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Author Archives: Trevor

6 Influential Women

6 Influential Women Of Our Time

Trevor No Comments

March is Women’s History Month, and we’ve decided to celebrate it by recognizing some of the most influential women of the century!

From business to politics and sustainability, these women come from all paths of life and corners of the world to tell the same story. Through their work they inspire us to break the stereotypes and treat everyone and everything fairly and with respect.

  1. Michelle Obama – Former U.S. First Lady

    Source: TheSource.com

    Source: TheSource.com

 Michelle dedicated her time at the White House to fight child obesity, promote food security in the USA, give military veterans a proper reintegration and encourage the young to pursue higher education. Thorough her many programs she also launched the “Let Girls Learn” program along President Obama to help girls from all around the world get proper education.

“There is no limit to what we as women can accomplish” (YourTango.com)

 

  1. Malala Youzafsi – Pakistani Blogger, Women & Girl Rights Activist
Source: Theodysseyonline.com

Source: Theodysseyonline.com

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala was shot by the Taliban in 2012 for defending women’s right to education. Today she studies, writes and advocates to ensure that women around the world get a proper education. At her young age this Pakistani heroine has created an education fund (Malala Fund), raised awareness against women oppression, help refugees in the Middle East and had a book published.

“When the whole world is silent even one voice becomes powerful” (BuzzFeed.com)

 

 

  1. Wangari Maathai – Kenyan Activist and Ecologist
Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai

Wangari was a true African heroine. She paved the way for other African females when she became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and get a PhD in Biological Sciences. Wangari was also recognized for her great contributions to sustainability and democracy. She defended democracy in Kenya and founded the Green Belt Movement, which led to the plantation of over 30 million trees all over Africa.

“Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven’t done a thing. You are just talking.” (omgvoice.com)

  1. Yulia Marushevska – Ukrainian Civil Servant & Anticorruption Activist
Source: ccdrl.fsi.stanford.edu

Source: ccdrl.fsi.stanford.edu

 

In 2014 she starred in the video “I Am a Ukranian” in response to the EuroMaidan protests against dictatorships in Ukraine. Since then she’s been fighting corruption and oppression and has made many public appearances speaking for egalitarian and fairness in government.

“Public servants have limited possibilities. Now we need to understand what we can change, and what we can’t.” (Kyivpost.com)

 

 

  1. Anastasia Lin – Chinese-Canadian Beauty Queen & Human Rights Activist
Source: alchetron.com

Source: alchetron.com

 

Banned from entering China in 2015, Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin has used this as motivation to fight for human rights and religious freedom. Speaking in the Geneva Summit and Oxford Union, Lin has made evident the oppression and torture that the Chinese people suffer. In her speeches, Lin has made a strong call to action to get the international community to fight against injustice and to put human rights before any monetary or economic interest. She insists that every person should be treated with respect and she just wants the Chinese people to be treated as fairly and just as any other person.

 

      6. Marissa Mayer – American CEO

Source: en.r8lst.com

Source: en.r8lst.com

Visionary Marissa Mayer is an acclaimed businesswoman in the USA. At a young age she became one of the first female CEOs leading a fortune 500 company and before she became Yahoo’s CEO she worked for Google where she helped develop many successful products and create the company’s current image. Apart from breaking stereotypes in the business world she did also in the tech world by graduating with a B.S. in symbolic systems and an MS in computer science and artificial intelligence (biography.com).

“If you push through that feeling of being scared, that feeling of taking risk, really amazing things can happen.” (likesuccess.com

 

Sources:

http://blackdoctor.org/483712/job-well-done-first-lady-16-accomplishments-of-michelle-obama/2/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/10/malala-nobel-peace-prize-winner-important_n_5965490.html

https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2004/maathai-facts.html

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2016/07/12/the-truth-about-yulia-marushevska-vs-the-western-media-version/comment-page-1/

https://www.kyivpost.com/special/yulia-marushevska-revolutionary-leader-embodies-hope-ukrainians-bright-corruption-free-future.html

http://www.biography.com/people/marissa-mayer-20902689#early-life

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Tips To Improve Customer Loyalty

Trevor No Comments

In an time where customer is “king” company’s must pay a more attention to the way  they treat, learn and engage with their customers.

