Have Fun Making Money

In this day and era, making money is the order of the day. To live the kind of life you want and deserve, you have to have a favorable if not a fat bank account. As a result, there is need work tirelessly to get enough to sustain us and get some more to spare on luxuries that we desire. This has made playing games seem like a waste of time, the phrase time is money makes sense now more than ever.

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However, there is a way you can have fun and make money at the same time. This is through Online casino games. When you play online casinos games, you get to enjoy your favorite games at the comfort of your home or office. You can even play when traveling, during lunch break or even when driving home from work! The best part of playing online casino games is that you also get an opportunity to earn money. This way, you can take a break from work to relax and not lose any money. If anything, you increase your income when you win.

These games are designed in such a way that they can fit in just about any device that can connect to the internet. This makes it easy to access as you can play your favorite game by just logging onto the internet. In addition, most of the online casinos are safe and use just about any mode of payment usable online. You can use PayPal to claim your price, master card, credit card or even your debit card. Online casinos also give you an upper hand as you can choose what game to play, which level and it does not matter where you are.

Online games also give you time to bond with your family and friends. How you ask? These games are designed in such a way that you can play against someone. This means that you can play a game against your spouse, friends or colleagues anywhere in the world as long as they are online and get money by just playing with them. How cool is that? Therefore, if your work deprives you the joy of spending time and bonding with your family, then playing online casino games is the answer.

So, when you are looking to catch a break from your busy schedule or looking to unwind with no disturbance at all, log online and play a game in the casino of your choice. You will have fun and make money at the same time.

Cutting down on work stress with a garden office

It’s not great for productivity, but being over-stressed is something that many of us face during the course of our work.

However, it may be that investing in a garden office could help you avoid this issue to some extent.

Though it’s not going to be able to tackle every issue that could be causing you stress at work, working from this sort of environment can have many potentially stress-busting advantages if you’re experiencing stress that is related to your current work environment.

For example, if you’re feeling the strain of early starts and a long commute each morning, looking into whether you might be able to work from home might be one way of banishing this source of stress -  and a garden office is one possible home improvement you could have put in place to help make this happen.

Even if you’re already a home worker – self-employed or working remotely, for example – switching from a workspace in your home to a garden office might help create calm.

Maybe there are other people around at home during your working hours, for example. It can be stressful having noise interrupt work – and even more stressful finding that you have to ask others to change their behaviour for your sake!

A garden office will be away from the noise, potentially leaving you with a quieter spot to get your important jobs done more calmly.

Meanwhile, if your working environment at home is cramped, and leaving you without enough space, this could also cause stress.

Though this might seem like a small source of worry, having to work in a un-optimum environment like this every day can become more and more irritating and potentially stressful over time.

However, with a garden room like those on offer from The Garden Office (see their site), the buyer can choose a size of office based on their needs – from small to larger structures – as long as they can afford costs and have the space to install the room.

Once a room that’s a size to suit you is in place, you’ll also be able to start from scratch, laying out the interior the way you want, and potentially including features your office inside the home might not have been able to include.

Whether it’s getting a bigger desk so it’s possible to spread out documents more easily or putting in a sofa for moments of downtime, you’ll potentially have lots of new, stress-busting options available to you in your new office area.

Another aspect of work that can cause stress for people is having important meetings.

Those that work from home sometimes won’t feel they have an appropriate spot there in which to hold these. Sometimes this can mean travelling to see clients and the like elsewhere – also a potential cause of stress.

Change this by making the new garden office a great place for chatting to important people, one you will feel confident and calm to see them sat in.

Remember, if you’re always getting stressed at work it could be that it’s the career or job you’ve chosen that needs changing. Though a brilliant garden room could help make things less stressful in some ways, if stress is a major issue for you, seek the right advice and tell your employer and/or a GP if needs be.

Celebrating Britain’s Entrepreneurial Talent with Vonage at the National Business Awards

There are several awards in the UK dedicated to celebrating the work of Britain’s brilliant entrepreneurs, but none more prestigious than the National Business Awards. Now into their 13th year, the National Business Awards are currently looking for entrants for their Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the award’s new partner, Vonage, is incredibly fitting this year.

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Vonage is a VoIP service provider that has been helping small and home businesses and entrepreneurs get their companies up and running all over the globe. By providing incredibly low cost calls for businesses of all sizes, both locally, nationally and internationally, they’ve seen to it that Britain’s brightest entrepreneurs have as much capital in their pockets as possible by keeping communications expenses to a minimum.

