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From Our Updates
In the vast landscape of financial choices and investment opportunities, stepping into the world of investing can be an intimidating prospect, particularly for beginners in the UK. The myriad options, jargon, and potential risks can leave even the most enthusiastic novice feeling bewildered.
We all like the safe, risk free investments, and to be fair, saving interests are good, and pensions are tax free. Investing may seem scary but we already do it. In fact we let others do it with wilful abandon. Twice in 5 years I’ve been shocked to see my Prudential pension has loss thousands in value rather than gaining in the end of year summary. No explanation, no apology. Because my pension provider and risking my pension on investments. Banks also do this with the money you invest in fixed term accounts, although £75k is protected by the Government should they collapse.
So taking control of your investments might not be the worst idea in the world, while of course it is advised to do research before investing. But guidance from trusted experts is there. Hudson Weir, a well-established insolvency practitioners firm in the UK, is precisely the type of partner you need to embark on your investment journey with confidence and security.
In this guide, we will explore the fundamental principles of investing in the UK, providing you with the knowledge and strategies needed to start your investment journey on the right foot. Let’s delve into the world of investing with the assurance that expert guidance is readily available, making your financial dreams closer to reality than you might think.
Reasons To Invest In 2023
Investing is not merely a financial endeavour; it is a journey toward securing your financial future and achieving your long-term goals. As we look to step into 2024, the advantages of investing are more compelling than ever, especially for individuals in the UK. Here, we’ll delve into the reasons why you should consider investing in the coming year and beyond, and how it can significantly impact your financial well-being.
Generating Passive Income
One of the primary reasons people invest is to create a source of passive income. Whether through dividends from stocks, interest from bonds, or rental income from real estate, investments can offer you a steady stream of earnings. This income can support your daily expenses, fund your dream vacation, or serve as a financial safety net.
Growing Wealth Over Time
The power of compound interest and the potential for capital appreciation are compelling reasons to invest. Over time, investments have the tendency to grow, potentially leading to substantial wealth accumulation. This growth is vital for securing your retirement, ensuring a comfortable lifestyle, or leaving a financial legacy for your heirs.
Achieving Financial Goals
We all have financial goals, whether it’s buying a home, sending your children to college, or retiring comfortably. Investing is the key to turning these aspirations into reality. A well-thought-out investment strategy can help you reach these milestones, even if they seem far off.
Diversification is a fundamental principle of investing. By spreading your investments across different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate, you can minimise risk. Diversification allows you to protect your portfolio from the adverse effects of a poor-performing asset, ensuring that one setback won’t derail your entire financial plan.
Long-Term Investment Strategy
Investing is not a get-rich-quick scheme; it is a journey that rewards patience and a long-term perspective. Instead of trying to time the market or chase short-term gains, successful investors understand the importance of a well-defined, long-term investment strategy. A long-term approach helps you weather the inevitable market fluctuations and capitalise on compounding returns.
Investing 101: Best Practices
Investing can be a highly rewarding venture, but for beginners, it can also be a source of anxiety and uncertainty. To navigate the complexities of the financial markets and make informed investment decisions, it’s crucial to start with a strong foundation of best practices. Whether you’re in the UK or anywhere else, these guidelines will help you embark on your investment journey with confidence and purpose.
1. Start with Index Funds or ETFs
As a beginner, one of the best ways to dip your toes into the world of investing is to begin with index funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). These investment vehicles offer several advantages:
- Diversification. Index funds and ETFs pool your money with that of other investors to invest in a broad range of assets, such as stocks, bonds, or real estate. This diversification helps spread risk and reduce the impact of poor-performing investments.
- Lower Costs. Index funds and ETFs generally have lower fees and expenses compared to actively managed funds. This means more of your money goes toward your investments, rather than being eaten up by fees.
- Simplicity. They are easy to understand and require minimal involvement on your part. You don’t need to pick individual stocks or bonds; you’re essentially investing in an entire market or sector.
2. Embrace Dollar-Cost Averaging
Dollar-cost averaging is an investment strategy that involves investing a fixed amount of money at regular intervals, regardless of market conditions. Here’s how it works:
Let’s say you decide to invest £100 every month in a particular fund or stock.
When prices are high, your £100 buys fewer shares, and when prices are low, your £100 buys more shares.
Over time, this strategy reduces the impact of market volatility and removes the need to time the market.
Dollar-cost averaging is particularly useful for beginners because it instils discipline, minimises the effects of market fluctuations, and ensures you continue to invest, even during periods of uncertainty.
3. Avoid Trying to Time the Market
Market timing is the practice of buying or selling assets based on predictions about future market movements. While it may sound appealing, market timing is fraught with challenges:
It’s Incredibly Difficult
Even seasoned professionals struggle to consistently time the market accurately. Attempting to predict short-term price movements can lead to costly mistakes.
Emotional Roller Coaster
Trying to time the market often leads to emotional stress and anxiety. It can result in impulsive decisions driven by fear or greed.
Staying invested in the market, even during downturns, means you don’t miss out on potential gains when the market eventually rebounds.
For beginners, it’s advisable to focus on a long-term investment strategy and avoid attempting to time the market. Instead, invest steadily and consistently, and let time work in your favour.
