Archive for the 'General Interest' Category

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Post-Lockdown Business Ideas

Lockdowns are still happening on and off all over the world, which means that there are still people out there starting their own businesses and working to make them last beyond the pandemic lockdowns. One thing that’s for sure, it’s that people want to come up with more ideas after the lockdowns end so that they can continue their business. 

Whether you are an artist or an entrepreneur, buying up plastic mannequins or buying website domains to sell them on, you should consider how you can continue your business post-lockdown. One thing that we definitely know is that businesses that are driven by technology are the ones to watch after the pandemic, as these are going to have the crazy growth that all business owners want. So, what could you do after the lockdown to ensure that you own a business? Let’s take a look!

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  1. Online clothing seller. There are so many websites out there that will be the perfect platform for you to either sell clothes that you’ve bought and upgraded, or clothing that you have designed and made for yourself. Once you find these sites, you can continue your lockdown sewing hobby and turn it into something so much bigger than you thought it could be. 
  2. Social media manager. Are you excited by the idea of social media? Can you see the potential for growth? If you have spent the pandemic online on Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media sites, the best thing that you can do is see whether you can start up as a freelance social media consultant. You can take courses to do this, so don’t fret!
  3. Freelance writing. If you’re loving the idea of working from home, perhaps freelancing as a copywriter could work for you? You can find out the weaker areas on someone’s blog and tell them how to fix it. You can ensure that you find your own clients online on sites like Fiverr and then offer your services!
  4. Online accounting. Are you great with numbers? Were you an accountant (the real kind) before the pandemic hit? The best thing that you can do is to provide online consulting services to businesses and individuals who need support with their finances. 
  5. Opening a store. If you spent your lockdown baking or creating clothing, why not look at the steps you could take to open a store and sell what you make? There are a lot of laws involved in running a retail space, and you need to get your research done as early as possible. 
  6. Develop an app. One of the smartest business ideas that you could have is in development of an app. Whether it’s for education or for work support, you could really create something that people want. Speak to freelance app designers to help you to create something amazing, and you will be able to monetize this and potentially sell it later.

Important Construction Tips For Office Buildings


If you are looking to start a new business or you want to move to the next stage and build your own office for your workers – there are many things to consider and ways to make this a happy and comfortable environment to work in. 

Creating an office building that is smart and practical is something important for every workplace, and today we want to take a look at some of the tips you should take on board when building your office building. 

Ensure parking 

One of the most sought after commodities for those working in the city is an office building with its own free parking. As a business owner, being able to provide a secure car park for your employees is an amazing thing and it will help them to get to work on time every day without the trials and tribulations of public transport. Car parks will also attract more people to work for you so this can be a super useful thing. 

Make the most of outdoor space 

Outdoor space is such an important thing to consider when building your new office building. When you pick a plot of land make sure to keep some of it free for an outdoor seating area people can enjoy throughout the spring and summer months. A dose of fresh air will do your workers good, and having a seating area with grass and flowers can be a wonderful design feature for your building should you ever sell it on. 

Keep it open plan 

Open plan offices are all the rage these days, and gone are the days of cramped cubicles and locked rooms. When planning for your office construction project make sure to plan for an open plan space that allows people to communicate throughout the working day. This modern design will open up your space and will help you to maximise every inch of your floor space in the workplace. 

Use a crane driver for furnishings 

When constructing your ideal office building it is incredibly important to invest in someone with the best gantry crane training to come and bring larger furnishings into the office. If you have multiple floors and you have some big items that will not be able to come up the stairs, a crane will make life so much easier and it will ensure that everything is in place before you even put the windows in. 

Invest in windows 

Speaking of windows – these will be one of the most important features you bring into your office building today. Windows from floor to ceiling will open up your office and provide natural light all day to ensure everyone is able to work in a bright and spacious place. This is such an important feature to invest in because you will be able to keep morale up in the office and keep everyone awake and alert throughout the day. 

Use these ideas to create the perfect office building for yourself and your workers this year. 

