why we launched the Cyber Pulse initiative as a first line of defence in our fight against such attacks.”

Cyber Pulse is an initiative that was launched by the authorities, which aims to encourage community members in the UAE to play a part in cybersecurity efforts. According to the mission statement, “It seeks to enhance public awareness on suspicious online activities and the necessary steps to be taken from becoming a victim of ePhishing.”

The initiative provides training courses, workshops and lectures about cybersecurity, and information on how community members could protect themselves in the digital world.

The first phase of the initiative targeted women and families. The second phase targeted students.

“Security isn’t the responsibility of one entity; it is the responsibility of everyone today,” said Dr Al Kuwaiti. “Cyber Pulse is the solution, from the perspective of prevention measures.”

Speaking about the daily threats that the country’s digital landscape has to face, Dr Al Kuwaiti continued: “We face more than 50,000 attacks on a daily basis. We respond to them with great protection, zero attack penetration. Our threshold is very high. Yet, everyday attacks increase because we continue to adapt to new technologies.”

Cyber warfare – war on data

According to a 2021 report by cybersecurity company Cybereason, companies in the UAE have paid more than 5.1 million UAE dirhams ($1.4 million) in ransomware to regain access to their systems after cyberattacks in the past two years and 42% of had to close down operations after the ransomware attack.

“Data breaches have cost entities here between 4 to 5 million in recent times,” Dr Al Kuwaiti stated. “We recently had ransomware ask for $2 million and they [the financial institution] did not pay the amount. We usually tell entities not to entertain such attackers.”

Dr Al Kuwaiti cited a recent ransomware attack on a bank in the UAE that was thwarted because of the measures in place, allowing them to return to operations in under three hours.

“The three types of attacks we are usually faced with are cybercrimes, which can be described as hacking, fraud, scams or impersonation,” he continued.

“Cyber terrorism is the second, which attacks infrastructures, while spreading misinformation and disinformation.”

The third, he described, was cyber warfare, which was the war on data.

Yes, even as the UAE ensures the cyber security and safety of its citizens and residents, challenges remain.

“A lack of resources and the lack of awareness in people are the main reasons why attacks happen,” he said. “People are coming to the digital transformation quickly without doing it safely.”

Even as the UAE creates awareness on a grassroots level, the country’s National Cyber Security Strategy has a long-term plan in place to maintain checks and balances.

“We have three pillars that we abide by, the first being governance,” Dr Al Kuwait revealed. “There are policies, procedures and standards that are updated on a quarterly basis keeping in mind that there are so many technologies that are constantly developing and changing.”

The second, according to him, is the human factor. “Humans need to be trained to adapt to new technologies. We teach on a grassroots level targeting student, by working with the Ministry of Education. That’s where it starts,” he added.

According to the cyber security expert, web users should not click on any unknown links sent by text messages or on email, download any apps from unknown sources or publish private contact information on unreliable online platforms.

The third is technology and innovation that the country needs to be abreast with. “It is imperative we follow this to be resilient in five, 10, 20 years to come,” he concluded.

China’s ‘City of the Future’ Xiongan and its Innovation-Driven Growth

Numerous skyscrapers under construction, modern neighborhood compounds filled with green and driverless buses crisscrossing on new asphalt roads are just a handful of the indicators reflecting the rise of the Xiongan New Area in north China’s Hebei Province.

A high-level, ecologically friendly modern metropolis featuring high-tech infrastructure, the Xiongan New Area is one of China’s ambitious projects. So developed in the new area that no one would believe everything about this dream city was built from scratch just six years ago.

Located 105 kilometers from both the capital Beijing and the coastal metropolis Tianjin, Xiongan was established to relieve pressure on Beijing while promoting the “coordinated regional development” of the BeijingTianjinHebei region. The city is expected to be comparable to the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and the Shanghai Pudong New Area.

Taking a one-hour high-speed train, President Xi Jinping paid an inspection visit to the city on Wednesday, where he hailed the “important phased results” in the city while urging continuous, high-quality development that involves innovation, a high level of digitization, low carbon development and resident-friendly environment.

An innovation hub

Everything is going digital in Xiongan as high-quality development featuring scientific and technological innovation ramps up.

The driverless buses, which are currently undergoing trials, is one example. To improve the efficiency of the transportation network, the vehicles can not only recognize traffic lights and road signs but also reduce speed or stop in case of obstacles.

The city is also home to 153 km of “digital roads,” where sensors on the lamp poles can monitor the number and speed of vehicles to reduce traffic jams. “The construction of the smart city … has set an example for the planning and management of future cities,” said Weng Mengyong, chairman of the China Highway and Transportation Society.

During his trip, President Xi underlined his vision for “a fertile ground for innovation and business ventures.”

The Chinese president also called for pioneering policies and measures in the reform and opening up, as well as forward-looking trial and demonstration innovation projects in the area.

Since China announced plans to establish the city in 2017, the Xiongan New Area has completed more than 510 billion yuan (about $74 billion) of investment. Specifically, China’s state-owned enterprises have set up more than 140 subsidiaries and branches focusing on industries such as information technology, modern life sciences, biotechnology and new materials, among others.

A city for the people

“Xiongan is a young city with great potential,” said Zhao Can, an employee of Hebei Xiongan Urban Construction Co., Ltd. The former Beijing resident has decided to settle down in Xiongan with his wife.

Zhao is among the hundreds of thousands of young talents attracted to the city for its favorable policies, friendly public services and “green” living environment.

During President Xi’s Wednesday trip, he visited a residential community that is home to 5,000-plus relocated residents and highlighted the importance of ensuring the relocated residents live well and have satisfactory jobs.

Promoting equal access to basic public services is crucial in building a people’s city that is both livable and conducive to doing business, Xi noted.

Experts say the development of the Xiongan New Area is a paradigm of China’s modernization that carries historical significance.

“A complete and scientific plan goes first, followed by a whole-of-nation system to support innovative moves. The city is born to be a base for homegrown technological breakthroughs,” said Cong Yi, dean of the School of Marxism at Tianjin University of Finance and Economics.

“It not only mirrors where China’s economic strength is rooted but also will play an exemplary role in the world, showcasing that the Chinese way of modernization is not purely driven by economic growth, but rather is an all-rounded development model.”

Eight Common Tech Business Terms That Are Often Misunderstood

Business leaders within UK SMEs have been told the eight most commonly misunderstood technological terms to avoid misinformation negatively impacting performance.

Experts from business communications specialists TelephoneSystems.Cloud have warned that the most commonly used terms are often the most likely to be misunderstood.

Incorrect definitions of technical terms can easily be spread throughout a business when they are in the news all the time leading to assumptions being made.

Non-tech leaders can be tempted to suggest business changes despite not truly understanding what it is they are suggesting.

Juliet Moran, founder of TelephoneSystems.Cloud said: “Understanding what key terms like the internet and online really mean and how best to utilise the cloud can dramatically improve the way a business operates and communicates.

“It is easy for misunderstandings to spread throughout a business, particularly around technical terms that are in common use.

“Because we are used to hearing these terms every day we assume we understand what they mean and therefore we think we understand what the impact of any technical changes would be on our businesses.

“It’s important for non-tech leaders within SMEs to fully grasp the meaning of common technological terms so they don’t find themselves making decisions to do something with the technical infrastructure of the business without first properly understanding what ‘it’ is.”

TelephoneSystems.Cloud’s eight most commonly misunderstood business tech terms:

1. The Cloud

‘The Cloud’ is a term, the meaning of which has arguably shifted over time as technology has advanced. In reality, the cloud is simply some computers owned by someone else whose capacity you can use for the period of time you have an arrangement set up to do so. The cloud can be confused as everything online but that isn’t true. It can also be confused with a single provider.

Clouds can be both public and private with the difference being a private cloud is shared within your organisation whereas a public crowd shares infrastructure with other organisations. The Cloud has quickly become one of the most commonly used business tech terms because it can save your business so much due to reduced infrastructure and maintenance costs whatever industry you are in.

2. VoIP

Confusion can arise as your office phone system can look just like a standard, wired-line PBX, but if it’s coming from an Internet line instead of a landline connection then all calls will be via VoIP. If your business uses a Voice over Internet Protocol system for your phones, then it works over an Internet connection.

3. Phone “Lines”

With modern, business cloud based phone systems, you no longer have multiple phone lines going into your building. The “lines” are just network connections that go over the internet and you can have as many connections as the speed of your internet connection allows. Even on a standard DSL connection you can typically have around a dozen simultaneous calls, and on fibre internet you can have hundreds. Therefore when setting up a new phone system you should not worry about the number of lines, but instead think about the number of phone users you will have.

4. Wi-Fi

We often find customers confuse Wi-fi with their internet connection and get them mixed up. Your internet connection is what comes out of the router and down the wire and is provided by your ISP. Your Wi-Fi is a wireless service that runs off the router device. It may also have booster devices to make the signal run throughout your building. While your supplier might provide a router with Wi-Fi, if your router is up and running and you can get on the internet, but your Wi-Fi isn’t working, the problem isn’t with your internet connection.

5. Security Certificates

Sometimes called by their old name “SSL certificates”. This is a special type of file which is used to encrypt data that is transferred between a website and the customer. The use of a security certificate is indicated by a small padlock icon at the top of your browser window. It is important to note that a security certificate alone does not make a website secure. A website can still be hacked if the code is not maintained and kept up to date.

6. A.I.

Artificial Intelligence is mentioned a lot in the news recently and is attracting a lot of attention. The term conjures images of computers thinking for themselves in the same way humans do. The A.I. we have to date does not do that. In fact, the best experts in the field still don’t know how consciousness works or how to recreate it. The A.I. programs we have today tend to be focused on specific tasks such as speech recognition, image generation or image recognition. Here they can mimic some aspects of intelligent behaviour, but they are not conscious. We don’t need to fear a robot uprising just yet.

7. Bandwidth

Bandwidth is often mistaken for internet speed when it’s actually the volume of information that can be sent over a connection in a measured amount of time – calculated in megabits per second (Mbps).