4. Do Your Research
While it’s important to avoid micromanaging your investments or getting caught up in the daily news cycle, it’s equally essential to understand what you’re investing in. Before you invest in any asset, take the time to research and educate yourself. Some key aspects to consider include:
- Asset Classes. Understand the different types of assets you can invest in, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and commodities.
- Risk Tolerance. Assess your risk tolerance and determine how much risk you’re comfortable with. This will influence your asset allocation and investment choices.
- Investment Goals. Define your investment objectives, whether they are saving for retirement, buying a home, or funding your child’s education.
- Investment Vehicles. Learn about the various investment vehicles, such as individual stocks, mutual funds, and other financial instruments.
- Financial Markets. Gain a basic understanding of how financial markets work and the factors that influence them.
5. Diversify Your Portfolio
Diversification is a fundamental principle of investing, and it involves spreading your investments across different asset classes and securities to reduce risk. A diversified portfolio typically includes a mix of stocks, bonds, and other assets.
The benefits of diversification are evident during market fluctuations. When one asset class performs poorly, another may perform well, helping to balance out losses. Diversification also helps align your portfolio with your risk tolerance and investment goals.
6. Stay Informed but Avoid Overtrading
Keeping an eye on your investments and staying informed about market developments is prudent. However, it’s important to strike a balance. Overtrading or constantly checking your portfolio can lead to unnecessary stress and potentially harmful decisions.
Remember that investing is a long-term endeavour. Short-term fluctuations are normal, and reacting impulsively to every market movement can undermine your overall strategy. Instead, stay focused on your long-term goals and avoid making knee-jerk reactions to market noise.
7. Consult with Professionals
Investing, particularly for beginners, can be overwhelming, and the stakes are high. It’s always advisable to seek professional guidance. Financial advisors, insolvency practitioners and investment experts can provide personalised advice, help you create a well-rounded investment plan, and ensure your investments align with your financial objectives.
Professional guidance can also be essential for UK investors due to the unique financial regulations and tax implications in the region. It’s important to stay compliant with local laws to optimise your investments.
In your journey as an investor, remember these fundamental principles: research diligently, diversify your investments, and maintain a long-term strategy. These key practices form the bedrock of financial success. Investing is a powerful means of growing your wealth, but it demands caution and strategic planning. Seek professional advice, especially in the unique landscape of the UK, to navigate regulations and taxes successfully. With dedication and expert guidance, you can embark on a path to financial prosperity. The road may be long, but the destination is worth every step. Happy investing!
In today’s dynamic corporate culture, fostering camaraderie and collaboration is crucial.
This article explores innovative Corporate Days Out Ideas aimed at team building and employee engagement, to improve productivity.
Indulge in this guide and discover opportunities to break away from routine, rejuvenate your team, and create lasting memories that suit different ages and personality types.
Best for small teams
Golf, as a sport, encourages participants to engage in friendly competition while working towards a common goal and is a known stress reliver. A corporate golf day can serve as a platform to cultivate team spirit, promote networking, and stimulate a sense of belonging among employees.
It can also provide an informal setting for strategic discussions and problem-solving sessions. Plus, golf’s inherent nature of requiring focus and precision mirrors the strategic thinking and attention to detail necessary in business.
So, incorporating golf days into your corporate calendar can contribute significantly towards fostering a unified, committed, and motivated workforce. You can find golf breaks at https://www.golfholidaysdirect.com
Adventure Park Excursions
Best for young thrill seekers
Adventure park excursions offer an exciting option for corporate outings, combining team-building exercises with thrilling outdoor activities. These corporate events provide a unique day out, enabling participants to experience the euphoria of freedom and adventure.
The various team building activities entailed in these excursions, such as obstacle courses or treasure hunts, foster collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills in an enjoyable and dynamic environment.
Adventure parks are a superb corporate event idea, breaking the monotony of traditional corporate days out. This out idea serves to rejuvenate the workforce, thereby enhancing productivity and camaraderie.
Thus, for companies seeking innovative corporate away day ideas, adventure park excursions present a refreshing alternative that promises a memorable and rewarding team building event.
Cooking Class Experiences
Transitioning from outdoor pursuits, engaging in cooking class experiences is another innovative approach for corporate days out, offering a unique blend of collaboration and culinary creativity. This corporate activity is a refreshing deviation from traditional team-building activities, allowing teams to bond over a shared love for food.
As a corporate event, it fosters communication, problem-solving, and coordination, all crucial elements of a dynamic team. Team members work together to prepare a meal, often under the guidance of a professional chef, thereby injecting an element of competition into the event. Not only does it serve as a team-building event but also nurtures an environment of learning and personal development.
These cooking experiences are quickly becoming popular corporate team building event ideas, providing a relaxed, informal setting for team-building.
Building on the concept of engaging, outdoorsy activities like corporate sailing trips, team-building workshops present another compelling avenue for companies to bolster employee relations and enhance their skills.
These workshops provide a structured, yet flexible environment where employees can freely express ideas, collaborate on innovative solutions, and develop leadership qualities. Activities range from problem-solving exercises to role-playing scenarios, all designed to foster teamwork and communication.
Tailored to suit specific corporate objectives, these workshops can focus on areas such as conflict resolution, decision making, or strategic planning.