The 4 Principles To Successfully Expand A Business Abroad

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The world is a big place, and that can encourage some businesses to try and take a step out and figure out just what opportunity is lurking there. This is not always clear from the offset, which is why deep research is needed, and why familiarity with a given country, its laws and culture should be undertaken before marketing to that audience.

Furthermore, certain countries may have specific legislation detailing exactly how consumers can engage with your products. For instance, the video game industry, the biggest entertainment industry on the planet, is sure to suffer in China after their recent declaration of limiting children to three hours of gaming time a week, wiping out billions of dollars of value.

So, it’s essential to know what you’re getting into. But what about when you’re establishing the processes that will develop your brand and ingratiate it into the market? In this post, we will discuss four essential principles you can use that can help you deftly manage this approach with your priorities properly calibrated:

Understand The Market

It can take some time, but it’s essential to understand the market before you try to penetrate it. This is because certain businesses, certain market shares, and certain gaps in the market will no doubt differ, sometimes wildly, from the norms you’re used to back home.

Furthermore, it might be that a country has specific regulations in place in order to favor home-grown trade over international imports. For instance, broadcast stations operating in Canada must have at least 50% of programming aired from 6.00pm to midnight must be of Canadian origin. It might be that certain industries are subsidized, giving them a natural advantage over the kind of value you can offer.

This kind of protectionism is often a point of political debate among many, but it’s something we must be aware of. This is especially true in changing markets such as of that of Great Britain, where the recent trade deal with the EU came with many concessions worth considering.

Understand The Culture

A market isn’t simply a statistic. It is influenced by a wide array of factors, including cultural. This can be as simple as needing to change a product name, or perhaps learning how to properly ingratiate yourself with professionals when hoping to expand, acquire, or merge internationally. For instance, Arab countries tend to place a high importance on manners and proper etiquette before business is discussed, as it’s considered polite and respectful to greet the other party as humans rather than cold professional entities before business is discussed. This can also influence to what degree you are trusted. That seems pretty rational.

But in countries like Japan, dancing around the subject of a business topic to be discussed before it is discussed can be seen as somewhat deceptive, or even rude in the worst circumstances. They require pleasantries, of course, but respect those who are able to discuss a proposition with confidence and assertiveness before assuming any artificial closeness.

This is general guidance, however, because it’s wrong to admit that all people are the same, and all cultural norms are equally divided among markets and society. You can see why research is needed, and where you fit in culturally can be a big necessity.

Understand The Regulations

We’ve discussed a little bit about regulations and how they can affect markets, but often, a regulation does not necessarily define exactly how successful your business might be, but rather, if you can operate there at all.

For instance, what does a customs broker do? These professionals make it their mission to help you properly cross the border and work through the customs departments of countries like the US, so that your goods aren’t obstructed, you don’t have to pay penalties for improper logistical care, and that your duties are reduced. With the reputation of a firm like this to help you, it’s also important to note just how seamless this kind of investment can help your international trade become.

Understanding every regulation is essential, but it can also be important to figure out your smoothest way of complying with them. In this case, you’ll find a positive means forward.

Pivot Your Approach As Necessary

No two countries are exactly the same, and no two markets are either. International trade can be finicky. Don’t be afraid to pivot your approach, or in certain circumstances, decide to withdraw and try again. Even the best businesses encounter difficulty from time to time.

With this advice, we hope you can more readily expand your business abroad.

Three Steps For Pushing Yourself in Your Career

The level of success that you can experience throughout your career can be directly linked to your attitude and how far you believe in yourself, and how far you think you will be able to go. There is a saying that says, whether you think you can or you can’t, you are right. That is why you may need an extra push in your career through a mentor or someone who inspires you and believes in you, to give you the extra push that you think you might need to get to the next level. If you don’t think you can, then you won’t. If you think you can, then with hard work, you will. Here are some things to consider as you pursue your career and strive to succeed.

Image from Pixabay – CCO licence

Identify what your motivators are

You need to find out what helps to motivate you, in order to help you to be better and to grow in your career. This could be thinking about what gives your life meaning or just what brings you joy in general. Are you motivated by financial reward, or do you prefer to be motivated by really setting your mind to something and then being able to do it? Where do you want your career to be in five years, for example? This direction can help you to move forward and achieve more each day. 

