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The Importance of An Outdoor Marketing Calendar

Each year in the UK is full of various multicultural events from Chinese New Year to Palm Sunday, or Father’s Day. We all can name a few events (most of which are not even bank holidays anyway), but are you absolutely sure that you know all the dates that are important these days? A quick look at the Marketing calendar in the UK should reveal all the options.

As a business owner in the UK you need to make sure that you are aware of various traditions and dates that take place all year round in the country in which you live. The UK is a multicultural nation where many traditions cross and where each nation has a right to preserve their traditions. If you want to launch a marketing campaign, this might be just the right place to get started as you have a lot of traditions to work with here. Timing them and taking advantage of them is the key to success.

In the beginning of each year it definitely makes sense to make yourself familiar with all the traditions that take place withing the next 365 days. Nobody says that you need to tailor your marketing strategy to all of the events in the calendar. You might want to choose just a few events that fit with the theme of your product and them start from there.

Remember to be sensitive when it comes to various traditions and customs. Very often, researching thoroughly a tradition might be the best decision you will ever make and something that can affect your marketing campaign for a very long time. Choose your strategy carefully and you have everything set and ready to go for a really long time.

You might want to be flexibly as well. If you have proof that something has not worked out the way you wanted it be sure to adjust to the situation and make the necessary changes. And remember that there are many dates in the calendar each year you will want to take advantage of. Feel free to research even more traditions that not everybody knows about and who knows maybe you are going to reach a group of people with a product that nobody else has thought about reaching before.

Emergency Loans To Consider For Your Business

As a business owner, you strive to prepare for all of the difficulties your company may face. Even during periods of great success, we must all prepare for challenges lurking around the corner. Generally, most trials a business may face can be overcome with more money. Of course, these are also the times when cash flow can be at their lowest. The good news is that there are cash flow options. Just as you might use title loans to overcome personal finance troubles, you can access emergency loans for your business. With that in mind, let’s look at the emergency financing options you may have available.

Bank Loans, Credit Lines and Credit Increases

Bank loans can range from a few months to several years. They’re often the ideal way to borrow because of the favorable terms. If your business has developed a history with a particular bank, you may be able to get a loan on short notice. Another option is a credit line, which can be opened quickly with good credit. If you already have a line of credit, an extension to that line is another option.

SBA Loans

The Small Business Association doesn’t just help get new businesses off the ground. The SBA helps prepare and deal with emergencies. If you’re facing an emergency that threatens your business and cannot get a loan through a traditional lender, you may find the assistance you need via the SBA.

Disaster Assistance

If there are extenuating circumstances, such as a natural disaster, then you may be eligible for special assistance. Agencies like FEMA often help facilitate this kind of special assistance. Even the SBA has funds set aside and sometimes awards grants, which don’t have to be repaid.

Alternative Lenders

Alternative lenders are becoming more prevalent, and they offer a path for creditworthy businesses to traditional financial institutions that wouldn’t otherwise be there. If you face an emergency but can’t get a bank loan, these alternative lenders may be willing to take on that risk. An advantage this approach offers is being able spread the money you need across multiple entities willing to assume that risk.

Asset-Based Loans

If your business lacks the credit necessary for traditional forms of lending, borrowing with collateral may be an alternative. Businesses can often acquire short-term loans on short notice using assets the business holds or even personal assets held by the business owner. Common examples of this collateral include commercial real estate, privately held real estate, inventory and equipment.

Bridge Loans

Bridge financing is a type of financing that assists a business in meeting its financial obligations while it waits for other entities to meet theirs. For instance, a business may be waiting on a large payment from a client or may be waiting on a large financing deal to be completed by a bank. These bridges are usually for relatively small amounts over short periods and let a business bridge a financial gap.

Emergency Equipment Leasing

If the emergency your business faces is that you need equipment or similar assets that you cannot afford at the moment, emergency leasing may be available. These opportunities are generally offered directly through the vendor and may or may not be backed by a bank. This type of leasing usually works in one of two ways. It can let you lease the equipment you need until you’re in a position to purchase, or it can defer any lease payments owed to a future date.

Cash Advances

A final option is a cash advance. These are similar to bridge loans in some ways but involve the sale of future credit card deposits or similar transactions. In other words, you receive cash based on future sales at the cost of some percentage of those future sales. The cost of this option can be quite high compared to the other options presented here, but it’s sometimes the only option for a business owner in pinch.