To help you, we’ve put together a list of 10 tips that will guide your organization towards ultimate customer care, hoping you never loose a customer again!

  1. Make it Personal

Almost anyone who is in customer care will advise you to “get to know your clients.”

Showing authentic interest in their needs and developing client-centered solutions will make your clients feel they have a mutually benefiting relationship with your brand, which in turn will keep them always committed to you.

  1. Praise their loyalty

 When someone engages in a relationship with your brand, they trust you will value their choice.

If you haven’t done yet, build a loyalty program. Devote time and resources to thank your clients for trusting you and keep reminding them how important they are for your company.

Feeling appreciated is one of the greatest factors that make people come back to your company.

  1. Be Transparent

Loyalty is built on trust. That said, it is crucial that you always communicate to your clients the information that directly affects them.

If you are raising money, for example, tell them where the money is really going. If you are a distributor, be honest about who your providers are, etc.

Transparency is about being honest and delivering on your promises. And about being consistent on what you offer and what you actually do or give.

To communicate your decisions or results with clients, you can choose reports, social media, webpage or focus groups.

  1. Respond Kindly to Bad Reviews

 People can be rude when they are angry. The key is not to focus on the “bad language” but the actual problem that triggered it. try to leave your feelings out of the response.

Experts from the Entrepreneur.com, recommend that you answer promptly and politely and offer your assistance without “over promising”. Sometimes a nice “I’m here to assist you” will ease their anger and make them happy again.

  1. Take The Necessary Time to Help

If your client has a problem don’t rush it. Try to listen to what he/she needs and then do everything in your power to fix it (even when it doesn’t’ make sense or sounds very dumb).

People tend to feel more appreciated when you show true interest in fixing their problem than when you do something really fast but wrong.

So remember…. doing it right is better than doing it quick.

  1. Say Hello, Goodbye and Thank You

 Common courtesy shouldn’t be a thing of the past. When you greet someone kindly you instantly set the right tone and give way to the conversation that can lead to a relationship.

Thanking your customers for their business and wishing them well is also a great way to make them feel welcome and appreciated, making them more likely to come back.

  1. Follow-Up Constantly

 Clients like to know they’re on your mind and agenda. Try to follow up with them after a purchase or deal to see if they are pleased with their product/service, or if they need anything else to maximize their experience.

  1. Keep Learning From Your Clients

Although customer surveys can be a bit daunting, they are a great way to keep learning. Ask them how they feel with your current products/services, what they would like to see or get from you and even how their shipping experience was.

When clients are consulted they feel like an important part of your decision-making process and in turn more connected to your brand.

  1. Offer Solutions You Know They Need

 When talking to your clients don’t be afraid to offer solutions they didn’t ask for. Sometimes they are looking for something and they don’t know how to ask.

Offering solutions lets clients know you brand cares about their needs and is genuinely interested in serving them.

  1. Enjoy The Process

 Learning with and about your customers is a never-ending process that’s why you should find a way to make if fun.

If your resources allow plan fun focus groups or customer events. Innovate the way you conduct surveys, add creativity to how you approach or thank your clients!

It’s a job you must do, so why not enjoy it?

 

If you found this post helpful, please let us know in the comments!

10tips

10 Steps To An Organized Day

Trevor No Comments

Sometimes it can be really hard to stay focused and organized throughout the day. But it’s not impossible!

We’ve put together ten steps successful people use to get their days started, hoping they can help you deal with your day in a more relaxed, healthy and organized manner

  1. Plan your day the evening before

 To avoid stress in the morning, try to plan your next day before you go to bed. Check your calendar or email for any commitments and sketch your next day’s schedule.

