iSSUE 7 July 2018
Five ways to address stress in order to work through it quickly
NYDIA ZHANG Blazing a trail for women in blockchain
INTRODUCING SQUIRREL SISTERS A Health and Wellness brand developed by two sisters
EMPOWERED BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Hey Beautiful Readers!
Can you believe that we are over halfway through the year already? Have you hit your goals? As we get closer to the end of the year, I am starting to re-evaluate my goals and see if I have hit them and if not then why not? I will check my steps and see if I need to rework how I get there. I was having a conversation the other day about my 5-year plan. I have a lot of goals that I want to hit and I know that I will hit them but if I don't hit them in the first 5 years then I will rework and put them into the next 5-year plan and keep going until I achieve them. How are your plans looking? It doesn't matter if you haven't hit them yet - just check your steps and try again! There is no shame in needing to change the route you take to get to your destination. Having a business is like having your own story! Just remember you are in control of your story and only you can make those edits!
CONTENTS Page 1. Editors Letter Page 2. Contents Page 4. Squirrel Sisters Pages 5 - 10. COVER STAR: Holly Wade Page 12. Tim Shank Page 21. Dale Office Interiors Pages 23 - 24. iBAN Limited Pages 26 - 28. Denise Joy Thompson Pages 29 - 30. Fast Future Pages 31 - 33. Gamestatix Pages 34 - 35. Nydia Zhang Pages 36 - 37. George Rouse Pages 39 - 40. Freddie Parry-Jones Pages 41 - 44. Dave Millet Pages 45 - 47. Helena Brewster Pages 48 - 51. Stewart McClaren Pages 52 - 54. João Gouveia Pages 55 - 56. Nisha Menon Page 57. Reshma Field
Squirrel Sisters is a health & wellness brand founded by two sisters, Sophie & Gracie. Sophie has worked in branding, marketing & design for the past 8 years across new business and account management roles in London and Singapore. Gracie is an actress, having studied in the UK and New York. She has built up a wide range of experience from advertising to independent films across both UK and America. Following an almost lifelong mutual interest in health and food, in 2014 they started writing a blog. Then, after much planning, research and preparation in November 2015 they launched their range of healthy snack bars. Squirrel Sister bars are made from 100% natural ingredients and therefore contain no added sugar, are gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, vegan, raw and low GI. Sophie & Gracie started Squirrel Sisters because they’d always felt that there was a barrier people often fought (and sometimes failed) to overcome when trying to live healthy lives and making healthy choices. Health too often raises images of effort and privation. They want to change that. They have developed bars, which provide their customers with snack/treat options, which are simultaneously nutritious and delicious. Their strap line is ‘treat your health’. Their blog helps supports their mission to ‘make being healthy fun and achievable’.
Squirrel Sisters award winning bars are innovative in format, beautifully packaged and first and foremost deliciousâ€Ś as well as being made with 100% natural ingredients of the highest quality. There are 4 flavours available in the range; Cacao Brownie (82 calories per bar), Cacao Orange (82 calories per bar), Raspberry Ripple (87 calories per bar) and Coconut Cashew (91 calories per bar). The 40g bar is split into two 20g sticks (2x 20g per pack) because the girls know how important portion control is to their consumers and they also want to encourage sharing!
Squirrel Sisters bars fit in with a number of lifestyles such as vegan, paleo, gluten and refined sugar free, and they are 100% raw. They can be eaten any time of the day; pre/post workout, for breakfast, the snack between meals, after dinner as a healthy pudding- they are the perfect guilt-free treat! Squirrel Sisters launched in November 2015 and are available to buy in over 1000 stores across the UK including Boots, Whole Foods, Planet Organic and Holland & Barrett (online), Ocado, Selfridges, Amazon and they have just launched into 300+ Morrisons stores. The sisters also have a cookbook coming out; Naturally Delicious Snacks & Treats on April 5th, which is being published by Pavilion Books.
Squirrel Sisters bars have already had some fantastic press coverage including being featured in Vogue, Grazia, Women's Health, Stylist The Independent, Sheerluxe, The Telegraph and many more publications.
#TreatYourHealth with Squirrel Sisters
FIVE WAYS TO ADDRESS STRESS IN ORDER TO WORK THROUGH IT QUICKLY
Congratulations! You’re making your dream come true through building your business empire and the life you’ve dreamed of. You know your reasons for becoming an entrepreneur. And you know the stressors you face as a result. In your steady job, you certainly faced stress. As an entrepreneur, you’ve claimed freedom of your time. Now living paycheck to paycheck may have a different meaning. No matter what choices we make in our lives, we face stress. That’s simply part of the deal. Did you know your body is giving you signals to tell you how to deal with the tension in your body and your life? Your face, teeth, and eyes are maps of vital organs and show you which system is under distress. If you have breakouts, the location of the pimple will show you where you’re under distress. There is a modality called iridology that uses the iris of your eye to map weakened systems in your body. Look into your eyes and notice where you have spots. Those are showing you the way to the organ needing attention. Have you ever had to have a root canal? Bacteria has to go somewhere so it is either seeping from the organ or going into the organ. Everything is interrelated and the more we build a relationship with our bodies and understand its signals, the more empowered we are to make choices for our health. You lead a busy life and are driven. You need tools that are easily accessible to help you release distress in your body. Here are my top 5. 1. Nutrition and Hydration Food is fuel for your body and your brain. I’m not a proponent of a diet (unless you have a condition that requires specialized nutrition). You do need to cover the basics. * Fat fuels your body and your brain. Include things like avocados, olive oil, nuts, real butter, and coconut oil on a daily basis to reduce the brain fog and increase your energy.. * B-complex vitamins come from complex carbohydrates. The key here is that they are whole grains, not stripped of nutritional value. They also give you energy and fuel your brain. * Protein is your building block so make sure you’re getting complete proteins in your overall diet. Meat is a quick, easy source. However, if you’re vegetarian or vegan, it’s important to make sure you’re getting combinations like beans and rice to cover all of the bases. * Most people are deficient in Vitamin D and magnesium. Incorporating these into your daily habits can help relieve muscle tension and boost your immune system Page 6
* Get to know your body’s signals so that you can discern when you’re hungry vs. thirsty. Often people mistake the two and think they’re hungry when their body needs water. Have water at your desk so you’re reaching for it throughout the day. If you have a hard time drinking water plain, add lemon, lime, or orange slices or essential oils. If you’re experiencing a health concern, re-establishing gut health will make a tremendous difference! Add a probiotic and cut sugar and flour to help you get started. Focus on eating food rather than processed or fast food. Load up on vegetables and protein to help your body rebuild. 2. Move your body Our bodies are designed for movement, not sitting all day. Often, we find ourselves in front of a computer screen so it’s important to become creative on this one. The best news is that you don’t have to hit a treadmill if that’s not your thing. Use time between clients to get up and stretch. I keep a Yoga mat nearby. When you’re stuck on a problem or a creative idea, take a break and move your body. I find a walk or a good playlist to dance helps to get the creative juices flowing again. If you prefer gym time, make that happen. If you know you need accountability on this one, hire a Personal Trainer to help you. Regardless of how you need to bring movement into your life, make sure it’s something you enjoy! Hiking, swimming, gardening, social dancing, and playing on a playground all count. Page 7
3. Learn to relax Relaxation is a skill too and many people struggle with this one. The interesting thing is that in relaxation, things come to us: new ideas, answers, people. When you’re stressed, that vibe comes through your work. Examine at what is self-imposed pressure and what is external pressure. When you realize what is creating the pressure, you can establish a plan to move with more flexibility and ease. * Breathwork is a great tool for teaching your body to calm down. Place one hand on your heart and one on your belly. Notice if you clinch your teeth. If you do, separate your back teeth. Close your eyes. Notice your belly rise into that hand first, then your heart. As you exhale, let your heart soften back into your body, then your belly. Do ten rounds of this. * Meditation is a helpful tool for learning which thoughts deserve attention and the ones that are simply chatter. When you close your eyes, start by paying attention to your body. How does it feel? As thoughts come up (and they will), don’t react to it. Simply acknowledge it, imagine it drifting away, and come back to observing your breath. This tool helps you to start to do this through the day. Many of our thoughts truly don’t need our attention and we spend time and energy on the wrong things. As you study your thoughts and your body’s signals around them, you begin to have control over your thoughts rather than them controlling you. * Journaling gives you a place to put those thoughts. For some people this is a great tool for calming the mind. Your brain doesn’t need to store all of your thoughts or ideas. When you write them down or put them in your calendar, you no longer need to hang onto it. You know where it is and you can reference it when you need to, if you need to. If you don’t know how to start journaling, just write for one to three pages. When you’re done, you’re done. Notice how it changes how your body feels to get the angst of carrying so many ideas out. The most important thing is to learn to be present with your work at hand. As you do, you’re giving IT your full attention rather than chasing the rabbit hole of multitasking and chasing the thoughts that pop into your head.
4. Essential Oils I was a skeptic on this one and have joined the world of oily goodness. An essential oil that is processed through a distillery rather than a chemistry lab holds the life force of the plant. The molecules of an essential oil are so small that they can penetrate your body’s cells and go straight to work. In 20 minutes, one drop of essential oil will infuses all of your body’s cells (about 100 trilllion of them). Talk about potent! My favorites to help you through your work day include: Peppermint for energy. If you need a little pep in your step in the morning, smell peppermint. If you’re tired at the end of the day or have tired feet, give yourself a foot soak. This is also a helpful one for indigestion so keep it handy. Lemon to add to your water. Not only does it make water taste good, lemon helps your liver to detox and helps cells to regenerate. It’s a powerhouse for sure. Plus it’s a great disinfectant for cleaning around the house. Thieves helps guard your immune system. As entrepreneurs, you don’t have time to be down and out from a cold or whatever bug is going around. Even if you get sick, this one helps to shorten the duration and supports your immune system’s ability to go straight to work. Lavender or Cedarwood are similar in helping to calm you down. If you find that you have a hard time sleeping at night, try spraying one of these oils on your pillow or place a drop on your temples. They also help with focus and mental clarity. Some people don’t like the smell of lavender so opt for cedarwood. Abundance! Who isn’t looking to help people and receive at the same time?! Diffuse this one as you’re working on content and working with clients. It’s truly become one of my favorites. 5. Have fun!!! Isn’t this why we want our own businesses in the first place? To love the heck out of this life and enjoy every minute of it? Fun doesn’t have to be expensive. It simply involves intention behind finding pleasure in simple things. Laugh lots! Enjoy events in your area. Turn on your favorite music. Go to the park or in nature and soak it in. If you’re not sure what you enjoy, explore the possibilities. Observe how you react naturally. Do you smile? Do you hold your body differently? Do you laugh? Do you notice that you engage your senses? Those are signs of pleasure! Consider what will happen as potential clients see you embracing and enjoying your life! Page 9
Remember, it’s not about implementing ALL of these new habits at once. Spend one quarter implementing ONE. Then reassess. You may need more time integrating that healthy habit into your lifestyle. Or you may be ready to uplevel to another one. Creating health is strategic and fluid, just like your life as an entrepreneur. Trust that you have the skills to make your health a priority. Learning how to handle stress is an important part of that.