Ultimately, team-building workshops serve as a dynamic platform for employees to explore their full potential, reinforcing a sense of unity and collective strength within the organization. They are a worthwhile investment for companies seeking to cultivate a harmonious and productive work culture.
Scavenger Hunt Challenges
Diversifying from culinary team-building experiences, another thrilling corporate day out idea could involve scavenger hunt challenges. These activities are not only fun, but they also foster a sense of unity and cooperation, key elements for successful team-building events.
Scavenger hunts can turn your ordinary corporate days into thrilling events, where employees are challenged to think creatively and work collaboratively. They can be tailored to your specific needs, whether you’re planning a day away or a longer away day.
These corporate event ideas are flexible, allowing for a variety of themes and difficulty levels. They can be planned in a city centre or countryside, offering freedom and excitement. Scavenger hunt challenges, therefore, are excellent options for corporate team building events, making any day away an unforgettable experience.
Corporate Sailing Trips
In the realm of stimulating team-building activities, corporate sailing trips emerge as an exhilarating option that blends collaboration with an element of adventure. These outings are not just about sailing; they provide an unparalleled platform to foster teamwork, cultivate leadership, and stimulate strategic thinking in a refreshing environment.
The unique combination of skill development, camaraderie, and thrill that these trips offer make them an attractive idea for corporate away days. Imagine a day spent negotiating the challenges of the sea, employing teamwork to maintain course and speed. The sense of shared achievement at the end of the trip goes a long way in strengthening interpersonal bonds and uplifting morale.
Corporate sailing trips, thus, serve as a creative and invigorating departure from routine office life.
Best for competitive sales teams
In contrast to the altruistic approach of Charity Volunteer Days, corporations may opt for a more competitive and adrenaline-fueled day out, such as engaging in paintballing activities. This fast-paced sport not only offers an exciting escape from the office but also fosters teamwork, strategic thinking, and leadership skills.
Employees are divided into teams and face off in a variety of game scenarios, from capture the flag to last man standing, all within a safe, controlled environment. The thrill of dodging paintballs, devising game strategies, and celebrating victories can greatly boost team morale and employee bonding.
Furthermore, paintballing provides an empowering platform for employees to freely express their competitive spirit, while simultaneously strengthening inter-team relationships. This fresh and invigorating experience is a memorable option for corporate outings.
Outdoor Sports Competitions
Expanding upon the theme of team-building activities, another highly engaging and exciting option for corporate outings is participating in outdoor sports competitions. These events offer an exhilarating blend of physical challenge, strategic thinking, and collaboration, which can significantly enhance team dynamics.
Whether it’s a friendly game of football, a thrilling dragon boat race, or an intense obstacle course, the options are endless. Each of these activities encourages teamwork, healthy competition, and camaraderie, while also providing a refreshing break from the office environment.
Moreover, outdoor sports competitions can be tailored to suit varying fitness levels and interests, ensuring inclusivity for all team members. Careful planning and organization will ensure a memorable day out that strengthens bonds, boosts morale, and ultimately contributes to a more harmonious and productive workplace.
Themed Office Parties
Alternatively, why not consider the idea of themed office parties as a unique and enjoyable corporate day out? These events provide a perfect blend of social interaction, creativity, and team-building opportunities.
Teams can select a theme that aligns with their interests or corporate values, such as a ‘Decades Party’, ‘Superhero Night’, or even an ‘Eco-friendly Gala’. Catering can be tailored to match the theme, creating an immersive experience.
These parties can foster team bonding, boost morale, and create lasting memories. Furthermore, themed office parties can be hosted onsite or offsite, offering flexibility to companies. They not only serve as a refreshing break from routine work, but also as a platform to recognize and celebrate team achievements.
Charity Volunteer Days
Transitioning from themed parties, another impactful way for corporations to spend their day out is by organizing Charity Volunteer Days. This altruistic approach not only fosters team-building but also nurtures empathy and social responsibility in employees.
Activities can range from participating in neighbourhood clean-ups to helping at local food banks. This hands-on involvement creates a sense of unity and purpose, offering a refreshing change from the usual office environment. Moreover, it amplifies the organization’s positive image in the community.
Charity Volunteer Days demonstrate a commitment to corporate social responsibility, fostering a culture of giving back. This innovative corporate day out idea not only boosts morale but also contributes towards the overall well-being of society. A win-win for all involved.
Guided City Tours
Moving away from competitive activities, corporations can consider guided city tours as an enriching and educational team bonding experience. These outings provide employees with an opportunity to explore and appreciate the history, architecture, and cultural aspects of a city in a relaxed setting.
Tours can be tailored to suit the group’s interests, whether that’s focusing on historical landmarks, food and drink, or art and culture. As the group wanders the city streets, they’ll have ample time to communicate, connect, and share experiences, strengthening team bonds.
Additionally, these tours can inspire creativity, offer fresh perspectives, and stimulate engaging conversations, contributing to personal development and team synergy. Guided city tours can, therefore, serve as an enjoyable and enlightening alternative for corporate days out.
Relaxing Spa Days
For a change of pace from the usual corporate activities, consider the rejuvenating benefits of a relaxing spa day. This option is perfect for teams looking to unwind, rebalance, and cultivate a sense of peace.
