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Many UK small businesses are struggling to recruit the right staff, according to a new “Small Business Tracker” study published by business lender Everline and the Centre for Economic Business and Research (CEBR). SMEs spend 100 hours a year attempting to recruit, worth £3,160 of the owner’s time.
The report shows that the UK’s small businesses account for a significant share of the country’s total employment, and so hiring is very important for both small business growth and the economy. In order to grow and develop, an SME must hire the right staff. However, almost a quarter (24%) of small businesses surveyed in the report currently have available vacancies and 16% had vacancies in the last month that they’ve been unable to fill due to not finding a candidate with the required skills.
If the correct skills were available to fill these vacancies, the total economy could be boosted by almost £18.2bn, which is roughly the same as the entire output of the head office and management consultancy sector.
The report highlights that SMEs are actually contributing £22 billion to the economy by working extra hours, with 18 per cent of small business owners regularly working more than 60 hours per week. This includes time on weekends and bank holidays as well as evening work. In fact, more than one in ten respondents expect to work this Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, too.
The trouble is, that these hours could be better spent growing and developing a business, rather than time spent hiring new staff. As a result of staff which are hired with a lack of skills, more than half the business owners surveyed have to devote time each month to support the new employees to fulfil their role efficiently, spending on average around 4 hours a month on this task. The report also found that 1 in 4 business owners were working overtime hours because they didn’t trust their staff to do the job properly. With this in mind, hiring the right staff which you can trust with your business is a key issue for small businesses.
With the right investment in training and with help from the employment sector, SMEs may be able to claw back some hours and focus on other areas of the business – such as advertising, sales or marketing plans.
As the technology world grows more prevalent in modern times, relationships seem to be different as well.
It may seem difficult at times to understand the “proper” ways of asking a girl out or telling that guy how handsome he is. Should it be through text? Email?
The social media boom has made it almost impossible to figure out. This has led to many people treating their relationship like a financial investment and simply “brushing it off” if things don’t go according to plan. What does all that mean? As ability to communicate rises, new options for beginning and ending relationships have flourished.
Fifty years ago, the “sanctity of marriage” was of utmost importance. If you were married, it was done. Some were even outcasts if divorce ever came up as an option. Well, when the world changes, all things must follow or perish. So it has been done. “Soul mates” and “Love at first sight” may have slightly diminished in relevance over the past years, but something is to be said for the more current affairs.
The world has changed drastically and it seems people are opening up to what relationships COULD be. Frequent one-night-stands and open relationships, the current society has begun to accept the changes and run with them.
While that is necessary for societal development, it may be time to appreciate those defining little moments with that special someone of yours.
Learn more about the surprising truths about modern day relationships from Leo Burnett’s Humans Being Relationships. An interactive online platform brought to you by the advertising agency, talking about the state of relationships in 2014.
“Relationships are like culture and technology, always evolving and always in motion, in real time,” said Mick McCabe, Leo Burnett’s chief strategy officer.
Disclosure: This post was requested by an advertiser.
Social media has been becoming the political and pop fad gone crazy for years now. Anyone can use anything in social media and make it something. One remark from a drunken celebrity can change a headline on the news and now we have a rule and it’s hilarious that celebs get on their accounts and really tweet their minds but not when they are drunk.
There were movies in the 1940’s that made fun of this but it is really true. You cannot expect celebs to be smart. They are actors and it is really factual because we know from their twitter and Facebook posts how ridiculously they think. I never used to think that what I read was true at least not all of it unless it claimed to be factual. Now this could be publicity because as they say even bad publicity is good publicity in Hollywood.
Social media has definitely proven this, for instance Roseanne Barr was rejected for her last pilot on NBC and she bashed them for hours on Twitter afterwards calling executives names you would not call your worst enemy. Then on the next day, which drunkenness always permits, she was apologizing for having tweeted in a drunken state.
Is it sad that we have come to this or have we always followed people in the public eye like they are gods? Even Rudolf Valentino and Edgar Allan Poe were considered icons and if you gain fame you instantly take rank in the world and for what? Social media has now provided people like Kim Kardashian a place in that rank.
Funny thing though after some of her tweets she began just tweeting pictures because she opened her mind and we got a look and hopefully her publicist saved us some pain. But what did we really expect? With comic book heroes saving the day for fifty years people have stopped being heroes and keep looking for them. Sad to say but true and beauty is the beast in this case.
Now, don’t get me wrong I love social media there are great uses for it. It could be your intellectual gain with the right followers and who you follow. The reason is birds of a feather really flock together and our media now could use some real intellectual followers. Seriously, where they get this peat and repeat pose that they have come up with now Is beyond me. Because creativity is what makes the world go round.
