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Imagine a typical office. Is it boring and stuffy? Is it filled with grey cubicles, with harsh lighting thanks to the ceiling strips overhead? You may think that this is how all offices look, but thankfully that isn’t the case. In fact, some offices are even cool! Around the world, companies are breaking free from the mould to create workspaces that are inspiring, comfortable, and above all, fun.
Here are some of the best offices around the world:
Autodesk is a software company, renowned for their work with 3D design. In fact, the designers actually used Autodesk technology to develop their designs of the office space. They wanted the office to reflect the minimalist yet futuristic nature of 3D printing, which is why you’ll find a simple colour scheme and plenty of geometric shapes throughout the building. Different teams and parts of the office are connected to one another via the community tunnels, the walls of which double as whiteboards. Meanwhile, the adorably named ‘Cozy Corridor’ is instead a place filled with quiet nooks, for those in search of a tranquil spot to get in the zone. The office is made all the more special by the company’s quest to keep things environmentally friendly, with chairs made from 100% recycled materials and many other pieces of furniture sourced from local suppliers.
Each Airbnb office around the world has its own unique vibe, and nowhere is this more true than at the company’s international headquarters in Dublin. Airbnb is a global platform that allows individuals to rent out spare rooms or even entire homes to travellers. The décor of their HQ pays homage to the company’s purpose, with each meeting room offering a completely different style. Local staff provided the finishing touches to the décor, putting a personal stamp on their work environment. In terms of desks, the design follows a ‘neighbourhood’ concept, with 29 separate (and yet connected) work areas designed to give employees a bit of privacy. Alternatively, teams can gather in the central space and work collaboratively. The ample choice of seating means staff can socialize and engage with members of different teams.
For those of you who have been living under a rock, Pixar is a film studio that specializes in computer animation. The team at Pixar are responsible for creative classics like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and Monsters Inc. With so much creativity involved in their day-to-day work, the top dogs at the company decided that the office should be a place of inspiration. In reality, it’s much more than that! The Pixar office in California is made up of a lap pool, beautiful gardens and open plan steel frame buildings that look more like aircraft hangers than office spaces. When do I start?
WeWork offices are co-working spaces, designed for companies and individuals to come together and be inspired by their surroundings. The company has work spaces in the UK, US and China. Shanghai’s office sits within what was previously a series of laneway houses. The building’s past is honoured in design features throughout. Visitors will also be impressed by the play of light and shadows, and the way such an open space can somehow feel enclosed and private. In honour of the local community, motifs from the streets of Shanghai are displayed within, while the wallpaper in each meeting room gives a nod to traditional Chinese games that are popular in the area.
The company was previously spread across Philadelphia in six different buildings, but can now be found on one giant campus in the city, which was once a navy shipyard. If you’ve visited an Urban Outfitters store then the office interior will seem familiar. It boasts the same mixture of the old and the new, meeting in a pared back, open and airy design. However, that doesn’t mean it feels empty. Instead, bursts of colour give the place a homely feel, and can be found everywhere from the giant sofas and the office chairs, to the spacious canteen. Since moving to the new premises, Urban Outfitters have reported an increase in staff morale and a decrease in the amount of sick leave being taken. It’s also lowered the staff turnover by 11%. Evidently, it’s a place that employees are happy to
As an architecture firm, Selgas Cano decided that their office should be an example of their expertise. And their office in Madrid, Spain, surely delivers. It’s sleek and futuristic, and in direct contrast with the surrounding nature. The north-facing wall comprises a 20mm thick curved acrylic window, while the opaque south-facing wall is made of layers of fiber-glass and polyester, offering employees shade, and a touch of privacy from the outside world. At one end of the building, a hinged mechanism allows for the wall to be lifted, giving the office a natural ventilation system. Due to its size, the office has limited space for employees, but that doesn’t’ mean it’s cramped. Instead, employees enjoy giant desks, and control of their own lighting.
Bright colours and open spaces are in great abundance at the Cisco-Meraki office in San Francisco. The company is a world leader in cloud-controlled Wi-Fi, routing and security. When the company moves offices in 2013, they began by asking employees what they enjoyed about their current workspace, and any requests they had for the future office. Taking on-board their feedback, Cisco-Meraki moved into a spacious, hangar-sized complex, with meeting rooms ranging from formal and fancy to relaxed and homely. Yurts, cabanas and phone rooms found within the building offer employees a moment respite from the lively atmosphere, while giant chalkboards and corkboards promote collaboration. To get from space to space, staff are welcome to walk, or hop onto one of the company unicycles and pedal. Colour plays an important role in the Cisco-Meraki office, working as a space separator, as there are few walls.
If you are looking to increase the productivity and success of your business, there are important pieces of software and tools you need to invest in that will help you do this. While some software and tools out there will help you save time, others will help you to streamline and focus your business efforts more precisely therefore helping you to make money. Furthermore, there are even some that will increase your company’s leads and sales.
As there are a wide variety of different types of software and other helpful tools out there, it can be more than a little overwhelming for you, if you are trying to work out which are right for your business. This is why we are here to help and are going to do this by putting together a list of the 5 most important pieces of software and tools that could help your business during this new year.
Accountancy Software And Tools
Never underestimate the difference investing in a high quality accountancy tool or software can have on your business. As well as helping you to save money that can then be invested elsewhere in the business, it can stop you from using too much of your precious time on something that can be dealt with, in many situations, automatically. This also saves you from lots of headaches and stress.
Many business owners consider their accountancy software to be top of the list of tools they couldn’t run their business without.
All good accountancy software should:
- Display an overview of the finances of your business
- Easily keep a recorded record of payments, quotes and invoices
- Efficiently and quickly calculate your company’s taxes
- Offer invoice generation tools
- Reports on the company’s finances, such as cash flow, profits and losses etc.
