Is it possible to make a career out of trading?

Nowadays, there are various investment opportunities that people can explore, in order to maximize their profits or secure additional funds for other long-term goals. It goes without saying that the stock exchange market is the most popular destination for both experienced investors and newcomers alike. The main reason is that the stock market is quite stable and highly regulated trading platform.

In addition, it’s also rarely volatile but it does heavily rely on the global economic and geopolitical stability. Many people avoided investing as a form of a career because up until recently, the stock market was considered a barrier-to-entry area. In other words, there were difficult obstacles standing in the way and preventing competitors from entering an industry with ease.

However, modern technology and modern solutions have reshaped even the trade industry, making this area easily accessible to anyone willing to commit to trading regardless of their initial capital. To put things into perspective, it’s possible to make a living from trading but it’s never as easy as it may seem. Therefore, here are a few things you should know if you decide to make a career out of trading.

What does stock trade mean?

As you may already know, investing in stock means buying a small percentage, also called a share of a company which includes all of their equity and assets. The price of stocks is determined by a company’s overall performance on the market. The main reason companies offer their shares on the market is to raise money and spread the risk of ownership to a group of shareholders.

Now, when you acquire shares of a company you are considered a shareholder. You can sell your shares if the price suits you or buy more if the price is low. Moreover, you can hold on to your stocks and enjoy a dividend income. Nowadays, anyone can buy and sell stocks, as long as they have the initial capital. Furthermore, you can engage in trading even if you have a family at home you must commit to. Strategies, such as day trading can be adjusted to your personal life.

What’s required for stock trade?

Aside from capital, you’ll need to sign up with a broker, in order to start trading, unless, of course, you want to become a broker yourself. A broker will buy or sell assets on the behalf of a client or a company that employed them. A broker must also perform analysis on investments, in order to secure a deal that will suit their client’s needs. On the other hand, you can become an independent trader and focus your investment solely on personal gains.

However, in order to become a successful trader, you have to understand well how the market operates and what’s involved. Moreover, you have to be able to devise good strategies on the go and ensure you don’t lose your investment. The fact of the matter is that there are always risks involved when it comes to trade. A good trader knows how to minimize, as well as mitigate those risks.

Identify good opportunities

The key to successful trading lies in spotting a good opportunity and capitalizing on it. It sounds much easier than it actually is, to be frank. There are a lot of companies on the stock market and not every one of them is bound to ensure long-term success. The fact of the matter is that you cannot predict how a company will perform, you can only estimate their performance at best.

However, jumping on the opportunity, while it’s still good has a good chance of yielding a return on investment (ROI). In order to achieve that, you must familiarize yourself with the market and conduct constant research. That way you’ll also familiarize yourself with the use and the demand for resources, as well as be able to spot companies with good growth potential.

Even the most specialized industries are looking towards the future by implementing technology and digital opportunities for its customers, resulting in long term success and a good investment opportunity. As an example, a division of Schlumberger Technology Corporation called Hexacom launched an e-commerce platform last year where oilfield professionals can get everything from tubulars to drill collars.

In any event, opting for a good opportunity will depend on your investment goals, such as short-term, mid-term or long-term goals.

Portfolio diversification

As you’re probably aware by now, any type of trade has risks involved. Becoming a good investor means learning to be flexible around those risks. That’s why many experienced investors always diversify their investment portfolio. Diversification means investing in other opportunities, instead of focusing on a single one. If you’ve made profits from stock investments, you can consider investing in other methods as well. For instance, you can invest in mutual funds, ETFs, bonds and so on.

Also, you can consider alternative investment types, such as precious metals, real estate, antiques etc. The purpose of this strategy is to secure your wealth, as well as minimize the risk of your investments. In other words, if you have multiple investments at once you can easily recover if your stock deal, for example, doesn’t turn out as expected. Simply put, investment portfolio diversification is there to ensure you don’t lose all of your money on a single investment deal that went bad.

Forex market (FX)

Another market aside from stocks, you can explore is the foreign exchange market or Forex. FX is similar to the stock market but FX deals in currencies. That being said, over 4 trillion dollars worth of currencies are traded on the market each day. That makes the Forex market one of the most liquid trading platforms in the world. Currencies are traded in pairs and there are a lot of strategies to explore that can get help you turn a quick profit.

However, 96% of new traders fail at their first attempt at currency trade. The main reason is that the FX market is primarily designed for insiders who understand the market trends well. Still, if you lack the experience in trading currencies, you don’t have to start risking your own money straight away. As a matter of fact, you can create a demo account and try out different strategies with virtual money but in real-time scenarios. That way you can build up experience until you’re comfortable enough to trade with real money.