The tranquil setting of a spa, combined with soothing treatments like massages, facials, and wellness therapies, can significantly reduce stress and boost overall morale. Spa days can be tailored to individual needs, offering an array of services from detoxifying body wraps to calming yoga sessions.
This experience encourages team members to prioritize self-care, which positively impacts their productivity and creativity. A spa day out is a unique, thoughtful way to reward hard work, foster unity, and promote a healthy work-life balance.
Interactive Escape Rooms
Delving into the realm of interactive escape rooms can offer an exhilarating and mentally stimulating corporate day out. This immersive experience fosters collaboration, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. Within the confines of a themed room, teams work together to decipher clues, crack codes, and unravel mysteries, racing against the clock to achieve a shared objective.
Every detail, from the room’s intricate design to the carefully placed clues, contributes to the thrill of the adventure. Employees will enjoy the freedom to explore, think creatively, and engage in lively discussions. This unique and innovative approach to team building serves as an exciting diversion from the usual office environment, encouraging employees to step outside their comfort zones and unlock their potential.
Wine Tasting Events
In the realm of corporate outings, wine tasting events present a sophisticated and engaging option for team building and relaxation. These events offer a unique blend of education and entertainment, allowing participants to develop their palate while engaging in relaxed conversation. Wine tastings often include expert-led sessions, where attendees can learn about grape varieties, regions, and vinification processes, providing a stimulating learning environment.
Furthermore, these events can be tailored to suit the specific needs and tastes of your team, whether you prefer bold reds, crisp whites, or sparkling rosés. The process of tasting, discussing, and appreciating wine encourages camaraderie and collaboration.
This makes wine tasting events a versatile option for corporate outings, combining leisure, learning, and team bonding in an elegant setting.
Corporate Wellness Retreats
Transitioning from the casual sophistication of wine tasting events, the concept of Corporate Wellness Retreats emerges as a holistic approach to team building and employee wellbeing.
These retreats create a safe space where employees can unwind, rejuvenate, and reinvigorate their passion for their work, while also fostering a sense of camaraderie and mutual respect amongst team members.
A carefully curated combination of relaxation, health-focused activities, and interactive workshops are the highlight of these retreats, aiming to enhance both physical and mental health. From yoga and meditation sessions to nutrition workshops and mindfulness training, every aspect of these retreats is designed to promote overall wellness.
Thus, Corporate Wellness Retreats serve as an empowering reminder of the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance, offering an escape from the frenzied corporate world.
Exhilarating Skydiving Jumps
For a significant number of companies, the thrill of exhilarating skydiving jumps has become an increasingly popular choice for corporate outings. This high-adrenaline activity not only provides a liberating escape from the routine office environment, but it also fosters team bonding and mutual trust.
The experience begins with professional instruction ensuring safety and confidence, followed by the breath-taking moment of stepping into the open sky. As employees tandem jump with certified instructors, they experience an unmatched sense of freedom and adventure. The shared exhilaration creates powerful memories and strengthens team cohesion.
In conclusion, corporate days out greatly contribute to team building and employee engagement.
They range from adrenaline-pumping activities like skydiving and sailing trips, to more relaxed options such as wine tasting or wellness retreats.
They all provide unique opportunities for collaboration and bonding.
Thus, organizations should consider incorporating such activities into their corporate culture, as they not only foster team spirit, but also promote personal growth and job satisfaction among staff members.
Although there are many working modes and patterns in business now, full-time employment and freelancing are two of the most common. As more and more people choose to set up as freelancers, you may begin to wonder which is the best type of staff to hire. The truth is that both come with some distinct benefits which you should consider before making a decision. But what does each way of working bring with it for employers?
As we move into an era of working from home and being free from the confines of a normal 9to5 job they possibilities to have a career that fits in with you and your lifestyle is ever-more achievable.
We see more and more people becoming investors thanks to the accessibility of online trading from stocks, bonds and the newest ongoing trend of investing in gold and silver where your liquidity can become very real in a short space of time without too much prior experience. That said, can this be a full-time money spinner or are you going to follow a regular salary?
So, how does employing people full-time stack up for businesses against freelance workers? One of the major benefits hiring full-time staff brings is that you have a permanent workforce who you know well under your control. This means that you do not have to worry about people being up to the job or having the right skills or training to perform. They will also be more invested in your company and have you as their sole focus. It also allows you to manage company workloads more effectively as you know you will always have the staffing levels to cope. Hiring full-time staff also saves a lot of time in having to find and vet freelancers each time you need them.
It is also worth thinking about how hiring full-time staff allows your business to use an employee benefits platform. The benefits which platforms like this deliver are very useful for attracting, motivating and retaining talented staff. Usually, though, these benefits are not open to freelancers as they are not classed as being eligible. If you want to increase employee engagement and productivity with a benefits platform, full-time employment is the way to go for businesses.
What advantages does freelancing deliver to business?
Although the advantages of full-time employment cannot be applied to hiring freelance staff, this way of working does offer other benefits. To begin with, it allows companies to be more flexible regarding their staffing levels. You may retain a small group of full-time staff all year round, for example, but then hire freelancers to cover busier periods. Naturally, freelance staff do not incur the same costs as full-time ones. You will not have to divert resources into training them, buying them equipment, paying sick leave or paying for annual leave. Freelancers can also give you quick access to specialist knowledge or skills, should a new project require it for the short-term.
