Is It Better to Buy a Business or Start Your Own?

Business

The SBA estimates that 90% of startups fail in their first year. This alarmingly high statistic poses a challenge for entrepreneurs, with many opting to buy an existing business rather than start their own.

But whether you launch a start-up or buy an existing business, each comes with its own challenges. There are pros and cons to both, and what makes the decision tricky is that it’s hugely dependent on personal situations.

An entrepreneur needs to carefully consider the options, and decide how these will impact on their ability to start and manage the business. There are certain key areas that need serious consideration before prospective owners take the leap.

 

Are You Prepared to Start From Scratch?

Starting a business from scratch is certainly a lot harder and more complicated than buying an existing venture. You’ll start with nothing but an idea, and put all the pieces together from there. This includes elements like registering the business name, creating a new brand identity, and finding suppliers.

Most of the time, when purchasing an existing business, many of these elements are already in place. When you take the reins, it becomes a case of building on whats already there, but you have a base to work from.

If you’re not prepared to start from the very beginning, buying a business is going to be a far more attractive proposition.

 

Weighing Up Your Skillset

Never underestimate the amount of skill that goes into starting a business. If you’ve never done so before, you may soon discover there’s more to it than you anticipated. You need to become incredibly driven, highly organized, and an expert planner. You’ll face piles of admin, and if you’re hiring staff, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with this process, too. Without these skills, your business may never move beyond an idea.

Buying a business bypasses many of these administrative requirements. As the new business owner, you can immediately pour your energy into certain aspects of the organization that you feel need attention. You don’t necessarily have to acquire any new skills and can focus on whatever you feel would benefit from your expertise. As the business is already running, you have far more freedom and flexibility.

 

The Cost Factor

Purchasing an existing business tends to be a far more expensive endeavor than starting your own. Essentially, you’re buying someone else’s hard work and customers. Plus, not only are you buying the tangible assets, but you’re also getting the intangible ones, like goodwill too. And these assets all come at a price. You may need to seek additional funding or investors, and this could see you start with a considerable amount of debt.

On the other hand, starting your own business is something that you can do relatively cheaply. You can begin small and grow as your revenue does. However, it could take you several years to build up a customer base and turn a profit.

 

A Question of Revenue

When you purchase a business, it will already have a financial history. Even if it has yet to prove profitable, it will have generated revenue that provides an indication of potential sales. You can also continue selling an existing product or service, versus marketing one from the ground up.

When starting a new business, you can forecast potential revenue, but there’s no guarantee your market research will prove correct. It could take a considerable length of time before you start generating revenue, and you’ll need to have the finances to support yourself and your startup for as long as necessary. However, if your costs are kept to a minimum, a smaller turnover is less problematic.

 

Room for Creativity

Starting a business from scratch allows for plenty of creative scope. It’s easy for a small business owner to put their personal touch on virtually every aspect of the business. From the logo to the marketing material and the invoices, every aspect is yours to customize. You’ll create all processes and procedures too and can personalize them to suit your requirements.

If this amount of creative freedom seems overwhelming, purchasing an existing business is certainly the way to go. Taking over an established business allows the new owner to make their mark on the aspects that they’re most interested in. In all the other aspects, the business will keep running as is. This reduces the stress and time commitment required, at least to some extent.

 

Purchasing a Franchise

Purchasing a franchise offers its own unique set of possibilities. It’s something of a middle-ground between a start-up and purchasing an existing business.

A franchise allows you to capitalize on an existing brand’s popularity, and it allows very little room for changes or personal flavor. What it does provide is a rigid structure. But most importantly, it offers access to a business model that’s proven to work.

Purchasing a franchise might cost more than other similar businesses, but much of the hard work is completed before you even start. Suppliers, branding, and products are all in place and it’s simply up to you to run the operation successfully within the confines of the franchise agreement.

 

A Personal Entrepreneurial Choice

There’s no right or wrong choice.

Buying a business or starting your own is different for each individual. The key is to research each option in-depth, know exactly what your financial position is, and whether you have the drive and skillset to work your way up.

One-Stop Shop for all Home Services

Cleaning Company

Fantastic Services was established in 2009 when two like-minded individuals started a small cleaning company in London. A decade later, it is a one-stop shop revolutionising the way people book cleaning, gardening and landscaping, handyman, pest control, plumbing, removals, and electrical services, and all in between for their home and office. Today, Fantastic Services is a multi-service global company with a franchise network of more than 530 partners, serving over 50,000 satisfied customers monthly. Join us as we find out more about the business and explore how it earned this issue’s Most Outstanding Cleaning and Home Services Franchise 2021 – UK award.

A leader in the property maintenance industry, Fantastic Services is successfully leveraging its extensive portfolio of over 100 services globally and converting it into high-margin franchise opportunities across three continents – Europe, Australia, and North America.

Its philosophy revolves around the simple idea of delivering an excellent service experience for all customers and crews involved. Each day of the week, it sets out to make yet another 360-degree circle of happiness by doing whatever it takes to keep everybody satisfied. Fantastic Services’ mission is to create services people love, using technology where possible and heart where it matters.

The company boasts a flexible franchise model, which allows companies to start with a single service package and gradually grow their business, adding more services and tradespeople. The Area Development and Master franchise opportunities grant exclusive rights for, respectively, an undeveloped region in the UK and a whole new country. Fantastic Services’ franchisees’ businesses have become the one-stop shop for all home services to local customers who become avid fans of the convenience they offer to them.

Best known for its award-winning franchise support, flexible business model, and disruptive technology, Fantastic Services is always persevering towards the best results for its customers and franchisees. Its 10-year goal is to help 1,000 franchisees build a business worth over £1,000,000. It is already proving this possible, with several Area Development franchisees being proud million-pound business owners.

Many of its competitors and other companies find that “family feeling” can suffer a significant blow as they grow. It is quite a challenge to simultaneously improve the business and still hold on to that team dynamic that was an essential part of getting the whole business off the ground. And Fantastic Services meets this challenge every day. All franchisees operate in different industries and have various challenges, and Fantastic Services admires how different they all are, while at the same time, continuing to foster family values.

In the past 12 years, Fantastic Services has created a fantastic community of young, innovative and motivated people with whom it reaches new heights every day. The truth is, no matter how big it gets, the company will always care about its fantastic family. At the end of the day, family is not only about joy, but it also takes a lot of work and responsibility.

Its 500 in-house expert staff in, marketing, customer care, IT, sales, accounting, and other areas, work together like a well-oiled machine. Each department has its own unique function and output, but when all of them are brought together, they form a fantastic unit. They, together with its franchisees, are the driving force of Fantastic Services.

Fantastic Services serves over 50,000 customers monthly and its membership programme, Fantastic Club has a growing network of over 25,000 active members. The company always takes an individual approach to each customer, and it makes sure all its partners deliver services in line with its standards.

As Rune Sovndahl, Co-Founder and Board Chair, came directly from the tech industry, Fantastic Services was part of the first wave of businesses in the home services industry to offer online booking. It’s a trend which has become a requirement today.