Cryptocurrencies

Another form of trade worth exploring is cryptocurrencies. This trend has grown in popularity ever since the first cryptocurrency Bitcoin had emerged back in 2009. Ever since then, there’s been a huge development in the crypto market that now favors over a thousand different offerings, whether in coins or in tokens. The purpose behind cryptocurrencies was to create a trading platform that’s independent of any government imposed regulations and without the middleman like central banks.

That’s why the technology behind cryptocurrencies also known as blockchain was developed to act as a decentralized publicly edger that will record peer-to-peer transactions. However, the fact that it’s unregulated makes the crypto market a very high-risk market. Extreme volatility and instability may prove to be too risky for investors. If you’re new to the whole trading concept, you might consider less risky options before you move to cryptocurrencies. The main reason is that in time, the crypto market will undoubtedly stabilize. But until then, the crypto market is reserved for the bold.

 

Trading in assets and making investments can be a great opportunity to maximize profits and gain a significant ROI. To answer the question at hand, it is very much possible to make a career out of trade alone. However, don’t leave your day job until you learn the ropes first. Needless to say, with careful research and good planning, you can make your investments worthwhile.

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What Do Steve Jobs, Tim Kobe, Dan Goman and the like Have in Common? Disruptive Leadership

Evolution of digital technologies is gathering greater momentum each day and it has a great impact on the way markets are changing. With all these changes taking place, organizations and businesses need to become prepared for any disruptions coming their way.

How can businesses belonging to any industry do that? By listening to the disruptive voices of leaders like Steve Jobs, Tim Kobe, Dan Goman and the like.

What does disruption mean?

This term has been a buzz word in the tech industry in recent years. Basically, the term means changing the way of thinking or the way of doing things, in a business context. Disruption has the power to completely erode or alter markets by providing a more efficient alternative to existing products or services. Also, it can be the change-driving force of entire industries.

Disruption is closely connected to innovation, even though they do not mean the same. Startups are changing industries, innovators are changing the modus operandi, and nearly everybody can agree that a disruption carried out well is a positive thing.

How does this have anything to do with leadership if leaders are usually relied upon to help people work together towards the same, predetermined goals?

What is disruptive leadership?

A disruptive leader is a person holding a leadership position and who is always on the verge of finding new solutions, developing processes, their organizations and businesses. These leaders are ready to change things from the ground up to achieve the necessary results.

Steve Jobs belongs to this category and Apple’s unprecedented success can definitely be attributed to his leadership style and creative vision. He was known for his unapologetic criticism, which he defended by pointing out the results his team achieved.  

How industries benefit from disruptive leadership?

This type of leadership definitely benefits both organizations and the industries they belong to. The founder and CEO of OWNZONES Dan Goman has leveraged his team to come up with a cloud-native platform solution that has set new grounds in the entertainment industry. Dan Goman and his team didn’t want to accept standard benchmarks for success in the industry and disrupted the digital landscape by coming up with a post-production platform that helps content creators manage and deliver their content more effectively.

The disruption lies in creating software on the cloud itself and using a new IMF format to future-proof the content creation and distribution work and eliminate all the pain points of on-prem servers.

How disruption changes the customer experience?

An example of disruptive changes can be seen in the moves by Time Kobe. The CEO and founder of design firm Eight Inc., which has been the designer of Apple’s stores for the last two decades, led the disruption of the car dealership experience. The first things that visitors to The Lincoln Way store in China is the absence of salespeople. The showcased vehicles stand alongside displays where customers can find more information and configure their own features for a real luxury purchase experience.

Kobe advocates “returning to experience” where consumers who interact with a company have a simpler, easier encounter compared to what they’ve experienced before. If we look at their China store example, the company created a diametrically opposite experience to the one seen in high-pressure environments most car buyers get into today.  By doing so, they created an emotionally positive and memorable experience eventually resulting in a stronger connection with the brand.

Conclusion

Changes are certainly not an easy thing to accept but the times we live in dictate the need to adapt quickly. Leaders like Dan Goman and Tim Kobe and the organizations they are in charge of are ready to deal with difficult times and accept risk-taking and experimentation as mechanisms for thriving in a change-driven environment.

People who have disrupted their industries are aware that decisions and changes are not made at their whim and they never lose sight of the overarching goals. They trust their teams to steer projects in the right direction and, most importantly, they trust their vision of reaching new heights.

How to Best Manage Your Sales Performance

The key to ensuring the survival of your business in the contemporary, highly competitive market where the circumstances change on a daily basis lies in how good you are at selling your products or services, no matter what industry you are in. As the rules and circumstances are changing constantly, so should your selling practices.

To improve and adjust to the new demands of your clients and the market itself, what you need is a well-structured approach to sales performance management, which will advance the skills and techniques of your sales team.

Here are a few tips on how to best manage your sales performance.