The need for connection, interaction and communication (in whatever form) has always existed for as long as man has walked the face of the earth. It constituted the basics where sign language, incoherent sounds and drawings on walls sufficed. Fast forward to eras later and the kind of interaction taking place today not only brings the minds of men together, but has broken down geographical barriers and placed at our fingertips, and within our reach whatever we aspire to acquire. Welcome to the social media world.
It has been said that the world is indeed a global village, and the forces that have made this possible, to a great extent have been influenced by the ability of minds, ideas and information to flow faster and more easily from one point to another. Here are some of the ways we are greatly benefiting from the power of social media and the specific ways it is having an impact in today’s world;
Personal barriers are increasingly being broken down. A gentleman in Manhattan can talk to, see and date a lady across the Pacific via a social media interface for a long time before they can ever meet. Thousands of mothers all over the world can share their experiences on raising their babies, and get better ideas how to do it, where earlier on this would not have been possible.
We are literally learning a new language. The trend today is to say as much as you can within the least time and using as little space as possible. Twitter among other sites has enforced this. The aim is to catch the attention of the reader and pass the message across as quickly as possible. As a result, abbreviations like LOL (Laugh out loud), TMI (Too much information) among others are quickly catching on the conversations that are going round.
Consumers are doing more research today and are able to make informed purchased decisions, right from the cost of a shoe to the investment in a car or a home. Sellers and business persons should therefore take advantage of this to put their best foot forward.
Business people can now literally get to their customers right where they are; no more need of waiting for snail mail through the post to get information to your customers and other outdated means. Instant messages and replies can be exchanged within seconds!
Can you increase productivity? If you can, how? I think in today’s world all company owners and managers who have even the slightest clue about what they are doing, know well that the answer to the first question is obviously yes. It’s definitely possible to increase productivity, at least in theory. The question, how, is of course already a totally different matter. It depends a lot on the type of organization we are talking about and it depends a lot on the type of work the people are doing. However, there are always some most general things organizations can do to increase the productivity of the employees, to make the company more profitable. And a good way to discover those things is to have a look at Sodexo’s 2014 Workplace Trends Report.
Now in its third year, the new report takes a deep look into the topics such as increased productivity, trends related to higher employee retention and engagement. While many companies understand that the employees are looking for more engagement and inspiration at work, only 30% of the employees in the U.S. are actually inspired and engaged at work, according to the report.
“The key to creating engaged employees lies in the experience you create for them at work. It’s not only understanding how to enhance their productivity and engagement; it’s also about uncovering and executing on ways to improve their quality of life,” said Michael Norris from Sodexo.
If you’re a business owner and want to know what the 10 significant workplace trends are, please see the interactive media player below.
Disclosure: This post was requested by an advertiser.
Startup venture Galt.io (http://galt.io), led by radio show host Jason Lewis (co-founder), raised $100,000 in the first 90 minutes of the campaign and reached $200,000 in less than 24 hours.
Alex Huff (co-founder) played out the Chicken and the Egg Theory: “We believed Jason’s community needed a platform of their own. Rather than seeking traditional investment or using an existing crowdfunding platform, we setup our own site and reached out to the community it would serve,” said Alex Huff (co-founder).
At the 48 hour mark of the campaign, the group raised just over $300,000 and within 16 days had pledges totaling more than half a million dollars. Individual pledge amounts range from $25 up to $15,000 with the average pledge per person at $125.
“We recognize the need for on-going funding, but this gives us a good start,” said Huff. “We believe Galt.io is one of the most successful crowd-funded campaigns to come out of Minnesota.”To learn more about the Galt.io crowdfunding campaign, please visit http://www.galt.io/update/galtio-crowdfunding/
Update: Currently already $593,600 have been pledged.
The Digital Policy Council’s latest research observes five out of the Top 15 world leaders on Twitter to be from predominantly Muslim nations
The Digital Policy Council (DPC), an international, non-partisan “think tank” based in Washington D.C., released its fourth annual ranking of world leaders’ use of the social media website Twitter.com.
The DPC is the research and public advocacy arm of Digital Daya (“digital influence”), a next-generation strategic consultancy that empowers government and corporate leaders to leverage the new media of the Internet to build influence and shape public opinion.
DPC’s latest report indicates continued but decelerated growth in the number of heads of state on this medium. In 2013, 80% or 4 out of 5 world leaders were using Twitter. This figure represents a growth of 8% over 2012.