Holly Wade is a Holistic Health Coach who helps others restore gut health and release stress. Through her own personal journey of living with Crohn’s Disease, she knows how these two things go hand in hand. You can follow Holly on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or hollywadewellness.com. If you’d like a 30 minute Holistic Health Assessment with her to help you create a plan around one healthy lifestyle habit, you can schedule here: https://calendly.com/holwade/30min
Goddess Retreat Glastonbury Oct 5th - Oct 8th 2018
Art Therapy Confidence Workshops + Crystals BEVERLY MENDEZ Meditation Mindset Reiki Request your presence at their marriage On Saturday, September 15, 2018 Vision Board Workshop At six o'clock in the evening Mendez Hotel 4940 Armbrestr Ave. Lomita, California
For more details, Please Contact: email@example.com reception to follow
IT'S NEVER TOO LATE!
By Tim Shank
This month could not be more appropriate to birth a new feature! I am writing this on the week of my birthday (July 16, and I will still accept any late gifts if you’re motivated to send them! Had to try.). A week that started with celebration and reflection. One where I started by putting four simple words in my journal: “It has just begun.” I’m officially in that autumn of life known as the “late 30s,” where I’m too old to call myself young but also too young to call myself old. And still culture tells me that I’m past the “prime” of my life. I should already have my life and career planned out (or that such a blueprint is a decade past due now) and it’s too late to change course and create a new path. Start a new business? Rebrand yourself? Join a new field of work? Well that works for your 20s, society says, or maybe when you hit a “mid-life crisis” point in your 40s or 50s. But you thirtysomethings? It’s too late and too risky. You’ve got to stay the course. You’re settling down, or you have by now. Searching time is over. Now you keep on the path you’ve been following. The problem with that? It’s not until I hit your not-that-old-but-not-that-young stage of life that I had any clue what was possible and right for me. When I was younger I followed paths that were forged for me in life and career. They provided stability and a place for me to learn and develop, but they were still not “mine” and there was a point where that growth stopped. I entered my 30s with more experience with life and career choices- mistakes, successes, and a better knowledge of me. And I was ready to explore what I had learned more deeply. And now, as a 36-year old (or “twenty-sixteen” as I tell some people), I have a better sense of my purpose and goals. And I’ve built the wisdom and maturity (sort of on the latter, but I’ll explain that another time) to be more prepared for it. And with that I’ve released any self-imposed limits in order to bring my community the best my talents have to offer. You’re never too old. It’s never too late. And the time to expand and change course is never over. It has only begun. And it has only begun for you too! And with that, your journey as a reader of my pieces in this magazine has also begun. Welcome to the fun Empowered Business friends! Page 12
BE HEARD At Global Voice Radio we’re more then just a Radio Station...
It’s the Station where your Message is HEARD!
WE ARE BEAUTIF UL M AGAZI NE
- 8 - M ARC H/ AP RI L 2 0 1 8
WE ARE BEAUTIFU L M AGAZI NE
- 9 -
M ARC H/ AP RI L 2 0 1 8
On Global Voice Radio
Mindful Moments with Maree Maree Jane Duffy Monday @ 11AM est
Mindful Moments with Maree is hosted by Maree Jane Duffy, from Ireleand. Maree is an Intuitive Healer & Spiritual Coach and she will be reaching out to women discussing topics regarding life, relationships, happiness, meditation and getting in touch with their true self and their purpose. Maree will also share a meditation each week as she helps women discover the benefits of meditation. Listeners are encouraged to “Ask Maree Anything” not like an “agony aunt” but a little more deeper and compassionate. Mindful Moments with Maree is an inner & closer look at ourselves and becoming more mindful in our lives moving forward. Maree will also discuss how her sessions with people which are called “Life Road Maps” help people overcome blocks and places they are stuck in their lives.
The Boomer’s Guide to A Vibrant Life Vickie Washburn Monday @ 7PM est
Vickie knows “Boomers” have the best years ahead of them and she will explore all that is unique in the life of Boomers. Time, change, loss, kids, parents, work, retirement, travel, health, fitness, LIFE! Vickie, and her guests, will delve into self-development, relationship, emotional and physical aspects of being 60 and beyond!! Vickie will share her own journey of the “Golden” years, how she is creating a Vibrant Life and how you can have the best of your Vibrant Life too!!
WE ARE BEAUTIFU L M AGAZI NE
- 10 - M ARC H/ AP RI L 2 0 1 8
On Global Voice Radio
Your Creative Force Avianne Tuesday @ 1PM est
In “Your Creative Force”, Avianne connects the listener to their deeper, uniquely creative self. Avianne puts words and actions to the individual desire for meaning, significance and fulfillment via sharing her own Truth and (in some shows) interviewing others about their success, derived from tapping into their own Creative Force. The secrets of knowing who we truly are and how to unearth our individual treasures to manifest them into reality, are locked away inside each person’s Creative Force. Avianne firmly believes that the uniqueness and creativity that naturally occur within each person hold the keys to unlocking their full potential. This show, in practical and doable steps, will reveal to the listener firstly what (often unknown) creative power is truly carried inside their humanity, secondly how to access that creative potential and thirdly how to weave that creative power and potential into an everyday life of self-actualization and empowerment of not only self, but of every person in every sphere we encounter in society, both in our personal and business capacities.
Living From the Inside Out Holly Wade Tuesday @ 6PM est
Living From the Inside Out is about living fully, guided from YOUR inside. Holly Wade shares the wisdom of how your mind, body, and spirit truly are connected. You, deep down, truly know your answers. Holly and her guests will provide tips, practices, and inspirational stories to help you approach your life from your own heart.
WE ARE BEAUTIFUL M AGAZI NE
- 11 -
M ARC H/ AP RI L 2 0 1 8
Wednesdayâ€™s On Global Voice Radio
Only the Best for You Carol Davies Wednesday @ 12PM est
Only the Best for You shows you how to be a changemaker in our complicated world while bringing out the best of yourself. Be a changemaker. Your host Carol Davies will help you unlock the secret to limitless confidence inside you and create the career, relationships, dreams, and impact on the world you want. Carol and her guests will show you easy techniques to find your true purpose and passion in life, as well as how to manage your life joyously and successfully.
The Roller-coaster Ride of Business
Hannah Edwards Wednesday @ 3PM est
The Roller-coaster Ride of Business discusses the real deal; the ups and down, the highs and lows of starting and building a business. The rewards are worth the ride of turmoil and the unknowns. The excitement, freedom, and success are what motivates individuals who take the challenge to create how they want to live and work.
Thursdayâ€™s On Global Voice Radio
Authentic Living with Roxanne Roxanne Derhodge Thursday @ 11AM est
Roxanne Derhodge is the host of Authentic Living with Roxanne. Roxanne provides an empowering and supportive space for everyone to listen and engage in thought provoking conversations about everyday life with real people who have a passion for living life to the fullest. Authentic Living with Roxanne is the catalyst for transforming your life!!
https://www.spreaker.com/show/2788530` WE ARE BEAUTIFU L M AGAZI NE
- 1 2 - M ARC H/ AP RI L 2 0 1 8
Thursday’s On Global Voice Radio
Don’t Wait Til Pigs Fly Nancy Becher Thursday @ 5PM est
Don’t Wait ‘Til Pigs Fly”, with host Nancy Becher, is the rallying call for entrepreneurs who are serious about growing their businesses, but don’t want to go it alone. Too often not knowing what steps to take, or what decisions to make, holds the business owner from moving ahead. You know you want to share your passion with the world. You Want To Be Your Own Boss and have the money to do the things you dream of doing. But there’s the Fear Factor. Where do you turn? Who do you ask? The purpose of my weekly show is to fill the void. I, and my guests, will provide suggestions, strategies and processes designed to grow revenue in your business. I am here to answer your questions, provide you with guidance and support. When you take action now and don’t wait ‘til pigs fly, your business will soar. Nancy Becher dreams of a world that runs on the vibrancy of thousands of small businesses, all working together, making money and living in great supportive communities. As a journalist and business consultant for more than 30 years, she has worked with hundreds of companies, large and small (throughout the United States and internationally), helping them create strategies and processes that are built to give them more revenues, less stress and raving fans. ttps://www.spreaker.com/show/2904600
A World of Women of Significance Margie O’Kane Thursday @ 8PM est
Creating “A World of Women of Significance” is what host Margie O’Kane is doing. Margie’s vision is to create a global movement of 1 million women to become women of significance. This entails women accepting their true essence of empowerment, strength, and value.
WE ARE BEAUTIFUL M AGAZI NE
- 13 -
M ARC H/ AP RI L 2 0 1 8
Thursday’s On Global Voice Radio
NYA’S Project Nikki Ruffin-Smith Thursday @ 7PM est
NYA’s Project with host Nikki Ruffin-Smith emerged from the experience and gap Nikki, and other women and girls face, regarding education, training and encouragement of excelling and becoming leaders in the field of STEM-A, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and the Arts. Nikki has created and authored books, workbooks, and entire curriculums for parents and educators to use to ensure all children, though specifically “girls of color” (Nikki’s words) to be introduced to and supported in the STEM-A fields. Nikki, from growing up in Selma, Alabama, learned first- hand the inequities of education due to race and socio-economic status. Nkki brings her heart-centered perspective, her love of children and education to her show. Nikki will also be intertwining tips of building a business and ensuring there is fun along one’s journey.