Have a plan

In order to ensure that your sales reps use only the best practices which enhance their ability to sell, you will need an effective sales plan. It should establish clear guidelines for your sales team members, and lay out your company goals as well as activities needed to reach them.

The execution of the sales plan can be easily measured and the plan itself reviewed if your goals are properly quantified.

Setting both precise activity goals, such as calls per day, and result goals, like sales per month, is also a great way to help your team members better understand their role and focus on the important tasks.

Recognize the needs

No matter what the method of communication with your prospect is, in sales, nothing matters more than gaining their trust.

In order to reach that point, you need to recognize your customer’s needs, empathize with them, and try to sell the product and service accordingly, as a solution to their problem.

Instead of making a sale, try out the golden 80/20 rule and focus on listening and understanding the prospects 80% of the time following this ratio. This requires the active listening technique which is crucial for realizing how to best help your prospects.

Many sales reps fall into the trap of talking endlessly about all the amazing features and specs of their product or service, and this “me, me, me” tactics is a surefire way of losing prospects.

Follow up with the leads

Following up with the leads and keeping them “alive” and engaged is an important task in managing your sales. Days of the manual follow-up are long gone, as many client relationship management (CRM) tools are making it easier to track all leads as they move through the sales process, and even automating some of its parts.

Using online chat managed service on your website can also boost your sales performance, as such a practice can nurture and engage your leads, and help you determine whether your lead is qualified before booking a meeting.

Cold calling

Sometimes, your team members need to make cold calls, by approaching complete strangers and turning them into prospects. The main goal of a cold call is to make an appointment, and the odds are much higher if beforehand making a call you:

  • get enough information on who you will be taking to and what’s important to them
  • make a plan about how to best approach them

Creating a playbook with best practices included may be of great help to your sales reps, as it can allow them to focus on quickly qualifying leads and making appointments.

Word of mouth

Referrals are the most valuable tactic when it comes to providing new leads, as research suggests that referral leads convert 30% better than leads converted from other channels.

People trust friends more than they trust brands, and nothing promotes your brand better than a recommendation coming from a customer who is satisfied with your service or your product. It easily gives your business much-needed credibility and trustworthiness.

In order to get more referrals, you should make a practice of sending follow-up emails to your audience, making it easy for your existing customers to submit a testimonial or a  review.

Customer referral programs are a great way to increase your sales performance, so if you haven’t started one already, you should make it your priority.

Leverage email marketing

Emails are also a very effective resource in increasing your sales performance, by keeping your leads active, informed and interested.

Tracking email engagement as well as using email template sequences to further personalize your communication with prospects can be almost fully automated if you use the available tools. The same applies to creating highly tailored and targeted email campaigns.

Still, having in mind that only 9% of sales emails are opened, there are some general rules you should follow in order to raise the chance of your emails being opened, read or replied to:

  • emails should be from 50 to 150 words long
  • avoid words such as free, social, press, invite, and other spam triggers in your subject lines
  • use questions as your subject lines to spark your prospects’ interest and curiosity and imply that your email offers solutions
  • launch your campaigns on Wednesdays or Thursdays.

The subject line is of vital importance, especially if we bear in mind that 30% of people open an email based on how well it captures their attention and recognizes their need – that is, based on the effectiveness of your subject line.   

So, if you want to review and manage your sales performance, you should start from the very basics, such as making a good plan and getting to know the needs of your prospects, as well as by focusing on establishing timely, relatable, and meaningful communication with them.

How Can Technology Improve Event Management Efficiency

Events, conferences, and meetings are becoming increasingly detailed experiences. And event managers are searching for modern solutions that will help them to keep up with the heightened expectations of attendees. They’re also finding new technologies that can help them overcome the ever-present issues of doing more work while being time-pressed and having a low-budget.

As such, event planners are using more and more innovative event management technologies to assist them in their work, and for a good reason. According to studies, event technology adoption can increase productivity by 27%, increase attendance by 20% and decrease event costs by as much as 30%.

All these innovations changed the landscape in which the industry leaders are inundated by new technologies and products on a day-to-day basis. Everyone is wondering where technology is going next and which investment will create the most ROI.

In this article, we will explain about new and old event technologies that will certainly have an impact on attendees and industry professionals alike.

Using big data

In the last few years, big data has become a hot topic in discussions. Gathering and interpreting huge amounts of information was never easier. But big data is most useful when used in the right way.

For instance, event managers can utilize Google Analytics to find out which online campaigns were most successful for influencing registrations or which were most discussed on social media.

There are also innovative options of tracking movements of attendees through Wi-Fi, iBeacons, GPS or low-energy Bluetooth to see which events they’re visiting. Or, event managers can send out surveys or second-screen solutions to find out the feelings and actions of attendees before, during and after the event. There also available platforms for acquiring and analyzing real-time data to see in which events are attendees and sponsors most interested.

