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Your office space should reflect you as a business owner and as a company. This is important because the building and its interior is the way you make that all-important first impression, so make it good!
Make a bold statement
You need to show visitors and clients that you are cool, creative and modern. Think about a statement piece for your entrance or reception – it could be a sculpture, a collage of your employees and their stories, or something bonkers like an indoor pond.
Focus on the reception
Those first few seconds of human contact are vital in forming an impression that will hopefully lead to a great business relationship. You need to get across the feel and ethos of you and your company, so incorporate that into the design and layout. Don’t forget, though, that the reception area is often busy and so people need to be able to move efficiently and quickly through it.
Once you’ve pinned down the design, make sure your receptionist seals the deal with a warm smile!
Use the building’s original features
If your office space in Heathrow has some quirky features, or an interesting history, bring this to the fore. If it used to be an old tyre factory, for example, think of ways to give that history a nod. It’s a talking point, at least.
Use the force…of colour
Colour really does influence people and their behaviour, so busy rooms can be yellow or orange to promote creativity and energy. Don’t go overboard though, as it can lead to outbursts of temper.
For calmer rooms, try blues and purples, and for a return to nature and restfulness, try greens. You can also have some old favourites like greys and browns, but only as accents, as you want to avoid a total re-run of the 1970s!
Aim for a homely kitchen
Just as the kitchen is the heart of the home, it should be the heart of the workplace too. Office kitchens have previously been grubby, drab little affairs where bad coffee and dry sandwiches were the order of the day.
Now, however, the office kitchen is a home/work/meeting kind of place where people can genuinely relax and even generate some ideas together. Aim for cosy and homely, or maybe a bit café-ish, depending on your style. One thing is vital, however – good coffee! Coffee is how working relationships and friendships are forged.
If there’s space for air hockey or something similar, then go for it.
Choose the best chairs you can
Woefully overlooked, the office chair needs to be rehabilitated and brought back into fashion. We spend hours every day in them and if you want the best out of your workforce, give them the best foundation you can! They deserve comfort.
Use clever lighting
With creative use of lighting, you can make your space into zones and manage people’s moods. This includes letting in natural light as well as feature and adjustable lights and lamps. Aim for a mixture of natural, soft and high beam.
What are your ideas for cool office spaces? Let us know!
While Shropshire Council closed its web service for community websites last week, the first parish council websites created by Community Hub are currently being launched.
Shrewsbury based web development company, The Web Orchard, created Community Hub the easy to use parish council website service earlier this year. Community Hub was designed specifically for community and parish councils, and offers a whole range of features that weren’t available on the old Shropshire Council service.
The first parish council websites hosted on Community Hub went live a few weeks ago, with more going live every day. One of the first councils to launch their Community Hub website was Montford, whose clerk, Ian Hutchinson, said: “We are very happy with our very successful Community Hub website which has been tailored by The Web Orchard specifically to our requirements for quick and easy management by a part-time clerk to a typical Shropshire parish council.”
Shrop.NET, was originally developed by Shropshire Council in 2008 to help the county’s parish and community organisations create websites for the first time. However, the service has become severely outdated in recent years due to the lack of updates and redesigns – which led to the decision to stop supporting the service from the Council in its recent cost cutting measures.
This has led to a number of Shropshire’s Parish Council’s being left without websites which after the new Transparency Code regulations came into force last year is not practical or feasible. These new regulations set out that smaller councils are now required to publish a range of different publications throughout the year on an accessible website for the public.
Pete White, director at The Web Orchard said, “We’re excited to see how Shropshire’s parish council’s websites will grow in the coming months as they take complete control over them and the content.”
When it comes to things better than watching your team win a championship, the list is short. However, on that short list is winning a wager along with your team. Your team wins, and you win as well. Placing bets from your mobile is much easier than you may think. The leader in this industry is bet365, the largest online bookmaker in the world, and in this guide we will show how you can sign up and place a wager or two, and hopefully win some cash.
How to Find & Install the App
You can find the Bet365 by visiting your app store and searching for ‘Bet365 Sports’. iOS and Windows device users should note that Bet365’s mobile app is only available in certain countries app stores (Argentina, Austria, Australia, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and the UK to name a few).