Freelancing vs full-time employment
The big question within business is which type of employment is best – freelancing or full-time? The simple answer is that both come with their own unique advantages and it depends on what you are looking for. If you want to find and keep talented staff through a benefits platform though, full-time is the best choice.
Many people all across the world faced unprecedented health, financial, and career challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the various regulations and measures enacted as a response. Certain demographic groups were subjected to severe financial pressure that left them in a precarious position when it comes to paying the bills and covering their current outstanding debt.
The prices of natural gas increased significantly, pushing electricity costs upwards with them. People now have to deal with rapidly increasing inflation as well – countries are reporting or projecting to reach double-digit inflation. The Bank of England expects inflation in the UK to reach a peak of 13%. What this means in practical terms is that people have to figure out how to pay the growing prices for goods and services with the same salaries.
It is not surprising that under these dire circumstances, many businesses feel trapped in a difficult situation. This is exactly why turning to professional financial consultants or insolvency practitioners for a debt solution, such as the experts at Hudson Weir, could prove to be invaluable for confidential debt advice. The experts could offer appropriate solutions that could help individuals and companies deal with their debt, receive financial aid, and manage to overcome their current issues. One such option in the UK that could otherwise be overlooked is getting a debt relief order (DRO).
What Are Debt Relief Orders (DRO)?
A debt relief order is a method to deal with outstanding debt that can no longer be repaid as an alternative to a formal insolvency procedure. Thanks to a successfully received DRO, individuals would be granted a set period of time, usually 12 months, during which they will no longer be required to make payments for various outstanding debts. Keep in mind that eligible persons must meet a set of strict requirements. Furthermore, they cannot apply for a DRO themselves. Instead, an authorized debt advisor known in this process as an approved intermediary must submit the application.
Which Debts Are Included in a DRO?
The various debts included in the DRO are called ‘qualifying debts.’ During the period of the DRO, the creditors associated with these debts cannot ask for payments. Even if they try to, the recipient of the DRO doesn’t have to comply with their demands. The ‘qualifying debts’ cover a wide range of payments – credit cards, overdrafts, loans, utility bills, phone bills, council tax, income tax, business debts, debts to family and friends, and many others.
It is important to keep in mind that landlords could still try to evict tenants who are behind on their rent payments, even in cases where the rent arrears are part of the DRO. To avoid such outcomes, it is recommended to continue making these payments regardless of a successful DRO application. Other debts that are not covered include child support, student loans, social fund loans, court fines, and others.
Who Is Eligible For a DRO?
Whether a DRO is granted or not is determined by an officer of the bankruptcy court known as an official receiver. Their decision is based on the information provided by the approved intermediary, which is the representative of the applicant. However, to be eligible for a DRO, applicants must also meet several important criteria.
First, they must have lived or worked in England or Wales for at least the past 3 years. In addition, they must owe a total debt of £30,000 or less, have assets with a total worth of less than £2,000, and have less than £75 in spendable funds each month after covering their taxes, national insurance, and any typical household expenses. Vehicles worth less than £2,000 or ones that have been adapted to accommodate a certain disability are not counted towards the assets. Only 1 vehicle can be excluded this way, and it must not be used solely for work purposes.
A DRO may be a great option to deal with debt that can no longer be maintained. After the debt relief order is over, any debts covered by it will be written off, allowing for the recipients to start with a more or less clean slate. The process of obtaining a DRO is rather complex, and turning to an authorized debt adviser is not only recommended but mandatory.
There has been a lot of talk in recent months about companies pivoting into new areas as a result of the struggling UK economy, but there is also a long history around the world of businesses dramatically altering their strategies in order to thrive. Many of the world’s biggest companies have revolutionised how they functioned over the years, whether they altered fundamental services, product types, target markets, or distribution methods.
B2B PR Agency experts ProhibtionPR have given us some massively successful companies that used business PR strategies and techniques to grow their core businesses.
Amazon, one of the world’s highest-valued companies, started as an online bookstore for physical books. It advertised itself as “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore” when operations began in July 1995 and competed with large bookstore chains as a result. Amazon carried more than 2.5 million different book titles using this approach, which was moderately successful.
Amazon created its Marketplace in 2000 to allow other businesses to sell products online, boosting the variety and revenue of Amazon products. Amazon wasn’t just selling books; it was the go-to online retailer. In 2006, Amazon started to offer cloud computing services that lead the industry today.
Even though it was founded in 2005 by co-founders Jawed Karim, Steve Chen, and Chad Hurley as a dating website, Google-owned streaming video service is among the most frequented websites globally.
The founders even took out advertisements offering to pay people $20 to post videos of themselves. However, this approach failed, but as users of the site began posting whatever videos they wanted, the founders welcomed the idea. Google acquired the website in November 2006 for $1.6 billion in stock. As of May 2019, over 500 hours of video are uploaded on the site every minute, thanks to the improvements made to the site.
Wacom is a Japanese corporation based in Kazo, Saitama, that manufactures graphics tablets and related items. In 1992, the Compaq Concerto computer screen featured Wacom tablet technology, making it the first tablet computer. Wacom chips were used in the Samsung Penmaster tablet computer, which was marketed as the GridPad SL by Grid Systems in 1991.
