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Deluxe Travel Gifts Making Every Trip A 5-Star One

Travelling consists of multiple parts. Planning the trip and packing the essentials is one thing. However, no traveller is immune to the occasional mishaps. Your luggage might get misplaced, or you might realize that the advertised Airbnb is less comfortable than advertised. Luckily, you can purchase items that can ease certain inconveniences.

Rimowa Cabin Luggage Harness

If you’ve ever checked your luggage in cargo, you might feel the dread of it being misplaced or seized by customs for random inspections. That’s why you see so many people taking carry-on cases with more than just valuables. Yet, that also causes issues for fellow vacationers who might also want a spot in the overhead bins.

An excellent gift for such travellers can be the cabin luggage harness from Rimowa. You can wrap it around a regular suitcase within a few seconds, and it doesn’t damage the surface even under immense stress. It also has a few pouches to secure electronics, tablets, or a 16-inch laptop for easy access.

Half day Garment Duffel

This unique duffel bag is the perfect gift for people who like to carry more than they require for every trip. The base zip line can hold a suit or gown wrinkle-free while you can roll it up to create an open-mouth bag.

Leatherology Deluxe Passport Cover

Made from 100% full-grain leather, these are the perfect features for protecting your passports from external damage. You also get enhanced functionality as the inner lining consists of high-quality fabric. There are two pockets to store cash and four credit card slots. Leatherology even lets you have RFID protection and your initials embossed on the front cover.

Calpak Jewelry Case

You should not carry high-value items like jewellery on your vacation, especially to an area that you’re unfamiliar with. Still, a few want to bring their bling game on. The Calpak Jewellery Case can be a practical present for those shiny souls.

With a faux leather exterior and faux suede interior, this case is rugged yet smooth to the touch. The ingenious compartments and a large drawstring pocket ensure that no one can pierce the outer layer to steal your precious jewellery.

Steam Deck

Gamers who love to travel know that their rigs can be bulky to carry around. They instead opt for a smaller handheld console to get their fix on the train or in their hotel room. If you know such a friend, they’ll highly appreciate it if you buy them a brand new Steam Deck.

Available in three modes of varying storage sizes, the Steam Deck lets you play your favourite PC games with the controls built right into it. The battery can last well past five hours with the proper settings, and you can log in using your Steam account whenever you wish.

Drowsy Sleep Silk Mask

Napping on a train or flight can be challenging. So, if you believe your friend or relative may have trouble sleeping during their stay, you can provide them with the Drowsy Sleep Silk Mask. The big, squishy, cloud-like padding lets you feel as if someone is hugging you to sleep (preferably Ryan Gosling).

The mask has a fully adjustable strap and a total blackout frontal design, making it fit any face shape and size. Its outer surface is made from pure mulberry silk, which is safe for all skin types.

Wireless Travel Routers

Enjoying a decent internet connection is essential while traveling. If your hotel Wi-Fi keeps acting up, a portable travel router can help. They are travel-friendly and easy to set up. Thus, you can take this lighter alternative anywhere.

However, if you will use the hotel Wi-Fi, do not forget to enable a Virtual Private Network. A VPN is an app that protects your data on any network. Thus, if you plan to use your computer to book tours or rent cars, turn on a VPN for PC and proceed with your bookings with more protection.

Ries Refillable Travel Container

Ries makes travel-safe containers that prevent spillage with their dual-lock mechanisms. They manufacture shampoos, sunscreens, hair conditioners, etc., all contained within cases made from recycled plastic. Ries only uses organic, vegan components without silicones. Thus, they are suitable for all skin and hair.

Short Summary

And that concludes our list of luxury travel gifts that can make every trip a 5-star one. You can buy them for yourself or give them as a gift.

Why Businesses Should Opt to Go Green in 2023

“Going green” is something that we’ve heard about increasingly over the past few decades. But what does it mean? In basic terms, going green means that you’re opting for the more environmentally friendly option. When it comes to business, this could be through your operation processes, how your office runs, what charities you support or perhaps even employee and customer incentives. There are many different ways that you can go green this year, and it doesn’t have to take up a huge amount of effort.

More Accessible Than Ever

Greener options are much more readily available now than they once were. One prime example comes in the form of renewable energy. You could consider solar powering your business, for instance. There are now even ETRM solutions (Energy Trading Risk Management) to help leading energy companies to buy, sell and manage renewable energy – if you’re wondering ‘what is ETRM’, click the link to find out more information. This just highlights the growing supply and demand for renewable energy sources – there’s no excuse in 2023 not to be a greener business!

Good For Business Reputation

The reputation of your business can sometimes be the difference between you making a sale versus your competitor. If customers can see that you align with their values and you’re trying your best to operate in a way that is as environmentally friendly as possible, then you will be able to reap the rewards of this. It can also be something that entices employees to apply for roles and stay within the business if this is something that is important to them. It makes a bigger impact than you’d think – many people want their morals to match the business that they’re in close connection with.

Can Save Money Long Term

As the technology for renewable energy improves, it becomes more affordable and desirable for businesses. New options are popping up all the time, for example, this can be seen just with the development of the wind energy sector, which has seen record-breaking growth in recent times. All of this means that greener options are cheaper to implement, and can then also save you more money in the long term, which is a win-win situation for businesses that are serious about being environmentally friendly.

Environmental Impact

Of course, one of the most obvious gains you’ll get from going green is that you’ll be doing your bit to help the planet, which it really needs right now! By putting the time and effort into being a greener business, you can operate on a guilt-free basis. You can also gain a greater sense of fulfilment from what you do, knowing that you’re doing as little damage as possible to the environment and those who live in it.

So, what do you think? Will you take action this year to be a greener company? Even small steps, such as going paperless, can make a big impact over time. Research ways you can do your bit and it can really help you, your business, and the environment.

Nutrigums Expands Through the Middle East With Seven-Figure Saudi Deal

Worldwide expansion plans for fast-growing UK functional gummy brand Nutrigums have taken yet another step forward, with its products due to go on sale across, three more Middle Eastern markets.

Most notably, the company has announced, a multi million-pound deal in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to take its popular range of gummy vitamins to a new overseas market. In addition, two further deals have been secured in the region with exclusive distributors based in Kuwait and Palestine.

Terjinder Singh Purewal, the firm’s head of international, said: “Nutrigums is going through an exciting period of its growth. As we continue to see an increased demand for our products. Therefore, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a very key market, especially in terms of its population and consumption. There is growing demand for high quality vitamins and supplements and based on our research we are confident that Nutrigums’ products that are tailored for women and children shall prove to be extremely popular.”

The company’s distributor, GulfBird Trading Group based in Riyadh, will launch the products in key pharmacy chains across the Kingdom, which has a population of 36 million. The Kingdom will be the first international market for the firm’s latest product – the Kids Multivitamin gummy.

In Kuwait, the partner is the leading health and wellness retailer – Genoa General Trading Co -and has more than 30 years trading experience and the country. The entire Nutrigums range will be sold across the distributor’s own retail chain, Results Vitamin Shop, as well as Holland & Barrett franchise stores that the company operates throughout Kuwait City. 

Barrak Al Fares, CEO of Genoa General Trading Co, said: “We believe Nutrigums has an excellent range of gummy products, and we are very optimistic for this partnership. We are looking forward to launching the products throughout stores in the coming months.”

Similarly, the gap in Palestine’s market for gummies will also now be filled by Nutrigums. Joining forces with leading wellness retailer ChemiMart Co. The brand will launch with around five key SKUs taking to the shelves across pharmacies.  Launches across both markets are scheduled for the end of Q1 2023.

Yousef Saad, CEO of ChemiMart Co, said: “We are very excited about this opportunity, and we are sure that Nutrigums will be a great success here in Palestine.”

Fabian Whittingham, co-founder of Nutrigums said “These three key partnerships in the Middle East come just after our seven-figure deal in Pakistan, showing just how fast expanding this part of the Nutrigums business has been – we are also aiming to sign exclusive distribution partners in 10 countries over the next six months. We also have several exciting products on the horizon within trending categories such as gut health, stress and anxiety, sleep and skincare. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what 2023 holds for us all.”

Nutrigums has rapidly expanded its popular functional plant-based vitamin gummy ranges having sold hundreds of thousands of units through some of the UK’s largest retailers, including Amazon, Lloyds Pharmacy, Morrisons and Superdrug.    

The global company uses fruit pectin as a gelling agent instead of animal-derived gelatine base, as analysts predict the plant-based food market is set to grow by 11.9% by 2027.

Data Shows That Open Communication and Technology Are Essential for High Productivity

Research from productivity platform, ClickUp, reveals that the right technology, open communication and inclusive cultures are major factors in driving higher productivity. Conducted by Sapio Research on behalf of ClickUp, the study ranked UK businesses across a number of productivity indicators, finding significant differences between those that ranked highest and lowest.

Four Tips for Ensuring Your Business Stays Tax Efficient

Forthcoming tax increases, rising interest rates and the cost of living crisis mean many business owners are feeling the pressure on their profits. Here, Donna McCreadie at Perrys Chartered Accountants provides her top tips for making sure your business is running as tax efficiently as possible.

Review your current structure

Given the tax changes in recent years, and the impact of the global pandemic on the many trading businesses, now could be the right time to review your structure to ensure it is still the most tax efficient and cost-effective option for your business.

Most businesses look at their structure when business is booming, perhaps moving from sole trader or a partnership to a limited company structure, but businesses can also disincorporate and move away from a corporate structure, if the tax savings are not outweighing the additional costs of compliance.

Remember though, limited companies can provide additional protection for business owners, as do limited liability partnerships, so it is important to look at the pros and cons of each option when deciding which structure is right for you.

Consider changing your year end

With Corporation Tax set to increase on 1 April 2023 to as much as 25% for companies with profits over £250,000, now could be the time to think about changing your year end to make the most of the existing 19% rate.  

For example, if your company has a year-end of 30 September and profits are expected to be significantly higher in the first 6 months than the second 6 months of the year, then you could consider shortening your year end to 31 March to ‘bank’ the 19% rate on profits made to that date. Otherwise, the company’s profits will be apportioned evenly over the year, resulting in a higher tax liability over the 12 months.

Self-employed and partnership businesses with year-ends not aligned to the tax year (dates from 31 March to 5 April) are also facing a reform of the way their trading profits are taxed for income tax purposes. With plans to tax profits that are time-apportioned to the tax year, instead of the accounting period, to take effect from 2024/25, with transitional rules applying in 2023/24, it could be beneficial to assess the impact of the changes in advance and to consider a change to your year end.

Do a payroll check to see if you’re eligible for Employment Allowance

If you employ staff in your business, it’s important to check that you’re not missing out on allowances or reliefs that you may be entitled to. For example, if you are a business or charity and your employers’ Class 1 National Insurance liabilities were less than £100,000 in the previous tax year, or you employ a care or support worker, then you could be eligible for Employment Allowance.

Employment Allowance will reduce your annual National Insurance liability by up to £5,000. It can also be backdated by up to 4 years, so it is well worth the effort of running a check on your payroll to find out if it applies. You can do this yourself, or you can ask a bookkeeper to do it for you.

Understanding the Process of House Construction

Posted on 20th January 2023

Building a house is no small task. It requires an understanding of the different stages of construction, from securing land and laying the foundation to adding finishing touches like paint and trim. This guide will take you through each step, giving you a better grasp of what it takes to build a house from start to finish. 

1. Plumbing is important

Plumbing is one of the most important components of any house construction project. Without a proper plumbing system, your home will be unable to provide clean drinking water or safely dispose of wastewater. When laying out your plumbing plans, it’s important to consider factors such as water pressure and other restrictions that may affect your building’s layout. Your design should also take into account any future additions or renovations you may want to make down the line. Installing plumbing in a new building, for example, requires special equipment and knowledge of the local building codes. It’s also important to ensure that the plumbing system meets all safety and operational requirements.

2. Foundation laying 

Once the land has been chosen and surveyed, it’s time to start laying the foundation. This is the first step in house construction and serves as the base for all other components of your home. The type of foundation used will depend on a variety of factors such as soil types, climate, and building codes. Common foundations include poured concrete footings, slab-on-grade, crawlspaces, or basements. It’s important to make sure that your foundation meets local building codes to ensure its stability over time. Additionally, you may need to install waterproofing materials around any exposed edges of your foundation before the construction process can begin.

3. Framing the house

Framing is the next step in house construction and involves constructing the basic shape of your home. This includes laying out walls, floors, ceilings, and roofs. Framing also provides support for finishing materials such as drywall and trim. It’s important to use quality materials and follow proper building codes when framing a home to ensure its stability over time. Depending on your design plans, you may need to install steel beams or other load-bearing components before beginning the framing process. Additionally, windows and doors should be measured correctly so that they fit properly within their frames. 

4. Installing interior finishes

Once the exterior of your home has been framed, it’s time to start installing the interior finishes. This includes materials such as drywall, flooring, trim, and paint. It’s important to choose high-quality materials that will stand up to wear and tear over the years. Additionally, careful attention must be paid to the installation process itself to ensure a professional-looking finish. Installing drywall requires special tools and techniques that should only be attempted by an experienced contractor. When painting inside your home, it’s important to select a colour scheme that complements the other design elements of your space. 

5. Exterior touches 

The last step in house construction is adding exterior touches such as siding and landscaping. Your siding should be selected based on the climate in which you live, as well as its ability to complement your home’s design. Additionally, it’s important to choose materials that are low maintenance and easily repairable if needed. Landscaping is another way to add aesthetic appeal to your exterior space. You can choose from a variety of perennials, shrubs, trees, or ground covers depending on the look you want to achieve. It’s also important to consider factors such as water requirements and soil conditions when selecting plants for your outdoor space. 

6. Completing the construction process

Once all of these steps have been completed, your home is ready for occupancy. Before you move in, it’s important to have all of the necessary inspections and permits in place. This includes an electrical inspection, a plumbing inspection, and a final building inspection. Additionally, any appliances or fixtures that will be installed should be tested as well. Finally, you’ll need to make sure that your home is properly secured against intruders by installing security measures such as locks on doors and windows. By completing these steps carefully, you can enjoy your new home for many years to come.

7. Maintenance 

Regular maintenance is essential for keeping your home in tip-top shape over time. This includes tasks such as cleaning gutters and downspouts, checking roof shingles and siding for damage, inspecting windows and doors for proper sealant, and repairing any structural defects that may arise. It’s also important to check the exterior of your home regularly for signs of mould or mildew, as these can be hazardous to your health. 

Additionally, you should inspect any electrical wiring or plumbing fixtures within your home at least once a year to prevent potential accidents or problems. Finally, it’s a good idea to perform an energy audit every few years to ensure that you are using energy efficiently and cutting down on unnecessary costs. 

8. Safety 

Safety is paramount when it comes to owning a home. This includes ensuring that all of the necessary smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are installed throughout your house. Additionally, you should check the fire extinguisher regularly and be sure to test all electrical outlets for possible shock hazards. Finally, if you have any gas appliances or fixtures in your home, be sure to inspect them for leaks annually. Taking these precautions can help keep you and your family safe in case of an emergency.

As was seen, constructing a new house requires careful planning and attention to detail. From choosing quality materials to installing interior finishes and completing inspections, the process of house construction is complicated but rewarding at the same time. Although it can be a lengthy process, the result is sure to be an amazing space that you’ll enjoy for many years to come. With careful planning and regular maintenance, your home will remain safe and secure for years to come.

A Beginner’s Guide to Vehicle Fleet Management

Put simply, fleet management is the process of organising and managing a fleet of vehicles (buses, trucks, cars, and trains). Effective fleet management involves the tracking of all vehicles with the fleet; this includes maintenance records, route planning, fuel consumption and driver information etc. If you’re tasked with the job of managing more than one vehicle, investing in the right fleet management software will be number one on your to-do list. But where do you start when it comes to finding the right software? What does the software do exactly? How does it work and what are the benefits?

Benefits

An effective system can help your business in a number of ways. First, it can save you money by improving the efficiency of your vehicle fleet. Second, it can help you keep track of your vehicles and drivers, ensuring that they are always safe and compliant with regulations. Third, it can help reduce your carbon footprint and improve your environmental sustainability. Next, tracking data like engine hour data can help to monitor the wear and tear on vehicles, ensuring that regular maintenance checks are scheduled in at the right time. Finally, it can improve the morale of your employees by providing them with better (and safer) working conditions.

Who Needs This Software?

Any business that owns and operates a fleet of vehicles needs fleet management. Some industries that may find this type of software particularly beneficial include those that have a large number of vehicles, such as delivery or transportation companies. Others include companies that have vehicles spread out over a wide geographical area and those who frequently travel long distances.

Things to Think About When Choosing a System

There are several things to avoid when running a business and also several elements that need to be taken into account when implementing this type of system. One of the main challenges is the high cost of installation. It may be a considerable expense in the beginning but there are lots of ways that an efficient system can, once it’s up and running effectively, help to reduce the operational costs within a business. Other points to think about when choosing a system includes how easy/difficult it will be to use. Will there be compatibility issues with other systems in your office? Will the transfer of data be smooth? These are all things to consider when choosing the type of system you’re going to implement.

The Future of Fleet Management

As companies expand their operations and enter new markets, they will have an even greater need for this type of system. That said; the future looks bright, with new technologies and approaches emerging all the time. One of the most exciting developments is the rise of connected fleets, where vehicles are equipped with sensors and tracking devices that allow them to communicate with each other and with central dispatch systems. This technology has the potential to revolutionise fleet management, making it more efficient and effective than ever before. Connected fleets will be able to optimise routes, avoid traffic congestion, and even diagnose mechanical problems before they become serious.

10 Leadership Trends You Are Likely to See In 2023

By Thom Dennis, CEO of culture change and leadership development specialists, Serenity in Leadership.

After another incredibly tumultuous year and a recession on its way, leaders have been trying to steady the ship to navigate through the difficult times, but many are choosing to do more than survive and are aiming to get back to thriving beyond the profits, by focusing on culture, innovation and taking a long term view. These are the trends in good leadership you are likely to see in 2023.

 

1. Visionary Storytellers. I recently interviewed Dean Carter who led global HR and Shared Services at the ground-breaking company Patagonia and is now a Director of Griffith Foods, the global traceable and sustainable food ingredients experts. He said: “A leader for me is someone who has a compelling view of the future and their way of looking at the future is a very compelling thing to align behind. They also know their vision always has to be possible and the team need to be able to clearly see the actions that can be taken to get there.” Dean argues that visionary leaders have a better way of communicating their mission and objectives and can harness their narrative in such a way that it makes people want to be a part of making that vision happen.

2. Walk The Walk. Leaders will regularly need to re-examine if they are on track and are still aligned with their mission statement, values and purpose, and leading clearly with those at the forefront. During tumultuous times we need responsible leaders more than ever. A recent study of nearly 700 US companies showed scant correlation between stated company values and employee perceptions of the organization so this will have to change in the very near future.

3. Superb Tacticians For the Future. Leaders understand they need to re-create a hybrid workplace where workers want to be, to see friends, explore ideas, make a difference, learn and find meaning. Do these things well, and retention problems will be eased. You have to make money to stay in business, but you keep employees during otherwise difficult times if they are engaged, learning, and increasingly enjoying themselves. As Dean said about culture: “If we’re talking about making it fun, it probably isn’t fun”, and advocated for CEOs who don’t take themselves too seriously.

4. Nurturers. This means taking a firm line on sharing the burdens, reducing toxicity and burnout in the workplace, and wanting the best for colleagues’ mental and physical health. Being individual-employee-centric and offering flexibility and support are key.

5. High Cultural Intelligence. Senior executives and partners serve as a model for vision, purpose, and company culture and there is a 750% differential in profits at companies with aligned and mature cultures versus those that fail to cultivate their cultures. CQ is an easily learned and developed, but extremely important skill.

 

6. Build Better Teams. Leaders who have high-performing C-Suites say they are 42% more effective at managing complex initiatives, 31% more effective at delivering stakeholder value, and 30% more effective at attracting top talent. During times of transition, such as a merger or private equity deal, the quality of a business’s management team is the most-cited reason for deal success and second for deal failure.

 

7. Innovators. Technology is always evolving, offering new opportunities to CEOs looking to transform their business. That’s especially true when pursuing net-zero. It is also true for companies that are making the shift to put software at the heart of their business. Leaders will be looking for innovators with software experience and who want to explore the use of AI in the context of responsibility, trustworthiness and ethics. The trend is for an increasing number of members of the C-Suite to have software experience.

8. Empowerers. The best leaders are those who enable their people to make good decisions. Admiral Horatio Nelson is still today recognised as an inspirational leader and an incredible tactician. He knew that once the battle started, there would not be any possibility of communicating between ships so instead he empowered each of his captains to take decisions and risks. He did this by sharing his strategy and communicating in depth with them so they could act with autonomy because they really knew each other and understood the desired outcome. There has been a trend in leaders towards autocracy in recent years – this rarely works over a period of time and makes succession extremely difficult. Leaders need to empower, build morale and make their teams feel entrusted.

9. Clear Succession Plan. The leaders of 2023 understand that they need to listen and learn from others to improve and grow themselves. We simply cannot do it all ourselves. These leaders also know that at some stage someone is going to do it better than them and power sharing is in the best interest of everyone, including ourselves. Successful leaders will surround themselves not with sycophants but with people who will question them and provide alternative opinions, feedback and solutions.

10. Authentically Support Important Causes. In 2016 Patagonia announced that it would donate 100 percent of its global retail and online sales from the shopping event on Black Friday straight to grassroots organizations that work in local communities to “protect our air, water and soil for future generations”. They made a record-breaking $10 million in sales during the event, a figure five times greater than expected, along with massive media coverage. As the cost of living and environmental crises rage on in 2023, expect to see leaders take bigger, more courageous and more meaningful leaps of faith to support important causes.

3 Digitalization Strategies Driving Supply Chain Resiliency

With the considerable supply chain disruptions brought on by the pandemic and amid escalating inflation, supply chain resilience is more critical than ever before. The unforeseen pandemic of late has presented a range of challenges that many supply chains were clearly—often admittedly—unprepared for. Labor shortages, shipping cost surges, new patterns of production and consumption have all played a key role in disrupting business logistics, upending markets, industries and whole economies in the process.

EU Call to Ship Goods, Not Air

Tighter EU Regulations for ecommerce packaging are on the way, with implications for UK businesses. What are the options? By Jo Bradley, Business Development Manager at Sparck Technologies

Despite somewhat depressed Christmas trading, parcels shippers and couriers have been under huge stress this season. Severe weather and industrial action at Royal Mail have added to the perennial problem of driver and warehouse operative shortages, and the pressure isn’t over yet – with so many delayed Christmas deliveries, the rate of returns in January is said to be up by 25%.

So, every available delivery vehicle has been loaded to capacity. But loaded with what, exactly? Quite possibly, mostly fresh air. The scandal of goods being shipped in vastly oversized boxes, with all the waste both of materials and transport capacity that this entails, shows no signs of abating.

However, change may be imminent – the European Commission has a plan.

At the end of November the Commission published a draft Regulation on packaging and packaging waste. This includes a wide range of proposals covering packaging design, materials, re-use and recycling, but importantly, it also includes Article 9, headed ‘packaging minimisation’. This requires that ‘Packaging shall be designed so that its weight and volume is reduced to the minimum necessary’.

It goes on, ‘Empty space shall be reduced to the minimum necessary… for grouped and transport packaging, including e-commerce packaging, in relation to the total volume of the grouped or transported products and their sales packaging… and space filled by paper cuttings, air cushions, bubble wraps, sponge fillers, foam fillers, wood wool, polystyrene, Styrofoam chips or other filling materials shall be considered as empty space’.

Businesses will have to ensure that the empty space ratio is a maximum of 40% – and if the sales packaging is the ecommerce packaging, the same rules apply. This has major implications for the ecommerce sector where lax practices on the use of wasteful, oversized boxes is commonplace.

But surely this is solely a problem for businesses operating in the EU?

It’s worth noting that, whilst this is a proposed EU Regulation, it will of course apply to any UK distributor selling to customers in the Union and it’s highly likely that the UK will follow suit. The target date for implementation may be 2030, but the issue can, and should, be addressed right now. There are plenty of sound reasons for doing so, with many retail businesses stepping up to lead the way.

Users of Sparck Technologies’ automated packing lines are already ahead of the game. Using scanning technology, our CVP systems can cut, erect, fill, seal and label a ‘right size’ box for any group of items presented, ensuring a snug fit without the use of any void fillers. Users are meeting the Commission’s objectives by minimising the use of cardboard, eliminating void fill – many forms of which are hard or impossible to recycle – and maximising the utilisation of vehicle capacity, which in turn decreases the environmental impact per tonne-mile.

The net result is a slashing of material and transport costs, a reduction of in-transit damage, along with a much-improved customer experience, while replacing up to twenty manual packing desks with just one or two machine operators, with a throughput of up to 1,100 packages per hour.

So, while we thoroughly support the Commission’s aims, we really don’t see why companies should be waiting until 2030. They can get ahead of the curve, right now, saving the planet and their bottom line. 2023 should be the year of the right-sized package.

5 Tips for Maximizing the Business Value of Your Software

Correctly using technology has been shown to reduce costs by up to 30% and increase productivity.

However, many businesses miss the mark by not using the application solutions to their full potential. This leads to wastage of resources and overcrowding of applications.

Getting the most use out of the software applications should be your first priority as it directly impacts your performance and management.

We’ve come up with some tips for maximizing the business value of your software. Read on to know more.

5 Tips for maximizing the Business Value of your software

The use of apps in business operations is not even in question anymore. Have you tapped into the digital potential? 59% fear it might be too late.

There are many reasons you’re not using software to its full potential. You mightn’t be aware of how to use it optimally or you mightn’t have trained your staff well enough. It mightn’t be the best fit for your needs.

Optimize your software by starting from the ground up. Take account of current needs and match it with your future plans to get a broader perspective.

Here are some tips to maximize the business use of your software for optimal performance:

Deploy an asset management tool

One of the most hassle-free ways to maximize your software usage is to deploy an asset management tool. Software asset management (SAM) is a recognized business practice that deals with managing and optimizing software usage in business operations.

It might seem counterintuitive adding another tool to your roster when you’re already struggling to juggle existing ones. But an asset management tool is not just an extra tool, rather one that supervises the operations of others.

It takes care of everything, from purchase, deployment, usage, maintenance, and disposal of your software solutions. You don’t have to micromanage your applications to see if they’re being fully utilized once you put your management tool to work.

Different tools offer different benefits depending on the nature, size, and scale of your business. Here is a comparison of software asset management tools to help you choose the best one.

Key benefits:

  • A greater understanding for your day-to-day operations
  • Identify software that are underutilized, overutilized, or obsolete Control spending with budget management and tracking
  • Maintain a neat record to be audit-ready and maintain license compliance
  • Get ahead of trends regarding usage and requirements

Choose the correct software

More often than not, entrepreneurs make the mistake of choosing the wrong solution for a task. It ends up yielding less than ideal results along with overspending and general confusion. You need to choose the most suitable software for the task at hand to gain the maximum usage out of it.

For example, you might need a software solution for managing HR in your firm. However, you choose a software that only takes care of salary payments of your employees and not much else. It only takes care of an element of HR and not in its entirety.

The ideal solution would be to either completely do away it and choose a fully rounded HR one. Or keep the tool and add supporting software to pick up the slack.

Choosing the correct tools for the task at hand tremendously improves the efficiency and productivity of your operations.

Educate yourself

The digital revolution we’re experiencing today is rapidly changing the way things are done. Not everyone is tech-savvy or up-to-date with the latest technological trends. This leads to poor choices.

Have a basic understanding of the technical aspects related to your industry to make the right calls in choosing one. While you can always enlist the help of professionals, you yourself need to have the basic concepts clear.

This will help you better understand features and choose smartly instead of simply acting on what the consultant says. When you have the basic concepts clear, you’ll be able to pick the tool that truly serves you.

Train your employees

Too often, you have the perfect software but your team wasn’t properly onboarded. This results in the underutilization or misuse of the software, yielding negative results.

Employee training plays a crucial role in business’ growth and success. Companies that invest in employee training enjoy a 24% higher profit margin. The training and development should include the correct way to use the software.

We talked about the rapid digital growth around us and the challenges entrepreneurs face in keeping up with them. The same applies to your employees as well. You need to empower them by providing regular training.

It helps them use the software correctly and get the most usage out of it. It also ensures that all your software is being used at optimal capacity and no wastage is occurring. Remember, the usage of software often changes with the arrival of new technology.

Integrations and updates

Some software needs integration with third-party platforms in order to perform to their full potential.

To get the maximum value out of your software, check its integration requirements. They need to be compatible with your existing system to be able to perform their function. If they’re not compatible or able to integrate, they’re not suitable.

In such a case, look for a different tool. Similarly, you need to update your software regularly for it to be able to perform at its full potential.

A software update improves the overall efficiency of the software while removing minor bugs to keep the system running smoothly. It also adds new features and removes obsolete ones to give the application a new look.

Plan to get the most out of software solutions

Software solutions and applications play a pivotal role in the functioning of modern-day businesses. It becomes crucial to make sure you’re getting the most out of the software solutions you deploy for efficiency and growth.

Accelerating New FinTech Products With Modular Front End Technology by Velmie

Front end and UX always become a challenge and key success factor when building new tech products. In the FinTech space, it plays an even more important role considering high CAC costs and the average CLV metrics. Therefore, companies have to invest over 60% of their engineering budgets to build apps and experiences pursuing their target acquisition and retention goals.

The importance of front end & UX

A well-designed front end is essential for any FinTech company. It’s the face of your product, and it’s what customers see and interact with. Good front-end design can help attracting new customers and keep those you already have.

Looking at the most successful FinTech companies in the US and Europe, you can notice that the key value proposition lies within the experiences they provide. It has always been a key differentiator between legacy institutions and modern FinTechs but its importance and complexity were often underestimated. Front end experiences still remain the biggest success factor for many of the fintechs and a blocker for others who didn’t manage to get it right.

A good front end solution must not only look nice and deliver your brand message but also interact with the clients, be clear, intuitive and responsive. Furthermore, UX is directly connected to other pieces of your product such as back end APIs, business and compliance processes, marketing tactics, etc.

At Velmie, we understand the importance of front-end design and that’s why built modular front-end technology that makes it easy to create custom experiences for your product. Our white-label banking apps for iOS and Android are fully customizable, and the back office solution comes with extensive tools to manage engagement and conversations with your customers.

Costs of building FinTech apps

Building a great front end experience for your FinTech product can be costly and time-consuming. Companies often have to spend a significant amount of effort to build and run various UX tests until they come to the target. That’s where Velmie comes in.

With the modular white-label front end our customers can compile different components to get their unique products and experiences delivered to the audience. This approach allows to significantly reduce the go-to-market time from around 1 year to just 1-2 months, leading to CAPEX savings as well. On average, FinTech startups pay USD 0,5 million to build their MVP applications, with the white-label tech the app investments can be just a fraction of the above costs.

With over 30+ modules and components such as cards, crypto, Fx, QR payments, invoices, portfolio management and others, the front end tech can be a fit for the majority of FinTech products.

The advantages of white-label apps

When you’re looking to launch a new FinTech product, you need a technology partner that can help you speed things up. Finding and retaining experienced app designers and developers with relevant background in the FinTech space may be a bit of a challenge for early-stage companies.

At Velmie we not only provide a toolkit but also do end-to-end delivery, bringing hassle-free service to companies that don’t have in-house tech expertise. Founders can stay focused on their business, customers, and partners while we deliver perfectly crafted apps and experiences with our unique tech.

What’s more, our API middleware technology provides fast connectivity to partner banks, so you can get your product into the market faster than ever before.

Business Trends To Look Out For In 2023

Business Trends To Look Out For In 2023

Businesses have experienced a lot over the last year – 2022 presented many economic challenges and the new year provides the opportunity to learn, grow and bounce back.

Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, we’ve listed the predicted business trends for the coming year that you should look out for.

Fintech and the potential of blockchain

The fintech phenomenon is progressing rapidly, with brand-new finance apps becoming available on a daily basis. Managing your money digitally is now seen as the way forward, allowing you to easily budget, save and process payments with just a few taps.

However, the arrival of blockchain technology is set to revolutionise various areas of finance, as well as transport, entertainment and healthcare industries.

With both advancements combined, blockchain technology can help to transform financial processes within fintech law firms, banks and other organisations. Using a fintech ecosystem, transactions will no longer need an external source present, making them capable of completing payments instantly.

Global economic downturn

With forecasts predicting that global growth will start to slow in 2023, businesses are aware of rising inflation and are learning how to deal with this to prepare for the coming months. This unfortunately means lower job opportunities and in certain cases, this will also mean job losses.

Organisations will have to think on their feet, making quick yet lasting decisions on the future of their business. Ultimately, businesses will be reviewing budgets, reassessing financial stability and growth forecasts, and in other cases, offer greater recognition to employees who may be suffering as a result of rising costs.

The rise of Artificial Intelligence

The introduction of Artificial Intelligence has already seen many manual jobs taken over. It’s said that this technology could start to provide challenges for a number of professions, disrupting high-skilled areas.

With the economy in turmoil, businesses now more than ever are looking to increase efficiency and reduce costs where possible. AI can be used amongst a number of professions, performing various tasks such as reviewing contracts, conducting research and drafting documents.

AI models are continuing to become more advance over time. They are trained on large amounts of data and can read human handwriting.