On Global Voice Radio
Frederick Entenmann Friday @ 10AM est
During his show, MIND BODY LIFE founder and bestselling author Frederick Entenmann investigates the little-known insights and daily methods to create explosive life transformations and transitions with those that have risen from struggle and ascended to greatness, to live a remarkable and harmonized life beyond their imagination. https://www.spreaker.com/show/2750470
Happy Hour with Coffee and Wine Irene Coffee & Karen Wine Friday @ 3 PM est
Welcome to Happy Hour with Coffee & Wine with your Co-Hosts Irene Coffee & Karen Wine. The weekly radio show that explores trending business news & features dynamic interviews with extraordinary entrepreneurs with Coffee & Wine https://www.spreaker.com/show/2750469
Saturday’s On Global Voice Radio
The Author’s Message
Denise Joy & Irene pro
Staturday @ 10AM est
The Author’s Message. The earliest written communication was the beginning of the technological communication we engage in today; ironic we are using symbols (emojis) even in different aspects of “word porn” in so much of our written communication today!!. Since that time, people have been trying to share their “Mess” in a way which is understood, turning their ‘Mess” into a message. The “Author” engages in human communication through language, words and symbols. There are more “authors” today than ever before, published and unpublished; messages received, understood or even misunderstood. The Author’s Message will explore the world of authorship, writing, publishing and the “Mess”age. Guests will include authors, publishers and readers. https://www.spreaker.com/show/2813750
Sunday’s LIVE IN GRATITUDE DAILY Denise Joy & Irene pro
Sunday @ 8PM est
Live In Gratitude Daily. Why GRATITUDE? Gratitude is the foundation for achieving, creating, receiving and living the way a person wants. It is our mindset which determinations our success; it is our mindset which determines “do we go for it”; it is our mindset which creates and receives abundance, joy and love. The time is NOW to create your Live In Gratitude Daily lifestyle. Join others around the world on this journey, decide now to move forward, a few minutes a day to change your life!! You are worth it, your family is worth it, your LIFE is worth it. Join our group www.facebook.com/groups/liveingratitudedaily https://www.spreaker.com/show/2810707
Photography By Tom Schmuki©
REMOTE WORKING OPTION ‘HELPS RETAIN STAFF’, SAY EMPLOYERS An increasing number of small and medium business owners are recognising the benefits of allowing their staff to work remotely, according to a survey. The poll, conducted by Dale Office Interiors, posed the question: ‘Do you think your company would benefit from giving employees the option to work remotely?’ Over two-thirds of businesses said there are major gains to be had from allowing employees to work remotely. More than one in five bosses (22.6%) believes this flexible approach helps to ‘retain and attract’ talent, while a further 16.9% feel that ’fluid working’ increases productivity. Some of the firms said their businesses already accommodate remote working. Interestingly, 20% feel it saves money on office space, suggesting many sectors no longer require all employees to be in the office every day. The findings echo recent figures, which show 4.2 million people regularly worked from home in 2015, with the majority working in the information, communication, construction and agriculture industries. Remote working has become increasingly popular in recent years. The rise of the so-called ‘gig economy’ has seen millions of employees take short-term roles or work as ‘independent contractors’. Recent figures published by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy suggest roughly 2.8 million people worked in the gig economy in the last 12 months. For those occupying these roles, ‘independence’ and ‘flexibility’ are cited as two key benefits to this style of working. Business leaders are now spending thousands in an attempt to predict how permanent the move towards a gig economy is and whether firms need to do more to accommodate these working practices. Of the business owners who said remote working did not fit their business model, most (19%) cited the need for ‘all hands on deck’. A further 7.1% were concerned team cohesion would be lost through remote working, while just under 5% didn’t trust that staff would be as productive when working from home. Many businesses are now opting for a ‘third way’ — catering for permanent office-based staff while accommodating flexible working by creating discrete areas that can be used by visiting employees. “Although remote working isn’t viable for every company, that doesn’t mean they can’t be flexible in their approach to how their employees work,” said Warren Bricknell, managing director at Dale Office Interiors. “Agile working, whereby flexible workspaces, hot-desking and communal areas are incorporated into the office design, lends itself perfectly to businesses that require staff on-site at least some of the time. It allows them to create a comfortable, collaborative environment for current and prospective employees that looks nothing like the typical ‘office’ they might expect,” he added. Warren went on to say: “Invariably, we have found that projects in recent years have all included some requirement of this nature. It’s not a phenomenon only found in the realms of fortune 500 companies. Bringing in freelance specialists or contractors is actually proven to be a great way to bring high-level skills into a not-solarge business, and the workspace can be designed to support this.” Page 21
DIGITAL WALLET PROMISES TO CREATE A DECENTRALISED BANKING SYSTEM - THAT IS FAIRER AND MORE STABLE iBAN, a UK-based company, plans to launch iBAN Wallet - a digital alternative to traditional banking. iBAN Wallet aims to bring all the key banking services into one digital platform that can be securely accessed via a smartphone. Users will be able to access a wide range of financial services via the app, which will be available on Google Play and the iTune Store. “We learnt a lot from other digital banking alternatives that came before us,” explains Marc Hurr, Co-founder and CTO at iBAN. “For example, we knew we weren’t going to replace existing current accounts straight away, so we made it possible for iBAN users to manage their existing accounts through the platform.” Eventually, however, iBAN hopes to replace traditional banks altogether. “There’s no reason we can’t replace everything banks do with technology, creating a decentralised banking system that will be fairer and more stable,” explains Hurr. To that end, the company will also offer customers an iBAN account, which they say can earn much greater rates of interest than high street banks. “We take great care with our investments, only putting money into projects that can provide both social benefits and make a return. That way, our customers know their money is going to good use and is earning a competitive rate of interest” says Hurr. As well as moving money between accounts, iBAN also integrates a P2P crowdlending platform. Users can fund loan requests from other users, negotiating their own rates of interest. In future, iBAN plans to offer these loan agreements in the form of smart contracts, which utilise blockchain technology. “When it comes to savings and loans, banks earn huge profits as middlemen. That’s the business model we are aiming to disrupt. Crowdlending can offer better rates and terms for both savers and borrowers,” says Hurr. Smart contracts are digitally created and agreed by both parties before being added to the blockchain - a digital public ledger. This approach allows users to set their own terms and interest rates, offers both borrowers and savers a choice in how to use their money. iBAN expects the majority of its customers to be Millennials and Generation Z - younger people who are more comfortable with technology yet feel let down by the banking system. I believe this demographic tends to be less loyal to businesses, seeking out the best functionality at the most competitive price. “I believe Millennials and Gen Z, in particular, feel that the financial system is rigged against them. They don’t have the same financial security their parents enjoyed and many of them may never own their own property,” says Hurr. “Understandably, they may be angry and are looking for alternatives to a system they may feel hasn’t served their needs.” Page 23
The company has already received over £100m in loan requests from six countries around the world, priming their platform to hit the ground running. iBAN is now able to operate under the P2P Lending licence within the jurisdiction of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an Appointed Representative of Resolution Compliance Limited. This means iBAN can launch their range of financial services in the UK. iBAN has taken a leaf out of the TransferWise book, offering low-cost or (to premium users) free international money transfers. Users at both ends of the transfer will need to sign up with iBAN Wallet, helping to rapidly grow their user-base. To help launch the app and reach a large number of customers, iBAN is currently seeking investment on equity crowdfunding website Seedrs (your capital is at risk if you invest). “We’re all about the power of the crowd and decentralising the economy. So crowdfunding is a no-brainer for us. We want to involve the crowd in every step of our journey,” says Hurr. For more information: https://ibanwallet.ibanonline.com/ iBAN LImited is an Appointed Representative of Resolution Compliance Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (no. 574048)
ARE YOU READY TO SHARE YOUR BUSINESS AND ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY TO HELP OTHERS?
Are you ready to up-level your visibility and share your message with the world? Say Yes to being a co-author in "The Rollercoaster Ride of Business" compiled by Hannah Edwards and Denise Joy Thompson.
Become a published author in 2018, share your experience and expertise of surviving your first year as a business owner/entrepreneur. Help others to move forward by using your tips and recommendations. Contributers will be featured on Global Voice Radio and in Empowered Business Magazine.
For more information email Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org or Denise Joy Thompson at email@example.com.
Can A Business Owner/ Entrepreneur Be Successful and “Political”?
Denise Joy Thompson Founder, Global Voice Radio
Photo Credit: Richard Eads Photography
The world has become very political. More and more people are marching, protesting and speaking up. Learning about one’s own country’s politics and government is a responsibility of every citizen. Learning about the world’s politics keeps us from having tunnel vision about how the world is evolving. As an American, a military member and an entrepreneur, the US, and the world politics, are very important to me. What I have seen over the last several years is almost “political extremism”. Anyone can be a Democrat, Independent or Republican and have a thriving business. The key is to be “political” and not be angry, engage in name-calling, engage in physical or property violence, post on social media without knowing the facts and having researched both sides AND to be willing to see another perspective. Protesting is a right in the US, not all countries provide the right to public protest. I support the right to protest, I support the right to vote, I support individual freedoms and enjoy as many of them as I can. At times we have to take a step back and truly figure out whose or which right has merit; even if that means one right seems to not be honored. There are a few issues lately which has involved rights of individuals which if both upheld there is a lawsuit or an impasse, a legal decision may seem to lessen the right of the other. There are situations today which were unfathomable by the founding fathers when creating rights; we as individuals and citizens need to work out unique and unusual cases as best we can. What seems to be happening is a free for all. I have seen posts by business owners and entrepreneurs which do not reflect the personality and neutrality of who I thought they were. (I am not saying a few of my posts aren’t questionable… lol.) Are we getting caught up in the drama and emotions of politics and forgetting to do due diligence, are we truly educating ourselves on the facts from both sides of the aisle? What are the “facts”? It is often difficult to find out. “Facts” of the past are used by both sides to cloud the issues of today. If people were not paying attention to politics over the past and current Presidencies, does a snapshot of “politics” provide a clear picture? I cannot tell you if I am a true, full-fledged Democrat or a Republican. Where is the “3rd” party, or the middle ground, taking the best concepts/ideas from both parties and supporting those? Page 27
I am looking for women role models, as most women are. I am willing to be a role model, I am willing to step up to the plate. For now, here is what I will do: 1. When posting about politics on social media I will know facts/perspectives from both sides before I post. 2. I will not post “facts or photos” from years ago and say it is true today. 3. I will not try and change someone’s mind by using drama, emotion or name-calling. 4. Before responding with a comment, I will ensure it is positive, even if offering a different view. 5. I will support individual freedoms. 6. I will not engage with drama, emotion or name-calling. 7. I am willing to have a discussion about differing political views, while following the points 1-6. What are you willing to do? We as business owners and entrepreneurs can be successful and be political, we have a responsibility to do so in an educated and intellectual manner. We are role models for those coming behind us, and for the world. Let’s work on this together.