Moderate Muslim Leaders Embrace Twitter
In 2013, the DPC observed that four out of the top 10 heads of state using Twitter were from pre-dominantly Muslim nations and five out of the top 15.
The most dramatic debut into the top rankings for 2013 was the rocketing ascent of Indonesian leader President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY for short) to the #2 spot. SBY joined Twitter in 2013, and quickly gained 4.2 million followers. As the leader of the most populous Islamic country, SBY shares candid and personal opinions in an effort to strengthen democracy at home and throughout the region.
President Abdullah Gül of Turkey stood at #3, increasing his audience by over 1.5 million people last year to approximately 4.1 million followers. Gül maintains both a Turkish and English account on Twitter and sees social media supportive to democracy as this medium enables his populace to voice objections.
Queen Rania, the Queen Consort of the King of Jordan, is rightly one of the most influential women in the Middle East and ranks at #4. Her husband, His Majesty King Abdullah II, is also now on Twitter represented as Jordan’s Royal Hashemite Court. The popularity of this Jordanian couple in the virtual world is secure with over 3 million followers across both accounts.
The greatest upward movement among the top 10 was that of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. He jumped from #10 last year to #7 in 2013. Sheikh Mohammed’s followers increased by 1 million to 2.4 million, an indication that his openness to different cultures and public dialog resonates with UAE citizens and residents who, Sheikh Mohammed says, “continually arise to the occasion whenever approached to contribute to innovative ideas.”
Coming in at #12, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak of Malaysia has been tweeting since 2008, amassing over 1.8 million followers. The Prime Minister is a strong proponent of social media, using it extensively to drive forward his “1Malaysia” campaign to bring the diverse cultures, religions and races of Malaysia together to stand for national unity.
What to Expect in 2014
The data tracked by the DPC for the last four years shows a 58% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in adoption of Twitter by the world’s leaders.
In 2014, the DPC expects penetration on Twitter for world leaders to rekindle and reach 90 percent, with leaders ultimately realizing how to employ Twitter effectively as a means of strategic communications – an insight seized by Iran’s newly-elected President Hassan Rouhani, who became active on Twitter in 2013 for international relations.
For more insights and information, download the full report at http://ow.ly/savSS
The world is changing, the people are changing, our needs and expectations are changing, and so also the companies are or at least should be changing. The way business is done, the way business relationships are created, the way business relationships are being kept alive.
IBM Connect 2014 is a conference taking place from January 26th to January 30th. And the theme of the conference is Energizing Life’s Work. The event will be inspiring you to re-imagine how things are done in your company, how you can develop deeper client relationships, how you can put together the right team, how you can energize them and much more.
The list of featured speakers include Alan Lepofsky from Constellation, Pam Moore from Marketing Nutz, author Cheryl Burgess, Jeanne Meister from Forbes, Clarissa Felts from Lowe’s.
The keynote speakers, the creator of Dilbert comic strip, Scott Adams, and Dave Lavery from NASA Headquarters, will take stage during the conference as well, talking about their knowledge and experience. Scott Adams has had many failures in his life, but he has learned to learn from them and made those failures to contribute to his success. Dave Lavery is working on the design and development of the next generation Mars exploration spacecraft.
Disclosure: This post was requested by an advertiser.
Pope Francis today declared the Internet “a gift from God,” in a statement released by the Vatican to mark the Catholic Church’s World Communications Day.
The pope said the Internet “offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity” and that “is something truly good.”
Citing increased levels of inequality around the world, the pontiff said the media could play a role by “creating a sense of the unity of the human family which can in turn inspire solidarity and serious efforts to ensure a more dignified life for all.”
There are downsides to greater interconnectedness, the pope said, adding that the speed of communication “exceeds our capacity for reflection and judgement.”
He added that by offering a wide variety of ideas, electronic forms of communication
“also enables people to barricade themselves behind sources of information which only confirm their own wishes and ideas, or political and economic interests.”
Digital connectivity, the pontiff added, “can have the effect of isolating us from our neighbors, from those closest to us.”
And while there are drawbacks, the pope said “they do not justify rejecting social media; rather, they remind us that communication is ultimately a human rather than technological achievement.”
He added that we need to “to recover a certain sense of deliberateness and calm” and that “this calls for time and the ability to be silent and to listen.”
The 77-year-old Argentine has proved a somewhat controversial figure, saying, for example, that homosexuals should not be marginalized and that Catholics should reach out to atheists.
In today’s statement, he told his followers that “engaging in dialogue does not mean renouncing our own ideas and tradition.”
Francis said the Internet and social media offered a chance for such a dialogue.
“The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity; a network not of wires but of people,” he said. News by VOA News.