All-In-One Style Business Dashboards
With all-in-one style business dashboards you have access to a comprehensive overview of the business. This includes such aspects as project management, finances and tracking marketing campaigns to name but a few. They are designed to enable you to enable you to keep an eye on the many different departments of your business.
If you invest in a good quality business dashboard, you will be able to monitor your entire business and will always know what marketing campaigns and other projects you have running and how the company’s finances are looking. Whenever you want. You will also be able to quickly access any important information about your business or the people that work for you, so that you are always able to make more informed decisions, faster.
To put it more succinctly – this kind of software is a great tool for managing your business, so you know exactly what is going on with each individual part of it
Customer Relationship Management or CRM software
In the past customer relationship management tools were generally only used by the sales department of a business. However, there is now a increased need for this type of software to be available for various departments, not just sales. As customers expect modern businesses to offer seamless and improved interactions, it means the CRM tool you invest in should be able to track and record all interactions with customers, whether it is via the phone or email, on the website, Twitter or even the Facebook messenger.
Most businesses should invest in some kind of web monitoring tools, and although they can be utilised in a variety of ways. Though, they are most commonly good for helping you:
- Keeping track and updated when your business is mentioned at all online – this is perfect for presenting opportunities to you and managing customer service for your business
- Discover potential leads and opportunities for sales – you can use them to monitor your niche keywords and look out for leads looking for services and products that are similar to the ones you offer
- Enhance your marketing campaigns lead by an influencer by finding a social influencer
- Obtain better understanding and knowledge about the industry you are working in and therefore, understand your audience better
Digital Marketing Tools
This is quite a big category – digital market and everything that is included under that umbrella term, from search engine optimisation and content marketing to social media marketing and management. There is a wide variety of different tools designed to be used to improve your digital marketing strategies. By investing in one or two or even a few of these, depending on your needs, you should be able to improve traffic, raise awareness of your brand and products/services, engagement with customers and ultimately generate a greater amount of leads and sales.
Human Resources Software
In a time when there are easy to use and manage human resource software platforms available such as www.hrflow.org, it does seem kind of odd that so many business owners still insist on doing things the old fashioned way. The thing is though, while it may be okay for the running of the human resources of your small company to consist of a few spreadsheets and a pile of invoices and paperwork – as you expand and try to increase your productivity, workforce and generate more sales, this is not going to cut it.
The other alternative is to have a draconian system that is only usable by select HR professionals (if you have any in your company). Modern HR software, fortunately, is often designed to be used by everyone from management through to supervisors and ground level employees.
Essentially, if you want to run a tighter ship, in terms of organising shifts, holidays, absences and performance reviews. It can be used to help your business at every step of the way, from the beginning of an employee’s journey with your company through to the time they leave.
Although this is not an incredibly exhaustive list, we hope it serves as a good starting point if you are trying to find ways to improve your business and its growth.
It’s easy to think that you know best when it comes to growing your business – but the fact is, businesses follow quite well-defined growth paths – and there are experienced people out there who know those paths better than the rest of us…
If you want to take the risk of guesswork out of your growth plans, read the following 6 tips – they’ve come straight from the mouths of some of the most knowledgeable and successful entrepreneurs of our current time – and they’re tips, rules and behaviours that are guaranteed to see you grow…
You might also want to check out this awesome post for some great pointers on starting your own business!
#1 – Richard Branson – “If you strive for perfect, the only thing you’ll achieve is failure”
Richard Branson’s business and leisure exploits are so wide and varied that he’s got more experience than most other rooms full of entrepreneurs – but that’s not because he’s a perfectionist.
In fact, he tells people to move away from trying to get things exactly right if they want their plans to succeed.
Act now, publish today, launch soon, do it this afternoon.
You might think this is reckless – but in fact, it’s the principle of dealing with reality instead of ideal world thinking. For every day that passes where your product or service is still in development, there’s another day that a rival company have under their belt.
Conversely, put your product out to pasture now and you’ll start getting feedback and performance indication by tomorrow – data that’s vital when it comes to assessing you next steps – whether that’s development, product abandonment, upping production – or anything else. Without data that relates to performance you can’t hope to grow – and without action, you can’t get that data.
#2 – Gary Veynerchuk – “Work hard, keep working hard – then when you’re done, work harder again”
Veynerchuk is one of social media’s most recognised entrepreneurs – and he’s there because his work ethic is off the scale.
Most people think you’ve got to have exceptional talent to grow a business – but the truth is actually different. People have great ideas, but are inherently lazy – if we weren’t, we’d all be multi-millionaires. The thing that separates the super-successful from the masses is a LOT of work.
If your business is going to grow, you need to work hard. Get up an hour earlier and you’ve suddenly bought yourself an extra 360 hours growing your business each year – that’s a staggering 10 extra work weeks a year (or 5 if you work as long and hard as Veynerchuk!)
Don’t procrastinate, work to a tight schedule, set yourself big targets and work until they’re achieved. Success isn’t easy.
#3 – Tim Ferris – “Subtract before you begin adding”
Ferris, the author of the highly successful 4-Hour Workweek explains that we need to break free of our ‘more is better’ mindset – and the rule applies in a host of ways for businesses.
Unless you’ve got efficiency perfectly dialled in, you’re wasting your time bringing more people onboard or rolling out more services or products.
So, you might think you’re winning because you need to take another sales person on – but what if you could squeeze your current sales person’s conversion rates so you get double the productivity out of just one person? Better situation, reduced spend – and an astronomical step up when you do take person number 2 on.
Conduct through and strict assessments of every process and look for ways to improve all the time.
#4 – Tony Robbins – “If you fall in love with your product, you’re screwed”
Robbins success is built on making other people successful – so you better believe he’s got some tips on growth that are worth their weight in gold.