 

With 2.4 million customers, Vonage certainly knows a thing or two about business growth, and they’re happy to share their enthusiasm for small businesses, as well as their knowledge and expertise through the National Business Awards this year. And it’s certainly an exciting year for entrepreneurs in the UK. According to Companies House, almost 500,000 new businesses started up here in 2013, with start-ups representing an amazing 95% of the UK’s business landscape.  So there promises to be plenty of competition for this year’s New Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

 

The award is now launched and is open to any first business founder that has been trading for 18 months or less on 1st April 2014. If you’re a new entrepreneur and would like to be considered for the award, simply enter online at the National Business Awards website before 23 May 2014.

 

This year the National Business Awards’ live judging event takes place as part of the International Festival for Business in Liverpool and will be staged at St George’s Hall. Each entrant gets to present a three-minute pitch on their business model, key achievements and their plans for future growth, with a panel of judges and a public vote deciding the winner who’ll be presented with their award at the NBA ceremony on 11 November.

Inspiring people into the office in the morning and keeping them going throughout the day

No matter how much anyone enjoys their job, if they are doing the same thing over and over then there is bound to come a point when it feels like a bit of a grind coming in each morning. Everything can feel a bit stale if you’re into the same routine every day. If you’re a business owner, it is up to you to come up with ways to keep your employees interested and wanting to come into the office each day.

However, it is not just keeping them coming into the office that you have to manage; the days can become a bit of a drag, especially in the summer when people want to be spending their time outside. This is where you need to try and keep people interested in the so-called postlunch slumber.

Provide benefits for your workers 

There are always bound to be certain benefits that are provided as standard to workers at a company but you need to think beyond these in order to keep both morale high and the desire to come into the office strong. There are many different ways that you can go about this, but I think the best is by offering an incentive-based scheme that would reward good work and high achievement. This is often used in employee of the month awards or in quarterly sales schemes.

This is a good way to get people working as hard as they can at all times – especially if the prizes on offer are worth winning! Items that are given away should be brand-centric to help reinforce your corporate values to your workforce as much as possible. Things such as iPad cases or personalised mugs could be particularly useful in and around an office. To take a look at all the different corporate gift ideas that are available click here.

Create a fun environment

People will easily find coming into work a drag if they can’t have a laugh with their colleagues during the day, so try to encourage a more social atmosphere if you can. Everyone wants to be working in a fun-loving environment, so this should be an important consideration. Hold small lunchtime parties or buffets in the office to celebrate certain occasions. These don’t necessarily have to be birthdays, they can also be certain commemorative days in the country as a whole such as St George’s Day.

It might be a good idea to ask your employees what would be fun for them and what they might want to get involved in at the office. You can then make a decision as to what would be feasible in a working day.

Give recognition and appreciation

Whenever you get the opportunity, try to let workers know that they are doing a good job as this will instil confidence among your workers and will make them feel good about themselves. You can ask anyone, if they are made to feel good about themselves, they are going to be happier about what they do. Try to give recognition and appreciation to everyone at any opportunity you can. Everyone loves praise and if it is doled out regularly then people will want to come back and get more recognition for their good work.

Working from home: pros and cons

When it comes to our career, making sure that you are happy and passionate about what you do is very important. Not only do you want to make sure you are on the right career path but you want to make sure you have a comfortable working environment. If you’re thinking of ditching the office and working from home, read on for some sound advice on the pleasures and pitfalls of working for yourself versus working for someone else.

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The advantages of ditching the office and working for yourself… 

You are your own boss. Your timetable is dictated by you, so if you prefer to get up late and work into the night, you can do. You’re not going to have a go at yourself if you get into work late. On that note, there’s not very far to travel from your bedroom to your study, cutting out travel costs and commuting stress. You’ll also save on dry-cleaning bills as you can wear what you like for the most part (just watch out for those Skype calls if you’re working in your onesie).

And no more forking out at the local sandwich shop or battling 50 other co-workers for the microwave at lunch – you can enjoy your lunch in the peace of your own kitchen and you don’t have to work through it just because your line manager is. Working from home means there are no annoying colleagues bothering you with their body odour or bad music tastes and absolutely no office politics, petty backbiting and mind-numbing gossip to content with.

However…

There’s no one to tell you to buck your ideas up and it’s all too easy to let a 9am start become a 10am start, until eventually you don’t start work until noon, meaning you’re either pulling late nights to compensate or making little in the way of a profit.