The company has invested over £20 million in a custom-built CRM (Customer Relationship Management) with two integrated mobile apps. The software addresses the home maintenance business’ specific needs and is an all-in-one place to manage team and client communication.

With many cost- and time-saving capabilities for optimised service provision for anyone who operates as part of the network, the system connects all the data from the apps. It automates the customer booking process, optimises the technicians’ schedule organisation and connects everything seamlessly.

Meanwhile, the pandemic led Fantastic Services to a new level of excellence by pushing it to rapidly develop and launch new, more lucrative services that turned out to be a great success. For instance, it developed antiviral sanitisation and disinfection services in just a couple of weeks. The company’s zeal for innovation was recognised by the Franchise Innovation Award 2020, where it won the award for Most Innovative Service Introduction.

In order to support its clients and franchisees during the pandemic, Fantastic Services had to come up with creative solutions to combat the decline in sales.

Firstly, together with its franchisees, Fantastic Services launched a campaign that offered two hours of free domestic cleaning for all key workers in the UK. As a result, it has supported more than 400 key workers, delivering 360+ hours of free cleaning. The campaign exceeded the company’s bravest expectations by bringing in 1,500 new bookings to its franchisees’ schedules.

Trying to be as transparent as possible, Fantastic Services aims for people to see the real face of franchising and the countless opportunities, and benefits that it offers. Consequently, the company saw not only a spike in the franchise enquiries it received, but it also signed over 20 new Area Development franchisees from the beginning of the pandemic.

In April, it launched its grant programme which provides those who lost their job or small business due to the pandemic with up to £5,000 that covers the initial expenses of starting a Working franchise with Fantastic Services. Since the property maintenance industry has suffered less than other sectors, the company wants to support the UK economy and provide a viable alternative to employment through franchising and help anyone restart their career or business in a high-demand industry.

Anton Skarlatov, Co-Founder and CEO of Fantastic Services commented, “We started Fantastic Services in 2009 with just £5,000 of our own money, and today the business turns over £9.5m, employing hundreds of staff across three continents as we continue to be self-financed. We have always reinvested profits back into the business, and our new grant programme is designed to help empower more domestic service workers to be their own boss.”

Fantastic Services also actively strives to minimise the negative impact on the planet and have a positive effect on the global and local environment, community, society and the economy overall. To meet the triple bottom line, it introduced its new Sustainability Policy, which can be viewed on the company website.

Apart from giving all customers the chance to take care of their homes or offices in a more eco-conscious way, Fantastic Services believes that its franchise model is no less sustainable. It builds small businesses that support local communities. Its franchise enables everyone who wants to start a local business to invest in branded franchise systems and, through hard work and the support by Fantastic Services’ side, create equity in their business. This way, independently owned and operated businesses can deliver a consistent and sustainable brand promise to all customers.

For further information, please contact Christina Koleva or visit www.FantasticFranchise.com

Good As Gold

VOX

Named Best Precious Metals Royalty & Streaming Company – 2021 at this year’s Corporate Excellence Awards, Vox Royalty Corp. is at the fore of an exciting revolution in an investment opportunity that has moved from an alternative option to a viable and mainstream choice of many. A precious metals royalty and streaming company operating worldwide, Vox offers a knowledgeable, better risk-adjusted means of unlocking value in mining assets.

Established in 2014, Vox Royalty Corp. (“Vox”) is a growth precious metals royalty and streaming company dedicated to offering investors a better risk adjusted means of generating commodity exposure. Boasting a portfolio of more than 50 royalties and streams across four continents and spanning nine jurisdictions, Vox’s purpose is to buy third party mining royalties, thereby helping to unlock value in assets that are esoteric and generally illiquid for mining royalty holders.

While Vox’s mission and purpose has not changed since the company’s inception, elsewhere the business has seen a great deal of evolution in just under a decade. Since 2014, the firm has built unique intellectual property in its proprietary database of more than 8,000 global royalties which has been developed over almost ten years to yield wider transactional opportunities and therefore equip Vox with an unmatched competitive edge in the royalties sector. In addition, the global sourcing network it has cultivated over the years has combined to establish Vox as the fastest growing royalty company of its sector.

Central to this successful growth is the Vox team, comprised of mining engineers and geologists that are capable of deeply understanding mining assets. Consequently, Vox holds the industry-leading expertise that enables it to identify and secure the most interesting royalties which will build value for its shareholders. As its reputation has grown, Vox has continued to acquire a technically focused transactional team that shares over 40 years of royalty-specific deal expertise and has been linked to more than a billion dollars of royalty transactions.

The excess of 20 separate transactions that Vox has been able to announce since the beginning of 2019 to acquire more than 45 royalties is an erudite testament to the strength of this team, at the helm of which is Founder, CEO and Chairman, Mr Kyle Floyd. Formerly the Vice President – Practice Lead of the global mining investment banking department at ROTH Capital Partners, Mr Floyd went onto create the Vox concept, build the team and raise the capital required to commence the company’s operations. Today, he remains responsible for the business’ general operations and strategic direction, playing a central role in affirming Vox’s strength and fast growth over the last two years.

So, what is it about Vox and the Royalty and Streaming Business Model that has seen it become such a popular investment vehicle in recent years? Principally, for those looking to gain exposure into the mining sector, it is an ideal solution that avoids the risks commonly associated with directly taking a position within a mining company. Consequently, the opinion on royalty and stream financings has shifted away from a perception of alternative financing instruments to a viable, mainstream option. From its exceptional operating margins that are typically three to four times greater than those of miners; to the exposure it proffers to a diverse portfolio of projects; to its opportunity for win-win transactions and much more.

Vox’s own portfolio, which is predominantly geared towards precious metals royalties with over 70% of its weighting, has consequently become the prime choice for investors looking to enter this fast-growing market. In addition, Vox has underlying exposure to a more diverse array of commodities, including base, battery, and certain bulk commodities, in a portfolio which spans four continents but is heavily weighted to Australia and North America, where more than 80% of its assets are located.

In addition to having both immediately cash-flowing royalties generating recurring revenue and royalties over several long-life, economically robust development-stage assets with great operating counterparties, Vox also boasts an exceptionally strong M&A pipeline that includes existing royalties over Tier 1 and Tier 2 assets globally. The company is actively evaluating more than $500 million worth of potential royalty acquisitions, a feat made possible by its incredible proprietary database, which it has acquired and developed as part of its acquisition of Mineral Royalties Online (MRO).

When combined with the strength of the Vox team and the firm’s well-reputed status as one of the fastest growing royalty companies in its sector, it is unsurprising that Vox and its diverse portfolio has become the premier investment option for investors across the globe.

This year, following its success at the Corporate Vision Corporate Excellence Awards 2021, in which it won the award for Best Precious Metals Royalty & Streaming Company – 2021, Vox is looking ahead with continued ambition and drive. Just as it has since 2019, Mr Floyd expects Vox to continue leading the industry in growth for the remainder of 2021 and many years beyond. There is no doubt that Vox will be one to watch as it continues to pursue this ambition in years to come.