Wacom designs its products with great care, and rightfully so since they are directly connected to them. Despite the difficulty of redesigning a website, Wacom targets two different customer demographics. The general public may be interested in more entry-level tools, whereas creative professionals may prefer to stick with more advanced equipment.
Tobias can Schneider took on the issue of how to satisfy both groups without turning off either one with Fantasy studio’s help. Their overhaul was extremely successful, bringing about a 300% jump in overall traffic.
Netflix, one of the world’s top streaming entertainment providers, began in 1998 as a firm that provided consumers with physical DVD films to rent and buy. The firm expanded its subscription programme in 1999, allowing people to rent as many DVDs as they wished and receive them by mail. The entire entertainment landscape altered when Netflix decided to invest in streaming rather than DVD rentals in 2007, and today the company is valued at over $200 billion.
Netflix unveiled a fresh user interface in June 2011. The new UI was covered with movie covers more densely than before, hence the codename ‘Density’. They extensively A/B tested the interface elements. Despite the loud few complaints, user engagement still increased.
Starbucks first opened in Seattle in 1971. When Schultz and a few investor partners bought the company, it was limited to selling coffee beans and coffee-making equipment. What the company is today is the result of that purchase.
Schultz transformed the stores into coffee shops where beans, as well as coffee, were sold. Schultz led the company to success, and he eventually resigned as its chief executive in 2000. In 2008, he reinvented the company once again as its CEO. Schultz tried to improve customer engagement through technology during his second term as CEO. Today, Starbucks has the most frequented loyalty rewards app among significant restaurant chains thanks to its app.
IBM has been one of the world’s leading computer producers for much of its history. The company was forced to alter its direction in the early 1990s because its hardware sector was becoming excessively competitive.
IBM suffered an $8 billion quarterly loss in 1993, forcing executives to quit producing computer chips, hard drives, and printers. IBM then shifted its focus to software, IT consulting services, and computing research and development, bringing the corporation back to profitability and boosting its standing.
Corning, a leading manufacturer of glass, ceramics, and industrial materials, found success in the late 1800s by mass-producing glass bulbs for Thomas Edison’s lights. Corning has continued to innovate and reimagine what it can do with glass.
Pyrex durable cookware, internet communication via optical fibre, and tough-to-crack Gorilla Glass for tech gadgets like the Apple iPhone, iPad, and Watch were all invented at the company.
Hiring and retaining the best talent is among the most important objectives for any business owner, and paying employees a fair salary is a vital part of it. Employees are your company’s foundation, influencing its success or failure. Some business owners have the resources and expertise to do everything independently; however, some reach out to companies that offer interim management. Those organisations are specialists in transformational leadership and have the ability to grow your business exponentially.
If you are managing a group of people, then it’s likely that you are aware of the importance of knowing your subordinates. That’s why some business decisions are not entirely based on data but need a bit of human thinking. For some people, it’s hard to admit that increasing employees’ salary is a good chance.
If you struggle and are wondering whether you should give a pay rise to your employees, then in this article, we will look at why and when you should do it.
Should you give a Pay rise?
For all companies, the amount of money paid to employees each month is one of the most critical business decisions. There are plenty of factors which should be taken into consideration.
What is the business’s current revenue, and what does the future look like? What was the impact of the last pay rise on the employees, and how is your hiring process going? When making those changes, it’s important to look at all factors because employees’ salary directly impacts their performance and experience. Usually, when giving pay rise, productivity and job satisfaction significantly improve. Nonetheless, an organisation shouldn’t give pay rises just because – employees have to be able to demonstrate their value and contribution to the business.
Recognising their hard work and achievements with a bigger paycheck is a great way to boost their happiness and productivity. If employees feel valued, they are more likely to stay with the company for a longer period instead of looking for new opportunities. For example, if the market and competitors are increasing paychecks and you are not, then you are unwillingly giving them a reason to find a higher-paying position. Some organisations provide performance bonuses. It’s a good idea to reward hard workers; however, you shouldn’t rely on it.
When should you discuss a pay rise?
Many businesses set their budgets at the beginning of the year or at their chosen time. However, it shouldn’t interfere with considering a pay rise for exceptional performers. There are several opportunities to discuss it with them:
When they complete a successful project
Whether your team was working on a regular project or it was something completely new, most of the employees have gained new experience, making them more attractive on the job market. Whether planning a new project or distributing new assignments, it’s always a good idea to speak with employees about compensation for their exceptional performance.
There are many reasons employees might take on new responsibilities that weren’t on their job offers. Sometimes it’s because there have been changes in the staff count and someone had to do someone else’s work. Those decisions are usually specific to a particular organisation, so you should speak with each of your employees and find out whether their responsibilities have changed or if they feel like they are doing more than was agreed.
Three months before a review
Most employers discuss a pay rise during an annual performance review. If you are considering speaking with the employees about giving them a bigger paycheck, we advise you to do it earlier. Some business leaders believe it’s good to have this conversation around three months in advance. It shows that you care about the employees and that the pay rise idea doesn’t come only from them during an annual review.