You realise you miss your irritating colleagues more than you thought you would when the postman starts sprinting away from your house after hastily shoving your mail through the letterbox in order to avoid being accosted yet again by you talking to him for much longer than is socially acceptable.

So what’s it to be? Now you have all the facts, the choice is yours!

 

 

 

 

Business goes global: Entering the international market

With technology advancing quicker than you can say ‘global competitiveness’, international business is more feasible now than ever before.

Accordingly, companies looking to grow can expand their horizons, in the true sense of the word, by seeking opportunities on distant shores.

However, if you are looking to branch out into international markets, choosing which one(s) to target needs to a very calculated decision, based on a number of different factors.

Location, location, location

The first thing you will need to decide is where on earth, quite literally, you want to expand. And the only way you are going to find that out? Research, research, research.

An Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) study commissioned by Citi entitled ‘Hot Spots 2025: Benchmarking the Future Competitiveness of Cities’ earmarked Sao Paulo in Brazil, Incheon in South Korea and Mumbai in India as countries that business leaders should be keeping their eye on.

The report predicted these cities would experience the most significant surge in worldwide competitiveness between 2012 and 2025, based on how able they were to attract investment, business, talent and tourists. It also considered other key indicators, such as the state of the economy and the country’s social and cultural characteristics.

Despite these being named as the ones that would experience the most impressive growth, the top ten competitive cities in the world came in as Tokyo, Toronto, Singapore, Stockholm, Paris, New York, Hong Kong, Sydney, Chicago and London.

As was possibly to be expected, North American and western European locations tended to retain their competitive lead over more emerging economies, although the latter appear to be playing catch up more than admirably.

At the end of the day, the best cities into which to expand will be entirely dictated by the product and service you have to offer, and so this is why market research is absolutely key to a successful international expansion project.

Challenges

Once you have chosen your location and have a plan of attack for entering that particular market, it will be important to ensure you have covered all bases by identifying any possible challenges that you may face and, more importantly, implemented plans to overcome these.

Some of the same obstacles are even faced by regular tourists visiting far-flung destinations on their holidays, the language barrier being the more obvious of these to spring to mind.

However, others are a little more complex than making a visit to the bureau de change. What sort of presence will you have on the ground in that particular city? Do you know how you are going to approach talent acquisition? Have you considered taking an international partner? Have you considered a localisation strategy?

Thankfully, when it comes to business translations, the services available have come on in leaps and bounds to the point that they are now so sophisticated, that it needn’t be a barrier to your commercial aspirations. Solutions provided by companies such as London Translations eliminate the block of a language barrier and allow you to focus on the finer details of your expansion.

Other challenges you may face include particulars of legislation, currency conversion and cultural differences, so you will need to ensure you have the necessary expertise on your team to tackle all of these head-on.

4 Ways to Direct Shoppers to Your EBay Storefront

Perhaps you operate a small business or are trying to earn extra income out of your home, selling homemade or hard-to-find items from your eBay store account. Maybe you operate a successful online store, but since you know many shoppers head to eBay first, you also list your items for sale on an eBay storefront. In order to drive traffic to your listings, you have to effectively get the word out about your eBay store page, and there are a number of approaches you can take to attract more shoppers to your eBay store.

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Offer Promotional Swag

Shoppers love bonus items they don’t have to pay for. Include a free gift personalized with your eBay store info with every order. Find cheap promotional pens you can customize not only on the barrel with text, but on clips with colorful logos and simple images to promote your site. Other ideas include:

  • Keychains
  • USB chargers
  • Bookmarks
  • Tote bags

The more useful the item, or the more relevant it is to your business (i.e., if you sell books, include a bookmark, etc.), the better the swag will do as a marketing tool. Besides giving this swag to people who have already ordered, pass it out for free at industry or community events and send them to bloggers and reviewers who share your target audience.

Use Social Media Effectively

Even if you only have an eBay storefront without another webpage, it pays to create social media profiles for your store on the most popular sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest. To gain followers and get your posts shared, aim to:

  • Come across as a real person — don’t only post links to your new items listed or ending auctions
  • Post information relevant to your industry
  • Entertain with humor (but be careful not to offend)
  • Follow popular media relevant to your industry and actively participate in discussions
  • Include images as well as text

If you don’t have a website outside of your eBay storefront, consider starting one. There are a number of affordable or even free hosts for websites, such as WordPress and Blogger. Use your social media profiles to link back to this website, where you post relevant information.