His quote about avoiding falling in love with your product is essentially one about objectivity – and the people who are the most objective bunch in the world – your customers.
He suggests you fall in love with your customers and listen intently to what they want. If you become blinkered and nurture the idea that your product is fantastic (even if you’re being told otherwise) – then you’ve lost a crucial part of your business sense.
Remember who’s going to be buying your product – then learn about those people and what they want.
#5 – Warren Buffett – “Surround yourself with good people”
On the surface, Buffett’s idea sounds like the basis for a good party rather than a good business – but actually, the type of people he’s referring to might not be the people you’d end up inviting to a party at all…
By ‘good people’ – he means people who are going to hold you to account and assess your performance. You might be the boss, the company director or the leader of your team, but that doesn’t mean you’re right.
If you can encourage a working climate in which no one is afraid to speak out – no matter how harsh what they say might seem, you’re in a great place for growth.
This idea really stems from the idea that; A. We’re not very objective with our own thoughts, and; B. We have a tendency to think we’re right. If you combine those with a sense that you can’t be challenged, your team might have no option but to let you fly the plane into the mountains when it comes to growth – but they’ll be patting you on the back and agreeing with you all the way.
Do you want nice people? Or do you want effective people? Pick and nurture accordingly.
#6 – Richard Branson – “Keep a notebook, don’t ever lose an idea”
As one of the wealthiest people in the world it’s forgivable that Branson features twice on this list! Branson has commented a number of times that if he had his time again, he would go through all his notebooks and start up all the ideas that he didn’t do first time around.
So, if it’s good enough for Sir Richard Branson, it’s good enough for us mere mortals.
Keep a note book – or many – and in them, record every idea, contact, opportunity or anything else that presents itself on a day to day basis. You brain will not store everything – but a pen and paper does.
Don’t just save the good ideas either – save everything. About to launch a product? Journal about how it goes. Information is power – and when it comes to launching your next product you’ve got a full run down of what happened last time, meaning you can avoid the situation occurring again.
Risk Assessment and Business Impact Analysis
To fully protect a company from disasters, threats, security risks and be fully ISO-compliant it is good practice for them to have both a Business Impact Analysis and Risk Assessment which is vital to any BCM and Disaster Recovery Plan.
Understanding the differences between Business Impact Analysis and Risk Assessment
Although the two practices complement each other and the foundations to any good Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan and have some common grounding and overlap they are different processes each contributing necessary information towards an efficient Business Resilience Plan.
Is a valuable process by which potential threats are identified and various actions are put in place to either prevent or to minimize the risk thereof by an acceptable degree of loss, downtime or failure.
By systematically managing these potential risks with various resources such a patching of Windows systems, upgrading of alarms, installing better VCR security systems, etc.
Risk Assessment focuses on all potential risks and what their chances of occurring are and it focuses on the potential impact of events.
Risk Assessment also takes the potential risks and breaks it into whatever components may make up the risk, failure, error or causality.
Business Impact Analysis
Uses RTO’s (Recovery Time Objectives) to calculate and assess how a business would fair during downtime. By assuming worse case scenarios and what the organization would stand to lose under certain conditions.
The Business Impact Analysis or BIA is more concerned with the impact on the stakeholders due to limited or no normal services and what the recovery time would be as to the acceptable tolerance level of such an event.
BIA makes use of various granular statistics and company data such as markets, account impacts etc.
By considering the entire companies operation and what it stands to lose during any disaster, event or crisis that would bring these operations or parts thereof to a stop.
Insight into BIA and Risk Assessment
Risk Assessment is usually done after the BIA has been done to priorities and measure the risks identified by the BIA.
The BIA, on the other hand, does not rely on the information from a Risk Assessment for any analytics to be processed.
With the different ISO standards that govern the BIA process and industries adopting these standards as stricter and tighter audit requirements and controls are put into place. BIA and Risk Assessment practitioner can become quite confused with the different regulatory requirements for each.
With that in mind, there are many Business Continuity Software templates that can aid in the process.
Raw numeric data is the backbone of any industry as companies rely heavily on it to make sales volume predictions and to generate consumer insights. Colossal sets of it such as big data play a strategic role in the realm of online gaming. Microgaming was the first such wonder of the virtual gaming kind and was launched in 1994.
Fast forward 23 years later and mobile gaming by itself produced a revenue stream of $40.6 billion in 2017. The rate of innovation and invention is no longer what it was at the beginning of the twentieth century. As are modern technological norms, the gaming industry is expected to experience a growth explosion in the coming five years.
Digital betting ventures have been around for a while now and have honed their capability to gather large data brackets. Not only that, firms have begun to uncover the secrets of how to monetize such knowledge.
Tech giants such as Microsoft have foreseen the eminence of data aggregation and procured successful gaming entities such as Minecraft for $2.5 billion. By doing so, Microsoft will be able to delve into infinite quantities of customer data and drive out strategic behavioral input.
After all, gaming companies have to ascertain the probabilities of player outcomes and have to customize their gaming frameworks in order to appeal to a diverse audience of gamers. Corporations have invested heavily into the recruitment and management of talented engineers and technicians.
It is imperative for businesses to retain such qualified, competent candidates who are well-versed in the software language and local company systems that perform data mining. This, in turn, will allow a low employee turnover and save hiring costs as well as time. The underlying motivation for such practices can be credited to the pace at which big data in gambling is revolutionizing the gaming world.
Better Marketing Practices
Since the inception of the first casino, betting companies have strived to personalize their portfolio of gambling products to keep their customers captivated. Contemporary history has reflected that big data has always been a critical component of gambling entities’ business strategies.
Such commercial firms depend strongly on big data to design effective promotional campaigns that will get the right message to the right consumer at the right time in the right place. In the modern era, evolution in communication and technology has become an expected norm. With constant developments in fiber internet technology, mankind has changed the way it speaks to each other.