Take on challenges 

You may be in the career that you want to be right now, and just want to get higher up the ladder, so to speak. You may be in a career that isn’t ideal for you right now, but by seeking out different experiences and challenges, no matter where you are in your career right now, it will force you to grow. By going out of your comfort zone and taking on a certain task or applying to do something new, will help you to learn, as well as stand out from your peers. 

It could be pushing yourself to look for new drillers offsider jobs to get into an industry that you have an interest in, or perhaps you want to study at the same time as working, to further where you are in your career currently. When you push yourself it helps you to look more valuable to potential employers, and you never know where the next experiences may take you. 

Ask for help

By getting help from a more experienced colleague or a mentor that you trust, you will help to get more confidence, and can scratch your limits. By talking to someone who knows how to get to where you want to be or understands the challenges that you face, it will help you to improve your resilience, especially when you may feel like you are failing. A trusted colleague or mentor can help you to achieve your goals, and that can boost your confidence. Confidence is key to success, as it will help you believe that you are able to succeed and that means that you will.

Mental Tools You Need To Bounce Back After A Catastrophe

Whether in business or in life, eventually disaster will strike. There will come a point when everything will go wrong and you’ll be left scratching your head how it happened.

When things go wrong for people, many don’t emerge from the situation victorious. Instead, the catastrophe – whatever it is – hangs like a millstone around their neck, dragging them down. 

Dealing with setbacks in life is all about adopting the proper mindset. Life often brings us suffering. But, often, we can create our own – more than is strictly necessary. 

Fortunately, there are some mental tools that you can use to bounce back after a disaster. See them below: 

Try To Take The Sting Out Of Self-Criticism

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It is common to blame yourself when things go wrong in your life. After all, it’s your life and you feel responsible for it. 

But on many occasions, things are out of your control. You can’t just manipulate the world into being the way that you want it to be. Things happen around you regardless of what you think or how you feel. 

If you can, avoid listening to that nagging voice in your head telling you that you’re a hopeless basket case. Instead, just focus on the little things that you can do right now to make your life better. 

Make Concrete Plans

In almost all situations in life, there are things that we can do to make things better. It can be hard to take the plunge and ask for a better deal for yourself, but that’s often the only way to get ahead.

Making concrete plans gives you something to aim for. It allows you to plot a course from where you are now to where you’d like to be in the future. Once you have a course charted out in front of you, it becomes much easier to make the right decisions in life. 

Deal With One Thing At A Time

Dealing with all the problems in your life all at once is a challenge, so focus on one area at a time. For instance, if you are overweight, do not like your job and are having relationship problems, start with your health issues first. Then move onto the other problems. Often you’ll find that if you solve problems in your body, dealing with other issues in your life becomes easier. 

Be Proactive

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people in the US get injured in truck accidents. It’s one of the leading causes of personal catastrophes in people’s lives with many people experiencing debilitating injuries. 

Unfortunately, some people don’t take action. They expect things to work out automatically. But that’s rarely the case. Anyone who has been injured should use dependable truck accident lawyers to fight their case. 

Being proactive when disaster strikes, therefore, is important. The situation might seem bad, but there are always steps that you can take to improve it. Don’t allow the actions of other people to determine the success of your life. 

Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

After disaster strikes, it can be difficult to stop comparing yourself to other people. For instance, when your marriage breaks down, you can focus on the relationships that other people in your life have and wonder why yours didn’t work out the way you wanted. 

Comparing yourself to others, however, is generally a bad idea. It brings up all kinds of unwanted emotions that don’t serve you in any way. You feel ashamed and depressed which disincentivizes you from taking necessary action to improve your situation. 

A better approach is to celebrate the positive and happy lives of other people. This way, you can enjoy their company without it being a burden to your emotions. You can even try to capture their energy and use it to your advantage in your life. Sometimes, they have a way of being that just attracts success. 

Accept Your Life As It Is Now

When disaster strikes, it can be hard to accept what’s happened. You feel pain, torment and anguish that somebody could hurt you. And you feel a sense of grief that you’ve lost something that you had before. 