For more information, please contact Kyle Floyd or visit www.voxroyalty.com  

Forging a New Path

Tractors in a Field

Trade is the beating heart of the world’s economies, but trading is not always easy. Finding the money to keep businesses working and the money flowing is essential, and a key part of that process are companies like SCCF Structured Commodity & Corporate Finance SA. In Corporate Vision’s ongoing series on Corporate Excellence, SCCF was named the Most Outstanding SME Trade Finance Provider – 2021. We dig a little deeper to see just how they did it.

When Dimitri Rusca founded SCCF in 2004, his aim was to bring together some of the best talent in the industry and create a space where they could thrive. Over the last fifteen years, he has seen the business grow from its humble beginnings into an international organisation that plays a key part in the operation of many SMEs around the world. Now, as bigger banks examine his success, we consider how it all began.

SCCF has always had a simple ambition, namely, to raise financing for SMEs. The firm offers smaller businesses an impressive selection of services. While most banking firms will target large corporations, the focus on SMEs sets the team apart. Many competitors in the market simply don’t consider the needs of these firms, which leaves the field open for the SCCF team to strike.

Many of these businesses are on a smaller scale, with transactions that average between $2 and 3 million. It’s these transactions that are the focus of the business, and this approach has shielded the team from many of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While trade has slowed, there is a need for goods to be transported from one place to another in spite of the logistical difficulties. The team have mainly been active in the production, export, import or distribution of natural resources throughout the world, providing a reliable source of income since the firm’s inception.

That said, 2020 was a fascinating time for global trade, presenting a series of unusual challenges and difficulties for firms of all sorts. The tail-end of the US-China trade war and the impact of the pandemic were just two of these, and while these trials have confounded many, it has only inspired the SCCF team to take advantage of the opportunities that have presented themselves.

The future of the firm is one that will see Dimitri Rusca transform the business into something even more independent, leveraging the years of experience that his talented team bring with them. He wants to create a modern Swiss merchant bank with a banking license on the horizon and a platform where all of the company’s IT needs can be met. The platform already exists, and the license has already been applied for. The hope is to create a situation where the SCCF team will be able to have a significant advantage over the competition, fulfilling its initial role of disrupting the status quo within the industry.

Small businesses continue to be at the heart of SCCF and finding ways of disrupting the monopolies of the big names of industry will be key to their success. As the team behind SCCF become more powerful within the industry, they will be able to assist in ensuring that SMEs are not left behind and have the same potential as their larger rivals. Part of the benefit of becoming a merchant bank is that the team will not have to work closely with other banks on laborious paperwork. Instead, the team will be able to receive and hand out letters of credits or offer cash on demand directly. By removing the middlemen, it will be possible to streamline the process for clients and enable SMEs to thrive on a global scale.

The digital platform, ArgosLogistic, has been in development for the last two years and is a major achievement for the team. The team behind the project has spent a great deal of time developing ways of enhancing the documentation involved in commodity trade finance. By working digitally, it’s easier to match datasets for better analysis of decisions. It also reflects the worldwide nature of the trade finance industry, with a secured connection for all.

At the centre of this data-driven endeavor is a focus on security. In this case, it has come from the recent development of blockchain. This technology could reduce costs in the trade finance business by as much as 50 % and has already saved SCCF a great deal of money when it comes to making its data as secure as possible. While the platform has only just opened, it already has a number of different users. This is sure to rise as people turn to SCCF in the coming months and years to come.

Of course, none of this progress would be possible without the guidance and leadership of the SCCF team. This consists of former senior commodities professionals, previously members of management of large international banks and major commodity merchant houses. In all, SCCF has over two-hundred years of experience in Structured Commodity Trade Finance to pass onto its customers.

The risk management team is a key part of the firm’s success over the years, and has enabled its planned expansion in 2021. They include former BNP Paribas and Société Générale managers who personally assess all risks. With over forty years of experience in risk management, debt recovery and insurance, there are few finer to ensure that the right decision is made on behalf of the company and the client.

Over the course of the firm’s operation, the team has been proud to build an inspiring and diverse portfolio of clients. With increasing demand for alternative funding, following the imposition of the Basel III restrictions, SCCF has developed a crowd lending platform that allows potential lenders to meet the financial needs of the borrowers.

Key to this has been the development of the most sophisticated and rigorous selection criteria on the market. This carefully calibrated analysis system takes millions of datapoints and scientifically determines the risk of each project. With minimal bias, it is possible to make informed decisions that leads to greater success for all involved. For borrowers, the result is easily accessible financing with no hidden costs, while lenders gain attractive loans, low failure rates and insurance on their money.

When looking at SCCF, you aren’t just looking at a part of the trade finance industry. You’re looking an innovative force which is going to change the shape of the sector in time. Their work is focused on SMEs but impacts larger organizations and big corporate structures too. The team has earned the title of Most Outstanding SME Trade Finance Provider not by doing what others do, but by forging its own path. It’s a path that has led, so far, to tremendous success.

For more information, please contact Dimitri Rusca via email: [email protected]

Cloud Cover

eStruxture

Companies have become reliant on new levels of flexibility, but maintaining that flexibility is often beyond their limits. With businesses focusing on what they do best, it’s down to teams like those at eStruxture Data Centers to deliver the goods. With an emphasis on providing reliable and flexible colocation services, they have achieved the remarkable throughout challenging times, and have subsequently won the title of Most Outstanding Data Center Services Provider 2021 – Canada. We dig a little deeper into the firm’s incredible achievements.

eStruxture. With data centers that spread the length and breadth of the country, the team have been able to achieve truly remarkable results on behalf of their customers, and it’s a level of success that doesn’t look likely to peak any time soon. The company provides modern-day data center infrastructure for companies who require reliable and flexible colocation services across a broad spectrum of customers including network and cloud providers, XaaS, Fintech, Machine Learning, VFX and rendering, or other industries. If your business is dependent on IT services running smoothly, the team at eStruxture are your natural partners.

However, there is even more exciting news for the firm beyond that which it has already achieved through Corporate Vision magazine. As of March 30th, 2021, eStruxture has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire all eight Canadian data centers from Aptum Technologies, a global hybrid multi-cloud managed service provider. Alongside this acquisition, the firm also takes control of all of Aptum’s customers and employees that are associated with its colocation business. The addition of these strategic locations complements eStruxture’s existing portfolio of six data centers currently located in the cities of Vancouver, Calgary, and Montreal, further strengthening the company’s pan-Canadian platform and adding key industry verticals to its portfolio.

eStruxture will now be able to provide one of the largest amounts of immediately sellable capacity in Canada for companies looking to speed up their time to market. On top of this, the customers working with eStruxture will benefit from having access to two of Canada’s largest carrier hotels located at 151 Front Street West in Toronto and 555 Hastings in Vancouver. This will add over two hundred new network providers to eStruxture’s ecosystem including access to the Toronto Internet Exchange (TorIX) and the Vancouver Internet Exchange (VANIX).