Managing Attendees

Marking late arrivals and managing visitors time of arrival was never easier. New technologies can improve the management of attendees, their time of arrival, entry points and time of leaving the event.

Innovative visitor management app allows you to receive live notifications about your visitor’s time of arrival. These notifications include useful information such as the visitors’ contact details and photo, while other notifications, either through an Email or SMS, give you the ability to sign out visitor once they leave the event. Its benefits are obvious – visitors get to enjoy the reduced wait time and fast and efficient greeting on arrival.

Some of these apps even include VIP and Security Alerts. You get to highlight certain individuals as VIP’s and receive notifications about their arrival in real time. With these new technologies, it becomes much easier to see who is on site and when. Your staff will have an easier time to administer visitors in a more efficient manner.

Mapping Projections

Projections mapping is about creating an augmented reality experience through using projectors. While usual projectors cast pictures on flat screens, with projection mapping you have the option of projecting light onto any surface imaginable and turn everyday building and structures into 3D interactive displays.

This technology enables event managers to add beautiful transformational design elements into any space they would like. From stages to cars to landmarks, this innovative visual technology creates an efficient and cost-effective way to create optical illusions in any event location possible.

Since there are no clear boundaries of what you can do with project mapping, event managers are able to stretch their imagination and create inventive modern displays. Whether it’s a social media wall, a map of convention booths or an interactive art display, the technology is flexible enough to create a variety of displays – that can be used everywhere, from meeting and conferences to concerts and parties.

Increased Networking Capabilities

Social media can be applied to many fields of event managing. Social media makes it simpler for attendees to share their feelings of an event, while event managers can receive feedback from attendees more efficiently. Thus, you can use social media as a feedback system for improving future events.

Besides this, social media marketing is a great way of advertising any event. With social media people around the globe can be easily reached, a task that would be impossible without it and the Internet. Attendees are also able to share the event with other people, creating an almost free advertising platform.

You can also use email marketing for event promotion. When email marketing is combined with marketing automation, you have the option of sending more personalized emails about the event to attendees.

 

Event management technologies can save time, money and efforts of event managers while enhancing the experience of attendees. Your work requires fewer efforts thus giving you time to focus on the core part of the event. These technologies can help with all aspects of event managing from managing the attendees time of arrival, their satisfaction levels to receiving proper feedback, so make sure to test at least some of them for your next event.

How Can Technology Impact HR Practices?

The advent of digitalization and smartphone usage has impacted every department in every company. This also includes human resources. Outsourcing work is becoming the norm instead of just being innovation and the role of an HR department changed accordingly. The 2019 HCM Trend report, developed by leading HR market analysts, states that global HR technology venture capital was increased to $3.1 billion this year, tripling the cash invested in 2017.

As new HR technology solutions emerge, there is a certain tech boom on the rise that is transforming the way we do the job and our opinions about HR. This impact is twofold. Firstly, it’s shifting the attention of HR managers from managing the workforce to driving profits for the business. And secondly, it offers various tools for better management and engagement of talents in the company.

Mobile Apps are coming

The real Internet revolution came with smartphones, not with desktop computers. And mobiles will probably dominate the HR landscape this year. As more workers across different departments seek access to applications via smartphones, businesses are reshaping their HR system to better accommodate this. For this type of functionally to work, companies must consider HR applications with the mobilization process and the interface the workers are searching for.

Additionally, we can see new trends appearing such as applications that streamline the basic work of HR departments. Nowadays smartphone apps are a must for every application a business develops.

Analytics are making performance management better

Performance management – one of the crucial HR functions. HR professionals have been for long driven this process by monitoring performance, regularly reviewing employees and collecting supervisory feedback. Now, technology enables a streamlined process that eliminates unwanted steps. But the next big boom is coming with a data-driven performance management process.

We will see a fast and widespread adoption of people analytics that will help the HR department with making decisions about the workforce. This raw data from analytics can be utilized to build actionable insights and to support the decision making about compensations, promotions, developments, success plans and to create agile cross-functional team staffs.

HR will able to apply analytics to sentiment data gathered from thousands of interactions between workers and managers as a part of the performance management process. By analyzing such sentiment data HR will be able to create ample opportunities for coaching and enable managers and workers to increase their performance.

Helps with organizing business events

Gone are the days of manually organizing business parties and events. Nowadays technology is starting to help with even mundane tasks such as organizing a business event. Numerous event ticketing platforms offer tools that simplify the running of events and community building.

These platforms make from your event a singular experience, guide you throughout the whole process, from checking in, to on-event activities, to post-event analysis. They ease the process of event organizing allowing you to do it faster and better so you can focus on the other aspects of your business.

