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5 Reasons To Make A Vision Board In 2020

If you think vision boards are a sham, then the joke is on you, my friend.

Stop rolling your eyes and hear me out.

They really work, and the reason why is very simple.

A vision board is a sacred place that displays what you want in life. When you hang it in a space where you see it daily, your vision board brings your goals and aspirations to life.

A vision board is a physical representation of a goal or goals that you’re aiming to achieve.

It is a collage of items that are meant to kick start your imagination and help you visualize those goals.

Think of it like a Pinterest board, but in the real world…

…something you can pin photos, magazine cut-outs, keepsakes, and other bits of awesomeness to in order to keep you inspired and motivated toward something you want to do, to be, to have, or to otherwise manifest.

So make 2020 the year of goal follow-through by creating a vision board to give you a clear picture of where you want to get to.

5 Reasons To Create A Vision Board

What are the benefits of a vision board (sometimes called a goal board or dream board)?

How will one help you achieve the future and success you want?

1. Vision boards make you think about what it is you really want.

Creating a vision board forces you to make the time to sit and REALLY think about what it is you want from life.

I’m sure you think about the things you want a lot, but do you really focus on them?

Do you document them anywhere outside of your head?

A vision board forces you to go beyond casual thinking and focus on your goals and aspirations.

2. Vision boards help you get unstuck.

Our lives are so congested and overflowing. We wake up, we work, and we have our chores.

We have limited flexibility in our daily environments and can become almost robotic over time.

This is one of the major reasons that most people feel stuck in life.

They are exhausted and overworked. They have lost touch with their creative side.

Does this sound like you?

A vision board is an effective way to unstick yourself.

Get out of your overly programmed brain and let your creative juices flow.

Get out of your funk. Throw some randomness together. Get out of your bubble.

You get the picture.

3. Vision boards provide you with a daily visual reminder of your dreams and goals.

The reason that vision boards work so great is because you visually see them every day.

Visualization is one of the most popular and effective mind workouts that you can do.

When you see something that inspires you on a daily basis, you stay on track.

Even when you face setbacks, that vision board will still be there ready to motivate you all over again.

4. Vision boards will get you all fired up emotionally.

Seeing your vision board will help you passionately connect with your goals.

It can help you notice opportunities or simply make you imagine what something may feel like.

If you get fired up and passionate about something, it will spur you into action.

5. Vision boards are fun.

A vision board is a fun, risk-free, and stress-free way to unload your deepest, rawest morsels of inspiration without scrutinizing them.

You don’t have to organize, analyze, or beautify your board. Just have fun and put it together. Change it up. Do what feels right to you.

It doesn’t have to be organized or pretty. It just has to inspire you.

Do Vision Boards Work?

As mentioned above, vision boards do work because they take the thoughts and dreams in your head and turn them into something real and tangible.

BUT, and it is a big but, they only work for you if you are prepared to work with them.

What does this mean? You have to engage with your vision board and use it to guide your actions as you progress toward making your goals a reality.

Simply making a vision board and storing it away in a cupboard, only looking at it briefly every few weeks or months, won’t get you anywhere.

As with most things in life, you get out what you put in.

The power of a vision board comes in its ability to motivate you to do the work that is required to make the things you put on it a reality.

If you believe in the law of attraction, a vision board will help you to manifest.

It will guide your mind’s eye toward the things you want and help you to imagine your life matching the life you have created on your board.

How To Make A Vision Board

Now that you’re convinced about the power of a vision board, how do you go about making one?

Fortunately, it’s quite a simple process that anyone can follow, even if you don’t have much craft or design experience.

Materials You’ll Need For Your Vision Board

Vision boards are easy to create. You won’t need much as far as materials.

Here is a general list, although your vision board may incorporate things that are not listed here.