DENISE JOY THOMPSON Denise Joy Thompson is the CEO of Global Broadcasting LLC, founder of Global Voice Radio and owner of The Coach Alliance. Denise Joy is a coach, a champion for people finding their power within, a catalyst for transformation, a speaker, writer, a Colonel and Veteran. After more than 27 years as a therapist and a military member, including two deployments, Denise Joy has transitioned to coaching women (and a few good men) in creating their businesses and a life they love to live. Denise Joy is the creator, compiler, and co-author of Live In Gratitude Daily: The Key to Abundance, Joy and Love and Discover Your Destiny, Live Your Dreams, Love Your Life: Expert Tips On Creating Success. Denise Joy has been a co-author in several #1 International best-seller anthologies. She was also a featured expert in the I Am Enough and Unleashed magazines in 2016. Denise Joy is the Host of Live In Gratitude Daily and Your Global Voice and a co-host of The Author’s Message on Global Voice Radio. Denise Joy is described as energetic, fun-loving, adventure-minded, determined, loyal, and a deep thinker. She believes strongly in the ability of everyone being an ACE (Authentic, Courageous and Empowered) and promotes creating and living a life one loves to live! Denise lives near San Antonio an in her spare time she loves traveling, wine tasting, and reading. Connect with Denise at firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com, www.facebook.com/denisejoythompson www.facebook.com/groups/globalvoiceradio. www.facebook.com/groups/liveingratitudedaily, and www.globalvoiceradio.com. Page 28
RETHINKING EDUCATION AND PREPARING FOR A VERY DIFFERENT FUTURE By Rohit Talwar, Steve Wells, Alexandra Whittington, April Koury, and Helena Calle from Fast Future The debate about the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation on tasks, roles, jobs, employment, and incomes shows no signs of slowing, whether it’s doom-laden predictions of mass unemployment, or more positive predictions of a new wave of jobs being created. Right now, the world is legitimately clueless about five key factors; 1) how far and how deep these technologies will actually penetrate over the next five to twenty years; 2) the scale of opportunities that will be generated in the new sectors and businesses that might emerge; 3) how the nature of work, roles, jobs, and workplaces might evolve over time; 4) how governments, businesses, and individuals might respond and the potential for innovative solutions to emerge; and 5) what the net impact might be on employment and the economic prospects for the individual. Now is the time to be thinking the unthinkable about preparing the workforce for an uncertain future; creating new jobs and businesses; supporting the unemployed in a fair, dignified, and straightforward manner that supports their search for opportunities; and funding the transitions from this economy to future ones. The key to all of this is education. It’s becoming abundantly clear is that at the national, business, and individual level, what will determine our ability to survive and thrive in a rapidly evolving landscape are our levels of education and big picture awareness. Our capacity to navigate a turbulent landscape will be driven by a number of factors i) our understanding of how the world is changing; ii) our digital literacy; iii) our capacity to think, reason, and solve problems; iv) our ability to learn new skills and approaches quickly; and v) our mastery of life skills such as collaboration, scenario thinking, coping with uncertainty, and handling complexity. These skills will help us move from role to role in a world where job tenures are shortening but lifespans could be increasing. They will also help us start our own businesses and take greater responsibility for our own livelihoods. This is something that could become an increasing priority as medium to large organisations slim down their workforces through competitive pressures and automation. We can see a growing onus on small to medium enterprises to provide the bulk of employment across the economy. Hence, some of the key policy experiments we are advocating are outlined below. 1. Future Immersion Intensives – These need to be designed to accelerate “mindset change” in organisations by providing a crash course in the ideas shaping the future and the technologies that might deliver them. A lower cost, society wide option would be to create a range of such programmes ranging in length from a weekend to a month. They would combine business visits, lectures, projects, and discussions with innovators, change agents, and entrepreneurs; aimed at those in work, the unemployed, students, parents, teachers etc. Page 29
2. Acknowledging the Shift to a Graduate Workforce - Automation seems highly likely to reduce the number of lower and mid-level skilled jobs. We can a see a scenario where, within five to ten years, 80% of the new jobs created will require a graduate level education. This means any employment policy has to ensure we are readjusting the skills and knowledge base in the country at every level. In particular, this means encouraging and incentivising adults to enter into continuing education while still in employment. 3. Expanding Access – Funding will always be an issue – but the cost of inaction and a poorly educated workforce could far outweigh a large-scale expansion in provision. This could be delivered in innovative ways – including encouraging firms to sponsor local education programmes either through direct funding, providing tutors, or allowing the use of their unused meeting and training room facilities during the day, in the evenings, and at weekends. A key part of the learning agenda would be to take people into the new and emerging businesses to help them understand the changing nature of work and workplaces and the skills they require now and in the emerging future. Support systems could be provided for communities to self-organise education and skills programs. The key is to try a range of experiments and scale the best practice models for different types and size of local community. 4. Abolishing Student Debt and Tuition Fees - In the UK, students are typically finishing higher education with debts of £30,000 - £60,000 and, in many cases, poor job prospects and relatively low morale. This is the very group that needs to be inspired to create new ideas, services, and businesses for a changing world. Hence a cancellation of student debt and individually paid tuition fees might help make it more attractive to go into higher education - especially if meaningful student grants were re-introduced. 5. Training and Education Salaries - For those who are made redundant or struggling to find work in their current sector - an option might be to retrain for a new career or sector. Here, a government funded salary could be payable for the duration of a training programme or degree course. 6. Associations and Guilds with Training Salaries – To help deliver on the above retraining requirements, new salaried models of vocational training could be developed by evolving existing professional bodies and creating new ones. Their primary purpose would be to help develop the skills and personal competencies required for the new world of work. 7. Incentivising Learning - Continuing professional development might have to become compulsory or be incentivised through the tax system to encourage individuals to keep acquiring skills. Alongside reskilling the nation and changing mindsets, a parallel process is required to help stimulate new jobs, and the businesses and industry sectors that will provide them. These are just a handful of the many ideas we have been exploring for how we address the challenges presented by a world in transition. There are no answers at present – only ideas that warrant investigation and experimentation to see how we can educate and reskill society and create new job opportunities. Web http://www.fastfuture.com Twitter http://twitter.com/fastfuture Blog http://blog.fastfuturepublishing.com/ LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/talwar Page 30
GAMESTATIX APPOINTS ALL-STAR VIDEO GAMES INDUSTRY ADVISORY TEAM TO USE BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY TO COMBAT INDUSTRY PROBLEMS Gamestatix, a blockchain-enabled platform for video game development, has pulled together veterans from across the games industry. The core development and advisory team now consists of leaders with experience gained at companies such as Google™, Activision Blizzard®, Cavallier Games Studios™, British Esports Association™ and includes marketers of the Halo™, Call of Duty™,Sonic The Hedgehog™, Assassin’s Creed™ and Football Manager™ series. Together they will contribute expertise to drive forward Gamestatix’s mission to solve industry problems of early access, co-creation and discoverability faced by independent developers and studios. Gamestatix co-founder Dean Anderson says: “It’s testament to Gamestatix’s core principles that so many respected and experienced individuals from the games industry have stepped up to be part of this project. I’m honoured to be working with them and look forward to delivering a progressive solution that the games industry needs.”. What is Gamestatix? Gamestatix is a platform that brings developers and the gaming community together within the functionality of a social framework. The platform will use a model that rewards players with cryptocurrency for playtesting games, creating in-game assets and promoting games via sharable content. Developers will in-turn be given access to a “global pool of talent” to support them in the creation and promotion of games. Compared to existing digital storefronts, Gamestatix will not focus on the sale of released games; it aims to own the pre-release space. The platform will also feature a unique discovery mechanic. Its algorithm will only show games to a user if they have not yet playtested or purchased the title, additionally Gamestatix will allow developers to invite a pre-defined audience to discover their game in order to provide a level playing field for developers of all sizes. Gamestatix is an exciting new application of blockchain and cryptocurrency in the video games industry, that’s solving real world problems at a time, according to NewZoo’s latest 2018 report, where ‘’the industry is on track for a decade of double digit growth.’’ Page 31