With the increased demand for efficiency and automation, AI technology can handle high volumes of work in short amounts of time, appearing the more viable option than their human counterparts. By removing human stress and high pressure, why wouldn’t businesses want to use this advanced alternative to get the job done?

Sustainability

The need for more sustainable businesses continues to grow. Many organisations are investing more into their sustainability strategy, as it’s known as one of the biggest incentives to change consumer behaviour.

Global warming is a key issue affecting every nation around the world and so companies who take a conscious approach in their operations to address this will be able to gain more credibility.

Consumers are looking for affordable yet sustainable options, so it’s time to embracing change and become transparent with customers in order to progress in our ever-changing world.

How to Build a Complete Marketing Team in 2023

How you market yourself can contribute to the growth or failure of your business. According to Aberdeen’s strategy and research, organizations with strong sales and marketing alignment experience a 20% annual growth rate. A marketing team is an integral part of marketing. The team needs to understand your vision, align with your business goals and help you achieve success.

You can put together a perfect team for your business with the right tips and a little planning.

Read on for our guide to building the ideal marketing team in 2023.

What skills do you need for a top-notch marketing team?

There are a few essential qualities that every marketer should have.

Creativity– you need strategic thinkers who deeply understand their target audience. They need to develop campaigns that resonate with customers and drive results.

Good communicators– marketing is about effective communication. Anyone in the marketing team needs to convey their thoughts and ideas understandably.

Pay attention to detail– it doesn’t matter whether one is a graphic designer, social media manager, or copywriter. Accuracy is vital in ensuring the company image is maintained.

Adaptability – Marketing is a fast-paced industry; things keep changing, and trends keep emerging. The marketing team should adapt to any change presented their way.Assembling a well-rounded marketing team is essential for success. Companies with a good and working marketing team enjoy 36% higher customer retention rates. Take the time to find the best talent available and empower them to reach their full potential.

How to easily source talent for your team

Here are a few tips to help you source the best talent for your team:

Cast a wide net. Make sure to expand your search beyond just your local area. There are plenty of talented marketers out there who would be an excellent fit for your team.

Use social media. Social media is a great way to connect with potential candidates. Post about your open position and see who responds. You may be surprised at how many talented marketers are waiting to be discovered.

Reach out to agencies. Marketing agencies are a great source of talent. They often have a pool of talented professionals looking for new opportunities. Reach out to agencies and see if they have candidates who would be a good fit for your team.

Hire for a variety of expertise

You will need experts from various fields to create a well-rounded marketing team. This is necessary if you want to streamline your sales engagement process.

Some of the positions you’ll need to fill include:

• A social media specialist to manage your brand’s presence on social media platforms and create engaging content.

• A web developer to design and maintain your website.

• An SEO specialist to optimize your website and content for search engines. According to HubSpot, 60 % of marketers attest that SEO, blog content, and other inbound marketing strategies are their highest-quality of leads.

A graphic designer to create visuals for your marketing materials. Here are some Graphic design interview questions and answers to expect to help you scout for the right candidate.

• A market research analyst to track market trends and gather data about your target audience.

• A copywriter to create compelling marketing content.

Hire people with the skills and experience necessary to do the job well. While it can be tempting to hire less-expensive options, it’s always worth investing in quality talent.

Develop training and mentorship programs

Building a complete marketing team does not end with hiring the right people. It also involves providing ongoing opportunities for your team to grow. Developing training and mentorship programs can be a great way to ensure talent’s continuous development and retention.

You can create various training and mentorship programs depending on the needs of your team. For example, you could provide online or in-person classes to teach your team members the latest marketing techniques and trends. Set up pair learning or peer-to-peer mentoring programs to help your team members learn from each other.

Remember to create an onboarding program for new hires, so they can get up to speed quickly on how your company works and its goals.

Overall, having a clear understanding of what you want from each team member and setting up the right training and mentoring programs will help you build a successful marketing team in 2023.

Invest in employee development and retention

Building a successful marketing team also requires investing in the development and retention of your employees. Consumer expectations are changing, and your team must stay updated on the latest trends and best practices. Investing in employee experience is essential for creating a truly high-performing team.

You can start by assigning mentors within your organization so that each member can benefit from the knowledge of more seasoned professionals. Then, you can look into opportunities for external training, like workshops or seminars that offer new skills and perspectives. Such investments will help motivate and engage your employees, boosting morale and performance.

Additionally, have an effective system to retain top talent by providing job security, recognition for good work, and other perks such as flexible hours and remote working options. This will help them feel appreciated and valued within the organization, making them more likely to stay loyal to you in the long run.

Be a marketing team leader

Excellent marketing is one way to steer your business in the right direction. It helps in building your brand and keeping your business afloat. You need to have the right people on your team. They should be creative, disciplined, and action-oriented and work diligently to bring results.

How To Market Your Products On Amazon To Make Them Ready To Handle The Holiday Season?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the busiest season for most sellers on Amazon and other platforms. Everybody needs a bunch of gifts to present to their loved ones, so they come to Amazon to find the exactly right presents every year, and this holiday season, they will do it too.

But you are not the one and only top seller on Amazon, and probably people can find an alternative for your products from other sellers. So what can you do to prepare for this situation and give your products a chance to shine on the top of the Amazon search page this holiday season?

In this piece, we will look at simple but effective steps you can do to prepare your products for holidays on Amazon and increase holiday sales. Interested? Then, let’s go!

Check all Amazon’s policies regarding the holiday season

Even though you are an independent seller, Amazon has some standards and policies they expect you to follow. Amazon holidays are a big deal, and the e-commerce platform has specific requirements and policies regarding returning the items and selling some of them during this season.

If you ignore these rules, you can get into trouble, experience an account hold-up, or get some fines or penalties. It can slow down your holiday season sales quite a bit, and this is exactly the opposite of what we’re reaching for here. So, read your rules!

Decide on your warehouse options

One of the biggest advantages of Amazon for a customer is their Amazon Prime membership with a fantastic shipment policy. You, as a seller, can choose whether you want your products to be shipped via the FBA method (Fulfillment by Amazon) or via the FBM method (Fulfillment By Merchant).

If you use the first one, you need to store your products in Amazon warehouses and, naturally, pay some fees for that. However, since the demand in the holiday season is higher than ever, it may be a very effective solution for you.

In the FBM method case, you are responsible for shipping your products to the customers.

Research your competitors, and decide what will be more profitable for you. You can even make a mix-up and have both products in the Amazon warehouse and in yours to see what works best for you.

Make sure that you have enough “hot” items in stock

Even if you do everything right in a digital marketing area but do not take care of the most basic part of things, like stock, you can waste all your hard work!

Analyse last year’s sales and find the items that were the most popular that year, how many of them you sold, and increase or decrease your stock according to the numbers you’ve got. Also, make sure that “hot” products are the ones that are popular every year and not just last year’s trend. Do you remember the spinner holiday craze of 2017? Who buys them now?

Change your bidding strategy

Since not only your Amazon sales grow and more and more sellers advertise their products during the festive season, the cost per click will increase. It’s just inevitable.

That’s why it is a good idea to increase your keyword bids before the holidays, but we advise you to do it smartly. You see, not every product may need it, and not every keyword will convert enough to cover your current bid. You can analyse it manually, or you can use a nice Amazon feature called Dynamic bids.

When you choose this option, you allow Amazon to decide on your behalf whether you need higher or lower bids on a particular keyword. Amazon adjusts the bids considering your profit in mind, and if the platform decides that your ad will not convert enough, they can lower your bid to prevent you from losing money.

Since you have enough things to worry about during the holiday season, let Amazon take care of your bids.

Update your promotional materials

Listing can make your product the most desirable thing on the platform or absolutely bury it if you do the listing wrong. Sprucing up your listings with festive templates is almost mandatory when the holiday season comes.

First of all, we advise you to open any photo editor of your choice and add up holiday lights, sparkles, ornaments, etc., to give your products that holiday feel they need. If you have a budget, hire a professional designer to add something more, like Santa hats on people in photos, or create a completely separate listing just for holidays.

Also, we are absolutely sure that adding a short holiday-themed video to your listing is the best thing you can do to attract more people to your product. It doesn’t have to be a blockbuster level clip, just make a nice, heart-whelming video about your product. Trust us, the result will be absolutely amazing!

You can even record a short vivid video with your team congratulating everyone with the upcoming holidays, sneakily advertise the product there. You don’t even need a professional camera, because you can use a powerful Mac screen capture tool or screen recorders for Windows 11 that allow you to record video from your webcam.

Do SEO preparation for the holiday season

An integral part of holiday marketing and the very effective way to boost your sales is to do a thorough SEO preparation.

You see, the keywords you are using in your texts and titles usually may not work at all during the holiday season. You absolutely need to optimize your content for relevant holiday keywords to help your products rank better and outbid the competitors.

We really think it is the time when you need to involve a professional SEO specialist to help you with keyword optimization. Since it is a temporary campaign, it is crucial to do everything right. We assure you, this money on a specialist will be well-spent and paid off!

Create a “special offer” campaign for your products

Everyone adores holiday deals, and they will do absolutely crazy things to get that 10% off on an item they probably don’t even need.

Without special offers, holiday specials, and other attractive propositions for customers, you will miss a chance to get a big bunch of sales.

Adjust PPC campaigns

We already talked about the bids and how it is important to adjust your bidding Amazon marketing strategy during the holiday sales season, but doing only that is not good enough. We also advise you to check your target RoAS and ACoS to help you figure out whether your PPC campaigns are profitable at all.

Also, we are big fans of experimenting, and we suggest you try different types of sponsored ads to see which one of them will be the most profitable for you. Amazon allows many options here: Display ads, Brands ads, and Brands Video ads. As for the last one, we think that this is the most effective sponsored ads option in general since video ads are the most eye-catching type of marketing ads nowadays, and they give incredible results and ROI in the end.

Conclusion

Well, now we are sure that your Amazon products will be completely ready to hit the top of the platform this holiday season. Use our tips and get ready for increased sales in your Amazon store!

What’s else left to say? Oh, yes! Happy holidays!

How Technology is Helping People with Brain Injuries

Among the most serious kinds of injury that human beings are capable of suffering involve the brain. A severe blow to the head, or a gradual degradation over the years, can have a marked impact on a person’s quality of life.

What is it like to live with a brain injury?

The extent of a brain injury can vary considerably. It’s therefore difficult to speak about one definitive experience of such a thing. Brain injuries can be either traumatic or non-traumatic – with the former being caused by a blow (the physical trauma) to the head, and the latter being caused by events like strokes. Problems regulating emotions, dizziness, memory loss, and problems concentrating can all result.

Brain injury claims can help to provide financial compensation when there’s blame to be attributed. But more recently, there are ways of managing the symptoms of a brain injury through technology.

How can technology help?

Special computer hardware and software

Just a few years ago, something like a voice assistant or useful speech recognition software might have been unthinkable. While such things can make life convenient for most people, for some, it can be truly
transformative. The same applies, to a lesser extent, to the convenient quality-of-life features found in many computer and smartphone operating systems. For example, you might find ways to enlarge text to make reading easier.

Regular reminders, set using a voice-activated assistant, can help to add structure to the lives of people who are suffering from memory-related issues.

Education and work aids

Of course, not all technologies need be digital ones. In many cases, simple physical tools, and adapted versions of more common tools, can make a big difference to children and adults in the classroom. Page turners, book holders, and larger pencils might all make it easy to participate, both at work and school.

Lighter wheelchairs

Physical activity is highly correlated with quality of life, especially later in life. If you want to be healthy and happy into old age, in other words, you need to exercise. In most cases, this means finding an activity you enjoy and making a commitment to pursue it.

If you’re suffering from the long-term effects of a brain injury, then this might not be so easy. In most cases, patients are wheelchair-bound, which can present a big obstacle to participating in team sports like badminton and tennis. The development of more affordable, lightweight wheelchairs is therefore a significant boon.

Bespoke modifications

One of the problems with managing brain injuries is that everyone has slightly different symptoms. This means that there’s special value in small devices which are tailored to the needs of an individual. If you have the use of only one hand, for example, you might rely on cabinet-mounted can openers and other devices in the kitchen.

Breaking Bank – The Modern Costs of Car Rentals

With over 50 million registered DVLA driving licences in the UK, it might be surprising to some that Reuters reported that registrations for new cars fell by around 9% in July 2022. The lack of new cars on the roads has been attributed to supply shortages due to COVID-19 and global events.

This could be a huge contributing factor to why the car rental market is forecast for growth during the 2023 to 2027 period. Car rental is a cost-effective solution to buying, but outside of the booking prices of the vehicle you’re after, there’s still a lot of budgeting to consider.

In this article, we’ll look at the budgeting you need to plan before tackling the open road. Hiring a car to use on a need’s basis could be a great alternative to owning one, but could on-road charges make it less convenient on your wallet?

Renting prices – hour, day, mile, etc.

Depending on the car, the cost of renting in the UK will vary. Bigger cars and vans will cost more, while smaller, more economical vehicles will cost less per day. But recently, we’ve seen a huge leap in prices for weekly renting, with data from iCarhireinsurance finding that within some of the major cities in the UK, there has been an average of a 190% increase in weekly car hiring prices from 2020 to 2022. This results from more people holidaying in the UK rather than going abroad with concerns over COVID and airport staff shortages.

This is where the option to rent on a need’s basis could be a difference maker for people’s budgets. For example, you could find a car to rent for a day and pay by the hour or even the mile. With the average car journey only taking 21.5 minutes, this could be much better suited if you need it for a short trip and could save you a lot of money.

Charges on the road – congestion, CAZs, & ULEZ

Beyond the costs of obtaining the car you’ll use for your trip, several charges can be acquired when out on the roads driving. These costs are put in place to reduce the number of cars on the road and subsequently bring down emissions, such as London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). This is a zone within the City of London and out towards Greenwich, Brentford, and Richmond, where if you drive a non-compliant car during the operating hour, you must pay £12.50 to avoid any further penalty fines.

Similar to the ULEZ but with smaller overall coverage, Clean Air Zones (CAZs) have been introduced in major cities all over the UK. The CAZs in each city is a code from A to D, which defines what vehicles can travel within the zone without being charged (A has fewer vehicles while D has a broader list). The costs these areas could run you entirely depend on where you are and what vehicle you drive within it. Non-compliant cars, for example, could be charged as low as £8 while larger vehicles such as lorries or buses see costs from £50 – £100.

On top of this, London also has the Congestion Charge in the centre of the city. This is a £15 charge to deal with the number of cars driving through the city and reduce both congestion and emissions. In February 2022, the decision was made to reduce operating hours to 7 am – 6 pm and 12 pm – 6 pm on bank holidays.

Your budget for renting a car will be impacted by the type of car you want to drive, how long you want it for, and where you live and regularly drive through. For example, if you want a larger car like a 4×4 or truck and regularly drive through central London, you’re likely to pay a lot more each time you drive it. However, if you only need a car for a specific task or trip, renting is far more economical than buying your own and all of the costs that come with it.

Bigger is Better: Everything You Need to Know About The Oversized Bag Trend

Less was more, once upon a time, but the oversized bag trend has well and truly taken the fashion industry by storm – again – and we are here for it! Back in September, it was predicted that oversized bags would become a hot commodity in 2022’s autumn and winter, and the experts weren’t mistaken.

The mini bag trend will always have a special place in our heart, but we can’t fib and say we’re not thrilled that the giant bags are back in fashion. We’re busy bees with fast-paced lives and multiple responsibilities; we need a carrier that can hold all our belongings while still looking fabulous.

Here’s everything you need to know about the oversized bag trend.

What is an oversized bag exactly?

To understand why oversized bags are quickly gaining popularity, we must first understand exactly what one is. The term refers to a tote-style handbag that’s large (of course) and typically features a long shoulder strap.

XXL bags are appreciated by many because of their extreme functionality. When we’re out and about for the day, we want to feel certain that everything we possibly need is always close to us. The bigger types of bags allow us to “hope for the best but prepare for the worst”, and that’s the key to a successful woman!

Where did it begin?

For many of us, the term “oversized bags” conjures up images of the early 2000s when – in hindsight – fashion was at its cringiest. Huge sunglasses, velour tracksuits, low-rise jeans and skirts (shudder), and, of course, giant bags.

While they dominated the fashion scene at the time, they soon got a rep for being clunky and a bit unnecessary, which made the mini bag trend a breath of fresh air that people were more than happy to latch onto – and for the longest time! For years now, mini and micro bags have been used to enhance outfits and make a bold statement, but they’re not the most practical. After popping your phone, lip balm, and keys inside, there’s not much room for anything else.

To level out the fashion/function scales once again, oversized bags have returned and brought the pragmatic kind of style we had all forgotten we needed. There’s only so much ‘go with the flow’ a woman can do! Most of the time, we need a weekend bag that can hold our endless personal items, such as a cosmetics bag and diary, and size becomes especially important when we have children in tow.

The celebs are loving it

If you’re somebody who feels inspired by the It-girls, you might like to know that some of the biggest celebrities in the world right now have been embracing jumbo bags. Who wouldn’t want to follow in the footsteps of someone as successful as Bella Hadid?

In addition to the superstar model, other familiar (and stunning) faces have jumped on the new trend. Zoë Kravitz, Rihanna, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley have all been seen clutching a gorgeous, oversized bag that’s both stylish and practical.

It’s no secret that having a celebrity rock a particular brand, product, or style is an extremely powerful marketing tool. Mary-Kate Olsen, for example, gets papped with an oversized bag, and that bag receives instant brand awareness, and because of her fame and status, people feel compelled to follow in her footsteps.

How to style oversized bags

The best thing about the oversized bag (besides its fabulous functionality) is that it pairs exceptionally well with all outfits for almost all occasions. Running errands? Oversized bag. Dinner with the girls? Oversized bag. Meeting at work? Oversized bag.

While they might not compliment formal outfits quite as well as the mini bag (cry), this style can certainly become your go-to for everything else. They look great with any outfit that has a casual element to it, which can enhance your overall look.

For example, if you’re going into the office on a Monday morning and want to start your week off right (and stylish!), we recommend wearing a white shirt, black leather trousers, a tailored coat, and a black oversized bag. If your children have a playdate arranged in the local park, you could wear a black jumpsuit, an oversized grey coat, a pair of comfy trainers, and a brown oversized bag. The possibilities are endless.

The oversized bag is here to stay

It’s been a long time coming. Now that the oversized bag is back in fashion and a lot of people’s first choice, we really hope it stays for as long as the mini bag trend did! For decades now, women have been calling for more functionality in fashion, and finally, our wishes are materialising.

We want comfortable shoes to be the norm, real pockets that can hold more than just a single key, and bags that will see us through from morning to night. Why are we continuously made to choose between practicality and style? The autumn/winter 2022 oversized bag trend is challenging the idea that women can’t have both, and we hope to see more progress soon!

How Modern Hospitality Can Weather the Oncoming Storm

Ordinarily, seasonal periods such as Christmas, Valentine’s and Mother’s Day would be a time of booming trade in the hospitality industry. However, with the recent trifecta of a looming recession, strike action impacting customers’ travel plans and rising energy costs, UK hospitality is facing uncertain times ahead. Thriving desserts chain Heavenly Desserts offers tactical tips for UK restaurants struggling as we move into 2023.

A recent study by the advisory firm Mazars suggests that many businesses survived Covid-19 only to run into staff shortages, no-show bookings and staggering energy costs, with UK restaurant closures rising by 60% in the last year.

Bucking the trend is Heavenly Desserts, a luxury artisan desserts chain who recently expanded internationally, opening their 45th store in Canada. So, what can businesses do to ensure a cost-effective Christmas? Heavenly Desserts co-founder Mohammed Imran explains how a combination of savvy economic tactics and considering offers for cost-conscious consumers can help businesses to survive the festive period and beyond.

Controlled growth and reducing financial pressures

At Heavenly Desserts, the team is always working on reducing costs for our franchisees, which involves negotiating better deals to bring product costs down and trying to offset the challenges we’re facing as much as possible. However, this isn’t always a guaranteed saving that we can rely on and fluctuates as financial conditions change.

On a broader level, we’re very conscious of living within our means as a business in order to stay debt free and reduce financial pressures. We manage our cashflow in such a way that we don’t rely on investors, meaning my co-founder Yousif Aslam and I have maximum control in any situation.

Another consideration in tough times is carefully controlling our franchise growth to ensure that those teams can still make money. We look at each proposed location individually and weigh up the strengths and possible pitfalls, and where we can negotiate favourable deals for our franchisees.

Refine your menu and reframe your offering

Making your menu work as hard as possible is key. It may sound obvious but focusing on your bestsellers and cost-effective options that appeal to customers is a vital strategy step. This is evidenced by Heavenly Desserts’ tapas dessert menu success.

Franchisee for its Walthamstow branch Yusuf Ismail said: “We have seen a huge rise in customers opting for these shareable plates which offer a taste of three or five larger items on the menu. Customers don’t have to commit to larger portions or higher prices and still get a dose of indulgence. This often encourages buyers to try the menu items they’ve sampled and many become return customers as a result.”

A menu option which gives customers a deal but doesn’t feel any less decadent has proved popular, especially as the cost of living crisis begins to bite.

Yusuf added: “Giving consumers full information on pricing via our new window menus has also helped footfall. We are leaders in the luxury dessert dining category and our interior makes this clear on first impression, so giving clarity on prices helps passers-by to realise that we offer luxury at an affordable price point.”

Apply skills and tactics learned from lockdown

The global pandemic was an unprecedented challenge for all UK business sectors, but just because lockdown has ended doesn’t mean we should forget the strategies and innovation many used to stay afloat.

During Covid-19, Heavenly Desserts gained steam and thrived as we opened 17 new stores, including our Walthamstow branch in London. Through utilising delivery services like Deliveroo and Just Eat, we were able to bring customers the experiences they felt that they were missing out on in the comfort of their own homes. Many customers are once again choosing to stay in and celebrate with friends rather than risk unreliable train schedules, with pubs and restaurants estimating this will impact a third of their bookings.

It’s important not to neglect these delivery options, continuing to market special offers, bundles and promotions exclusive to these platforms. Without the added cost of travel, customers can still have a luxurious night in with the food and drink that makes this season so special.

Marketing and social media pushes

It might seem counter intuitive but in times of economic stress, it’s vital to invest in marketing, influencer partnerships and social media. This became a crucial part of many marketing strategies during the pandemic as people experienced the world through their phones and it’s safe to say it’s stuck, with 40% of Gen Z preferring to use platforms like TikTok and Instagram over traditional search engines like Google.

As poor weather and travel difficulties affect footfall and passing trade, reaching customers in their homes becomes increasingly important. Employing the right tactics to reach your desired audiences is an investment many brands capitalise on to increase brand awareness and ultimately, drive sales.

Financial Expert Shares Top Tips for Tradespeople Heading Into 2023

The financial side of running a trade business can be challenging and complicated, but it’s important to get it right otherwise you could end up losing money. 

Research by ElectricalDirect found that almost three-quarters (74%) of UK tradespeople don’t feel confident handling their company finances and many have ended up making a loss on jobs because of pricing errors (25%). 

With this in mind, the electrical retailer has partnered with Rick Smith, Managing Director at Forbes Burton, to share five pieces of expert financial advice for tradespeople as we head into 2023.

1. Be stricter with invoices

“As a small business owner, your income depends on the payment you get from your customers. However, getting funds from your clients on time can be difficult, and this can cause a strain on your mental health and well-being. 

“To avoid this problem, it’s best to try and implement a ‘50% up front’ policy. Doing this will help maintain a steady cash flow. It will also help you identify genuine customers interested in your product or services; thus, you save time, resources and money.” 

2. Look after your cash reserves

“Your most important asset, as a business owner, is your savings. You can rely on your savings in difficult times or when you need to handle unexpected expenses. Besides that, you can also take a break when you need or want one. It is crucial that you have cash reserves as they allow you to handle these expenses. 

“If you want to be comfortable, it is advisable to save 30% of your earnings each month.” 

3. Pay your taxes on time

“Tax returns are usually put off for a long time, and you will find this last on the to-do list for most people. Voilà, it’s another year, and you are rushing to submit your tax returns with just a few days to go, which may turn out to be larger than your expectations. 

“The easiest solution is to prepare your tax returns as early as possible after April 6th. Doing this will help you handle this critical task on your to-do list efficiently and quickly. Also, it informs you of the amount to pay the following January; thus, you get to avoid any horrible surprises, and you have a lot of time to save if the need arises.” 

4. Try to think ahead

“We’ve learned from the previous few years that the financial landscape is anything but predictable. Thus, you need to have plans for different scenarios that may happen in 2023 as a business owner. 

“How much money have you saved for possible eventualities? What kind of help or options are available? There is no such thing as being over-prepared.” 

How to Celebrate the Chinese & Lunar New Year at Work

On 22nd January Chinese New Year will arrive, and this year it is the year of the rabbit. It’s good to be aware that some of your colleagues may celebrate this as it might be an important time of year for them. Just because you don’t traditionally celebrate the Chinese New Year, it doesn’t mean that you can’t start. It’s something that can be socially good for a workforce whilst also being inclusive to people from different cultures and backgrounds.

What is Chinese New Year?

This history of the Chinese new year stems back over 3500 years and originated within the Shang Dynasty. Chinese New Year is a 15-day festival celebration also known as The Spring Festival or (春节). The meaning of the celebration revolves around celebrating all things positive and wishing peace, health, longevity and luck for the new year. It focuses on starting fresh for the year and removing anything negative.

Our expert from Wildgoose, Jonny Edser has shared eight tips on how to celebrate the Chinese & Lunar new year at work.

1. Say your blessings

Blessings are a crucial part of Chinese New Year celebrations and are the best way to get your office involved. It might be worth taking some language lessons to help practise your Lunar greetings. 

2. Play a trivia game

Playing trivia games with your team is a great way to celebrate the Lunar New Year for 2023. Culture-themed games and team building activities improve inclusion within the office, and will boost the morale of your colleagues who celebrate the spring festival. 

3. Cultural learning

Acknowledging a variety of religious and cultural holidays is an important step towards building (and promoting) greater diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The Lunar and Chinese New Year is one of the best times of the year to educate your team on culture. One of the most effective ways of bringing teams together is understanding what makes us different and appreciating those differences. 

4. Decorate your office or virtual workplace

Red lantern decorations are very traditional for Chinese New Year celebrations and are a great way of breathing some culture into your office or virtual workspace. Again, it’s key that your team understands the significance of the “why”, rather than the “what” so let us help here! Red lanterns are traditionally used as a symbol that drives away back luck. 

5. The gift of flowers and Kumquat trees

The meaning behind the gift of blooming flowers is: “A prosperous new year”. The gift of kumquat trees means “Good luck and wealth”. This is one of the most popular gifts when celebrating the Lunar new year and is a great way to immerse your team into the culture. 

Flowers tend to symbolise spring and the start of a fresh and prosperous new year. Some of the most popular flowers used are:

  • Plum blossom: Represents courage, endurance, reliability, perseverance, and hope.
  • Chrysanthemum: Represents luck, wealth, and longevity.
  • Peonies: Are associated with peace, wealth, prosperity, and honour.
  • Orchids: Bring good fortune and are one of the most popular gifts for the Lunar New Year.
  • Peach Blossoms: Represents longevity and the blossom represents growth.

6. Share out red envelopes

One of the most popular and highly sought-after ideas for Lunar New Year celebrations is sharing out red envelopes. The use of red envelopes with money put inside is a widely used celebration idea usually among family, friends, and colleagues. The colour red is associated with luck and brings happiness and good fortune.

7. Take part in a traditional office spring clean

This might not seem like a very obvious celebration idea but spring cleaning is a very traditional activity that leads up to the Lunar New Year. The spring cleaning will usually take place on the 28th of the last month of the year. The spring clean before the start of the Chinese New Year symbolises driving away bad luck before the start of the new year. 

8. Organise a traditional lucky lunch

Organising an office lunch is the perfect way to bring your workforce together for a Chinese New Year celebration. A more traditional method would be organising a prosperity salad, also known as (Yusheng). For this, your office will need to toss a variety of ingredients into a large bowl, whilst wishing for good fortune and propriety.

Cybersecurity Is a Major Risk for SMEs In 2023

Cybersecurity is a very real threat to the UK’s 5.5 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The often-limited cybersecurity tools many SMEs use to protect their operations mean they are the weakest link, making them an easy target for cyber criminals.

Attacks can be devastating, resulting in anything from destroying vital systems and leaking confidential customer information to demanding significant ransom payments. In most cases, they end up costing significant amount of money and resources.

While SMEs are battling a number of pressing issues including rising inflation, energy costs and weaking demand, they cannot afford to ignore cybersecurity in the year ahead.

A growing threat

According to insurer Hiscox, one small business is hacked every 19 seconds, while four in five (79%) SMEs have experienced a cyberattack in the past 12 months, according to research from Typetec.

One in four UK SMEs has been targeted by ransomware within the past year, with almost half (47%) of those falling victim having paid the ransom to regain access to their files or systems. The survey by Avast found that SMEs targeted by ransomware suffered significant ill-effects from cyberattacks: 41% lost data while 34% lost access to devices.

The UK government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022 found that 31% of businesses estimate they were attacked at least once a week. One in five businesses (20%) say they experienced a negative outcome as a direct consequence of a cyberattack, while one third (35%) experiencing at least one negative impact.

Even the largest firms with the biggest budgets are worried. Research from EY and IIF found that 72% of global chief risk officers (CROs) view cybersecurity as the top risk in the year ahead. The number of CROs citing cyberattacks as the top geopolitical risk jumped from 39% last year to 62% this year.

With geopolitical tensions and economic challenges set to continue, we can expect the amount and sophistication of cyberattacks to increase in the year ahead.

Dropping budgets amidst other priorities

Awareness of cybersecurity measures has grown post-COVID 19. As small businesses relied more on online sales to help them weather ongoing lockdowns and embraced remote working practices, many also ramped up efforts to protect their operations.

However, despite increased awareness of the growing cyber threat, a third of SMEs (32%) do not have an effective disaster recovery plan in place.

Even larger firms feel unprepared, with 58% of CROs citing their firm’s inability to manage cybersecurity risks as their top strategic risk over the next three years.

Worse yet, the average cybersecurity budget for a small business is set halve in 2023 despite four in five (79%) SMEs having experienced a cyberattack in the past 12 months, a new survey from Typetec shows. SMEs will spend an average of around £50,000 on cybersecurity over the next year, compared to around £100,000 in 2022.

This reduction is broadly down to SMEs struggling in other areas. Smaller businesses tend to run on tighter margins and current economic uncertainty is threatening the future of many.

That said, one cyberattack is all it takes to destroy a business, so it’s vital SMEs continue to invest in their defences.

How to protect your business

Cybersecurity is not a zero-sum game. Attackers just need to be right once so it’s vital SMEs put in the right measures to thoroughly secure their business and shrink their attack surface.

There are several simple things businesses can do to protect themselves:

Policy – An achievable starting point is simply setting out a clear cybersecurity and information security policy and ensuring everyone in the business is well aware of protocols and best practices. This would also involve establishing clear rules on how devices are used, how teams share documents and so on.

Government advice and accreditation – The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has dedicated information available for small businesses providing practical technical advice which can significantly reduce the chances of a business becoming a victim of cybercrime. It even offers a Cyber Essentials accreditation which can demonstrate your businesses has adequate measures in place, providing reassurance to clients.

Preventing unauthorised access – Tailored and controlled access can be another effective way of improving cybersecurity. By making this as granular as possible, senior managers can control the features their team members can access. If unauthorised access were to occur, it would make it easier for the security team to identify and address the source without the risk of system-wide contagion.

Security protocols – Any system needs to incorporate the latest security and encryption protocols, even if a business feels it is too small to be worth a cybercriminal’s time. This can include multi-channel two-factor authentication, four-eyes checks, a complete audit trail of all activity, continuous backups and much more.

Amid unprecedented levels of volatility and global uncertainty, cybersecurity has returned to the top of the list of near-term risks for businesses across the globe. It’s important SMEs prioritise their cyber defences and regularly review, test, challenge and update measures to protect their business from the rising cyber threat.

12 Sustainable Travel Destinations in 2023

Choosing responsible travel destinations is vital to protect our world for future generations. With careful planning and choosing sustainable destinations, activities, and hotels, travel in 2023 can be a conscious decision to be a better traveller. Consider the ripple effect of a journey. Every single travel choice has the power to influence and inspire our communities and peers through the stories and experiences we share.

Decades of ‘fast tourism’ have damaged our fragile planet, often through overconsumption of resources and increased pollution. Tourism is responsible for roughly 8% of the world’s carbon emissions. Cruise ships generate 1 billion gallons of raw sewage a year, according to The Environmental Protection Agency, much of it ending up in our seas and oceans.

Places that restrict tourist numbers, promote conservation, and uplift local communities are the best destinations for sustainable travel. The Jacada team quizzed its advisors for a list of destinations to lower the impact of travel. Here are the resulting ideas.

1. COSTA RICA

Costa Rica has long been the jewel in the sustainable tourism crown of Latin America. A huge commitment to going green has resulted in renewable energy sources powering nearly the entire country. 

Nayara tented camp, in the volcanic region of Arenal, left space for wildlife and wilderness during construction. An epic reforestation program has expanded the tropical rainforest providing safe habitats for sloths, monkeys and butterflies. There’s also an emphasis on supporting the local community with social initiatives and employment within the property. EXPLORE COSTA RICA.