The trick here is to find a way to enjoy whatever situation befalls you, regardless of what happens in the outside world. Instead of focusing on what you’ve lost, try to enjoy your life experience as it presents itself to you. You’ll often find that it’s not so bad and that you can still find positives. Remember, the game is never over until it is over. 

Post-Pandemic Considerations For Wellbeing At Work

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to some drastic changes to the work environment. And even as things start to ease and restrictions come to an end, it’s safe to say that some things will have changed permanently.

For business owners, being able to return to some normality is long overdue, but it’s important that it happens with employee wellbeing in mind. Employee wellbeing should be a priority for your business as it finds its new normal, ensuring your staff feel comfortable and supported going forward.

What are the new considerations for wellbeing at work post-COVID? Explore the following ideas for your business to consider.

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Putting health and safety first

Health and safety has always been a vital consideration for businesses, but in the wake of the pandemic, there are additional concerns to think about. Getting health and safety right in the post-lockdown world will require greater protection for employees and visitors, especially to promote the containment of viruses.

Different businesses will have different considerations for COVID, in addition to existing health and safety policies. It’s important to ensure the guidance is in place for your specific industry to ensure it’s relevant and correct. Employees also need to be able to find the guidance easily to familiarize themselves with it.

If you do encounter accidents in the workplace, there needs to be processes in place so that employees can seek help if needed. They may need to consult specialist legal professionals such as mining accident injury lawyers, and feel able to do so confidently. Regular reviews of your health and safety practices will help keep your workplace and employees safe.

Digital wellbeing

Many workplace wellbeing practices are centered around on-site wellbeing. Having breakout spaces, on-site gym and leisure facilities, etc. are all great for employees who can take advantage of them. But now that more people are working from home, digital wellbeing needs to be considered too. 

Employees need to know that they are not expected to be ‘on’ at all times, with consideration given to flexible working hours, protected hours and even work time without being at a computer. Improved communication is vital to ensuring employees feel connected to their colleagues, without being overloaded with meetings.

Improved mental health support

The global pandemic has raised concerns around mental health and employees. Employees are having to build resilience and cope with job stress at what is a difficult time, but employers are also in a position to provide increased support in this area.

Engaging with employees is important to help them understand the help that is out there. Wellbeing surveys have become popular among many organizations to assess the overall mood and productivity of their staff, and this is something that can continue even after the pandemic ends. 

If your business has reduced spending in some areas because of the pandemic, then investing in support for your employees should be a key consideration.

Finding the balance between flexibility and functionality

While many businesses were once reluctant to offer flexible working, it has now quickly become the norm. Even as it becomes safe to return to office environments, many businesses will continue to offer this type of working. 

However, when it comes to remote working, businesses need to find the balance between flexibility and functionality. Employees may want to continue to work flexibly, but if there is a dip in productivity as a result, businesses will need to work hard to find a compromise or suitable solutions.

Forward planning and risk management

While the use of vaccines and measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus are enabling a degree of a return to normality, nobody knows what the future may hold. Businesses will need to explore reprioritizing risk and resilience post-COVID-19, factoring in new business continuity plans should a similar situation arise in the future. Having plans and protocols for employees can help them feel more confident should they be faced with a similar incident in the future. Businesses had to alter practices very quickly in response to this pandemic, but there will be best practice and lessons to learn from that should make future events easier to deal with.

Employee wellbeing is more important than ever. There has been a lot of adjustment and uncertainty over the past year that has meant that many have struggled to adapt and thrive as they should. As a responsible manager or business owner, it’s important to have a wellbeing strategy in place that can help people adjust to life post-pandemic. 

Hints To Improve Employee Performance

The people who work for you are looking to do well in their role so that they can continue to climb the ladder in your industry. Whether they climb the ladder in another company like yours, or they want to reach management level in your business, you need to ensure that people are feeling happy in their roles and are performing well. What people want is to reach their goals and it’s your job to help them to reach those goals. 