  • Some sort of board – you can use a cork board, a poster board, or a pin board.
  • Scissors, tape, pins, glue stick – whatever you need to craft your board.
  • Markers, stickers, or other embellishments – these are completely optional. If embellishments make you feel good, then by all means, incorporate them.
  • Magazines – this is where you can cut images and quotes from.
  • Pinterest/Google/Instagram – more places to get the perfect visual reminders for your board.
  • Color printer – if you plan on sourcing some or all of your images from the internet.
  • Stuff that inspires you – photos, quotes, sayings, images, reminders all have a place on your board.
  • Time – give yourself plenty of time to put your board together. Do not put a limit or your creative juices. Invest the time in your vision board so that it actually works for you. Turn off the TV. Put on some inspirational music. Light a candle.

    How To Pick The Right Images And Quotes

    To be effective, your vision board needs to accurately reflect the future life you want to lead.

    Therefore, choosing the most appropriate images that clearly show this future is vital.

    The things you put on your board should be the end result that you are aiming for, but you can also include imagery that reflects the steps required to get there.

    So while you may have a main image showing the pyramids of Egypt, you could also have one that shows the amount of money you’d need to take that trip.

    Or if you have a picture of some scales showing your ideal weight, you might include photos of someone jogging, or some healthy, nutritious meals.

    This is where the internet can come in handy. As great as it can be to flick through magazines to find the ideal images, you might not be able to find the perfect one all of the time.

    The internet has an almost limitless supply of potentially perfect pictures.

    If you wish to include words or quotes on your board – and we recommend you do – then choose positive words that convey the kind of person you wish to be.

    You can use single words to tie together various elements of your board. For instance, the word ‘adventure’ might sit among photos of travel, new business ventures, and perhaps even a new partner.

    If you’re working on a self-acceptance/self-love board, words like “sacred” or “whole” are great.

    If you’re trying to excel in school, or are working to find your dream job, words and phrases like “integrity,” “self-confidence,” and “dedication” may keep the fire in your belly lit to spur you onward.

    Or you can select some famous words that mean something to you – we recommend sticking to short quotes or mottos – and print those out too.

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How To Become Successful Faster

Ever wish there were more hours in the day? You’re not alone. Many people feel like they simply don’t have enough time to achieve what they want. However, the solution could be as simple as better time management.

Time management refers to creating a schedule that is organized to maximize productivity. Often, this is done by scheduling tasks within certain time zones, and organizing your tasks so that they complement each other. Time management is an extremely useful skill to develop, and it can give your career a serious boost. Here are some of the many ways you can use time management to your advantage:

 

Streamline your work process

You’d be amazed at how many people don’t actually have a strong idea of how long specific tasks take. Often, this is because they’re constantly sidetracked by other things along the way. According to Udemy’s 2018 Workplace Distraction Report, 36% of Gen Z and millennial workers admit to checking their phone up to two hours per day while on the job! When you effectively manage your time and assign specific amounts of uninterrupted time to tasks, you’ll get really good at figuring out how long it takes you to do things. This can help you plan your day and projects more effectively. It can also help you give your boss or clients a more realistic idea of how long a project might take.

 

Minimize procrastination

Ever noticed how motivating a deadline can be? When you start implementing time management, you are in effect creating mini-deadlines for tasks and accomplishments. This can help create a sense of accountability that can help you quit procrastinating and get to work. Without a specific timeline, there’s no urgency, and you’re less likely to complete tasks quickly or efficiently. Time management allows you to work toward goals by creating smaller tasks that build up to bigger results over time!

 

Improve your focus

Time management involves setting aside specific times to focus on specific tasks. Ideally, this involves uninterrupted time that you can devote to the task at hand. That means no social media, no texting, and no checking your email. Without distractions, you’ll be able to really focus on the task at hand –– and you’ll probably do a much better job!

Better work-life balance

One of the best parts about time management? You can schedule in pleasure activities, too. For instance, it might be scheduling in a break, or a workout class you really love, or even a dinner out with friends.When you set aside time for pleasure as well as work, you’ll have a much better work-life balance and will probably be happier on the job as a result. Remember: time away from work can actually make you a better worker, so be sure to take time to do what you love!