Tips on Expanding Your Business to a New Location

When expanding your existing business to a new location, it can be stressful, especially if your previous venture was at a pre-existing location. If you’ve never built a new work space from the ground up before, then the prospect of doing so may seem daunting. In order to help alleviate some of those concerns, and make the entire process more enjoyable overall, this guide will offer up some simple tips to make the concept of business expansion much more straightforward.

Installation Specialists

Before you choose a plot of land to build your new business, you might want to invest in an installation specialist that can do most of the work for you. Surveyors can go out to the prospective area and determine whether or not the land is right for sustaining a business. If you’re someone who doesn’t really know much about surveying, or what is involved in installing a new business from the ground up, then it can be worth investing in these services. In fact, it’s recommended that you seek out a knowledgeable installation expert, even if you already know what you’re doing. It’s always a good idea to have two separate sets of eyes overlooking complex projects of this magnitude.

Invest in Peripherals

It’s not enough to simple put up some walls and call a new area your place of work. If you want to add legitimacy to your location, then you’ll want to invest in the associated additions. This means finding things that fit your company’s style, like turnkey digital signage. Companies like Casco Signs offer these types of LED digital signs, which allow businesses to easily put up messages on them for potential customers to then see.

Prepare Financial Materials Beforehand

If your business expansion is reliant on outside investing, then you’ll want to make sure all of your paperwork is in order before you approach any would-be investors. During this process, it will also allow you to review your current financial situation, and better prepare you mentally for the costs associated with a typical business expansion project.

Expanding your business can be an exciting, and potentially lucrative, experience, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t without its fair share of difficulties. If you can rise to the challenge though, you’ll find it to ultimately be incredibly rewarding, on both a personal and a financial level.

GDPR and Brexit: How Will It Affect UK Businesses

The UK still remains under the authority of the European Union until it leaves at some point. This means that certain laws and regulations still apply for as long as the country remains under the jurisdiction of the EU and businesses in the UK need to comply with those standards in order to avoid paying various fines that can be sometimes very costly.

A good example is data protection. There are new regulations imposed by the EU that are going to come into effect in May 2018, which is not that far into the future. The fines for not complying with those regulations can easily reach up to millions of Euros. It is therefore of utmost importance for companies to learn the new laws quickly and understand them as much as possible even before they come into effect. When this is the case GDPR consultancy comes into play.

So what is all the fuss about GDPR anyway and why business owners should be so concerned about it? In a nutshell, GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. The law stipulates that EU citizens must give explicit consent for all sort of information about them (including personal information) and their data to be held in a company’s system. What is more, they have a right to delete, transfer, access and correct that personal information at any time without any restrictions.

So what does it mean for UK-based companies? They need still to comply. After the UK leaves the European Union, if a company does business with any of the member countries the law still applies.

If you are unsure how your company should comply with the regulation, you might want to ask somebody for help with it. I can completely understand why business compliance can be such a huge issue these days and why so many business owners choose to outsource that area of their businesses to somebody else. After all, they have some other, more important things to attend to and they might not have enough time to be able to take care of every aspect of running their business themselves.

How to Create a Home Office Space

Social workers tend to spend the majority of their time out of the office, especially if you plan on helping seniors as a social worker. Much of your day will be spent traveling from one appointment to another, compiling your notes as you go, and visiting clients in their home or senior residence. There is usually little time left to head into the office.
As you work to finish up your online masters in social work through Rutgers Online, you may want to take a look around your home and consider how you can create a home office space. This will allow you to be organized at the end of the day, and ensure that your notes are always in order and your appointments are set. Setting up a home office can be relatively simple as long as you keep the basics in mind.

Look for a Quiet Area

While it’s not necessary to dedicate a whole room to your home office, it is important to find a quiet space free of interruptions. Setting up shop in the living room where the TV is and the rest of the family enjoys socializing is not ideal. If you’re tight on space you may need to be a little creative and opt for something such as a floating shelf installed on the wall that can act as your desk. You can even install one that folds up so it’s not in the way.

Install Storage for Files/Resources

Storage will be another key factor in your home office space. A small filing cabinet that you can tuck under your desk will take up the least amount of space. If you want you can opt for something a little more creative and bulky, such as installed shelving, a larger drawer system, or whatever you like.