8. Scalability

Scalability is a popular buzzword within organisations, but it is easy to forget that business and technology are different. Scalability in business usually means that you also have to scale your tech. Failure to do so will slow growth as tech can no longer support your expanding business it. It is important that your technology can easily scale up as your business grows.

E-Invoicing Exchange Summit Americas: Celebrating the Launch of the Digital Business Networks Alliance

More than 120 experts, thought leaders and key decision-makers from 25 countries met in Miami from April 24 to 26, 2023 in order to discuss the current and future trends in electronic invoicing, procurement and continuous transaction controls (CTCs). It have been three jam-packed and exciting days full of valuable insights from global experts sharing interesting developments in the world of E-Invoicing for the Americas and globally.

Two very well attended interactive workshops kicked off the event. The first one was run by Christiaan van der Valk and Michel Gilis from the European E-Invoicing Service Provider Association (EESPA), demystifying E-Invoicing and its abbreviations and was followed by the Business Payment Coalition discussing the next steps for the E-Invoice Exchange Framework for the U.S. and the future possibilities for organizations to join.

One of the many highlights was the celebration of the launch of the Digital Business Networks Alliance (DBNA) in the U.S. The wide acceptance and embrace of the four-corner-model was evident in the numerous presentations. Leading corporate case studies gave insights into their current E-Invoicing implementations as well as into the future trends of automation and artificial intelligence. Further subjects of debate included the harmonization towards a truly global interoperability framework (GIF), which was also the topic of a high-level expert panel.

Once again, the E-Invoicing Exchange Summit has been a great space where the E-Invoicing and E-Reporting community exchanged ideas and benefitted from great networking opportunities. Numerous excellent discussions and face-to-face talks took place with customers, partners, and policy drivers on the convergence of the different E-Invoicing and E-Reporting models and how all can help reduce complexity and manage the transition to E-Invoicing and Continuous Transaction Controls.

The very positive feedback from all parties proves the need for a dedicated platform for E-Invoicing for the Americas to share best practices and ideas. The E-Invoicing Exchange Summit is glad to take over this role and to establish itself as the key event for the community. We say thank you to all participants, speakers and partners that made the 6th edition of the Exchange Summit a huge success and look very much forward to seeing you next year, April 22 to 24, 2024 in Miami.

More information on the E-Invoicing Exchange Summit Americas:

7 Basics Of Shipping Temperature-Sensitive Items

These days, you can buy anything online, including furniture, books, clothes, school supplies, household items, and even temperature-sensitive items like chocolates, flowers, beauty products, medicines, and food. Thanks to technological advancements, these perishable goods can safely reach consumers.

The increase in demand for perishable goods and temperature-sensitive items has led many businesses to revisit their best shipping practices. They aim to ensure that the influx of customer orders does not compromise customer satisfaction.

The goal is for the product to arrive in the same condition as when it was shipped because doing so will not only satisfy customers but also increase profitability and enhance the business’s reputation.

This post will explore the basics of shipping time-sensitive items so your business can minimize risks and make your clients happy. And if you’re considering efficient temperature-controlled shipping, you can visit this website.

Here are the basics of shipping temperature-sensitive products:

1. Identify Temperature Requirements

Different products have different temperature requirements. For example, in the food service industry, cakes and ice cream have different shipping temperatures. Cakes must be refrigerated, while ice cream should be frozen. Holding them at the right temperature ensures the quality and consistency of the product.

Aside from temperature, there might be other specific requirements like protection from light or shielding the item from humidity. Identifying these early on is critical.

2. Plan Ahead

Planning involves considering the destination, the time it’ll take for the items to arrive, and potential delays that may occur. Planning is crucial to ensure you select the best shipping method and company.

3. Choose The Right Packaging

To protect the package from external factors like light, temperature fluctuations, and humidity, you must use the correct container for shipping. Most perishable food items use insulated containers lined with protective bubble material to cushion the products and high-quality materials like aluminum foil and metalized film to maintain the item’s temperature.

On the other hand, pharmaceuticals use insulated boxes with thermal barriers and temperature sensors, as they require a higher level of protection. The packaging must be sturdy and maintain the product’s temperature without being too heavy, as this can adversely affect shipping costs. That’s why many businesses prioritize materials like polyurethane and polystyrene, which are lightweight.

4. Use Appropriate Refrigerants

Refrigerants are substances that help maintain the temperature inside the container. You may have seen these when ordering meat from your butcher. They look like gel packs used by athletes when treating injuries like sprains. However, manufacturers make the ones used in shipping perishable food items from food-grade materials.

Some examples of refrigerants include gel packs, dry ice, phase change materials (PCMs), and coolants. They come in various forms and sizes and help keep your products at the optimal temperature.

5. Monitor The Temperature During Shipping

With modern logistics, you can determine the exact temperature of your products even while in transit. Using data loggers, temperature indicators, and RFID sensors, you can ensure that the items arrive at their destination in the most optimal condition.

These tiny devices track and store temperature readings at determined intervals. They provide accurate information so you’ll know when there has been a deviation in temperature, which can be critical to the quality of the product.

For example, vaccines are extremely temperature-sensitive. Exposure to undesirable conditions may render them ineffective. When this happens, it can be a massive loss for the company, as the customer will likely decline the shipment upon receiving them in this state.

6. Label The Package

Proper labeling ensures appropriate handling during shipment. Once the products leave your premises, they’re beyond your control. Your only assurance is that handlers will follow the label on the box, stating that the items are fragile and should be handled cautiously.

For temperature-sensitive items, labels like ‘keep refrigerated’ or ‘protect from heat’ give handlers an idea about the expectations of these shipments. In addition, you may also include the contents of the package or any potential hazard on the product. Prominently display the label outside the box using standard codes for logistics.

7. Plan For Contingencies

Even with meticulous planning, unforeseen issues can arise with refrigerated shipments. There is always the risk of temperature fluctuations and damage during transit. It’s essential to have a contingency plan to handle such situations, such as having backup refrigerants or using an alternative shipping method.


Shipping temperature-sensitive items is easier today than ever before. By knowing the basics and ensuring consistency, your refrigerated products will consistently reach your customers in the best possible condition.

How AI Impacts Mergers And Acquisitions

In the fast-changing world of business, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have become a crucial tool for growth and competitive advantage. As technology advances, artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an increasingly significant role in shaping the M&A landscape.

This article explores how AI is revolutionizing how M&A deals are sourced, evaluated, and executed, offering valuable insights and efficiencies throughout the process.

Current Uses Of AI In Business

AI is transforming the business landscape, offering innovative solutions to various challenges. For example, it can automate repetitive tasks, enhance customer service through chatbots and virtual assistants, and provide personalized marketing and product recommendations. To gather comprehensive data about this groundbreaking technology, you can read online sources like the guides from Future Forge.

AI-driven analytics are also used for predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and fraud detection. Moreover, AI-powered tools assist decision-making by analyzing large datasets, identifying trends, and uncovering insights, enabling businesses to operate more efficiently and strategically.

How AI Can Boost Mergers And Acquisitions

Mergers occur when two organizations combine to form a new entity, while an acquisition involves one company purchasing another. M&A transactions require extensive research, due diligence, negotiation, and post-deal integration, making them complex and resource-intensive endeavors. AI can be used to fulfill these objectives and prevent issues associated with M&A.

1. AI In Deal Sourcing And Target Identification

One of the primary challenges in M&A is identifying suitable targets that align with a company’s strategic goals. AI tools can analyze lots of data from different sources, such as financial statements, market trends, and social media, to identify potential acquisition targets more precisely and quickly.

2. Enhanced Due Diligence And Risk Assessment

The M&A process requires critical due diligence. This involves the comprehensive analysis of a target company’s financial, operational, and legal information. AI tools can automate and streamline the due diligence process, reducing manual labor and accelerating the discovery of relevant information. AI’s ability to process and analyze large datasets enables a more thorough risk assessment, identifying potential red flags and mitigating factors that could impact the deal’s success.

3. Improved Valuation And Deal Structuring

Accurate valuation and deal structuring are essential for successful M&A transactions. AI-driven financial modeling and forecasting tools can provide more accurate and timely valuations, taking into account various factors such as market trends, industry dynamics, and other elements. By leveraging AI’s analytical capabilities, companies can optimize deal terms and structures, ensuring that transactions are executed at the right price and under favorable conditions.

4. Optimizing Post-Merger Integration

Post-merger integration is a critical phase in the M&A process, as it sets the foundation for the combined entity’s future success. AI can facilitate smoother integration by identifying potential operational mechanisms, streamlining workflows, and automating routine tasks. Additionally, AI-driven analytics can monitor the integration’s progress in real-time, enabling companies to make data-driven decisions and adjust their strategies as needed to maximize value creation.

5. Legal And Regulatory Compliance

M&A transactions often involve navigating complex legal and regulatory frameworks, which can be time-consuming and costly. AI can help with legal work, such as automating the review and analysis of contracts, regulatory filings, and other legal documents. As such, it reduces the risk of human error and ensures compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

Optimizing AI Use In M&A

While AI offers numerous benefits in the M&A process, there are potential downsides to consider:

  • Overreliance on these tools may lead to neglecting human intuition.
  • Inaccurate, incomplete, or biased data can lead to flawed insights and decisions.
  • AI systems may require access to sensitive information during the M&A process, which raises concerns about data privacy and security.
  • The use of AI in M&A may raise legal and ethical questions, such as the potential for discrimination or unfair practices due to algorithmic biases.
  • Integrating AI may require significant investment in technology, infrastructure, and personnel.

Maximizing AI’s advantages in the M&A process requires balancing AI-driven insights and human judgment, ensuring data quality, safeguarding sensitive information, and adhering to legal and ethical standards.

Final Thoughts

Artificial intelligence is leaving an indelible mark on the mergers and acquisitions landscape, offering a wealth of benefits and opportunities to businesses and investors alike. Organizations can streamline deal sourcing, conduct thorough due diligence, and optimize integration by tapping the power of AI. Ultimately, this enables them to make more informed decisions that drive success.

As AI continues to advance and permeate every aspect of the M&A process, organizations that adapt and embrace these innovative technologies stand to thrive better in an increasingly competitive and dynamic business environment.