 

Become successful quicker

Time management can help you minimize procrastination, cut down on your time spent on work tasks, and help you come across as more professional.By improving your focus and working more effectively, the quality of the work you do is most likely going to go up, too. Could time management help you become successful sooner? Well, it’s certainly not going to hurt!

By Timothy Sykes

Culled from The Entrepreneur

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The 10 Commitments for Excellence in Business

Whether you’re deeply invested in your career or starting a business, successful people commit to certain decisions that help shape them into elite businessmen and -women. Choose to make every moment count. Each day is an open opportunity for mastering skills and furthering goals. success often comes down to having the right attitude and smart decision making

  1. See the good.

Find ways to love the career you’re in. Jobs aren’t perfect and some aspects of them you aren’t going to enjoy. Therefore, focus on bending your personality to fit your work situation. Make the mental commitment to focus on solutions not problems. Allow no space in your mind for thoughts about lack or negativity. When you think in terms of lack, you make decisions from a negative place. And these decisions will bring more lack. Learn to respect the value of each aspect of your career, understanding that being accomplished in the small things makes room for bigger opportunities.

  1. Risk failure                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Commit to letting fear be your motivator but don’t let it become your captor when you approach career goals. If you give into fear, it will seduce you into shrinking from your dreams.Encountering a fear can make it easy to quickly rationalize walking away from a great idea. To be successful, take a risk and be willing to see what the consequences of your decisions are.Consequences are teachers and guides because they give you quick answers. If you never take any risk, you’ll never light up these signposts to direct yourself and your business in the right direction. View each “no” as a prompt for a new direction or opportunity. Learn to speak up. To get what you want, you have to go for what you want. Related: Is the Notion of a ‘Good Work Ethic’ Generationally Biased?
  1. Work hard.

Make the choice to first measure your success by your work ethic. If your pursuit of success is solely about profit, be aware that wanting money focuses the mind on the lack of it and needing more. Worry blocks opportunity and keeps you focused on how much you don’t have. Money is less likely to materialize under this mental and emotional dynamic. Commit to trusting that your hard work will generate profit. What you feverishly chase may elude you. For that reason, focus on the goals that this day or moment requires and get them done. It is from this mindset that the money will come.

  1. Expand.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Make the commitment to thinking big and never being satisfied with the goals you have achieved. Be grateful for what you have accomplished but not satisfied. Set higher goals. Understand that to be highly successful after you have achieved a certain level of accomplishment, know that you’re not done. You are just beginning. always ask, “What is next?” in regard to business expansion. Agree to never to downsize your dreams. To succeed at high levels, commit your thoughts to anticipating more achievement. Related: Successfully Orchestrate the Expansion of a Growing Company.
  1. Be consistent.

Commit to working consistently without pause, taking steps toward your business goals. It is through consistent and diligent work, coupled with patience and flexibility, that you can climb the ladder of success. And pledge to work hard even when you’re not yet reaping the benefits. It’s the last man standing who ends up winning the race.

  1.  Be passionate                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Decide to be passionate about what you do. Passion is the fuel that ignites your desire to work hard. Just like a car cannot run without gas, a business cannot succeed without passionate, focused, hardworking people. When passion is present, success can result. And the more success you experience, the more you will increase your passion. In this way passion rewards itself. When passion is present, limits are virtually nonexistent.
  1. Maintain self-respect.

When you have self-respect, you take pride in yourself and exude an aura of knowledgeable confidence. Choose to demonstrate self-respect in how you run your business and treat those you work with. Take daily steps to refine who you are in an effort to be ready for all decisions that need integrity and forethought. When you are self-respecting, you make the commitment to be at the top of your game. You refuse to live by the “I will do it later motto.” You get things done today to ensure a successful tomorrow. Related: The Best Thing I’ve Delegated — and What it Taught Me

  1. Keep things in balance.

You cannot get where you want to go alone. Decide to delegate things. To know when and what to delegate, be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Choose to delegate tasks to others who are more skilled in your weaker areas or turn to people who have the time to do what you can’t. The minute you think you can do it all on your own is when you open yourself up to failure.