3 reasons to give a pay rise
The increasing cost of living
As you are probably aware and most definitely it also impacts you, the cost of living is increasing everywhere. Especially now, in 2022, we can all notice that grocery store runs and gas costs double compared to a year before.
Suppose your employees are struggling with buying basic things and have to budget for almost everything. In that case, there is a high possibility that it will also affect their productivity and happiness in the workplace. For that reason, if you care about your employees and their mental health, an ability to reduce the stress associated with not being able to afford basic stuff, then it will be reflected professionally.
If your employees are smashing all of the KPIs and exceeding expectations, it’s a good idea to consider a pay rise. You can give it to a few selected employees or a whole team. However, you must remember to think about what exactly are you rewarding. Is it exceptional performance, ambitions, teamwork or experience? Moreover, if you decide to reward a whole team, it can sometimes cause problems. If someone realises that their co-worker who is doing less gets the same amount of money, then it’s likely that they will feel discouraged.
An employee asked for it
No one likes to talk about money, especially approaching a senior staff member and asking for it. When this happens, it doesn’t automatically means that you must give it to them; however, it’s suggestive that the employee feels like they deserve more. If your subsidiaries have been working hard and smashing each project with exceptional results, they most likely feel that this should be rewarded. You should invite them for a discussion, and if they can show their achievements in great detail and their plans for future development, then this decision might be easier to make.
As the UK slowly emerges from the financial turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic, optimism is understandably flowing – if not quite as much as it could have been. This is largely due to the cost-of-living crisis, which is threatening to slow the future progress of Belfast businesses.
In a recent survey of more than 400 Belfast companies, 95% reported an increase in fuel and electricity costs, while 85% said the cost of raw materials had grown. However, 60% of respondents also expressed the view that their turnover would rise in the next six months across various markets.
What does research say about Belfast business optimism?
Uncertainty surrounding the pandemic’s impact remains a concern, with 42% of the survey respondents saying so. However, this latest version of the Belfast Business Survey, undertaken by Belfast City Council alongside Belfast Chamber, painted a mixed picture of companies’ outlooks.
In the survey, completed in February and March this year, 46% of businesses anticipated their profitability improving in the six months ahead. Meanwhile, 36% of businesses indicated their intention to recruit during this period in order to fill staff shortages.
As further revealed in the survey findings reported by News Letter, 42% of businesses said they were seeking to invest in IT solutions for their business over the coming year.
It therefore looks very probable that many Belfast firms could soon be relocating to larger, better-equipped premises elsewhere within the Northern Ireland capital. BE Offices is currently refurbishing a heritage building set to open in the summer as a series of high-tech serviced offices in Belfast.
Many local firms could be tempted to rent one of these offices – especially if the companies in question are operating in the services sector. The Ulster Bank purchasing managers’ index (PMI) recently found this sector reporting faster growth rates in employment, the Belfast Telegraph notes.
Hints of both optimism and pessimism in Northern Ireland’s economic future
Ulster Bank chief economist Richard Ramsey has observed: “Manufacturing and services are running into capacity constraints. Skills shortages, coupled with strong demand, have resulted in backlogs mounting at rapid rates.”
He added that these backlogs – with services firms, such as estate agents and law firms, “seeing outstanding workloads rise at their fastest paces since 2013” – would help to cement strong growth in the businesses in question.
All the same, with rising costs looking likely to weigh down on businesses over the coming months, many corporate managers could be forced to look for clever ways to slash their expenditure without compromising the quality of service provided to customers.
Many of these managers could, for example, ascertain financial savings to be made from signing up for a monthly package where they would be able to not only rent a whole new office but also consolidate multiple costs of running it.
Nonetheless, last year, new company creation in Northern Ireland saw a record annual increase of 5.5%, as the Belfast Telegraph reports. So, whatever the Northern Irish economy faces in the near future, the territory’s corporate fabric looks likely to prove resilient.
It’s one thing to know your brand yourself, but it’s another entirely to be able to effectively convey your brand’s personality to your audience. With so many methods and channels available, it can be difficult to ensure the nature of your brand is perfectly communicated. This post aims to offer an outline of how to convey your brand’s personality across a range of channels.
Determine your preferred channels
Assuming you’re already an expert on your brand, the first step is to establish your ideal social media channels. Each social media channel has its own strengths and weaknesses and in order to utilise these platforms to best convey your brand, you need to work out which platforms are best for your personal goals.
For example, if you were interested in pushing the design of your brand, photos would be essential and therefore using Instagram would be beneficial to your brand. Advertising on Instagram would help people to discover the brand; 77% of users say they see brands advertised on Instagram as creative (Herman, 2019.). If this is the case, you’d need to consider how you want your brand to be viewed and adjust the channels accordingly.
Develop meaningful connection
Once you have determined your preferred channels, you need to establish the message you want to deliver – and how to deliver this message in a way that is meaningful.
The use of storytelling creates something that an audience can identify with and therefore use to establish an emotional connection to your brand. Similarly, strike conversations with consumers and remind them that you brand has a humanised voice. When a consumer has a positive experience with your brand they will remember the way the brand made them feel and will be more likely to return to it. Develop a distinctive voice that communicates your brand personality accurately and in an authentic way, and watch how people find it easier to connect with your business and remember who you are and what you do.