What to Look for When Choosing Jewellery for Your Wedding Day

When it comes to selecting jewellery for your wedding day, the options can be overwhelming. From statement pieces to delicate accessories, choosing the right jewellery can make or break your big-day look. They do not have to be expensive. Affordable Moissanite jewellery may be all that you need. Therefore, do some research and narrow down your choices before you start shopping for wedding day jewellery.

You can find inspiration from a variety of sources such as online platforms, magazines, and recommendations from friends and family. Researching will also give you an idea of what is currently in fashion and what types of jewellery suit different dress styles. Knowing more about different jewellery styles, materials, and designs will make the selection process easier.

Factors to Consider for Wedding Jewellery

Making the right choice of wedding jewellery needs careful consideration of your needs. Over and above researching other jewellers and stores to compare prices and selection, here are some other key factors to consider:


Do not forget to consider your budget when selecting wedding day jewellery. Although it can be tempting to splurge on diamond earrings or a statement necklace, it is essential to know what you can afford before committing to an item. The right pieces do not always come with hefty price tags. You can find beautiful and affordable items at local stores if you take the time to search. Remember that there are various sizes, shapes, and materials to choose from, so finding stunning jewellery that fits your budget is possible.

Personal Style

Your wedding day is a celebration of your individuality, so let your style shine through your jewellery choices. Find pieces that reflect your unique personality in subtle ways. If you love sparkle, consider shimmering earrings or a delicate diamond-embedded bracelet. Classic gold studs or bangles are perfect for an understated look. Remember, choosing pieces that match your style will make you feel confident and proud on your special day.


Comfort is key when it comes to choosing wedding day jewellery. You will be wearing your jewellery for hours, so it is important to choose lightweight materials such as gold or silver. Classic necklaces and subtle earrings are great options that still look beautiful while not causing any discomfort.

If you plan to wear multiple pieces or a statement necklace, make sure to consider the weight of each item and ensure that it will not weigh down your dress or cause discomfort throughout the day. Remember that your wedding day is a long event, so prioritize comfort to ensure a great experience.


When it comes to selecting jewellery for your wedding day, timing is crucial. If you are purchasing from an online store, make sure to order well in advance to allow plenty of time for delivery. If you are opting for custom-made pieces, factor in enough time for the jeweller to create and perfect your design. In addition, on the day of your wedding, make sure to allocate enough time to put your jewellery on without feeling rushed.

Wedding Color and Theme

When selecting your wedding jewellery, it is important to consider the colour scheme and theme of your wedding. For instance, if you are having a rustic barn wedding, choose pieces that incorporate wood or leather.

Alternatively, if you are hosting a beachside ceremony, opt for items made from mother-of-pearl or cubic zirconia stones to add a touch of elegance. Whatever the event, select jewellery that not only looks great but also matches your overall vision for the day.

Sentimental Value

Adding sentimental value to your wedding day jewellery is a beautiful way to make your accessories even more special. Consider selecting pieces that hold special meaning to you and your partner, such as your engagement ring or a necklace with your initials.

If there is no specific item with sentimental value, custom-made pieces can be crafted as a unique reminder of your big day. Personalized jewellery create long-lasting memories.

Final thoughts

Selecting the right jewellery for your wedding day can be overwhelming, but keeping in mind factors such as personal style, colour scheme, budget, and sentimental value can help make the process easier. Researching, planning, and prioritizing comfort are also important. Ultimately, choosing pieces that make you feel beautiful and reflect your unique personality is key.

Meet the New Science Behind Delivering Refrigerated Goods Faster

When it comes to delivering refrigerated goods, a critical challenge has always been present in the industry: ensuring that products are transported in a timely and efficient manner without compromising their quality or safety. 

The stakes are high, as delays or mishandling can result in spoiled goods, lost revenue, and damaged reputation. This is where the importance of speed comes into play.

In the fast-paced world of refrigerated goods shipping, the ability to move products quickly and reliably can make all the difference.

Let’s explore the new science behind delivering refrigerated goods faster and how it’s disrupting the industry. We’ll look closer at Cargobot Pool, a technology-driven logistics platform revolutionizing how refrigerated goods are transported and its benefits for shippers, carriers, and drivers alike.

The Traditional Approach to Delivering Refrigerated Goods

The traditional approach to delivering refrigerated goods involved manual steps and dependencies, often leading to delays, inefficiencies, and errors.

The process typically starts with a shipper contacting a broker to arrange for a refrigerated carrier to transport the goods. The broker would then negotiate rates and capacity with carriers and handle the paperwork. The carrier would dispatch a driver to pick up the goods, and the driver would transport them to the destination, often making multiple stops along the way.

One of the main problems associated with this traditional approach is the lack of visibility and control. Shippers have limited visibility into the carrier’s performance, which makes it difficult to track the shipment’s progress, ensure timely delivery, and prevent spoilage. Carriers, on the other hand, struggle to optimize their routes and capacity, which result in empty miles, wasted fuel, and lost revenue.

Another major drawback of the traditional approach is the reliance on manual processes and paperwork. This leads to delays, errors, and miscommunications, further slowing the shipment and increasing the risk of spoilage. 

The New Science Behind Delivering Refrigerated Goods Faster

Cargobot Pool is a technology-driven logistics platform disrupting how refrigerated goods are transported. By leveraging data, algorithms, and automation and combining it with reliable human experience and support, Cargobot Pool provides shippers with a faster, more efficient, and more transparent way to transport their goods.

At the core of Cargobot Pool’s technology is an algorithm that helps human support agents better match shippers’ demands with carriers’ capacity in real time. This hybrid system considers a wide range of factors, such as distance, time, temperature requirements, and carrier preferences, to optimize the route and maximize the utilization of the carrier’s capacity.

This approach ensures that carriers are dispatched only when they have available capacity, which reduces empty miles and increases revenue. At the same time, shippers benefit from faster and more reliable transportation, which results in lower costs and higher customer satisfaction.

Another key feature of Cargobot Pool’s technology is the real-time tracking and monitoring of shipments. Shippers and carriers can access a dashboard that provides real-time updates on the shipment’s progress and location, which enables them to take proactive measures in case of any issues or delays. This level of visibility and control helps prevent spoilage, reduces risk, and enhances safety.

Overall, the benefits of Cargobot Pool’s technology are numerous. Shippers benefit from faster and more reliable transportation, lower costs, and higher customer satisfaction. Carriers benefit from increased capacity utilization, higher revenue, and reduced empty miles. Finally, drivers benefit from a streamlined and more efficient dispatch process, enabling them to focus on driving and delivering goods rather than paperwork and negotiations.

How Cargobot Pool is Disrupting the Refrigerated Shipping Industry

Cargobot Pool’s innovative business model disrupts the traditional brokerage model by providing a technology-driven platform directly connecting shippers and carriers. Shippers can post their transportation demands on the platform, and carriers can bid on the loads they want to transport. This approach ensures that shippers get the best rates and services while carriers access new business opportunities and increased revenue.

One of the advantages of Cargobot Pool’s business model is the transparency and efficiency it provides. Shippers and carriers can access real-time information on their transactions’ status and communicate directly through the platform. This eliminates the need for brokers and reduces the paperwork and bureaucracy associated with the traditional brokerage model.

For shippers, the advantages of Cargobot Pool’s platform are numerous. They benefit from a faster and more reliable transportation solution, lower costs, and increased visibility and control over their shipments. They can also access a wider pool of carriers, which increases competition and ensures that they get the best rates and services.

For carriers, the advantages of Cargobot Pool’s platform include increased revenue, access to new business opportunities, and a streamlined and more efficient dispatch process. They can also optimize their capacity and reduce empty miles, which increases profitability and reduces environmental impact.

Overall, Cargobot Pool’s disruptive approach to refrigerated goods transportation is transforming the industry and providing new opportunities for shippers, carriers, and drivers alike.

Re-Think Your Shipping Logistics With Cargobot Pool

In the fast-paced world of refrigerated goods shipping, speed is paramount. Moving products quickly and reliably can make all the difference in meeting customer demands, ensuring product quality, and staying ahead of the competition. However, traditional approaches to refrigerated goods transportation have been plagued by inefficiencies, delays, and a lack of transparency. This is where Cargobot Pool comes in.

If you’re looking to re-think your shipping logistics and take advantage of the new science behind delivering refrigerated goods faster, Cargobot Pool is your platform. With Cargobot Pool, you can enjoy quicker and more reliable transportation, lower costs, and higher customer satisfaction.

You can optimize your capacity, reduce empty miles, and increase revenue. And you can benefit from a streamlined and more efficient dispatch process that enables you to focus on driving and delivering goods rather than paperwork and negotiations.

So why not join the movement and re-think your shipping logistics with Cargobot Pool today?

Investment Real Estate in Palm Jumeirah: Opportunities and Benefits

Posted on 12th May 2023

Investment real estate in Palm Jumeirah is an increasingly popular option for those looking to capitalize on their investments. This article will explore the opportunities and benefits available through investing in this region, providing a comprehensive overview of the topic. It will focus on examining the economic growth that has occurred over recent years, as well as outlining some of the key advantages associated with investment in real estate in this area. In addition, it will consider any potential risks which may be encountered by investors when they decide to invest in property located within Palm Jumeirah. By considering all these different aspects, readers should gain a better understanding of what makes investing in this location so attractive and how they can benefit from such an opportunity.

Economic Growth in The Region

Population growth has led to urban sprawl in the area. Property prices have increased due to the high demand, making it an attractive investment opportunity. Additionally, it is situated in one of the most affluent neighbourhoods of Dubai and close to Abu Dhabi, making it a desirable place for investors.

Recent superior construction initiatives may provide long-term rewards. Dubai’s tax policy also brings in money from other countries while seeking low risk returns. Thus, this region’s economic prosperity brings advantages to property owners and investors.

Locating the Ideal Home

Investing in property offers a range of benefits, but finding the right one is key. To ensure you get it right and make a good return on your investment, there are several factors to consider:

Research neighbourhood trends, median prices, and rental yields for homes like yours.