With the addition of these new facilities (five in Toronto, two in Montreal, and one in Vancouver), eStruxture will be fully in control of more than fourteen facilities across the entirety of Canada. As such, this increase in the number of data centers also means that eStruxture has expanded its total footprint to more than 600,000 square feet of combined data center space and a total IT capacity of a massive 100 megawatts. In acquiring this new wealth of data centers and technological capability, eStruxture is offering its customers both central and edge locations that are scalable, sustainably designed, and highly connected. The firm’s ability to provide the capacity, performance, and flexibility to run modern, demanding enterprise applications, as well as scale rapidly in response to unpredictable changes in business processes, is nothing short of outstanding. In short, eStruxture is a partner who can meet even the most challenging of demands.

This capacity comes from the decision to play the customer at the heart of every decision made. Staff working at eStruxture have taken the time to research the Canadian data center market deeply, and as a firm that is rooted in the traditions of Canadian business understand exactly what is expected of them from customers. Having gained the support of prominent financial institutions, eStruxture is able to deploy large-scale projects with the smallest delays. When a customer needs to expand, eStruxture is able to expand with them.

Having built a strong reputation within the industry at large, it’s little wonder that eStruxture has gained loyal customers, including carriers, cloud providers, media content, financial services, and enterprise customers across Canada. The team’s highly scalable solutions offer impressive high-density power of 30kW per cabinet and more standard, for the most intense computing workloads.

Something that sets the team apart from the competition, however, is their desire to power data centers in as sustainable a manner as possible. Achieving this while also maintaining a high level of performance, scalability, and uptime has been a difficult challenge, but one which has brought about numerous rewards for the team. By taking advantage of the Canadian climate, the team have been able to reduce energy usage as well as minimize water consumption, noise levels, vibrations, and the environmental impact of refrigerant and other potentially harmful chemicals.

Over the years, eStruxture has been able to achieve an annual power saving of 70%, thanks to the use of waterless and free-cooling technologies. These maximize energy efficiency and minimize environmental impact. It’s this commitment throughout their operation that gives the firm such strong standing now, and well into the future.

Of course, no great business has ever been built without having an exceptional staff. The team behind eStruxture are some of the hardest working people in the industry, putting in an enormous amount of resources to ensure that customers are able to transform their digital identity. Needless to say, the team work alongside customers from many different industries, and this means that the team must formulate a bespoke approach that fills every possible gap.

Diversity has proven to be key to the team’s success, and they are very proud of the fact that most of their workforce is considered diverse. This applies across the various sections of the business, and has proven to be a boon to the firm, and its customers. Operating with a diverse team makes the company more versatile, with the ability to move agilely from project to project, searching for creative solutions that get results.

New team members are always in demand, as eStruxture looks to expand its horizons. Those who come to the business must be willing and able to contribute to our company’s winning corporate culture, however. It’s only team players who are able to stand the test of time in these challenging circumstances. The team make it a priority to ensure that those who work at eStruxture enjoy working there. They live and breathe eStruxture’s family-like and fun-at-work culture. By finding somewhere to work where they are happy, they can achieve their best work.

Having a strong staff team is one thing, but having an exceptional leader is another thing entirely. eStruxture benefits from having a CEO and leader who is more than capable of taking the firm to greater heights than ever before, as evidenced by the announcement of eStruxture’s acquisition of these new data centers. Todd Coleman is that CEO, and is also President of eStruxture. Bringing more than twenty five years of experience in the IT, data center, and telecommunications industries, Todd delivers experience and expertise in abundance for eStruxture. Alongside this, Todd also partakes as a racing driver in his spare time. The blitzing speed of the track and the world of business are not too dissimilar, especially when it comes to the speed with which Todd is building eStruxture. Just recently, Todd won a weekend race by more than thirty seconds; a victory which is certainly comparable to the success of eStruxture within this industry.

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven the benefits of this way of working. The team has had to adjust quickly to businesses which want to work remotely and take advantage of digital communications. The demand for this technology over the last year has skyrocketed, driving more network use and placing more strain on the critical infrastructure that data centers are responsible for. eStruxture has experienced rapid growth since its launch in 2017, but 2020 was easily the strongest performing year in the history of the company. Companies couldn’t move quickly enough with their digital transformation strategy. As such, the team had to walk the walk, and expand to meet. They did this with aplomb, implementing measures that would safeguard their employees and customers’ businesses as well as determining what was essential work to minimize the need for external suppliers.

The success of 2020 has driven much of the workload of 2021. eStruxture remain committed to helping more businesses grow and expand by offering secure, reliable data center solutions in more regions, direct connectivity to an ever-growing number of cloud and service providers, as well as assistance when it comes to speeding up the process of digital transformation.

The last year saw a great deal of change hit every company and every industry at once, in very short order. For many, it was the tireless work of eStruxture that ensured they could continue operating to such high standards. With a model that has now proven itself to be both sustainable and scalable in equal measure, we look forward to seeing exactly what this impressive organization does next.

For further information, please contact Angela Adam or visit www.estruxture.com

5 Ways to Effectively Use Social Media and Improve Your Ecommerce Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate

Businesses thrive when customers are willing to drop by their stores and purchase their offered services or goods. With the recent challenges that the world has seen, there’s been a recent increase in the use of social media as a platform for generating leads and converting these leads into actual sales. Many businesses have realized that with a social-media-savvy team, they stand a chance of getting a competitive edge, and they’re grabbing the opportunity to establish their niche.

Many businesses have scaled their efforts towards promoting brand recognition and awareness with their pages and social media ads. Some of them have partnered with a credible SEO agency to help them build their pages and create a social media presence that they lacked previously. Targeting their audience, they’re establishing a foothold that rivals that of brick-and-mortar establishments. 

A savvy social media agency will work wonders for the bottom line. Not only will they help businesses present themselves positively on the platform, but they will also help them generate leads that can and will boost sales. In addition, they will also open new avenues for businesses as a social media page will reach a wider audience, thus expanding their reach and opportunities. 

A social media page will also help traditional businesses with local SEOThis will not only help put the company in the periphery of more people, but it will also mean opportunities to attract and retain customers. With a dedicated social media team and a page that’s responsive to their needs, it’s only a matter of time before they see an increase in their sales margins. 

The future of businesses is in their ability to scale themselves to social media platforms. With more people engaged in the internet, it’s a significant investment if they will have a social media page that will provide them with an opportunity to convert casual browsers into paying customers. Read on, and find out five different ways how you can use the power of social media to good use for your establishment. Try to incorporate these strategies and get ready for the inevitable upswell.

 

1. Create a seamless landing page

First things first, you need to create a landing page that’s pleasant to the eyes of a potential customer. Then, you can team up with an experienced agency well-versed in SEO strategies to ensure that the landing page’s aesthetics, content, and technical aspects will be on point. You need to create a positive experience from the get-go as customers want to feel that they will get something extraordinary with the encounter. 

Your landing page must not only look good, but it should also give the customers the information they need to decide to make a purchase or sign up for your service. The page must also load quickly because no client wants to get stuck with a page taking forever to load. 