If you do not live in one of these countries, you can find the Bet365 by visiting Bet365.com, then scrolling down to the bottom of the page where you need to click on ‘View all Bet365 apps’. This will show you the full list of Bet365 apps, now click on Bet365 mobile sports app and it will be installed on your device.
Note: bet365 also does NOT accept real money wagers from those living in the USA.
Bet365’s mobile app is compatible with most mobile devices and operating systems, including iOS, Android and Windows devices.
iOS: iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch running iOS version 5.1.1 or later.
Android: Android phones and tablets with Android 4.0+ installed
Windows: All current Windows phones or tablets
How to Create an Account
Once your app is up and running, you can start creating your account by clicking ‘Join Now’ at the top right corner of the screen. You will need to enter all the standard information required to create an account, including personal and contact information. This information may need to be verified later, so make sure you enter it correctly.
Make sure to enter the bonus code CBC365 when prompted to take advantage of the bonus offer (more on this below.)
Once you are done with the registration process, you will receive a confirmation e-mail. Sometimes confirmation e-mail’s end up in the spam folder, so make sure you check it if you don’t receive it within a few minutes. You’re now a member of bet365!
How to Deposit
Now that you have your brand new account at hand, it’s time to make your first deposit! Simply click on your account balance at the top right corner and then navigate to the deposit menu.
Bet365 offers quite a few deposit methods, though depending on where you reside, not all of them might be available to you. Once you select a preferred deposit method, fill out all the required information and click ‘Deposit’. All Deposit options are free of charge and processed instantly (except for wire transfers).
Credit cards tend to be the quickest and most convenient, as they can be processed directly on the app. You can also opt for an e-wallet such as Neteller, but this will require an account with that service.
Receive a Bonus on Your Deposit
Bet365 offers new players a 100% bonus up to £200. This means when you make a first deposit of at least £10 and Bet365 will match your deposit, up to a maximum of £200.
After your deposit is cleared and your bonus is activated, you have to meet a wager requirement before cashing out. It’s easy to track on bet365, simply wager your deposit and bonus three times. This will then “clear” the bonus and you can cash out any amount you wish, even the amount of bonus remaining.
For example, if you deposit £50, your will receive a £50 bonus. You would then need to wager the £100 in your account three times, for a total of £300. Once cleared, the money is yours to keep forever, no strings attached.
Note that residents of some countries may be offered a different promotion. Check on bet365.com to see which offer you can take advantage of.
How to Place a Bet
It’s very easy to place a bet with Bet365. First, you need to choose your bet and click on it. This will transfer the selected bet to your bet slip. You can find the bet slip at the bottom of the screen. To finish your selection, choose the bet type you want to place (standard or banker) and enter the amount you want to bet. Keep in mind that banker bets require at least 3 selections.
Once you choose the bet and amount, click “Place Bet” to confirm. The bet will be finalized and automatically processed upon completion of the event. You can always view all of your open bets by clicking on “My Bets” at the top of the screen.
Place a Wager Today
It only takes a few minutes to sign up and place a bet using the bet365 mobile app. If you’re into sports, you will have even more fun cheering for your team with a little cash on the line, and even more so when that cash is given free. Download the bet365 app today to get started and earn up to £200 free!
In sports, the best players don’t always win; there is a difference between a good player and winning player. Much like in poker, the difference between a good player and a winning player is money. Of course it is, the sole aim of poker is to win money.
If you wish to become a poker master, then before you even think of playing, you must learn the game inside out. Research every last detail of it, watch as many as games as possible as it is often said the best way to master poker is to sit and watch it. The beauty about learning poker by actually watching it is that you can thorough view of the game from all players which of course will allow you to develop a better understanding.
Once you’ve watched a few games of poker and you feel comfortable about your ability to play, it’s now time to read about it. Poker may involve luck, but if you develop a thorough knowledge of the game, then you can make your own luck, by perfecting the skills required to become a successful player. The best players can calculate odds and make decisions based off those stats, with a bit of research and a practice, that could be you. However, be sure to remember a casino is always going to do its best to take advantage of the player. All of the rules are based on mathematic principals, so master that side as best you can.