The Co-founders Gamestatix is headed by co-founder Dean Anderson – a blockchain evangelist with a deep working knowledge of the UK and European games industry. As former Business Development Manager of creative events agency NJLive, Anderson was involved in the UK launch of franchises such as Halo™, Call of Duty™, and Destiny™. His fellow co-founders are Visar Statovci, founder of Waste-Creative; a modern digital agency known for marketing titles in the Total War™, Sonic The Hedgehog™, Assassin’s Creed™, Football Manager™, and Batman Arkham™ series; and Valon Statovci, founder of business organisation app, GoPlanr – a dedicated platform solution for workforce agencies who need to deploy employees to multiple client sites. The trio began development of the Gamestatix platform in 2016 and have since grown the team. Core Team: In addition to the co-founders, the core team comprises Justin Wu (Gamestatix blockchain strategist), founder of Etherify.io, the first Ethereum venture studio in Portugal, Rui Vaz (Gamestatix blockchain developer) founder the mobile music streaming and sharing app, Soundbet, and Brett Meyer (Gamestatix Head of Development), founder of Broken Pony Club. Advisory Board: - Andy Payne OBE, Chair of the British Esports Association™, founder of AppyNation, advisory board member at Bossa Studios, board member at Ukie (The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment), founder of Just Flight, founder of Good Shepherd and board member at the BGI (British Games Institute). - Craig Peter O’Boyle, Google™’s Head of Entertainment and Media and the former Senior Director, International Marketing & Corporate Affairs, at Activision Blizzard®. - Charles Griffiths, Founder at Cavalier Games Studios, previously worked at Lionhead Studios and Electronic Arts™. - Mikael Vinding, Founder of Indie Game Developer Network (a community of over 270K independent game developers) - Alan Moss, Partner at Harbottle and Lewis. - Mike Petricevic, Co-founder and Creative Partner at Waste Creative. - Henry Clay, the founder of Block Influence and Hype Management, former Senior Digital PR Manager at Activision Blizzard®. Henry Clay explains, "There are certain digital platforms that make you wonder how you ever survived without them. I believe that Gamestatix has the potential to become the platform that will leave the indie developer industry asking that very same question. “Gamestatix is truly a game changer. It answers the call for a very clear and present need to level the playing field, offering developers and studios a sophisticated infrastructure to build games collaboratively with a global community and bring visibility and recognition to their work" Page 32
Anderson adds: “When blockchain and cryptocurrencies were in their infancy, there was no feasible way to financially reward gamers on mass for co-creating games. Now that these technologies are established, a model where co-creators are guaranteed financial rewards is possible.” “Incentivising people with financial rewards to do the work they already want to do – co-creating games – will increase the quantity and the quality of games dramatically. And with more money in their pockets, we’ll see players buying more games.” The Gamestatix team believes “that by bringing together a global community of passionate players and developers, Gamestatix will extend the market far beyond where it is today.” More details will be announced later this year on how early token investors can ride the wave of this exciting opportunity. For now, you can join the Gamestatix community on the below links to stay up to date with the latest happenings. Gamestatix Online Web: https://www.gamestatix.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gamestatix/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/gamestatix LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/gamestatix-ltd/ Telegram: https://t.me/gamestatix
BLAZING A TRAIL FOR WOMEN IN BLOCKCHAIN As one of the few female entrepreneurs in the blockchain industry, Co-founder and Chairman of Social Alpha Foundation, Nydia Zhang, is smashing stereotypes and ensuring the world of fintech, blockchain and cryptocurrencies is no longer just a boys’ club. Technology is shaping our future; changing the way we live, learn, and work. An essential part of our everyday lives, it’s hard — impossible even — to imagine life without it. From keeping in touch with friends and ordering clothes online, to booking holidays, these days everything can be done in just a few clicks. In essence, technology has totally transformed our lives. Emerging cutting-edge technology like blockchain also has the power to change lives. Although it has yet to realize its full potential, blockchain has the power to disrupt our day-to-day lives in areas such as education, healthcare, and the environment, and it’s up to us to embrace this emerging technology and strive to use it for the benefit of the world around us. Philanthropy has always been a passion of mine and shortly after being introduced to the world of blockchain in 2016, I decided to combine the two, and Social Alpha Foundation was born. Social Alpha Foundation is a not-for-profit, grant-making platform which focuses on supporting blockchain education and outreach to empower communities to utilise blockchain technology for social good. From the get-go, I have found that people tend to focus more on the market price volatility of cryptocurrencies rather than try to understand and utilise the underlying blockchain technology. This frustrated me as I felt the technology had enormous potential and so I decided to do something about it and create the world’s first blockchain not-forprofit grant-making platform in the process. While there is still a lack of women in technology across the board, blockchain is one area growing at an exponential rate with a worryingly extreme gender imbalance. According to recent research by eToro, just 8.5% of women invest in cryptocurrencies compared to 91.5% of men, meaning that as it stands men are drastically dominating the market. So, how do we welcome more women into the space? Page 34
One way to do this is through education. While a lot of people may have heard about bitcoin and its infamous price volatility, it’s important to understand that crypto is about more than just market prices, and that its underlying technology can, and should be, harnessed for social good. The perception of the crypto community needs to be changed in the eyes of the public, and it is our responsibility to demonstrate how blockchain technology can be used for social good by supporting projects that tackle issues which affect mankind and our environment. Females have always been a minority in the tech industry and while I have seen a slow but steady increase in the number of females choosing to get involved in the industry, we must do more to encourage women to study STEM subjects at school, and embark on careers within those industries. Through improved education, strong female role models, and the creation of women-specific blockchain events, I believe we will further pique the interest of women to contribute to the industry. For women out there looking to get involved in the blockchain industry, my advice is to network and use your time effectively. In a fast-paced and rapidly evolving industry like blockchain, growing your network and reaching out to people who can help you get a foot on the ladder is essential. Focus on connecting with people who will provide you with the opportunities and knowledge you require. With so many strong, female leaders in the tech space, find someone you admire and use them as a role model to guide your career path, examine their background, and understand how they got to where they are now. We learn best by emulating those around us. It has never been more important for women to become tech leaders, especially in a space such as blockchain where the technology is still very much in its nascent stages, and set a precedent that anyone can be successful — regardless of gender — if they have the right attitude and skill set. We are shattering the glass ceiling, but we still have a long way to go. However, with enough persistence and continuous self-betterment, we can do it. About Social Alpha Foundation: Social Alpha Foundation (SAF) is a not-for-profit, grant-making platform which focuses on supporting blockchain education and outreach to empower communities to utilize blockchain technology for social good. Founded in Hong Kong in 2017 by Nydia Zhang and Jehan Chu, SAF provides no-strings funding to companies and projects that educate communities on blockchain for social change. SAF also gives grants to non-commercial blockchain applications that focus on improving public health, education and the environment. Successful applicants will receive financial grants ranging from US$10,000 to US$100,000 with no interest charged and no repayment obligations. Funding for grants will be raised in cryptocurrency from individuals and commercial projects that have executed successful token sales, creating a channel for donors to adopt corporate social responsibility practices. For more information, visit https://www.socialalphafoundation.org About Nydia Zhang: Nydia Zhang is the Co-founder and Chairman of Social Alpha Foundation, a not-for-profit, grant-making platform supporting blockchain technology for social good. She is also a board member of the fundraising committee at the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children (HKSPC), a member of the Fintech Association of Hong Kong, and sits on the Global Patrons board of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. A graduate of the University of Washington, Nydia is also a cryptocurrency investor and blockchain enthusiast. Page 35
5 THINGS YOU COULD DO TO IMPROVE YOUR EMPLOYEES’ ENTHUSIASM: For any business, having a team of enthusiastic, well driven members is the end goal. Motivated employees will ultimately lead to positive results and overall success, as enthused staff ultimately work harder to achieve your company’s goals and excel within their position. This is supported by recent findings which suggest that highly engaged businesses see a 10% increase in customer ratings. To encourage return customers and prevent your employees from joining the staggering 51% who are currently looking to leave their jobs, steps must be taken to promote employee enthusiasm and engagement. As much as this can seem daunting, it’s incredibly easy to do. George Rouse is the owner of George’s Kitchen and knows exactly what it takes to ensure your employees are enthusiastic every day. Here are his five top tips: Setting goals inside the office The art of achieving a goal, no matter the size, leaves individuals with a huge amount of joy, fulfilment and pride. Whether your industry is within finance, sport or hairdressing, there are always ways to create goals or targets. Adding a ‘fun’ element can also encourage employees to get involved. It is known that production levels tend to increase when there are targets to be met and after all, what are the potential negatives? Setting weekly or monthly goals are usually the best time frames to begin with.