Use a simple design layout. Keep it simple, but there shouldn’t be any compromise on the aesthetics. Keep the elements prominent, and there should always be a call to action if you’re selling a product or a service. Clients need to know what they’ll do for the next step. 

 

2. Provide exceptional content

Once you have the client over, you have to give them a reason to stay. Provide your clients with content that is relevant and interesting for them. For example, present them with informational blogs and images or entertain them with high-resolution videos while they’re on the site. This will give your webpage a cache with them, and in the process, your site will become an authority that clients will begin to depend on whenever they need a service or product. 

Keep content fresh, as it will also help increase your fanbase. The more your audience appreciates the site, the more confident they will recommend it to their friends. We cannot underestimate this level of trust as people will create an organic buzz that will help establish your site as one that they can trust.

 

3. Come up with discounts, coupons, promotions, and other similar gimmicks

People love getting things at a discounted price, so it will pay dividends if your page will run seasonal or regular promotions offering discounts, coupons, or referral fees. Not only will these spur more site traffic, but they will also provide the business with an opportunity to expand its reach and build a good brand identity continuously. 

Make sure that you will fulfill the terms of the promotions, though a positive review will work wonders for your site. Good publicity is hard to come by, so it pays if a customer will provide terrific feedback as it will bring more people to the site. But, again, an excellent experience will pay dividends. 

 

4. Encourage reviews and feedback from your clients

As we mentioned previously, a positive review will work wonders for your site. Encourage your clients to leave feedback and reviews. This will create an avenue for other people to gauge your business based on how others see it. As we know, people will flock to a company if they receive positive customer feedback because they will receive the attention they deserve. 

Businesses must also encourage social media posts to create a wider reach and give them a pleasant image to capitalize on to attract more customers. The more people who can provide exceptional feedback, the better. This will also help in local SEO and help in ranking your page nearer the top of the recommendations list. 

 

5. Don’t forget to use analytics

Also, never forget the analytics. This is where the expertise of a social media agency can pay off. They’ll help you respond to your client’s needs based on what they find engaging. Analytics and metrics will boost the positive page experience and help establish your site as a leader in the field. This will also help you provide the content and the layout that the clients will feel good about, which is critical if you want your business to thrive.

 

Takeaways

Social media is a tool that businesses can use to create brand loyalty and an increased bottom line. Companies must realize this and grab the opportunity to expand their reach using strategies to keep their establishments relatable. It pays to hire a team that will help establish a presence in social media as it will pay dividends in the long run. 

5 Hospitality Tips for Achieving Top Rated Customer Satisfaction

Resort Customer Service

As a significant portion of the world receives the vaccine and life returns to normal, resorts may notice an increase in business. Companies can utilize the boost in traffic to raise their customer satisfaction ratings. There are five effective methods of achieving top-rated gratification, placing your hotel above your competitors.

 

1. Know Your Guests

A hotel’s staff can increase a customer’s experience by getting to know them before they arrive. They can access essential information about their guests by connecting with them on social media or having them fill out a questionnaire. Staff members can gather their activity preferences, dietary restrictions, pronouns and more, increasing a customer’s comfort upon arrival.

Addressing guests with their preferred pronouns can enhance inclusivity and validation. Staff members can also use customers’ information to create an inviting and appealing atmosphere. They can increase an individual’s comfort by catering their stay to their interests and needs.

Resorts can add specific amenities that enhance guests’ experiences based on their general interests. If your hotel attracts many families, you can install a children’s pool or play area to increase customer appeal. Similarly, if you have many couple guests, you may cater to their comfort by adding private outdoor dining areas.

 

2. Develop an Easy-to-Navigate Website

Creating an easy-to-use website can also improve guest satisfaction. Resorts can add chatbots to their sites, increasing an individual’s access to service during low staff times. When chatbots can provide helpful information, a social feel and enjoyable dialogue, they can improve satisfaction rates.

Efficiently designed websites can also minimize staff interaction for guests who value privacy. They may use the digital features to order room service, reserve spaces at the pool, book an excursion and more. Adapting the site to all guests can increase comfort and access to information.

 

3. Listen to Your Guests 

Active listening is another tip for improving satisfaction and stay ratings. When employees hear a customer’s concerns and provide active or emotional aid, the individual feels valued and pleased. Staff members can practice active listening by evaluating a guest’s words, body language, tone and more, gathering a broader understanding of their message.

Social interactions contribute to 10% of a customer’s happiness. When employees actively listen, they increase the social experience and improve a guest’s mood. Elevating an individual’s level of satisfaction can increase a resort’s ratings.

 

4. Hire the Top Talent

Organizations can improve customer satisfaction by hiring employees that specialize in service. Resorts can ensure the efficiency of their workers by evaluating their customer service philosophies before offering them the job. They may also hire individuals for their personalities because positive employees elevate guests’ moods.

 

5. Track and Assess Feedback

During the checkout process, the resort can also request feedback information from guests, improving their service in the future. After gathering the feedback, employees can create a positive and negative feature list, assessing different effects on customer satisfaction. They can then use the list to promote effective techniques and features while preventing adverse ones.

 

It is More Than a Smile

When companies are searching for ways of increasing customer satisfaction ratings, it is essential to look beyond positive greetings. Various aspects of a stay can impact a guest’s level of enjoyment. Remembering all customers are different is crucial, and you can improve satisfaction levels by diversifying your approaches. 

Finding New Life For FinTech

Above shot of a business meeting with graphs and charts on a table, with FinTech graphics on top of the image

Financial services is an area of the business world that requires lightning-fast communication. Currencies and exchange rates can change incredibly rapidly, and the necessity for technology that can keep up is becoming ever more present. So, we spoke with Stefan Ott at Confinity Solutions to find out more about how his firm is tackling this need.

 

In doing so, it has been crowned 2021’s Most Innovative Global FinTech Startup. Discover more as part of our interview with Stefan about the work and success of Confinity Solutions.

 

For five years now, Confinity Solutions has been changing the game and upping the level of excellence delivered in the financial technology and financial services sector. As has already been mentioned, the work of the financial industry moves at a pace that is significantly more rapid than many others, with split-second decisions being the difference between money gained and money lost. People’s very livelihoods hinge upon decisions that are made in very high-intense pressure environments. In these scenarios, it is imperative that those people making these crucial decisions have access to the fastest possible technology that allows them to keep up with what is happening out in the world of financial transactions. This is exactly where Confinity Solutions comes into the picture. Founded by Stefan following his decision to buy out software from IBM in 2016, the work of Confinity Solutions is focused around developing high-volume and low-latency messaging solutions. Perhaps the greatest example of this, and the firm’s key success to date, is Confinity Low Latency Messaging (CLLM), which is the successor product of IBM’s WebSphere MQ LLM.