The advent of computers, desktops, smart mobile phones, and tablets can be found in the hands of the youngest member of the family along with the ability to operate and interact with the gadget.
It is understandable then that our minds function in a different way than the way preceding generations did. Marketing managers have to work harder than ever to get their message across to their target market in an inspiring and stimulating manner.
The mere challenge of breaking through the vast ocean of information clutter requires each brand manager to come up with a compelling story that his audience can relate too.
The days of simply highlighting product benefits are long gone as not only do you have to capture your audience’s attention, you have to retain it as well. Technology allows gaming companies to do just that now. Inventions such as cookies have given gambling brand managers access to personalized knowledge such as what food their players like, what games appeal to them the most and what kind of patterns they utilize in their gaming operations.
When prospects are provided with incredible, customized experiences, they will keep returning to the same platform. In turn, the level of customer loyalty will ameliorate and keep the gaming company an ongoing concern for a long time to come.
Stronger Gaming Strategies
In the past few years, poker has surpassed the boundaries of traditional card play. It has become a grand sporting event that is televised on major cable channels. Virtual poker has also become a preferred source of entertainment and has witnessed a rising level of competition. As an online poker company, if you wish to bring more players to your site, you must know the best way where your customers can beat the odds. Arm them with more knowledge that will improve their winning chances and let them adapt their tactics in real time. Innovators such as Sharkscope monitor primary international poker competitions and facilitate players to evaluate players’ statistics by employing them in their own personal games.
Improvement in Operational Efficiencies
Fantasy sports is another gaming marvel that has caught the interest of players within its niche. Big data drive the portals of such companies and programs gaming dynamics as per a player’s statistics in real life. Complex algorithms have been developed and enhanced for this very purpose that scrutinize countless volumes of data (of the player’s life). By sifting through such data, the games are able to better predict which competitions will fare well with an accurate mix of talented players.
Big data has transformed the way betters function as they compare performance numbers of competing teams. Google assigned a large team of engineers to experiment and utilized Google Cloud DataFlow to import large volumes of data and analysed it with Google BigQuery.
With the magic of these softwares, they were able to forecast the results of fourteen out of sixteen matches of the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil. Microsoft beat that with an accurate outcome prediction of fifteen out of sixteen matches.
The true potential of big data is yet to be explored and will be unleashed with the passing of time. Tech professionals have just begun exploring its features and benefits.
It does not matter whether a casino owner, a player or a gambler uses it, big data will help determine their chances for winning. It will build player confidence, increase gaming subscriptions and attract first time gamers as well.
There is no doubt that big data comes with powerful implications for not only the gambling industry, yet multiple industry verticals will be able to reap its associated benefits.
Media buying is the process of appraising and procuring promotional channels of communication to share a brand’s message to its target audience. The past two decades has witnessed a growth explosion in the realm of media due to an expansion in available ranges and diversity of options.
According to media agency www.promo-media.co.uk a savvy media buyer begins his search with a strong understanding of the objective of the campaign in question. Of course, he operates within the assigned budget parameters and strives for maximum exposure within those limits.
Traditional media such as print, radio, outdoor and television has served as the backdrop for advertising content since many years.
The advent of information technology and communication opened up a whole new world of media for marketers and brand managers. The scope of accessible media widened with the arrival of media options such as email marketing, social media, digital media advertisements and pay per click options.
Media buying is an exhilarating field that serves to facilitate sales and build marketing efforts from the bottom up. Of course, we believe that sharing is caring-hence, read on to learn some of our recommended top media buying tips for effective marketing campaigns.
Know Your Target Audience
Before you start placing media bids, you need to get to know your customer and have a strong understanding of his profile. No matter what your goal is, for instance if you are trying to increase your brand’s awareness or increasing your social media following, knowing your client’s persona will help you understand where to reach them and when.
The benefit of allocating your marketing dollars to digital media is that you will have instant access to market real time insights.
Start Buying Media Slowly
When starting out your journey as a media buyer, you will feel overwhelmed at the incredible number of options available! You may feel obliged to invest everywhere.
Trust us, this will not be a smart move! Join a program and begin networking with leading industrial experts. You can discuss the characteristics of each channel with them individually and get their recommendations.
Create a Budget
One tip we find very useful is to treat the client’s money with the same care as we would treat our own! You could be procuring media options for an agency, your own company or as an independent consultant.
When aware of your financial capability ahead of time, you will be able to ascertain which methodologies are the most suitable to attain your goal. You can procure advertisements on an hourly, weekly or monthly basis.
Media purchase is a complicated process that requires you to develop patience. It is a virtue after all! The initial performance of your campaign may make you question certain choices and encourage you to fiddle with its details (easy to do if it is a digital campaign).
Do not fall into this trap and remain rational. The campaign will require time to run its course so it can accumulate relevant data for you and generate relevant statistics. Remember to breathe, stay calm and wait for the magic to happen!
Make Strong Decisions
Apart from aspiring to maintain a Zen-like placidity as a media buyer, you should also avoid making hasty decisions. Feel free to sleep over a media option that you are contemplating and take your time considering different possible outcomes.
If you have access to previous data, dive into it and analyse it thoroughly in order to make a timely, well-informed choice. However, if you do not, then you need to refer to the previous tip about staying patient and wait till a sufficient level of data is produced. Plus, you may have to give the campaign in question some time to pick up in terms of performance and efficacy.
Get your creative juices flowing! Do not let your process of innovation and creation get hampered by budget restrictions or other interfering variables. The fact of the matter is that you need to know what your marketing message is before dishing out marketing dollars on media spend. After all, you have to get the right message to the right person at the right place at the right time.
Research Your Placement
When you start to look for the ideal place to insert your advertisement, feel free to shop around. There is no harm in doing your homework and comparing prices amidst the different advertising platforms available to you.