Find the Perfect Chair

One of the most important features of your home office will be your chair. Now it doesn’t have to be big and bulky. Instead, the emphasis instead should be on the height of the chair in relation to your desk, and that it forces you to sit in an ergonomic position.

Proper Lighting

Proper lighting is another must-have in your office space. While natural lighting is ideal, it’s not always possible. There’s also the fact you may be working late hours as a social worker, so by the time you get home it could be dark. Consider adding a desk lamp or task lamp to your desk area to ensure it is properly lit at all times and you aren’t straining your eyes.

Helping You Perform Your Job Better

Social work is a very demanding job both physically and mentally, especially in terms of geriatric social work. The best solution is to prepare yourself as best you can so that you can perform your job better. By creating a home office space for yourself you’ll have that chance at the end of the day to organize your work in peace, and ensure all your records are detailed.

 

Renting Office Space

London is definitely a city of opportunities. People come there from all over Europe and the world to start their business as they see it as a great chance to create something completely new and unique. Even as we speak, thousands of businesses are being created in London with the hope of succeeding.

It is not a secret that location matters a lot when it comes to how prestigious your business going to be. People will always have a chance to know your location: a quick look at your postcode will surely reveal that sort of information. It is therefore of utmost importance to ensure that your location is good and that it fits with the purpose of your business. If you look at workspace in Baker Street then you will know what I am talking about.

Of course, buying a property to start a business in the middle of London might prove to be costly. It might be a better solution to rent a workspace first and see where your business is getting. This way you won’t have to risk too much money and time in case your business happens to fail as there will be less pressure on you and your success. This is what most startups in London do and this is something that seems like a reasonable thing to do if you are completely new to this who world of business opportunities in London.

If you are planning to start a business in London you are definitely in luck here because London is a prime example of a place with thousands of great business locations and workspaces. You can find there anything you want at any price. Of course, if you decide to be located closer to the city centre you will be required to spend more money following that decision, but if you don’t mind being located further on the outskirts you will definitely have to spend less. So if your location isn’t such a huge factor and it doesn’t matter where you are at you might be better off having a location that will cost you less money so that you can invest it in other areas of your business.

How Does Sales Tax Affects Your Online Purchases?

In a recent infographic about global taxes, Villanova University covered a wide range of taxes we commonly come across. Sales tax is certainly among the most frequently paid taxes for consumers, affecting everything from groceries to online purchases we make from top stores. Sales tax is also added to a wide range of items, including the gadgets you pick up online.

There are basically two types of sales tax. The first one is inclusive sales tax. According to the university’s Online Master of Science in Analytics department, inclusive sales tax is added to the cost of goods sold directly, so customers don’t really see it added to their receipts. On the other hand, exclusive sales tax is the one you see at the bottom of the receipt, usually listed as Tax.

 

You can learn more about sales tax as well as various other types of tax by reviewing the complete Global Taxes infographic by Villanova University.

Work On The Road: 5 Features Every Travelling Businessman Should Look For In A Car

Every morning in every office, a flustered late-arriving employee makes a brisk entrance, mumbles an apology, complains about the traffic, and eventually comments on how relieved they are to be out of the car.

For many, the horrors of the early morning commute are over as soon as they step inside their place of work, but for the travelling businessperson, there is no such sweet relief. Their dashboard is their table, their hot drink flask is their desk mug, and their car seat is their desk chair. When you work on the road, your vehicle is your office.

Not every businessperson is fortunate enough to receive a company car as part of their package, whereas others find themselves commuting from point to point when they are self-employed. Here, we take a look at the five features that every travelling businessperson ought to look for when purchasing a vehicle that will ostensibly become their workspace for the foreseeable future.

Convenience

Typical office workers keep their important items close to hand in order to make things easier for themselves throughout the working day. Their mobile phone stays in their pocket, and all the tools they need to operate – from the mouse to the monitor – are right there in front of them. When you work on the road, creating a convenient working environment is not quite as easy. Pulling out your phone or popping your laptop on your knee isn’t just impractical – it can actually put you in danger.