 

Having moved on from working at IBM to then founding his own business with a clear vision of what the future of financial technology should be, Stefan is a rare example of someone being correctly described as a visionary. His understanding of the industry and his desire to make the world of financial technology better has pushed Stefan to achieve bigger and better things with the software that he acquired from IBM. We at Corporate Vision had the privilege of being able to speak with Stefan about his role in starting the business, and how his involvement with the technology goes back many years beyond the foundation of Confinity Solutions. Upon beginning the interview with Stefan, it soon became abundantly clear that his passion for the technology and work of Confinity Solutions was seemingly limitless.

 

“Confinity Solutions was established in 2016 to acquire the source code of two products from IBM, namely WebSphere Front Office (WFO), a market data distribution infrastructure, and WebSphere MQ LLM, a low-latency messaging software. Together with the products, Confinity Solutions also took over responsibility for the service and support of IBM’s customers using one of these products. Confinity Solutions was considered a FinTech start-up, but with two mature software products and an established customer base. I was working at IBM before, and was familiar with both pieces of software.”

 

Unfortunately for those working with the IBM software, various decisions were made that meant the software fell into a sort of obscurity. Product strategies were bandied around, and new product names were created, but they were not names that Financial Markets’ clients and customers were familiar with. Not content to leave the software in the lurch, Stefan took it upon himself to found Confinity Solutions and created a brighter future for the two products and the Fintech industry. Now, almost five years on from the company’s inception, Stefan has engineered Confinity Solutions into a place where it is fully deserving of the title of 2021’s Most Innovative Global FinTech Startup from Corporate Vision Magazine. Stefan kindly elaborated further on the beginnings of the firm.

 

“Initially, I wanted to call it Confinity as an amalgamation of consulting, financial, and IT. However, the founder of Paypal actually wanted to call his product Confinity, and still had the domain. Instead, the Solutions was added and Confinity Solutions was born. Since 2016, I’ve also worked with IBM in a partnership to ensure that they can actually still market and resell our two products, Confinity LLM, or CLLM, and Confinity Market Data System, or CMDS. This is all we do, and around these two products, there is also consultancy and other various forms of excellence. When I founded the firm, we were focused on owning the IP and utilising the knowhow to establish partnerships with a number of worldwide companies that could serve customers on a global basis.”

 

Perhaps the greater of the two products that Confinity Solutions now offers is its low-latency messaging service, or the Confinity Low Latency Messaging (CLLM), which is the successor product of IBM’s WebSphere MQ LLM. Having successfully agreed upon a deal, Confinity Solutions took control of the software that IBM had allowed to fall into obscurity and die a slow death. Determined to bring it back to life and put it in the hands of those who would need and use it on a daily basis, Stefan built his firm from the ground up to be an outstanding advocate for the good that financial technology can do. Upon speaking with Stefan, it quickly becomes a great deal more clear on exactly how much the importance of financial technology has grown in an era of lightning-quick decision making and financial transacting.

 

“We have given these products a future, and started a major product renewal and overhaul. In November 2020, we launched our first FPGA-based successor product for Confinity LLM. Having worked in global organisations on a worldwide level myself, including with roles for Dt. Boerse, Reuters, and IBM, my focus has always been to be local to our customers. We listen to our users, having established a CLLM user group back in 2017, and always ask them to play an active part in the future development of CLLM. Together with our product strategy to keep CLLM as a top ‘state-of-the-art’ leading edge software product, and the latest CLLM 4.0 nicely underpins this.”

 

Technology and financial technology services is one thing, but Confinity Solutions has had to work hard to ensure that the technology serves the client in the best way possible. Whilst they were still owned by those at IBM, both the products offered were traditionally targeted towards clients in Financial Markets, including those working in exchanges, as well as brokerages and other financial entities that work in the global market. CLLM in particular has proven to be a massive hit with clients all over the world as a messaging infrastructure that they can rely on. Due to its features and capabilities, the software allows customers to create a fair marketplace or stock exchange market by enabling low-latency messaging across the board.

 

CLLM is undoubtedly best in class when it comes to reliable multicast messaging, and it actually boasts more than nineteen patents to ensure that it remains the king of this proverbial hill. The “predictability” of low latency messaging such as CLLM also makes it a prime candidate for use in cases outside of the Financial Markets. For instance, the work of the Automotive and Telecommunications industries can also benefit massively from what the Confinity Solutions has to offer in terms of messaging. That instantaneous and reliable delivery and reception of a message that is of the utmost importance can be the difference between success and failure, and that is why the success of Confinity Solutions in bringing this technology back to life is so deserving of recognition.

 

Of course, after speaking with Stefan further, it became clear to see that he recognises too that the success of the firm would not be nearly as outstanding without the people that have made it happen. Stefan kindly explained more about his decision to bring in specialists and experts whose knowledge of software and Financial Markets rivals only that of his own.

“Our staff plays a very important role in the success of Confinity Solutions. Other than subject matter expertise in software development, I recruited my team with a focus on different cultures and diverse language skills. This allows us to serve our worldwide customer base in the best possible manner, such as conversing with them in their native language. We may work with clients all over the world, but we have staff who have Chinese language skills, whilst there are those who hail from Venezuela and India. Understanding our client’s global cultures is imperative to providing them with the right software and services within their field of interest.”

 

Despite all the success that Confinity Solutions has achieved in the last five years since its inception, there have not been times without challenge and opposition. As many business were affected by the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, so too was Confinity Solutions. However, true to his nature as a visionary and someone who can see a way out when all else seems hopeless, Stefan knuckled down and found a way to ensure that the firm could still deliver for its clients. Most of its customers and exchanges that is serves needed software that could cope with the changes to society that were coming. Remote transactions and more mean that software and particularly that of low latency and reliable messaging had to be up to scratch. Fortunately, Stefan and the team at Confinity Solutions made sure theirs was.

 

“As a result of the pandemic, we had to establish processes and measures to guarantee a continued 24/7 support for our customers. Since some of our staff is based in India, Germany, Hong Kong, and New York, we have introduced strict rules so that two staff with the same skill set and profile do not work in the same office room and on the same shift. Spreading out the talent all over the world has proven to be fruitful for us. We can also already state that we are fully digitalized, and only a few critical resources required to be onsite.”

 

Looking ahead to the future, there is much to be excited for from a financial technology standpoint. There is always new technology being innovated and brought to market, but the focus from Confinity Solutions and Stefan stretches beyond that into more specific and specialized areas. As we begin to close out our time together in this interview, Stefan reveals to us some of the plans that the firm has for the remainder of 2021, and what lies beyond.

 

“Initially, we have focused on reviving the products and stabilizing them. Since 2019, we have been working on a new next-generation CLLM product which is utilizing leading edge FPGA technology. CLLM 4.0 (FPGA version) was launched in December 2020, and we are working with a few EAP customers in the first quarter to try and stabilize it. Q2 of 2021 and beyond is our target for rollout in established customer bases and new customer bases alike in the Financial Markets industry. At the same time, we are targeting the Automotive industry as a potential area of great success and growth.”