2. BORNEO

Much of Borneo is a natural haven, home to orangutans, proboscis monkeys, sun bears, clouded leopards and hundreds of other fascinating creatures. Such incredible biodiversity needs protection and there’s no better example than the massie 43,800 hectare Danum Valley conservation area.
 
The area’s only property, the Borneo Rainforest Lodge offers a number of low-impact, sustainable activities including an impressive canopy walkway 27 metres above the forest floor. Birdwatching, jungle treks, swimming in the Tembeling waterfall and exciting tubing down the Danum river offer a glimpse into this pristine wilderness. VISIT BORNEO

 

3. ECUADOR AND THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

Home to a staggering 6.1% of all the species on the planet, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands make up one of the megadiverse places on earth. Local authorities, with the enforcement of strict entry regulations and the construction of the world’s first sustainable airport, are already committed to protecting the natural environment.
 
Across the AmazonCloud Forests and Galapagos Archipelago award-winning sustainable hotels and cruises use green operations and lead conservation programs. Socio-economic upliftment is also vital in the quest for sustainability. At Napo Wildlife centre, through employment and various other practices, they support a 500 year old Amazon community, preserving traditional ways of life. 
DISCOVER ECUADOR AND THE GALAPAGOS

4. PERU

A country rich in natural resources and with strict government policies regarding sustainable development, Peru’s future looks green. An incredibly popular tourist destination with Machu Picchu featuring on travellers’ bucket-lists for decades. The ancient ruins themselves, noticeably ‘over-visited’ are now protected with restricted visitor numbers, compulsory guiding and time-slots to adhere to.
 
Deeper into the Sacred Valley, 400 metres above the ground, hanging from a cliff, is an unusual, sustainable hotel. The Sky Lodge floats above the ground, the clear walls immersing guests in the natural world. Powered completely by solar energy and featuring a dry ecological bathroom suite and zero single-use plastic usage. The only way to reach the hotel is by low impact transfers on foot or exciting zip lines.  SEE PERU

 

5. RWANDA

Rwanda’s responsible wildlife activity, particularly surrounding critically endangered mountain gorillas and white rhino, puts it firmly  on the list of sustainable places to visit. Practising the ‘less is more’ model means fewer guests lessen the impact on the environment.
 
Wilderness Bisate Lodge, close to Volcanoes National Park, excels in great ape research and protection. In addition, a pioneering reforestation programme saw Bisate plant a record number of over 70,000 indigenous trees, ensuring a more sustainable future for the local area.  OFF TO RWANDA

6. BOTSWANA

Botswana is one of the world’s top wildlife destinations, huge areas of the Kalahari are uninhabited by humans and a massive 37% of the entire country is set aside as a conservation area. There’s an impressive 10 national parks and masses of private reserves. 
 
In the LinyantiWilderness DumaTau protects one of the world’s largest elephant herds by maintaining ancient wildlife corridors. In the Okavango Delta uplifting local communities and conservation goes hand in hand at Wilderness Vumbura Plains camp. Education, skill sharing and upliftment programs uplift local people and the wildlife sanctuaries they live in.  EXPLORE BOTSWANA

7. BHUTAN

Bhutan, the last Buddhist kingdom on earth. A tiny, carbon-negative nation that practises sensitive tourism, restricts visitor numbers and charges a daily visa fee. A ‘less is more’ approach mutually benefits guests and the Bhutanese – forging meaningful connections.
 
Conservation, growth and protection of national parks are high up on the constitutional agenda. Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park in the Gangteng Valley offers visitors the chance to learn about Black-necked Crane conservation. Six Senses, one of the world’s leading sustainable hotel chains, commits to preserving and protecting Bhutan’s unique environment. GO TO BHUTAN

8. NEPAL

Nepal is blessed with an intense natural beauty from the peaks of the Himalayas and Annapurna to the glistening lakes of Pokhara. The government protects 24% of the country with national parks, reserves and buffer zones (where people live within national parks) and there’s an emphasis on mutually beneficial, nature-based tourism.
 
Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge have proudly evolved beyond standard ‘eco-tourism’ and now focus on regenerative tourism initiatives, specific to the middle hills of Nepal. They offer authentic experiences through which guests, employees, locals and the environment can thrive.  TRAVEL TO NEPAL

 

9. NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand is serious about its sustainable tourism; the aim is to significantly reduce the tourist carbon footprint and to be net zero before 2050. Maori culture has spearheaded government policies that protect the environment such as giving natural wonders the same rights as humans in a court of law.
 
On the shores of Lake Pukaki, off the grid, self-sufficient living and low impact excursions such as biking and stargazing, can be found at Lakestone Lodge. The lodge relies totally on solar power, rain and bore water and has a sewage treatment facility too.  VISIT NEW ZEALAND

 

10. ICELAND

Epically beautiful, this icey island’s main attraction is the land itself. Rich in thermal energy and other renewable sources, Iceland is at the forefront of sustainable energy production. In fact, 85% of its power is made by renewable energy.
 
Ice caving, puffin watching, viewing the northern lights, glacier hikes and soaking in the blue lagoon are among a host of low impact activities that  immerse visitors in this natural paradise. Sustainable design and green operations are showcased at both The Retreat at the Blue Lagoon with its harnessing of geothermal power and at Torfhús Retreat with its turf rooftops and fleet of electric vehicles.  VISIT ICELAND

 

11. FINLAND

According to a 2022 report from the United Nations, Finland is the most sustainable country in the world. Impressively the city of Lahti won the European Green Capital award in 2021 thanks to its energy-efficient homes, UNESCO-certified groundwater systems and its recycling programs. 
 
Nationwide, 40 national parks protect this staggeringly beautiful environment. Across Finnish Lapland there’s a host of activities suited to sustainable travel. There’s reindeer sleighs, husky safaris, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and even survival courses. Travel to the remote Wilderness Hotel Muotka where no light pollution can result in epic aurora displays.  ESCAPE TO FINLAND

12. SWITZERLAND

Known for its immaculate cities and clean living, Switzerland is an extremely environmentally-friendly country with nearly 60 percent of its electricity coming from hydropower. It also boasts excellent waste management with around 50% of rubbish being recycled. 
 
Sustainability and luxury work together in the picture-perfect Alpine region of Gstaad at the Alpina hotel, particularly celebrated within their kitchens. The executive chef has introduced a zero waste philosophy, creating sustainable dishes such as zero waste pasta and pizza made from left-over rye bread to create casarecce pasta and dough.  EXPLORE SWITZERLAND

4 Ways Video Subtitles Can Increase Your Website Engagement Time

We’re constantly scrolling and searching for suitable content that will satisfy our interests. But what do you do when you see a video in a language you don’t understand? Swipe, scroll down, exit, and go back. I suppose that these are the most common options. 

People don’t have that much time on their hands these days. So believe me when I say, no one is grabbing a dictionary when they see a video without subtitles. Maybe your video has helpful information for everyone around the globe, but everything goes down the drain if you don’t make it accessible

If you thought that subtitles are something that the older generation would prefer your conclusion would be wrong. According to a survey, 70% of Gen Z prefer to watch video content with subtitles. 

And what is more important, all generations have pretty solid reasons to do so. Let’s find out how by just simply adding some subtitles to your content you can boost your website engagement. 

With subtitles, people tend to stick around

When a person visits a website one of the main goals is to keep them there for a while. If you have video content that is hard to comprehend, it’s not in their language, or they are not in a situation to hear it, then you have one person less on your website. 

The more accessible content you have the bigger the chances that people will stay and come back. Subtitles are a great way to avoid all sorts of obstacles that may arise while watching videos. Not to mention that today adding subtitles is easier than baking a pie. 

Automatically add subtitles

By using the right tool you can automatically add subtitles to a video without moving a muscle. Just upload your video and subtitle file and your job is done. You don’t have a subtitle file? No, worries you can autogenerate subtitles with this tool. 

Subtitles are essential and that’s why adding them is also much easier these days. Now, when you don’t have excuses about how adding subtitles is complicated we can move on to other benefits. 

Universal content brings more audience 

If you want your website to be visited by more people, you will have to make your video content more ‘user friendly’. 

It should be harder to ignore and easier to engage with. The video will be more accessible with subtitles to: 

  • People with a hearing problem
  • People who don’t understand the language
  • People that aren’t in a position to play the audio
  • People that prefer to read

People with a hearing problem

According to WHO, there are over 1.5 billion people around the globe that live with hearing loss. This number is constantly rising.  Videos with subtitles will make these people’s lives much easier. 

People who don’t understand the language

The world is a global village, but not all people will understand your language. To get more global customers and audiences to your website you need to ‘speak their language’. 

You will not be just simply adding subtitles, you will be conquering new markets by getting closer to customers all around the world. 

People that can’t play the audio

Imagine you are on the sub, and you don’t have headphones. Then an interesting video pops up, but you don’t want to be rude and play the audio. 

This and many similar situations could be avoided with subtitles. It’s not hard to do the math. If you can’t hear it, read it. 

People that prefer to read

Some people are not very visual. They prefer to read everything they see and the same thing goes for videos. If they can read while watching the content it will help them engage better with the subject you are trying to elaborate on. 

66% of Netflix’s audience uses subtitles to better understand the storyline. So why would this be any different for your website videos? 

Subtitles are good for your SEO rankings 

Here are a couple of ways subtitles help your SEO rankings:

  • Google pushes forward videos with bigger engagement: The views, the time spent on the page, everything is measured and ranked. 
  • It’s easier for Google to pick the right keywords: SRT and VTT format subtitles help you achieve this. 
  • It will help you boost your on-page ranking: Thanks to the subtitle Google can read semantic elements. 

The right subtitles bring better reach on social media

Extra, extra, read all about it!” It’s much easier when we can read it, right? When you get a bigger audience, more people visit your website and content, and in the meantime, Google boosts your rankings. It’s very logical that you will get popular. 

People post, reshare, and like the content that pleases them. Subtitles are really a cherry on top when it comes to social media. 

Adding subtitles means playing smart 

Videos come from so many sources today, which means the competition is huge. If you want the content from your website to stand out, keep the old and attract a new crowd, you need to play smart. 

Video subtitles are not anymore something that you should consider adding, it’s something you must add in order to thrive. It’s an advantage that can be easily added in a couple of simple steps. 

With subtitles, you add context and value to your website. Also, you show respect for diversity. The impact of subtitles can only be positive, so I suggest you don’t waste your time and give your content a new dimension. 

Q1 2023

Happy 2023 and welcome to the Q1 issue of APAC Insider Magazine, your quarterly source for all of the latest news and updates from across the Asia Pacific region.

The last few months have been filled with opportunities for reflection, and our endeavours in 2023 will be strengthened by the successes in the time gone by. Contemplation of our many achievements, large or small, inspire growth and encourage us to build upon our already excellent foundation.

The base of each business is made stronger by an unwavering connection to clients, and with services that are ever evolving as time goes by. Here we explore a diverse collection of businesses which grow year upon year, so that we can experience better products and services.

From technological advancements to global travel service providers, consultancy firms to spectacular spirit distilleries, this issue has a varied selection of businesses all impacting their industries for the better. We can learn about efficient water and wastewater management, IoT, and AI platforms, and experience top quality litigation and digital marketing services, and much more!

We are pleased to present the businesses in this issue to you, and we look forward to welcoming you back for our Q2 issue in a few months’ time. Have a fantastic quarter ahead.

LUXlife Magazine Unveils the Winners of the Global Excellence Awards 2022

United Kingdom, 2023 – LUXlife has announced the winners of the LUX Global Excellence Awards.

Now in its sixth year, the LUXlife Global Excellence Awards are once again proud to announce the winners and showcase the companies and individuals achieving excellence in their industries. From luxury transport, travel destinations and experiences to the finest of food and divinest of products, each of our winners are relentless in exceeding clients’ expectations.

Our Awards Coordinator Laura O’Carroll took a moment to comment on the success of this year’s winners, “We are proud to be honouring the very best that the luxury industry has to offer. I’d like to congratulate all of our winners and and wish them all the best for the future!”

To find out more about these distinguished leaders, and to find out the key to their success, please visit https://www.lux-review.com/lux_awards/global-excellence-awards/

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

About LUXlife

LUXlife Magazine is a premium lifestyle publication which was founded in 2015 by the publishing company AI Global Media Ltd. Distributed to a circulation of 238,000 globally, LUXlife focuses on a range of topics within the luxury lifestyle industry, featuring articles on, fashion, beauty, fine dining, travel, luxury real estate and much more. Within our pages you’ll find everything from product news and reviews to in-depth pieces on trends, features and comment; all designed to inform, entertain, and inspire.

Our Mission

In addition to providing our readers with regular news and updates on all elements of luxury lifestyle, we also provide luxury firms with the perfect media platform to showcase their business to our readership comprised of high net worth individuals. As such, we publish only the most cutting edge of products, services, attractions and events that will appeal to our audience. Some of the world’s most internationally renowned brands, individuals, high-end developments and products are highlighted in our magazine so that our esteemed readers will find everything they need to truly live a luxury lifestyle.

A Progressive Portfolio

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is a common treatment for people wishing to conceive. There is a lot of technology out there but we’ve found an intelligent IVF treatment solutions provider with a lot of compassion and dedication to the future of humankind.

Enabling Precision Medicine

For over 20 years Golden Helix has been a software company that innovates genetic analysis software for next-generation sequencing (NGS) – and, believing that its customers and employees are at the heart of its success, it has built a glowing reputation as the industry leader in its field.

6 Tips on Bringing Digital Outdoors  with Digital Out-Of-Home Advertising  

6 Tips on Bringing Digital Outdoors  with Digital Out-Of-Home Advertising  

If you’re looking for an effective, cost-efficient way to get your message out there and grow brand recognition, then digital outdoor advertising may be the answer. Digital outdoor advertising combines the effectiveness of traditional billboards with the convenience and flexibility of digital media. 

Gone are the days when you must rely on a poster in a bus shelter or shop window to  advertise your brand. As brands increasingly move to digital marketing, more companies are discovering the potential of Digital Out-Of-Home Advertising (DOOH).  This technology uses digital signage networks to display ads using digital billboards and other outdoor locations.

But how do you maximize this type of marketing? 

1. Make Your Digital Display Stand Out 

It’s important to design your digital out-of-home advertising to be eye-catching and  stand out in the environment. Be creative by designing digital advertisements that can  use colours, shapes or other details that will draw attention. There’s no doubt that if  you create a unique and attractive advertisement, people will take notice and it will  grab the attention of potential customers. 

2. Make It Relevant 

You should also utilise digital format in public spaces to create videos, animations or  interactive elements that are engaging and relevant to the target audience to capture  their interest quickly as they walk by. 

For example, digital signs can be used in a variety of places such as grocery stores,  health clubs, and more. 

3. Personalisation 

Incorporate data from other marketing channels and customer insights from previous  campaigns into your ad design to create personalised content that resonates with  viewers and encourages them to take a desired action. 

4. Keep It Simple 

Keep digital advertising messages succinct so that viewers can easily read important  information about your product or service within seconds of passing by an  advertisement placed outdoors. 

5. Audience Demographics

Strategically choose placements for digital out-of-home ads depending on the target  audience, so that it is seen by people who are most likely interested in what you have  to offer or have already interacted with your brand before. 

6. Measure Results 

Track the performance of your digital out-of-home campaigns by measuring metrics  such as impressions, click-through rates, and conversions. This will help you understand which placements are working best for your brand and adjust your strategy accordingly. 

Benefits of DOOH Advertising

Digital outdoor advertising has many benefits. These include higher visibility than traditional forms of OOH media, increased engagement by capturing people’s attention through interactive experiences, dynamic display capabilities allowing you to customise your message quickly and easily and greater control over targeting audiences who have been identified as potential customers through data collection  tools. 

You only have to look at the success of the BBC’s outdoor advertising campaigns to  understand the impact of these forms of advertising to grab people’s attention. 

Additionally, digital billboards can be updated remotely, reducing setup time and making it easier to adjust campaigns on the go while also saving money by using one screen instead of many traditional signs. 

By following these tips, you can make the most of your digital out-of-home advertising campaigns and reach a wider audience. With the right strategy, you can create an impactful campaign that will help your brand stand out from the competition. 

6 Tips for Living a Life of Luxury on Vacation

What does luxury mean to you? It might be that the first thing that comes to mind is having to spend a lot of money, especially when you want a luxury break away. However, the truth is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to live like a king or queen. In fact, luxury is less about how much you spend (in many cases, at least) and more about the way you spend your time. With that in mind, here are six tips for living a life of luxury on vacation. 

Start With The Flight 

Consider flying business or first class if you want your entire vacation to seem like a five-star experience. If you spring for the flight upgrade, you’ll arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to start your vacation without the ill effects of jet lag.

Personalised Service 

When people go on a luxury vacation, one of the things they like most is that the service is made just for them. We would suggest that you read reviews of the place you want to stay online to see how the staff is trained to treat guests. At a high-end place, the staff should quickly figure out what you like and who you are so they can make your experience even better. This doesn’t have to be something big; it can be as simple as knowing your favourite drink at the bar. This personalised attention is something you’ll certainly find on P&O Cruises which is what makes them so special – among other things. 

Attention To Detail

The little things that are carefully attended to are what truly make you feel like you’re on a luxurious vacation. Activities arranged through the hotel should go off without a hitch, and any hiccups should be handled swiftly and effectively so that guests’ stays are not ruined, for example. The value added by the staff can be in the form of anything from a complimentary upgrade to a special gesture.

Beautiful Environment 

Did you know that many five-star hotels use a standard blueprint for their guest rooms, ensuring that guests at all of their properties will receive the same high standard of service? A truly luxury hotel will not seem jarringly out of place in its host city, but rather will mix in harmoniously and add to the local experience for its guests. This includes the larger picture as well as the smaller ones, such as the hotel’s wall decorations and the landscaping outside. 

Location 

Keep in mind that your vacation will be greatly influenced by where you end up going. In order to get the most out of your luxury vacation, it’s crucial that you pick the right destination. Once you’ve decided on a location, it’s time to start highlighting the best spots for the most luxury. 

Time To Relax

One of the most important elements of any holiday is the time to relax that it can offer you. Even those who opt for an adventure holiday need to find a little time to unwind when they can. The more you can relax – and have people around you to cater to your needs – the more luxurious your holiday will feel, no matter where you might be or what you paid for your trip. 

5 Workplace Design Elements for Successful Startups

Posted on 19th January 2023

Are you the founder of a new start-up and looking for innovative ideas for the new workplace? Well, you’ve come to the right place when it comes to start-up workplace design ideas. Here are 5 start-up workplace design elements that you could implement within your new start-up:

1. Natural lighting and views

Natural lighting is an element that you should definitely not ignore in your workplace. Research has shown that employees want natural light and even views of the outdoors in the workplace, meaning that you should be looking at spaces with large windows that allow the daylight to shine through. It may also be a good idea to place desks by these windows so that the lighting (nicely) hits employees in the mornings. Be mindful of glare, however, so the option of blinds or curtains should be available too.

2. Common/Social rooms

It’s important to consider incorporating social spaces for everyone to mingle with each other. This can be for breaks or just some time to relax, having common or social rooms can be beneficial in improving wellbeing and relationships between employees. Although your start-up may be small at the moment, as your business grows and you hire more talent, there’ll need to be areas where they’re able to build rapports with each other without disrupting others’ work.

3. Open-plan workplace

Your start-up space must be able to accommodate your small team, but at the same time inspire productivity and motivation. Open-plan workplaces are perfect for this as they help to foster collaboration, removing alienating cubicles that may make it harder for employees to communicate with each other. Plus, if you’re a start-up, you’re probably trying to find cost-effective workplaces, and an open-plan workplace can certainly help you save money, compared to cubicle workplaces.

Encourage transparency and collaboration with an open-plan workplace that offers flexibility and accountability. There is a sense of equity between employees which can assist in cultivating close and loyal relationships between employees and between employees and the company.

4. Indoor plants

Adding plants to the workplace is a great way to improve indoor air quality and overall aesthetic of the office. However, did you know that they also have extra benefits and perks that your start-up should take advantage of? For instance, plants can help relieve stress and boost productivity which are only two of many reasons to have a greener workplace. Thus, to ensure a successful start-up, decorating the office with indoor plants is something to consider.

5. Bright and cosy colour palette

Another design element that you should think about is the colour palette of the workplace. We recommend a bright and colourful palette that will not only appeal to employees and clients alike, but also to help improve mood and the general look of the space. For example, neutrals, yellows and blues are great colours to work with, especially combined with red accents.

This doesn’t only have to be in the form of wallpaper, flooring, and paint on the walls – office furniture and appliances should also be colourful to help boost creativity and productivity. Red office chairs, anyone? Or maybe a yellow coffee machine?

With these ideas in mind, you can take your start-up to the next level and maximise your chances of success.

How Can Businesses Weather UK Recession Expected To Last Until Summer 2023

As the UK jumps from disaster to disaster, the expression out of the frying pan and into the wok springs into mind. From the tail end of a horrendous pandemic, to the tumultuous political landscape of three Prime Ministers in a matter of months, to the current situation of a potentially crippling recession.

If you’re in the world of business, things are unlikely to have been simple, even if you happen to have turned considerable profits consistently. That doesn’t come without its own complexities and tireless efforts. Not just your own, but those working within your company to ensure its continued success.

Now with a recession set to hit the UK, how can businesses weather this particular storm? Furthermore, how do we actually define a recession so that we know what kind of storm we are trying to weather?

What is a recession?

We hear the word recession and immediately assume the worst, and in many ways we are right to do so. It is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth, with countless potential causes – economic shocks or rapid changes in economic expectations being two examples.

The constant rise in prices and the stagnation of wages could also be a considerable factor. Despite all the factors at fault, however, it’s important to be prepared. The first part of ensuring your business is recession proof is to keep an eye on the news. Things can change on a sixpence, and keeping your finger on the pulse is an absolute must.

The key is looking at cutting down expenses as much as possible, ensuring that more money still comes in than leaves the business. Think about what parts of the business are truly necessary, cancelling any unnecessary subscriptions and any expensive purchases.

You might also think about doing a lot more online, managing teams remotely and using the cloud to your advantage. In doing so, you can sell to customers all over the world. There are plenty of countries in recession mode, but there are also those performing quite well. Internationalisation can help you overcome this particular domestic hurdle.

Remote Control

In making more of a transition to the remote working space to weather this particular economic storm, you might look to bolster your telecommunications. Ensuring that you have the tools to communicate effectively, as well as work as if you were in the same physical office space is crucial.

Your best bet in this regard is to unify your channels, ensuring the process of communication is as streamlined as possible. If you want to stop draining your resources on shoddy telecommunications, then click to find out more.

As well as being in control of your team, it’s important that you stay in control of yourself too. Be kind to yourself and don’t stress over things that you cannot control. You should also be brave enough to ask for help if needed – there are plenty of options out there within your budget range to help keep your business afloat. Weathering this storm will undoubtedly be tough, but ensuring the priorities are in place will lay the foundations for a recession-proof business. Remember the old adage that tough times don’t last, tough people do.

Backtesting & Simulation: The Keys To Investing

Backtesting & Simulation: The Keys To Investing

Backtesting is a powerful way of investigating the effectiveness of your investment strategies without actually risking your capital. While you can’t directly earn money through backtesting, you’ll have better chances of making a profit in the future.

In one study, 50% of analysts and traders used backtesting as an investment technique. While this study was conducted on a small number of users, it still shows the benefits to using this method.

Simulation and backtesting are one of the many techniques to help you be a better player in the world of investing. Take a look at the points in this article to see whether backtesting is something you should spend time doing and implementing with your personal trading strategies.

Backtesting explained

Backtesting and simulation are some of the ways of risk parity that help mitigate losses in the future. Many traders rely on using paper trading, using real-time data to present users with potential loss or profit of a trade.

While similar in the end goal, simulating a trade, backtesting utilizes historical data to reconstruct trades of your choice. The reason behind employing this technique is simple – it allows traders to make future predictions.

To confirm whether your trading model is effective, spend time backtesting different trades and stocks. The execution of a backtest can be challenging, depending on how efficient you want this test to be.

An ideal backtesting practice requires a wide variety of representative stocks. You will receive better results if you include data on liquidated or bankrupt companies. Without using such examples for your backtesting practice, you won’t get objective results.

Simulation explained

Similar to backtesting, simulations are also replicas of trades. You don’t risk any money in simulations, but they will give you an insight into what would happen with your money if you make a certain trade.

By using vast amounts of data, simulations predict how a certain trade would play out by inserting and changing particular variables. According to these variables, simulation offers a range of outcomes that might happen.

Many platforms offer free simulations, which allow you to test out specific trades without risking any money. However, the limitation of simulation is that it won’t give you actual experience, and some of them have quite limited features.

For example, a free simulator won’t allow you to trade penny stocks and trades might not be performed instantly but rather with a delay. You will be able to test out some of the common trades, such as equity trades, options trades, and short sells.

Manual vs. Automated backtesting

If you’ve decided that backtesting is the method that you want to apply for your trades, you probably contemplate which way of backtesting is more efficient. Automated backtesting requires running a script or using an online solution to perform backtesting.

On the other hand, manual backtesting requires studying data and then placing trades manually. This is usually performed through a spreadsheet. Automated backtesting has a speed advantage, while you can learn much more about trading through manual experimentation.

Importance of backtesting and simulation

Every trader will need to spend time in the trading world before he refines his trading techniques. Some people will spend a large amount of money in the process, while others can take a more careful and strategic approach.

Instead of risking your money, backtesting and simulation will help you improve your methods before taking any risks. Anyone can use these methods to improve their trading strategy, but there are certain tools and data that institutional traders and people in finance have access to.

Even though backtesting and simulation will help you practice your trading, even the methods themselves will require you to practice them before you have an in-depth understanding of trading.

Backtesting and simulation are important but not essential

You can learn a lot about your trading methods by implementing backtesting or simulation before performing trades. However, many traders with decades of experience haven’t been using such methods, and they are just as successful.

These methods are only a tool that can help you improve your techniques, yet they aren’t critical for every trader. Remember that minimizing the risk of losing money is always the goal of every trader, but even with these techniques, it can never be zero.

You shouldn’t limit yourself to only using simulation and backtesting to make your trades. It’s still crucial to follow the situations on the market, financial news, and high-authority figures in the world of trading.

What Are the Benefits of Radiotherapy?

Several treatment options are available for cancer, and choosing the appropriate option depends on various factors. Some factors include cancer type, stage and grade, and if the cancer cells are localised or metastasised throughout the body. When radiotherapy is recommended, patients have various benefits.

Who Should Undergo Radiotherapy?

In radiation therapy, a high concentration of energy kills cancer cells without destroying healthy cells. A radiation oncologist will prescribe the ideal radiation treatment for a patient after considering several factors. For instance, they will recommend treatment based on the tumour size. Your overall health condition and medical treatment also determine the type of radiotherapy. This can be used as a sole cancer treatment for shrinking tumours and killing cancer cells in the area.

Radiation therapy can also be used as an adjuvant cancer treatment in combination with other forms of treatment. For instance, a cancer patient with a tumour may undergo surgery to remove or shrink the mass and radiotherapy is used to kill the remaining cancer cells. You can have chemotherapy and radiotherapy simultaneously or in succession. Radiation therapy is also used in palliative care to keep you comfortable. For instance, it can shrink tumours that are too risky to operate on and are causing excruciating pain. A tumour growing near the throat can prevent a patient from eating or drinking and isn’t operable. You can get more information on this blog on radiotherapy.

How Does the Radiotherapy Procedure Work?

The type of radiotherapy determines the procedure for the treatment. For instance, external beam radiation therapy involves using linear acceleration to deliver high energy to cancer cells. In the treatment, a patient receives low doses of radiation over a specified period. The patient will likely undergo the treatment five days a week with two days break for cell recovery. Before the treatment, the oncologist takes CT or MRI scans to determine the positions of the cancer cells.

With internal radiation therapy, the oncologist will implant radioactive sources near the tumour or into the body cavity. The radiation is contained in seeds injected into the body through catheters. The seeds give off radiation energy that will kill the cancer cells.

What Are the Advantages of Radiotherapy?

Some of the benefits of radiotherapy treatment include the following:

• It can shrink or cure early-stage cancer: Some cancers are shrunk with radiation before surgery since the radiation energy can kill the cancer cells. Using radiotherapy also kills any cancer cells reducing the chances of cancer recurring.

• Stops cancer cells in their tracks: The main challenge in cancer treatment is that cells spread to unaffected body parts. Upon diagnosis, some cancer cells may have already spread throughout the body. When you use radiotherapy in cancer treatment, you prevent the cells from spreading.

• Treats advanced symptoms: When the cancer stage is advanced, and you cannot cure it, radiotherapy can reduce the pain. For instance, radiation can shrink tumours that cause bowel blockages, breathing difficulty, and pain. While radiation can treat recurring cancer, you may not treat the same parts with radiotherapy for a second time.

• Outpatient treatment: Unlike other cancer therapies, radiation can be an outpatient treatment. That means you can maintain your daily routine and don’t have to stay in the hospital overnight.

When treating cancers or tumours using radiotherapy, you need to be aware of the possible risks and complications. For instance, you can be radioactive in internal radiotherapy treatment and have to be isolated. However, the advantage of radiation treatment improves your quality of life.

Useful Tips When Starting A Business In Real Estate

Posted on 19th January 2023

Real estate is one of the most dynamic industries, requiring strong entrepreneurship skills and the ability to deal with high-risk situations. Starting any business isn’t for the faint of heart, more so in real estate, as many see failure each year.

If you’ve worked in the real estate sector for many years and believe you have the experience, there’s no reason why you can’t start your own business. Just remember, growth doesn’t occur overnight and there will be tough competition.

Here are our top tips to ensure you achieve success in your real estate business and establish your presence in this highly competitive industry.

Come up with a business plan

Regardless of the type of business you wish to set up, you need a relevant business plan in place. This should specify your goals, targets and aims, including any problems you’ll need to iron out in due course.

You’ll also want to outline any future strategies, your growth rate and capital requirements. By doing so, you can ensure your processes run smoothly and you’re on your way to achieving success in the real estate market.

Starting a business from scratch can be an expensive endeavour, especially if you plan on hiring a team of employees and renting out a space for your work. It’s therefore important you get your finances together and ensure you have sufficient access to cash to keep up with any repayments. To get you underway, a
business loan can provide you with the necessary funds
to kickstart your enterprise, regardless of its size.

Conduct extensive research on the sector

If you’re new to the sector, it’s highly likely you don’t have a strong presence in the market yet. Understanding your competition and what makes them tick should be a priority – they’re obviously doing something right and this could easily work for you.

Try to list down the companies that have seen the highest success rate within the last working year and see what they are offering to clients. What are they doing to attract and retain clients? Are they offering
any incentives? Do they have strong brand awareness?

Also, identify any gaps in the market that people would be interested in. This way you target a completely different niche and clientele. If you offer the exact same services as your competitors, you leave yourself vulnerable – potential customers may just go with a more established and experienced company.

Prepare a marketing strategy

In order to see your business thrive, you’ll need to develop a sound marketing strategy that aligns with your business goals. You can’t solely rely on word-of-mouth marketing and will need to establish a strong
online presence.

The most important thing to help put your plan into action is to launch a brand-driven website. This should outline your services and should be designed to suit your target audience and demographics. It must be easy to navigate and optimised for all types of devices; if people choose to leave your website due to poor readability, it can impact your traffic. Adding contact information or a call-to-action is a great way of getting visitors to interact with your site and glean important insights.

You must also establish a social media presence on all the relevant platforms. This way, you can keep your followers updated on any changes to your business and can prompt others to share your posts with their followers – which is essentially free marketing.

4 Tips to Help Deciding How Much to Invest in Dogecoin

Since its release in 2013, Dogecoin has emerged as one of the most popular cryptocurrencies globally. Before 2020, Dogecoin saw a number of major pushes and subsequent falls but failed to gain much traction. With an unexpected jump of over 12000% between January and May of 2021—Dogecoin has become one of the well-known cryptocurrencies.

While many new investors have been drawn in by Dogecoin’s price and popularity, it is essential to be careful before investing in Dogecoin. Although it is one of the very few cryptocurrencies to gain widespread recognition, future outcomes cannot be predicted by looking at the past.

Dogecoin’s present status is still up for discussion. Some argue that it is still vulnerable to push and crashes since only a few wallets possess the bulk of Dogecoin, even though many think it better represents the values and interests of the broader community.

Let us walk you through some essential tips to help you decide how much to invest in Dogecoin while delving deeper into whether Dogecoin is worth investing in.

Is Dogecoin a good investment?

While Dogecoin gave investors much hope in the first four months of 2021, Dogecoin still needs to retain the growth momentum. Investors who have invested in Dogecoin still hold it with the hope that Dogecoin will bounce back and prove to be a worthwhile investment, but this cryptocurrency has yet to show any further signs of growth. When considering investing money, it is essential to ask whether the asset fits your portfolio.

Dogecoin is a risky, unpredictable investment—only invest in it if you have a solid financial foundation. According to general investing guidelines, riskier investments like these must be at most 10% of your investment portfolio.

At around $0.08 in January 2023, Dogecoin must have done better. Dogecoin investors who purchased it between 25 and 45 cents in the first few months of 2021 have seen huge losses on their investments.