Social media is changing the game

Social media is playing a more active role in HR nowadays, particularly when it comes to recruitment. A quarter of companies are utilizing social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn for recruitment. These platforms can not only be used for recruitment, but also for worker engagement. They’re also being assessed as a fundamental source for businesses to reach their HR goals.

Companies can use social media platforms to reach a target audience for job postings or other company related information. Some enterprises are even known to share their company’s success story through posts, photos, and blog posts. Vice versa, job seekers actively research companies on these platforms while searching for work.

Social media enables numerous benefits for an HR department and lets them be in touch with emerging trends, news, and technologies. They can be used as a medium for relationship nurturing when you share industry knowledge on them. Aforementioned reasons have made from these channels an ideal place to engage employees, nurture relationships and increase communication in the workplace. Many businesses are thinking about the integration of these platforms with their applications, instead of developing their own enterprise apps.

New trends and technologies will play a vital role in reshaping human resources management software and operations from managing personnel to business execution, but they won’t start it. HR managers must be the ones to leverage and scale this technology in order to drive real values for the company.

Digital technologies will facilitate greater degree of flexibility and integration, hence allowing workers a bigger voice to share their work experience. They may also disrupt human resources and redefine their future development. The HR who accommodate to these changes more quickly will enable their companies to become smarter and bigger. Culture management and employee engagement will be the factors that will drive HR in this ever-changing landscape.

How to Keep Your Business Premises Secure

Nowadays, when the topic of keeping one’s business safe is brought up, the majority of people think about protecting their enterprise in the digital environment. However, what about office materials and supplies, the safety of your office employees, confidential information stacked on office desks and corporate cars parked outside during the night? In retail, substantial amounts of money are stacked inside, which makes it all into a valuable target for thieves, burglars and other malicious third-parties. All in all, keeping your business premises secure is far from simple, yet, there are more than a couple of ways in which you can do so. Here are six of them.

Keep the surroundings tidy and well-illuminated

The vast majority of burglars are likely to attempt breaching your premises during the night and to do so, they’ll use landscape to sneak up. By keeping the surroundings of the office tidy enough and well-illuminated, you’ll make the environment itself act as a powerful deterrent. The very idea that they can be seen approaching the place from miles away may be enough to sway some potential burglars. Also, keep in mind that any debris or ill-placed landscaping element might serve as a temporary cover. Therefore, try some strategic planning when organizing your premises.

Invest in the monitoring system

The next thing you need is a reliable security system. This ranges from a surveillance system all the way to your locks and alarms. First of all, the very existence of a surveillance system is a deterrent. Second, it provides you with evidence that you can use, later on, in court. Third, it has more than anti-burglary uses. This way, you can also check who and when came to visit your premises, which is incredibly important for your visitor system (something we’ll discuss a bit later). Make sure to find a reliable alarm monitoring system in order to keep your premises safe and sound at all times.

Work on your visitor system

Even in a fictional scenario where you can trust your staff with 100 percent certainty (which is never the case), you need to understand that visitors still pose a substantial threat. Therefore, you need to write a visitor access policy and come up with a system that should allow you to carefully monitor them every step of the way. You can start by handing them out name tags or safety vests, not just for their safety but also so that they can be spotted from a mile away. Even better, they need to be escorted by an employee while on the premises. This employee is there to guide them through all the areas that they have access to. Namely, this is probably the only way for you and a visitor to be completely safe.

Focus on entry points

The most logical step in securing your premises lies in making sure your entry points are properly organized. Generally speaking, every business needs to have a checkpoint (other than emergency exit) through which every visitor and employee needs to pass on the way to their post. Most commonly, you’ll place the receptionist on the entry, as well as hire a security guard. The routine checkup that every visitor has to undergo depends on your personal decision. Just keep in mind that you still want visitors to feel welcome, so turning your premises into a fortress might be a bad idea. Therefore, you need to find a suitable compromise which is nowhere near as easy as it sounds.  

Safeguard important equipment and data

When it comes to protecting your company’s most important assets, equipment and data security is crucial. Not all of your workplace should be off limits but there are some areas where this would be a smart idea. A storage, records room and conference room should be off-limits to visitors. In fact, even your own staff might have limited access to these areas. Sure, distrusting your own workforce is a bad business practice, but we shouldn’t pretend, even for a second, that employee theft isn’t a real threat. Keep in mind that where there’s a valuable asset, there’s a basis for temptation and you can only research so much during your vetting process.

Be careful what you announce in public

Some businesses prefer to take photos of their premises and upload them on their website, which is a sound strategy, yet, not always a wise one. You see, giving people a chance to do a survey of your office and its surrounding without any effort is generally a bad practice. Second, if your office is undergoing works, which is something that might cause a lapse in its security, the last thing you want to do is announce this publicly on social networks. Sure, you need to notify your clients and partners, but try to keep this list on a need-to-know basis.