Check construction laws and planning approval restrictions that may effect your rent or ability to remodel or enlarge structures.

Find out who would rent your house and what they want.

Potential Risks of Investing

Investing can be a lucrative venture for those interested in maximizing their returns. However, there are certain risks associated with purchasing and managing property that must be considered before investing. Potential investors should understand the possible pitfalls of buying investment property:

Demand has raised property prices in recent years. Potential investors may pay extra when making an offer or negotiating rent.

Rental demand – Vacancies or trouble finding renters willing to pay market rates might diminish earnings.

Financing options—Before buying a home, examine mortgages and loans as interest rates vary by lender.

Maintenance fees might mount up, so budget accordingly if going this way.

Tax And Regulatory Implications

Before investing, examine the hazards. Consider market trends and legal advice before buying. Tax and regulatory issues may affect any investment, so investors should consult local tax experts or lawyers. This ensures consumers understand their rights and duties and how to arrange the transaction for optimal advantage. Understanding market patterns can also help capitalists to safely bet on future rental revenue and price increases. Investors may make educated purchases and optimize profits by considering these factors. Prospective investors may construct long-term portfolio plans while limiting risk.

Investment Property Financing

Investing may pay well, despite the hazards. Successful property financing requires serious consideration. Most banks and financial institutions provide mortgages and lines of credit to help investors maximize their return on capital. Rental yields of future investments may also suggest long-term success. Higher yields imply more lucrative investments.

These financing alternatives must also include funding costs, interest rates, and other variables that might lower returns or increase expenses. Investment requires a thorough understanding of each possibility. To maximize profit while minimizing loss, plan ahead and make informed decisions. Those who shop with a goal in mind tend to find the best prices.


Palm Jumeirah real estate investments provide the potential for capital appreciation, rental income, and tax benefits. However, it is important to consider all the relevant factors when making such an investment, such as the location and associated risks. Financing options must also be taken into account to ensure that the best deal is obtained for both short-term as well as long-term gains. Therefore, by considering all these elements before investing, one can maximize their chances of achieving success with their investment.

Read more on the official website

Explained: Financial Advice When Leaving Money for the Next Generation

Financial advice is one of the most crucial components to consider when it comes to managing your finances. This is especially true when it comes to your inheritance, and how you plan to leave your money for the next generation.

In this article, you’ll learn some of the reasons why financial advice is important when leaving an inheritance, and how it can help you achieve a successful outcome.

Read on to find out more.

Unique guidance for your financial situation

A core benefit of using financial advice when leaving an inheritance is that you can receive unique guidance on how to best approach your estate.

Your financial adviser will ensure they fully understand your financial situation, so they can tailor their advice to best suit your needs.

You may have specific requirements, including which assets you want to leave in your inheritance, the number of beneficiaries you want to leave it to, and what outcome you want regarding tax efficiency and the total inheritance figure.

Your modern wealth manager will help you achieve each of these goals, in a manner that aligns realistically with your situation.

Maximising tax efficiency with your inheritance

Another reason why you need an adviser when leaving an inheritance is because they can help you maximise tax efficiency when leaving your money.

Your adviser will make you aware of all the tax rules that might apply to your inheritance and the ways in which this could impact your wealth.

They’ll help you fully understand inheritance tax (IHT), which is the tax charge that applies to any value of your inheritance that surpasses £325,000 – as of the current tax year 2023/2024.

This means that any money you leave below this amount will be sheltered from tax, but any value that exceeds it will be taxed at a rate of 40%, with varying rules for family and timings.

Your adviser will be experienced in how IHT works, and ensure you shelter as much of your money from tax when leaving it to the next generation.

Understanding different ways to leave your estate

As well as helping you understand IHT, your adviser can also help you explore the many options when it comes to what assets you leave and how you do this.

They’ll take into account every aspect of your financial situation, and help you find the best approach that’s suited to your circumstances, while also providing optimal tax efficiency.

For example, they might discuss with you the benefits of leaving your estate to a spouse or civil partner, which may result in funds being exempt from IHT.

Also, if you plan accordingly, there’s the option for gift giving, where you can offer some of your assets to beneficiaries while you’re still alive. There are many considerations with this, and your adviser can help you navigate them – including how long you can give gifts before you die, what counts as a gift, gift allowances, etc.

Consider ongoing advice for your inheritance

As with any type of financial plan, you may want to consider ongoing financial advice from your wealth manager, to help ensure a successful financial outcome for both you and your beneficiaries.

There are many things which could impact your wealth as you carry out your inheritance plan, such as changes in tax rates, additional beneficiaries, personal goal changes, or the evolving value of your assets, for example.

An adviser can continuously review your plan and assets, and make the necessary changes as you go along to ensure you remain on target for achieving your financial goals – for both you and your family.

An adviser can also offer guidance on how your family can invest your inheritance after you die, to ensure they have wealth resilience and security for their futures.

Now you know the importance of financial advice when leaving money, be sure to speak to your modern wealth manager to formulate the right approach for you and your beneficiaries.

Please note, the value of your investments can go down as well as up.

Repair or Replace Your Roof? A Guide to Making the Right Decision

Posted on 11th May 2023

Deciding to repair or replace your roof is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a homeowner. Your roof protects everything inside and outside your home, so the right choice must be made. This guide will help walk you through all of your options so that you can make an informed decision about whether to repair or replace your roof. From understanding how old a roof needs to be before replacement should be considered, getting information on factors like climate and local regulations related to rooftop maintenance, and discovering when regular residential repairs may no longer suffice—this post covers it all!

Schedule a Professional Inspection

Your roof is a crucial component of your home’s structure – it protects you and your family from the elements and helps keep your home in good condition. But how do you know if your roof needs repairs or even a complete replacement? Rather than relying on guesswork, it’s worth considering scheduling a professional inspection. Bringing in an expert can provide you with an honest assessment of your roof’s condition and help you make an informed decision about its future. According to a roofing contractor in Fort Collins, speaking with a professional is a great way to get an idea of how much a repair or replacement would cost and what type of materials might be best for your home. Don’t leave the safety of your family and the integrity of your home to chance – schedule an inspection today.

Cost Comparison

Replacing a roof can be a significant investment, but so can repairing it. It’s important to consider the cost associated with both options to make a well-informed decision. On the one hand, repairing your roof may seem like the more economical route. However, repairing a roof that has multiple issues can end up costing more money in the long run. On the other hand, replacing your roof may seem like a daunting task, but it can save you money in the long term by eliminating the need for constant repairs. So, when it comes to repairing or replacing your roof, it’s essential to calculate the cost carefully, taking into account both short-term and long-term expenses, to make the best decision for your home and budget.

Determine whether You Need a Full Replacement or just some Repairs

When it comes to repairing damaged equipment or appliances, determining whether you need a full replacement or just some repairs can save you both time and money. Assessing the amount of damage and the extent of necessary repairs can help you make an informed decision. While some minor repairs may be feasible, if the damage is significant, a full replacement may be the best option. Don’t hesitate to consult with a professional to get their expert opinion, as they can help guide you toward the best decision for your particular situation. Ultimately, it’s important to weigh your options carefully and choose the option that will provide the most value in the long run.

Properly Maintain Your Roof Going Forward

To ensure that your roof lasts as long as possible, it’s important to take good care of it. Regular maintenance and care will help extend its lifetime and prevent the need for costly repairs or replacements in the future. For example, cleaning out gutters and removing any debris that could cause damage during stormy weather will greatly reduce the risk of damage. Incorporating regular roof inspections into your routine can identify any issues before they become major problems. Remember, taking good care of your roof now can save you time, money, and a lot of stress in the future!

When it comes to deciding whether to repair or replace your roof, the best thing you can do is arm yourself with knowledge. With the right care, you can ensure that your roof stays in top condition for years to come.

Why CEOs Need to Embrace Digital Transformation

Why CEOs Need to Embrace Digital Transformation

In today’s digital world, CEOs must embrace digital transformation to stay competitive and succeed in their business. With new technologies emerging, businesses must adapt quickly to meet evolving customer needs.

Digital transformation involves the integration of modern technology into all areas of a business. This includes using technology to create innovative business models, processes, and customer experiences. This article will detail why digital transformation is essential for CEOs to stay ahead of the curve.

Understanding Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is all about integrating digital technology into all parts of a business. This could be anything from IT infrastructure to giving customers the option to use their own mobile devices to access services. Ultimately, it’s all about adapting to the modern customer’s evolving desires and remaining one step ahead of the competition.

Digital transformation also involves a cultural shift within the organization. It requires a willingness to embrace change and continuously improve processes in response to customer feedback and market trends. Digital transformation involves a wide range of technologies such as:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Machine learning
  • Cloud computing
  • Data analytics
  • The Internet of things

Strategy and Planning

Navigating change can be difficult, and digital transformation requires a detailed plan and direction to succeed. To put your organization in a leading position, it is critical to identify which areas of your business would benefit most from digital transformation and make them a priority.

Upgrading to modern technologies, simplifying operations, and optimizing customer service through digital means can benefit your organization. A plan of action with clear objectives can help minimize potential risks and ensure your business’s success.

Customer Behaviour and Preferences

The world has seen the development of technologies and communication costs decrease. This has resulted in shorter product life cycles. It means that customers’ preferences and desires always shift. To meet customer needs, businesses must embrace digital strategies and analytics data.

Enhancing Operational Efficiency and Effectiveness

Running operations efficiently is an integral part of any successful business. Cost savings can be achieved through effective management of daily activities. Innovation in operations also helps companies reach revenue goals. For example, Walmart has mastered its operational strategy.

Walmart decided to stop storing products in its warehouses and source directly from suppliers. This strategy enabled Walmart to save money. However, the success of this plan depends on technology. Digitalizing the process of ordering, delivery and other tasks involved in the supply chain streamlines operations, making them more effective and efficient.

Digital Transformation Provides a Competitive Advantage

As technology advances, industries such as healthcare, finance, and manufacturing face disruption due to artificial Intelligence, big data, and the Internet of Things. In the near future, traditional methods of doing business will no longer be the best option to address technological disruption challenges. However, investing in a digital transformation strategy sets you apart from your competition.