Although Dogecoin still has a $10.88 billion market cap as of January 2023 and is accepted at almost 2000 places as payment, from premium cars to goods and services, you must consider investing in Dogecoin. However, it’s also crucial to keep in mind that Dogecoin’s price is prone to extreme fluctuation daily and has yet to be used much other than to make payments faster than using bitcoin.

With all this in consideration, it is advisable to allocate less of your portfolio to Dogecoin, despite the fact that enthusiasts are ready to hold it as a long-term investment.

4 Tips on deciding how much to invest in Dogecoin

There are a few things you must take into account before investing in a cryptocurrency like Dogecoin. You’ll be in a better position to decide if investing in Dogecoin is the correct choice for you once you’ve given the below questions some serious thought.

  • Have you thoroughly mastered the principles behind cryptocurrencies to make an informed decision?
  • How much money and for how long are you planning to invest in cryptocurrencies?
  • Are you prepared to lose all of your investment in cryptocurrency, which is usually risky?

Here are some essential aspects to think about before investing in Dogecoin.

1. Recognize the true worth of buying Dogecoin

It will be challenging, time-consuming, or downright impossible to determine the true worth of a digital asset.

If you’re sure about buying this asset, you can instantly buy Dogecoin with a credit card, bank transfer, or using local currency via your bank account in more than 150 countries. No matter how many Dogecoins you want to acquire, you will be able to do so with the help of stringent security controls that will guarantee your safety.

2. Think about your investment goals for Dogecoin

Investing with caution is essential because online rumours claim that some investors gained large sums of money using Dogecoin. Cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin, Ethereum, etc. are speculative investments, and Dogecoin is particularly unstable because of its infinite supply. Investors must keep adding to their coin purchases for the price of Dogecoin to rise or stay stable. If not, the supply of Dogecoin quickly increases, depreciating the value of every coin currently in use.

Take into account your total financial condition, investment portfolio, and risk tolerance when choosing how much money to put into investments. Experts advise investing what you afford to lose with cryptocurrencies.

3. Liquidity

It is critical to understand that the high level of volatility of Dogecoin has made it very uncertain to predict the fate of this asset. Dogecoin’s popularity has increased as more people become aware of it and invest in it, but when these investors sell their investments as the price climbs, the price of Dogecoin falls.

Dogecoin’s price has changed significantly since the beginning of 2021. It showed a significant surge reaching an all-time high of almost $0.70. However, it quickly fell to around $0.45 and is now valued at $0.082 as of 12 January 2023.

4. Public opinion and FOMO

FOMO is a significant danger to a lucrative investment opportunity since Dogecoin is consuming the internet. Everyone is talking about investing in it. (FOMO describes the “fear of missing out” when someone decides irrationally to trade or buy in a crypto asset based on some information they have learned without thoroughly checking its authenticity or source). But before that occurs, it’s critical to keep in mind that only some achieve the same level of success as the select people who became billionaires by risking their whole money on a craze.

Investing in Dogecoin

Dogecoin will be a pleasant addition to your investment portfolio. But it’s crucial to comprehend the danger involved in purchasing this asset. Whether you’re prepared to purchase Dogecoin and grow your investment or are only beginning to dabble in the world of cryptocurrencies, there is still plenty to learn.

5 Ways Vaping CBD Can Help With Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common ailments people suffer from today. Whether it’s due to an injury or illness, chronic back pain can be debilitating and often leads to a decrease in quality of life. Fortunately, there are treatments available that can provide relief and even help to manage the condition.

One such treatment is CBD, or cannabidiol, which is derived from the cannabis plant. While CBD can be taken in various forms, such as capsules and tinctures, vaping CBD has become increasingly popular in recent years. This method of delivery is fast-acting and allows you to get the benefits of CBD quickly and conveniently.

From reducing inflammation to providing pain relief, vaping CBD can be an effective way to manage and treat back pain. Below, we’ll discuss some of the ways it can help you. Read on to learn why you should head to Vapekit or similar shop and get your own vaping device!

Vaping CBD May Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is a state of heightened immune system activity that can be caused by a variety of factors, such as infection, injury, or illness. It’s a natural response to keep the body healthy, but in some cases, it can become chronic and lead to pain and discomfort. It’s also a common cause of back pain, as inflammation of the muscles and joints can lead to stiffness, tenderness, and a decreased range of motion.

CBD has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties and may be able to reduce inflammation in the body. Vaping CBD is a fast-acting method of delivery that allows it to enter your bloodstream quickly and start to work its anti-inflammatory magic.

Vaping CBD May Improve Sleep Quality

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for general health and well-being, as well as for managing chronic pain. Unfortunately, back pain can make it difficult to get the sleep you need, which can further worsen your condition.

CBD has been shown to have a calming effect on the body, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety, both of which can make it challenging to get a full night’s rest. Administering CBD through vaping will bring quicker results, as cannabidiol will enter your bloodstream in just a few minutes.

Vaping CBD May Provide Pain Relief

CBD is known for its pain-relieving properties and can be a great way to manage both acute and chronic pain. It works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which influences how we experience pain. By stimulating the endocannabinoid system, CBD can help to reduce the intensity and frequency of pain.

Whether you’re struggling with pain due to a sedentary lifestyle, injury, or illness, vaping CBD may be able to provide relief. As with inflammation, vaping CBD is fast-acting, often bringing the effects you need in no more than a few minutes.

Vaping CBD May Help With Muscle Relaxation

Muscle tension is another common cause of back pain. When your muscles are tense, they can put pressure on the spine and nerves, leading to stiffness and discomfort. Vaping CBD may be able to help by promoting muscle relaxation.

It works by activating certain receptors in the body that regulate muscle tension and soreness. By stimulating these receptors, CBD helps to reduce muscle spasms and improve overall relaxation. And all you need to do is take a few puffs of your favourite CBD vape oil.

Vaping CBD May Help Manage Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can be major contributors to back pain, as they can cause muscles to tense up and lead to inflammation. If left unchecked, it can worsen your condition and make it difficult to manage the pain.

CBD has been found to have a calming, relaxing effect on the body, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety. Vaping it is a fast and convenient way to get the relief you need in no time.

Conclusion

Vaping CBD has become a popular way to manage back pain. It is fast-acting and allows you to get the relief you need quickly and conveniently.

CBD has been found to have anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, muscle-relaxing, and stress-reducing properties, all of which can help to reduce back pain and improve quality of life.

What Is Shiba Inu and How Does It Work?

Launched in August 2020 as a new breed of decentralized finance (Defi) tokens, Shiba Inu is a decentralized cryptocurrency focused on providing an alternative to Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Per, CoinMarketCap, ‘there are currently about 550 trillion SHIB in circulation.’

Its name is derived from a breed of Japanese breed of small, brave dogs — the Shiba Inu; which is also the logo of the currency. This breed of dog was bred to hunt down birds and rabbits and lived in the highland areas of the Chūbu region.

Shiba Inu is also known as the ‘meme coin’ due to the fact that it was initially launched as a joke cryptocurrency.

Also, did you know that the name Dogecoin Killer was actually because it has a better design, faster transfer time, and infinitely scalable architecture?

The coin went viral and gained a lot of attention online due to its cutesy logo, which is the adorable Shiba Inu dog. All of this made it an instant hit with crypto enthusiasts. The price of the coin also skyrocketed when it was initially released, and it is still growing in popularity.

Buy Shiba Inu Coin hassle-free If you are planning to buy Shiba Inu coins, there are a few choices you can pick from.

Cryptocurrency exchanges like Moonpay, or peer-to-peer trading platforms are recommended. Moreover, you can purchase them from the official website of this project too.

With platforms like Moonpay — you can seamlessly buy Shiba Inu coins quickly and securely using debit cards, credit cards or any payment method of your choice.

Don’t fret if you don’t have a traditional bank account as it supports some of the world’s biggest banks, making it easy to buy coins. Another excellent perk of is that the fees are relatively lower than other cryptocurrency exchanges.

How does Shiba Inu work?

In this section, we take an in-depth look at how Shiba Inu works.

Shiba Inu network runs on Ethereum’s blockchain and is considered a ‘by-product’ of the Ethereum network.

This means that all the transactions that occur on the Shiba Inu network are stored, validated as well as executed on the Ethereum blockchain. Shiba Inu is an ERC20 token. This means that it can take advantage of the smart contract capabilities of the Ethereum network. For example, storage, data transfer and so on.

In turn, this allows these tokens to be used in the Defi application. Instances include yield farming or decentralized exchanges (DEXs), and creating and launching decentralized applications (dapps).

Moreover, another use case is that it offers non-fungible token (or NFT) support, This enables different assets to be securely and efficiently transferred to another user.

Want to use Shiba Inu? Here’s what to do

Make sure you have a wallet that supports the ERC20 standard. Wallters could be Trust Waller or MetaMask.Next, you need to purchase Shiba Inu coins from a cryptocurrency marketplace or exchange.Lastly, you can transfer the coins after you have successfully purchased them.That’s it — now you can use the coins to participate in DeFi projects or to trade.

Use cases of Shiba Inu coins

Below we discuss and deep dive into 12 use cases of Shiba Inu coins.

Investment

Shiba Inu is a token, that is predicted to grow tremendously in the coming years.

And therefore a great way for investors to diversify their portfolios. Due to its high liquidity and relatively low prices, this coin appeals to investors who cannot shell out large amounts on crypto like Bitcoin. Moreover, due to its strong ties with Etherium, Shiba Inu could also be an attractive option for those looking to hedge against the Ethereum network’s volatility.

NFTs

Shiba Inu is a popular choice for Non-Fungible tokens (NFT) use cases.

One of the main advantages of using Shiba Inu is the ability to process lesser transactions virtually instantly. That’s why it’s the chosen crypto for NFTs on the decentralized marketplace Rarible. Using Shiba Inu allows users to buy, sell, and transfer digital items on the Rarible marketplace quickly and efficiently.

At the moment, the digital art industry is rapidly growing and Shiba Inu can benefit from it.

In fact, in the first half of 2022, Shiba Inu (SHIB) announced the launch of its NFT and metaverse platform, which is called the ShibaLands. It is a virtual real estate crypto platform that has 100,595 different pieces of non-fungible land.

Smart contracts

As we know, Shiba is an ERC-20 token. This means that developers can use Shiba to create smart contracts as well as dApps. Since the network is secure, it allows developers to create smart contracts and dApps quickly, reliably, and confidently. Shiba Inu’s intuitive platform ensures the security of smart contracts while remaining easy to use.

Also, since Shiba Inu is an ERC-20 token, developers can easily integrate it into existing Ethereum-based dApps, allowing users to use Shiba Inu alongside other tokens

Shibarium will forever change the game

As per PhemexShibarium is an upcoming and long-awaited Layer 2 blockchain solution for Shiba Inu, aimed at addressing the low transaction speed of Ethereum.

Its aim is to lay the foundations for building out the Shiba Inu ecosystem, complete with a metaverse, a DEX, and blockchain games.

Shibarium has been in development for quite some time, but its public version is expected to be released soon.’

With its innovative features — Shiba Inu has become a hot topic in the cryptocurrency world.

The future of this currency will depend on what developers can do with its integrated components; like blockchain layer, NFT support, and smart contract capabilities.

Shiba Inu may eventually go beyond the scope of cryptocurrency and be used to create various different products and services.

It is still the early days for Shiba Inu, but the future looks bright for this innovative project.

How Website Banners Can Attract Your Ideal Online Shopper & Enhance Your Business

Regarding your online business and customer experience, banners are an excellent way of showcasing your product or service, displaying your brand, and even helping users easily navigate through your website. 

Business owners strategically place a website banner at the top, middle, or any other area they think will receive the most clicks. It can be an excellent sales tool, but before you place it anywhere, you need to know where the ideal spot is. 

Let’s dive deeper into this article to learn more about website banners! 

How banners attract new customers and increase the success of your business

Banners can be used for many purposes, but their primary one is for ads. Especially for online shops, banners are used for highlighting products and promoting them, increasing the number of users that can access them. Additionally, you can use them for redirecting landing pages, social media ads and email marketing. 

Here are some major benefits banners will bring to your online business: 

  • They increase sales: Website banners attract users’ attention by displaying new products and promotions to your banner. In addition, the products and services can be directed so you can make more purchases quickly. You can also check out these product description writing examples to further attract potential buyer’s attention and increase your chances of making more sales.
  • Gives your brand a better image: Placing images across your website can make its appearance more appealing to users. 
  • Easy for customizing and implementing: Banners can easily be created and have standard sizes that you can replace. A simple design can meet fundamental requirements and it’s pretty easy to upload them to your site. 
  • They improve customer experience: Communication is the key to satisfactory customer experience. Providing your customers with required and attractive simple shopping is the key to an excellent customer experience. 

7 Factors you need to consider when creating your website banner

Before we dive into the steps on how to easily create a banner, you need to be well aware that a banner needs to be unique. If it looks like any other banner on the market, it might not be as good as you think. Therefore, the following steps can only be properly implemented once you clearly define what your business is all about. 

1. Visibility

A powerful website banner should effectively be able to represent your business. It should always help the business establish a connection with visitors. The first thing that should appear on a banner is the brand’s name. You can try filling your website with high-quality images, but you don’t want to overdo it, of course. 

2.Slogan 

A slogan, in other words, is a catchphrase you use or your business motto. Every business has a motto or slogan. For example, for Nike, it’s “Just do it,” for Adidas, it’s “Impossible is nothing,” For Mercedes, it’s “The best or nothing,” etc. 

The real question is to identify why your company differs from the rest. Thinking of why your business is unique is what helps you come up with the right slogan. 

3. Contact details 

Your contact details are just as important as you may think. Remember to include them in your banner. The most important contact details are email addresses, phone and fax numbers, street addresses, and more. However, they may not be necessary, so don’t worry about it. 

A banner will occupy some space on your page, and in some cases, you may be tempted to make the most of your additional space. People will always process information much better visually than reading a bunch of text. Research shows that 93% of communication is non-verbal, meaning they’ll process visuals up to 60,000 times faster than text. 

However, remember that you want to avoid cramping visuals into one. Too many visuals might sometimes be distracting, so you must include a few and not overcrowd your website. 

4. Your Call-to-action (CTA)

Banners should include a CTA that will redirect consumers to a page, product, category, or pages with information that will redirect the customer. Find out where you should place your CTA, but keep in mind to make it visible. Avoid dark colours and make your CTA not visible enough. 

5. Add a sales proposition 

If you add a sales proposition, you need to ensure it’s unique. Ask yourself what makes your company so different from the rest. It’s all about the quality and the need to ensure that your banner design visibly shows the value proposition in the banner design. A sales proposition is an excellent way of giving a good first impression. Therefore, you should include it in your banner design. 

6. Always add quality images and videos 

Images and videos are essential, especially when creating a banner. Always aim to add images and videos that are most pleasing to the eye. Additionally, ensure that photographers and videos are of the highest quality. Nobody wants to visit a site and have to deal with anything that is of low quality, especially nowadays since there’s plenty of competition out there. 

7. Update your banners frequently 

User interest increases once your website is updated with new products and promotions. Banners can redirect users to important parts of your site. You can take your visitors to highlighted pages and show them the best of your product and service. 

Attracting traffic to your site and improving its image should be considered your primary objective. Advertising is a practical task, and using suitable banners is an excellent way to improve your services and directly impact the company’s revenue. 

What to never forget about banners 

Your banner represents how well-optimized your website is. Therefore, pay special attention and follow the mentioned steps when creating one. You only have one time to make an excellent first impression, so ensure you do so by adding a good value proposition, design, the right contact details, call-to-action, and more.

Portfolio Backtesting: 5 Rules for Successful Investment

People often confuse investing with luck. The truth is – investing is mostly strategic. It requires skills and patience. With the right strategy, the chances of gaining exceed the chances of losing.

The world went through a global crisis as a result of COVID-19. This caused a negative financial impact, which led people to broaden their horizons regarding extra income.

That said, the number of people in Europe investing in the stock market is slowly increasing – around 33% of UK citizens and 15% of Germans.

Are you ready to embark on your successful investment journey?

If the answer is yes, you’ve come to the right place. This article will discuss the importance of portfolio backtesting strategy along with five rules for successful investment.

Let’s dive in!

The true meaning and importance of portfolio backtesting

Backtesting lets you test an investment strategy to understand how it would’ve performed in the past. So, before risking any capital, you’ll know the probability of the outcome.

Backtesting makes people more confident in their investment decisions. You’re probably thinking, how does it work?

Backtesting takes historical data into account. If a strategy wouldn’t do well in the past, it probably won’t do well in the future. It lets you know beforehand which strategies are worth your time and money. Even though we all know the market is always changing, stock patterns tend to repeat.

Portfolio backtesting has its benefits but is not always 100% accurate. It doesn’t predict the future, just gives you pointers. Still, analysts and professional traders are constantly using backtesting. They wouldn’t even consider risking big amounts if their strategy hasn’t previously been backtested.

To successfully backtest portfolio performance and improve your investments there is a set of rules you can follow.

5 rules for successful investment with backtesting

Consider various market conditions

See how your trading strategy performs during a tough economic crisis. Aim for a specific market condition, for example, The Asian Crisis of 1997, and then compare it with the COVID pandemic of 2020. Backtesting allows you to do this and is a great way to see how effective your strategy is when tried on different market conditions.

Make sure your portfolio contains at least 20 stocks

This allows us to lessen the likelihood that your strategy was simply fortunate and chose a successful stock by ensuring that no single stock will have a significant impact on the performance of your portfolio.

It gives you the certainty that your trading strategy will turn out to be profitable even if it has been applied to multiple stocks. This helps you greatly reduce your investment risk. So, if you’re trying to decide which backtesting tool works best for you, it’s better to choose one that gives you the option to select numerous stocks, instead of only one.

Have reasonable expectations

Even though trading can bring you wealth, don’t always set high expectations and expect to make a fortune overnight! If a strategy would’ve brought you 80.000$ twenty years ago, you can’t expect that same strategy to now bring you 800.000$.

It all depends on the risk you’re willing to take and the asset to wish to invest in. One thing is sure though – having proper expectations will never set you up for disappointment!

Take transaction cost into account

A lot of things can impact your investment profit, for example, the transaction cost of your broker. That’s why, when backtesting, it’s always better to consider them in advance. It gives a realistic point of view on things, so you won’t be confused if the return turns out to be lower than expected.

Aim for a longer period of backtesting

This world has suffered a lot of difficult times and all of them in different time frames. Considering the fact that backtesting works with historical data, backtest your strategy for at least fifteen years.

That way, you’ll cover different market conditions and if a market crash is to happen in the future, you’ll be able to adjust your strategy to it and still achieve the best possible outcome.

How to perform backtesting

Backtesting has been an option for investors for quite some time now. It has always been considered to be a time-consuming task, especially since in the past, it was mostly done manually, along with trading itself. Imagine manually calculating every moving average – it couldn’t have been easy.

Nowadays, the technology is so advanced that you can actually backtest your portfolio with the help of trading and backtesting software. It allows investors to test their strategy in a matter of seconds and save valuable time.

Some of the trading tools that don’t require coding are:

MetaTrader5TradingViewTradeStationAmibrokerEven though there are apps that don’t require coding, it’s still considered to be the most effective way to practice backtesting. Up to this day, the most popular programming language for traders remains Python.

Game-changing strategy

Portfolio backtesting is a huge advantage for both beginners and experienced traders. Firstly, it’s flexible and can be applied to various markets. Secondly, it’s just a simulation and no capital is involved in the process, therefore, you’re not risking anything.

Making your money work for you is not a bad idea at all. People understand this and are all about securing their future. That’s why investing has always been a popular trend and an effective way to potentially build wealth, especially when it’s strategically done.

Having said that, backtesting is a real game-changer. It can be used to significantly optimize your portfolio and improve your investments. Carlos Slim Helu once said ‘’With a good perspective on history, we can have a better understanding of the past and present, and thus a clear version of the future’’.

GHP Magazine Announces the Winners of the 2022 Technology Awards

GHP Magazine Announces the Winners of the 2022 Technology Awards

United Kingdom, 2023 – GHP has unveiled the winners of the Technology Awards.

In today’s world, technology has become the very backbone of our progression. It is the sweeping notion of connection and innovation, elevating and enriching our lives. Within the healthcare sphere, technology is absolutely invaluable.

From lifechanging analysis and imaging software to medical education offerings, and even trailblazing at-home medical devices, our Technology Awards 2022 programme covers a wide variety of businesses which impact the global health and pharmaceutical industry on a daily basis.

Our Awards Coordinator, Stephanie Tooby, commented on the stunning success of this year’s awards programme. She said, “The technology that we see in the healthcare industry completely alters our perception of modernization, whilst having the most positive effect on our health. I am extremely pleased to present this year’s selection of businesses which improve our quality of life. I want to wish them a sincere congratulations and all the best for the future.”

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

To find out more about the trailblazers in this realm, and discover what has led them to becoming who they are today, please visit https://www.ghp-news.com/awards/technology-awards/ to access our newest winner’s booklet.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

About GHP Magazine, a publication under AI Global Media

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

About AI Global Media

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

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

How to Make Your First Date an Exciting One

Going on your first date can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. You may feel like you are walking on eggshells as you try to navigate through the unknown territory of getting to know someone new, but there are some key tips that can help make your first date a success. Whether it’s a dinner out, a movie night, or a walk in the park, we have discussed a few ideas below to help make sure your first date is an enjoyable and memorable one.

We have also included some helpful advice on what to do if things don’t go as planned. So whether you are the one making the plans or your date is, here are some ideas to make sure your first date goes as smoothly as possible.

1. Get Some Dating Advice From Experts 

First and foremost, it’s important to get some advice from the experts. There are plenty of books and websites dedicated to helping people make their first dates a success. Reading these resources can help you avoid common pitfalls and give you tips on how to make your date more enjoyable. You can find useful dating tips for guys that can help you plan a date, as well as advice on how to make the most of their first date. For instance, you may find ideas on conversation starters, tips for flirting, and even advice on what to wear. Additionally, there are great resources available for women’s dating advice that can help you feel more comfortable and prepared before the date even begins. You can also talk to your friends who have gone on dates and get their thoughts on how to make the best impression. They may even have some great date ideas that you can use. So don’t be afraid to get some advice from friends, family, and experts before your date. 

2. Pick an Activity That Is Right For You Both 

When it comes to picking an activity for your first date, it’s important to choose something that is right for you both. If you are both music lovers, a concert or karaoke night might be the perfect way to spend some time together and get to know one another better. On the other hand, if you are both foodies, going out for dinner allows you to sample different cuisines and have a fun conversation while doing so. Try to select an activity that will make both of you feel comfortable and relaxed while also allowing you enough opportunity to talk and get to know each other better. 

3. Set Some Ground Rules Beforehand 

It may sound strange but setting ground rules before your date can really help make it a success. If you are both clear about what you expect from the date, such as how long it will last, any expectations around physical contact, etc., then it will help keep things relaxed and enjoyable. This also helps to set boundaries so that neither of you feels pressured or uncomfortable during the evening.

4. Have an Open Mind

It is important to approach your first date with an open mind and try not to have too many expectations. You never know when sparks might start flying between two people, so be prepared for anything! Trust your gut and go in with the intention of having fun and getting to know someone new. 

5. Don’t Stress if Things Don’t Go as Planned 

Finally, it’s important to remember that things don’t always go according to plan. If you find yourself in a situation where the date isn’t going as well as you had hoped, try not to get too stressed out. Instead, take a deep breath and tell yourself that not every date is going to be perfect. And if all else fails, try and make the best of it by being polite and gracious throughout the evening. At the end of the day, your first date can be an exciting opportunity to learn something new about yourself or someone else! 

Your first date can be a nerve-wracking experience, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right advice and some preparation beforehand, you can make sure that your first date goes as smoothly as possible. From getting some tips from experts to picking an activity that is right for both of you to setting ground rules before you go, there are plenty of things you can do to get ready for the big day. Don’t forget to have an open mind and be prepared for anything! Finally, if things don’t go as planned, try not to stress out and just make the most of it. With a bit of luck, your first date will be a great experience that you’ll never forget!  Good luck and have fun!

How To Dispose Of Your Corporate IT Assets Correctly And Safely

How To Dispose Of Your Corporate IT Assets Correctly And Safely

At Concept Management both your business security and the environment matter to us and we are passionate about helping our corporate clients and CEO’s to recycle and dispose of their company’s computer ware responsibly. Proper disposal of computers is important for several reasons including keeping your used computer hard drive content private and releasing the recycling potential from your devices. The potential for recycling raw materials in computer hardware is vast and contributes to us collectively reducing the negative impacts of tech waste in the UK.

As CEO or manager of your business, I’m sure you’d agree that computers are an integral part of the modern world. They are electrical devices that work by processing information and data. The likely hood is you are reading this from your own computer, tablet device, phone, or maybe even a wearable tech so you may know about some of the many other things computers are good for. Besides surfing the internet, on a computer, you can type documents, create spreadsheets, make images, edit film or music and even play games. Computers are made all over the world and there are major brands such as Apple, PC, Windows, and Lenovo that make vast ranges of computers internationally.

When computers age they can become slower and less reliable. This can cause problems if a computer is relied upon heavily for work or personal use. As your computer ages, it may become unfit for purpose, and you may therefore seek an upgrade. Here at Concept Management, we care deeply about giving our clients the power of choice that this stage. It is important that you dispose of your computer and hard drive safely and correctly. Safe recycling or disposal of computer equipment is very important for both security and the environment. Whether you are needing to take care of personal or business computer disposal and recycling, we have some key information to help you do it well.

Where recycling is not possible, responsible computer equipment disposal is also crucial as it can affect the environment and disposal services in the UK if you don’t correctly follow WEEE legislation and guidance. Along with your computer itself, we also offer responsible recycling and disposal of other hardware including your keyboard, mouse, cables, monitors, laptops, and external storage drives.

We offer a full range of services in corporate computer and IT equipment disposal where business recycling is at the center and disposal is kept to the minimum. Where we can recycle, we will, as reusing precious raw materials in newer models is a great way to reduce the amount we mine the earth’s resources. Working ethically and ecologically is a priority for us as we want our customers to benefit from updating their technology in the most environmentally friendly way possible. We have fully trained and vetted staff who can assist you or your business with meeting your computer ware disposal needs which surpass the WEEE Directive.

If you do need to completely start again with your business computer equipment, we recommend that you use an expert service you can trust to ensure that your computer is effectively cleaned of any sensitive data before it is disposed of. Concept Management offers an ethically and efficiently minded service with onsite destruction of physical kit, hard drive erasure, and other options for your obsolete computer ware at our HQ site.

The tech industry and culture is moving at a faster and faster rate and the demand for rapid renewal of devices is becoming a world waste issue. Where possible, reusing precious raw materials from older computers and devices and repurposing them in new ones is key in closing the production cycle. Disposing of your business’s electronic waste without proper content erasure or approved disposal methods is dangerous and illegal. But, at Concept Management we encourage our customers to go one step further than following the regulatory computer disposal guidelines as we offer a comprehensive and pioneering recycling service.

With highly trained staff, schooled in the practical and ethical issues around safe data sanitizing processes, we can confidently offer you a safe and hassle-free computer disposal service. So, whether you need information on the process of how to destroy your hard drive from your computer before recycling it or simply would like a quote for the job you need doing we are happy to help. You can rely on our expertise and experience for all of your computer recycling and data disposal needs.

There are so many advantages to choosing to recycle your computer. From Macs to PCs, we want to have the opportunity to reuse the precious elements found in your old model and repurpose them again and again. Entrusting your computer to an accredited service provider such as Concept Management is also a way to avoid harsh and toxic chemicals being released into the environment and polluting our treasured planet. We work beyond the WEEE directive standards which means you have the added benefit of being assured that your data and hardware are being dealt with properly. Improper disposal of computers can leave both you and the environment vulnerable, so we take every step to make your experience with us, is safe. We work with each customer, to offer a bespoke service for the needs of your job and offer our expert advice all the way, so you can make informed choices about your computer recycling and disposal options.

 At Concept Management, we work to be leaders in the responsible and ecologically focused approach to computer recycling and disposal. Our HQ is based in Manchester and due to the substantial demand and our ability to meet it, we have a large team of brilliant staff that offer a 24-hour-a-day service during the 5-day working week. We have the know how that we believe will make a difference as we progress as a nation into greener ways of managing our old technology. First and foremost, we care about protecting our client’s security and helping them to do their bit in taking care of the environment with regard to their computer recycling and disposal needs.

5 Ways A Professional Locksmith Can Help Homeowners

Posted on 18th January 2023

When do you typically consider using a locksmith’s services? Most people would use their services in an emergency, such as when they forgot their spare keys and were locked out.  

It may be true that they’re very handy for emergencies like this, but locksmiths, especially from Locksmith Plus Inc. In Everett, Washington, can do much more.  

In this article, you’ll learn how a professional locksmith can help homeowners make their homes more secure and the other services they provide. Keep reading.  

1. A Professional Locksmith Can Provide Sound Advice

There are different security requirements for everyone. Security measures are different from place to place as well. To protect and secure their goods from theft, people traditionally use padlocks. But modern technology has led to the widespread use of high-tech padlocks in homes, workplaces, and automobiles, which are now considered essentials.  

These modern locks may be readily available, but it would be best to consult a professional locksmith if you need clarification on what type to use. Locksmiths are well-versed in different types of locks suitable for your home’s various locations. They can even advise installing security locks in areas you may have overlooked. 

They can give you and your family reliable recommendations and assistance based on your needs and preferences so that you and your family can sleep well at night.  

2. A Professional Locksmith Can Provide Services For Cutting And Re-Keying Keys

You can also hire a professional locksmith for key-cutting and re-keying services. If you misplace the keys to some of the rooms in your house, a locksmith can assist you in creating new ones. 

Furthermore, key cutting allows you to obtain backup or spare keys that you can use in an emergency. You can ask the locksmith to make an extra set of keys, so each family member has one.  

A locksmith can also provide landlords with re-keying services. Compared to replacing the entire lock, re-keying is much more affordable. Despite their time-consuming nature, these services are just as effective as lock replacement. 

3. A Professional Locksmith Can Install Security Locks 

As previously stated, locksmiths can assist you in installing security locks in your home and unlocking doors when you forget your keys. This is another service that most locksmiths offer.  

Whether you’re buying a new or old house, one of the most important things to consider is the locks. You can rely on locksmiths to replace the locks more securely if necessary. An experienced locksmith can properly install locks on your home’s front or back, window, or garage doors.  

4. A Professional Locksmith Can Repair Security Locks 

If locksmiths can install security locks, it’s a given that they can also repair them. If security locks are broken, you must immediately replace them or have them fixed. You wouldn’t want thieves or intruders to have easy access to your home.  

Getting repair services from a professional locksmith is the best thing to do, and it’s quite a cheaper option than replacing the whole lock security system. With their expertise and experience, locksmiths can quickly identify what’s wrong, assess the extent of damage, and provide long-term solutions to the problem. 

5. A Professional Locksmith Can Provide Opening Services And Safe Overrides

If you have prized possessions like important documents, cash, and jewellery in your home, you must keep them in a safe. And if, in any case, you forget the combination or password to your safe, a locksmith can come to your aid and unlock it. 

Locksmiths can also greatly assist if a loved one has died and you need to open their safe. Safes are designed to be impenetrable and challenging to open without proper techniques. To learn how to open their locks, locksmiths typically drill a small hole and place a borescope inside.

With the help of a skilled locksmith, they can be unlocked in the shortest amount of time with minimal damage to their contents.

Conclusion 

Most people need to learn that locksmithing is the art and science of making and unlocking locks. Locksmiths have been trained to work with keys and open locks without causing any damage to your property. 

They’re also especially useful for people who are moving into a new house and don’t know who else has a copy of their keys. They can replace old locks and install new ones more efficiently. 

Hopefully, this article has shown you that a professional locksmith can also provide consultations and advice on which lock is best for you. They can install security locks, repair them, open and override locks, and re-key and cut keys.  

Best Ways To Travel Through Europe For Business In 2023

Europe is a large and varied continent that can be quite complicated to navigate at the best of times. But with all the further complications that arose due to COVID and the various strikes and delays constantly hitting the news, you might be put off travelling through the continent for work.

But there are so many things that can’t be achieved over a Zoom call. Sometimes, you need to meet that client face-to-face or be able to show off how your product works in person. Business travel still needs to happen and when it comes to European business travel, there are three major options to consider.

Using a car

Perhaps one of the most exciting things about Europe is how easy it is to drive from one country to another. Most of the continent is contained within a single block and even the UK can be driven to and from thanks to the channel tunnel. There are only really two downsides to travelling Europe for business by car – the time and the fuel.

As long as you ensure you get a basic car service before setting off on your trip you should be golden but that’s not going to make you go any faster and it’s not going to make the petrol cost any less. Of course, if you are planning on visiting multiple clients in different cities and countries then it could be more practical to drive, and you’ll get to see a lot of Europe you wouldn’t see otherwise. But if you’re strapped for time, driving through Europe is perhaps not the best option.

Using public transport

While public transport here in the UK is going through a pretty rough time right now, in many European countries the train and bus networks are still solid. You can also quite comfortably take trains up and down and across many different European countries. There’s a train, for example, that runs all the way through France, Belgium and the Netherlands. On a train, you can also get some work done, which is not something you’d be able to do while driving.

The downside of using public transport, however, is that it’s wildly inconsistent. You might have an exceptional bus service in one city that’s utterly useless in the next. As far as the trains are concerned, meanwhile, there’s always the potential for delays and cancellations.