Conclusion

At the very end, you need to understand that there are so many different factors that go into keeping your business safe. Sadly, it takes a lapse on a single front for this entire system to collapse. Therefore, you need to be thorough, systemic and take a comprehensive approach that allows for future upgrades.

5 Ways to Inspire Greater Employee Loyalty

Every business owner knows that in order to grow their company, they need to invest in all aspects of their business. From innovative marketing efforts, clever content ideas and stellar social media strategies all the way to product and service updates, every modern brand focuses on constant evolution in order to gain more momentum and remain relevant in its industry. However, one particular aspect of your brand growth pushes more managers to look inward for smart solutions: because happy employees translate to a strong brand that attracts loyal customers.

A portion of your corporate efforts should focus on keeping your employees engaged, inspired, and above all, happy. The following are some of the most effective ways to achieve just that, so make them your 2019 priorities in order to see your business flourish!

Seek out and act on feedback

There has been so much buzz around looking for regular feedback from your customers that most brand owners have neglected to implement the very same principle inside their own walls, physical or otherwise. No matter if you work in a digital office or you have a physical one where you see your employees daily, their opinions should be heard regularly and you need to act on them as often as possible.

It’s not enough to just conduct surveys or have those one-on-one meetings if you will only stick all the files in your drawer and forget all about them as soon as the last employee goes back to their desk. Whether they feel as if the office should be more transparent about management decisions and practices or that you need different team structures to work more efficiently, a little can go a long way in helping your employees improve their performance and know that they are heard.

Incentives still make sense

The idea of fair compensation has always been a point of struggle for the vast majority of the business world, whether a manager fails to understand their employees’ living conditions or if they somehow neglect to consider moving forward with their payment systems. In today’s world of tech advancements, you can use simple solutions such as personalized payroll cards that enable your employees easy access to their salaries without losing any money on unnecessary transactions.

Add to that regular bonuses, not merely for the most relevant holidays, but for their notable achievements such as closing a new sale, getting a promotion, landing a relevant client or wrapping up a major project. Financial incentives will always have their place in the professional world, so don’t leave them as your last resort, but rather utilize them as an ongoing reward program.

Provide a healthy balance

This hectic world of ours lacks one very crucial piece of the puzzle: more focus on our wellbeing. Employers who encourage their workers to live healthy are far more likely to have a higher employee retention rate and better workplace atmosphere than those who simply focus on project results and numbers. Before you move forward, create together with your employees a wellness program which you’ll monitor and track on a regular basis, and improve if need be.

From prevention measures such as office doctor visits and conversations with your residing psychologist through offering comprehensive health insurance all the way to perks such as gym memberships, meditation classes and on-site massages will definitely help your employees feel better and work better. Offer them healthy snack and meal alternatives, and more of them will also start building healthier habits outside of the office, which will significantly increase their work-life balance. You can also have a nutritionist visit your office from time to time to give advice on better eating habits!

Acknowledge each employee’s contribution

While it’s fine to encourage a healthy level of competition among your staff, it’s equally vital to recognize each of their contribution to your organizational growth. More often than not, managers are too busy with numbers and celebrating abstract success and results rather than celebrating the people who’ve accomplished them in the first place. The modern employee rarely tolerates such lack of recognition, and every modern manager needs to focus more on making sure each employee feels like a valued member of the team.

Simple gestures such as sending out a company-wide email where you give a shout-out to each team member, giving them a gift basket of their favorite snacks, or giving them a couple of extra days off or a wellness weekend for them and their spouse; all of these can help build a stronger bond with your teammates.

Encourage progress and learning

The modern employee also craves more than a static work position that feels like a dead-end job. They need opportunities to master new skills, gain new knowledge and stay informed on the latest trends in their field of expertise. You as their employer will benefit from such progress, so make sure you give them ample opportunities to visit conferences and seminars and to grow both on a professional and on a personal level.

In-house mentorships also help develop a learning mindset within your company, and your employees will continue to reinforce their existing knowledge through teaching others. Simply offering raises and titles is no longer enough – you need to provide true challenges and growth for them to stay and be happy.

 

The work of a business owner never truly ends. However, with these tried and tested methods, you can help your employees thrive under your wing, and consequently, your business will be able to grow stronger and more successful with every happy employee you nurture.

 

4 Challenges of Recruiting Foreign Workers

One of the most overlooked and undervalued aspects of today’s life is transportation. We often forget the troubles our ancestors faced when trying to go from one country to other. Travel time was measured in months, often by foot and with scarce food, while having to face the risk of getting robbed and/or beaten. Meanwhile, not a single five-star hotel in sight.

Today people don’t have to worry about such problems, but many others arise while recruiting the right foreign workers. But why go through all the trouble? Well, even though hiring internationally doesn’t equal with hiring remotely just in Britain foreign workers create an economic boost of over 210 billion pounds per year. Foreign workers are more productive, happier, complain less and don’t quit so easily.