This allows you to move things around, prepare yourself in advance and make the necessary arrangements so everything runs smoothly.

        2. Start your morning with a healthy ritual

Bembu, shares some really great morning rituals that can get you started on the right foot every day. Some of these include:

  1. Drinking a glass of warm water as soon as you wake up to restart the body and rehydrate all your internal systems.
  2. Start your day earlier to give body and brain time to fully wake up.
  3. Give yourself time to do some exercise (stretching, yoga, etc.) and some meditation/prayer before you start the day.
  4. Avoid heavy foods and stimulants (energy drinks) in the morning.

gmorn

  1. Eat a healthy and balanced breakfast

Whether you’re relaxed or extremely busy in the mornings…never skip breakfast!

Your glucose levels drop significantly during the night and if you don’t replenish them early in the morning you run the risk of running out of energy, feel light-headed, increase stress levels and decrease concentration.

Health.com has great insight on the topic and have great breakfast food suggestions for fast and slower lifestyles. They recommend oats, Greek yogurt, Fruit, eggs, almonds, cereals and whole-wheat products.

  1. Arrive to work a bit early

 Getting there early gives you time to settle, organize your tasks, read a little before it gets crowded and catch up on emails.

Leaving home early can also help you avoid traffic, which can decrease your stress levels.

Extremely busy for breakfast?? Try these smoothies from Domestic Geek

  1. Call for 5 minute “focus meetings”

 Good companies often have their employees working towards the same goal. Good communication is key not only to share strategies and timelines but also to connect with fellow workers and get everyone on the same page and mood.

The 5-minute catch-up can help you organize your entire department in a short and sweet manner.

  1. Use technology to your advantage

 Today there are many, many tools to help you organize your days. From Google Calendars to reminder apps to personalized agendas, the options are endless.

The key is to know yourself and adopt tools that meet your personal needs and those you’re in charge of.

Source: play.google.com

Source: play.google.com

  1. Take recreational breaks

 To stay focused it is good to give your brain a 15min break every 45 min. use this time to recharge, rest and refocus.

Amongst the many things you can do during break there’s reading, musical meditation, stretching, mind exercises, talking a walk or catch up with friends.

  1. Review your accomplishments before you leave work

 Before you leave, make sure you review your “task list” and see how far you got. Then reprioritize tasks and note down any meeting, deliverable or presentation you have for the next day.

Reviewing your accomplishments can also help you visualize your progress and reassess how you are managing your time and resources.

Read More: Make Work-Life Balance a Reality!
  1. Leave work at work

 After you leave work, make sure you don’t bring it with you. Check all your emails before you leave finish everything before you walk out and then forget about everything (unless you really have to work at home).

  1. Dedicate time to other activities that make you happy

 Waking up early and taking on the day with great determination depends a lot on how you feel inside, and how satisfied you feel with your life.

To feel good you need balance, you need things that make you feel alive and filled with purpose. So think about what you love to do and set sometime to do it! Even if its for 10 minutes every day. You can even mix your hobbies with your everyday duties to make them happen!

If you found this post helpful, let us know in the comments!

 

Build New Year resolutions (2)

Make Work-Life Balance a Reality

Trevor No Comments

An article from Forbes revealed that 94% of professionals clock more than 50 hours/week and some even jump to 65 just to meet work demands.

Countless factors such as unemployment, strict operation systems, and corporate climbing (amongst others) have made people addicted to work, leaving little space for friends, family and hobbies consequently hurting their mental and physical health.

To avoid becoming an unhealthy workaholic, health and profession experts have suggested many techniques but to make it easy I summarized them in 5 key points…

  1. Sort out your priorities

 Australian marketer, Nigel Marsh has spent seven years studying and writing about work-life balance. Through his research he found that most people suffer because they choose jobs and “dreams” that are not compatible with the life they actually lead.