Travelling by plane

It’s certainly not the most environmentally friendly way to travel but there’s a reason why so many of us still travel by plane when making business trips. If you’re travelling more than a few hundred miles then there’s really no contest here, as you can get from the UK to Brussels in about an hour by plane when it would take you around 6 hours from London by car or train (on a good day).

The best tactic is to take each trip individually and plan accordingly. It might make sense to travel by car if you have multiple meetings across France in one week, for example, and to travel by plane if you have a one-off meeting in Vienna. Play it by ear and don’t be afraid to change plans on the fly. That’s the European way!

What Is Ad Intelligence And Features of Ad Intelligence

A good product or service needs visibility and outreach that extends beyond the realms of its existing operations. Word of mouth, customer experience, and online reviews impact the scalability of the business in many ways. Through multi-channel platforms, companies resort to advertising their product’s merits and hope to garner interest from prospective customers.

Identifying the customer’s consumption patterns and upgrading the product and service quality to match consumer preference aid in executing a good business idea. However, it takes efficient marketing to show to consumers that you hear them and understand their concerns; and that your organization and team have designed products that are beyond their expectations.

In the current world where information changes the relativity of relevance rapidly, companies will need data-crunching platforms that are part of advertising intelligence.

Need for ad intelligence

The best pizza in the world comes from a nameless joint run in a sleepy village of the alps. The world’s most expensive phone is not made by Apple, and there is someone who is making something as mundane as toothpaste that helps one preserve gum health but does not advertise its potential. Making the best product out there and being visible are two different things. The importance of advertising is iterated in many business lessons and even understood by people who believe in bootstrapping and moving on with their good work. Here are a few points that make advertising intelligence platforms necessary in changing world:

What is an ad intelligence platform?

Advertisements can remain in the memory of the consumer for years to come. This kind of advertising creates goodwill and brand value that will pay dividends years after the ad has stopped repeating or playing on any channel like newsprint, radio, and TV. In current times, with the increase in the use of the internet and more communities who are located away from the din and bustle of a big city also connecting to the web, the obvious choice for brands to create their presence is through digital mode.

Ad intelligence platform is software that can ease the workflow process of tracking the brand activities and let an advertiser know if a particular ad is creating the impact that one wants to create. The tools in an ad intelligence platform help assess the data points relating to where competition is spending their ad expense and the quality of traffic generated through a particular ad. These inputs can help in effective spending on advertisements.

Features of a good ad intelligence platform

The following features are consistent requirements of ad intelligence platforms

Integrate

The software must be compatible and integrated with existing ERP software that a company uses. It will be more beneficial if the software is cloud-based and allows the user to access it from any web portal.

Data security

Whenever software is used that will enlist sensitive information that is both relevant to the product details, marketing strategies, or client-specific sensitive information, it is the onus of the user to keep the information safe. So if a company is using pirated software without a license, the chances of data piracy increase. Without data security features, using any software that can compromise the integrity of the brand and corporate goodwill is a precarious move that will endanger the future growth of the brand.

Strategy prompter

A good ad intelligence platform does not just assimilate the information into readable data points but also gives the edge of recommendations that can prove to be workable solutions either in totality or with slight tweaking. This is one of the essential features of any intelligence tool.

Track and monitor

Checking over the shoulder 24/7 is humanly impossible and setting up teams on a rotational basis just to check the alerts for the launch of new ads of the competitor or any other insights that are useful is a cumbersome process that will escalate the costs, slow the efforts and result in human errors. An ad intelligence platform helps track and monitor alerts around the clock without errors.

Conclusion:

Using ad intelligence platforms will help marketing managers notch up their strategies and optimize the effectiveness of ads. The data provided in a simple-to-understand dashboard will help the brands with purposeful insights that will empower their growth.

Why Marketing Matters During a Recession

Sam Martin-Ross is Founder and Director of digital marketing agency, Digital Uncut.

The business world has shown immense resilience in recent years, but as we kick off the new year it seems a recession is looming on the horizon. While Bloomberg reports that 60% of economists predict a Euro-zone recession, a recent survey from Nationwide suggests 70% of business owners expect a recession within the next six months, confirming that companies are set to face another challenging year.

The natural instinct for many business owners is to reign in as much spending as possible in preparation for weathering an economic storm, and marketing budgets are often one of the first areas to feel the pinch. However, a recession means it is often more vital than ever to keep up clear lines of communication with your audience in order to engage and convert customers.

Instead of axing marketing altogether, what is required is a highly strategic, focused approach to your marketing efforts. This can not only help to strengthen brand identity during an economic downturn, but also ensure your business continues to thrive.

Pulling the plug on your marketing communications and going radio silent at the first sign of a recession is an ill-advised strategy. Though it may help to save on marketing budget in the short-term, from a long-term perspective the damage outweighs any potential savings.

Consistency is key

Not only does suddenly pulling your marketing communications project an image of panic, but building trust and consideration with your target customers requires consistent messaging. Going silent creates a void that your competition will be only too happy to step in and fill, while hard-won clients and customers are more likely to go elsewhere.

Successful marketing should be focused on positioning your brand and company as an industry leader, and strong, consistent marketing efforts help to establish a sense of longevity and stability around your business and build confidence and trust in your audience.

Delving into data

While pulling marketing spend is undesirable, in times of recession it is more important than ever to ensure that your budget is being put to the best possible use it can be. 

It is prudent to pay attention to your analytics and key performance indicators to measure the efficacy of each of your campaigns. Throwing money at campaigns that simply are not working is never a wise idea, but during a downturn can be truly disastrous for business, so it is important to use the information you have at your disposal to ensure you are setting realistic targets, and trimming back on campaigns that are not delivering results.

A good place to start when it comes to data is getting to grips with the cost per qualified lead or new customer to establish the effectiveness of your campaigns. Understanding where your customers are coming from and meeting them where they are is critical for prioritising additional sales and marketing efforts, as there is little point in pouring limited resources into channels you are not seeing a return on. Tracking your marketing channels and taking note of the keywords and targeted options that are working can be invaluable for strategically scaling your marketing operations during a recession, while getting the most out of your budget.

Messaging matters

Given the economic climate, people are understandably cautious about their spending, and belts are being tightened wherever possible. From a marketing standpoint, it is important to take the time to analyse your current messaging and ensure it is in line with consumer expectations.

Focusing on highly targeted campaigns with messaging that centres on value will allow you to build a connection with your audience, while also positioning your campaign as both relevant and timely. Paying attention to how consumer spending is changing within your target demographic is key to tailoring your campaigns, while ensuring you are continuing to cater to your audience appropriately.

Though times of recession pose challenges, they also offer a chance to increase brand loyalty with your existing customer and client base. Customer loyalty is especially important during an economic downturn and evaluating your existing loyalty schemes and programs will not only earn you kudos with your best customers, but also help to boost trust and engagement. 

Final thoughts

While it looks like 2023 is shaping up to be another challenging year for businesses and consumers alike, there are also plenty of opportunities to be had. Using data to your advantage and taking a considered, strategic approach to your marketing communications is vital to weathering an economic storm, projecting an image of stability, and building both trust and loyalty towards your brand.

How to Retain your Best Talent During the Cost of Living Crisis

By Ollie Russell, UK Head of Sales at Employment Hero

The post-pandemic worker shortage does not appear to be going anywhere.

In November 2022, 13.3% of businesses surveyed by the Office for National Statistics reported experiencing a shortage of workers. With many people deciding to change careers or exit the workforce entirely, experienced employees who you can trust are more valuable than ever.

And yet these same employees are finding it very tough due to rising costs. This kind of pressure could make it far easier for a competitor to “poach” your best employees – loyalty only stretches so far when you’re struggling to make ends meet.

Here are three strategies you can put in place to help retain your best talent now.

If you can, pay them more

It’s obvious, but the best way to retain someone who might be tempted by a higher offer elsewhere is to match that higher offer, possibly before the new offer is even made. 

If someone is mission critical to your business, pay them a salary that recognises that.

After all, if an employee comes to you with a higher offer from someone else, only to have you immediately match it, they will wonder why you didn’t value them earlier.

Most businesses will not be able to increase employee pay to match the very high levels of inflation in the last year, but some level of increase will help.

But a pay-rise is not the only way to increase compensation for an employee you think deserves it. A one-off cost of living payment or bonus won’t eat into your ongoing costs in the same way, but will let your employee know that you value them and want to help them through this difficult period.

If you can’t, embrace flexibility

Not all businesses will be able to give big bonuses or pay-rises to their best employees. But there are other ways you can help that don’t involve a pay-rise.

One example is by buying back any annual leave they receive over the statutory amount. This gets a liability off your books while providing them with some extra cash – if they need it. This should only be done if your employee actually wants to sell some of their leave.

Another crucial retention strategy is embracing flexibility in how the workplace operates. British workers love working from outside of the office. Our Remote Working Report found that 88% of office workers wanted to work remotely at least one day a week, and many were willing to leave jobs over it – 33% of 25-34 year olds said they would likely quit if forced into the office full-time. 

Embracing flexibility doesn’t just mean allowing work from home. It could also involve you purchasing some equipment to make that work from home more comfortable and efficient, or subsidising public transport fares for trips to the office if you are insisting on them.

Roll out perks

There are many extras you can provide an employee alongside their salary – and some of it doesn’t have to cost you anything.

Salary sacrifice schemes for cars, bikes or gym memberships and the like see your employees use their pre-tax income to pay for the benefit, netting them huge savings without necessarily costing you anything. You may have to take on some liability, but not a particularly large one.

These perks are great at making a job sticky. Quitting your job is hard enough – quitting your job and also losing your electric car is even harder. Low benefit-in-kind rates for clean commuting are sticking around until at least 2028, despite a slight rise – which means these deals are very good for your employee as well as you.

Other perks could include a phone contract or extra annual leave, both measures which make jobs very sticky. There is also a lot of evidence to show that workers who take a decent amount of time off are actually more productive – so you could be helping yourself by helping them here.

These strategies all differ somewhat, but they really boil down to one thing: making sure your best talent knows you value them, and understanding if they are going through a tough time. If you get that right, they should stick around.

Best Annual Celebration of National Gastronomy – North America

Gastronomy is the specific study of the relationship between food and our cultures. It is an unwavering artform that entails learning more about how food speaks to civilisations, and national gastronomy is always specific to a particular culture. Here we explore Canada’s Great Kitchen Party’s connection to national gastronomy as it wins this fantastic title from LUXlife.

National gastronomy can teach us so much about different cultures, and help us to celebrate them. Practical gastronomy is related to the practice and study of the preparation, creation, and service of a plethora of foods – and beverages – from different countries and cultures around the globe. Canada’s Great Kitchen Party utilises its experience with food in relation to Canada and its culture.

Not only does Canada’s Great Kitchen Party celebrate food that originates from Canada, but it also commemorates and honours Canadian sport and music – offering a rounded experience of Canadian culture.

“Providing young Canadians opportunities to be extraordinary through sport, music, and food.”

2006-2019 saw 5,000 guests get together on an annual basis to celebrate Canadian culture. Known as Gold Medal Plates in this time, the company boasted over 100 chefs who would compete to win the title of Canadian Culinary Champion. This annual competition’s immense number of supporters resulted in a huge amount being raised – and the love for Canadian cuisine, music, and sport was at the focal point. Don’t miss out on the next Canadian Culinary Championship, February 3rd to 4th in Ottawa!

This annual culinary competition in Canada has been awarded The Best Gastronomical Event in North America. Hosted in 12 cities, this event has been seen in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Kelowna, Calgary, and many more. This year’s event will have us on the edge of our seats as a selection of chefs compete to win the prestigious title – and we are sure to see some incredible dishes being created.

In addition to Canada’s Great Kitchen Party presenting this culinary event, it is also the largest exposition of high quality wine in Canada, making it the perfect place to go for wine experts – and individuals who simply love the beverage. Keeping the food coming, and the wine flowing, Canada’s Great Kitchen Party has created the perfect atmosphere for the list of events it hosts.

Especially proud of its musical roots, Canada’s Great Kitchen Party offers opportunities for us to enjoy live music on its grounds.

“It is not only the destination, but the journey. Experiencing new lands with Canadians from coast to coast coupled with a soundtrack by some of our country’s best musicians – it’s awesome!” – Christopher Gordon and Sherry Stafford, Ottawa

For over 16 years, guests have been given the chance to experience unique Canadian music artists – on an intimate level. With nights dedicated to food, wine, and music, these events have won the hearts of many. It is a great place for the whole family to celebrate any occasion, together.

Celebrating Canadian athletes, Canada’s Great Kitchen Party believes that sport is an integral part of the Canadian culture. Encouraging amateur, para, and pro sportspeople, Canada’s Great Kitchen Party introduces delicious food and drinks, as well as amazing musical experiences, to them so that they may truly experience Canadian greatness. This also gives everyone a moment to celebrate the sportspeople’s achievements and thank them for how they represent Canada.

As we all know, the global pandemic had its grips on the hospitality industry – and things were difficult for everyone. However, throughout 2020 and 2021, Canada’s Great Kitchen Party introduced exciting digital opportunities to entertain Canadians. Its true spirit was shining bright even in the darkest of times, and it still managed to positively influence Canadian restaurants, musicians, and other beneficiaries.

Since its launch it has raised over $17 million, with $15 million raised for Canadian athletes and $2 million for food, sport, and music beneficiaries.

Entertaining people from all over, Canada’s Great Kitchen Party brings Canadian culture right to the forefront. Uniting Canadians, Canada’s Great Kitchen Party has become an amazing place to experience the finer things. It has now won Best Annual Celebration of National Gastronomy in North America, and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to congratulate the entire team for all they do.

Canada’s Great Kitchen Party would like to thank its supporters for being there throughout the uncertain times and, now that things are back in full swing, it looks forward to bringing even more to the table.

For business enquiries, contact Stephen Leckie from Canada’s Great Kitchen Party on their website – http://greatkitchenparty.com/ca/

Lavish Creations For All Occasions

There’s a time to celebrate for everything. It could be birthdays, engagements, baby showers, funerals, weddings, and much more. We’ve found a place to go for breath-taking flower arrangements for any number of occasions. Based in Barton Seagrave, Kettering, By Arrangement is a florist with a whole lot of heart. Here we find out more as it wins the incredible accolade, Wedding Florist of the Year – Northamptonshire.

“We always go the extra mile to make your floral gift perfect!”

Flowers have been given as gifts and used to celebrate any occasion for centuries. No matter the time or place, flowers have been adored and admired by all. We’ve found a florist who truly can do it all, and we’re delighted to be able to present her work to you.

Florist Helena Brown is the Owner of By Arrangement, and her dedicated work has become well known in Northamptonshire and beyond.

No matter the reason for celebration, or commemoration, By Arrangement supplies the most intricate and elegant arrangements. By Arrangement creates and delivers flowers for birthdays, baby showers, funerals and sympathy gifts, weddings, parties, thank you gifts, or simply just because!

Your wedding day is one of the most wonderful days of your entire life and, with By Arrangement, you can make it even more special than you could have imagined. Your cakes, tables, entire venues, displays, and bouquets are blessed by Helena’s work, and collaborating with Helena allows you to craft the perfect setting for your big moment.

Helena handles all arrangement requests so that every detail, small and large, is taken care of in an expert manner. Her work compliments any colour scheme, theme, or style – ranging from simple yet sophisticated to incredibly extravagant. Soaked in years of rich experience, Helena delivers only the most luxurious arrangements. Using lush roses and delicate baby’s breath along with the freshest carnations, lilies, poppies, hydrangeas, and many more, Helena creates arrangements of your wildest dreams.

By Arrangement makes use of beautiful flowers and foliage to enchant your special day. From buttonholes to bridal bouquets, centrepieces, and anything else you can think of, Helena provides her creative services to make your day everything you want, and beyond!

Whether you’re having a traditional arrangement, or something that is completely out there, By Arrangement has the best bespoke options for you and your loved ones.

Additionally, Helena even mentors and advises other local florists so that they can provide a prestigious service to their customers. Spreading the artform, Helena has made her mark on the floristry industry. She goes the extra mile for every customer, to make their dreams a reality for every occasion. Not only does her work directly affect her own customers, but, by aiding others, her very essence transmogrifies other florists’ customer experiences.

True transformation begins the moment you contact By Arrangement as Helena knows exactly how to elevate every occasion – guaranteeing sweet memories that will last a lifetime.

Helena’s support team ensures that everything is prepared, delivered, and set up but Helena personally arranges every sweet bouquet herself. Helena says, “You wouldn’t commission a painting from your favourite artist and expect it to be completed by someone else – so why would you expect that with your flowers?”

The entire team at By Arrangement understands just how special and important your wedding day is – and they all focus entirely on you, and your wishes.

With a growing collection of positive feedback, it is clear to see that Helena, and By Arrangement as a whole, is highly revered and appreciated. In July 2022, Bethany Wells commented, “Helena isn’t just an amazingly talented florist, we found out she is the most patient, caring, kind, and beautiful lady in the industry! Nothing was ever too much for her! She listened intently during every meeting ensuring she understood every little detail we had in mind… always with so much enthusiasm. I knew after our first meeting we had absolutely nothing to worry about as she just “got it”! She not only advised on our best options but also what we didn’t need always ensuring our budget was in mind.

“So when the day came…WOW! My jaw dropped when I saw my bouquet! Our guests couldn’t stop complimenting them. Helena just knew how to enhance the venue perfectly. If you’re looking for a florist that is full of experience, advice and a genuinely lovely lady… Helena is your girl! Thank you for everything Helena!”

In addition, Samantha Louise Sharpe said, “I knew from the first moment I met Helena at a wedding fayre that she was going to be or florist. She was welcoming, kind, caring, patient, the list could go on, Helena is a lovely lady and I would highly recommend her services.

“We had various meetings with Helena where she listened and took on board what vision we had for our wedding day. She gave us her ideas and we discussed what would work and what wouldn’t. Helena always had time for us and we never felt rushed when making decisions.

When our day finally came I couldn’t believe how beautiful my flowers were, they were stunning and exactly what I had visioned my bridal bouquet to be. There were a lot of wonderful comments from our guests on all of the flowers and table decorations. I’d like to say a huge thank you to Helena, you really did amazing.”

These are just two shimmering examples out of the 170 5-star reviews, effortlessly and organically demonstrating how magnificent her presence can be. Through her love of flowers, By Arrangement has blossomed – making By Arrangement Wedding Florist of the Year in Northamptonshire.

However, this is not the only award that Helena and By Arrangement has gathered throughout the years, as By Arrangement also won Northamptonshire’s Best for Floral Arrangements & Décor – 2022 from us at LUXlife. The company was also named in LUXlife’s 2019 ‘Ones to Watch in the Wedding Industry’ feature as the Most Outstanding for Wedding Floral Décor in Northamptonshire.

Finally, Helena has also featured on Unconventional Wedding, and she is a member of insposa list for wedding fairs and events. Plus, By Arrangement is on the recommended suppliers list at a plethora of venues including Hothorpe Hall and The Woodlands, Stanford Hall, Delapre Abbey, and Belvoir Castle – so you can be sure to find the picture perfect place to host your spectacular day. Contactable by email, telephone, via her website, and through Facebook, By Arrangement is easily accessible to everyone. If you’re looking for the perfect arrangement in Northamptonshire, Helena from By Arrangement is the one to visit. Congratulations, Helena.

For business enquiries, contact Helena Brown from By Arrangement via phone – 07867 920958 or on their website – https://www.byarrangement.org/

How Visiting the Office Can Benefit Your Employee’s Mental Health

Remote working has become the norm, with many jobs advertising this as a benefit. However, what about the benefits of working from the office? While the flexibility of working from home can be attractive to your employees from the outset, it can often have pitfalls further in. From the lack of socialising to simply struggling with online tech support, there are many reasons your employees might actually prefer and benefit from working in the office.

Here, we will explore the benefits of working in the office and how you can support fully remote workers in replicating these benefits from their home offices.

Better work-life balance

By encouraging your staff to work in the office or even take up a hybrid working opportunity, they will be better able to maintain structured routines. 40% of people claim to struggle with unplugging from work when working from home, and 48% find they work longer hours when remote working. This can increase the likelihood of burnout.

Building a company culture that prioritises mindfulness, self-care, and clocking off could help employees become accustomed to leaving their work behind when the hours are up.

Encouraging staff to finish work and to leave emails unchecked after closing time can help them maintain a healthy routine. Office hours offer structure to employees. However, how do you encourage remote workers to relax? Making sure deadlines are scheduled to avoid overnight stress could be an answer. You might also consider encouraging or even offering remote memberships for an individual office space. This can give your employees the flexibility and freedom of remaining out of the office while still having a separate location to work from.

Social aspects

Encouraging in-office working can also have good socialising benefits for your employees. In fact, 81% of young employees claim to feel isolated if they don’t have time to work in the office. Making sure your employees have the social aspect of work is important for their happiness.

This also encourages better collaborations, both within and between teams. As employees will be working face-to-face, questions which might previously have been unanswered can now be shared quickly. Likewise, employees who may not have been asked previously might be able to contribute now, offering new insights into problems.

To offer fully remote workers the same benefit, consider breakout zoom rooms which encourage employees from across teams to brainstorm ideas or ask questions openly. In order to achieve the networking benefits, you might hold online events. These might not be work-focused but rather a chance for your employees to meet one another and connect.

Less stress

Working in the office can help decrease stress in some employees, such as the worry of covering bills. As utilities are set to increase, with the price cap of £2,500 set to end in April 2023, many employees might be wondering how they will cover these costs. Working from home increases electricity usage, so coming into the office can save on utility bills during the working week.

It can also help solve technical problems. Being able to visit the IT department in person, with the equipment, can make diagnosis and solution easier. Rather than having employees explain the issue, which might cause stress, especially if they aren’t technologically savvy.

For remote employees, consider offering bursaries to cover bill costs which occur due to their working hours. You may also put in place technology training to increase their understanding of the equipment, making it easier for them to communicate any technical problems to your IT department. Training on stress relieving techniques, such as meditation and breathing training, might also help reduce the worries and stress of your remote workers.

Safeguarding

Having your employees come into the office means you can better monitor their physical and mental health. Remote working can often tell you miss key signs of burnout, such as chronic fatigue. By encouraging employees to come into the office, you will be able to better understand the emotional state of your staff through your conversations.

When caring for your remote employee’s mental well-being, you might want to set in place regular one-to-one meetings to assess levels of happiness, stress, and other emotional states. Having an open dialogue with your employees on their levels of work could better see you spotting potential well-being issues. You might also consider offering counselling and support services.

Caring for your employee’s emotional well-being is important for the success of your business. Burnout can negatively impact employee productivity, as well as increase levels of depression and anxiety. Making sure your staff are cared for not only benefits the employees but can also benefit your workload. Being in the office can have many mental health benefits, from increased social exposure to decreased stress. However, where being in the office is not possible, it is important that you can offer some of the same benefits to your remote workers.

Over 35 Years of Sensational Success

Complex litigation law can be extremely challenging to navigate however, with a strong, level-headed load of experience, we find ourselves in good hands with Marc J. Bern & Partners LLP. Let us find out more as its Founding Partner, Marc Bern, wins Leading Complex Litigation Lawyer of the Year 2022, New York, from Acquisition International.

Complex litigation cases contain many parties. From multiple individuals to a selection of lawyers, and often several geographical locations, these cases can take months, and even years, to be settled. Many cases face problems that add insult to injury, but we’ve found a law firm, and a reputable lawyer, which knows how to tackle anything.

Marc J. Bern & Partners LLP is a dedicated complex litigation law firm that has grown at an immense rate. Marc J. Bern & Partners provides its support in New York, and around the country, to ensure its clients receive the best help imaginable when it comes to personal injury, medical malpractice, construction accident, defective product, dangerous medication, consumer fraud, and product liability cases.

For 9/11 victim compensation funds, abuse claims, opioid crisis aid, FELA railroad claims, and much more, Marc J. Bern & Partners has a lawyer for every area of complex litigation. The case turnaround time is rapid, but there are no details missed or swept under the rug. Marc J. Bern & Partners is committed to helping anyone who is in a difficult situation, and it does so with empathy, concern, and care.

“Dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients.”

Striving to understand and solve every case that is presented to them, each lawyer is steeped in years of experience that give them the edge on the competition. With over 60 years of combined experience, including working as legal attorneys and mass tort lawyers, each person on the team has something to bring to the table.

There for us 24/7, Marc J. Bern & Partners has the experience needed to look after numerous cases of all sizes and issues. Always taking the right approach to each case, the firm promises, and delivers, the highest quality of service – every time.

Supporting individuals, and their families, Marc J. Bern & Partners provides the help that it knows they deserve. It works seamlessly to provide its undivided attention to each case and, despite its large size, it still serves incredible assistance with a personal touch.

Its Founding Partner, Marc Bern, created Marc J. Bern & Partners to help a wide variety of people through some of the most difficult cases imaginable. He has been with the firm for over seven years, and he is leading the way for the entire industry.

Graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1972, with a degree in Political Science and Government, Marc has always shown his passion for what he now does. Building Marc J. Bern & Partners from the ground up is a huge achievement worth celebrating, and we know that this remarkable business is set to receive even more recognition for its hard work.

Resulting in excess of 3 billion in settlements and many awards such as The National Trial Lawyers Top 100, Lawyers of distinction, and more, Marc J. Bern & Partners has become a name we won’t forget.

By being entirely client-focused, the team provides the best possible client experience no matter the case – the size, or the complexity. It gives free consultations to anyone in need of its expert services, and it is easily reached by telephone any time of day or night. No matter the issue – from personal injury to medical malpractice, dangerous drug, or defective product help – Marc and the team have solutions that will support its clients’ legal rights.

Marc has become extremely respected, and for good reason. He has a huge repertoire of experience with “plaintiffs’ catastrophic injury cases, Pharmaceutical Products Liability, Environmental and other Toxic Torts including MTBE gasoline contamination, Cresote, MGP (manufactured gas plants), PCB, and Mass Torts.”

We have learned a lot about Marc, and the whole team at Acquisition International is impressed with his work. He is a nationally recognised trial attorney, with over 35 years of experience, and it’s clear to see why people flock to him. This is due to his client-focused attitude, compassionate aid, and track record for trying more than 100 cases to jury verdict – with hundreds more settled, amassing to over $1,000,000.

As the Co-Liaison Counsel in the World Trade Center Disaster Litigation, Marc helped to settle “over $800,000,000 for police officers, fire fighters, and other first responders injured by toxic smoke and dust at the World Trade Center during the 9/11 clean-up efforts.” He is dedicated to helping others and is delighted to be able to do that on a daily basis.

Marc Bern has now won Leading Complex Litigation Lawyer of the Year 2022 in New York, and he shows no signs of slowing down as he reaches new heights within his career. Congratulations, Marc!

For business enquiries, contact Kelly Carson from Marc J. Bern & Partners LLP on their website – https://bernllp.com/ or call at 1-800-LAW-5432

How to Strengthen Workplace Relationships During a Recession

When the economy experiences a recession, people are starting to feel less secure in their jobs and the future of their companies. The days of layoffs and firings increase during such volatile periods.

The recession also leads to a higher unemployment rate, compelling many employees to still face a tough question: how to survive during turbulent economic times? According to People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View by ADPRI, nearly 62% of employees decided to switch their jobs to future-proof their careers. That’s not good for your organisation and could lead to bitter relationships among employees.

As an organisation, what steps can you take to make sure your workplace relationships stay intact during this difficult time?

Provide Better Work-Life Balance

As the recession continues to take its toll on the American workforce, many organisations have found that they must work harder to retain their employees. One way to do that is by providing a better work-life balance.

According to Pulse of the American Worker Survey, roughly 50% of American employees want to switch their jobs to have a better work-life balance. This is especially true for people working in small companies where they experience pay cuts during a recession.

Organisations can overcome this problem by providing better work-life balance through a hybrid work model. The idea behind this model is to allow employees to work from home or remotely for a certain number of days each month, enabling them to save money on commuting and other aspects.

In fact, a recent report from Accenture found that 83% of employees would prefer a hybrid model, enabling employees to be flexible with their schedules and work remotely when needed.

Empower Employees to Give Feedback

Employees who feel they cannot give genuine feedback to their managers often find themselves stuck in toxic relationships with them. This can lead to higher turnover rates and lower productivity rates, which can worsen the financial hardships of organisations during a recession.

The best way for organisations to overcome this problem is by seeking employee feedback from time to time. In fact, a recent study shows that when employers seek feedback from new hires, they are 91% more committed to their relationship with employers.

It is important for organisations to seek anonymous employee feedback as this reduces feelings of inhibition and empowers employees to voice their concerns without feeling scared. Also, organisations must act on such anonymous feedback by addressing issues raised through such surveys.

Offer Opportunities for Appreciation

During a recession, employee relationships can be strained. Employees often feel undervalued or disrespected in the workplace and can become disengaged. This can lead to bad work performance and even high employee turnover rates.

In fact, according to recent data from Zippia, 63% of workers reported unpleasant co-workers and a bad boss are the second most common reasons for quitting jobs.

But there are ways to strengthen workplace relationships even during a recession, and one of the best strategies is to offer opportunities for appreciation.

In fact, Brandon Hall Group research found that organisations with a strong recognition culture are three times more likely to experience higher employee retention. When employees feel more engaged and appreciated in their jobs, they are more likely to want to stay at the organisation long-term.

Reduce Employee Burnout

In recent years, employee burnout has been on the rise. It’s no secret that the economy has been struggling, and with that comes job insecurity and a lot of uncertainty. Many people are looking for ways to make their careers more secure, but a lot of people are also feeling overwhelmed with the current economic climate.

Such an environment can lead to employees feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, creating weakened relationships among employees. As per the 2022 Work Trend Index from Microsoft, 48% of employees and 53% of managers experience burnout in the workplace. Burnout not only leads to poor relationships among employees but also affects productivity.

Organisations can reduce employee burnout by implementing policies that promote better workplace relationships during a recession. You can start by helping your employees feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves, like their work has impact and meaning.

Conclusion

When the recession strikes, organisations need to be careful not to lose their employees in the scramble for survival. Organisations can foster healthy workplace relationships during the recession by taking these above-mentioned steps.

How To Manage Brand Ambassadors at Your Event

How To Manage Brand Ambassadors at Your Event

As a company, creating a strong presence at events is essential to promote your brand. One of the most effective ways to do this is to have brand ambassadors. They can increase your company’s visibility to reach a wider audience. However, managing brand ambassadors at an event can be challenging. This article will give tips on managing your ambassadors to ensure your brand is represented in the best possible way.

What is a brand ambassador?

It is a person who represents a brand or company and positively promotes its image and products. It can be a celebrity, an influencer, or simply a loyal consumer of the brand.

An event staffing agency can hire brand ambassadors to participate in advertising campaigns or promotional events. In addition to promoting, ambassadors can also provide valuable feedback on market and consumer trends.

What are the advantages of using brand ambassadors?

– Increases your brand’s visibility.

Improve brand image and promote your brand values.

– Facilitate contact with people at events and make them interested in your company.

– Increase customer trust and loyalty.

– Influence consumer decision-making.

– Help achieve event objectives

How to manage brand ambassadors for an event?

1) Set expectations

Before hiring a brand ambassador for an event, you should clearly state their activities. Here are some of the questions to ask:

– Will they only promote or will they interact with the public?

– What will their activities be during the event?

– What are the expected results?

– What rewards or incentives will they receive for their participation?

– What are their costs?

You must inform event attendees who will be brand ambassadors to build expectations and interest. You can include this information in the program, website, or event hashtag.

2) Define goals and objectives for the ambassadors

You need to inform the brand ambassador about the goals and objectives you hope to achieve. Make sure these objectives are realistic. This will help ensure that the brand ambassadors contribute to the event’s overall success. Also, it will help you determine which ambassadors have the most significant impact on your brand.

3) Select and recruit ambassadors

Once the objectives have been identified, selecting and recruiting ambassadors who can best represent your brand at an event is crucial. Ensure the chosen ambassadors have a positive reputation and a relevant audience for the event. You can review the ambassador’s history of involvement with other brands to see what impact they previously had.

4) Train brand ambassadors

Depending on the level of involvement you expect brand ambassadors to have at events, they may not need any training. If they are expected to do more than promote, then they should be trained to do so.

Many event staffing agencies offer training to brand ambassadors, regardless of their level of involvement. It ensures that ambassadors are prepared for the event, know what is expected of them, and are capable of performing their duties.

5) Monitor Ambassador Performance

Monitoring performance allows you to measure the impact of the ambassador’s presence and role in promoting the brand. Some of the benefits of monitoring include the following:

– Evaluate interaction with the audience. This can help detect problems with representation or interaction with the public. It lets you know how the ambassador is representing the brand.

– Identify opportunities for improvement. For example, if a brand ambassador is particularly effective at interacting with a specific consumer group, you might consider hiring them for future events.

– Obtain feedback. You can get direct feedback from brand ambassadors and event attendees. This can help the company improve its approach and strategies for upcoming events.

Conclusion

By following these steps and with the help of an event staffing agency, you can ensure that your brand ambassadors are well-managed and successful at your event. With the right people, training, and materials, your brand ambassadors can effectively promote your brand and help you get the most out of your event.

The Fundamentals Of Digital Marketing In 2023

For SMEs this year, digital marketing continues to play a critical role in the performance of businesses around the globe. Whether you’re the owner of the company or an employee of the work being produced, spending adequate time researching what works for your niche is key.