Hitting the Mark

Finding the right foreign worker is all about searching for him in the right location. Spread too thin and nothing is accomplished but a bullseye in the wrong target also misses the spot. First, examine your own needs. Do you require a skilled worker? Or are you broadening your trade options? Different zones in the world produce different results when it comes to recruitment.

When searching for skilled workers, look for places with the high number of unemployed graduates or for countries that are in a transition period or are emerging economies. For instance, countries in the Balkans are known for the latter while Scandinavian countries are already oversaturated with a qualified workforce.

Language Barriers

Proper communication is crucial for successful navigation of the workplace. This especially applies for skilled workers which will often require complex instructions. In a nutshell, both sides aren’t on the same page yet.

Businesses have no issues when everyone is local and can easily reach the right person for some questions and answers. But when foreign workers come into the equation it becomes more important than ever to keep everyone informed.

Some companies mitigate this by educating their new foreign employees in a multiway approach, helping them to learn the language in the workplace or by outsourcing this education to specialized PTE classes. This way, those businesses kill two birds with one stone, considering those classes are also used as a proof for language knowledge in visa gaining process.

You may also try dedicating a member of the staff with helping out in communicating with the newcomers. This way, by putting in an effort, you not only alleviate some of the pressure all foreign workers face but also show care for integrating new members. So, if they aren’t having a successful communication at least one member of the staff can mediate until they learn new language.

The Right Type of Recruitment

In today’s virtual age, it’s all too easy to choose the easy way and try performing international recruitment phase without ever going face-to-face.  Which is going to land you with a lot of problems later on.

Without seeing someone in person you miss out on the most important part of communication called non-verbal communication. All those gestures, micro-expressions, body language gets left out, and with it, your intuition and that gut feeling about someone and their character.

Of course, sometimes going to another country just for recruitment may not be an option; traveling costs or your own engagement at the workplace could be an issue. If that’s the case, try finding a representative on the ground while international recruitment is in the process.  

This way, you show a human version of your business to potential recruits all the while receiving a complex and personal impression about them. Alternatively, make use of local recruitment agencies that will work with your HR on the ground.

Reaction to the New Environment

Almost 25% of HR that work with this subject say that stress-related with adapting to a new environment represents a significant problem. It’s a two-sided issue, first, the impact of it cannot be measured until the end of candidate relocation, and if it becomes too big, it often creates significant losses in terms of relocation cost or wasted recruitment.  

This is why overcoming this problem should be your main focus in the employee integration phase. Preparation before relocation, suggest resources and materials so they know what to expect when coming. Encourage them to come before starting the job so they have the necessary time to adapt.

Be proactive and adaptive if they cannot. Offer any support you can, so a transition (a hard period in itself) goes as smoothly and painlessly as possible. And remember, every individual has their own type of reaction that varies by intensity and length, some people get used to new things immediately, and some will always have a hard time adapting.

To summarize: search in the right places in the right way. Help your new employees in their acclimatization period and be supportive in any way you can. In the end, both parties will end up happy.

Studying & Working Abroad: The Pros and Cons of Foreign Exchange

Is studying in your home country exciting and inspiring enough for you? If not, you’re probably considering a foreign exchange program, so that you can work and study in a country of your choosing. As appealing as this concept can be, moving to a country completely different from yours can also have some downsides. So, in case you’re considering changing your scenery in order to work and study abroad, here are some pros and cons you should be aware of.

Language and culture

Moving to another country usually means experiencing a fresh lifestyle and getting familiar with a new culture and a language. A con would be that it’s sometimes very difficult to adapt to things you haven’t had contact with so far. Learning a new language could require a lot of effort and it might also slow down your studies and make it more difficult to find a job.

On the other hand, there are several pros to this as well. Yes, you have to learn a new language, but what better and faster way to do it than by being surrounded by people speaking it all the time? Also, even though a new culture and customs can appear strange and puzzling, there is a lot to gain from learning about them and being a part of them. If reading books and watching documentaries can broaden your horizons, then actually experiencing something as interesting as this can be enriching beyond what you could imagine. Plus, of course, adding another language to your CV could mean a great advantage when you apply even for the most demanding and difficult-to-fill positions.

Accommodation

Finding accommodation in a foreign country could prove to be tricky, which is another con. The reason for this is that you need to find a place to stay even before you actually move there. Most people do it online, but what you see on the internet can differ greatly from what you actually get when you arrive.

The pro here is that a growing number of countries are making an effort to make foreign students feel more welcome. Countries like Australia are aware of how important it is for students to feel comfortable and safe while on foreign exchange. This is why you can find awesome student accommodation in Sydney, where hospitality and student security are among top priorities, along with great location and a positive environment for young people of all cultures and backgrounds. These accommodation options are close to the city center and some of the universities, while you can use public transport to get to other universities easily.