It’s easy to lose focus when people are asking us to support goals that take them away from your business, but that’s your job. Offering free online courses to support their training may end up feeling like a smack in the face, but as a leader, your job is to lead and not to control. Helping people to blossom can work in your favor and if there is room for them to spread their wings, they will be loyal to your business. Goals can be daunting though, and yet you are in a position where you can coach your employees to improve in their performances. With this in mind, here is how you can improve their performance as much as possible.

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  • Give people a reason to be productive. You want to keep everyone focused on their goals and the best way to do that is to reinforce that bigger picture. Show them how their goals and the effort that they make to achieve them will make a difference to the way in which they work. Effective leaders will ensure that people are able to train for and meet their goals – and you want to be that effective leader that had a hand in giving others a step up.
  • Be communicative. You need to meet with your employees on a regular basis to see how they are doing. Are they having any issues? Are they able to stay on track? With regular meetings and asking questions, you will know that your efforts are working well for your staff. If people aren’t where they need to be, continue to encourage them and be open about how they are performing. They need honesty!
  • Make achievement fun. You don’t have to reward people with stickers, but you can foster a positive attitude in your business with team activities and a lot of recognition and praise. Sometimes, people just want to have that pat on the back they need to get through the day, and you can make their life so much easier when you do.
  • Make goals easy to achieve. If you have an employee come to you with something that they want to achieve, you need to do what you can to make their life as easy as possible. Goals can fail because they seem far too much, and it’s much easier to achieve goals if they are broken into smaller pieces. Those who are successful look at a goal and work out how to achieve it in small amounts so that they don’t become overwhelmed by it.

Learning Business Skills Will Help You Build Your Business

More and more people nowadays dream of starting their own business. Success usually requires developing a range of skills and acquiring some essential knowledge. From this perspective, those who have pursued accounting studies, however brief, have an undeniable advantage over others. Whether you choose to begin an SME in your hometown or a multinational established on several continents, information on business and accounting will help you across all industries. 

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With studies in business and accounting, it is possible to write credible financial documents, and take care of your business. From a more global perspective, business and accounting courses allow people to gain an overview of their business. This way you can make informed decisions. In addition, people who have minimal knowledge in the field of accounting have a clear advantage over others. This is because they can more easily master the basics of running the business. So what business will it help? If you want to be a graphic designer, you must learn about invoicing. If you are a registered plumber, you will need to know the basics of commercial plumbing services including the equipment needed, how to work invoices etc. You will have most likely already learned the rudiments of your chosen sector, so taking care of the business side is going to be the natural second step.  

Therefore, it is vital to know that entrepreneurship has many advantages. In particular, it allows people to truly flourish by choosing a sector and an activity that appeals to them. People who have started a business enjoy greater flexibility in their daily professional life since they can establish their own procedures.  Generally speaking, business leaders often have the same profile. They are people who are passionate and creative, who have a lot of energy and who like to be independent. You can then choose to use your expertise to build a team. You can build a plumbing company, or a design company. Perhaps you can look at building a sports company or advertising organization. There are plenty of routes to take. When you have a strong business mind, you can cope well with uncertainty and rarely have a traditional course. You will know how to prioritize and will be able to identify potential customer needs. As it is impossible to do everything by yourself, you have to know how to surround yourself and know how to delegate. Even if there is an innate part, it is possible to learn to lead your professional boat by getting involved in a community organization or by taking courses. 

If you think you have the profile and if you are currently looking for a job, it might be the right time to start your business. Contrary to popular belief, business creation is aimed at both workers and managers. You do not necessarily need a university degree to get started. This is why all trades and skill levels are represented. It is certainly a challenge but certainly not an insurmountable one, especially if you have an established strategy. Everyone has the chance to succeed in their business goals. 

Can You Fit Serious Studying Alongside Your Day Job?

The internet is one of the most incredible learning tools that we have available to us. It’s an amazing way to study unique skills and there’s plenty of educational content out there that can transform our lives. However, most of us simply don’t have time to study while we work a full-time job.

At least, that’s what many of us believe.

In reality, you can achieve great things by studying alongside your day job. Making time for it is all about gathering the motivation to stay focused and also managing your time so that you don’t feel like you’re on a strict schedule every day. So how do you fit study alongside a full-time job? Here are some tips to help you out.