Develop your own strategy, something that will set you apart from your opponents, though of course, it must be a tried and tested strategy that actually works. The term strategy may make mastering poker seem more difficult than it can actually be, it’s basically a game plan. Similar to formations and systems in sport, they can become outdated (you know, who still plays 4-4-2?), but rather than rewriting the whole strategy, the best of players modify them ever so slightly, or sequence them together. The sole aim of your game plan should be to restrict your opponent as much as possible.
Test your strategy by starting off playing with friends. Crack open the beers if you wish, play with real chips, or whatever you have as an adequate replacement. It’s perhaps too early to start playing with real money, so this is just a friendly home game to get you acquainted with actually playing poker.
Now start playing online poker. The famous Royal Vegas Casino is a great way to test yourself and develop your skills. See you there.
According to research, the demand for enterprise mobile applications is on the rise, and is expected to do nothing but increase over the next few years. Demand for the development of applications is expected to increase five times faster than the availability of IT teams to meet the growing demand within the next two years. Companies are constantly finding new challenges in terms of how they organise themselves and structure their working processes due to the digital disruption that many organisations are having to tackle. With enterprise mobile applications now being the favoured solution, providing developers with the means to meet business requirements with less worry about infrastructure, it’s crucial for enterprise owners to find the right platform for their app development needs.
Choosing an app development platform which can handle the management of your enterprise application from start to finish is important. This gives you full control over the whole production cycle, right from the planning stages of design and development through to the app being rolled out. By ensuring that all the three main stages of the development are carried out in the same working environment, you can ensure a seamless process and optimise your resource requirements. Get in touch with these application developers from London for more information.
Reducing Production Costs
Organisations are constantly hit with the need to keep costs low, even for essential processes such as developing an enterprise app. Although a good, well-developed enterprise app may well increase your profits and reduce your costs in future, keeping development production costs as low as possible is essential to your bottom line. Mass-producing an enterprise app quickly becomes essential if it is to be central to your digital strategy, therefore choosing a development platform which allows you to pool development initiatives, reuse graphic components and automate repetitive tasks can keep costs as low as possible.
Best for Business
When developing an enterprise app, it’s important to create an application which is perfectly tailored to meet all the requirements of your business. Although many popular platforms will not allow you to create an app which is specifically for your business alone, getting in touch with a dedicated app development team will ensure that you achieve these results. Choose a platform and development team which will enable you to import your own data model, implement business processes and customise the app for your company. This way, you know that you have complete control over both the app interface and the user experience.
Updates and Upgrades
There’s no doubt that the digital world is moving at an extremely high pace, and there’s not always a guarantee that something which works well today will be as effective in the near future. Because of this, opting for an app development platform which offers updates and upgrades when needed to ensure that your enterprise app is up to the latest standards is vital to keep pace with changes in your market and company.
With the need for enterprise apps constantly on the rise, business owners looking to develop an enterprise app should ensure they choose the right platform for their needs.
Many entrepreneurs run several businesses or one business from multiple locations. This can pose logistical problems. One of the biggest problems is information. The entrepreneur or owner will want to know what is happening at the various enterprises at the various sites. Significant business data and information is held on the computers; the problem, at least in the past, has been how to bring all this information together so it can be accessed in one place or on one computer or device. There is a solution, and it comes in the form of ‘the cloud.’
The cloud, otherwise known as cloud computing, provides a virtual world where all the companies’ data and other essential information is stored and accessed via the internet. The cloud has become a key component for entrepreneurs such as Gavin Woodhouse, MBi Consulting. Mr Woodhouse is the founder and principle shareholder of MBI, one of the fastest growing care home providers in the UK. He is also chairman and shareholder of Stada media group as well as Giant Hospitality and Ideal Student Accommodation. With a leading role in such a wide business portfolio the cloud gives him the opportunity to co-ordinate the activities within each of those companies.
Harnessing the cloud to run multi businesses is not difficult; there are companies that provide the necessary expertise and which offer the business cloud services and solutions required. However, before becoming involved, business owners will no doubt want to know the benefits offered by cloud computing.
One of the benefits of cloud-based services when running multi businesses is the flexibility – business owners can scale the services up or down in line with their requirements.
The loss of data can pose major problems for single enterprises and those problems can reach crisis level where multi businesses are concerned. However, with cloud services, backup and recovery is generally available.