If you were raising a young family, for example, it would be very hard to dedicate your full potential to a 65hr/week job.

Work-life balance, in turn, becomes a very personal choice and depends on what you value most and how much you’re willing to sacrifice to get it.

This does not mean, however, that you can’t work and be a parent or an entrepreneur at the same time. It means you must be willing to divide your potential between tasks and give each one the time it deserves to be done right (not perfect).

To hear Nigel Marsh’s complete TedTalk, watch this video…

                                                                                             

Source: GoodTherapy.org

Source: GoodTherapy.org

2. Don’t judge yourself too quickly

According to Marsh, you can’t expect to be balanced in a glimpse or live 365 balanced days. Instead, it is recommended to set clear goals and follow a realistic timeframe to achieve them.

Say you don’t have time for your hobbies (and that’s very important to you) you can slowly work towards getting a part-time job and then transform your hobby into an extra source of income. To do that you may need weeks even months, but knowing where you’re going keeps you motivated to work for it every day.

  1. Source: SalesFocus.inc

    Source: SalesFocus.inc

    Communicate and stick with your choices

 If you choose to work and lead a personal life, it is key to communicate your choices to those around you, so they know what to expect from you and vice versa.

Say you’re working part-time, for example, your boss must know that after 1pm she cannot expect you to do what you would from 8-12. Whatever you do, respect the time you spend on every activity and try to live the present. If you are at work, don’t distract yourself with outside things. And, if you are with your family don’t take away their time by checking emails or answering work calls.

  1. Realism vs. Perfectionism

 Usually we spend endless hours on something because we strive for perfection. To find your balance it is important to perform with quality but not obsess with the details.

An article from Forbes suggest you seek to delegate or outsource some activities so you can spend less time worrying about the mess (at the office or at home) and enjoy more of life.

Source: www.7cups.com

Source: www.7cups.com

  1. Take advantage of all your resources

To save up time, try to get help from the people and technology around you.

You can take meetings over Skype if you need to stay at home, or ask your neighbor to help you with carpool. If you are raising a young family seek “flex-schedules” options or go freelance.  When you are clear on how your balance look like it is easier to build a support system around it.

To conclude, it is fair to say that work-life balance is all about priorities, time management, communication and commitment! And it can be a reality for you if you are clear on what you want and you work every day towards it.

Do not expect to be balanced in one day but also do not wait to start living until retirement comes along!

New Year resolutions banner

Write New Year Resolutions That Stick!

Trevor No Comments

According to experts, New Year resolutions have an average life spam of three weeks. In the euphoria of the moment we set ourselves to achieve the impossible and more often than not we end up abandoning the dream before it even starts.

So, how can we set resolutions that actually “stick”? These 8 tips will get you started in the right direction…

  1. Readjust the purpose

Often, we fail to achieve our resolutions because we set them for the wrong reasons.

First we see them as “musts”, which, in turn, makes the thought daunting. To make it work, psychologists and coaches suggest you see resolutions as something you “want” or “desire” to accomplish. That way you don’t become a victim of the process but the pilot of your growth.

And second, we often see resolutions as “absolutes” and believe that unless we achieve them we won’t be beautiful or successful or good. Truth is, you are already worthy and achieving your goals will only help you grow but not become “more of a person”. When we grasp this truth, we accept the challenge in a more relaxed and optimistic attitude.

  1. Narrow down the list

Instead of creating a long and intimidating list of “must-achieves”, try to be efficient and focus on the 3-5 things that will make all the difference.

For example, instead of telling yourself to diet, run, and prepare healthy lunches for work…focus only on the running part until you master it… and then move on to the next step.

Trying to tackle too many things at once can burn you out and discourage you to a point you abandon it all together.

  1. Set a realistic pace

It is better to go slow but steady. Don’t push yourself to become “more organized” in one week. Or reach an impossible target in one month.

Change (if is going to be sustainable) takes time and it is different for everyone.