Enhance Employee Productivity

Digitization can boost business and employee effectiveness. In organizations that still rely on traditional methods, employees often become overworked and output decreases. Digital transformation can improve productivity.

For instance, in a non-profit organization that relies on paper-based processes, employees can struggle to store, find, and retrieve information when needed. Digitization can solve many issues that arise when completing tasks. This allows employees to concentrate on the results of the processes instead of being confused.

How Can CEOs Embrace Digital Transformation?

To effectively lead an organization through digital transformation, CEOs must understand the technology behind it. They should keep up to date with technological advancements and trends. Once they have a solid understanding of technology, they should set a clear vision for digital transformation.

Digital transformation requires a culture of innovation and experimentation. CEOs should encourage their employees to try challenging tasks and embrace failure as a learning opportunity. CEOs should build a digital ecosystem that includes partnerships, collaborations, and technology platforms that drive innovation and growth.

Digital transformation requires skilled workers. CEOs should invest in talent development programs and provide employees with the necessary training to acquire the skills they need to thrive in the digital age. CEOs should foster a culture that values diversity, inclusion, and creativity. By embracing digital transformation, CEOs can drive growth, and increase productivity.

One important aspect of digital transformation is leveraging social media platforms like tiktok to reach a wider audience and build a strong online presence. With the explosive growth of TikTok followers, CEOs can use this platform to showcase their company’s brand, culture, and values to a younger demographic.


Digital transformation is necessary for CEOs who want their businesses to thrive in today’s digital age. By embracing digital transformation, CEOs can optimize their operations, gain valuable insights from data, and provide a better customer experience. Implementing digital transformation requires significant investments in time, money, and resources. Start today and make digital transformation a top priority and start planning for your business.

Over Half of Consumers Have Been a Victim of Financial Crime

  • Feedzai’s new report reveals a lack of awareness of scams is putting many consumers at severe risk 
  • Romance scams top the list of most common fraud type with one in 10 who have fallen victim losing more than $8,400 to scammers
  • Fraudsters are adapting and increasingly taking advantage of unsuspecting consumers, luring them into becoming money mules with 42% approached on social media 
  • Consumers believe it’s the responsibility of their bank to reimburse them should they be targeted, with 77% leaving their bank should they not be refunded
  • Banks must adopt emerging technologies if they’re to tackle fraudsters and reassure their customers, with 53% feeling safer knowing their bank is using AI to protect them 

Feedzai, the world’s first RiskOps platform for financial risk management, has released its latest report – The Human Impact of Fraud and Financial Crime on Customer Trust in Banks. The report, based on research of 4,000 consumers in the UK and US, reveals how fraudsters are taking advantage of the widening fraud knowledge gap, outlining the urgent need for banks to educate and protect their customers with technology. 

The report reveals that while over half (56%) of respondents have been a victim of a financial scam, many still lack the knowledge to detect and distinguish between the various types of financial crime.  

Consequently, many consumers believe the responsibility for reimbursement lies with their bank, with over half (53%) believing they should be reimbursed if they fall victim to a scam or third-party fraud. If they weren’t refunded, three-quarters (77%) of respondents across the UK and US indicated they would leave their bank. 

Romance tops the list but fraudsters are adapting 

Romance scams top the list as the most reported type of scam, with a third (36%) of respondents having either been personally scammed or knowing someone who has been a victim. Arguably one of the cruelest forms of consumer-facing fraud, fraudsters have targeted emotionally vulnerable people, with 13% of those scammed by fraudsters losing more than $8,400, causing significant distress. 

However, Feedzai’s research found that romance scams are just one component of financial crime. Money mules, individuals whose bank accounts are used by fraudsters to transfer money, are becoming an increasingly prominent aspect of cybercriminals’ economic business models too.

In the US particularly, fraudsters are targeting unwitting consumers to become money mules. Nearly half of US consumers have been approached to receive funds, yet a quarter (24%) are unaware of the risks of being a money mule. In the UK, only a third (35%) of respondents had been approached to receive funds and seem more risk-aware, with only 17% unaware of the risks associated with being a money mule. Social media is the preferred platform for fraudsters with 42% of respondents approached on social media to become money mules.

AI drives reassurance but banks need to get it right 

As criminals get more aggressive and innovative, emerging technologies such as ChatGPT create a new set of challenges for banks and financial institutions in tackling financial crime. 

In response, banks must act and also embrace innovative technology to protect their customers from fraudsters. AI holds huge potential to keep customers safe whilst also solidifying customer loyalty, with over half (53%) of respondents feeling safer knowing their bank uses AI to protect them. 

However, the need for accuracy when using AI is vital  with 46% of respondents considering leaving their bank if it stopped a legitimate transaction, even if the issue was resolved quickly. The report highlights the critical need for banks to prioritize transparency, effective safeguards, and tailored communication strategies to ensure customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Pedro Barata, Chief Product Officer, Feedzai commented: “Our latest report highlights a major issue in terms of public awareness and education surrounding the distinctions between various types of financial crimes.  

“With a surge in digital banking services, a willingness among customers to switch banks, and an ongoing cost of living crisis, it is more important than ever for banks to foster strong relationships with their customers and establish trust. The potential of AI and other advanced technologies to enhance security measures and better protect customers from these threats has never been more clear.”

Why Oak Worktops Are the Best Choice for Kitchen Countertops

Posted on 11th May 2023

Wooden worktops are the key focal point in every kitchen in terms of their practical and aesthetic qualities. Choosing the best material for a countertop is one of the biggest decisions you will make while renovating the kitchen. Though there are many options of wooden countertops in the market, oak worktops stand out as a timeless and reliable choice.

Wooden worktops are the key focal point in every kitchen in terms of their practical and aesthetic qualities. Choosing the best material for a countertop is one of the biggest decisions you will make while renovating the kitchen. Though there are many options of wooden countertops in the market, oak worktops stand out as a timeless and reliable choice. Oak worktops along with their beauty and versatility, serve functionally and aesthetically to be one of the most sought options. Whether you’re a cooking or design enthusiast, here you will delve into five reasons why oak worktops are the best choice for kitchen countertops and why they should be at the top of your list when considering a replacement kitchen worktop.

Affordable Oak Worktops – Budget-Friendly Brilliance

Compared to other high-end kitchen countertops like granite or quartz, oak worktops offer a cost-effective alternative. Oak countertops are known for their resilience and ability to withstand daily wear and tear. With proper care and maintenance, oak worktops can last for decades, reducing the need for frequent worktop replacements and saving you money in the long run. Furthermore, the timeless beauty and natural warmth of oak worktops enhance the aesthetic appeal of any kitchen, providing an affordable and practical solution for design upgrades. Oak worktops are DIY friendly and they can be easily customized and tailored to fit by keen DIYers, minimizing the costs associated with installations.

The Versatility of Oak Worktops

Oak worktops are a highly versatile choice for kitchen countertops, thanks to their inherent characteristics and adaptability. Whether you desire a warm and inviting ambiance or a sleek and sophisticated look, oak worktops can definitely adapt to your needs. The natural beauty of oak, with its warm tones and distinctive grain patterns, adds a touch of sophistication and charm to any space.

The Enduring Quality of Oak Worktops

When it comes to durability and longevity, oak worktops are an excellent choice for your kitchen. Solid oak kitchen worktops that are known for their robustness and ability to withstand the rigors of daily use. Compared to other wooden worktops, oak’s natural density and strength make it highly resistant to scratches and dents, ensuring that your worktops will remain in pristine condition even in daily used areas. By periodically applying protective finishes, such as oils or varnishes, you can enhance the durability of oak worktops and safeguard them against stains and spills.

The Resilience and Repairability of Oak Worktops: Built to Last

Oak worktops are renowned for their exceptional resilience and repairability, making them a reliable choice for kitchen surfaces. The inherent durability of oak worktops ensures that they can withstand the daily demands of a busy kitchen without succumbing to wear and tear. Even in the rare cases of any damage, such as minor scratches or stains, they can be easily sanded and refinished, restoring their original beauty and extending their lifespan.

The Radiance of Oak Worktops: Embracing Warmth and Positive Energy

Oak worktops have a unique ability to radiate positive energy and create a warm and inviting atmosphere in any kitchen. The natural beauty of oak, with its warm hues and distinct grain patterns, brings a sense of harmony and tranquillity to the space. Oak is often associated with feelings of comfort and familiarity that impact the overall ambiance of the kitchen while making it a welcoming and enjoyable space for cooking, dining, and gathering with loved ones.

The timeless beauty and durability of oak worktops will empower you to create a personalized and visually stunning space that stands the test of time. The repairability of oak worktops will ensure their longevity, making them a cost-effective investment in the long run. Choose oak worktops and embrace the timeless elegance and enduring quality they bring to your kitchen.

SMEs and Freelancers: What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Freelancer

Imran Salam, Head of Accounting and Tax at Dolan Accoutancy shares insight on which industries are turning towards freelancers

Freelancers are self-employed individuals that earn money on a per-job basis, working with a variety of different clients, often at the same time and usually over short periods. Hiring freelancers is becoming increasingly popular with SMEs for many reasons. The economic uncertainty has led many companies to delay long-term recruitment decisions and work with freelancers. Moreover, the financial challenges make freelancers a more attractive option, with no need to provide paid holidays or other benefits. 

A huge 65% of SME owners use freelancers to support their businesses. Many believe that this enables them to focus on the more important areas of running their business whilst freelancers take control of areas such as web design. 

Benefits of freelancers for SMEs

Hiring freelancers has plenty of benefits specifically for SMEs. Outsourcing can be one of the wisest business decisions you can make as an SME owner, here are just a few positive benefits:

1. Cost-effective with fewer overheads

As a small to medium-sized business owner, you may be faced with limited resources and funding to grow and stabilise your business. This can make hiring specialised in-house employees difficult, which is where freelancers make a significant difference – being more affordable with practically no overheads. Freelancers don’t come with training and benefits costs, they also don’t require desk space or equipment. This makes it easier to access specialists without committing to a full-time salary. 