Another benefit of the cloud is that it can help save money. Enterprises may spend cash on new software but eventually it will need updating. With cloud-based services, the software is automatically updated by the supplier, leaving the business owner and staff free to concentrate on their work. This is especially advantageous to principals of multi businesses as it saves the time and expense of having to install new software on every computer and then having to periodically update it.
What must be considered a key benefit when harnessing the cloud to run multi businesses is its ability to enable collaboration. The cloud includes apps for workflow and file sharing, which allows real-time updates across the various enterprises.
The cloud also allows business owners and staff to work from anywhere, such as from home. Obviously, this allows work to be undertaken and information to be accessed outside of normal office hours. If the cloud service also includes mobile apps this means work can be done while on the move – a big advantage on long journeys.
Other benefits the cloud offers to multi businesses include strict document control. With documents being worked on across various businesses, security needs to be tight to prevent them being seen by those not authorised to do so. Cloud computing also offers the advantage of enhanced security. Should a laptop be lost, for example, the cloud serves as a repository for the data, rather than the device.
All the benefits offered by cloud-based systems give multi business owners competitive advantage over rivals, particularly in terms of money saved and the time saved in sharing information and data across the whole group.
There are still many opportunities to be had in the UK property market, assures Manish Chande, Clearbell Senior Partner and experienced investment expert.
Amid reports of overheating in the south-east, he advocates that the smart thing to do is look further afield. He explains that the UK property market may be pausing for breath after the sustained period of recovery following the global financial crisis. However, he notes that the continued under supply of properties in many rental markets, particularly outside London, is likely be experienced for some time.
Chande is an authoritative voice on these matters. Alongside his current role with Clearbell Capital was previously a board director at Land Securities.
There’s a clear regional element to consider in the current UK market, he explains. On one hand, a softening in the market may bring forward mispriced opportunities in London. Meanwhile, the yield spread between prime and secondary in the regions remains three times the levels in the six years preceding the 2008 crisis.
The north of England is likely to be a key growth area, believes Chande. Rather than writing off real estate across Britain, smart investors will be looking for opportunities across the country’s regions. The north is fertile ground for this, with attractive valuations that he believes have a good upside potential. Government funding continues to flow in for transport and infrastructure, and this should soon translate to significant improvements.
With this in mind Chande advises investors to look to the past for future growth. As transport links with London, and other cities in the north improve, he expects to see the number of companies moving to the regions increase. Now is the time to plan for this growth, snapping up well-located office space to cater for new businesses and their staff.
The area’s industrial heritage, particularly warehouses, are ripe for regeneration. Following the mould of successful projects outside of city centres such as Salford Quays and Liverpool Docks, large industrial buildings can bring significant opportunities. The combination of large square footage and their easy commuting distance from population centres make them particularly attractive.
Under Chande's leadership, Clearbell’s approach is to capitalise on these types of untapped pockets of real estate with clear potential. Its current investments are varied in nature and include offices, warehouses, residential property, industrial facilities, retail outlets and hotels. Chande advocates an intense approach to asset management, where the goal is to unlock value throughout the life of the investment.
And it seems the investment vehicle is an attractive prospect. Clearbell’s recent launch of a real estate fund brought of £400 million in equity and £100 million in co-invest, mostly from pension funds, endowments and high net worth individuals. Chande notes the spread of investors in this fund was particularly diverse, bringing interest from the US, Australia, South Africa, the UK and mainland Europe.
This highlights a new phenomenon says the expert, as institutional investors continue to focus on real estate. This is mainly because they are being fastidious about their choices and favouring experienced fund managers with a long track record. With three decades of successful projects and an impressive return under his belt, Chande would seem an obvious choice.
Find out more about Manish Chande below.
Whether you are exchanging money to buy a property abroad, for a holiday or to send funds to a family member in another country you want to secure the best deal. Doing so will save you a lot of money. Plus, of course, using a good currency exchange firm will save you a lot of time and hassle as well as give you peace of mind.
Over the years, the currency exchange markets have changed. It used to be a service that was designed primarily to suit big businesses that were exchanging vast sums of money on an almost daily basis. Today, private individuals and small businesses also regularly exchange money. Therefore, thedemand for money transfer is now huge, so more companies are now providing this service.
The fact that more firms have entered the market means that the cost of changing money has fallen drastically over the past few years. Consumers no longer have to pay high bank charges, because they now have a choice of currency exchange providers.