This year, for example, I told myself I was going to focus on three goals and I was planning to achieve them in 12 months. By giving myself one year to improve, I was allowing my mind, body and schedule to align and create a lasting strategy.

If you know two weeks is an unrealistic timeframe to reach that $1M deal, then give yourself more time. In the end getting there is what matters.

Read More: Start 2017 Successfully
  1. Don’t be afraid to readjust mid-way

Your resolutions will be as dynamic as you are. If you find in two months that you can’t commit to three calls a week with your long-distance clients, try to make that 1 call you can commit to the best quality call ever.

In the end resolutions are more about the objective than the tactic. As schedules get crazier and work gets harder, you can’t expect to run five times a week, yet you can still continue to improve your health using “in-office” exercise plans or by walking to work, etc.

  1. Create a friendly yet effective “accountability” system

Don’t be too harsh on yourself but don’t let yourself down either.

While some accountability systems are very precise (keeping track of your sales, weight or new client accounts), others can be more abstract. The key is to find one that keeps you motivated and pushes you without wearing you out.

Exercising with friends is a great one. Adopting a reward system could work as well. Imagine how great it would be to buy yourself a new laptop if you hit that sales target by the end of the trimester!

Be as creative as you want but make sure the system keeps you on the right track!

  1. “Dissect” your resolutions

Sometimes goals seem unachievable because we don’t really know what they actually mean or how to approach them.

Instead of telling yourself “I want to have better work-life balance”…ask yourself: what would be the best work-life balance look like? What characteristics does it have?

Based on your answers you can start thinking of the steps you must follow to achieve it and then plan an accountable strategy!

Knowing exactly what you want and how to get there will make the process clearer and easier to follow.

  1. Keep it hidden, keep it safe 

Have you every heard people say “if you say it, you may jinx it?”. Well, truth is, there are studies that prove this right. Experts suggest that people are less likely to complete a plan when they constantly share it.

And why is that? Well, according to Peter Shallard, the unconscious brain cannot distinguish between imagined success and real success…so when you share your plans with others your brain rewards you for that success and you feel amazing! This phenomena, however, makes you want to share it again and again before you actually do something about it. Simply, because sharing takes less energy than executing and pretty much has the same euphoric effect.

So bottom line…share less, do more!

      8. Enjoy yourself

And finally…have fun!

 Yes growth is supposed to hurt but it is also supposed to be exciting. And you can always make it as joyful as your creativity allows.

So dig deep, think outside-the-box and push your limits (in a healthy way). And remember to never be afraid to fall and try again! Learning is part of the game!

 

If you found this post useful, please let us know in the comments!

International Business Academy Guatemala How to gain an employees trust in 3 ways

How to Gain Employee Trust in 3 Ways

Trevor No Comments

Let’s face it, a company’s success relies on its employees. Without a fantastic team, success will fall behind. It’s easy to speak about successful teams, but the real value comes from building true teams across departments.

Here are three basic things to consider in order to build strong teams.

ONE: Transparency

Nothing is more noxious than smoke and secrets. When you are transparent with your employees or team members; work will get done more efficiently as doubt will not stifle productivity. Trust your team members with information, and be clear about what is expected of them and you will see your employee’s happiness level increase as well.

TWO: Clear KPI’s

As with the previous point, a clear expectation by establishing Key Performance Indicators early on will aid in team productivity. Either benchmark them, or create new ones to benchmark in the future. What’s important here is that these KPI’s are communicated to each of the team members so that they know what is expected of them; and in turn, how they can go above and beyond.

THREE: Voice

As with all happy relationships, communication goes both ways. It’s important to make your employees or team mates to feel like they have a voice. A voice that will allow them to voice their concerns, and also provide valuable data that will help improve processes or provide insight into aspects of the business that is only visible to the person executing the task.

 

With a start of a new year, this is the perfect time to start implementing these builds!