Give out rewards ‘Employee of the Month’ is a very popular reward that is given out by companies and is a really effective procedure. Much like setting targets, employees have something to work towards, in turn improving their enthusiasm. The smaller things will begin to matter to employees, and as long as you recognise these it will reap positivity. Other reward ideas can include ‘most improved employee’ and ‘top achiever’. In conjunction with having rewards comes positive reinforcement. For employees, being told you’re doing well at a specific job role or have made a good impression can give them the added reassurance they need. Knowing a manager is impressed will ultimately increase enthusiasm and work rate. Positive reinforcements cost nothing, so make sure your employees know they’re valued. Page 36
Opportunities For many employees, knowing there are opportunities to progress within the company will not only mean they’re likely to stay for many years but will also fuel their drive to work hard. Promotions are both signs of showing an employee has impressed you but also shows that you have recognised their hard work; and for an employee this is all you can ask for. Being catered for If your business attends corporate events, take the time to treat them when it comes to eating out. Small additions like supplying food and drink can make employees feel not only special, but like an A-list star. George’s Kitchen supply premium style food to corporate events, ensuring your business eat the best of the best. Team evenings Much like rewards, team evenings are very popular. It’s a great way to catch up outside of work and as a result the office moral can drastically increase. If your business does not have team meetings, it’s well worth organising. If you do, try to mix up the outings. Most companies will go for a drink on Friday’s, but why not do something different? A simple Google will show you a range of ideas you can run past your colleagues and potentially lead to everyone having more fun. This will then lead back to employee happiness and enthusiasm. If you would like more information about corporate catering, visit www.georgeskitchen.co.uk
Are you a service based online business who is just starting or just entered the direct sales business such as ThirtyOne? Schedule a complimentary call today to get help to make that money and your business successful. http://bit.ly/sassycomplimentary
WHY YOUR TEAM NEEDS EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Freddie Parry-Jones, Product & Training Consultant, JCA Global
“Talent wins games, but intelligence and teamwork wins championships” – Michael Jordan The importance of teams is unquestionable in today’s multifaceted world. Achieving the right team dynamic can transform the efforts of individuals, creating positive results for the organisation. However, with teams comes a risk of a group dynamic that can hinder performance and reduce the satisfaction of individuals within the team. Collaboration and a synergistic way of working are the key to business growth and success and, when properly managed, a team can not only lead to more effective working and creativity but also bring out the unique and individual strengths of each member. Finding the correct dynamic of a team is not based on simply having the right mixture of talented individuals. It takes strategy, guidance, discipline, and above all, it needs Emotional Intelligence (EI). EI has been consistently linked with successful team performance at work. Teams have been shown to be more creative and productive when individuals are able to achieve high levels of collaboration, cooperation and participation. Page 39
However, when a team is operating at a low level of EI, group discussion is likely to be unbalanced and closed, leading to stifled creativity, hindered relationships and limited productivity. Some of the highest performing teams are those that have the capacity to handle conflict. Difficult conversations and challenging encounters often yield some of the most effective solutions, creative problem solving, and diversity of thought. Conflict therefore can be one of the greatest situations a team can encounter. Yet, when a team lacking in EI is faced with conflict it is likely to result in hostility, defensiveness, and minimal efficiency. Here are three areas you can focus on to raise the EI levels of your team to maximise performance and utilise potential: Positive attitudes Central to EI is Attitude towards oneself and others. Underlying attitudes manifest in all aspects of behaviour and it is no different when it comes to teams. The attitude of team members will considerably impact the overall unity and intentions of the team. For a team to adopt positive intentions it is important that values are stated and acted upon, respect is shown to all individuals and support is given. Positive intentions are critical for reducing defensive behaviours and motivating individuals. Shared purpose A team where individuals feel a sense of acceptance and have a shared sense of purpose will be more likely to be motivated and engaged in tasks. The team is likely to be more committed, perform effectively and achieve what it sets out to do. Individuals that believe in the team, will work for the good of the team and have confidence in what the team can achieve. An atmosphere of openness A lack of trust and openness is a significant cause of failure for teams. It is important to keep people informed, encourage the expression of feelings, share information and provide constructive feedback. Focusing on these things as a priority, helps teams to find solutions to problems rather than placing the blame on others. An affirmative and open environment increases accountability and transparency, thus helping the team to achieve what it sets out to do. While a team may still cooperate and participate when Emotional Intelligence is absent, developing it improves effectiveness and productivity. Placing a focus on these three key areas will help to develop a team’s Emotional Intelligence and will create a more positive team dynamic. Even small changes in these areas can contribute to helping to build trust, interpersonal understanding and a sense of group identity – ultimately bringing about noticeable changes to the team. Teams are at the very foundation of an organisation. Investing in, and creating an awareness around, the EI of teams is crucial for not only the organisation as a whole but the wellbeing and development of individuals. Placing this focus on EI, will improve a team’s ability to think creatively, engage in conflict and collaborate effectively and it is therefore essential to organisations that are striving to achieve and succeed in a transformative time. JCA Global is a world leader in applied Emotional Intelligence in the workplace. www.jcaglobal.com Page 40
HOW TO STOP COMPLAINTS AND MAKE YOUR HOTEL OR B&B WIFI AN ASSET By Dave Millett, Equinox NOT A PROBLEM Are you running a hotel, a small cosy B ‘n’ B? Or do you want to expand an Airbnb business? If so it’s time well spent to think about the role your telecoms can play in attracting more customers to your accommodation. Although location and price are clearly important when booking accommodation, clients also consider the facilities – and right at the top of that list is WiFi. Scroll though reviews on TripAdvisor, Expedia, Trivago and similar sites and you’ll see that reviews frequently the mention the WiFi – especially if it is poor or expensive. Whether travelling for business or leisure, people expect a quality Internet connection. Unfortunately, too many hotels and B ‘n’ Bs believe all they need is a standard broadband connection. They are missing a trick. Let’s start by considering what happens during and after a stay at a hotel with unreliable connectivity. Complaints “I’ve paid £XXX for this room and I’m struggling to send an email!” Elsewhere for Dinner If they cannot work in their room, they probably cannot work in the bar/restaurant either, because it’s on the same connection. So, they’ll head off to where they can get a decent connection. The hotel loses valuable food and beverage revenues. Will they stay again? Unless they have no choice, the chances are slim that they will stay again. More lost revenue. Reviews The number one complaint about hotel rooms is the lack of free WiFi. Most people check review sites when considering purchases and we use them to help make decisions. More and more people are happy to complain nowadays, whether via social media or using review sites. Poor reviews impact revenue. Decent Wifi isn’t expensive For any telecoms investment, don’t just look at the cost. Consider how many more rooms per night, or restaurant covers, have to be sold to cover the costs. How likely is it that the investment will help with the additional sales you need to make? Page 41
We recently upgraded the internet connection for a hotel that previously had a broadband connection. To pay for this, they needed to increase their occupancy levels by 0.2% or sell two more room bookings over the year. Why do calls made from your room cost so much? The traditional view is that calls made from your room will be expensive. This means people don’t use their room phone and the hotel misses out on revenue. This is circular; the hotel doesn’t invest in new technology because the phone system is considered an expense and doesn’t bring revenue, people don’t use the phone because… round it goes! Let’s look at the options. Sweating the assets It makes sense to get maximum benefit from all investments, so we understand why hotels keep a phone system for as long as it continues to work. However, there are costs being incurred and opportunities missed when doing this. Legacy Equipment Phone systems over 5 years old, and definitely those over 10 years old, lack an upgrade path and so have to have inbound lines to receive calls. A recent analysis of a hotel’s calls showed 17,000 inbound calls a month, adding up to £120 a month. Their outbound calls, to landlines and mobiles, added up to a similar value. Between them, that’s £3,000 per annum of cost because the phone system couldn’t be upgraded to use SIP connections that provide free calls inbound and outbound. Legacy phone systems also lack the ability to offer additional services to guests. Imagine being able to offer free calls to guests. Mobile signals are often poor in hotel rooms (due to the construction of the building) so, particularly, business people struggle to work effectively. If the hotel is in a rural location (getaway retreats with spas, for example), the mobile signal may be poor anyway, and then you factor in the building structure’s impact on the signal, making it even worse. Free calls could be a powerful marketing tool. You will probably want to charge for international calls, but they would still be far cheaper than normal. Meeting rooms often generate considerable revenues for hotels. Being able to offer conference calls in meeting rooms would be an added value that will attract additional bookings. It’s a big capital expenditure, isn’t it? Usually for a new phone system around a third-half the cost is for handsets. However, most room handsets can be used when attached to a new PBX. They don’t need to be replaced. The handset on reception and in the offices may well be replaced to provide additional functionality but that’s a relatively small amount. Recent projects suggest £15-20K would provide a new phone system for a hotel up to 200 rooms. Just on the call savings above, it will take 5 years to repay the investment. That’s without the boost for marketing and revenues generated by happy customers. Page 42
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR TELECOMS AND WHAT IMPACT WILL THIS HAVE ON CUSTOMERS? By Dave Millett, Equinox Some of the UK’s largest telecoms operators have reported poor results over the last few months. There is a rising numbers of acquisitions and consolidations. What does this mean for customers for whom telecoms are so vital? BT’s announcement, in early May, of a drop in profits and 13,000 redundancies illustrates the challenges the larger operators are facing as they try to compete on multiple fronts. Since Nov 2015 its share price has fallen 60% from £5 to just over £2. That is the equivalent of wiping £30 billion off its market value. They are expecting this year’s profits to fall again, and chief executive Gavin Patterson has finally been removed by shareholders. TalkTalk has fared even worse, with its share price dropping 70% in the past three years. Very recently the company announced a loss of £73 million against a profit of £70 million the year before. At the same time, it announced it was pulling out of its direct B2B operations by selling it to Daisy. This means TalkTalk will now be focusing on the lower margin residential sector and its channel business. While these two companies have seen their share prices fall, during the same period the FTSE 100 has risen by over 15%. Dixons Carphone has also said it will close nearly 100 Carphone Warehouse stores after its profits fell from £501 million to £382 million with the expectation of it falling again this year, to £300m. This was in part blamed on customers switching to sim only deals, away from longer contracts with handsets. People’s habits are certainly changing – the number of texts messages has fallen by about 40% in the last four years. The rise of internet-based solutions (SIP and VoIP) has eaten into the traditional systems revenues of companies. New companies have entered the market more easily than before representing a near perfect storm for the older companies. Any marketing person worth their salt will know of Kotler’s product life cycle curve. See below:
Kotler’s states that as a product matures, suppliers need to change behaviours and market dynamics change. The challenge for the larger established suppliers is that many products are in maturity (mobile, traditional broadband) or even decline (PBX, ISDN, SMS). Even newer products such as VoIP and SIP are now no longer taking business away from legacy products, instead customers who already have the technology are changing suppliers. The market is certainly displaying consolidation characteristics (see the end of the curve in the diagram) with a number of recent major acquisitions affecting some of the largest suppliers of traditional PBXs: Mitel was sold to private investors for about $2bn. Over previous years Mitel had grown by acquiring competing PBX suppliers such as Inter-Tel, Aastra, Toshiba and ShoreTel. Mitel said the main reason announced for the sale is that it would provide the company with additional flexibility to accelerate its move-to-the-cloud strategy. This could be interpreted as an acceptance that revenues decline in the short term as you move from capital sales to recurring licence-based models. That was certainly something that was an issue for Nortel in the mid 2000s. The company that ending up buying the PBX business of Nortel was Avaya. This year they emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy having cleared a lot of private equity debt - and one of the first things they did was acquire Spoken Communication, a Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solution provider that uses artificial intelligence to improve real-time customer management. Finally, Cisco bought Broadsoft which was perhaps the biggest strategic change. Broadsoft is the most popular VoIP platform in the world and used by many providers in the UK and internationally. In other words, a traditional hardware company has bought the largest cloud-based company. That is the common theme here which reflects the transformation that is happening and driving down the revenues of traditional telecoms suppliers. Other acquisitions, of perhaps less well-known companies, such as Jive by Logmein and Polycom by Plantronics all reflect this move. There is also consolidation at the lower end with the industry publications reporting new acquisitions on an almost monthly basis. Will this mean less choice for customers? Does less competition mean rising prices? At the moment, the latter is less likely as the problem for the existing suppliers is that cheaper or free alternative technologies are replacing existing ones; think Whatsapp instead of SMS. That hit revenues for mobile operators from texting, picture messaging and roaming. Alternative charging mechanisms are appearing for relatively new products such as SIP. Customers will always want things cheaper, but this has a downside which will hit customers in the coming years; as a country we need massive investment in our telecoms infrastructure including 5G and ultrafast broadband. Currently, that investment comes from the industry out of the profits it makes – but with these in decline who will fund the investment now? The chancellor wants the UK to be fully ultrasfast by 2033, yet Japan and South Koreas are almost there already. So, we’ll be 15 years behind other countries – this will impact our economy, jobs, exports and the UK’s ability to compete internationally. This is especially worrying at a time when we’re trying to attract investment and trade from outside Europe. Unfortunately there’s no obvious easy solution. However, the industry has outlasted many others. It has shown its ability to evolve – even if not every supplier can. Page 44
ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR GETTING AUDIENCE APPLAUSE FOR YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS PRESENTATION Helena Brewster, Toastmasters International
We all know how easy it is to upload video from our smart phones; moving from social to business use means looking much more carefully at the process. When you are presenting a professional webinar, hosting a virtual meeting or having an on-line interview, you want to look and sound your best most professional self. Here are points to help you get ready to star on the small screen. What will be seen behind you? Whenever possible a clean background is best. If you work in an office surrounded by glass, it can be distracting to have people walking behind you when you are delivering your presentation or pitch. If it’s a virtual interview, definitely clear up the clutter and check what photos etc. are visible. You need ample lighting for your face, particularly if your background is very bright (it will obscure your face) or the room is dingy. Does any of the lighting cast shadows on the wall behind you? If it does, change this. Sitting comfortably? If you are delivering a webinar you will be sitting in the same chair for at least an hour. Ensuring you are comfortable; good back support will help. Consider the position of your laptop or camera in relation to where you are sitting. Movement is tricky, if you lean forward towards your camera, the audience will get an unexpected close-up. Do you swivel your chair or touch your glasses? Habits like these seem small, but they can easily become distracting for the audience. Page 45
Can everyone hear? This is the biggest issue when delivering online. You need to check in with your online audience and determine that they can hear you. You don’t want to be battling with software and, the audience doesn’t want to fight to hear you. To avoid background noise from attendees mute the audience if you can. If not, encourage them to mute themselves. There may be times when, despite all the checks, the signal just isn’t good enough. Be prepared to redeliver key points when you recap. Get familiar with the tech. Practice your online presentation with a test session. If you are handling technical aspects, it’ll give you one less concern when you are delivering. For webinars, definitely consider recording and watching the test session. You can use this to make any necessary changes. Also, if you have technical problems on the day, you can always use this version to send out to the attendees of your webinar if required. Who gets an introduction? If someone has booked to attend your webinar, they may have done so for several reasons; you’re an industry expert, your webinar has been recommended, or they liked the subject matter of your webinar. It’s likely every attendee will have a different entry reason. Providing a brief introduction about you and the purpose of the webinar helps settle the attendees. If you have over 20 attending, it may not be possible for everyone to introduce themselves. If it is a business meeting, a small conference or an interview, it is definitely worth knowing who else is there. Allow time for simple introductions. First impressions Just like meeting people face to face, you have to look the part; your appearance matters. Being well groomed will help you and your confidence, particularly in an interview situation. Clothes, hair, beard etc. should be neat, tidy and professional. Consider how to take the shine from your forehead, taking out redness from the face or concealing dark circles under the eyes. The camera picks up all those blemishes and to you, they will seem to be magnified and you will focus in on them. Be confident and use makeup if it helps. The notes/ no notes dilemma. Try to avoid reading from notes. You will look down and your audience will have a great shot of the top of your head. If the notes are on screen, the movement of your eyes will look odd. All the warmth you will have generated will be lost as you are more likely to come across as stern and robotic. Know your presentation inside out, so that you appear natural. Having prompt cards with key words on that you can glance at can help if you feel you need some additional reminders. How about using post-it notes on the side of your screen? You can see them, but the audience can’t. Question time. Be prepared to answer questions. Some systems allow attendees to message you rather than interact vocally. How will you manage this? You may want to consider having support to deal with the online questions as they arise. You can have some standard responses ready which you can add into your webinar as you go along. If you are managing the live stream and the questions by yourself, pause after key points check in with the audience that they are following you. This is a good time to ask for questions, which you can then be addressed before you move on.
Time to begin. Â Begin on time. Greet your audience, colleagues or potential employer with a smile. All the skills that you have developed presenting in person apply here too. You have to engage your audience to ensure they receive your message. A mic or headset may be required, and if you are waving your hands about, you may knock this. So, endeavour to keep your hands out of shot, if need be, sit on them. Be aware of your none verbal communications, your eye contact, body language and facial gestures; they all come into play. Allow the best of your personality to shine through.
If you cover these points not only will you boost your confidence in using the technology you will come across as an expert professional in your field. Whether you are promoting your business on YouTube, delivering training via webinars or hosting online meetings you can shine from the small screen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Helena Brewer is from Toastmasters International, a not-for-profit organisation that has provided communication and leadership skills since 1924 through a worldwide network of clubs. There are more than 400 clubs and 10,000 members in the UK and Ireland. Members follow a structured educational programme to gain skills and confidence in public and impromptu speaking, chairing meetings and time management. To find your nearest club, visit www.toastmasters.org @Toastmasters @ToastmastersUKI
ONLINE BUSINESS SUCCESS – 7 TOP TIPS Ecommerce is a big market and setting up an online business can seem attractive for many reasons but it can be fraught with challenges. Unfortunately, having a great idea and business plan isn’t enough to grow a successful online business. Having grown Your Print Partner from a £40k investment to become one of the UK’s biggest fabric print providers with sales over £3m a year, I’ve learnt a thing or two about creating a successful online business along the way. Here are some of my top tips: Who’s your target market? Knowing your target market is useful for just web development and much more. Making the most of your marketing and advertising spend relies heavily on well-defined target markets. For example, we used targeted advertising on Facebook across all of our target segments to understand which group had the most interest in actually buying. Product sourcing is also informed by your customer segments. If you know that your main customer segment is mums with young children, you can find gifts for kids to appeal to that group. Top Tip: Use available research to develop your customer segments and then test using digital advertising to quickly gain granular detail about each group. Page 48
Is your site user-friendly? Surprisingly, many ecommerce sites are difficult and frustrating to use. They seem to focus on design, branding and ‘cool’ functionality, rather than focusing on what’s important and useful for the customer. For example, some sites really do make the ordering process so difficult that the customer abandons their basket. The problem gets worse when you consider that most shopping is now completed on a mobile device. Resource-intensive plugins and a clunky user interface can make ordering personalised and customisable products slow and difficult while hogging data. Top Tip: Develop a mobile-first website using lightweight plugins or native interfaces to provide a smooth, user-centric platform. Make your ads clear There is a lot to separate good ads from bad. Online advertising can be expensive, especially in the run-up to key shopping seasons, so it’s important to maximise your ROI. Again, testing is important, but you need to start with clear ad copy and imagery. Stock photography and vague text will be quickly dismissed and your investment wasted. Copy and imagery need to work together to quickly inform the customer: what the product is, who it’s for and the price. Of course, the product also needs to be in stock, so it’s important to link your ads to live stock info. Using this approach, we managed to achieve a conversion rate of 3.6% over the Christmas season on Facebook. Top Tip: Take time to understand the possibilities around online ads. Each platform has different rules and options – the best ROI can be achieved by developing the right combination of settings, targeting, copy and video/imagery. Layout and photography Getting the photography right is just as important for your actual website. A lot of websites use images of products on a white background. While this does make it clear what the product is and what’s included, it doesn’t help sell the product. Christmas for example: would you be more inspired by images of a gift against a white background, or of kids playing with the product in front of the Christmas tree? Lifestyle shots, where the product is being used in situ, activate the imagination and stir-up emotions. Customers are then better able to make the choice to purchase based on both rational and emotional reasoning. Page 49
Top Tip: Lifestyle shots sell the dream; white backgrounds can help sell the product. Use a combination of both for best effect, but always lead with the lifestyle shots. Competitions drive traffic Another way to driving traffic to your new website is by running regular competitions, especially on social media. For example, we emailed customers asking them to share a picture of their purchase on Facebook and tag our page. Their friends quickly became aware of us and began using our service and entering our competitions, growing awareness exponentially for a relatively low cost. Again, knowing your target audience and which segment you want to entice to your website is particularly useful when selecting a prize. The prize needs to be relevant to people who have already purchased your products, but also attract those who haven’t used your website before. Alternatively, you could offer a voucher as the prize, attracting all of your target segments. Top Tip: Make your competitions relevant and specific to the platform where it will run. Photos and videos work well on Facebook and Instagram, for example, whereas Twitter entries could be more text-based. Developing solid partnerships If you want to achieve rapid growth, it’s worth developing solid partnership with business partners and resellers. Resellers, in particular, tend to have established brands and customer bases. By becoming their go-to supplier, you tap into their existing market, growing your sales volume dramatically. The most important thing to remember is that resellers value is created through their brand, so they are very protective about it. As such, you need to help maintain or enhance their reputation by delivering outstanding service. Products and delivery need to be reliable and high-quality, while your team need to be flexible when responding to requests. If you can solve a partner’s challenges, they will love you for it! Top Tip: It can be especially helpful to invite resellers to come and see your products first-hand so they understand exactly what they’re selling and are reassured of the quality. Customer service – keep it local Many online businesses outsource their customer support to somewhere cheap like the Philippines and rely solely on web chats and email to manage support tickets. This may be cheaper but it’s likely to frustrate your customers and partners if they can’t reach someone with the power to actually do something. In our sector, many customers have very short lead-times, so waiting on a reply to an email will cause anxiety around delivery times. Page 50