Shortlist a group of similar media outlets that appeal to your taste and match your preferences. Compare the rates against each other and see what the most optimal solution for your campaign is. Do get estimations for incoming traffic and evaluate which medium would promote lead generation and greater sales.
The quality, look and feel of the website you are considering placing your advertisement on will exert an influence on your prospect’s decision to continue researching your product or not. A higher cost website may be more effective for your campaign in the end.
Monitor the Market
You do need to stay on top of your competition! Keep a constant check on your rivals and their marketing strategies. Scrutinizing their practices will help you understand industrial benchmarks and strive to exceed them.
Plan Your Advertisement’s Aesthetics
The saying “the first impression is the last impression” is very true. Planning is an essential component of media procurement. Plan, plan and plan! Make sure that your campaign’s look and feel will captivate your target audience’s attention in a favourable manner.
We live in a multiverse of devices and have access to information at our mere fingertips. See how the advertisement will appear on a tablet, a mobile phone, and on a desktop. We advise that your campaign implement the principles of responsive design as it will allow your ad to be optimized for diverse channels.
This will not only help generate maximum traffic and exposure for your brand, it will also ensure that your company is following an integrated marketing communication plan.
Corporate events are a key element in business, however making sure that everything goes smoothly isn’t always easy. Attention to detail is essential, and organisational skills are key to managing everything seamlessly.
This comprehensive guide will take you through all the stages of planning, so whether you’ve planned countless events with your team in the past or whether this is your first time, you can be confident that you’ll have covered all the bases.
Make A Timeline
Once you know that you’re going to be responsible for planning a corporate event, the first step is to come up with a clear timeline so that you know when every stage needs to be underway and completed. With a checklist in place, you’ll be able to tick off all the tasks you’ve already accomplished, and you’ll also know what still remains to be done so that nothing is accidentally left out.
No matter what type of corporate event you’re planning for your team, you’ll need to ensure that you’re operating within any budgetary restraints. Overspending on the venue, catering or materials must be avoided at all costs, so make sure you determine your overall budget first before allocating the appropriate amount of funds to every aspect of the event.
Depending on the purpose of your corporate event, you will need to plan appropriate activities to suit the needs of your team. Whether you’re arranging a formal occasion in a conference hall or whether you’re organising a team building event outside the workplace, you’ll need to ensure that all of the attendees are engaged and inspired.
If you’re arranging a formal corporate event, you might want to plan in some breakout sessions, with attendees being organised into small targeted groups in order to address issues that are meaningful to attendees on a more personal level. Planning in other interactive activities like icebreakers, workshops and guest speakers will also help to give more focus and direction to the day.
Alternatively, if you’re arranging something informal for team building purposes, you need to decide on an activity that will impress and inspire. A golf day would be one example of an excellent corporate event activity, and hiring the ClubsAway golf simulator can turn any venue into a sociable, entertaining and engaging experience for all kinds of participants.
Arranging A Venue
Depending on the type of event that you’re planning, you may need to book a venue to suit your requirements. If you event is going to be held in your own workplace, this won’t be a consideration, however if you’ll be heading off-site, you’ll need to ensure that you’ve chosen a place that can accommodate the required number of delegates, which is easy to access and which fits into your specified budget.
Arranging Food And Accommodation
Depending on your venue, you may also need to arrange refreshments and accommodation for attendees. If the event will be held in a hotel, this may often be provided by the venue itself, however in other cases, liaising with catering companies and accommodation providers may be necessary.
Buffet-style refreshments frequently work well at a corporate event as it enables attendees to choose their own preferences and to accommodate their dietary requirements. Healthy and vegetarian options should be provided and light fare is often preferable to heavy meals. Asking attendees to inform you about any specific dietary requirements well before the event will ensure that everyone is catered for.
If you’re arranging a formal corporate event with presentations and speakers, you will need to make sure that you hire a keynote speaker who can deliver a thought-provoking and motivating presentation will keep attendees engaged and enthusiastic.
There are many kinds of guest speakers to choose from, including motivational speakers, authority industry figures, published authors and celebrities, however you should rely on recommendations from others within your industry, since speakers should be able to relate to the attendees and discuss relevant issues.
Make sure that your speaker’s requirements can be met and have been arranged in advance, and don’t forget to include the costs of compensating your guest speaker and paying for their food and accommodation in your budget.
Staffing Your Event
Depending on where your event is being held, you may need to consider hiring extra staff, especially if there are exhibits to be set up and taken down. Having additional people on hand to help attendees, to arrange transportation and to replenish refreshments and beverages may be very helpful, especially if there are lots of delegates who will be attending.
Although you will already have your event checklist in place, you’ll need to draw up another shorter one for the day itself just to make sure that everything will go as planned. Some of the things you may need to remember, depending on the type of event you’re arranging include:
- Creating printed materials for distribution
- Setting up exhibits
- Making name tags for attendees
- Printing a register or list of attendees
- Obtaining any necessary insurance or permits
- Finalising place cards and seating arrangements
- Making last minute liaisons with any guest speakers
- Preparing any promotional items or gift bags
After your event, don’t forget to follow up on it to see how well it went and whether anything needs to be changed the next time you have an occasion to plan for.
Ask the attendees to complete a survey about the various elements of the event, for example the food, speakers, activities etc. Find out what they found valuable and what they learned from the experience.
Remember to thank your speakers and attendees, and then gather up all essential statistics and write up a report which outlines the goals that you had, the results you achieved and any lessons learned from the event. This will ensure that the next time you have a corporate event to plan you’ll be able to build on your previous experience to create an event that goes with a swing.
If you’re a small business and offer services such as commercial cleaning in Glasgow then you’re likely to be quickly realising that you need all the help you can get when it comes to making your business a success, espcially online.