International Business Academy Guatemala | Starting 2017 Successfully

Starting 2017 Successfully

Trevor No Comments

The new year is upon us and with that it means that it’s time to set the goals we’ll accomplish in the next 365 days. Most New Year’s Resolutions are set at the beginning of the year, but are quickly forgotten in the next few weeks.

Since there are many facets to our lives, the best way to establish goals for the year is for each dimension. One for our business or work, one for personal achievement, one for the social landscape, one for our relationship dimension, etc. In order to ensure that we accomplish all our objectives, maybe what we need is a new perspective on New Year’s Resolutions:

1. 100 –Day Plan

First coined in Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930’s to measure the effectiveness of his presidency, it is now a commonly used milestone across presidencies in various countries. In the same manner, while setting your 2017’s goals consider what the milestone or short term goal will be on the first hundred days. By the time mid-April rolls by you will be able to feel a sense of accomplishment or make the necessary adjustments to put your objective back on track.

2. Declutter

Although a busy desk is a sign of a busy mind, it is always helpful to improve your workspace by decluttering. If there are papers and documents that are no longer needed, shred it. If you are doing this on a company wide scale, dedicate a big portion of a slow workday to throw out all irrelevant documents and files that are just taking up space.

3. Remove toxic people

If you wanted to fire somebody, stop delaying and do it while following legal procedure. This is also applicable for your personal life; if there is somebody that always strays you away from your goals negatively, it’s time to move away from therm.

Whichever your goal, this will be the year that you accomplish them all.

 

Sources: Entrepreneur, US News

screen-shot-2016-12-10-at-8-58-41-pm

The Skills To Have In This Era

Trevor No Comments

As the world enter the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, humans must adapt their skill sets to meet future demands. With robots threatening to take over our jobs, we’ve found ourselves in a position to “prove” our potential and to develop valuable competencies no robot could replicate.

Considering research from the World Economic Forum and LinkedIn, let’s take a look at 6 skills you must have to thrive in this era…

 

  1. Complex Problem Solving
problem-solving

Source: tonex.com

This skill comes hand in hand with human-centered R&D. According to LinkedIn, to solve complex problems you must learn to ask tough questions. Be quick and accurate when framing a problem and learn to evaluate multiple alternatives at the same time.

To solve these types of problems, however, solutions can’t stay on paper. You must prototype as you go and think ahead to be able to scale the solution.

  1. Critical Thinking
critical-thinking

Source: Global Digital Citizen Foundation

 We’ve heard so much of critical thinking. Yet, every day you see employees who can crunch the numbers but lack the ability to analyze them. Or people who can read an article but cannot associate the information to draw conclusions.

To think “critically”, individuals must be able to properly conceptualize, apply and evaluate information, to later build well-thought judgments that will guide their actions or beliefs.

To thrive, now we must learn to ask questions about what we do and why we do it. It won’t be enough to crunch the numbers, now we must to draw conclusions from our work and propose courses of action.

  1. Creativity
Source: University of Cambridge

Source: University of Cambridge

 This skill has been incredibly underrated in previous years. Often attributed only to artists and artisans, we lost the real meaning creativity and banished it from the workplace unconsciously.

To be creative in this era means to think outside the box and requires being able to craft many solutions to one problem and to gather information in the least conventional ways.

Creativity, in turn, comes hand in hand with education and eagerness to learn new concepts and not be afraid of failure. Creative individuals often see many possible courses of action for one issue; they are quick thinkers and can achieve a lot using very little.

With new technologies coming out and globalization knocking at our doors, companies need creative thinkers more than ever. And as the World Economic Forum puts it, “robots may help us get to where we want to be faster, but they can’t be as creative as humans (yet).

  1. People Management
Source: PRP Solutions

Source: PRP Solutions

 People management is all about empowering individuals to be the best version of themselves both professionally and personally.

To “manage” your people is to give them access to development opportunities that will unleash their potential and show them the best way to thrive. It is creating an atmosphere or culture that supports employees and challenges them to perform at their best.