2. Instant access to specialised expertise and knowledge

SMEs can greatly benefit from the untapped potential of freelance talent. Say you have a specific need for a web developer, for example, instead of hiring a full-time developer for a one-time update, you can hire a freelancer who’s an expert in your field. This enables you to access professional services without committing to a full-time employee, especially if certain tasks are one-off requirements. It’s worth exploring where the knowledge gaps may be within your current team. This can help direct your search for a freelancer.

3. Free up your existing employees

SMEs are often made up of smaller tightly-knit teams that can wear multiple hats throughout the day. Sometimes, when there’s a knowledge or talent gap, employees are faced with an increased workload to compensate for any lacking areas. By hiring a freelancer to fill these gaps or to take on some of the day-to-day tasks, your employees are free to focus on their roles and perform to the best of their ability. 

4. Flexibility

As your business grows, so do your requirements. Freelancers are able to adapt to your changing needs, providing more or less work as needed. Perhaps you decide to hire a freelancer on a recurring basis, with consistent expectations of the work required. Or, perhaps you operate on a more transactional basis, hiring freelancers for one-off projects. This level of flexibility provides the peace of mind that you can easily scale up or down the amount of work required.

5. Access to the global market 

Gone are the days when you’d be limited to only hiring talent within your local market, with the huge uptake in remote working technology, freelancers based anywhere in the world can support your business. Not only does this widen your talent pool but can also improve efficiency, with freelancers from different time zones being able to hold the fort during all hours.

What do SMEs need to know when hiring freelancers?

When hiring freelancers, it’s important to follow the steps below to ensure a seamless process:

  1. Define what you’re looking for – consider your long-term goals, the level of expertise required and a time commitment. Not only will this help narrow down your search but will also tell the freelancer whether they are right for your business.
  2. Set a budget – research the going rates for the type of work and expertise you’re looking for. This will help to narrow down your search further and set realistic expectations for both yourself and the freelancer.
  3. Look for relevant experience – one of the main benefits of freelancers is their niche expertise. This enables you to work with professionals who have experience in your industry.
  4. Read reviews – whether you’ve found a freelancer through a hiring website or their own site, make sure you look for any reviews or feedback from clients. This will tell you whether they have a positive track record.
  5. Draw up a contract – it’s vital that you put down your expectations in writing to avoid any complications further down the line. This protects both yourself and the freelancer.

Freelancer employment rights

Whilst freelancers aren’t full-time employees, they are entitled to the following employment rights:

  • Health and safety protection
  • Protection against discrimination in the workplace
  • Being legally protected by the terms of the contract
  • The right to a safe working environment

How to make the most of hiring a freelancer

Freelancers can significantly help your SME grow, filling any talent gaps and flexibly working around your requirements. However, to make the most out of your pool of talent, you need to set a clear brief and expectations. Detailing the scope of the work required and providing a helpful brief will ensure that you start off on the right foot. It’ll also help the freelancer to produce their best work. 

Maintain a strong relationship with your freelancers with regular communication and helpful constructive feedback. Whilst freelancers won’t require as much input from you as full-time employees, it’s important to invest time into them to gain the most out of the relationship.

Celebrity Brow Expert Tells Us How to Make Our Brows Look Younger

By Sarah Amelia Fogg, celebrity brow artist and founder of Brows by Sarah

It’s no surprise that as a woman ages, her eyebrows do too. The brow hairs gradually get thinner and sparser in certain areas. The shape of your brows will change with age as the tails and bulbs will start to recede. Brow hair also changes colour the same as your normal hair so if you start to go grey, your eyebrows will adopt this colour change as well. However, I think it’s important that we embrace ageing. Our facial features changing is not necessarily something to hide, but rather an indication of aging gracefully but it is perfectly understandable that some of us may prefer to keep our brows youthful for as long as possible and there are many ways to do so. 

Apply product correctly:

One of the most prominent areas that gives away your age is your brows. They are the most common area I see where people make mistakes that age them. Neglecting your brows completely can make you look older, especially if you have sparse brows. Similarly, going too heavy on the product can also age you. As we age, our brow arch naturally drops. So, if the defined look is what you’re after, avoid adding too much colour to the tail of your brow as overextending will draw your face down. In general, you want to avoid adding too much product so I recommend starting at the tail and then working inwards. Doing this can help you work with the natural shape of your brow, keep it looking fluffy and help you avoid applying too much product. Applying too much product in general is a common mistake that can age you whether that’s with your brow products, eyeliner or foundation. In general, less is more.

Avoid the tweezers:

One of my main pieces of advice is to avoid the tweezers unless you’re plucking from the glabella (the flat area between your eyebrows above your nose). Plucking hairs from around the arch and bulb can be detrimental to your brow health and growth as we never know how long it’ll take for those hairs to grow back, in some cases they may never return! Once the tweezers have been used, there’s no going back. So if you are looking to remove some brow hairs, I’d recommend going to a professional who can advise you on what is best. Otherwise, try to let your brows grow to help them fill in naturally and look fuller.”

Use a growth serum:

“If you want to try and grow your brows to fill them in naturally, without using a pencil to fill them in or having a brow treatment, a brow growth serum is everything. I formulated the Wow Brow growth mascara (a 3 in 1 brow product) that is clinically proven to naturally fill in your brows. The enhancing and thickening serum is available with the choice of two pigments. When applied daily, Wow Brow reactivates brow growth whilst stimulating keratin production, and strengthening weak and sparse brow hairs. It is rich in botanical extracts & peptides meaning it will not only promote hair growth but keep your brows looking and feeling healthy as well as sculpted and lifted all of the time” It’s all about being consistent with usage and having patience to see results.

Make your brows look fuller:

I also recommend using a strong clear brow gel to brush your brow hairs upwards and to create thicker, fluffy brows. This will get rid of sparse brows therefore resulting in a fuller-looking shape which will make you look younger. The Fluff It Up brow gel is so easy to use and lasts all day. It can be used with or without makeup but if using it with makeup be sure to use it at the end of your routine to get the full effect of the sculpt and lift. Apply with the brow spoolie, gently brushing in an upwards direction, starting at the bulb of the brow, making your way to the tail. Adding in a few subtle hair strokes with a precise pencil will also create the illusion of thicker brows.

Find the right shape for you:

Picking the right shape eyebrow is also an important part of securing youthful, fresh brows. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have the right eyebrow shape as your eyebrows can lift, define, and frame your whole face perfectly. Ensuring that they are symmetrical is another vital step of achieving flawless, younger-looking brows however it is very tricky to do so. Whatever look you’re going for, remember that our brows are extremely personal – it’s not ‘one size fits all’ and it’s certainly not about simply picking a style and sticking with it. We all have different needs and, of course, certain shapes will suit different faces. To find the right shape for you, which can be tricky to do, you want to map the bulb, arch, and tail of your brows using a pencil or the end of a makeup brush.  Start by placing your chosen tool on the side of your nose and angling towards the inner corner of your eye which will indicate where the bulb of your brow should start. Then, angle your tool over your eye (but not touching your eye) and this will indicate where your arch should be. The last step is angling the tool with the outer corner of your eye which will indicate where the tail end of your brow should be. I strongly recommend trying to honour your natural brow shape as this will suit you the best.

7 Ways to Upgrade Your Entrance?

When it comes to creating a beautiful and inviting home, a nice appeal is crucial. It can make a big difference to the value of your home. This is not only important if you want to sell your house but it’s also important for the radiation of your home. There are several techniques in order to improve the entrance of your home. Below, we list a few.

1. Upgrade your walkway

The walkway is the invitation that leads visitors to your front door. If it’s outdated or uneven, it can detract from the overall look of your entrance. You can upgrade the walkway by using other materials such as stone or brick in order to create a more cohesive look. Use carves in your walkway in order to break the monotony. There are many styles and colours and you can customize the look of the walkway to match the style of your home.

2. Add decorative accents

Decorative accents can add personality and charm to your entrance. They enhance a warm and welcoming feel to the visitors of your home. Some decorative accents can be a doormat, a plant, a nice flower pot or a sculpture. Keep in mind when choosing decorative accents that the style and colours fit the house style. For example if you have a country house, green and terra cotta colours will prevail.

3. Enlighten your entrance and façade

Lighting is a crucial part of mood creation. Lighting can make or break an atmosphere. Even when you arrive at the driveway, it is easy and atmospheric to provide lighting. This can be done in many ways. For example, you can use ground spots. The advantage of these is that they come nicely flush with the tile so you can’t trip over them. Another option is to install garden posts on which wall lights shine nicely down. Finally, installing wall lights in front of the facade is also very atmospheric. You can also connect these to a detector so they don’t stay on unnecessarily long. This is also an ideal way to deter unwanted visitors. In terms of light colour, it is best to use warm white light so that everything is pleasantly lit.

4. Use grass and shrubs

A front garden made entirely of bricks or stones is not attractive. Use grass to break up the monotony and make use of shrubs such as boxwood or yew. Use islands to group shrubs, whether around a tree or not. Ornamental grasses are also very popular. They can also be integrated into an island.

5. Take care of your driveway and facade

Every driveway requires maintenance. If you use clinkers, moss often needs to be removed. The clinkers also often need a good polish. Definitely do not use the jet of a pressure washer as you will create pits in the clinkers in which dirt and moss easily infiltrate. Use a brush for this. Pebbles require less maintenance. In that case, install gravel mats first. This prevents you from constantly sinking into the pebbles, making it feel more pleasant. Do not skimp on maintenance. Your driveway is your home’s calling card.

6. Create a water feature

Want to make it really attractive? Then install a pond, with or without a fountain. Nothing creates more tranquillity than hearing water making its way downhill.

7. Take charging stations into account

As electric cars become more and more popular, providing a charging station is now a necessity. There are now charging stations with multiple sockets so that several cars can charge at the same time. Make sure the charging station is close enough to the car and that the cables are concealed as far as possible.

What Brand of Furniture Is the Best Quality in the UK?