That might mean taking on staff members, contractors or even unpaid help – but then again, sometimes just a few extra hours in the day would be the most desirable options.
There are no time machines on this list – but if you want to maximise the time you do have, we can recommend some great time and sanity saving tools!
- A website designer
Mention web design and you could be forgiven for thinking of complex lines of code and years of training.
In actual fact, there are quicker ways to get an online presence.
Take a look at a tool like Wix or Squarespace. They’re both ‘drag and drop’ style site designers and can see you with anything from a holding page to an online store in literally a matter of hours.
You don’t need to have the eye of a designer either, with a series of great looking templates you’ll find that dropping in your own logos and products makes a site uniquely yours with a fraction of the project management effort needed to get a traditionally coded site in place.
In the long term you might decide to look at something more flexible – but to get you out of the gates, especially when money is tight, these tools can be invaluable.
- A project management tool
If you’re putting a team together, whether that’s with permanent or freelance staff, having a central place to coordinate your efforts is worth its weight in gold.
Rather than hoping that everyone’s going to take great notes or read and reply to emails as diligently as you do, you might want to think about a tool like Basecamp, Trello or a similar alternative.
With tools like these you have a central ‘board’ or virtual office space to work from. You can do virtually anything you would in a real office, from having discussion areas, post to-do lists, allocate tasks, share files, invite guests to collaborate and much more.
If keeping everything in one place is becoming difficult, opt for a free trial and see what a project management tool does to your productivity.
- Book keeping software
It’s easy to let money management matters go to the back of your head when there are more pressing jobs at hand – but when there are some exceptionally quick and easy tools to use, you really don’t have to – especially when putting that stuff off causes headaches at tax return time (or a telling off from your accountant…)
Take a look at tools like Xero and Quickbooks, they’re modern book keeping tools that, dare I say it, actually make keeping tabs on your finances quite good fun. Both have nice looking and very usable apps with quick functions that allow you to categorise your transactions with a sweep of your finger.
You can link them with your bank accounts and online payment gateways – as well as being able to quickly scan and categorise expense receipts. You can even generate or pay invoices on the fly. It’s incredible how one app can revolutionise your business financial dealings.
- Collaboration tools
Although tools like Basecamp and Trello have some collaboration tools built in, you’ll find that true collaboration comes with a tool like Google’s G-Suite or Microsoft’s Office 365.
With these options you can almost entirely abandon your office space and set up online!
Setting up folders that you can share with your team means there’s no doubt where that proposal, brief or invoice is to be found – and when it comes to collaboration there’s no longer a need for emailing versions of files to one another. Instead, you can access a document, spreadsheet, presentation or much more and work on it virtually at the same time.
Then, no need for emailing attachments – just share the file and it’s with someone else in the blink of an eye. What’s more, you can message, call or video call from within the service too, meaning you don’t even have to move your chair to work next to someone else.
- Email marketing tools
Despite social media’s rise to the top of most people’s marketing hitlist there’s still an enormous amount that can be done with a good mailing list.
Equally, with the right tools in place you’re going to struggle with the sheer magnitude of putting a mailer out – especially with new data protection laws looming.
This is where tools like MailChimp and Get Response come in. Starting with a list of emails and a drag and drop mail composer you’ll quickly find yourself putting together something beautiful that ticks all the necessary compliance boxes. You’ll find dozens of great templates to work with if you don’t have an eye for design and a few clicks later you’ll have your mailer either sent – or scheduled to go at a time that suits you and your customers.
- A central social media desk
If conquering social media is on your list of things to do you’ll quickly realise there’s a lot of logistics involved – not least remembering a massive number of passwords so you can cut, paste and post across them all.
Using a tool like Hootsuite or Buffer takes a LOT of the effort out of your social media activity. Connect your accounts, then send your communication from the one central desk – choosing which of your feeds it’s posted to. You can even handle replies to direct customer interaction too, making it a great way to keep all your social communication in one quick and easy to use place.
- An online calendar
Our final suggestion is one that’s easy to use – but also easily overlooked!
Having an online calendar is essential if running a tight schedule is important to your business. Microsoft’s Outlook or Google’s Calendar provide simple interfaces and sync with your mailbox and other apps, meaning missed appointments, double booking and needing to get back to people when you’ve checked your diary is going to be a thing of the past.
When you hear the word branding, you often think of companies. That said, individuals have a brand too. Everyone has their own personal brand — whether they know it or not.
Most people don’t even try to build a brand, yet, they somehow grow around you. We all have a digital footprint. In fact, studies show that 92% of children under the age of 2 already have a digital footprint.
The question isn’t whether or not you have a brand, it’s whether or not you want to define what it is before someone else does. What do you want people to think of when they hear your name? Is there a certain industry that you’re very knowledgeable about, or are you a jack of all trades?
Before you can tell people what your brand is, you need to figure it out for yourself. Once you have a clear idea of what you want your brand to look like, it’ll become a lot easier for you to get people onboard.
When you’re determining what your brand is, it’s important to be honest with yourself. You have to be honest and let your brand reflect who you are — flaws and all.
Branding isn’t just important for an entrepreneur who owns a business, even freelancers and employees can benefit greatly by getting their name out there.
For instance, if you’re applying for a job at a prestigious company, you’re more likely to be chosen if the unlucky soul who’s going through the sea of resumes recognizes your name.
Your brand will determine how potential employers, clients, and customers see you and is often the determining factor in the development of your career.
Don’t focus on arbitrary metrics
In the world of branding, many have tried and failed. The most common rookie mistake that most people make is focusing on useless measures of success such as Facebook likes, Twitter followers, and the like. These metrics hardly mean anything to anyone and mean even less to the development of your brand.
What really matters is value. In order to succeed, you need to provide so much value to your customers that you become a household name.