Robots can’t yet listen to others and form critical judgment on how to help them thrive. They are not yet fully empathetic or have the ability to coach humans on how to unleash their top potential.

Companies, in turn, are looking for individuals that can transform their teammates into more productive people by effectively attending their human needs.

  1. Emotional Intelligence
Source: Sessioncam.com

Source: Sessioncam.com

 Many believe intellectual intelligence means everything and throw emotional intelligence under the bus.

Truth is, when things get complicated, no matter how smart someone is if that person can’t deal with his emotions, the entire project, task or negotiation can go down.

Emotional intelligence, however, goes beyond controlling your anger or depression. To have a high EQ means your able to detect, control and express your emotions freely. You are not a slave of “how you feel” and you can separate subjective from objective.

On top of this, emotionally intelligent people are able to build better interpersonal relations since they can detect, guide and influence other’s emotions as well as their own.

That said it is no surprise companies are going crazy for people with higher EQs. They want people who can build more objective judgments but won’t lose empathy for others.

       6. Service Orientation

Source: Hotelogix

Source: Hotelogix

 And finally, service. Companies are looking for people that can recognize and meet client’s needs even before clients express them.

These people must be always ready to help and able to draw quick conclusions based on observation and research.

Machines can help us deal with data more accurately but people still hold their place when it comes to “customer service”.

Sources:

  1. http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/766
  2. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/the-10-skills-you-need-to-thrive-in-the-fourth-industrial-revolution/
  3. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/skills-world-need-future-infographics-enrique-rubio

 

 

 

 

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Where To Do Business In 2017!

Trevor No Comments

Gathering information from the World Bank, Forbes, Telegraph and the World Economic Forum, we’ve shortlisted 5 countries you must pay attention to in 2017.

Expert economists ranked these countries as the most “business friendly” so far, based on factors such as tax regulations, corruption levels, investor protection, infrastructure, property rights, entrepreneurial opportunities, credit, solvency and trade.

So, without further due: 2017’s countries to watch…

  1. New Zealand

New Zealand has been chosen #1 by many economic entities due to its economic and political stability, lack of red tape, low corruption levels and close proximity to the Asian economies.

According to the New Zealand Government, incorporating a business in NZ takes only a day and registering property takes no more than two.

New Zealand ranked #1 for protecting minority investors in the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” in and is acclaimed for having an investor-friendly tax system that values capital development, international investment and research.

  1. Denmark

 Low corruption levels and high transparency rates make Denmark a very attractive country to invest in.

The World Bank considers Denmark one of the most business-friendly countries for its incredibly qualified work force, the ease to set up businesses and get work permits and it’s increased interest in clean technology.

Denmark is also offers great access to the European market, a great environment to develop as people, top-notch infrastructure and low corporate taxes compared to other nations in Europe.

  1. United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is an incredible hub for investors from all over the world. With a fast growing GDP, the World Bank considers the UK #7 in the Ease of Doing Business.

According to the report, the UK offers smooth service when dealing with construction permits, it offers great infrastructure for business, high protection to minority investors and a business-friendly tax system.

Recently, through the “UK Trade & Investment” report, the UK Government committed to creating the most competitive tax regime in the G20.

The UK also has a leading position when it comes to FDI and assisting new investors with market research, stakeholder management, industry alliances and building market share.

  1. Sweden

sweden-flag

Sweden is a great place to do business not only because it offers a great atmosphere to develop professionally and personally but also because it empowers entrepreneurs to innovate, research and develop.

Sweden offers low corporate taxes (22% on net profits), great infrastructure for business, ease to register property and it ranks #15 globally for starting a business.

Sweden is also the largest market in North Europe and, like Denmark; it is filled with a highly qualified workforce.

  1. Canada

canada-flag

 Canada offers it all: place where true life-work balance is possible, great opportunities to start your own business, financial and political stability and friendly tax systems.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ranked Canada’s workforces as the most highly educated amongst members of the OECD. And this, in turn, has attracted business from all over the world. Now Canada is working towards agreements that will give those who invest there, great access to both American and European markets.