There is a mass misconception that digital marketing can be damaging – especially if you learn from the wrong people. However, if you take the leap with a handful of professionals, your common sense will allow you to reap the benefits of some of the techniques you’re learning.

Understanding the fundamentals of business digital marketing is what is required before you begin learning the technical aspects – thus, read along with us to fathom the basics.

Types of Digital Marketing Strategies to Focus on

With every social platform and tool being thrown at you, saying it’s the next ‘best thing’ – it can sometimes be challenging to understand what works best. Now, of course, every business is different. Yet, there continue to be the most successful ways of marketing your business – amongst what other platforms are spouting at you.

Online Advertising

You have most likely clicked an advertisement before and purchased whatever it is that they were promoting. Whether this is an e-commerce product or service, there is something about certain advertising that grabs your attention… and you buy.

If you could develop a strategy with excellent creatives, killer copywriting and relevant/valuable ideas to persuade your target audience – this will be the main cause of success in your online advertising.

Taking advantage of the platforms that are growing at the fastest rate or being used the most, such as TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and many more will permit you to test different audiences and see what works optimally in your field of work.

SEO/Content Marketing

Along with having paid media blueprints laid out, you will also need organic content that can grow without the need for consistent investments. Incorporating an SEO strategy that allows users to find you on Google… along with posting frequent and relevant content on your social media platforms will give you the finest chance of reaching the desired assemblage.

Without increasing the output of your search engine-optimised content marketing strategies, you’ll end up being reliant on your advertising plan. Although it can be important to focus on one thing at a time – within digital marketing, the ones creating the most content at the highest quality will win.

Across all of your social media channels, you must be active. Additionally, if you have a website built that you’re happy with, posting consistent content that ranks using tools and SEO techniques will blow away your local, national and even international competition (depending on your current business goals).

Email Marketing/CRM Management

Creating automatic structures that take away some of the manual work that you need to complete is the ultimate goal. With email marketing and CRM systems, you have the potential to leave the flows, campaigns and systems running (if they work) without you even touching them.

When your SME begins to become automated, this is where you begin to flourish more in the front end of your business. Knowing that you have pieces of your backend dealt with gives you the freedom to prioritise additional important tasks.

Conclusion

Focusing on the 3 key fundamentals of digital marketing above will help you to optimise and prime an audience that you want to sell to. We all know that clients or customers that aren’t clued up about our field of work can be a pain to deal with.

Therefore, if you take into consideration the critical points from this post and work on them with great discipline – your results will begin to reflect your hard work.

However, if you don’t have the time to learn these critical skills that are required for increased revenue through your social media platforms, website, etc – Fuelius are a trusted inbound marketing agency that believes in delivering the results that you’re looking for.

Customer experience/ client experience must be your main priority – consequently, taking care of it by yourself or passing it on to a trusted source will ensure that your customers enjoy the video, written or audio content that you produce.

The Power of Partnership 

A shared services organisation, U.S. Oral Surgery Management (USOSM) collaborates with premier oral and maxillofacial surgeons to offer a partnership solution for continued and accelerated practice success. It provides operational, marketing, and administrative support services, reinvests resources, and applies best practices to improve clinical and financial performance and produce steadier, more profitable growth for all. Recognised as ‘Best Oral Surgery Management Company – USA’ in this issue of Acquisition International magazine, we learn more.

U.S. Oral Surgery Management puts oral and maxillofacial surgeons and their patients first – a core value that the company was founded on and which continues to be a vital part of its culture.

With a focus that remains on clinical excellence and exceptional patient care, USOSM has been extremely selective about the surgeons with whom its partners. It only selects board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons who are considered to be the best of the best. As a result, it has formed an elite network of well-established, highly skilled, highly trained, and highly experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

USOSM also prides itself on its equity model. When oral and maxillofacial surgeons partner with it, they receive a substantial equity stake in the entire USOSM network. This means all 180+ of USOSM’s surgeon partners are working together toward shared financial success. Also, throughout a surgeon’s partnership with USOSM, they retain 100% clinical autonomy. Boasting a 100% surgeon partner retention rate, this reflects the outstanding quality of USOSM’s offering and the satisfaction of its partners.

Under its model, USOSM’s partner practices all consistently receive a net promoter score (NPS) of 80 or above, which is considered world-class by Bain & Company, one of the NPS founders. The average NPS for the healthcare industry as a whole is 58, and the average NPS for healthcare providers in general is about 38. USOSM’s significantly high NPS speaks for itself.

Undeniably, USOSM leads the industry today as the largest and fastest growing company of its kind. Not only does it have a unique private equity model, and a shared dedication to clinical excellence and exceptional patient care, but also a strong and experienced executive management team comprised of seasoned industry leaders. Their wisdom, skill, and expertise are invaluable to the company’s current and continued success. Additionally, because clinical excellence is its top priority, USOSM established a Clinical Governance Board to advise partner practices on important clinical issues that are encountered by surgeons.

This cutting-edge company also stands out with the high quality of services it provides to surgeon partners, as well as its solid financial backing, in addition to clear vision, mission, and values. The vision for USOSM is to become the oral and maxillofacial surgery management firm that is best known for its people, paradigm, partnerships, and performance. Its mission is the everyday extension of this vision: to partner with premier oral maxillofacial surgeons to help them enhance their clinical missions and their successes – both today and tomorrow.

President and CEO of USOSM, Richard Hall tells us, “Our partners’ expertise is in patient care. Our expertise is in business. USOSM takes care of all the behind-the-scenes business details, freeing up our surgeon partners so they can focus on patient care. This can result in better patient care, increased patient satisfaction, improved cashflow, better work-life balance, and much more.”

Now, USOSM anticipates the rise of more shared-services organisations just like itself. When the company was established six years ago, it was the only of its kind, a distinction it held for several years. However, a few competitors have joined the space, and USOSM believes more of these organisations will follow. However, it has seen tremendous growth in related fields, such as dental services organisations (DSOs), and there is a lot of demand in the oral and maxillofacial surgery space for the kinds of service it provides.

The company also expects an increase in technological advancements, both clinically and administratively. To stay competitive, oral and maxillofacial surgery practices will need to have strong IT leadership in place, like that which USOSM provides. Strong IT leadership can help thwart rising cybersecurity threats, keep everyone up-to-date on and compatible with the latest technology, and create and install custom-designed software to drive value.

However, one of the biggest trends that USOSM foresees is increased costs associated with running a practice. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons will need to find innovative ways to reduce costs. This is one of the company’s specialties. It helps reduce costs through operational and financial improvements, inventory management, vendor negotiation, and much more.

Ultimately, USOSM itself has had an incredible year of growth, adding $100 million in acquired revenue in 2022, and having recently closed a new round of funding of a $125 million credit expansion with its existing lenders.

Richard shares, “Given the state of the economy, credit markets are particularly tight right now. Only companies with well-established track records and exceptional performance will have access to capital at reasonable terms. We’re proud that USOSM’s performance provided our lenders the confidence to expand their commitment. This additional dry powder and our track record of timely closings will give future partners confidence to close, enabling us to continue our growth trajectory.”

For business enquiries, contact Richard Hall, USOSM President and CEO from U.S. Oral Surgery Management on their website – www.usosm.com

Lloyds Blueprint Two: How Third-Party Data and Software Providers Can Help the Insurance Sector to Release This Value

Lindsay Lucas, CEO, Software Solved

However, these industry-wide changes are worthless unless insurance organisations are ready to engage, consume it and unlock the benefits it presents

The Lloyds of London insurance market is inarguably one of the world’s oldest and least modernised groups and it is having to re-think the way it interacts with customers and turning to digital. This is a prime example for the rest of the sector that it is time to wake up, especially in light of Lloyds Blueprint Two– Lloyd’s marketplace transformation programme.

The insurance industry relies heavily on legacy systems and has been slower than some industries to adopt modern technologies. This makes it difficult to stay competitive and offer an experience on par with the expectations of their customers. Many insurers are functioning on outdated legacy systems, like old technology stacks and neglected architecture. While some national insurance companies have followed the direct-to-consumer trend, many insurers haven’t begun modernising or don’t know where to start.

The longer they wait, the harder they’ve found it to support these legacy systems and attract and retain large market segments with higher product expectations. Insurtech start-ups who have fully embraced a personalised digital experience are taking advantage and rapidly acquiring market share. New markets in other countries are also directly competing with the Lloyds market and like new insurance firms, these markets come digital first.

The need to modernise the insurance industry is critical. However, several challenges can prevent these companies from jumpstarting the modernisation of their legacy systems.

The Challenges

Talent Acquisition: To migrate from a legacy system to a more modern infrastructure, organisations that understand the legacy technology and are aware of the business logic embedded into these systems are critical. Access to talent with experience in legacy systems can pose a serious obstacle as people retire.

Failure to Adopt Remote Working: Compounding the talent acquisition problem is the fact that many legacy insurance companies are not well equipped to support remote workers, particularly since the pandemic. Because of the prevalence of on-premises legacy systems, it is difficult to securely provide seamless remote access. Moving to cloud-based systems will ease these pain points.

Hesitancy to Embrace Cloud Computing: Legacy insurance companies rarely have staff with experience and expertise in cloud computing, and therefore are hesitant to embrace it. Typically, they often believe that cloud computing cannot be properly secured or meet regulatory requirements, which usually is not true.

The impact of legacy systems

The impact of not modernising means insurers’ project deadlines will not be met. Had insurers migrated to a modern architecture earlier, these risks could have been mitigated and thereby significant increasing the odds of projects being successful. More technological challenges will arise the longer insurance companies wait to modernise, and the broad impacts of these obstacles will continue to grow.

Lloyds Blueprint Two is the third instalment in Lloyd’s marketplace transformation programme. It is expected that in two years’ time Lloyd’s and the London Insurance Market will be looking at the new beginnings of a digitally enabled marketplace, integrating risk placement with automated premium accounting and claim settlement. This is a big step towards a data-first market and huge milestone in this ambitious end-to-end transformation programme

However, since the announcement of Blueprint Two, Lloyd’s has postponed two open market milestones scheduled for Q3 – the provision of API specifications for a new digital gateway and the build of a proportional treaty system. Even though necessary, this still causes further delays.

Third-party data and software providers can help the industry to engage

Furthermore, all these industry-wide changes are worthless unless insurance organisations are ready to engage, consume it and unlock the benefits it presents, critically, in collaboration with one another. Third-party data and software providers can help release this value. Third parties are becoming a fundamental component of the sector, creating room for insurance institutions to focus on strategy, innovation, growth and development, operational efficiencies and living up to the growing demand from customers.

The whole of the finance sector needs to look at third-party software providers that focus on an adaptable approach to change so that value is released on an incremental basis, helping finance companies to tap into their full potential to remain and gain relevance in the future. The right tools, using the right third-party support, can create a new foundation of extensible data on which a new stack of flexible, agile services and tools can be purpose-built for what the insurance sector needs to do today.

Third-party data and software providers are able to help the sector to adapt to the Lloyds Blueprint Two transformation quickly, helping them to understand what their customers want and provide a trusted service ensuring that they prosper.

Things We Wish We Were Told by Entrepreneurs Before Starting Up a Business

It takes a lot of courage to step out into your chosen industry and start a business from the ground up. While there is an element of luck involved, being prepared for all outcomes is crucial to your business surviving and learning more about the competitive world of startups.

There are nearly 2 billion Google Search results for “how to make a business successful”, so looking online for the answer to make sure your startup stays afloat can be a bit overwhelming. Advice from those who have seen success first-hand could provide more insight than the numerous corporate blogs.

Gareth Smyth, founder and CEO of Hilton Smythe business advisors, said “New entrepreneurs need to conduct thorough market research, check out local competition, investigate labour supply, and ensure that they are solving a problem within their chosen sector. They need to have a very clear idea what their company values are, and how they can distinguish themselves from competitors.

“Many new entrepreneurs also underestimate start-up costs, especially where there are physical premises – from property rents, commercial insurance, digital infrastructure, marketing costs, equipment and supplies, stock, and staffing and employment costs, there is an awful lot to think about. It is for this reason that we recommend seeking advice from a trusted financial adviser.

“It is also important to stress the importance of delegation and hiring the expertise that you lack; this will increase productivity and efficiency, prevent burnout, and ultimately improve the quality of your service.”

In this article, we’ve selected a few quotes from entrepreneurs who have seen success with their startup businesses and how we can use their words and apply them.

“If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea. You just have to find the solution for a problem in your own life.” – Brian Chesky, Co-founder of Airbnb

Airbnb has grown from the idea of founders Chesky and Joe Gebbia in their living room in San Francisco in 2007 to a globally recognised hosting and accommodation business valued at $113 billion. In the above quote from Chesky, he identifies that the idea for the business comes from the need to solve an issue he faced.

You may be tempted to jump into an industry you’re not familiar with if you can identify an area that needs filling. Knowing your industry and the problems your knowledge can solve can help provide your business with a direction to follow.

This is reinforced by advice from Virta Health co-founder Sami Inkinen, who said, “Starting a company extracts so much energy and conviction that not having a clear-cut goal and meaningful mission can hamper your success. This is why, at Virta, our mission was clearly defined: reverse early type-2 diabetes in 100 million people by 2025.”

“If you can offer a free tier that provides much value, it will naturally help your product to spread much more rapidly.” – Melanie Perkins, Co-founder of Canva

This advice slots into finding your audience within your industry. It can be difficult to display your value to potential investors or customers, so offering some form of a trial period or free tier can help get your foot in the door and make them want to pay for more of your service.

Once you have an established audience that you can rely on to pay for your services, you can look at upselling and progressing to the next level. When building a plan for upselling to your customers, remember that everyone in the sale is human with their hesitancies. Subroto Bagchi, a co-founder of Mindtree, provided insightful commentary on this: “Selling is not a pushy, winner-takes-all, macho act. It is an empathy-led, process-driven, and knowledge-intensive discipline. Because, in the end, people buy from people.”

“You have to see failure as the beginning and the middle, but never entertain it as an end.” -Jessica Herrin, founder and CEO of Stella & Dot

Possibly the most important advice to accept is that failure is a natural part of building a business. There is a significant amount of risk when setting up a new business, with statistics showing that around 20% of startups are dissolved in the first year as a company.

There is every chance that despite examining forecasts and having a unique and creative solution to offer a market, it doesn’t work out the way you hoped it would. This can be disheartening and can have a knock-on effect on your business and its situation, but one thing we can take from Jessica Herrin’s quote is not to treat failure as the end of your business.

Resilience can be a key factor in the survival of a business. While you may experience financial shortcomings or, due to competitive market trends, sticking with your knowledge and your team, you may see fortunes change.

The Top Makeup Trends for 2023, According to These Celebrity Makeup Artists

Celebrity makeup artists Sarah Amelia Fogg and Selina Bassi discuss the upcoming makeup trends, everything from the controversial skinny brows and the Wednesday Addams grunge look to adopting barefaced beauty for the year ahead.

Barefaced beauty:

“While 2022 saw the rise of experimental makeup looks and daring trends, it also championed the stripped-back, no-makeup makeup look. In 2023, we’ll take a step back and let our skin breathe with the help of lighter formulations and products. Hailey Bieber was the queen of barefaced beauty last year by showcasing her natural glow and complexion across her social media. In the past, we’ve been incredibly hung up on full-coverage, heavy makeup looks to hide our skin and create a brand new face. However we are now starting to see the rise in tinted moisturisers and serums instead of weighty foundations to showcase fresh-faced makeup that mimics a skin-like texture’.

‘This adoption of natural, stripped-back beauty may also result in less people completing surgical procedures such as lip fillers and botox. Instead, people may invest in short-term, temporary beauty products that offer the same effect from home.”

Ground-breaking brows:

“While the natural, fluffy brows dominated 2022, skinny brows are certainly making a comeback for 2023. Standing firmly as a Y2K favourite, the 90’s thin brows have definitely started to return thanks to the ever-changing tik tok trends. Yes, the skinny brow can look and sound scary but it will make more of a subtle entrance in the new year. Rather than reaching for the tweezers, I recommend using an effective brow gel like Fluff it Up, to brush the hairs in the desired direction, you can then gently pinch the brow hair on arches to create more of a 90’s arch & look, whilst keeping your brow hairs in tact!

“Bleached brows have been one of the most controversial yet memorable brow trends of the later end of 2022 and we are seeing no disappearance of the trend now that we have entered 2023. With celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Julia Fox sporting the bleached look, it’s no surprise that they are here to stay. I love how they offer everyone a chance to be creative, it is almost like a blank canvas. However, bleaching your hair can be detrimental to your brow health if not done carefully and correctly. When shaped & groomed correctly the right brow really can set off every single feature on your face, whilst enhancing your eye colour. When the brows are bleached this unbalances the features and I would imagine it looks a little strange on a day – to – day basis. When choosing the right shade for your brows, we usually match to your hair colour or sometimes slightly darker, especially with blondes. If you want to draw attention away from ageing brows that are thinning or gathering fine lines, going a shade lighter than your usual choice may be a good idea, although bleaching them may be a step too far!”

Grunge glam: Selina Bassi, owner of new, vegan lash brand Maia Lashes

“Although the return of Wednesday Addams has left us all craving a goth-glam inspired beauty revamp, the darker, grunge beauty aesthetic was already making a comeback prior. Throughout 2022, we’ve all gotten braver with our makeup choices. Many people no longer stick to the blanket beauty trends and instead opt for a more unique routine. So it’s no surprise that darker eyeshadows and heavier liners are returning – Jenna Ortega just secured this for us. From smudged, dramatic eyes to deeper, darker lip colours, there are many techniques that you can adopt to start your Wednesday Addams journey to the dark side.

My top tips for achieving the ultimate dramatic eyeshadow look are:

  • Use at least 2 eyeshadow brushes, especially fluffy ones for blending as this is the most important part when ensuring a seamless eye look.
  • Always complete your eyeshadow before your foundation. This allows you to get rid of the fallout before applying your foundation otherwise it will stick under your eyes. Otherwise, hold a tissue under your eyes to catch it. 
  • Prime your eyelids so that the eyeshadow sticks and is durable for your festive plans.
  • While blending your eyeshadow is important, be careful not to over-blend as this can create patchy eyes.”

Bringing back the blush: Selina Bassi, owner of new, vegan lash brand Maia Lashes

“Not so long ago, blush was a distant memory and it was all about the bronzer and contour. However it looks like blush will be making a comeback this year, maybe with some new colours and tones. Although a classic pink blush will always stand the test of time, people are opting for an orange blush at the minute which almost blends a blush and bronzer together. An orange tone is warmer and more subtle than a pink and is a more subtle look for everyday use. I’ve always loved using blush as it adds colour back into the skin. No matter whether you’re wearing minimal makeup or going for a full-glam look, blush gives that added pop of colour to create a healthy glow”.

Loud lips: Selina Bassi, owner of new, vegan lash brand Maia Lashes

“2023 is looking like the year of being daring and bold with makeup. Although people will opt for more makeup-free and natural skin days, it’s looking like the days where we do wear makeup will see a rise of colour and drama. There has been a surge of bright and bold lips recently; they are starting to become the star of the show. Lips are also becoming shinier which is a real contrast to the matte obsession that took over the beauty world a few years ago. As well as a glossy, bold lip, many are now starting to use a lipliner that is darker than their lipstick/gloss to create a fuller, plumper illusion. And some celebs and models such as Kylie Jenner are even starting to use a bold lip as the only noticeable makeup product on their face by letting a red lip work alone with very minimal makeup elsewhere. Gone are the days of matching your lipstick with your complexion. 2023 is about embracing all pops of colour”.

Experiment with your lashes: Selina Bassi, owner of new, vegan lash brand Maia Lashes

“There was a time when many people became dependent on lash extensions to maximise volume and length. However, as mentioned before, I think that 2023 will be the year of embracing our natural self more often and therefore less people will pay for permanent eyelash extensions. What will increase however is the use of false lashes. Using strip lashes gives us the freedom to choose what look we desire day-to-day. 

Here are my top tips for using false lashes:

  • The most important factor when it comes to correctly using your fake lashes is applying them correctly. Lashes aren’t designed to fit everyone the same as we all have different eye shapes. Some people end up cutting and trimming their fake lashes until they fit their eye which can be a fiddly process therefore I recommend using lashes from a website that allows you to buy different sized lashes, such as Maia Lashes. This way, you won’t have to worry about damaging the lashes when cutting them.
  • When applying the glue, place a thin layer across the vein of the lash from corner to corner and wait for a few seconds for the glue to go tacky. This allows the lashes to stick better. I recommend buying lashes with a super thin, lightweight  band to not only prevent glue build-ups but to also ensure maximum comfort and minimum fuss. Then, look down and apply the strip lash against your lash line. 
  • To bond the lashes with your own, use a tweezer to push the two together. Another useful tip is to apply mascara before the lashes which makes it easier to bond the two after applying the falsies and helps them to set. Finish by gently pushing the lashes up with your finger tip for that added lash lift.

I also recommend investing in an effective lash serum to protect and nourish your lashes for the days when you choose to go makeup-free. As 2023 will see more no-makeup days and natural beauty looks, it is essential to care for your eyelashes with a serum to ensure that they stay strong and thick”.

The Difference Between a Mortgage and a Construction Loan

Posted on 16th January 2023

Are you looking to buy a home, but don’t know the difference between a mortgage and a construction loan? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Many people are confused about the differences between these two types of loans. We’ll explain what each type of loan is used for and how they differ from one another. We’ll also discuss some key considerations when deciding which type of loan is best for your situation so that you can have all the information needed to make an informed decision about whether a mortgage or construction loan is right for you. So let’s get started!

A Mortgage Is Used to Buy an Existing Home

A mortgage is a loan used to purchase an existing home. It typically requires the borrower to make monthly payments over a set period (typically 15 or 30 years) to pay off the full amount of the loan. Mortgages usually require a down payment, which can range from 3-20% depending on the lender and type of loan. In addition, most lenders will also require closing costs, such as appraisal fees, attorney fees, and other miscellaneous charges. Utilising fee-free mortgage services can help make the process easier and more affordable. And, you’ll see that most mortgage loans come with various fees and interest rates, so it’s best to compare different lenders before making a decision.

A Construction Loan Is Used for New Home Construction

A construction loan is a short-term loan used for building or remodelling a home. Unlike traditional mortgages, construction loans are only given out for the duration of the project and are repaid when construction is finished. This loan typically requires a smaller down payment, but it carries higher interest rates to cover the risks of lending out money while construction is still underway. Additionally, borrowers may need to provide additional documentation such as drawings and blueprints before the loan can be approved. Make sure to understand all of the terms of a construction loan before signing any documents.

Considerations When Choosing Between the Two

When deciding between getting a mortgage or a construction loan, it’s important to consider your financial situation and long-term goals. A mortgage is typically the best way to finance an existing home, but a construction loan may be the better option for new home construction or remodelling. It’s also important to consider the fees, interest rates, and repayment terms associated with each type of loan, as well as whether you can get a better rate from another lender. Ultimately, it will depend on your situation and which type of loan best fits your needs. 

Why do Interest Rates Differ 

The interest rates for a mortgage or a loan are determined by different factors. For mortgages, the interest rate is based on your credit score and other financial information such as debt-to-income ratio. Construction loans typically have higher interest rates due to the added risk that comes with financing a project that hasn’t been completed yet. In addition, the loan term for a construction loan is often shorter than that of a mortgage, which can also affect the interest rate.  While some lenders may offer a lower interest rate for construction loans, it’s important to compare different lenders to get the best deal.

Determining Your Goals

It’s crucial to set your long-term goals before you decide on a mortgage or construction loan. If you’re looking for an existing home, then a mortgage may be the best option. But if you’re looking to build or remodel a home, then a construction loan is likely the better choice. Understanding your financial situation and comparing different lenders will also help you make an informed decision about which type of loan works best for your needs. Some homeowners may even qualify for both types of loans and decide to get one or the other based on their situation. 

Necessary Documentation for Each Loan

In order to get a loan, you will need to provide certain documentation. For mortgages, lenders require proof of income, credit history, and other financial information such as bank statements and tax returns. Construction loans also require similar information but may additionally need drawings or blueprints that outline the project details. It’s important to make sure all the necessary documents are in order before applying for a loan. 

There are key differences between a mortgage and a construction loan that you should be aware of when making the decision of which type is best for your situation. Be sure to research all of your options carefully and understand the terms associated with each before signing on the dotted line. With this knowledge, you can make an informed decision about which type of loan fits your needs and budget.

How to Watch Your Netflix Shows While You’re Travelling

Are you a Netflix fanatic who loves to stay up-to-date on your favourite shows, even when you’re traveling? If so, then this blog post is for you! Watching your Netflix shows while on the go can be tricky — from determining which devices are compatible with Netflix to figuring out the best ways to access its streaming service — but it can be done. In this blog post, we will show you how to watch your favourite movies and TV shows from anywhere in the world with a few simple tips.

We will cover everything from downloading content ahead of time to using a VPN service that allows access to region-restricted content. With our help, you can enjoy all the entertainment that Netflix has to offer no matter where life takes you. So grab some popcorn and get ready for an entertaining journey — let’s get started!

Use a Reputable VPN

Traveling can be a great way to explore new destinations, experience different cultures, and relax. But for those of us who rely on Netflix for our entertainment, it can also mean missing out on our favourite shows or movies because some content is blocked in certain places. Fortunately, there is a solution: using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). With the help of a VPN service, you can access region-restricted content from anywhere in the world.

The key is to make sure you choose a reputable VPN service. There are many out there, so do your research and find one that best fits your needs — looks for features such as fast speeds, reliable servers, strict security protocols, etc. Some of the best Netflix VPN providers offer flexible plans with multiple server locations and controlled bandwidth so you can find the perfect balance between speed and security. Once you have chosen a provider, install the software onto your device(s), connect to the server in the country of your choosing, and you’re good to go!

Download Content Before You Go

Another great way to ensure you can keep up with all your Netflix watching on the go is by downloading content ahead of time. This feature is available for both movies and TV shows, so take advantage of it whenever possible!

Just make sure that you have enough storage space on your device since downloaded titles are saved in HD or Ultra HD quality. To view them offline later, connect to the internet after arrival at your destination and open the Netflix app — any downloads will already be there waiting for you. Also, if you’re worried about data usage, consider investing in a portable Wi-Fi hotspot. These are great for travellers since they provide internet access no matter where you are.

Try Smart DNS Proxies

In addition to using a VPN, you can also access Netflix from anywhere by using a Smart DNS proxy. A Smart DNS is a server that acts as an intermediary between your device and the websites you’re trying to access, allowing you to bypass any regional restrictions. All you need to do is enter the IP address of the proxy server when setting up your internet connection on your device.

Keep in mind, though, that there are some drawbacks — while a VPN can encrypt all of your data and protect your privacy, a Smart DNS does not offer this level of security. However, it may be worth it if you just want to access Netflix content for a short period.  Just remember to disable the proxy once you’re done so that your regular internet connection is re-established.

Look for Special Deals

Finally, Netflix is always offering special deals for travellers. You can take advantage of these offers by simply signing up on their website. This way, you’ll get access to the same content as everyone else while paying a discounted price. Also, if you don’t want to commit to a full subscription plan, you can always opt for one of their short-term trial memberships.

However, before taking advantage of any special deals, make sure to read the fine print and understand any limitations or restrictions. In some cases, you may still only be able to access content from certain regions, or you may have a limited amount of time before your plan expires. In that case,  it might be best to stick with a regular Netflix subscription and invest in a reliable VPN  service or Smart DNS proxy.

Now that you know how to watch Netflix on the go, all that’s left is to pick a destination and start planning your next adventure! Whether you’re headed abroad or just taking a weekend getaway, our tips will help you stay entertained while you’re away. So don’t let regional restrictions keep you from enjoying the best streaming services — with a little preparation, you can stay connected to Netflix no matter where life takes you. Have fun and happy streaming!

How To Start Gardening In 2023

Posted on 16th January 2023

Regardless of how technology has taken over most of society, you can’t deny the tranquillity only nature can provide. Considering how hectic life can be, even having a small area designed for peace and quiet at home could help improve your mental well-being.

However, envisioning a garden is wholly different from starting one. After all, deciding to level up any empty space you have by adding a garden may seem easy on paper. But once you’re about to do it, you might get stuck not knowing where you’re supposed to start.

Here’s how to kick off your gardening journey in 2023:

1. Choose What To Grow

Each plant species has specific needs that must be met consistently. Even though you’ve provided soil and water, that doesn’t guarantee your garden will survive for the long term. In spite of how eager you are to start gardening, decide on what plants you want to take care of.

Do you want to grow your own meals from scratch? Or are you only interested in beautifying your home? Whichever the case, you must be aware of their differences. Going in blind might leave you unable to grow anything properly, which can easily spiral into a stressful endeavour instead of a relaxing one.

2. Find The Right Location

Ensure your plants’ needs are met when finding a place for them. Ensure the garden receives plenty of sunlight while positioned near a water source. Granted, having a nearby water source isn’t much of a priority compared with sunlight, as it’s only for convenience. However, it doesn’t hurt to be efficient when gardening.
Determine if the location you’ve chosen is secured. After all, you don’t want your pets or kids destroying all of your hard work. Aside from that, ensure that your property is protected from wildlife.

3. Know Your Soil

While choosing the right location plays a significant role in your garden’s lifespan, investing in high-quality soil can also impact plant growth, especially for those who want to raise plants from seeds. Ensure that your soil is well-drained and rich in nutrients. Improve its quality even further by adding compost or a layer of mulch installed by a mulch mulch supplier with a blower truck. . After all, your garden’s well-being relies on soil the most.

4. Invest In Gardening Tools

Invest in gardening tools to make your work much easier to do. However, ordering everything you see used for gardening isn’t as effective as you’d think it is. Not only do they cost a lot, but they’re also likely to go to waste, depending on what kind of garden you want.

Tending to small nurseries usually requires a trowel, soil, and some plots for where you’re planting your sprouts. Container gardens may not take up too much space as they consist of potted plants; all you need to add are containers or pots. For bigger gardens such as raised beds, you’ll need a hoe for digging added to your equipment. Heavy-duty equipment like a rototiller isn’t a priority, especially for those looking for a workout as they garden.

5. Consider Your Interest

While no one can deny how refreshing it is to work with nature, not everyone has the same reason they started gardening. Some may see it as nothing more than a hobby, others might consider it a food source, and the rest probably view it as an investment to boost property value. With many reasons for gardening, start thinking ahead before diving into gardening.

Ask yourself why you want to garden in the first place. The effort you put in will depend on this.
How much time are you willing to pour into gardening? Once you can answer these questions,
only then can you do what’s necessary to start your garden.

6. Do Your Research

Gardening isn’t always a straight path. After all, nurturing your plants to thrive more involves countless trials and errors. Even though you’ve done everything written in a guide, other factors you least expected might affect your plants’ condition. Because of many variables to be considered, gardening involves continuous research, especially for those planning to invest their time in it.

Takeaway

Adding a garden to your property is a pocket of peace you might be looking for. However, not everyone has a natural green thumb. You might end up killing your plants before they can even grow properly if you don’t know what you’re doing. Fortunately, there are ways you can get settled into gardening as seen in the tips above.

How to Create a Positive Work Environment for Your Employees

A positive work environment is essential for the success of any business. Not only does it create a more pleasant atmosphere for employees, but it also helps to increase productivity and morale. Creating a positive work environment can be achieved in several ways, such as offering flexible hours, providing meaningful rewards and recognition, encouraging open communication between staff members, and creating opportunities for collaboration. 

Not all people operate the same in the workplace. Some enjoy things that others may not like. As an employer, you might want to create an environment that is suitable for every person working in the organizations. For instance, you can come up with smoking zones in break rooms where employees can use products like those offered by ezee-e without bothering non-smokers. With such work environment, you can ensure that the needs of all employees are catered for. This article discusses more about creating a positive work environment.

How can employers ensure their employees feel valued and appreciated?

Employers should strive to create a positive work environment where employees feel valued and appreciated. This can be done by providing recognition for good work, offering competitive salaries and benefits, and creating opportunities for professional development. Employers should ensure their employees have the resources they need to do their jobs effectively. This includes providing adequate training, access to technology, and support from management. 

Employers should also make sure their employees are given the opportunity to provide feedback on their job performance and suggest ways in which the company can improve its operations. Employers should take time out of their day to show appreciation for their employees’ hard work through small gestures such as thank-you notes or gift cards. By taking these steps, employers can ensure that their employees feel valued and appreciated in the workplace.

How can employers foster an atmosphere of collaboration and teamwork?

Employers can foster an atmosphere of collaboration and teamwork by creating a culture of open communication. Encourage employees to share ideas, ask questions, and provide feedback in a respectful manner. Employers should create opportunities for team building activities that allow employees to get to know each other better and build relationships. This could include things like group lunches or outings, team sports or games, or even just having regular meetings where everyone is encouraged to participate. Employers should also recognize the importance of individual contributions while emphasizing the value of working together as a team.

Strategies for Managing Stress and Improving Mental Health in the Workplace

There are some strategies that can help in managing stress and improving mental health in the workplace. First, it’s important to create an environment that is conducive to good mental health. This means providing employees with access to resources like counseling services, support groups, and other forms of assistance. Employers should strive to create a culture of openness and acceptance where employees feel comfortable discussing their mental health issues without fear of judgment or repercussions. 

It’s also important for employers to recognize the signs of stress and take steps to address them before they become more serious problems. This could include offering flexible work schedules or allowing employees time off when needed. Employers should also provide regular breaks throughout the day so that employees have time away from their desks to relax and recharge. 