People need to think of you whenever they look at the industry you’re in. When people think about smartphones, they think of Steve Jobs. The same goes for Zuckerberg and social media. Don’t just succeed in your chosen industry, become the face of it.
Find something you’re good at
All the branding in the world can’t help you if you’re doing something that you genuinely suck at. Sure, practice makes perfect, but there are just some things that we can’t do. It’s a harsh reality but you won’t get anywhere if you sugarcoat the facts.
Forcing yourself to do something that is beyond your capabilities will only lead to personal frustration and disappointed customers.
Once you’ve found something you’re good at, take a second to make sure you enjoy doing it. You don’t have to be ecstatic about it, but working in an industry that bores you to death won’t end well.
Furthermore, don’t do things that you both hate and suck at. You’ll do an awful job, hate every moment of it, and be too demotivated to improve your skills.
When you find that perfect line of work, commit every waking moment to honing your skills. Remember, there are millions — maybe billions — of people who do the same thing you do.
Superior skills and outside-the-box thinking will help you stand out in a world crowded by professionals. This isn’t really about competition — although, competitiveness is a good motivator when it comes to perfecting your craft — it’s more about being the best version of yourself that you can be and providing stellar service to those who keep your electricity on.
Choose your platform
Now that you know exactly what you want your brand to become, you’ll need to choose a platform or two to market it on. Rather than shelling out cash for an expensive website and increasing your monthly overhead, start simple by utilizing social media.
Facebook pages and Twitter accounts are good ways to get your name out there during the early stages of your branding campaign when funding is scarce. Post relevant and useful content, engage with your followers by replying to comments and messages, and speak in a human tone — no one enjoys talking to someone who converses like a robot.
Leverage more established brands
Let’s face it, you’re practically a baby in the world of branding. The best way to learn and get noticed is by collaborating with better-established brands such as willshapools.com and leveraging their popularity. Of course, going up to random CEOs and asking them if they wanna partner with you wouldn’t go very well.
The easiest way to find brands that you can partner with is by getting in contact with old friends, classmates, or even co-workers who now own a well-known company. You could write a guest post on their company blog, integrate your software on their site, or improve their UX free-of-charge. Anything that will get you more exposure from their audience is worthwhile.
Set your goals
You can’t be sure of foot if you don’t even know where you’re going. Start by setting specific goals — both personal, and professional. Once you have a clear picture of where you want to be within a certain amount of time, it’ll be easier for you to plan the path towards that end-result.
Identifying your short-term and long-term goals will help you decide what you should spend most of your time on, as well as making other important decisions that could make or break your brand. Your priorities work like a mental compass that’ll steer you towards success.
Sell your products and services
All the time you’ve spent on branding is completely useless if you just order products from AliExpress and outsource projects to UpWork. Your personal brand represents who you are as a professional individual, don’t let your reputation be tainted by the mistakes of others. You’re marketing your skills, so sell your own products and services, not someone else’s.
The bottom line
Building a personal brand takes a huge amount of time and effort, but in the end, it’s worth it. Your brand is something that no one can take away from you. It shows who you are and what you stand for. A true brand is dynamic and ever-present. So tell us, who are you?
Depending on who you speak to, Bitcoin can either be seen as the greatest currency in the world, or as a bubble that’s about to burst. Either description can be true, but some of the downfall people experience with Bitcoin can sometimes be attributed to the way they approach the industry.
Although many people have heard of Bitcoin, not everyone is sure of the inner workings, or the way trades within the industry, which can sometimes mean that many lose money as a result.
Just as there are advantages to this inventive digital currency, there can also be a series of disadvantages. While there are never any guarantees when it comes to investing in Bitcoin, knowing what the advantages and disadvantages are will allow you to find your way around the industry with more ease.
The Stability of Bitcoin
There’s no denying that Bitcoin has had to contend with a series of obstacle to retain its dominance, but there are some factors that question the stability of Bitcoin. This is because when compared to stocks and commodities, Bitcoin is seen as a newcomer. This means that the digital currency has very short track record when compared to the years of data accumulated from other commodities.
However, looking at the stability of Bitcoin from a different perspective shows that you’re dealing with a currency that has held its own in a tough financial environment. A series of businesses also have confidence in the stability and popularity of Bitcoin, as there are vendors that will now accept Bitcoin as a form of payment.
European economists have even gone on record to say that they believe there is no reason should pose a threat, although they did advise that the regulatory oversight currently in place would need to be improved.
The digital arena is constantly evolving, and with so many innovative creations being introduced daily, we never truly know what’s around the corner. This means there’s no real way of knowing Bitcoin will fare in the future, which is why it’s so important to ensure we’re keeping on top of industry news and trends involving Bitcoin, as well as other forms of digital currency.
Risk of Investment
As well as being a popular form of alternative currency, there are those who invest in Bitcoin hoping to make a profit from their initial investment. Some may even look towards Bitcoin mining, which can offer another stream of income if carried out correctly.
Unfortunately, there are some that offer investment opportunities in relation to Bitcoin but may not give investors the full story. Unaware of any risk, investors invest where they can on the assumption that they will yield a bigger return. However, Bitcoin is like any other currency, and its value can depend on several factors. It’s also worth noting that investments of any form always pose a risk.
Those looking to invest in Bitcoin should first carry out research and became familiar with the industry. The more you’re able to find out about Bitcoin, the less susceptible you will be to unsavoury online outfits. For example before buying Bitcoin you should read this review of the Top Cryptocurrency Exchanges 2018
Bitcoin has also become very popular when hedging portfolios, ensuring investors are covered show another form of currency fail to deliver.
Like any investment, we need to be savvy in relation to Bitcoin. Trading blindly may mean that we have luck in some instances, but more often than not, will not have the desired effect. Carrying out research before you invest is the only true way to ensure that any potential loss is minimised.