Provide SEO Content

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There isn’t a much room on eBay listings to be poetic about the types of items you’re selling. When an interested shopper types something like “buy sports equipment” into a search engine, the first sites that come up besides paid sponsors will be those that are search engine optimized. An SEO-blog will:

  • Include relevant keywords but don’t repeat them more than once or twice per article.
  • Regularly update with news and opinions relevant to the eBay store’s industry. For example, if you sell sports equipment, blog about the latest innovations or stories about school teams that have excelled when they upgraded equipment.
  • Include at least one copyright-free image per article.
  • Link to authoritative sources at least once per article.

Optimize all of your product descriptions and eBay storefront and website pages by including important keywords no more than once or twice per page. You can’t just stop there, though. It’s essential you update a blog at least twice a week to keep your website relevant to search engines looking for recently updated sites.

Use the eBay Newsletter Feature

Remind your customers and potential customers about your eBay storefront with eBay’s convenient newsletter feature. Include information about new product listings and promotions. Entice subscribers to visit your website with the first few paragraphs of your latest blog entries. Reach all of your customers and those who’ve signed up to learn more about your offerings without having to worry about the details of managing the email list.

MarketWatch reports eBay and its partner PayPal have a combined total of 235 million unique users. Using eBay to sell your merchandise is practically a no-brainer for both the business owner and the individual hoping to make a regular source of extra income. However, if you fail to effectively direct shoppers to your eBay storefront, they’ll take their business to other sellers. Devote a small amount of your time and budget to compelling marketing and you’ll grow your list of repeat customers.

 

About the Author: Gary Austin, the founder of Gary Austin Advertising, has been in the business of promotional swag for over 25 years and believes in your ability to make it through eBay.

Most in demand jobs of 2014

In recent years, the resources boom has meant anyone looking for work simply headed “to the mines” where jobs were plentiful and pay packets were bulging. As the dust settles on this industry slightly, there are other areas where job demand will increase.

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Carers & Aides

With an ageing population, the demand for home based care is on the rise. Trained carers and aides who can assist families with the day to day care of ageing family members and support the medical profession in follow up assistance is essential. This service based sector continues to grow and is expected to increase by up to 20% in the next three to four years. The trend for people to stay in their own homes with home based assistance is going to increase over the traditional means of retiring, selling the family home and moving into a retirement village meaning demand for carers in these areas will rise.

Software programming

With the popularity in online advertising and online stores, the need for fast, efficient and cost effective programing is increasingly important. Programmers that can address businesses’ needs and write software that is product appropriate and is easily synchronised into their day to day business is increasing in demand. Not only is it an open ended market, it’s lucrative also as businesses are aware they need to stay up to date and on trend to keep up with the competition so are prepared to pay well to do so. There are so many different aspects of online programming and jobs in this area – a look on any recruitment website, like http://www.justdigitalpeople.com.au/ will give you an example.

Educators

As the population rises dramatically, it is obvious that the number of school aged children will continue to rise. As long established teachers enter into retirement, the need for good educators across primary, secondary and tertiary institutions is rising and experts say there will be over 60,000 new education jobs in coming years.

Construction Trades

Again with the growing population comes the need for more housing and with that the demand for carpenters, electricians, plumbers and general tradespeople will increase. Over 160,000 new dwellings are expected to be built in 2013-2014 which is a big increase on previous years and will mean that competition for skilled tradespeople will be fierce.

Financial Professionals

Accountants and financial professionals will continue to be in demand as companies become more competitive and look to be cost effective. With more and more legislation and regulations for companies, reporting is essential and skilled professionals are highly sought after.

Flexibility

From a general perspective, any job that offers a positive work/life balance will be heavily in demand. In previous generations, it was natural for one parent (mostly mothers) to stay at home once children were born while the father went out to work. With rising costs of living, it is now normal for both parents to work, so flexibility for all works to cater for school holidays, illnesses and family life in general are highly sought after.

Open for Global Business: How to Launch International Shipping Without Costly Mistakes

The more people your business reaches, the more business you can do. For many online companies, opening up their stores to international shipping is a no-brainer. However, it’s not as simple as adding a flat extra charge per order. To avoid letting international business waste your time and costing your company more money than it brings in, avoid the mistakes that could derail your new international shipping campaign.