Offering steady growth and few obstacles for investment, Canada has become one of the friendliest countries when it comes to business.

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.nzte.govt.nz/en/invest/new-zealands-investment-advantage/
  2. http://www.investindk.com/Why-Denmark/10-good-reasons
  3. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/253662/Why_Invest_in_the_UK.pdf
  4. http://www.business-sweden.se/en/about-us/news-room/Press-Releases/Top-reasons-to-invest-in-Sweden/
  5. http://www.international.gc.ca/investo
  6. http://www.forbes.com/best-countries-for-business/
  7. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/the-world-s-best-country-clue-it-s-not-a-nordic-nation
  8. http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings
  9. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/globalbusiness/12051361/Revealed-The-20-best-countries-in-the-world-to-do-business.html?frame=2266604

 

 

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Hallmark and The Business of Love

Trevor No Comments

As we get closer to Christmas, I would love to highlight a company that has transformed the way we live the holidays and any special occasion for that matter.

Making the world “a more caring place”, Hallmark has become a leader in both the greeting card and entertainment industries, sustaining its place in the market since the 1910s.

Today this $3.7 billion business has reached more than 40,000 retail stores and audiences in over a 100 countries, printing and showcasing content in over 30 languages.

So, Hallmark is huge! But, what is it that makes the Hallmark’s merchandise so attractive?

As TIME author Graeme McMillan points out, Hallmark has been able to give people “exactly what they want”, offering products that satisfy the needs of the “heart” and being there for customers to translate their deepest feelings into beautiful messages.

Source: Hallmark Youtube Channel

On top of things, the creative process behind Hallmark’s products goes beyond a simple brainstorming. Employees have access to immense resource libraries, creative workshops, innovation labs, and art collections, which gives them the ability to think bigger.

All these things, however, wouldn’t do much if the staff wasn’t committed to the vision of creating a more “emotionally connected world”.

Brought in from every path of life, Hallmark’s employees are individuals who wish to make a difference in other’s lives. They see their work not only as an opportunity for themselves but also as a chance to spread hope, empathy and laughter to the world.

Source: Hallmark Youtube Channel

In 2007, CBS News had the opportunity to visit Hallmark’s comedy department “Shoebox”, and captured key moments that make up this company’s amazing culture.

Hiring only 50 people, Shoebox brings in artists from every background, from flight attendants to musicians and ministers. Later on this group of diverse individuals comes together simply to find the right joke. It is such a creative and purposeful atmosphere that a lot of the staff assures they’ve found their calling in what they do.

Moving a little forward into the entertainment industry, who hasn’t heard of the “Countdown to Christmas”? Or the “Thanksgiving Event”? With two TV channels, Hallmark has been able to enchant viewers all over the world, ranking No. 2 amongst cable networks during Thanksgiving week 2015, which then led to a very successful streaming during the Christmas Season.

1900s Hallmark Christmas Commercial 

Source: Hallmark Youtube Channel

The secret? As Variety writer, Rick Kissell puts it; Hallmark has found its niche offering “family-friendly” entertainment. Which, as we all know, is very hard to find in today’s TV. All Hallmark movies follow somewhat the same plot, offering people a second chance in life and hopeful happy endings. The films often speak of “holiday spirit” and try to spread long-term values rather than instant pleasure to the viewers.

In conclusion, Hallmark is today successful because it has genuinely understood the essential yearnings of people. Everyone wants to love and be loved. And, employing innovative technologies and a socially conscious workforce, this multi-billion dollar company managed to satisfy the needs through simple solutions: kind words and happy endings.

Everyone at Hallmark wants to make the world a better place and that feeling is then transmitted through the products, which in turn attracts everyone out there who believes in the same mission.

So, are you ready to buy your Christmas cards now?

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