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5 Questions To Ask Before You Turn Your Hobby Into A Business

You may be standing there in your kitchen chomping away at your freshly-baked chocolate brownies thinking, ‘Could this be my next money spinner?’ Perhaps you have decided that your caregiving skills should be monetised? Or maybe, your prowess with the written word should be available for everyone who seeks professional writing services? There is a myriad of possibilities out there, when determining whether your hobby should be converted into a business. Let’s explore 5 of the most important questions that need to be answered when determining whether you should convert your hobby into your own business… 1. Are You Prepared To Do All The Research, Marketing & Promotion To Get Your Product To Market? There is an old expression that states: There is Nothing New under the Sun. In othe......

Are B2B Digital Marketplaces The Next Buying Revolution?

Some of the earliest marketplaces can be traced back to Athens in 600BC where they were known as the ‘agora’ or, the literal translation; ‘meeting space.’ Defined as ‘arenas of commercial dealings’, this was a space where buyers and suppliers could come together in an open environment to access new goods and compare different stock, as well as to browse barter and buy. Fast forward to today and we’ve lost a lot of that transparency when it comes to our daily commercial dealings. For the IT buying space in particular, buyers face endless cold calls from sales teams, confusing price fluctuations and at times, inflated margins. A Whole New (Buying) World As consumers, if we want to buy flights, accommodation, car insurance, or even groceries, we almost instinctively head to a comparison site ......

The Age Of Living Data Has Arrived

As long ago as 2015, the analyst firm Gartner ‘retired’ big data from its Hype Cycle – its method of tracking emerging technologies from innovation through to the ‘peak of inflated expectations’, ‘trough of disillusionment’ and the sunnier ‘plateau of productivity’. It reasoned that big data was no longer an emerging technology. Yet, at the same time, it’s said that technologies often take five to ten years to move from the trough to the plateau. While, I don’t for one minute think that Gartner has dismissed big data as worthless, I do agree with its decision. The term ‘big data’ has become so pervasive that instead of an exciting new concept ready to transform sales and marketing as we know it – it’s turned into a cliché. Yet, we need to get one thing straight; just because the term itsel......

Instant Business Is Becoming A Big Expectation In Our On-Demand Society

The growing appetite for on-demand services and instant fulfilment is spilling over from the world of the consumer into the business world. While we’re just about willing to wait 24-hours for next day delivery, the perks of living in a technologically connected society such as streaming any song instantly on Spotify without requesting it from the radio station, consuming binge-worthy content on Netflix or Hulu and reading stories as they break on social media, have made us expectant of instant gratification. Our patience is diminishing and while another generation moves towards retirement and is replaced by its younger counterparts, changes must be made. Regardless of the fact that the pace of business is rapidly becoming faster than ever before, services still aren’t delivered on a simila......

Getting To Grips With SIAM For Disaggregation

Service Integration and Management (SIAM), an approach to managing multiple suppliers of services and integrating them to provide a single business-facing IT organisation has had a mixed rap. So much so, that in February 2015 – Alex Holmes, GDS’ Chief Operating Officer penned a blog titled ‘Knocking Down the Towers of SIAM’. Many saw this as the government turning its back on SIAM, period. But that was not quite the intention of the blog. Instead, it highlighted how the SIAM model needed to evolve and ensure it was fit for purpose to address the challenges the sector faces today and the needs of users. Confused About SIAM? In the simplest sense, SIAM is a methodology that provides governance for organisations that choose to outsource their IT environment to multiple service providers (a di......

Why Is Digital Signage The Hot Sauce Of The Food Industry?

Looking at the perfectly stacked cheeseburger on TV makes our mouths water even during the midnight show. Digital marketing and advertising make it possible to make any product and service look appealing. Food is a strange science. Visual elements work just as olfactory elements to create the hunger in your customers. The logic is quite simple if your food looks good, and it must taste good too. Reduces Wait Time & Expedites Ordering Process In a quick service restaurant, gourmet restaurants with an exclusive waiting area and in fast food chains, digital menu boards are making their importance felt. “Food is beautiful,” with this simple motto you can upsell even the costliest items on your menu. Giving your patrons a visual taste of your exclusive food and an inside look at your ......