Local customer service may cost more, but customers will feel reassured that any issues will be resolved quickly and easily, and that they will receive their purchase in the expected time-frame. Top Tip: Don’t assume that everyone wants web-based help. Make your phone number prominent on your website and staff your phones to ensure quick, easy resolution to any customer issues. You’ll also get valuable feedback that you can use to improve your service.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Stuart Maclaren is the award-winning Managing Director of The YPP Group, a leading name in the UK wide-format print sector. Your Print Partner (YPP) is a specialist digital print company producing flags, banners, exhibition displays and other promotional products. The company is recognised as the UK’s largest producer of soft signage. YPP is now launching CustomGifts.co.uk an exciting new brand that will supply year-round high quality personalised printed gifts with late ordering and next-day delivery. http://yourprintpartner.co.uk/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YourPrintPartnerLtd Twitter: https://twitter.com/YPPproducts LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/your-print-partner
TAKING YOUR STARTUP IDEA FROM DREAM TO REALITY
By João Gouveia, Founder of INIU
In a market that’s constantly shifting with trends that change rapidly (and often irreversibly), starting out can be beyond confusing. So, I’ve tried to whittle it down so that if your dream is to start your own health food or beverage brand, then you can gain from my hard-won experiences staring INIU. Here are seven areas to focus on 1. The big idea Define your ‘what’ and more importantly identify your ‘why’. The ‘what’ is usually the easy bit, but the ‘why’ is the critical part as this will form the basis of your brand story and the passion that drives you forward. My “what” is simple – fresh juice. My “why” was around wanting to be healthy, not having to spend endless hours shopping, and avoiding being stuck in the kitchen combining ingredients to make this fresh juice for me and my family. I set out to create a product that solved a problem that affected me directly; a case of scratching your own itch. . What’s important though is that I then asked, “why keep this idea small?” Don’t stop at ‘what’ and ‘why’ – take it further. Ask where and when. How big can your idea get? For example, I wanted to think globally because as a father of four I can’t help but think about the future. And I’m aware of the impact at various levels that the processed foods and livestock farming industries have on our health and the health of our planet. Now you have your ‘where’ (e.g. globally) you also need your ‘when’; in the near or the distant future? How soon do you want to make this a reality? How soon can you take the first steps, then the second… Finally, are there new markets you push into in the future? For example, with INIU, we can tackle snacking. Forget thinking big, start thinking huge. Once you have your what, why, where and when – ask yourself, “what would just one step before that huge idea look like? And one step before that?” And so on. With these answers you’ll have created your plan. Page 52
2. Is there a market for my product? The only way you’re going to figure this one out is via testing. Test your idea or product on as many different and diverse people as possible. To find out whether other people will enjoy it and hopefully want to buy it, you need to have them taste it and then, all importantly, you must to absorb that feedback. Even with a small initial test-group, if people like it and want to buy it, you could have yourself a market. That’s when it’s time to widen the net, start testing larger focus groups (people that aren’t your friends) and creating incrementally larger quantities of the product to get it into people’s hands. Investing in market research is an investment in the fine-tuning of your product. Everything from public demand and target markets to key geographical locations can come from market research and should then all be filtered down into your eventual marketing plan. Don’t forget also to research your competition so you truly understand the market. 3. You had a great product idea, now what? Once you‘ve validated your idea you need to turn it into a product, and that means figuring out how and where to produce it. In our case, getting the recipes right required working with several professional nutritionists. They can help you balance ingredient combinations so that they not only taste great but are also good for you. Engage experts to help you – even if you think you have the knowledge in-house, bringing external expertise into the process is a good idea; you don’t know what you don’t know! Then find a production facility that can make your product – you want one that has the capacity to scale-up as your business grows. 4. Create a brand “Brands exist as a means of communicating what to expect from a product or service - or to highlight the family likeness between different products and services.” - Richard Branson in Business Stripped Bare You’re not just launching another drink or food item to the market, you are launching a new brand with its own identity. It's important to start thinking about this at an early stage, and to trademark it so that no copycats are able to steal the results of your hard work. Part of your brand identity should be knowing what makes you different to (and hopefully better than) everything else out there. This differentiation will be vital to targeting your chosen consumers. Your brand, its story and its potential are all part of the product that they’re buying into. Initially your resources will not be massive, so you need an effective way to reach your target market. Work with ambassadors and influencers that truly believe in your product, treat your loyal customers well and nurture that special relationship with them so that they become brand ambassadors themselves, sharing your brand message all over social media. It’s true that there’s no better marketing than word of mouth. However, that doesn’t mean that a single penny you put into traditional digital and print marketing would be wasted. Look at options for PR, social media, blogging, YouTube, paid advertising and exhibitions. Page 53
5. Make sure you stand out As a consumer’s first impression of your product, your packaging plays a vital role in making your brand recognisable. It needs to stand out from your competitors. Your product’s packaging reflects who you are as a brand; it’s your voice, style and individuality. While initially you might be tempted to DIY your packaging, I would strongly advise against it. Get it done professionally and you’ll look professional; be sure to work and keep working with the designers until you’re genuinely happy with the result. Be practical and make sure your packaging is robust, especially if you will be sending it to customers by post. Also for food products how the product interacts with the packaging is very important. Then it’s back to the focus groups, friends, existing customer base, social media AB testing and market research. Test your design out for 12 months or so and be prepared to redesign after that if you (or your advisors) feel it needs it. 6. The business Make sure you crunch your numbers well. Work out your pricing and be certain you have factored in all your possible costs and margins. You don’t want to price yourself out of the market, but you also don’t want to price yourself out of making money. Do the maths – then do them again. To attract retailers you need a clear, definable USP. Leveraging customer feedback and demonstrating demand will also improve your chances of bagging a retail contract. The product is the main attraction, but it needs an audience to get a platform. Retailers need to be confident that it will sell – not just take up valuable space on their shelves. Although you’re not going to be able to tackle multiple sales channels at first, keep your options open and make careful strategic decisions on which to tackle first. As tempting as the retailer route may be, you have to consider the time it takes to negotiate these contracts and the facilities needed to meet their volume demand. There may be other channels you can pursue, including direct to consumer, that will still get your product out there. Your business will not survive without cashflow, so make sure to calculate your outgoings and ensure they won’t squash your ability to generate revenue. While you don’t expect to turn a profit immediately, you need to plan your financials as if your survival depends on it, because it does. 7. Last but not least: surround yourself with a great team “No individual can win a game by himself.” – Pelé This cannot be said enough. If you try do it all on your own, it will not only take you longer, but each struggle will be tougher, and you’ll soon find yourself second guessing each decision. The key to scaling up quickly is utilising the experience, knowledge and innovation of others. Find people that are passionate about the brand, are highly skilled, and above all have an incredible work ethic; they will need it – and you will need them. Look for people who are different from you, and have complementary skills. Don’t try to find another you. look instead to the gaps you have. With a great team you can get the show on the road! You can work together to make things happen, adapt when necessary and move towards and exciting future. Page 54
INTERVIEW WITH NISHA MENON Name: Nisha Menon Business Name: Nikasu Foods UK Ltd Industry: Food manufacturing Tell us about your business Our Award winning factories in India have been manufacturing authentic Indian Frozen & dry snacks for over 2 decades. Now we are launching an exciting range of Pulled Jackfruit products as a replacement of Pulled pork for vegans and vegetarians. Why did you decide to start your business? I completed my Medical Microbiology degree and worked with BT until my daughter was born. My parents then advised me to set up my office here to manage the business so that I have a work- life balance around my family. That's when Nikasu UK was born. Page 55
Did you run into any difficulties along the way? As any startup, I came across many difficulties from the beginning. Running a business in the UK was completely new to me as I never thought of getting into business. I was always a 9-5 person. I attended many HMRC and UKTI seminars to gain knowledge and did lots of google research about setting up a business, attended lots of networking events to meet similar entrepreneurs, faced many rejections from shops and wholesalers to stock our products. Those days I didn't even know the designation of the person whom I need to contact for listing our products with the retailers. Gradually learnt that they can be Procurement Manager, Buying Manager, Sourcing Manager etc - For different categories, they can be different people who also keep changing quite often!! How do you "switch off" from your business when you are having self-care? I go out with my family on holidays, do girls day out with my friends, watch movies etc What is the best thing about having your own business? Flexibility and being your own boss, of course!! What is the worst thing about having your own business? You are always multi-tasking & juggling around your family. Unlike a 9-5 job where you can switch off after 5pm, running a business is a 24/7 job 365 days a year. What support have you had along the way? My parents and husband has been always a huge huge support!! Who has been your inspiration and why? My dad who started this 20 years ago is always an inspiration. All the successful businesses who started small inspires me to move forward- like Innocent, Pip& Nut, Vita Coco Where do you hope to see your business in the future? Now with the Jackfruit products launching in the next few months, I am very excited about the future. I am looking forward to launching Pulled Jackfruit into the retailers and food service so that its a healthy plant based meat alternative for the vegans and vegetarians. What tips would you give to someone who is just starting out? If you are really passionate about your idea or business, just move forward completely expecting a roller coaster ride in your path. That will prepare you to face and defend everything that comes your way. You will gradually grow stronger ready to face the battles.! At the end of all this, you will definitely see the RESULTS!
GET TO KNOW: RESHMA FIELD NAME: Reshma Field BUSINESS NAME: Swindon Will Writing INDUSTRY: Legal Tell us about your business I draft Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and advice on inheritance Tax. Why did you decide to start your business? I started my business about three years ago when my family relocated back to Swindon. I had previously been a solicitor and a partner in a law firm in Kent so when we moved I had the opportunity to step away from corporate life and do something for myself. It also gave me the freedom to work the hours I wanted and spend more time with my children. I've found that work/life balance and I'm loving it! Did you run into any difficulties along the way? Oh yes! I am a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to technology so things like setting up a website and using social media have been a steep learning curve for me. I do enjoy the social media side of things now and blogging etc and I've even started doing some vlogs and set up my own YouTube channel for the business! So I've come a long way from being pretty clueless about this sort of thing when I first started out! How do you "switch off" from your business when you are having self-care? I'm not sure I ever do entirely switch off but I do make sure I have one day a week where I do no work and spend time with the family. Walking the dog and running also helps to clear my mind. What is the best thing about having your own business? Being my own boss most definitely. I dictate what I do, how I do it and when I do it. There's nothing better! What is the worst thing about having your own business? I'm struggling with this one! I suppose not having a secretary or VA at the moment so the admin can be quite time consuming. What support have you had along the way? I've had so much support from my family, my husband in particular. I've also met some amazing friends through networking who have helped me in so many ways over the course of the last three years. It's great when small business owners support each other and encourage each other along the way. Who has been your inspiration and why? My children and my husband. I have a strong work ethic and I want to set an example for my children and show them that you can be successful if you put in the hard work and are determined to succeed. Where do you hope to see your business in the future? I have a five year plan. My main aim at the moment is to be present and available to my children as they go through their GCSEs. After that, I will be growing the business as I can then shift the focus onto expanding and growing organically. Page 57
ADVERTISE WITH US
If you want to advertise with Empowered Business Magazine send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org for details or find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/empoweredmagazine
In this issue, we have our fantastic cover star Holly Wade who shares her amazing tips on stress, Tim Shank writes his first column for us a...
Published on Jul 20, 2018
In this issue, we have our fantastic cover star Holly Wade who shares her amazing tips on stress, Tim Shank writes his first column for us a...