For example, this webcast platform allows you to dynamically interact with audience thorough a real-time library of ON24 Conversion and Engagement Tools that engage audiences, qualify leads and accelerate their content and buying journeys.
Maintain brand consistency across various channels
To make sure that consumers have repeated positive experiences, it is vital that your brand maintains consistency throughout multiple channels. As many as 95% of consumers use three or more channels in a single customer service interaction, highlighting the importance of a positive and reliable brand image, irrespective of the platform it is accessed by.
One way to ensure this is achieved is by customizing your brand’s voice to the specific channel it is being viewed on. A platform such as LinkedIn is used for work purposes and so naturally requires a more formal tone than a social media platform such as Facebook which is generally used for entertainment purposes only.
The challenge is maintaining the unique personality of your brand whilst adjusting it to fit within the conventions of the platform it is on. If your brand is light-hearted and fun, don’t cut those parts out to make it fit onto a more professional site. Instead, consider which platforms will allow it to reach your target audience best and go from there.
Now that we are in 2022, many people think that TV is dying. But honestly, it isn’t. During the pandemic, people were glued to their TV screens. It was one of the best forms of entertainment for people who were in isolation or wanted to stay inside to protect themselves from Covid-19. So, if you are a marketer, you should understand the importance of putting your advertisement on TV. Here is what you need to know about TV advertising before you put out your own advertisement.
What are the benefits of TV ads?
Before you make your TV ad, it’s important that you consider why you want to invest in TV marketing in the first place. Advertisements are a multi-sensory experience. They engage the audience with visuals, sounds and the ability to read what you have to say. It can reach a number of people and can let you form a brand identity for your firm. TV commercials are seen as more trust-worthy than those on the internet. Therefore, it is likely that your audience will end up being more attentive to them.
Combining TV advertising with online advertising
As a beginner in the world of marketing, it is crucial that you draw in as many clients as possible. That’s why you need to consider how you can bring in the online world of marketing and combine it with TV advertising. Many streaming services offer advertisers the chance to display their commercials. Some may have several smaller adverts displayed before the programme starts. In this case, you may need to consider making more than one advertisement to ensure that they can suit a range of TV platforms and streaming services.
Consider your timings
Look at the product you are selling and the type of TV advertisement that is going to go along with it. The channels you ask to display your advertisement may offer you different time slots during the day and night. Consider carefully the type of slot you want to go for. For late nights, you may get an older audience. You should consider what programme you want to have your commercial attached to. For instance, for an old-fashioned crime drama, you may get an elderly audience. However, for a social media-themed show, you may get a younger crowd. Be careful which you pick!
Your TV commercial will give you the opportunity to be as creative as you want. Be aware that the type of advert you make will affect the audience that watches it. That means you need to make a commercial that appeals to them. For a younger crowd, you will find that you can make it as loud and ostentatious as you want; however, for an older audience, you may want to be more subtle. Your advertisement can include your most recent campaigns and any sponsors that are working with you. You don’t have a lot of time during your advertisement. At best you have 60 seconds, so make sure every word counts.
And there you have it – everything you need to know about how TV advertising works, even if you are a beginner.
With competition for customers growing every year, businesses need to find a way to engage with their public so they can develop loyalty and brand awareness. One way to do this is by creating a reward program that will entice your customers to be brand loyal and encourage potential customers as well. Here are 3 secret reasons why your brand needs a reward program.
Builds Long-Term Success Into Your Business
What every business wants is to have return customers. These are a lot easier than trying to get new customers, plus, they are more likely to spread the word about your products.
By turning purchases into a game of rewards, you are encouraging a basic instinct – the need to compete.
Even if the customer is only competing with themselves, it gives an extra incentive to buy that additional product or add the more advanced service.
Selecting the right rewards program for your customers is key. If you need advice or help setting up your rewards program, you can always enlist the help of a loyalty agency. They can discuss your needs and offer the best solution.
Growing Your Business With Referrals
Returning customers offer more than repeat business, they also create great referrals for your products.
Everyone knows that word of mouth is the best way to get customers to your brand. If people like it, they will tell their friends and so on.
Your reward scheme will help these returning customers because it will give them something to tell their friends about.
You can even build an extra incentive into the app to promote referrals. Some companies offer a reward if you refer a friend and they make a purchase. It might be a small thing, but it will give the customer a reason to refer other people.
Collecting Customer Data
As well as giving your business a boost in sales, reward programs are also a great way to collect lots of customer data.
Not only will you have a customer’s email address, but you can also track their sales and what times and days they browse your website.
This data will be invaluable to your business. It can help you to target certain items that you know your customers like, plus, it makes future product decisions easier.
Another way that this data can be used is to measure the success of the reward scheme. You can test different rewards and special offers and see which ones are successful.
As an example, tapping into the sustainable approach to business and rewarding customers with offers that can help the planet are currently hugely popular.
This type of targeted approach to marketing is far more effective than a blanket ad on social media.
Reward schemes are a great way to engage with your customers and create brand loyalty. When done in the right way, they can offer return customers and attract new customers. They are also a valuable source of detailed information that you can use on future marketing projects.
So, there you have it – 3 secret reasons why your brand needs a reward program.