5 Online Business Ideas For College Students

Some say college years are the time you should focus on your studies. Some, however, start working during that time, even if this work is part-time jobs mostly. Working and studying at the same time definitely isn’t easy – yet such experience gives you something more than just money. You become more independent, you learn how to organise your time better, you gain new skills, and start looking more appealing to your future employees. Many companies accept students who’d already worked before, more willingly because such students have the skills listed above. Probably that’s why during the past 25 years more than 70 percent of college students were combining work with their studies. This data was collected in 2015, so their number is probably even bigger by now. Moreover, these ......

Why Local Government Is Struggling To Implement Digital Technology

A report into digital leadership in local government earlier this year, written for the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) by Councillor Theo Blackwell, provided some insight into the views of local government political leadership towards the impact of digital transformation on public services. The overall findings of the report were positive, with many councillors understanding and wanting to embrace the need for technology. It seems, however, that some do not fully appreciate the capabilities of technology and how it can be used as an enabler for staff, rather than as a replacement for them. Some seem to misunderstand it and think of it as a point solution – an app or gadget – rather than something more fundamental. There was also a strong feeling that there needed to b......

Getting Fit For Growth: A 3-Step Strategy For Digital Transformation

One of the key findings of a recent PWC report found that the buzz around Industry 4.0 has moved on from what some saw as marketing hype in 2013 to investment and real results today. But preparing for a digital future is no easy task. It means developing digital capabilities in which a company’s processes, people, culture, and structure are all aligned toward a set of organisational goals. And for most companies the ultimate aim is growth. In manufacturing, the challenges for companies are multifarious because digital transformation impacts every aspect of operations and the supply chain, from equipment and product design, through to production processes, logistics and service. Industry 4.0 trends now require new, more sophisticated levels of collaboration across geographies on everything ......

Are Your Business Finances Ready For The Digital Switch?

Think back to 2008 — the Olympics were in Beijing, Barack Obama was elected president of the United States and the UK began its digital TV switchover. This switch saw the UK’s terrestrial television converted to digital while analogue channels, broadcast from thousands of transmitter sites, were turned off. First announced in 2005 and finally completed in 2012, there was ample time to prepare for the digital TV transition. Unlike the TV switchover, the digitalisation of the UKs tax system is fast approaching and many small businesses are rushing to be prepared. The government announced in 2015 that by 2020 most businesses, self-employed people and landlords will be required to keep track of and update HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of their tax affairs digitally. While some business owners ......

7 Reasons Why The Dreaded Office Refurb Is A Great Idea

Keeping all of the balls in the air when you are running a business is pretty tough. It’s no wonder the idea of an office refurbishment fills you with horror. You don’t have the time, the spare cash, or the inclination. Right? Well, you may want to think again. Let the office environment slip and you could be hurting your business more than you think. A simple refurb to update tired furnishings, replace broken blinds, and reorganise the office layout could give your business a new lease of life. Don’t be tempted to do your office refurbishment on the cheap. Professionals such as a reputable commercial blinds supplier, and a decent office furniture supplier will offer invaluable advice. Here are 7 great reasons why you really should take the idea of an office refurbishment more seriously. 1......

Embracing The Digital Future With Co-Innovation

Digitisation is relentlessly permeating all areas of life and business, changing them for ever. Financial institutions too are having to deal with the consequences and opportunities that come with digitalisation: new technologies, new customer behaviour and the disruptive force of fintechs. Being open to change and new technologies is vital for those organisations that want to successfully tie discerning customers in the digital future and remain being their preferred bank. Technological Integration & The Omnichannel Approach Unlike new market participants and fintechs, which have used digital processes right from the outset to provide their customers with their offerings, it is important for many of the established banks to integrate the new digital banking opportunities into their ex......

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