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Eliminate Guesswork

On the surface, it seems easiest to charge international customers a flat fee, but you’re costing your business money if you don’t research the most affordable options. Calculate international postage prices precisely with business shipping software. Comprehensive software will compare rates for faster and slower mail (air mail versus mail by boat, for example) as well as rates between USPS, UPS, FedEx and other major shipping services. It will also provide fast access to information about what’s allowed in mail to individual countries and what custom duties are like for your customers in these countries so you never have to risk your packages being returned.

Opt for Flat Rate If Cheaper

Once you start international shipping, software will help you keep track of how much you’re spending each month. Make adjustments as necessary. For instance, if you find that you’re often sending out three pounds of products priority, you will save money and be able to charge your global customers less by opting for flat rate boxes. For international shipping, flat rate boxes are typically capped at four pounds maximum, so keep this in mind when setting shipping rates.

Be careful relying too much on flat rate boxes. You may wind up attracting fewer customers by charging high flat rate fees when first class fees would prove more affordable for a slightly later delivery date. If your customers prefer faster delivery, flat rate boxes may be the way to go.

Double Check Label Accuracy

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Make sure the label is correct before you mail the package or it could be lost or delayed, resulting in unhappy international customers. Sometimes, when you ship packages domestically, mail carriers can sort out mistakes and get it to the right destination even if the label is slightly incorrect. International shipping is more complex.

The first time you send a package to a customer in another country, flag the shipment for one extra address check. Your software will allow you to easily print labels for repeat customers and keep track of shipments made to them, so after you enter the address correctly once, there shouldn’t be an issue.

Fill Out Customs Forms Correctly

In addition to an incorrect address, an incorrect customs form can delay or stop delivery to your international customers. Use your software to:

  • Research and confirm you can legally send your products to the country. Every country is different, so don’t assume items you can sell to Canada and the U.K, for example, will be allowed in China or Russia.
  • Complete a customs form. The form will differ depending on the size and weight of the package as well as the value of the items, so don’t presume to know which form to fill out without software.
  • Enter the value of the items accurately. Some countries require citizens to pay taxes on the items they receive from other nations, so don’t upset your customers by overestimating the value of the items (forcing them to pay more taxes) or underestimating the value (potentially getting both them and you in trouble with customs).

Expect customs in other countries to possibly open your packages. Not all packages are opened, but it’s safer to assume yours will be. Itemize everything in the box on the customs form, or your package will be sent back or destroyed.

The U.S. Small Business Administration warns 30 percent of costs associated with international shipping could be directed toward taxes and custom duties. Calculating the cost of materials and the cost of postage alone is not enough to discover just how much international shipping might really wind up costing your business. Take advantage of the convenience offered by shipping software to get an accurate picture of how much to charge your international customers before you open up your business to the world.

Why studying finance is a great idea!

It is often the case that young people do not know which career path they want to choose, they find themselves at a cross roads when they approach the end of their school career. Choosing a degree is probably the single most important choice that young people will have to make before they are eighteen years old. One of the bat pieces of advice that was given to me was to study a degree in finance, I of course was at first to interested.I wasn’t interested because I didn’t see it as a potentially fun and rewarding career, but I can now see just how wrong I really was. When I started to listen to the people that were giving me advice I began my research, i realised that there are so many popular finance degrees out there, they are popular because they really are one of the best to study. It is a great idea to study finance and here are some reasons why.

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Start your own business

Yes, that’s right you can turn your dreams into a reality. Remember those ambitions that we have all had about being our own boss and starting a business, well with a finance degree you are in a great position to make that happen! When you study finance you will learn how companies operate and most importantly you will learn how you make a profit. There are thousands of entrepreneurs out there that started off with a finance degree, once they had learnt all of the relevant knowledge they felt confident enough to go ahead with their business dreams.

Make your money work for you

Another skill that you will pick up from a finance degree is the knowledge and ability to be able to invest your money wisely. Everyone knows that the worst place to keep your obey is in a bank account because it is not doing anything for you, if you invest your money it will be essentially working for you and making you money. You do not only have to invest in stocks and shares, which you will understand a lot better after a finance degree. You can also invest in business start ups. Knowing that you ware able to invest money in companies that interest you and you believe in can be a very exciting experience indeed.

 

These are just two great reasons to study finance, I could go on and on about the value of a finance degree. The message is simple, if you are able to study finance then you should do it because the impact it will have on your future and your career is huge. Do your research first to make sure that you choose a great university in a city that you will enjoy.