As a travelling businessperson, you’ll need to look for a car that offers maximum convenience and offers features that help you to do some work but simultaneously ensure you’re safe. To eliminate the need to look up information/addresses, search for a vehicle that comes with a good built-in Sat Nav system (or alternatively a place to safely fit your own). There needs to be ample room to prop up your smartphone, and enough space in the glove box and doors to stow away important business documents safely. It’s also worth looking at the mechanical aspects of the car too, like the stiffness of the doors and weight of the boot. When you’re in and out of your car on a frequent basis, any heavy doors will quickly become a chore to use.

Competence 

No worker should ever have to use a defective desk, and similarly, no travelling businessperson should have to put up with an unreliable car. When you’re seeking the best vehicle for work on the road, always go for competence and ability over exterior style. Sure, appearances are important, but if you’re torn between a car you like the look of and a less attractive car with prospects for better performance, it’s always in your best interests to go for the latter option. Don’t let your heart rule your head. After all, you wouldn’t select a wonky workspace just because you liked the colour scheme, would you?

Remember, the longer the car has been on the road, the less reliable it is likely to be. Take the mileage clock into account before you declare your interest in a vehicle, and make sure you obtain copies of all the documents related to the car and its previous owners. Double check all the locks and dashboard lights to see if they’re functioning as they should be, and have peek under the hood to search for signs of rust or substantial wear and tear. Spotting issues right away can prevent costly fixes later down the line.

Seeking out a car with high fuel efficiency is also key – especially if you’re funding the vehicle yourself. Not only will you be doing your bit for Mother Earth by keeping emissions down, you’ll also save yourself a bundle on fuel costs, which is absolutely paramount given how filling up your car is likely to be one of your main expenses.

Connectivity

You don’t have to dive into the savings pot to get a vehicle with connectivity abilities these days. This is the modern world, and the addition of Wi-Fi and internet access in cars is not so much a luxury these days as it is a necessity. For the travelling businessman, a car that can generate its very own Wi-Fi hotspot is a wonderful little perk – helping to reduce crackling noises during phone calls and keeping a clear signal for healthy communication with clients and customers. Bluetooth technology is also worth looking for as this can allow you to link up your phone to the car itself.

Connectivity also involves the inclusion of added technological gadgets. As a travelling businessperson, you may benefit substantially from the likes of built-in road cameras, charging ports and advanced multimedia systems. Whilst these may appear as little more than stylish extras for the ordinary driver, they could actually prove integral to you when it comes to increasing your comfort levels and productivity whilst out on the road.

Comfort

If there was an opportunity to grab a comfy desk chair in an office, you wouldn’t stick with a rigid, back-straining piece of furniture that forces you to get up and perform some stretches just so you can regain your concentration. The same goes for cars when you’re a frequent commuter. Comfort is key when it comes to productivity and general well-being, and you should take all the time you need to find a vehicle with interior materials, headrests, and seat adjustment features that put you at completely at ease when you’re on the road.

Also give the air con a good blast when you’re checking out a vehicle for the first time – testing out the hot and cold modes in the process. This little mechanism will play a considerable role in your comfort levels whilst you’re out on the road, and a good air con system will ensure you sit in a nice temperature regardless of the erratic weather conditions that plague the United Kingdom.

Cup Holder

This sounds like a small thing, but as a travelling businessperson, your cup holder is actually a very important element to look for when you’re purchasing a car. You may have a beloved travelling flask you take with you everywhere, but if that doesn’t fit between you and the passenger seat, you’ll end up putting yourself in danger as hot coffee inevitably pours onto your legs and lap. Even if you aren’t particularly partial to a cup of Joe in the mornings, a reliable cup holder remains essential as it offers you way to remain hydrated whilst on the road. Frequent driving is actually thirsty work, and by having a spot where you can comfortably slot a big bottle of water, you’ll be able to remain fuelled up no matter where your journey takes you.

 

If you’re a travelling businessperson out on the road for long stretches of the day at multiple times during the week, always remember to look convenience, competence, connectivity, comfort and a darn good cup holder when you’re shopping for a car. Ensuring these five features are in place can help you to create a safe and stylish mobile office you’ll be proud to call your own.   If in doubt, don’t hesitate about visiting a reputable car dealer for further advice.

How to Keep More Money in Your Own Pocket While You Study

Are you unsure about whether you should continue your studies because of your current financial position? It’s a ‘catch 22’ situation for many people because they want to obtain a recognized qualification that will allow them to earn more money, but don’t have the money available at the moment to further their studies. However, there are ways you can get around this problem, including the tips below.