  1. Nurture relationships.

Make an effort to enter business relationships intelligently and nurture them deliberately. Decisions about whom to work with are as essential to building a successful career as is your knowledge, work ethic and passion. Interview people smartly. Thus you are more likely to keep toxic people out of your business. When you find the right team members, intentionally nurture their success, individually and collectively, keeping morale high and infusing them with your passion, vision and purpose.

  1. Seek feedback.

Commit to not being a know-it-all. Actively seek feedback to grow. Each piece of feedback is a mustard seed of knowledge, capable of furthering to expand you and your business. If you cannot expand as a person, you cannot expand your business. Feedback forces you to keep an open mind and be available to opportunities never an option before. To be successful in business, commit to making self-aware, wise choices. Your success is a reflection of your decisions, attitude and thinking. If your business isn’t where you want to it to be or you’re ready to set higher goals, start making new decisions. To grow your business, you have to grow yourself.

By Sherrie Campbell

CONTRIBUTOR
Culled from The Entrepreneur

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Population size and spending power in the biggest economies:

If you are in the proces of deciding which countries to export to, then of course you have a look at the biggest economies in the world. But how have these been doing in het last 5 years? We compared World Bank data from 2011 and 2016, and looked at the results in various ways.

Population versus spending power

If you want to find a sizeable market, a big population helps. On the other hand, there also needs to be spending power. A good proxy is GDP PPP per capita, so that means the added value within the country, divided over the population, and corrected for the price level in the country. That is what PPP stands for, Purchasing Power Parity.

 

What we see is that China and India stand out in terms of population, but that spending power in India certainly is still low. Please note that spending power in China has gone up from around 10,000 USD to 17,000 USD in the last 5 years, surpassing Brazil. In Europe and the US spending power has also gone up, but less in percentages, and this is without correction for inflation.

What these data don’t show is income distribution. For example in Delhi you may find many millionaires, and in Shanghai the spending power is on average also much higher than in the rest of China. But especially when you sell a product through stores, and with a better quality than the bare minimum, you may want to stick to economies with higher spending power.

Biggest economies population and spending power

Spending power versus price level

The correction from normal GDP to GDP PPP gives us also information on average price levels. Price levels in the USA are taken as the basis. In most countries life is cheaper, except for Iceland, Denmark and Australia. Even Japan, that is known for it expensive cost of living, is now in 2016 under the level of the USA.

Price levels are important for exporters. Especially when a product can also be produced locally, and the price level in that country is lower, it may be hard to compete.

What we see is that there seems to be a correlation between spending power and price level. That means that part of the effect of a growing economy, and therefore more personal spending power, is being undone by higher prices.

Almost all arrows indicate a decline in price levels, except for the USA. Most probably prices in the USA have gone up strongly in the last 5 years, and there may also be dollar exchange rate effects.

The trend on import

What is the percentage of the GDP spent on import of goods and services? This is an important feature, since it also shows the willingness to have your export productsBig economies GDP versus import

The four economies with the biggest populations, the USA, China, India and Indonesia, all show a strong decline in imports. For the last three probably because their own economies start producing more. Japan moves up a bit, perhaps because the population is ageing, Mexico most likely is in a phase where the country can afford more import.

Big is not always beautiful

We had a look now at the 12 biggest economies in the world. From an export perspective, it can be useful to target big markets, since translations, import regulations and distribution structures need to be sorted out only once. On the other hand, somewhat smaller countries may have more interesting characteristics for your specific product.

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Moneycado: How to come up with a winning business idea

Trying to come up with an idea for your business? In this interview, which is a part of a series in partnership with content creators the Startup Van, the founder of fintech and travel company Moneycado shares his experiences and advice on how he came up with his idea and the steps he’s taking to bring it to life.