When it comes to furnishing your home, finding the right furniture can make all the difference in creating a comfortable and stylish living space. With so many options on the market, it can be challenging to know which brand of furniture is the best quality in the UK. In this blog, we all explore the leading brand in the furniture industry in the UK.

What is Furniture in Fashion?

Furniture in Fashion is one of the biggest online furniture stores in the UK, offering a wide range of furniture styles, from traditional to modern, at competitive prices. Established in 2007, Furniture in Fashion has grown to become a popular brand in the UK furniture industry, with an extensive online presence and a showroom in Bolton.

What makes Furniture in Fashion stand out?

Furniture in Fashion offers a vast selection of furniture items, from sofas and beds to dining tables and chairs, all made from high-quality materials. Their furniture is not only stylish but also functional, designed to meet the needs of modern-day living.

One of the key things that make Furniture in Fashion stand out from other furniture brands is their commitment to quality. They source their materials from reputable suppliers and work with experienced craftsmen to ensure that each piece of furniture is made to the highest standards.

Another factor that sets Furniture in Fashion apart from other furniture brands is their competitive pricing. They offer affordable furniture without compromising on quality, making it accessible for everyone to create a stylish and comfortable living space.

Furniture in Fashion’s product range

Furniture in Fashion has a vast product range, with furniture items to suit all tastes and budgets. Here are some of the most popular furniture items that Furniture in Fashion offers:

  • Living room furniture
  • Bedroom furniture
  • Dining tables and chairs
  • Wardrobes
  • Tv stands
  • And a lot more

Furniture in Fashion’s customer service

Furniture in Fashion is committed to providing excellent customer service to their customers. They have a dedicated customer service team that is available to answer any queries or concerns that customers may have.

Why choose Furniture in Fashion?

If you’re looking for quality furniture at affordable prices, Furniture in Fashion is an excellent choice. With their vast product range, commitment to quality, and excellent customer service, Furniture in Fashion is one of the best furniture brands in the UK.

Buy furniture from our online store

If you’re ready to buy furniture from Furniture in Fashion, you can visit their website to browse their product range and make your purchase. Furniture in Fashion’s online store is easy to use, and you can filter your search by category and refine your search by price, style, and material, making it simple to find the perfect furniture for your home.

Furthermore, Furniture in Fashion offers a convenient online shopping experience, allowing customers to shop from the comfort of their own home. Their website is user-friendly, with detailed product descriptions, images, and customer reviews, helping customers make an informed decision.

In addition to their online store, Furniture in Fashion has a showroom in Bolton, where customers can view their products in person before making a purchase. The showroom is a great way to see the quality of their furniture and get a feel for the products before buying.

Top 9 Services to Grow Your Business With in 2023

Growing your business it’s all about the choices you make. Do you want success? I’m sure you do. But do you have the courage to change your old habits of unsuccessful failures before you understand that your business it’s not the problem, the techniques you employ are? Whether you’re starting your own family business, or you’ve had one for a very long time without seeing the light of it, this article is for you.

You can find here all about the best services that aid in your business success.

The importance of having the right people by your side

Let’s face it. You can be a great business owner, but without having the right people by your side, you’ll likely fail. Fast growth can only happen when you have the best people around you. Those who are willing to take measured risks and who are dedicated to performing their tasks for the company’s success. You don’t need people to fill the job positions in your business. You need someone, even one person, who is ready to take over the world and work for it.

Candidate profile When you’re in the hiring process, you may have this model of a person that you want to work for you. Understanding what you’re looking for in candidates will help you in targeting the right audience for the role. In the candidate profile, you can include the personal traits of a person, success features, career goals, qualities they must have, key skills, education, work experience, hard and soft skills, etc. By partnering with a global PEO, businesses can access local expertise and compliance knowledge, enabling them to establish a presence in new regions with minimal risk and maximum efficiency.

Finding someone to fit into your business culture and environment can be challenging, but not impossible. You also need a well-written job description that will cover everything starting from your company’s culture to the purpose and values of your business.

No one will jump right in working for you if they’re not completely sure what they’re getting into. There are many tools that you can find who will help you to write your job descriptions and candidate profiles.

Social media marketing

Nowadays, social media has taken over a huge part of our lives. Whether it’s work-related, or for entertaining purposes, we all check Tiktok, Facebook, or Instagram daily. And what better way to promote your products and deliver your message, than through those apps? E-commerce companies  may successfully sell their products to certain people.

But without a social media platform, it’s unlikely that your product travels to the right ears. With social media, you’re targeting places that are crowded with people. If you need to attract older people, Facebook is your go-to place, because Generation Y and Z are taking over the platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Instagram. So when you know the purpose of your content you’ll know who it is for.

A digital marketing agency for Saas

Having great products but no way to promote them can be bad for your business. Being recognized in the market it’s the piece of the puzzle you need in order to sell your products. Having the best digital marketing agency for saas will mainly focus on creating the voice that screams about your products. It can boost your sales and aid in sales exponentially. They will also declare ways of winning new customers whether through traditional mail, telesales, direct mail, etc.

Sales Funnel

A Sales funnel is a core concept of the potential customers’ journey of what they’re going through starting from the questions they ask themself about the purpose of your business, and ending with them becoming your actual customers. Even if you have the most brilliant idea for your business, you need more than that to create progress. Let’s say you have an online store.

You don’t need only visitors, you need buyers for your products. A sales funnel is like a magnet for people to become interested in what you’re selling. You need to catch them, entertain them, and leave them with the thought “Oh I really want to have this”, or “I should definitely buy this. I need this”. Creating good relationships with your customers it’s all about mutual understanding of what they need from you, and what you can provide for them.

Boost your sales

Boosting your sales means increasing your lead generation. If you want to overcome any challenges that show up on the market you need different strategies. To boost your sales means more than creating the product that you want to sell. It means using tactics for your product to come across the right audience. It’s about increasing your chances and seizing the opportunities you have on your way to success.

Customer management system

If you want to effectively track and monitor ongoing transactions just in case there are unusual ones, you need a good customer management system. It’ll do the job for you. The system will also aid in obtaining a good relationship with your clients. Through the CMS you can never lose valuable pieces of information needed for your company. With CMS you have every interaction ever made stored.

Financial and accounting services

Avoiding mistakes and boosting compliance is possible when choosing the right payroll software. Accounting will allow you to access both past and current transactional data. Without financial services, you won’t have effective financial control over all your business activities.

Their role is to analyze all operations within the company. Having a good finance director will contribute to cutting costs, reducing financial risks, better cash flow, improvements in debt collections, obtaining borrowing rates, etc. Whether you need insurance, cash flow, or tax management, you only need proper financial service and the job is done.

Competitor analysis

What better way to see how your product will do on the market if it’s not through competitor analysis? Nowadays there are dozens of tools that you can utilize and dig into the inside of your competitors’ ranking and how much traffic they are getting. You are also able to compare domains or even track some keywords.

Of course, you may think “Why do I care about my rivals”, but by researching your rivals you can create something different than them. Something much better. It’s not about going to war with your competition, it’s about being on the top of the market.

Customer support service

Customer support is all about the assistance of clients who need your help. It’s people’s nature to ask a lot of questions regarding a new product that we’re buying or we have some technical issues. This task must be performed by your company if you want to keep your clients happy and satisfied with your services. You can even hire people who will answer those calls from the customers. But remember that even your old customers need to be content if you want to keep them.

Remember to always be honest and transparent with your clients. Building a connection with them should be your number one priority.


Owners of small businesses will benefit from logistic management since you’ll have a vivid plan mainly focused on marketing and sales. This management will be responsible for strategic, tactical, and operational planning. They specialize in different fields, so you can be sure that they’ll respond to your demands correctly. Logistic management is part of the supply chain that will ensure the product arrives on time in perfect condition from point A to point B.

Franchise model

The franchise model is when an established well known brand allows smaller companies to use their brand, business model, and their trademark. Well if you’re deciding to go with this one, you should know that it may cost more than you think. But if you’re truly looking for fast growth of your business, this is it.

The best thing about this type of model is that you’re going to work under a name that has already built its reputation. Also, the risks of you failing to succeed are very low compared to those that require you to grow your business on your own. There are different rules and arrangements of course. You can discuss it all with your franchisor.

One-line synopsis

No matter who your competitors are, you are never below them. You may have low ratings and sales, but your business is worth it. Never give up just because you’ve hit a few bumps. The road to success is like a long drive to your vacation. You may get tired in the process, and you may even want to quit, but the feeling of succeeding and enjoying your accomplishments is what has to keep you going.

Those businesses you compare yours with succeed not because they had easier opportunities but because they saw the potential in themselves. You have it in you and we believe and know that you’re going to do great. Remember that just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Start up Strategies for Furnishing your Office

Starting a business is a thrilling experience. As an entrepreneur, you’ll have numerous tasks to complete and decisions to make, including furnishing your office. The office furniture you choose can make a big difference in the success of your business, as it can affect your employees’ productivity, morale, and health. In this article, we all discuss some startup strategies for furnishing your office.

Why Furniture UK is a Great Option for Startups

If you’re starting a business in the UK, it’s essential to choose the right furniture for your office.

Furniture UK is an excellent option for startups for several reasons.

Firstly, purchasing Furniture can be cost-effective, as you won’t have to worry about shipping fees or import duties.

Secondly, Furniture is usually made to meet British safety and quality standards, so you can be sure that your furniture will be durable and safe.

Thirdly, buying Furniture from a local store can make it easier to coordinate delivery and installation.

Assess Your Needs

The first step in furnishing your office is to assess your needs. You’ll need to consider the size of your office, the number of employees you have, and the functions of each room. Make a list of the essential items you need, such as desks, chairs, filing cabinets, and conference tables. Consider the layout of your office and determine where each item should go. You may also want to consider the type of work your employees will be doing and how that will impact your furniture choices.

Prioritise Ergonomics

When it comes to office furniture, ergonomics should be a top priority. Ergonomic furniture is designed to promote comfort, reduce stress and strain on the body, and increase productivity. Investing in ergonomic furniture can help your employees avoid common health issues such as back pain, neck pain, and eye strain. When selecting chairs, make sure they have adjustable seats and backs, lumbar support, and armrests. Desks should be adjustable to accommodate different heights and positions. Consider investing in standing desks, which can help employees avoid prolonged sitting.