However, to get the best deal you still need to be prepared to do some research, and shop around. Here we explain the best way to do so.
Only consider using properly regulated providers
It is important to use a firm that you can trust. Unfortunately, there are a lot of con artists out there, including some that masquerade as money exchange firms.
Before considering using a firm, first check that they are properly regulated. Look on their website to find out which financial body they are registered with. Then go to that regulators website and check that the currency exchange firm you are thinking of using is actually a genuine member of that regulatory body.
If you want to use a UK based company, you will need to check that they are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can do that at this link.
Always get a quote first
Once you have found a suitable firm take the time to get a quote. This will tell you exactly how much the transaction will cost.
Double check the fees
However, be careful. Do not simply choose the cheapest quote and make the exchange.
Some firms offer a good exchange rate, but it is cancelled out by the fact that they charge high fees for their services. For this reason, it is important to double check exactly what is included in the price you have been given.
The best firms will provide a detailed quote that includes a full breakdown of their fees, taxes, and the exchange rate that will be used. If the money is being sent to a bank account, you also need to factor in any fees that the receiving bank will charge.
The bigger the sum of money you are exchanging the more important it is for you to check all of these things. With this type of transaction, even a small difference in the exchange rate can add up to hundreds, or even thousands, of pounds.
Following the steps outlined above, will really help you to secure the best possible currency exchange deal.
Business owners often have a difficult time securing the financing required to start and grow those companies. While some turn to their loved ones and offer investments within their companies, others look for other ways to finance their ideas. Even after launching your own business, you may still need some additional help. Financing can help you cover the paychecks you owe your employees, the bills that keep coming in and even the utilities needed for the daily operations of your business. The best financing options can help you when starting your business or helping it grow.
Invoice advances are cash advances that you take out against future goods. With traditional sales methods, you accept payments from customers and deliver goods after receiving those payments. If you experience a faster amount of growth than anticipated and cannot keep up with the demands from your customers, invoice advances can help. Investors essentially give you money that you can use today to pay for those goods with the agreement that the investors can take over your invoices if you cannot pay back the money borrowed.
You may find yourself in need of cash to cover your payroll financing, utility bills or another amount that you cannot pay. Some companies will offer you the cash that you need with some form of collateral that you put up such as a piece of property or the rights to sell a product that you offer. You can also cover your payroll with a microloan. A microloan is a smaller loan than you might get when going through a bank or traditional lender. Some sites actually let you seek loans from multiple people and use an online system to pay back your lenders.
The Small Business Administration is an organization in the United States that offers loan programs for American citizens who own some type of small business. You can request a loan once you open your business or when you need to secure funding in your early days. Instead of giving you a loan, the SBA will secure the loan that you get from a traditional bank or lender. The SBA will essentially agree to cosign on that loan and cover the loan if you default. Even if you have a lower credit score, you may qualify for one of these loan programs.
One of the top ways for new companies to get the financing they need is through crowdfunding. You've probably heard about sites like Kickstarter and how individuals received thousands of dollars or more from those sites. When you create a profile, you can upload videos, share details about your business and even include images of your products. Those using the site can donate as little as a few dollars to more than $1,000 to help you reach your financial goals. Several companies used these sites to great success and secured more than $1 million.
The problem with borrowing money from the SBA or taking out a traditional loan is that you must pay back that loan plus the interest charged by the lender. With a business grant, you'll receive money that you can use for start up or operating costs that you do not repay. Though the SBA offers several grants, you'll also find grants available from private sources. Many of these grants are only available to minority business owners, including women and African Americans. Most programs require that you submit an application, a proposal and a full business plan that shows how you will use that grant money.
Another popular way of securing financing for a new business is with presales. This is especially helpful for those who have a great product but do not yet have enough cash for the manufacturing of those products. You give customers the chance to make a down payment or pay the entire amount of that product with the agreement that you will ship that item as soon as possible. Tesla actually used preorders during its early days and is now a top auto manufacturer. Presales can help you raise the capital needed to get your products in the hands of customers.
Whether you need cash to cover your operating costs, the paychecks of your employees or even the cost of manufacturing your goods, there are a number of financing methods that can help. Consider grants and loans from the Small Business Administration, presales, microloans, crowdfunding and other financing options.