 

Ultimately, the work of Stefan and Confinity Solutions is nothing short of exceptional within the financial technology space. Markets are ever-changing and the world is changing more than ever at this moment in time, following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stefan’s work has seen Confinity Solutions become a key partner for so many financial institutions, and it has seen the revival and reinstatement of some key technologies and software products. In essence, the brilliance of Confinity Solutions and Stefan is certainly something worthy of recognition across the world, and we at Corporate Vision cannot wait to see what the future holds for this outstandingly innovative business.

 

For business enquiries contact Stefan Ott at Confinity Solutions GmbH via https://confinity-solutions

Seasoned Experts

Hurricane moving through countryside in USA

When a crisis arises, people don’t want to quibble over their insurance policy. They want to know what resources they have, in order to get back on track as soon as possible. Often, however, policyholders find themselves underpaid on the settlements they not only deserve but need to move on. Working hard to right these wrongs is Henry Rodriguez of Municipal Claims Management Services. Named as a Leader in Insurance Claims Management 2021 – Florida in Corporate Vision’s series on Corporate Excellence, we took a closer look to find out more.

When Hurricane Andrew slammed Florida in 1992, Henry Rodriguez found himself in a curious position. He was working on an apartment building renovation in Miami, a project that had an abundance of material and manpower, when he was contacted by family and friends. In the aftermath of this catastrophe, they had found their insurance lacking. Sitting in his uncle’s roofless house, Henry was stunned to hear that his uncle had received a check for $20,000, while the cost of repairs was in the region of $150,000. It was the first time Henry examined an insurance policy, and the start of a long and happy career.

Over the last thirty years, Henry had become one of the leading lights of the insurance industry, acting as a Certified Insurance Appraiser, Adjuster, and Umpire. As CEO of Municipal Claims Management Services, he has become a trusted partner with individuals and organizations across Florida and the surrounding states. Henry still lives in Florida, and his familiarity with the devastating social and financial impacts of hurricanes is what drives him to achieve success for his clients every day.

Henry’s work has seen his team working with all sorts of organizations, ranging including Policyholders, Insurance companies, Governments and Municipalities, Law Firms, and HOAs to settle disputed insurance claims efficiently and effectively through Appraisal. His word is based on years of experience in the field and is trusted throughout the industry. For this reason, he is often called upon and court appointed to serve as Umpire in a myriad of cases.

The challenges of negotiating fair claims with insurance companies after any loss are naturally numerous, and the field requires an expert to ensure that homeowners and commercial policyholders alike understand their options. This must be done before potentially costly and time-consuming litigation takes place. When someone is in trouble, help is needed quickly, and it must be effective enough to really make a difference. Because of his long and hard-won experience, Henry Rodriguez is the first port of call for many who need a helping hand to get back on their feet.

The role of an insurance company adjuster is to settle the claim as quickly as possible, for as little as possible. Often adjusters are under immense pressure to meet strict loss ratio guidelines that protect the profits of an insurance company. When a team takes on Municipal Claims Management Services, they take on a team that is committed to providing accurate estimates.

Historically, many firms have taken a confrontational approach to these cases, but at the heart of every decision made by Henry Rodriguez and his team is a commitment to fairness to all sides. The team look at the contract between the client and their insurance company to understand precisely what has been committed to by all sides. It is steadfastly transparent in its operation, with integrity and professionalism at its core. Some firms promise the stars, but the team at Municipal Claims Management Services utterly commits to what you can claim. It’s a defensive approach that anticipates what might be contested and allows the team to prepare a comprehensive answer backed by an overabundance of proof.

It’s not unfair for policyholders to want clarity in what their policy provides, especially when it comes to avoiding misunderstandings and receiving what they have spent years of their lives paying in for. Municipal Claims Management Services brings this strong sense of fairness to every case, making sure to act objectively when bringing their years of experience in the field to bear on insurers. Their knowledge means that loss can be quickly, properly resolved when all parties act in good faith. Vigorously defended and precisely presented when need be.

Over the years, Henry and his team has had an enormous impact on the industry. Their work has been instrumental with the development of stronger building codes brought about by the work done with experts in many disciplines. Much of this is based on his diverse experience working alongside insurance companies, contractors, engineers, architects, building officials, and other subject matter experts. They are just a small part of a comprehensive network of associates who share his passion for fairness when it comes to insurance.

As a result of this work, he has had great success with large-scale emergency claims management. These cases are notoriously complex, with many different factors at play. Ensuring a sense of balance throughout is not easy but certainly key to ensuring success.

Alongside his successful career advocating for fairness on behalf of clients, Henry has been instrumental in the authoring of jargon-free Standard Operating Procedures that are applicable to various industries. All of these have been approved by Federal and State Government Agencies. What are by design complex industry practices have been broken down into simpler steps, held to the standards of transparency that Henry uses in his all work as appraiser or umpire. For clients, the ability to empower themselves to take on large insurance companies is due in no small part to his impressive body of work and a crew second to none.

For his work appraising losses nationally and internationally and his ongoing commitment to his local community through disaster recovery and advocating for fairer insurance policies, Henry has been recognized and applauded across the state of Florida and beyond. He was awarded prestigious ACAC Certifications, as well as two Certificates of Recognition by Mayor Regalado of Miami and Vice Mayor Suarez and Mayor Muhina of the City of West Miami. These awards are a credit to his significant accomplishments and exemplary citizenry.

Since those humble beginnings in the wreck of his uncle’s house, Henry has committed himself to ensuring that people have access to the support they need and deserve. It’s not just a financial settlement, but a way of moving forward at a difficult time. As such, when faced with even the most disruptive circumstances to themselves, their loved ones, or their property, clients can confidently rely on their partners in insurance matters, Henry Rodriguez and the team at Municipal Claims Management Services.

For business enquiries contact Henry Rodriguez at Municipal Claims Management Services via  [email protected]

Hiring the Right Office Manager

Office Manager

Nowadays, it sometimes seems that the art of customer service is lost. You can feel it when you’re eating out at a restaurant, have a question in a store, or just need general help from an employee anywhere. The art of customer service is thus in high demand not only for external clients but also for internal ones. That makes it more critical than ever that when it’s time for your company to hire a new Office Manager, that they exhibit exemplary internal customer service. You want someone who can do more than make you the perfect iced coffee; they need to juggle all the tasks in the running of the office day today. 

 

High EQ

One often overlooked quality that a high functioning Office Manager must possess is a high EQ. A candidate with high emotional intelligence will be able to handle the sometimes high-stress levels that come with running an office. When you have someone that is able to roll with the punches and maintain their positive mindsight, this trickles down to the entire office staff keeping the mood optimistic for everyone. 

 

Communication is Key 

A robust communication skill set may seem like an obvious trait someone you’re looking to hire would have. Still, sometimes, interview settings for this type of role are so professional, it’s challenging to get a feel for how much of a fluid communicator the prospective hire actually is. Not only do they need to have strong non-verbal communication skills making them able to communicate with the staff via correspondence effectively; they also need equally strong verbal communication. Having this ensures they can understand the needs of both team members and management and relay them accordingly. 