Consider Your Budget

As a startup, you may have a limited budget for office furniture. However, you don’t have to sacrifice quality for affordability. Consider purchasing high-quality, used furniture, which can be a cost-effective option. You can also look for sales and discounts on new furniture. When selecting furniture, prioritize items that are essential for your business and invest in high-quality items that will last longer. You can always add more furniture later as your business grows.

Choose Furniture that Reflects Your Brand

Your office furniture can also help to communicate your brand’s personality and values. Choose furniture that reflects your brand’s identity, such as colours, patterns, and materials. For example, if you have a modern and minimalist brand, you may want to choose furniture with clean lines and neutral colours. On the other hand, if your brand is more traditional, you may prefer furniture with ornate details and warm colours. You can also use furniture to create a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for your employees and clients.

Don’t Forget Storage Space

Storage space is often overlooked when furnishing an office. However, it’s essential to have adequate storage space to keep your office organized and clutter-free. Consider purchasing filing cabinets, bookcases, and storage shelves to keep your documents, books, and supplies organized. You may also want to invest in mobile storage units, which can be easily moved around the office as needed.

Buy Furniture from Furniture in Fashion

If you’re looking to buy furniture in the UK, we recommend checking out Furniture in Fashion, one of the biggest online furniture stores in the UK. They offer a wide range of office furniture, from desks and chairs to bookcases and storage units. They also offer free UK delivery on all orders, and their prices are competitive. Plus, by purchasing Furniture UK from a local store like Furniture in Fashion, you’ll be supporting the UK economy and reducing your carbon footprint.

How to Hire the Right Facility Management Companies

Posted on 11th May 2023

Finding the right facility management company to take care of your commercial or industrial property is no easy task. You need a company you can trust, with skilled employees and excellent customer service that will be able to understand how your business works and determine the best solutions to keep it efficient, cost-effective, safe, secure and compliant with all relevant regulations. The key is in doing your research, researching various facility management companies and then taking the time out to interview them thoroughly.

1. Understand Your Needs

You need to clearly define your needs and expectations. Make sure you know exactly what services you need from the company, such as janitorial services, security, HVAC, lighting and electricals, so that you can accurately assess if a particular company provides these or not.

If you have a large facility, then you might require more than one company to fulfill all the services. In such cases, it is important to make sure that the companies are well-coordinated and have similar standards of service delivery.

2. Research Prospective Companies

There are a number of ways to research prospective companies, you can ask around in the business community, look up ratings and reviews online, or ask for referrals from other businesses. This will give you an idea of how reliable the company is, as well as their customer service record.

The number of services offered should also be taken into account. Different companies offer varying services, some may specialize in janitorial services, while others might offer a wide range of additional services such as security, HVAC maintenance and electricals. Make sure the company you choose provides all the services that you need to run your facility efficiently.

3. Verify Credentials

It is important to verify the credentials and qualifications of a facility management company before you make your decision. Make sure they are licensed, bonded and insured, and that their certifications are up-to-date. Additionally, check if they have any complaints or lawsuits filed against them. This will give you some peace of mind knowing that the company has a good track record and is reliable. The company should also have a good reputation in the industry, with positive customer feedback and reviews.

4. Evaluate Prices and References

Different facility management companies will offer varying rates, so make sure you compare multiple companies and evaluate the prices before making a final decision. Ask for references from past clients to get an idea of the quality of their services. You may want to consider speaking to the past clients in order to gain an insight into the quality of service they received. With companies like CBM Facilities Group, you can request references from prior customers to get an idea of the quality of service they provide. The more information you can gather about a potential facility management company, the better decision you will make.

5. Interview Prospective Companies

After doing your research and verifying credentials, it’s time for you to interview each prospective facility management company. Make sure you ask questions about their experience in the industry and the quality of services they provide.

Discuss any additional needs you may have or concerns that you want addressed. You should also inquire about their pricing structure and how they would handle any potential problems that might arise. Once you have conducted all your interviews, compare the responses from each company and decide which one best meets your needs.

Choosing the right facility management company is an important decision that can have a significant impact on the overall success of your business. By taking the time to research and evaluate potential companies, you can be sure that you are making an informed decision.

Financing Your Dream Home: Understanding Your Options

Posted on 11th May 2023

Are you planning to buy your dream home?

Congratulations, that’s an exciting milestone. However, financing a home can be quite challenging, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer.

But with the variety of loans available in the market to fulfill customers’ needs, selecting the appropriate one for you can be overwhelming. Whether you’re seeking loans from traditional lenders or government programs, you need to understand the different types of loans to make an informed decision.

Even if you don’t even know how to read house plans right now, and much less how to apply for a loan, don’t fret. We got you covered. In this article, we will discuss the different types of loans available for homebuyers so that you can make an informed decision when financing your dream home.

Types of loans you might be able to access

Traditional Lenders: The Traditional Approach

Most homebuyers approach banks and credit unions for their first mortgage. These lenders offer conventional loans, which are neither backed by the government nor insured. As with everything, these more traditional loans have both advantages and problems.

A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the most common type of conventional loan, and also the most popular. The loan term is longer, which means lower monthly payments. However, borrowers need to have good credit scores and a sizable down payment to access these loans.

The advantage of traditional lenders is that they offer flexible terms, but the disadvantage is that they have strict eligibility requirements. As such, they’re not the ideal choice for everyone.

Government Programs: Benefits of Government Sponsored Loans

Another option for first-time homebuyers is government-issued loans. Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans Affairs (VA), and USDA loans provide attractive benefits such as lower down payments, lenient credit requirements, and competitive interest rates.

These programs help buyers who cannot obtain loans from traditional lenders, as they have more lenient eligibility criteria. For example, the FHA loan requires a minimum down payment of 3.5% and allows borrowers to have lower credit scores than conventional loans.

The downside is that some of these loans have stricter eligibility requirements. For example, FHA loans require mortgage insurance premiums, VA loans only apply to veterans, and USDA loans have property-specific qualifying requirements.

Private Lenders

Private lenders are non-banks who offer loans outside of traditional lending institutions. These lenders offer financing options for buyers who need more flexibility. They are a viable option for those with less-than-perfect credit or non-standard forms of income.

Private lenders offer fixed or adjustable-rate loans with alternative income verification methods and higher interest rates. Private lenders have fewer eligibility criteria than traditional banks but scrutinize potential borrowers’ creditworthiness and capacity to repay.

The main advantage of private lenders is their flexibility, but the disadvantage is that they charge higher interest rates.

Are there any other alternatives worth mentioning?

In addition to the traditional and private lenders, there are other financing options like peer-to-peer lending, bridge loans, and home equity lines of credit:

  • Peer-to-peer lending connects borrowers with investors via online platforms. Interest rates on these loans are significantly lower than those offered by conventional lenders.
  • Bridge loans provide short-term funding for buyers who need to close on a new property quickly.
  • With a home equity line of credit, you can borrow money against them value of your home.

These alternative financing solutions may be worth exploring if they fit your financial situation better than the more traditional ones.

How can I get the best loan deal?

Finding the best loan deal is not an exact science, but there are several things you can do to increase your chances.

The first thing you need to do is contact one of the above-mentioned loan providers and get pre-approved for a loan. This will help you understand how much money is available and what the terms are before you start shopping around for a house.

Once you’ve been pre-approved, research different lending options to find the most advantageous combination of low-interest rates and favourable repayment terms. Also, compare lenders’ fees, as these can vary significantly..

Finally, don’t forget to factor in closing costs when calculating your potential monthly payments. Closing costs typically range from 2-5% of the total, so it’s important to include them in your overall budget.

In conclusion, there are a variety of loan options available for first-time homebuyers. While traditional lenders offer flexible terms, government programs, and private lenders may be more suitable for certain borrowers.

In any case, it is important to do as much research as possible to understand what loan terms and conditions are available, as well as to shop around for the best deals. By taking these steps and following some simple tips, buyers can secure a desirable interest rate and get closer to achieving their dream of owning a home.

MEA Markets Magazine Announces the Winners of the 2023 UAE Business Awards

United Kingdom, 2023– MEA Markets Magazine has announced the winners of the 2023 UAE Business Awards.

Running consecutively in its seventh year, the UAE Business Awards programme acknowledges and celebrates distinctly talented businesses based in the Middle East. We explore a plethora of businesses each making an impact on their industries, their surroundings, and the rest of the world. Each winner within this programme is innovating their services, products, and industries so that the generations of the future can experience greatness.

Our Awards Coordinator, Stephanie Tooby, has expressed her delight of hosting the awards programme this year: “I want to wish a sincere congratulations to all of our winners as they continue to flourish. 2023 is going to be a big year for them and we look forward to seeing what they do next!”

To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated professionals selected for them, please visit where you can view our winners supplement and full winners list.




Notes to editors.

About MEA Markets

Published quarterly, MEA Markets ( endeavours to provide readers with the latest business and investment news from across the Middle East and African regions.

We strive at all times to get the inside track from those firms and individuals who shape the conversation, not just across the Middle East and Africa but throughout their entire industry or sector. We look behind the public faces of the biggest household name companies and departments to discover what really makes them tick and to uncover, not only their secrets to success but their thoughts on the major happenings affecting their firms and their predictions for the future.

As one of the world’s most powerful, innovative and influential business regions, and home to countless leading firms across numerous fast-moving industries, the Middle East & Africa has a huge hand in shaping what happens throughout the wider global corporate community.

About AI Global Media

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

Today, we have 14 unique brands, each of which serves a specific industry or region. Each brand covers the latest news in its sector and publishes a digital magazine and newsletter which is read by a global audience. Our flagship brand, Acquisition International, distributes a monthly digital magazine to a global circulation of 85,000, who are treated to a range of features and news pieces on the latest developments in the global corporate market.

Alongside this, we have a luxury-lifestyle magazine, LUXlife, which appeals to a range of high-net-worth individuals, offering them insight into the latest products, experiences and innovations to ensure they can live the high-life to its fullest.