It is important for employers to encourage healthy habits among their staff by providing nutritious snacks in the break room or organizing team activities like yoga classes or walking meetings. These activities can help reduce stress and promote physical activity which has been linked with improved mental wellbeing.

The Builder’s Choice for Functionality, Durability and Affordability

Aesthetically appealing and practical, Lauxes Grates provides elegant water drainage solutions for indoor and outdoor applications. Trusted by clients the world over, we take a more in-depth look at the man behind it all, Tim Dawson, as he is recognised in the CEO of the Year Awards 2022.

Established in 2010, Lauxes Grates (trading under Lauxes Products) is one of Australia and New Zealand’s most exclusive designers and manufacturers of versatile indoor and outdoor drainage solutions.

With more than 20 years’ worth of combined trade experience, the firm’s knowledgeable and highly skilled developers have created unique, innovative, and aesthetic products to meet market specifications.

Lauxes Grates was initially developed with more than 1,000 product lines, however by later focusing on just one product, it allowed the company thrive. The Australian business has come a long way from its original 24 distributors when the decision was made to focus on linear grates. Today, as an industry leader, the firm is always on to the next best thing. With its head office located on the Gold Coast, and warehouses in Western Australia and Victoria, expansion is inevitable. Now with 50 employees, and availability through more than 2,000 wholesalers (and growing daily) across seven different countries, the company’s in-depth product knowledge has kept it well ahead of the competition over the years.

Capably steering the firm at the helm is Chief Executive Officer, Tim Dawson, who created Lauxes Grates with an idea, a plan, and a determined mindset. Seeing a gap in the market and an increase in home development projects, Tim designed the award-winning range of linear drainage. Almost 13 years later, several re-thinks and major decisions taken, and along with his ever-growing and dedicated team, he’s finally riding the waves of success.

“We’ve become a popular builder’s choice for durability, functionality, and affordability,” explains Tim, who was born and bred on the Gold Coast. “I know what it’s like to be using material that’s not up to scratch. Over the years, I’ve often worked with products knowing that the person who made it has never used it. That’s one of many things that makes us different.”

With a demonstrated history of working in the electrical and sanitary manufacturing industry, Tim is skilled in sales, business development, marketing strategy, business strategy, and leadership, gleaned from his time spent in high-end roles and has developed a strong business development focus in building company cultures and principles.

Whilst Tim may be the genius behind the firm and its innovative grates, he is also an inspiring leader who always encourages his employees to be the very best they can be. He enjoys family time on weekends with his wife and three children, and also loves to personally challenge himself at hardcore physical events such as True Grit or Tough Mudder.

But Tim is also a big believer in his people and that behind every ‘grate’ company, there is a dedicated team helping to fly its flag. Through Lauxes Grates, he genuinely values the staff he has.

“The product has been the vehicle of our success, but the best part of our business is the team,” he elaborates. “It is, without doubt, our best creation. It’s a fun and inspiring company to learn and grow in. That’s what it’s all about to me. I genuinely enjoy being a leader – not being a boss just telling people what to do but really leading.”

With a strong focus centred on the firm’s core values, Tim ensures that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet to meet customer expectations each and every time.

Constantly looking ahead, anticipating and responding to change quickly, and challenging the status quo, Tim describes his team as problem solvers who are able to be adaptive to change and think outside of the box.

“We encourage and value informed initiative-taking,” he goes on to say. “We are action takers and see issues and problems as opportunities to improve. We feel empowered by empowering others. The thrill and excitement of growing as a company is infectious, creating a fervent team culture within an inspirational environment.”

And 2022 has been a year of successes for Tim and the team, including its attendance at several incredible expos such as the Sydney Build and Design Show, which widened the firm’s circle of influence substantially. The Lauxes family also grew by 18 people over the year, making the total nearly 50 strong.

“It feels like only yesterday I had a team of five,” Tim laughs. “As always, I’m so proud to surround myself with these people every day, the people that keep my vision alive and make it all possible.”

Furthermore, 2022 was a year of many firsts too, including the firm’s first magazine features, plus the launch of its gold grates, a release that Tim never anticipated would be as big as it was and the demand of which has surpassed all of his wildest expectations.

It was, however, not without its challenges, and as a determined and pragmatic leader, Tim took a proactive approach. “There were multiple challenges and times we had to pivot,” he tells us. “But sticking to our core values, we have worked tirelessly to make things happen and improve in the areas that encountered some problems.”

He continues, “My business success is a result of all the mistakes I made. In former businesses when I was younger, I didn’t appreciate people the way I do now. I kept a lot of secrets and it didn’t serve me well. I was broken when I went bankrupt. Without that bankruptcy experience behind me, I wouldn’t be here.

“All I can say is ‘wow’. Another year done and dusted. It’s safe to say 2022 was wild, challenging and rewarding for the Lauxes Grates team and myself!”

As a leader in the industry, Lauxes Grates has received a plethora of awards over the past few years. These include ProTrade United awards for categories such as Team Leadership, Student Engagement, and Business of the Year, as well as the annual Gold Coast Business Excellence Award in 2020 for Retail, Wholesale & Distribution, and many more. Plus, Tim has been named amongst the Top 100 Young Entrepreneurs of Australia for three years running in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

The most recent accolade to add to the trophy shelf and further uphold Tim’s reputation as a ‘grate’ leader comes in the form of CEO of the Year, 2022 – Queensland, Australia, as recognised in CEO Monthly’s CEO of the Year Awards.

Understandably delighted to receive this much-coveted title, Tim now has big plans for the future. With relationships already established in Europe and the US, the global expansion is in full swing. Having recently opened a new Global Headquarters in Ashmore, just five minutes down the road from the Australian headquarters in Molendinar, Tim and the team are gearing up to take this company to the next level, continue building their global empire, and taking the world by storm, one grate at a time!

“As the business grows, so do our amazing professional and personal networks,” he enthuses. “I appreciate every message, every connect, and every call or email – Lauxes wouldn’t look the same without the incredible amount of support behind us!”

For business enquiries, contact Tim Dawson from Lauxes Grates on their website – www.lauxesgrates.com.au

The Value of the Visual for Marketing Success

Anyone conducting any kind of marketing work understands that it can be a little tricky. It’s not just the problem of getting customers to buy into your brand and develop new ways of keeping them interested in what you are doing – it is also the daunting levels of competition that businesses face. 

Futhermore,you might be surprised to learn that 50% of all of the new information that we learn has been forgotten within just one hour. Fast forward to a week, and an incredible 90% of what we learned has been lost. This is just one of the additional challenges marketers face and attempt to overcome. 

Yes, the truth is that if you are going to make an impact with your marketing materials, you are going to need to stand out from the crowd. There are many ways to do this – innovative thinking, witty writing, tapping into customers needs – but perhaps nothing can have the same impact as great visual marketing.

The power of visual marketing

When we talk about visual marketing, we are referring to marketing work that calls on the importance of the visual. This might mean anything from video content, the images on your website, or other visual tools. And while we might be used to thinking about the text on the website as the most important content, visual marketing has become a major factor in recent years.

Interestingly, when visuals are used it has shown to improve learning by up to 400%. This shows that when you can attach images and other visuals to pieces of information, they become more memorable and easy to retain. In marketing, this is crucial, as you want the viewer to remember as much of what you are talking about as possible.

Yes, it is clear to see that visuals can have a really vital impact on marketing. Your customers retain information about your marketing work better when visuals are used. So there is no excuse not to make them an important part of your campaign. But what are the specific ways that visual marketing can be used?

  • Innovative web design

You only get one chance to make a great first impression, and you have to remember that this is true of your website as well. When a customer visits your website for the first time, you are presenting them with an idea of what your business is like. This means that if it looks old, stale and tired, customers will apply those feelings to your business. Alternatively, when it looks slick and original, customers take notice. 

Of course, it is important for websites to be functional and intelligent, and over the years there have been many challenges with sites putting too much emphasis on appearance, but then not working as effectively as you would like. Today, the best websites combine a sensible structure underneath with dynamic visuals. 

  • Quality photography

Too many businesses opt for photography that simply isn’t up to the standard that you need. You might think that it is fine simply to use stock images, but stock images stand out, especially as they are all taken on different cameras and create a patchwork approach to the visuals on your website. 

Generally, the next attempt at photography is carried out by the marketing team using the camera on their phones. While this might seem the obvious move when everyone has a high definition camera in their pocket – smartphone cameras don’t actually offer the kind of quality needed for great web photography.

The ability to use lens filters, for example, on a professional grade camera can dramatically alter the quality of the image and turn it into something that is striking and has a lot more power in terms of visual marketing. 

  • Infographics

“An infographic uses graphic design, data visualisation, and short text to get a message across. And it’s all the rage right now,” explains Milena Alexova, writing for Xara “Everyone is creating infographics nowadays. But not everyone is creating effective infographics. There’s an art to creating infographics that go viral.”

Indeed, perhaps more than any other kind of visual content, infographics need a lot of other hard work in marketing to get them seen. However, once they have been able to be effective, they can actually generate a huge amount of incoming traffic and publicity for a business. 

  • Video content

Video content is increasingly becoming by far the most viewed content on the internet and recent studies such as this one, conducted by Wyzowl, only confirm this further. The trend also strongly indicates that video will certainly not become any less important in the coming years. However, as we have talked about with photography, the quality produced is of paramount importance.

Investing in video content might seem expensive, especially when marketing can have so many expenses, but video content can be used across multiple channels including social, media and your own website. 

How to make the best use of visual marketing

Creating stunning visual marketing content is a part of the challenge, but you also need to understand how to deploy it most effectively. Understanding how to make the best use of your visual materials is key to getting the most out of them. 

  • Encourage sharing – visual content is most effective when it is promoted not by the company that created it, but by others. Adding social sharing buttons to all of your visual content can make it convenient for users to promote it with a single mouse click. 
  • Focus on branding – you should ensure that all of your visual marketing materials are created with one eye on branding. Visual marketing is most effective when you have a visual style that is instantly recognisble. 
  • Work across platforms – you should showcase your work across a range of platforms. Images might be great for the website, but they are also powerful on social media, in email campaigns and more. 

How to Identify and Prevent a Cyber Attack

Cyber threats and risks are evolving at an increasingly rapid scale. Businesses everywhere are failing to react quickly enough to malicious cyber attacks, and as such, they can suffer irreparable damage to finances, systems, data and reputation.

The evolving threat landscape also makes it much more difficult for companies to anticipate and prevent cyber attacks. Recent statistics show that the average detection time for a cyber attack is 287 days. Who knows what kind of harm can be done in that time frame before a hacker or threat actor is even noticed?

This guide serves as a crucial reminder for businesses to understand cyber-attacks, and implement correct, stable cybersecurity measures. 

What is a Cyber Attack?

Films and television have often overexaggerated the idea of cyber attacks. In reality, cybercrime can be conducted much more covertly, depending on the scale of the business that’s falling victim to an attack.

Some industries may be more vulnerable than others. For example, financial institutions and healthcare providers are more ‘at-risk’ than most other industries, due to the sensitive information held on their networks and systems. However, that’s not to suggest that any industry is completely risk-free.

A cyber attack is defined as a deliberate exploitation of a computer network or system. This blanket definition merely scrapes the surface of the density and proficiency of cyber attacks that can take shape. Below are some of the most well-known types of cybercrime that can permeate a company’s network or system, regardless of industry.

Types of Cyber Attacks

  • Phishing – Dangerous links or attachments can be sent through email or messaging applications, where attackers can gain access to confidential information or credentials. From this point on, they can install malware.
  • Malware – Malicious software viruses are often disguised as legitimate software, which the user – often unsuspectingly – downloads or opens. Malware can also refer to ransomware, trojans, worms or spyware.
  • Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) – This involves an attacker intercepting a communication exchange between two different parties, in which they steal or manipulate data.
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) – These attacks often involve the simultaneous flooding of systems, networks or servers with traffic to restrict bandwidth. For example, a server can become overwhelmed with requests and slow to the point where it goes down. This leaves vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit more easily.
  • SQL injection – Structured Query Language injections occur within a database when standard queries are manipulated. In other words, code can be entered into search boxes on vulnerable sites, which prompts the hosting server to unveil vital data and give the attacker the impetus to edit the user permissions and information stored in that database.
  • Watering hole – This refers to a cyberattack in which malware is installed on regular websites that particular organizations visit, in order to infect their systems.
  • Password hacks – These refer to attacks when passwords are uncovered and possibly changed without the user’s knowledge.
  • Rogue software – This is a form of malware which tricks victims into believing their device or computer has been hacked or infected with a virus, which lures them into a false sense of security.
  • Social engineering – This refers to a wide range of malicious activity that involves human interaction, such as manipulating people into breaking normal security procedures.

These are just some of the possible cyber attacks that could cause problems for an organization. However, the real-world types of attacks will likely be more sophisticated and complex than what is described above. This list is purely here to give you food for thought about how your systems or networks could potentially fall into the wrong hands.

20 Ways to Detect a Cyber Attack

The real question is how these types of cyber threats can be detected before it’s too late. While these threats are growing harder to detect and contain, the good news is that you don’t have to be particularly technically minded to protect your organization sufficiently.

Below are some of the signs you can spot which could indicate a looming or imminent cyber attack.

  1. Suspicious emails
  2. Slowed computer speed
  3. Compromised or disabled security software
  4. Browser or software add-ons that were installed mysteriously
  5. Random restarts or shutdowns
  6. Repeated pop-ups
  7. Lost access to accounts
  8. Missing or altered files
  9. Notifications of unexpected access locations or logins
  10. Suspicious admin activity
  11. Multiple requests for files or databases
  12. Unusual outbound network traffic
  13. Ransomware messages
  14. Programs continually crashing or opening and closing automatically
  15. Network bandwidth becomes very slow
  16. Constant browser redirects
  17. Sudden lack of storage space
  18. Computers function without local input
  19. Suspicious phone calls
  20. Ad-hoc demands or threats from unknown senders

 

How to Prevent Cyber Attacks

There are numerous safety measures you can take that will help you monitor threats more easily and prevent your business and data from falling victim to an attack. All of this can be done without affecting your company’s productivity.

  • Invest in penetration testing – One of the most crucial steps to securing your critical IT infrastructure is to think like a hacker or cybercriminal. Unpatched software, network vulnerabilities, insecure passwords, and authentication errors, all can be exploited. To get a comprehensive understanding of your cybersecurity posture, you need to conduct regular penetration tests. This allows vulnerabilities to be exploited in an ethical way, informing you of the preventative measures you need to take to ensure complete protection. 
  • Enterprise-grade antivirus software – Most modern full-service antivirus software programmes don’t just feature virus scanning features; most come with built-in firewalls and internet security protection tools. These mechanisms can work in synchronicity to detect malware, ransomware and malicious files, allowing you to identify potential threats, contain them, and remove them from your infrastructure. Which has outlined the most recommended antivirus software programs to consider for 2023.
  • Secure password policies – It’s easy to use familiar passwords for multiple logins or systems. However, this is a bad idea. Creating a secure and memorable password is therefore vital, using a variety of letters (in lower and uppercase), numbers, and special characters, makes a password that is much more difficult to exploit. Using password generator tools like BitWarden or LastPass can also be a more manageable solution, where you can generate highly secure, unique passwords for each login, all of which are stored securely. All you’ll need to remember is a master password to authenticate the app’s usage.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA)MFA (often called two-factor authentication, or TFA) is an additional security step by requesting verification from you before granting access to a system, database, or network. For example, MFA could include SMS or email security codes to input, facial or biometric verification, notifications or prompts on trusted devices, etc. While this might seem long-winded, it’s crucial to ensure access is only granted to verified and trusted individuals.
  • Take regular local and server-side backups – Whether you’re using a public or a private server, taking backups of your systems, applications and data is vital. Keep multiple copies of critical information and credentials so you can quickly restore them in the event of an attack. Back up data on a local server in an office using external hard drives or devices, as well as through a cloud infrastructure, offsite, hosted by a public or private cloud provider. For advice on choosing the right cloud service provider, refer to this guide.
  • Keep software and applications up-to-date – Installing security patches and updates to system software ensures sufficient, adequate protection of all your apps and critical software and hardware. Out-of-date programs are increasingly prone to vulnerabilities and cyber attacks, so if you’re prompted to download and install updates, don’t ignore them.

It’s not easy to detect and mitigate the constantly-evolving complexity and presence of cyber threats. Your organization needs to implement structure and policies that define what your employees do to ensure sufficient and adequate cybersecurity. 

One breach, however minor, can spell disaster for the company. However, learning as much as you can about correct, proper system and network protection will ensure your company, data and infrastructure are best protected in the long run. 

Invest in African Energy: African Energy Chamber to Host New Year Reception in London on 26 January

Exploring new opportunities for financing energy projects in Africa, the African Energy Chamber will host a special New Year reception at the Waldorf Hilton in London, which will support European investment opportunities across the continent and drive economic growth and socioeconomic development

The voice of the African energy sector, the African Energy Chamber (AEC), will host a special New Year reception event at the Waldorf Hilton luxury hotel in London on 26 January where participants will be encouraged to explore new avenues in financing energy projects on the African continent. During the event, investors and African energy leaders will be given a platform to support energy initiatives that drive economic growth and human development across the continent.

Upholding a results-focused business environment for international companies and investors operating in Africa’s dynamic energy industry, the AEC’s Invest in African Energy Reception Event will focus on developing an oil and natural gas market in Africa to serve as the foundation of the continent’s energy industry and transition, facilitating a platform for strong domestic trading and investment while reducing barriers of entry into the sector and thus ushering a wave of opportunities for new players to participate in one of the world’s most burgeoning investment destinations.

“African nations must focus on developing a natural gas market to serve as the foundation of the continent’s energy industry,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC, adding, “Africa will be unable to meet the UN’s sustainable development goals unless we tap into all resources available, which is why we must encourage and facilitate international investment, specifically from Europe, in oil and gas in order to fairly and economically participate in the global energy transition and drive socioeconomic development throughout the continent.”

Advancing a bold agenda for the African energy sector, the AEC strives to unite governments and credible businesses to spur growth under international standard business practices and position Africa to capitalize on energy investment through strategic partnerships and trade.

With the African continent focusing its efforts on lifting 600 million people who currently lack access to reliable and affordable electricity and 900 million who lack access to affordable clean cooking solutions out of energy poverty, the Invest in African Energy Reception will provide an opportunity for investors to explore various initiatives, which include gas-to-power and renewable energy developments, as well as oil and natural gas exploration and production prospects.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, demand for gas in Europe is expected to rapidly increase in the coming years, thus positioning Africa to take advantage of its immense untapped resources and become a major supplier of oil and natural gas and ensure global energy security while tackling the challenges and opportunities across the continent.

Set to serve as the first of many of the AEC’s Energy Receptions globally business leaders, investors, and government representatives will unite in London – a city that boasts many Africa-focused investment firms – in good faith to advance mutually beneficial trade and investment partnerships under the common goal of advancing African governance while improving energy access, human rights, food and water security, and education on the continent.

Additionally, the Reception event comes on the heels of a partnership between pan-African trade finance institution, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) which  officially partnered with the continent’s premier energy event, African Energy Week (AEW) in 2022  in a move expected to reawaken a new era of deal-signing, local content and multi-sector expansion. Under a mandate to make energy poverty history in Africa by 2030, the partnership will see both AEW and Afreximbank uniting the power of investment and value creation, driving stronger energy developments in 2022 and beyond. The partnership also aims to further attract investment from the UK to facilitate capacity building, the advocacy and financing of African companies, and the development of infrastructure in the continent’s energy sector.

The Invest in African Energy Reception Event will serve as the premier platform for international dignitaries, executives, and companies to participate and operate in Africa’s energy sector, where access to affordable and reliable energy will be fundamental towards development, while simultaneously showcasing the pressing need to balance all forms of energy development to ensure a just energy transition and mitigate the global energy crisis.

Taking place on 26 January 2023, the Invest in African Energy Reception Event will be held at the Waldorf Hilton luxury hotel in Aldwych, London. Participation is open to all guests and RSVP is essential. RSVP to [email protected].

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Energy Week (AEW).

Romantic Getaway for Valentine’s Day

With the most romantic day of the year just around the corner, the pressure is on to make Valentine’s Day 2023 a night to remember – and what better way than with a romantic getaway at Pine Cliffs Resort in the Algarve, Portugal.

One of Europe’s leading and most celebrated luxury lifestyle destinations, Pine Cliffs Resort, a Luxury Collection Resort enjoys a spectacular, unrivalled location in southern Portugal, overlooking the magnificent cliffs and beaches of the Algarve coastline.

Pine Cliffs was built with the area’s Arabian heritage in mind and embodies the most attractive aspects of Moorish architecture. The hotel also boasts an array of sophisticated facilities, not to mention providing the finest gourmet dining, to ensure you enjoy the ultimate Valentine’s Day.

Guests can enjoy a number of activities at the resort and Serenity Spa including:

  • Serenity Aurum Suite – a magnificent private suite for couples seeking the ultimate indulgent spa experience.  Gleaming gold leaf and a glittering Swarovski chandelier illuminate this ‘spa within a spa’, which features its own private steam room, sauna, jacuzzi, experience shower, double treatment room, changing room and lounge area. To complete the experience, a complimentary bottle of champagne is included.
  • A nine-hole scenic cliff-top golf course with its famous signature hole, the par-3 “Devil’s Parlour”, which offers beautiful views over the Atlantic
  • 8 swimming pools including a heated indoor pool
  • 12 different restaurants and bars to cater to every taste, including an elegant clifftop champagne bar, a café, a beach bar, a seafood bar, a steakhouse and healthy eating
  • The 1,100m2 SPA Serenity – The Art of Well Being, which offers authentic signature treatments that draw inspiration from the indigenous cultures, healing traditions and ingredients of the Algarve
  • Access to the Thermal Oasis which includes herbal sauna, hydrotherapy pool, steam bath, sauna with Himalayan rock salt, outdoor Jacuzzi and indoor and outdoor relaxation area

Prices start from £235.00 per night based on 2 adults sharing a room at Pine Cliffs Hotel including breakfast.  Price based on 13th-15th February 2023 stay.

Thermal Oasis access at £44 per day per person.

For more information, please visit www.pinecliffs.com.

Chef Adam Handling Publishes Luxury Book Collection

Michelin-starred Chef Adam Handling is proud to announce the launch of his stunning boxset, a definitive collection of three recipe books that tell his story, the journey of his restaurant group, the road to his first Michelin star, and the ethos of sustainability that underpins it all.

Ten years in the making, this pioneering trilogy is “the book I’ve always wanted to publish”, says Adam. It shares his and his team’s deeply personal story, memories from Adam’s childhood and early career, recipes from every version of his flagship restaurant, Frog by Adam Handling (including much-loved fan favourites – yes, chicken butter is in there!), alongside the lessons they’ve learned on the journey to become zero-waste, as well as Adam’s favourite cocktail recipes.

The three books, ‘Frog by Adam Handling’; ‘Why Waste?’ and ‘Perfect, Three Cherries’ encompass everything that Adam, and his restaurant and bar teams have learned and developed over the years. From recipes and ingredients to their approach to sustainability, as well as forewords and contributions from some of the most respected leaders of the food and drink industry (including Gareth Ward, Alex Dilling, Pierre Koffman, Ben Elliot, Charlotte Hill OBE, Mike Robinson, Agostino Perrone, Erik Lorincz, Mark Sansom and Anna Sebastian). In Adam’s words, “This book is designed for my younger self. It’s everything I would have wanted to know when I was starting out in my career.

“This collection is something I would have loved to have had when I was learning more about my field. It only started as one book, showcasing Frog, but the more we dove into it, the waste book and cocktail books became clear. It’s the stuff that people don’t see behind the scenes – the researching, the training, the things we had to do to make Frog what it is today. To understand what Frog is, you need to understand the waste element, the foraging, the sustainability, provenance of ingredients, everything. It became clear that there really was no Frog book without the other two.”

Alongside recipes and personal memories, the books are filled with stunning imagery, ingredient and produce maps of Britain, and personal photos from Adam’s own family collection. No expense has been spared in terms of the production of the books – from the boxes, the covers, beautiful illustrations, and paper quality, every aspect of the books has been thoughtfully designed by Adam himself.

“I’m unbelievably proud of these books, not just because of what they represent, but because of the team that’s helped me to write them. My chefs, front of house, back of house, bartenders, my operations team – people that have dedicated years of their lives to me and my restaurant group, they’ve all contributed to these books. Education, inspiration, motivation, that’s what we do as a team and that’s what I want these books to do. They’re designed for people that want to learn and do something different”, says Adam.

The books are available to purchase now on the Adam Handling website, individually (from £30 – £70), or as a luxury, limited-edition boxset containing all three books (£160).

www.adamhandling.co.uk/gifts-and-merchandise

FROG BY ADAM HANDLING

Frog by Adam Handling, the book based on Adam’s Michelin-starred flagship restaurant, features in the region of 100 dishes from all his London kitchens, including Adam’s very first independent restaurant. Focusing on ‘British food, inspired by London’, it takes the reader on a journey across the British Isles, showcasing exceptional homegrown produce, the incredible suppliers whose ingredients feature in his dishes, and foraging and seasonality guides. It also contains contributions from some of the country’s top restaurant writers, including William Sitwell, Richard Vines, Paul Henderson, and Mark Sansom.

For Adam, this book is about elevating luxury British food to compete on a global level, using flavours from around the world but using only British ingredients to make them. “It’s a British cookbook,” says Adam, “and I hope it helps pave the way for what British food could be. What I want to show the world is that the UK can produce incredible dishes, but it doesn’t have a full identity yet, it’s a very young food style. It’s finding its feet and I hope this book helps to build on that – British food isn’t going to be in the history books until people write books about it. And I don’t think anyone’s written a book on this level, on this scale, to this standard of luxury before.”

This hardback book is priced at £70 boxed and is in large format with over 300 pages.

 

WHY WASTE?

Adam Handling’s sustainable motto is simple: Why Waste? It’s something he and his team question every day about everything they do. His waste book demonstrates his passion for sustainability and looks at the ways we can all utilise commonly wasted ingredients and transform them into spectacular dishes, illustrating that there should simply be no such thing as food waste. It’s not just a collection of sustainable, zero-waste recipes, but also a comprehensive guide to sustainability and using seasonal produce. Featuring detailed foraging and produce guides to the British Isles, great recipes, smart techniques, practical advice and tips for chefs and home cooks, and a commitment to be part of a positive change, it leads from the front in the fight to protect the environment.

“Do you remember when you were at school, working on a maths question, and the teacher says, ‘Show me your workings out.’? Well, this is my workings out. It’s how the team and I have developed our recipes in my kitchens. Not only that, it also contains all the research we had to do on our journey – a ten year journey. Finding alternative ingredients, sustainable companies, amazing people in the industry that are passionate about sustainability because, when you find people that are as passionate about something as you are, you learn so much more. And this book is everything I’ve learned. It’s got diagrams, pictures, foraging tips – everything that’s taken us years to discover.” – Adam Handling

Priced at £60, this large format hardback book has over 200 pages.

PERFECT, THREE CHERRIES

Perfect, Three Cherries is named after Adam’s favourite cocktail (a Perfect Manhattan, with 3 Maraschino cherries, naturally…), and is his cocktail book, featuring a raft of recipes that are sustainable takes on the classics. To Adam, creating a cocktail is just as much an art as designing a plate of food, and this book contains recipes, cocktail histories, drink styles, glassware, techniques, lab equipment, different types of ice – everything he’s learned since launching his own bars. Perfect, Three Cherries is not only the epitome of fun but reinforces Adam’s desire to showcase the very best of the British cocktail scene and represents the circle of sustainability within his group.

“I opened my first bar, Eve, to enhance Frog. The dream was to have a world-class bar attached to a Michelin starred restaurant. That dream is now a reality and this book is all about what happens when you get phenomenal bartenders that have the skillset to work side-by-side with chefs in the kitchen to create drinks. And what’s produced is cocktails that are really special and a book that’s really special. Don’t just take my word for it, I’ve got some of the best bartenders in the world to foreword the book!”, says Adam.

Perfect, Three Cherries is priced at £30 and is flexibound with over 200 pages.

A Goliath in Management Consultancy

Advisory Group AG offers a wide range of strategic change advisory services from strategy design to successful implementation and transformation. Following the firm’s recognition in the 2022 AI Leading Advisor Awards as the ‘Leading Boutique Management Consultancy Firm of the Year’ for Switzerland, we spoke with Managing Partner Dr. Wladimir Kovacic to find out more.

Management consultancy is an immensely difficult landscape to navigate and secure enduring success. Yet, Advisory Group AG has certainly cultivated an impressive portfolio of work and reputation in the sphere through its dedication to strong solutions that, simply, achieve observable results. For Wladimir, Advisory Group AG is in the business of transformation, metamorphosis, growth, momentum – revitalising their clients through expert services.

Here, Wladimir speaks on the ethos of the firm and how it has strengthened its impressive image since its establishment. “We see ourselves as more than Advisors as we share transformational risks with our clients. Sharing risks relates to our core values to support our customers to create innovations, growth and improve quality and efficiencies. Our specialities are: Strategic change, business design and transformation, compliance and risk management, operational excellence and similar pursuits. These tie fundamentally into our core values such as a strong dedication to customer orientation, trust, and creating excitement to take positive action.”

This approach has certainly proven to be successful, as – since 2005 – Advisory Group AG primarily builds its client base through referrals, references and past engagement experiences. Wladimir is keen to emphasise the role of the firm’s staff in driving this reputation to greater heights. “Our staff is a key factor of our success. when we recruit new talent, we look to their achievements: did they finish and how they finished their jobs and project engagements. Furthermore, we look for people who wants to have the freedom to bring in their own opinion and have the freedom to solve problems in their way and being team players at the same time. We look for people who can integrate and enhance our current teams and capabilities. People who have personalities rather than just nice CVs.

“Our internal culture is built on strong trust. we trust each other and support each other where possible. furthermore, we allow our people to make mistakes and encourage them to take risks. this is the only way to grow and this is one of our real differentiators.”

As for the future, Wladimir is keen to grow the firm with scalability in mind – that is to say, growing in a way that doesn’t impact the quality of the services it produces. “We face the challenge that we have more client requests than Advisory Group teams to fulfil our growing demand. Nevertheless, we believe that our boutique character and setup is the baseline for our USPs and therefore we are defensive to grow. We want to grow in quality not in quantity. This is where we see our future.

“We also plan to hire new talent. People who want to make the difference, personalities with interesting (non-linear / not streamlined) carrier paths. Finally, we would like to increase awareness for new and innovative nearshoring opportunities at our nearshore centre in Tunis.”

For further information, please contact Dr. Wladimir Kovacic, Managing Partner via email at [email protected] or visit www.advisorygroup.ch

What Factors Affect Food Prices?

There are so many things that affect food prices and the overall food supply chain. One element of the supply chain can be disrupted, and it can cause effects everywhere else.

For example, we can look at what recently happened with rice prices. India is the world’s largest rice exporter. The country put restrictions on the ability of major rice companies to export and on grain shipments, but early this year, they’re likely to lift those restrictions. That would mark an easing on the wave of food protectionism that had taken hold around the world since Russia invaded Ukraine.

This shows how so many factors can converge to affect food prices. The Ukraine-Russia conflict led to countries deciding to stockpile supplies of foods like rice, leading to increased prices throughout the world.

Below, we delve into some of the particular factors that affect food prices, as in the above example.

Oil Prices

When there’s a 1% rise in the price of oil, it can increase food commodity prices by 0.2%. Energy has an enormous impact on the food sector in obvious and also less obvious ways.

When there are higher oil prices, that means higher fuel prices, so it costs more to get products to consumers, regardless of whether a food product is moved by train, boat, plane, or truck. Higher fuel prices affect transportation, and higher transportation costs, as a general rule, mean
higher food prices.

Farmers also use fuel to power their machinery, and fossil fuels are used to make fertiliser and farm-level inputs. Food processing is highly energy intensive, and the costs related to energy make up a lot of the
costs of food production. Increased energy prices can reduce farmer profits as well as profits of food processors and retailers, which leads to higher consumer food prices.

Ukraine War

As mentioned above, one of the major issues affecting global food prices right now is the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Being especially hard hit are developing and emerging economies that rely on this region of the world for grain and fuel imports.

Ukraine is the biggest producer of sunflower oil in the world. When you combine that with Russia’s production, these two countries are responsible for more than half of vegetable oil’s global exports.

The region also exports more than one-third of the world’s wheat.

Animal Diseases

The U.S poultry industry is in the midst of what’s being called an unprecedented health disaster for poultry. There is currently an ongoing highly contagious bird flu that’s so far led to the deaths of nearly 53 million animals.

Avian influenza that’s spreading had affected farm flocks and chicken yards across most of the country since February 2022, which is when the first cases were reported as occurring in commercial flocks.

It’s the worst impact on the poultry industry since 2015 when 50 million birds died.

Some birds have died because of the disease, but most are being killed through depopulation, which is done in an attempt to stop the virus from spreading. This means that millions of chickens and turkeys raised to provide eggs or meat have been killed.

Researchers say that birds that lay eggs seem to be more susceptible to the effects of the virus, whereas chickens raised for meat aren’t as impacted.

Most egg-laying operations are more than a million birds, so when just a few of these operations are affected, the price of eggs and products that use eggs can soar.