Study on the Internet

Studying and learning is no longer confined to the classroom. Almost every school, college and university now offer an online version of their most popular courses. Studying online eliminates many of the financial costs associated with learning such as travel costs, living expenses and the money students waste every day when they attend classes or lectures.

In many cases, you can take a popular, accredited course like an MSN in nursing administration and not have to leave your home at all. Once you complete a course like the MSN administration program, it’s possible that you will also have saved a substantial amount of money and will have gained a valuable qualification at the same time.

Start a Course That Includes Paid Work Experience

Spending a few years studying can eat into your savings and increase your student debt. To avoid this problem, some students opt for courses that include paid work experience, so you have some money coming in while you’re a student. The other major benefit of this type of course is the fact that you learn new skills and build up some important contacts before you graduate.

Work While You Study

Students who don’t have the option to make money from a paid work placement, may have to look elsewhere to make some additional cash. The internet, in particular provides a wide range of opportunities to work part-time while you study.

Companies and individuals are always looking for freelancers who can help them with a wide range of tasks including web design, writing and virtual assistant work. If you think you have a skill or a talent that other people need, it could lead to a lucrative side-earner while you are studying.

If you don’t want to work online, there are many companies and individuals that are always looking for part-time staff and relief workers, so this is another option when you want to keep money coming in.

Reduce Your Living Costs

A large number of students live beyond their means while they are at college or university and have to take out more student loans. However, if you’re willing to tighten your belt, you could make substantial savings. Living expenses like accommodation, travel costs, food, drink and your social life are all areas where you can reduce your financial outgoings by creating a realistic budget.

While you study, you don’t have a steady income and you may be spending money you don’t have. As a result, your student debt can spiral out of control really quickly. To avoid this problem, you need to take action and follow some of the suggestions above.

8 Common Video Marketing Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

Video marketing is a good means of promoting your products to a wide audience. However, too many business owners don’t understand how to use video marketing properly and end up making crucial mistakes that might ruin their efforts. In this article, we’re going to explore eight common video marketing mistakes business owners make and how to avoid them.

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1) Making a Video without a Goal in Mind

If you are making a video without a clear goal, your money is better spent elsewhere. In all cases, it is important that the video builds your brand and fits into your business strategy.  In some cases, working with a third party is better if you’re unfamiliar with the whole process. Companies such as Spiel Animations will guide you through the video making process and can provide ideas on how to better structure your message.

2) Poor Branding

If a video is poorly branded, it essentially misses its actual purpose which is promoting your company. The intended audience must remember the name of your company at the end of a marketing video. To avoid this mistake, brand all videos with your company’s logo or web address and ensure it is placed right at the beginning or embedded into the video as a watermark.

3) Making Lengthy Videos

Consumers use the first 10 seconds of a video to determine if it is worth watching to the end. If they do not find it engaging enough, they just click away from it. And according to recent research, 1 in 5 people do just that. People will also click away if a video is too long. So, make your videos engaging and not more than 60-90 seconds long.

4) Not Having a Clear Message

A marketing video should give more than general information about a company or product. It must have a single and clear message that teaches the audience something new. If it does not, you will be lucky if they watch it to the end.

5) Not Having a Call to Action

Every video must leave the audience with an idea of what to do next. It could be to call the customer care team for further information or maybe follow the company on social media. Whatever you do, never leave them in the lurch and always have a clear call to action.

6) Not Using SEO

Posting a video online is no longer enough. You must also use SEO to ensure that the video reaches a wider audience. Applying SEO strategies drives up your search engine rankings and makes your video more visible. Only by doing so can you draw traffic to your website.

7) Expecting Immediate Results

Videos do not go viral overnight. And if they do, it is largely thanks to social media. So be patient and work on marketing the video. The results will come later.

8) Not Placing Your Selling Points Correctly

Do not wait to put your selling points at the end of your video. Your audience may have moved on to something else before they get to that point. Instead, have all the interesting bits placed at the beginning. The rest of the video should then play a supporting role.

Conclusion

To make the most out of video marketing, it’s capital to have a clear goal in mind that can be expressed in a clear singular message. Also, brand your videos well, optimise them for SEO, and keep them short. Ensure you place your selling points at the beginning and a call to action at the end. And finally, do not expect immediate results.