Bitcoin in Business
Before the birth of the Internet, it would be common for us to have to exchange currency purchasing an items or service abroad, which was very costly at the time. As the Internet has evolved, purchasing an item from overseas is now effortless. While credit can be given to sites like PayPal, the company can be seen as a little intrusive when it comes to how finances are dealt with.
It’s easy to assume that customers who want to hide their details have something to hide, but this isn’t necessarily the case. When you consider how many data leaks they have been in recent years, it’s no surprise that people are a little more reserved when handing over their personal details.
Bitcoin allows customers to make a payment without their details being shared. This means that customer is more likely to make a purchase if they’re confident that their details aren’t at risk. Businesses that offer Bitcoin could grow a larger customer base simply by allowing customers to pay using their Bitcoin.
However, there can be drawbacks should a business choose to accept Bitcoin for payments. Whereas other forms of payment are more recognised, Bitcoin is relatively new. And while the digital currency has soared in popularity, this doesn’t mean that everyone is aware of how it works. As such, you need to ensure that if a business is looking to accept Bitcoin as a method of payment, then you may need to educate your employees as to how the currency works, otherwise there could be some confusing and frustrating transactions.
Like any form of currency, there are advantages and disadvantages when using Bitcoin, but if you’re able to understand how it works and stay on top of current trends, then there’s no reason as to why you shouldn’t be able to enjoy the benefits it has to offer.
If you’re not in full-time employment, or if you are and need a little extra money without that commitment of getting a part-time job where the idea of somebody else dictating where and when you have to work isn’t going to fit your current lifestyle then you could well be thinking of ways to make a little extra money for a specific purchase or just to make life that little bit easier on your wallet.
If you’re going to start making a supplementary income then you really need to be above board as soon as you start making any money.
You should certainly inform the Inland Revenue of your actions because if you don’t you are liable to face a fine if you’ve already begun trading and they think you’re trying to dodge paying any taxes. It’s not complicated though; even completing a self-assessment is pretty straightforward and can be done online. Everything you need to know you should be able to find on the HMRC website at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/setting-up-in-business-se1
If you’re going to be working from home there are instances when you’ll need to check your home insurance for any level of cover you may need and also it’s worth investigating if you’d need to let your local council know what you’re planning if your new business idea impacts the usage of your home or property.
Use your existing skillsets
If you’ve already got a range of existing skills such as previous experience working with security monitoring service then trading on those seems to be the best place to start. It’s more than likely going to be the way you can earn the best rates of pay. So if you have any of the following why not consider putting them to work and reaping the benefits?
Graphic and website design
We all live on the Internet now and there are so many options in how to utilise your design or programming skills to earn extra cash. You can opt straight for sites like Upwork, Fiverr or Freelancer who will match you to clients who need your services. You may choose to advertise your skills direct to the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest. They’re all great ways of letting the world know you’ve got skills and are ready to use them.
There are also websites who will produce products for sale using your design work; websites such as Zazzle, Café Press, Spreadshirt or Pikistore; they all print your artwork onto various items from t-shirts to greetings cards leaving you to reap the profits.
Do you speak a second language?
With a second language under your belt why not check out websites like Gengo or One Hour Translation? There are a range of websites who are looking to pay people for translating all kinds of text and copy.
Or with the aid of a webcam and microphone you could offer private tuition. You don’t have to limit yourself to picking up that kind of work from local students anymore — if you choose to utilise the Internet then world is now your new marketplace.
Once upon a time it meant studying and passing rigorous testing to become a taxi driver but Uber have made making a living from passenger delivery a much easier way to earn a little extra. And if you don’t like passengers all that much why not consider delivering fast-food or mail order items? There are a lot of owner-driver opportunities in those markets for someone willing to take the plunge.
Write for a living
You don’t have to be J.K. Rowling to make your millions from writing. Of course if you’ve got it in you to write a best seller than what are you waiting for? But for anyone else with a good command of the language then you can make money writing for the Internet now. You can write and sell e-books; they could be fiction or educational. It’s not the same huge commitment and risk as writing a novel because a lot of e-books can be much shorter, novellas and short story collections are great options to write and sell while you’re putting the final touches of your version of War & Peace together.
A very popular way to make extra money writing now is to write blog articles. It’s a big business for SEO, driving traffic and digital marketing and there are a whole range of places you can apply your services. You can start by applying to write for content sites but once you’re up and running you can use those articles to sell your ways to the digital marketers who really need your skills.
Baking and decorating cakes
The cupcake craze a few years back boosted the work of bakers everywhere. A few well-placed examples on social-media easily gives someone with a talent for creating amazing birthday, wedding or special occasion cakes a great platform for a perfect home business.
The amount of craft selling websites available have made the home-craft industry into something a lot easier than selling your wares in the local village hall on a Sunday afternoon — get on etsy or ebay, there’s an enormous world-wide market just waiting to see your creations. Link it all through Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest and you’ve got yourself a mass of free advertising too!
There are so many options!
This is a massive topic, and there are a thousand other ideas to make money without even using any existing skills. There are so many more ways you can use your existing talents — from earning advertising revenue from your gaming clips on YouTube or Twitch, to offering handyman, gardening or decorating services; you could become a private tutor if you’ve already earned suitable qualifications or just a little higher up the educational ladder than someone who needs a little help.
If you’re musical you could offer your services in cafes or restaurants, playing at social gatherings or networking events. You could become a DJ!
Or for the beautiful and aesthetically pleasing of you there are modelling opportunities that aren’t based around the catwalk — why not put the kids to work? There are all kinds of catalogue and web marketing opportunities out there, and what if you aren’t so beautiful? There are agencies who are looking for those with unusual or specific appearances; so make the most of what you’ve got — whatever it is!