Weather

According to the UN, ongoing droughts and heatwaves are likely to continue to put pressure on food prices around the world in the coming years.

Rice from northern Italy, barley from the United Kingdom, and olive oil in Spain have all seen major decreases in yields in recent years because of environmental conditions.

In the U.S., this past summer, the drought conditions in Texas negatively impacted beef production. Texas is the biggest source of beef in the country.

When temperatures are higher, crop productivity declines not only because of dehydration but also slower photosynthesis and reductions in pollination. When the temperatures are high, and there are drought conditions, plants’ defence systems don’t work as well as they should, and they’re more susceptible to pest attacks and pathogens.

The UN estimates that by 2027, the combination of the effects of climate change, poverty, and conflict could lead food prices to go up by 8.5%, which is concerning when millions are already facing food insecurity.

Fertiliser Prices

Right now, specifically, fertiliser is becoming more expensive, with some going up in price by as much as 300% since 2020, according to the American Farm Bureau. When fertiliser is more expensive, it makes food more expensive since this is an important input.

Farmers who are paying these massive prices for fertiliser often have no choice but to pass them on to consumers, meaning higher prices at the grocery store.

If plants don’t get fertiliser, then they might not receive the needed nourishment to produce the needed yields required for global demand. Without fertiliser, only around half the global population could be fed.

Farmers say they’re trying to adjust to what could be a new normal for them. For example, more farmers say they’re starting to focus on soybeans because legumes don’t require as much fertiliser for growth as corn.

The spikes in prices of fertilizer started when Russia invaded Ukraine, and again, like wheat and other products, the world is highly dependent on this region for this material. The region is responsible for at least 28% of all exports of fertilizer.

Of course, these factors are only a few of the so many relevant elements that impact grocery prices, but they do give an overview of some of the reasons inflation is soaring right now.

Why Switch from QuickBooks To Sage 50?

For over 20 years Intuit QuickBooks has ruled the roost when it comes to enterprise resource planning compliant accounting software packages. But today Quickbooks has competition from Sage software – and both are battling it out for the top spot.

However, more and more people are turning to Sage 50 – but if you compare the two solutions is there a bona fide reason for switching from QuickBooks to Sage 50 – and just how easy is it to migrate from QuickBooks to Sage 50?

About QuickBooks and Sage 50

QuickBooks bases its enviable reputation on the ease of use of the software when it comes to users, even without advanced accounting training to access relevant financial records and reports, as well as crucial business data and much else. Quickbooks organizes the information so that it is easy to understand and manage. It also allows for the management of day-to-day functions such as payroll as well as sales, expenses, and purchases.

The costs associated with QuickBooks will depend to a large extent on the complexity and functionality of the specific package that the user selected. As a starting point costs will be around €15 per user (that’s the ‘Self-Employed’ package). Quickbooks has an enviable reputation among small and medium-sized business owners.

The Sage entry-level ‘lite’ offering costs €10 per user, per month, but, similar to Quickbooks Sage offers more advanced versions of the accounting software that can cost significantly more. For instance, the software suite developed for Enterprise use can cost in the region of €1,340 per annum.

It is worth noting that each software suite has functionality such as payroll management that will cost extra to unlock.

Sage has also been around for about two decades and today boasts about 6 million users worldwide. It has built an impressive reputation for ease of use and the fact that it offers something for almost every small and medium-sized business. The fact that it is so easy to customize makes it suitable for a variety of business environments and, like Quickbooks, Sage also offers financial reports, record keeping, and overall business management tools. If the business outgrows Sage 50, the company has a variety of other products in its portfolio that are even more customizable.

Cost Advantages

One of the areas where Sage 50 shines is in the costs associated with each user. While Quickbooks will charge for each user above a set limit – and will even require that each user pays for their own account (for certain packages). Those costs can quickly mount as the business expands. Sage, on the other hand, allows unlimited users, a feature that is attractive to most small and medium-sized businesses.

Those payroll service fees can eat into budgets. QuickBooks and sage will both expect users to pay extra for payroll services. Users of Quickbooks can save significant amounts of money by bundling their payroll services with bookkeeping functionality. Sage HRMS Payroll can be purchased as a stand-alone module or it can be bundled with your other sage accounting software – but you will need to reach out to Sage to get a quote for doing things this way.

Are Sage 50 and Quickbooks Basically the Same?

Both pieces of accounting software offer small to medium-sized businesses a tried and proven solution to meeting the accounting challenges of today’s fast-paced and competitive business environment. Both offerings offer value for money – and are intuitive to use, even for non-accountants. For those searching to migrate to Sage 50 from QuickBooks the best route is probably to start off with Sage 50Cloud (which used to be known as ‘Peachtree). The most cost-effective software in the Sage portfolio is ‘Sage 50 Cloud Pro Accounting’ which will go toe to toe with QuickBooks and will cost in the region of €500 per year.

Cloud Concerns

Sage, in common with QuickBooks is not inherently designed as a Cloud Based solution. But the software does allow for third-party hosts that can make the software Cloud friendly. The same applies to Quickbooks. Both Intuit and Sage boast extremely large ecosystems of third-party developers and solutions who have products such as expense management solutions, AP Automation, and payment automation.

So is Sage 50 Better?

It’s easy to migrate data over to Sage 50 from Quickbooks, but is it the right move for your business? When QuickBooks and Sage 50 face off it becomes obvious that each of these accounting packages has something to offer – but it depends on the size and type of business that will be using the software. Sage 50 is ideal for a small to medium-sized business that wants exceptional functionality, access by unlimited users, and ease of use – and also wants financial management tasks automated where possible.

QuickBooks also meets the needs of a small to medium-sized business but will be able to handle more complex Enterprise needs (for example mileage tracking or 1099 contractor management) and the organization does not have over 40 employees.

The conclusion is that business owners in search of a world-class accounting-orientated business management solution could see benefits from either solution. However, in order to realize those benefits the business owner must ensure that the functionality of the software meets the current and future needs of the business.

Winter Walks: Best Places to Visit Across the UK This Year

Winter can be a tough season for the temperature; during the coldest months, the UK reaches a low average between 2 and 7 degrees Celsius. This might make many of us reluctant to leave our homes for the most part, but we should take advantage of sporadic opportunities to enjoy healthy walks in the great outdoors.

Walks in the winter can be a special time, especially when made into a family bonding activity. Not only can our immune system activate itself when exposed to the cold (meaning an improved ability to fight off infections), but parks, beaches and forests often look truly breath-taking in the bright winter light. When your health, heart and sight can be satisfied, why wouldn’t you want to embark on a winter walk?

Here are some of the best places to visit across the UK.

#1 Heddon Valley, North Devon

Whether you’re seeking an appropriate area to take the kids for a short trail, or somewhere that would accommodate a longer, more experienced hike for you and your friends, North Devon’s Heddon Valley is a walker’s hot spot, and for very good reasons.

Drink in the fresh air as you explore soaring cliffs, riverside paths, and a pebbly beach. Choose between three available trails, from two to six miles long, and refuel your bodies with some delicious pub grub from the historic Hunters Inn.

#2 Beatrix Potter Walk, Sawrey, Lake District

The Lake District is one of the most magical places you’ll ever visit – especially during wintertime. Nestled in Cumbria, North West England, it’s known for its ribbon rivers, monumental mountains, and fantastic forests.

If you want to make the most of your wintertime outdoor adventure, visit Beatrix Potter Walk in Sawrey. Beatrix Potter, one of the world’s best-selling and most cherished children’s authors, was inspired by the enchanting landscapes of the Lake District. Choose here for your winter walk and enjoy the sights and sounds that motivated some of her best literature.

#3 Glencoe Lochan, Highland

If you’re based in Scotland, or fancy booking a trip there, we recommend Glencoe Lochan for a brisk winter walk to get the legs moving and the heart pumping. A truly beautiful sight, weaving in and out of trees bursting with life in the tall woods before taking a break to admire the breath-taking glacier lakes.

The area offers three different trails, so there’s something for everyone. If you’re looking to take the whole family – kids included – you should explore the Lochan Trail, which is described as ‘gentle’ with a wide, firm, and generally flat path. If you’re searching for something a bit more strenuous, you can pick between the scenic Woodland Trail and the charming Mountain Trail.

#4 Strangford Lough, County Down, Northern Ireland

You wouldn’t believe this fairy-tale spot is just a short distance from the lively, bustling Belfast. Book a weekend trip to the city and make time to visit this secluded island for a winter walk you’ll never, ever forget. As your boots crunch along the solid ground, tilt your head and embrace the sounds of the local wildlife as they greet you and your family.

To make this trip a success, make sure you pack all the necessities! Find an appropriate weekend bag for women and load up on warm clothing, snacks, and water to keep you and your family hydrated and fuelled during your walk. This place couldn’t be more Instagrammable, so it’s also a good idea to ensure your phone or camera is fully charged before you embark on your adventure.

#5 Three Cliffs Bay, Swansea

Beaches aren’t just for the summertime! Three Cliffs Bay in Swansea offers a picturesque walk that might make Wales your new favourite place in the UK. Mindfully stroll through the sandy beach and stop to take a moment to appreciate the iconic three limestone cliffs.

While Three Cliffs Bay is an incredibly photogenic location, be careful not to see too much of it through a screen and not with your own eyes; take a deep breath in and let your eyes wander across the panoramic views of something so very close to paradise.

#6 Blakeney Freshes, Blakeney, Norfolk

If you’re fond of birds and their beauty, visiting Blakeney Freshes in Norfolk should be at the top of your bucket list. This coastal walk delivers tranquillity as well as thriving wildlife, giving you and your family the very best of both worlds.

The full trail comes in at three miles long, which will last you roughly one hour and 45 minutes. If you have a family dog and you don’t want them to miss out on all the fun, bring him or her along too! This walk is paw-fect for everyone.

#7 Embleton Bay, Northumberland

Northumberland is an area in North East England that’s steeped in rich history, some of which you can encounter by arranging a walk at the iconic Embleton Bay. This entire adventure would take roughly three hours and 45 minutes to complete, so you should consider that when arranging who to bring along with you.

Enjoy panoramic views of the sea as you amble along the gentle coastal paths, and don’t forget to stop for a moment to appreciate the stunning views of the ruined 14th century Dunstanburgh Castle that backdrops part of the trail.

Dust off the hiking boots and winter gear

Walking is good for both our heart and soul, so don’t be put off by the cold temperatures this winter. If you wear suitable shoes, wrap up warm, and carry plenty of supplies (such as spare gloves and water), you should be absolutely fine.

In fact, you’ll be more than fine! You’ll have a stronger immune system, a healthier heart, and family memories that will last forever. We hope you have a wonderful time.

New Year 2023

Hello and welcome to the 2023 new year issue of LUXlife magazine!

We would like to wish all of our LUXlife readers a happy new year that’s brimming with prosperity. It is a time for new beginnings, for reflection and looking ahead, for learning from past challenges and exploring new opportunities for growth.

There’s no denying how 2022 was a highly successful year for the luxury industry, with it always showing its resilience by defying pandemics and economic headwinds and global recessions. It is an industry ready to face this fresh start head-on, and it is set for further growth this year as wealthy shoppers continue to travel and spend.

And they are spoilt for choice. From a dreamy vacation to Madagascar, to a mother-child yoga retreat, to a premier fine art and wine festival, to the world’s best seafood restaurant – these are just some of the luxury offerings we’ve got to tickle your fancy in this issue. Indeed, we are celebrating the high-end businesses that put their clients first and deliver true opulence, whether travelling, relaxing, dining, or shopping.

The team here at LUXlife magazine hope you enjoy reading this new year edition and we look forward to welcoming you back in the spring.

Holiday Lets: How is the UK Hospitality Sector Evolving?

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

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

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

Converting a second home for investment

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

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

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

The impact on hospitality

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

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

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

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

The impact on local economies

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

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

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

How will hospitality look in the future?

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

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

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

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

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

How to Grow Your Business in 2023

How to Grow Your Business in 2023

The business world is changing, and business owners need to change with it. What was once a straightforward process of selling goods or services has become a complex ecosystem that requires a solid strategy to help you understand and anticipate consumer trends. While it might not always be easy to accomplish, there are ways to grow your business in 2023 and beyond.

How Do You Want to Grow?

Growth looks different for every business. While smaller organizations may want to expand their customer base, larger, more established ones might want to focus on improving their ROI. The first step is asking yourself what your business is missing. One element that might come as a surprise is the education factor. Even the most knowledgeable leaders need to continue their education. In fact, there are plenty of reasons to consider returning to college and earning another degree.

As the economy continues to change, you need to understand the best ways to expand, and that may require learning the inner workings from a different angle. There are Going Merry scholarships for college students available as an excellent way to get the continued education you need without having to dip into your savings. You can apply for a scholarship and once approved, you can then further your education while still building your empire.

Identify Your Challenges

To grow in 2023, you also need to identify your challenges. These challenges also look different for everyone, so you need to know what yours are, not your competitors. Identify specific challenges and then create a list of viable ways to resolve them. Keep in mind that this list is just a way for you to put your thoughts on paper. Over time, the possible solutions may change, especially if your challenges change as well.

Identify Target Market

Not marketing to the right people is not only a waste of time, but also a huge waste of money. In addition to knowing what your challenges are, you also need to know who you want as a customer. You need to get to know them on a personal level, identify their needs and understand what makes them unique. If your company is already up and running, you should already have a pretty good idea of who these people are. If not, it’s time to reevaluate your strategy and start marketing to the right people.

Establish Your Core Values

Your core values are one of the most powerful tools you can harness. Once you clearly define them, you can use to shape your mission statement, marketing strategy, and even the way you interact with customers. Your core values also play a huge role in how you interact with your employees. Team members need to understand your values, so they can implement them into how they do their job. They also need to know how your values will impact how they shape the way your organization works. In turn, employees will like their part of something bigger, not just collecting a paycheck.

Create Company Culture

Company culture is one of the most important elements you need to focus on. You need to refresh employee mindset and create a company culture that makes employees want to work there. Far too often, people feel trapped in a job they don’t want. The right company culture boosts employee retention and creates a happier workplace overall.

How Entrepreneurs Become Leaders

There are millions of entrepreneurs, but only a tiny percentage of them ever become true leaders within their respective fields. What qualities and practices make it possible for owners of small businesses to develop leadership potential? While there’s no set formula for achieving such a high-level goal, anyone who starts a company can make a solid effort to maximize their chances of reaching the heights of their chosen industry.

It’s no coincidence that most of the visible, successful owners and entrepreneurs in every industry are heavily involved in community service projects, not just as participants but as motivators who spearhead efforts of various kinds. They also cosign for student loans when promising employees need help paying for college. Other effective approaches to building leadership skills include joining speakers’ bureaus and professional organizations. Consider using one or more of the following tactics if you want to become a leader within your segment of the business community.

Champion Community Service Projects

Pick one or two community service programs in your local area and get behind them 100%. It helps to select causes you believe in and are willing to devote time to. It’s not about giving loads of cash to charities. Instead, become personally involved as a board member, volunteer leader, or fundraiser. The goal is to get your company’s name and brand in the public eye, support a worthy charitable organisation, and acquire a few valuable skills along the way. Down the road this is also a great way to invest in employee development because you can bring your team in with you when you work to support the causes of your choice.

Co-sign for Student Loans

Co-signing for a student loan can change someone’s life. Without a co-signer, some applicants don’t stand a chance of being approved or getting a competitive interest rate. Be selective with your choices in this regard. It’s wise to limit the field of potential candidates to your top employees who need the financial boost to get funding for higher education. Your signature gives them a chance to attend college on a part-time or full-time basis, in person or remotely, while continuing to work for your business on a scaled-back basis. It’s a fact that owners who co-sign for their employees’ education loans tend to have the most loyal workforces.

Sign Up with a Speakers’ Bureau

Write at least two presentations and sign up with a local speakers’ service. Expect to do at least one audition for the bureau before they send you out on assignments, some of which are paid. Your goal here is to establish your business as a leader in the industry and build your personal brand as an expert.

Take Continuing Education Courses

It’s imperative to stay ahead of the information curve within your chosen field. If your company offers tax preparation services, take timely courses and seminars that cover the latest laws, auditing procedures, and filing guidelines. Seek out the best continuing education courses available. If there are none in your local area, travel to the closest cities to acquire fresh, relevant knowledge that will set you apart from most of your competitors. If you have an idea for a course, take the time to develop a pertinent syllabus and offer it, for a fee, to prospective attendees who can benefit from your unique knowledge and experience.

Why You Need A Good Solicitor For Your Business

A solicitor is a legal practitioner that can create wills, handle various legal matters, handle conveyancing, represent clients in court, etc. Solicitors are essentially a type of lawyer. Now, once you have a business, then you need to have a good solicitor. This is essential so that you can avoid breaking the law, protect against legal issues and penalties, ensure your business runs smoothly, etc. So, we will now take a much deeper look into why you need a good solicitor.

1. Protect your business from lawsuits

When you have a solicitor, they can help prevent lawsuits from happening. You should avoid waiting to get into legal trouble before hiring a solicitor, since it may be too late. Now, having a solicitor will help lower the charges but this doesn’t mean that they will be able to prevent you from facing all legal consequences. It is best to take a proactive legal approach with your business to prevent as many legal issues from ever happening.

2. Reduces damages from lawsuits

If you’ve already been served a lawsuit, then a good solicitor can help to reduce the number of damages that you’ll face due to it. With that said, for your solicitor to do the best job possible, you need to be completely honest with them. This is necessary so that they can take the correct legal action to get the best possible result for you and your business.

3. Compliance with EU and National laws

There are many differences between EU and national laws and these need to be paid attention to when running a business. For example, if you intend on doing business across various EU countries, then there are different laws that you need to adhere to. There are many different national and EU laws and they can be quite confusing if you’re not a qualified legal practitioner. So, it is highly recommended that you have a solicitor to help ensure that your business is fully compliant with all laws.

4. Compliance with environmental regulations

It is no secret that the environment is becoming more protected and as a result, there are now many environmental laws and regulations that impact all businesses. If your business does not comply with these regulations, then you will have to face many stiff penalties and lawsuits. So, having a solicitor is essential to protect your business against these types of violations.

5. Drafting contracts

While operating a business, you will need to draft multiple contracts. For example, you may need to draft contracts with your suppliers, employees, clients, etc. However, when you draft contracts, you must have a solicitor to oversee and approve these contracts before they are signed. You may be tempted to do the contract on your own but this will likely cause many problems since you would not know all the loopholes that need to be avoided. Hiring a good solicitor to help draft your contracts or at least look over them before they are signed is essential to prevent legal problems in the future.

6. Problems with employees

Unfortunately, once you have a business with employees, you will eventually have to deal with various workplace problems. However, once you have a qualified solicitor, then they can prevent many of these issues from occurring or quickly deal with and resolve these problems. A solicitor would be responsible for drafting agreements with contractors and employees, handling compensation, handling the hiring and firing process, etc. A solicitor will go a long way in protecting your business and reducing the risk of lawsuits from employees.

7. Restructuring your business

When it comes to restructuring your business, there are numerous things you’ll need to deal with such as tax issues, particular expenses, liabilities, employees, and more. It is extremely difficult to deal with these things on your own without proper legal knowledge. Unfortunately, this can cause many legal problems over time. So, once you intend on restructuring your business, you need to have a professional solicitor to assist.

8. Applications for patents

As a business, you will likely create new products and services. These will need to be protected with patents. Unfortunately, getting a patent is a complicated and time-consuming process. It is also very difficult to get one approved if you don’t have professional legal assistance.

9. Business incorporation

Incorporating a business is quite complicated and a solicitor can help you to handle this process. Most people don’t understand all the details of business incorporation but a good solicitor will know what needs to be done.

10. Claims

If someone files a claim against your company, you will also likely not know what to do. If this happens, a solicitor will be able to help. They will know exactly what to do, explain the claim to you, and get it resolved quickly and efficiently.

Conclusion

We have just looked at the ten top reasons why you need a good solicitor for your business. So, if you’re on the fence about hiring a solicitor, then you should now be able to understand why you need one.

4 Step Guide To Solving Corporate Parking Issues

As many as 76% of Americans use their personal vehicle to commute between home and work.

However, it becomes challenging when they have to hunt for parking or park far away from their offices. It’s even worse when their offices don’t have any kind of parking plan in place, which can lead to illegal parking and fines.

If you are a business owner looking for ways to improve your business, you should start by improving your parking arrangements. The availability of ample parking spaces and easy access to them will make a huge difference in your employees’ and customers’ perceptions of your business.

Here’s a four-step guide to help you resolve your corporate parking issues.

1. Introduce incentives for those who carpool or take public transport

If you’re looking to encourage people to change their habits, incentives can be a great way of doing it. Consider introducing incentives for employees who opt for carpooling or public transit If you have some budget to allocate.

Moreover, these modes of transport have their benefits:

It helps lower stress levels as a result of fewer hours spent in traffic jams (or waiting at bus stops)It gets more time with family/friends otherwise spent driving It reduces the amount of traffic on the road and saves everyone time during their commute

2. Create a parking hierarchy system to solve parking lot problems

When you think of parking lot problems and solutions, what pops into your mind? Upon careful observation, you’d be surprised to see many issues stem from bad hierarchy and mismanagement.

A parking hierarchy system is a way of prioritising parking spaces so that people who need to be at work the most are able to park closer to their office. This method can also help reduce traffic in your lot and make it easier for employees to find a parking place.

Create different categories of employee parking spaces based on the level of importance they hold for your organisation:

Reserved: These spots are only for those who need them most—typically executives or managers. You should have designated reserved spots for each level or rank within your company’s hierarchy so that everyone else knows how far away they should park from the building if they don’t have access to one.

Assigned / Unassigned: These are spots that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Whenever a spot gets emptied, you can create a system to mark it as unassigned, which makes it easier to reassign it as and when someone requests. A parking management software is an excellent investment to automate assigning these categories and hierarchies to parking spaces, helping employees save time.

3. Provide a company shuttle

A company shuttle is a sure-shot option to help both in-office and remote employees with their commutes. A company shuttle service provides a bus or coach with a driver who will pick up employees at their homes and bring them to work each morning.

This can be an excellent solution if you don’t have enough parking spaces or don’t want to invest in constructing additional parking facilities.

4. Audit and identify current parking usage

It’s important to know how many employees are using the parking facilities at any given time and how long they are staying there (i.e., if they’re just passing through or spending significant amounts of time on site).

You want to make sure that there is enough space available for everyone who needs it. This may involve adding more parking spaces or shifting their location slightly to be within walking distance.

Manage your office parking like a pro

Parking is a difficult issue for any business to manage, but it’s even more complex in an office setting. Employees need to know where they can park, and visitors should be able to find parking easily when they come to visit your business.

Find a solution that works best for your company and implement it. By doing so, you will save money and benefit the environment while reducing congestion in your area.

Best Yacht Charter Experts of the 2022

The results are in, and PlainSailing.com have been confirmed as the Best Yacht Charter Brokers – Europe at the influential LUXlife Nautical Tourism Awards.

The travel industry were badly hit by COVID, but PlainSailing.com have bounced back, and impressed the judges with the absolute commitment to customer service, and their dedication to bookings – which is backed up by the fact that they have a 5/5 customer service rating on Feefo.com, the independent travel review specialists.

Sailing holidays are currently trending and many people from different parts of the world are flocking to several holiday destinations to enjoy the quality time that can perfectly match their requirements – with the privacy and small groups affording maximum safety and protection in the post-COVID world.

The excitement gets overloaded when the entire family is on a single yacht in the middle of the sea or ocean and enjoying the beautiful scenery of the blue water under the glittering sun.  The popularity of sailing holidays has increased and this is now the most impactful way to enjoy the holiday that can rightly meet the needs of the family members.

Popular Sailing Vacation Destinations

Whilst you can charter a yacht or catamaran in many locations, there are some countries that are better than others for easy sailing holidays. Several destinations are considered hotspots for family sailing vacations. These include the Greek Islands, Caribbean Islands, and the coast of Croatia along with other European countries. Imagine spending some quality time with your family members on your favourite boat, setting up anchor on a beachfront location whilst avoiding the crowd and get the best of mother nature.

Choose the Right Package

There are several packages that make the sailing vacation as simple and easy as possible, and truly relaxing.  If you don’t have the sailing qualifications yourself, you can hire a skipper to take you where you want to go.  He’ll know all the hidden gems in the area that only the locals know about, and give you an incredible holiday experience.

For extra luxury then you can add a hostess – she’ll clean and turn down the beds each night, and make light breakfasts and lunches.  And if you’re feeling particularly decadent then you can also hire a Chef – he’ll cook gourmet food for you on-board, and ensure that you have a brilliant culinary experience, even if you’re moored up in a secluded bay, on a private island miles from civilisation.

Family vacations mainly start from three days to seven days and these days will remain the most incredible day of your life because the experience you are going to gain is completely unmatchable and unique.

Other Water Activities

When sailing together, customers like to engage in other water sports activities, which makes sense given that you can stop sailing at remote islands, or wherever the conditions are optimal for your chosen activity.  You could go beachcombing or perhaps (if you’re feeling a little more adventurous) snorkelling
and scuba diving. Grab a wake board, hire a jet ski, or even a huge inflatable slide that all the family will enjoy bouncing and jumping into the sea from.

PlainSailing.com can help you arrange all of this, and deserve all the acclaim and attention that comes with the award.

How to Lower Your Car Insurance Payments Fast

Everyone would like to lower the cost of their car insurance payments. However, not everybody actually looks at active ways to reduce the cost of their auto insurance.

If that’s you, it’s time to change your ways. So, check out the following helpful advice on how to quickly lower the cost of your car insurance.

Carefully Consider the Car You Drive

If you haven’t yet bought the car that you will be insuring, you should bear the cost of insurance in mind before deciding on the model you want to get as some vehicles are more expensive to insure than others.

For instance, sports cars will cost more to insure than sedans.

If the cost of insurance is one of your top priorities and you want to make savings quickly, you should consider changing the car you drive.

Park Your Car in a Safe Place

It might not be possible for you to keep your car in a safer place, but if it is possible, you could potentially make substantial savings on your car insurance. Vehicles that are kept off the road, such as in garages, cost less to insure because they won’t be as likely to be stolen by thieves or damaged by vandals.

So, if you have off-road parking available and aren’t making the most of it, change your ways. You can then lower your car insurance payments fast and ensure your car is kept safe.

Compare Quotes and Choose the Cheapest One

Often, the best way to lower the cost of your car insurance quickly is to shop around for your insurance. By comparing multiple insurance companies and getting quotes from different ones, you should be able to find cheaper auto insurance.

Furthermore, you don’t have to spend countless hours searching for the best deals. Instead, you can use a quick and easy-to-use online comparison site.

So, before you simply get your insurance from Progressive because the insurance company is one of the leading insurers around, for instance, make sure you compare other insurance company quotes.

Make Your Car Insurance Payments on an Annual Basis

While some costs can be cheaper to pay each month, you’ll typically pay more for your car insurance if you make payments on a monthly basis rather than paying for your insurance annually.

Paying one lump sum is often the cheaper option, so make sure you ask your insurer how much you could save by switching to an annual payment.

Get Black Box Insurance

Another option you’ll want to carefully consider in order to lower your car insurance payments is installing a telematics device in your car. With a black box policy, your insurance company will install a GPS-enabled device in your car or require you to download a smartphone app to monitor how safely you drive.

It can show insurance companies how fast you drive, how sharply you brake, what times of day or night you drive, and more. As long as you always drive safely, by installing a telematics device or using a telematics app, you can potentially significantly lower your insurance premium. So, ask your insurer about options for black box insurance.

Drive Less

If you drive your car a lot, this option won’t be useful. But if you only use your car now and then, you could get cheaper insurance.

The reason is drivers who drive fewer miles are less likely to be involved in road accidents. Therefore, they pose less of a risk.

Make sure you don’t lie about how many miles you drive to get cheaper insurance. If you do, your insurer might not pay out when you need to make a claim.

Depending on your personal circumstances, you could even consider driving less by switching to public transport or ride shares so that you drive fewer miles and can qualify for lower insurance costs.

Improve Your Credit Score

Many people don’t realise that their credit scores can make a difference in the cost of their car insurance. Whatever the reason, insurance companies tend to think people with poor credit scores are more at risk behind the wheels of their cars.

So, if you’re able to improve your credit score quickly, you could get cheaper auto insurance. Just make sure you then keep your credit score high.

What is Phishing and How to Guard Against it

Maybe you’ve heard or read the term “phishing” before and have wondered what, exactly, it was referring to. In the below article, we are going to discuss phishing, some of the most common ways cybercriminals attempt to use phishing tactics and how to guard against them.

What is phishing?

Phishing is a type of online fraud in which criminals impersonate a legitimate business to obtain sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. It is typically done through email or text messages that contain links to malicious websites or attachments containing malware, but it can also be done through social media and other online channels.

Phishing attacks usually target a wide range of victims and are often very sophisticated, making them difficult to detect. The best defence against phishing, whether you’re an individual or a business, is to remain vigilant and educate yourself about the different types of phishing attacks.

Below are some of the most common ways cybercriminals try to “phish” for sensitive information and gain unauthorised access.

Vishing

Vishing is a form of phishing that uses voice messages sent over the phone, with the goal of obtaining sensitive information. It typically involves a caller pretending to be from a legitimate business or government agency and asking the victim to provide personal information such as passwords or banking details.

To guard yourself against vishing attacks, never give out personal information over the phone and always verify who is calling by asking for contact details.

If you are in doubt, hang up immediately and call the company or agency at a number you know to be legitimate. To play it even safer, there are helpful phone number ID tools that let you see where the number is coming from before you decide to pick up or call back.

Email Phishing

Email phishing is where criminals send emails that appear to be from legitimate sources, such as banks or other financial institutions. The goal is to get users to click on malicious links or open attachments that contain malware or keyloggers.

Often, these emails will include a sense of urgency to increase the likelihood that users will respond. Examples of email phishing messages may include requests for personal information, passwords or security questions and answers.

To guard yourself against email phishing, it’s important to be aware of the tell-tale signs. These include messages that contain spelling and grammar mistakes, have generic salutations (such as “Dear Customer”), or ask for personal information.

It’s also important to never open attachments from suspicious emails and never click on any links contained in them.

Social Media Phishing

Social media phishing is when criminals pose as legitimate companies or individuals on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. They use these platforms to gain access to personal information and passwords and they are increasingly common.

To protect yourself from social media phishing attacks, be sure to only accept friend requests from people you know, never give out personal information in response to messages or posts and be aware of any suspicious activity on your account.

Spear Phishing

Spear phishing is a more targeted form of phishing attack, in which criminals target specific individuals or organisations. The criminals create a message that appears to come from someone the victim knows or trusts, such as a colleague or acquaintance. The goal is to get the victim to click on a malicious link or open an attachment that contains malware.

Be aware of spear phishing by never clicking on links or opening attachments from unknown sources, and always double-check the email address of the sender before taking any action.

Conclusion

Overall, phishing attacks have become increasingly sophisticated, making it difficult to recognize them. The best defense against phishing is to remain vigilant, educate yourself about the different types of attacks and take precautions to protect yourself. Be aware of the tell-tale signs and never give out personal information or click on suspicious links or attachments. Taking these steps can help you minimise your risk of falling victim to a phishing attack.

How Can Insurance Protect Businesses During Daily Operations?

What type of business do you run? Is it small or large? Are you self-employed? Whatever your business looks like, it’s worth thinking about the type of cover you’ll need in order to protect you, your employees and your company from any unexpected costs that may arise.

That’s why it’s incredibly important to take out the insurance you need in order to be legally compliant. It’s also worth considering cover that’s tailored to the sector or niche you work in. This article will explain how you can protect your business as it operates on a daily basis.

Why is insurance important for your business?

Running a business can be extremely rewarding, but there’s always the possibility that you’ll face some risks along the way. Ensuring you have the relevant business insurance policy in place could help to protect both you and your business operations against these risks and potentially damaging incidents. 

For instance, you may face the issue of stock damage, interruption with your suppliers or various legal fees that have been charged by a customer making a claim.

If you do experience a surprising setback, at least you’ll receive a little peace of mind knowing that you’ve implemented the appropriate cover and protection to help keep your business safe.

In addition, if you regularly work with clients and you have suitable business insurance in place, this can help make you seem more credible and appear to be a trustworthy and reliable business to work with.

Overall, business insurance will give you and your employees the confidence in knowing that everyone is protected should any unforeseen circumstances occur.

Am I required by law to take out insurance?

If you’re an employer, you are certainly required by law to take out the appropriate insurance. You must have employers’ liability insurance to cover any costs for your employees should they become injured while at work on your premises.

Plus, if you use vehicles to support the nature of your business, you’ll need to take out commercial motor insurance. If you have employees that drive company vehicles to transport, carry or deliver goods, you’ll need to ensure they are covered.

What other types of insurance can be useful?

To protect your office building or warehouse, commercial property insurance could be useful to cover any fees required to take care of any damage, repair, or regular maintenance.

You may also need to take out additional insurance to cover any compensation claims made by your clients or customers if they believe they are owed money from you as a result of negligence, for instance.

Protecting your IT equipment and software will also be incredibly useful. Whether you’ll need to cover repair or damage costs, or if someone unlawfully gains access to your business’ records – you’ll feel more prepared having the fees to cover anything unexpected happening.

Take the time to work out what policies could apply to you and your business. Weigh up the risks and decide on the cover that fits the bill.