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Pick a course that fits your schedule

First, ensure that your study time doesn’t overlap with your job. Ideally, you should keep these things completely separate. For example, don’t try and watch a lecture while you’re at work doing something else. Trying to multitask like this isn’t going to end well because it just stresses out your brain. You’ll get mentally fatigued much faster and you’ll just end up having a bad time.

Choose something related to your full-time job or study

While a full-time university course isn’t considered a job, it does take a similar amount of time. If you want to learn something alongside your day job or your full-time studies, then you’ll want to try and pick something that is closely related to it. For example, if you want to enhance your clinical skills while working on your degree in medicine or physical therapy, then you may want to choose an online course that shares a similar subject. This will ensure that you’re not bouncing between two completely different sets of skills all the time. Granted, there are some people that would prefer this, but it does require a lot of focus.

You have to dedicate time to it

This might sound obvious, but you really need to dedicate some time to your studies if you’re trying to fit it alongside something else. This means you should actually take out 2-3 hours of your time a day and focus that on just studying. Don’t treat it like something you can do for 30 minutes before and after work and expect to progress at a fast pace. Yes, this does mean that you’ll eventually need to give up something else in your schedule. However, you may want to alternate your study and relaxation days. For example, you can keep Friday night free to hang out with friends and family members, but you should study the following morning when it’s your day off.

Don’t force yourself–temper your expectations

It’s not easy to study for 3-4 hours each day after an 8-hour workday. That’s just way too many hours that your brain needs to focus. You’ll eventually get fatigued and will need to take a break. Take it easy and let your mind relax, and don’t get upset if you find it hard to stay focused for a long time.

4 Things You Need To Start Your Own Cafe

If you’ve got some great cooking skills, a desire to keep people happy with your amazing food and a sense of entrepreneurship, then starting your own cafe or restaurant might be a great idea for you. If the idea of a restaurant seems too intimidating, why not try your hands at a cafe first? It’s more casual, you can have lesser items on the menu (and more of the snacky variety as opposed to mealtime dishes) and the expenses will also be less. 

So, if you want to start your own cafe, here are four things you need to consider.

Image Credit: Pixabay

  1.  A Venue

First and foremost, you need a venue to start your cafe. Based on what your bigger plan for your cafe venture is, you could look for a venue on a high street, in a park, in a retail area or in a mall. Of course, you will also need to consider your budget. But choosing a venue is the first step on your journey to opening your own cafe. 

  1.  Investment/ Capital

Next, you would need a certain amount of investment or capital to kickstart things. First and foremost, you would need the money to either buy or rent the cafe premises. But that’s just the start – you will also need to set up the cafe and that includes the kitchen appliances, raw materials for cooking, tables, chairs and other pieces of furniture. You will also need to think about other expenses such as electricity and water bills and employees salaries etc. So make sure you budget for everything beforehand.

  1. Theme and decor 

You might have a rough theme in mind for your cafe – for instance, if it’s by the beach front you might want to make it all about the ocean; or if it’s in a country park you would like to have a more rustic, natural look. Likewise, if it’s a more upmarket cafe serving high-tea and the like, you would like to be a bit more grand. 

The decor would depend on your theme obviously, and when you are looking for commercial cafe furniture online or in-store, you will instantly know when you like a particular table or chair or set; it will just click. You can either have a table and chairs set or different chairs and tables – again, this decision will depend on your overall decor. Make sure your furniture matches the wall paint, else choose your furniture prior to painting the venue. 

  1. Have a USP

While starting your own cafe might sound very exciting, you must realise that it is not a niche business – in fact, you will often find a line of cafes on any high street or town centre. So, if you want to make your cafe truly stand out – have some sort of USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Of course, your food will ultimately be the deciding factor on whether customers come back a second time (quality is key); but having something else that attracts them back or attracts new customers is a great idea. 

Maybe you could have a special weekend brunch, or a coffee-and-cake deal, or perhaps serve a speciality coffee you can’t get elsewhere? Think out of the box on this one.