 

Organized and Creative 

Finding the right candidate who is both parts organized as well as creative is a must. Creative Office Managers benefit the work environment by making them excellent problem solvers and setting a creative, positive workplace for team members. Organized Office Managers are able to oversee multiple projects and situations at one time effectively. Being organized allows them to effectively delegate tasks, manage progress on said tasks and ensure they’re entirely correct on time. 

 

Honesty 

Honesty is a trait that is important in all employees and that much more important in the person you’re hiring to run your office. Knowing that you have complete faith in the person you’ve hired to run things allows you to relinquish control to them. You know that they are responsible enough to make the right decisions for the day-to-day of business and accept responsibility when they may sometimes make the wrong decision. Typically office managers are in charge of banking, so naturally, they need to be trustworthy. They are also in charge of most hiring, so their honest opinion holds serious weight and potential consequences. 

 

Tech Savvy 

In today’s workplaces, it’s not a “plus” if someone is familiar with dealing with technical things; it’s a necessity. Most processes today are technical in nature, so you need someone knowledgeable and competent in this area. Technical knowledge includes phones, computers, and other systems as necessary. The Office Manager will be responsible for training new employees in these areas and troubleshooting the systems as problems arise. 

 

Natural Leader

Maybe they weren’t born a natural leader. Still, unless all your candidates have a profound amount of experience, you want to make sure that you’re hiring someone with strong leadership capabilities. The Office Manager will, in fact, be in charge of leading the office and the team members within it. Someone with strong leadership skills can motivate and encourage team members to get tasks done correctly and efficiently. When everyone is working at a substantial level, this keeps morale high as well as increasing employee retention. 

 

Flexibility 

An Office Manager needs to be pretty flexible. Change is a given and constant, and a strong Office Manager can switch gears seamlessly and keep things flowing evenly. They need to be able to make decisions at the moment and keep the entire team on track when directions change. 

 

By adding these to your list of things you’re looking for in your potential new hire for the role of Office Manager, you’re sure to find someone that you can trust to run things as you would in your absence. Good Luck!

5 Business Upgrades to Consider in 2021

Business upgrades

Businesses have to make upgrades every so often, ideally every few years, to keep up with the times. Some updates should benefit your business. Others should help your customers or employees. If you know it’s time for some changes but aren’t sure what those changes should be, consider the following five business upgrades for 2021.

 

1. Cybersecurity

One crucial update you should consider is cybersecurity. More businesses are doing things online nowadays. This is a trend that won’t stop anytime soon. The internet is here to stay, and while it does offer businesses a lot of perks, it also exposes them to dangers. Many small business owners think they’re too small for criminals to take notice of them, but that’s not true. Small businesses are targets. This could expose customers’ private data, and that’s not something any budding business wants to admit. It takes a long time for a business to recover after a breach and even longer to get customers to trust your brand again. Even if you didn’t do this on purpose, you’d be blamed for it.

 

2. Better Parking

Another exciting upgrade you can make to your business deals with parking. Every person who comes to your place of business should be able to find a good parking spot. This requires updated parking plans, but you shouldn’t stop there. 2021 is a new year, and you should embrace the world of tomorrow. You might want to install several electric car charging stations for customers and employees as a way to welcome the world of tomorrow. The number of electric cars on the road is growing quickly. Some customers and employees may have these cars. Having a charging station tells the world you’re ready for the future, making you seem more appealing.

 

3. Move Towards the Cloud

If you still haven’t made the move, you need to move your business to the cloud. This can be a pain in the neck because it means transferring a lot of data to the computer, but it will be worth it in the end. Searching for data should be much easier since you can do it all online. This also means you can share information with your employees online through a secured cloud. This makes it easier for your workforce to work remotely. It will also be easier to work with third parties since they won’t have to visit your place of business.

 

4. A Portable POS

The point of sale doesn’t have to be in one place. The point of sale or the POS could be portable. Typically, this is a tablet but could just be a phone. You want to update your payment system to something like this because more customers are expecting this kind of technology. Your employees can walk around the store and check out customers without them standing in line. The other reason you should invest in a new POS system is so that you can accommodate new payment options, like chip or mobile wallets.

 

5. The Greener Changes

It might be a good idea to update your business by investing in green or eco-conscious changes. They don’t have to be too elaborate. For example, you can install sun tunnel skylights throughout your place of business. These things give you the full power of the sun, making your business feel illuminated, and you didn’t have to turn on the lights. You may also want to consider upgrading all your windows to UV protective and energy-efficient windows. You’ll save money with windows that keep the interior feeling comfortable. Make the changes you can make; just make sure you highlight these changes because being eco-conscious is profitable.

 

You’ve got several great upgrade ideas here, so just choose the ones that fit your business best. 2021 is a new year, and it’s time that your company embraces tomorrow.

The 10 Jobs Which Have Lost More Than Half Their Workforce In the Last 16 Years

A pair of gloves used for heavy lifting on top of a ladder

A number of highly skilled job roles are at risk of disappearing in the near future should new talent not be recruited, a new analysis of workforce data has revealed. 

The trade trends report 2021 released by Skills Training Group has found glass and ceramics process operatives, toolmakers and wood machine operatives are among several jobs where the total number of staff working in these roles has more than halved since 2004. 

Having analysed 16 years worth of data from the Office for National Statistics, the report has been able to identify the jobs most in need of reinvigorating. 

With the number of glass and ceramic process operatives declining by 77 per cent between 2004 and 2020, the analysis found this was the occupation most in need of new talent. In total, there are 9,200 fewer glass and ceramic operatives now than there were 16 years ago. 

While the decline amongst typists (65%), assemblers (65%) and printing machine assistants (63%) has been slightly more modest, these job roles are also facing the brunt of modernisation. 

The top ten declining jobs:

Profession All person in trade (Oct 2004 - Sept 2005) All person in trade (Oct 2019 - Sept 2020) Total decrease over 10 years
Glass and ceramics process operatives
12000
2800
77%
Typists and related keyboard occupations
113000
39600
65%
Assemblers (electrical and electronic products)
60400
21400
65%
Printing machine assistants
24000
8800
63%
Rubber process operatives
11900
4400
63%
Playworkers
58200
22100
62%
Street cleaners
9900
3800
62%
Tool makers, tool fitters and markers-out
24900
9800
61%
Paper and wood machine operatives
55700
22500
60%
Print finishing and building workers
27200
11000
60%

While it is evident that due to technological advancements the demand for many of these jobs is likely to be greatly reduced in the future, a number of these roles will still have an important role to play in society for many years to come. 

Commenting on the research and how businesses recruiting for these job roles can attract young people, Mark McShane, managing director at Skills Training Group said:

“In order to encourage young people to take up positions in these job roles it is important businesses across all industries engage with youngsters, sharing their success stories to encourage a new workforce. Communication and marketing needs to be a big part of the recruitment process – young people will better engage with clear and smart communication. Companies and industries that make noise, engage with social media and shout about what makes these job roles attractive will see the tide change in the amount of people wanting a job.”

To find out more about the report as done by Skills Training Group, visit their website to read the full study.