Social connections

When it comes to your social life, your friendships and family relations, there is an obvious con if you move abroad. It’s only natural that you miss your closest friends and your family members greatly. This may make you feel lonely and in need of some emotional support, which is something you didn’t have to think about while you were surrounded by those who love you and know you best. Furthermore, in case you’re pursuing a career, once you move, people might disregard you as an employee option.

However, a huge pro is that you’ll get to meet many new people from all over the world. Think about all the new friendships you’ll have the chance of making. Even if you find it hard to form meaningful connections with new people, you’ll meet so many of them that it will be next to impossible not to find somebody you like and want to become friends with. This can even make it easier to deal with your studies, since most of the people you’ll meet will be students, just like you, giving you an opportunity to form a nice study group. Meeting your academic requirements is always more fun and less stressful when you’re doing it with somebody’s help. Plus, you’ll be in a position to make new business connections and open some new career doors for when you decide where you want to live and what kind of job you want to do.

Expenses

One of the main cons of studying abroad can be the expenses. Not only do you have to pay for the transport there and probably some fees for your student visa, but the university fees are sometimes different for foreign students, too. And then there are the accommodation expenses, the food and everything else.

The pro here is that there are many scholarships and other financial benefits available to international students nowadays in many of the world countries. You can actually study for free as a foreign student in countries like Germany, Belgium, Greece, Italy and Spain. Some countries, like India, Argentina and Taiwan have study programs at great value for international students, while others, including Australia, New Zealand, Russia and Canada offer scholarships to people who want to come from abroad and study there. And when it comes to other everyday expenses, they are something you’ll have to deal with even if you study in your own country, which is why they should definitely not be something to stop you from studying abroad.

There are advantages and disadvantages to every choice you make in life. The best thing you can do sometimes is to just leap forward and see what life brings you. You never know. This might be the best choice you’ve ever made.

5 Benefits of Buying a Franchise

Many people would like to start their own business but lack the means and resources to do so. Entrepreneurship is a great way to ensure a profitable career and a solid retirement as well. However, not everyone can afford to build and grow their business from the ground up. Fortunately, you can run your own business even without having to start it on your own.

The best way to achieve that is to buy a franchise. Franchises are supported by brands or a trademark also known as franchisors. In other words, they supply you with whatever you need while you run their franchise. That being said, here are a few benefits of buying a franchise.

Lower costs

For those of you who lack the funds to start a business, buying a franchise may be a good alternative. You only have to pay the fixed costs of buying yourself into a developed business model, i.e. franchise, which can be quite less expensive than developing a business all on your own.

Moreover, the operating costs of running a franchise are also reduced, as the franchisor provides you with marketing strategies, consumer base, brand awareness and training for employees. That way, you don’t have to come up with any strategies on your own or fund them solely from your own pocket as well.

Be your own boss, but not on your own

Running a franchise business is excellent for entrepreneurs who don’t have any previous experience in running a business. If you’re indecisive about going forward because you lack the know-how, then a franchise is the right small business idea but for you.

Simply put, you get to run a franchise business but you get continuous support in form of advice, planning, strategizing and anything similar from a franchisor. They will provide you with the know-how and teach you everything you need to know about running a business.

Help the local community

Franchising business is beneficial for the local community, as well as for the local economy. When a franchise business opens up, it creates more job opportunities. A franchisor will hire local employees instead of bringing them from abroad.

Also, other businesses, such as bookkeepers, lawyers, electricians and others in the area have a tendency to thrive when there’s a franchise nearby. What’s more, franchisors prefer to maintain their good reputation and will not hesitate to participate and donate to local charities.

Source: The UPS Store

Brand’s reputation

As mentioned before, franchises are supported by trademarks or brands, which means that you basically operate under the franchisors name. This elevates your franchise on the local market due to franchisors brand awareness and reputation.

What’s more, consumers are likely to recognize your franchise due to the brand name or trademark and will be more willing to engage with your business. In addition, applying for bank loans or financial support from investors is more likely to go through due to your franchisors established reputation on the market.

Seamless operations

Running a franchise business is much simpler when a franchisor has your back. In other words, stocking your business with inventory, ordering products, categorizing and organizing is quite more efficient. A franchisor has an already developed system in place. That means that they know what and why it works, and you only have to follow through.

Furthermore, you have developed marketing campaigns and strategies you can utilize to promote your franchise. When all activities are combined, they ensure a smooth and seamless operation of your franchise. The only thing you must do is oversee the process and ensure everything is going well.

 

Buying a franchise is more suited for entrepreneurs who lack the resources or the knowledge to start their own business. A franchise business will complement your ambition nicely and allow you to grow in the business world.