“The thing which has had the most value for me is writing a blog each week. It’s enabled people to come on the journey with me, to build a network of collaborators and also to give me accountability – especially in the early stages, which is unbelievably important.” So says Oliver Mitchell, a young entrepreneur who credits his strong community focus with the development of his business proposal: a crossover fintech and travel company called Moneycado. Moneycado’s mission is to encourage millennials to save for their dream holiday. But what Oliver plans to offer is far from a standard savings product. Moneycado gamifies and incentivises saving by offering gifts when milestones are reached. These gifts could be a holiday treat but savers might also unlock a “credit boost” to purchase an expensive flight at an early bird rate, despite not yet having the cash. In other words, Moneycado will also be selling credit products. At present Moneycado has yet to launch – that’s pencilled in for autumn 2018 – but Oliver and his team are focusing on building a waiting list while also building the product behind the scenes. To see more about the product Moneycado is building, try their latest feature – A Trip Cost Calculator where you can discover how much you need to save for next trip.

A new old story

It might sound like Moneycado is still young but the story began some time ago. It’s one that provides a healthy paradigm for anybody considering a startup. “I started without an idea and without a team,” says Oliver. “I just started talking to people about the general area of finance – about what they’re used to today, what the problems were, what they felt about it and so on.” The first hint of Moneycado’s mission was found in the aforementioned blogs Oliver penned on basic personal finance – budgeting, saving, investments, debt and so on. Feedback was so good that he organised events where, for £10, people could hear him speak. These were also successful but in more ways than strictly lucrative. Those early days were less about developing a product or making money, says Oliver, and more about gaining a complete understanding of customer requirements. “In truth the people who needed help working with their finances are not the kind of people who would either proactively read blogs or go to events,” he adds, quoting research that shows only 23% millennials save towards investments. Reaching such people would require a radically different approach. He says: “The key to driving is not teaching you how an engine works. In the same way, the key to financial literacy – to engaging people with finance – is not teaching them content. It’s building an inclusive product which actually engages you and makes you want to work with that – which speaks in your language.” It was at this point that the idea was unlocked in Oliver’s mind. He says: “I said, OK, well let me turn this on its head. What would a savings experience for travel look like? And that’s when the idea started to flow: gamifying the rewards process, enabling social payments, and friends contributing to each other’s holidays. But all this took a lot of time focusing on the problem.” Essential tip: Seek business support to turn your idea into a reality

There’s a belief outside the startup community that an individual thinks up a great idea on their own and then goes and seeks funding on the basis of this idea. This can be true to an extent but paints in very broad strokes. Getting a sound idea is obviously important but what Mitchell shows is that to generate a truly winning idea, the process needs to take as long as it needs to. In his case it was far from an overnight realisation – so be prepared to be in for the long haul right from the start. Additionally, Mitchell shows us that to be successful you need supporters. Idea generation should not be a closed process. He wisely used the community around him to polish the diamond of his idea until he reached a stage where it was patently clear through the way the idea flowed in his mind that he’d reached his goal. He intends to build a community around his product now, via the waiting list, and in future when the product is launched. Communities of passionate individuals are everywhere in our modern world, so make use of them

Funding illusion

The route believed by many for creating a startup is that you get an idea and then use that idea to get funding. Oliver says this is far from the reality, for him at least. He says: “A lot of entrepreneurs see [funding] as a yard stick or as a metric of success. In reality the reaction you get from your users is your measure of success and funding is simply an enabler. The most important thing is that there are many, many ways to test aspects of your model without funding.”Such an approach pays dividends later when you do start to approach funders, he adds.

“The number one question when you’re pitching for funds is to show proof points of traction,” says Oliver. “Funding should be the result of good traction and not something you’re actively striving for by itself.” Fintech is currently fashionable in tech circles, perhaps helped by the opening up of the regulatory environment in the UK. One might think this would help attract funding but Oliver reveals otherwise. He says: “In some ways it’s a negative because there’s a lot of noise in this space. There’s a lot of snake oil and a lot of solutions in search of problems. I’ve been at pains to distinguish that actually we’re doing a cross-sector play, which is partially travel tech and partially fintech.”However, he adds that with his startup’s base being in TechHub (a coworking space) in London, he finds “a hotbed of ideas, of potential collaborators” where there’s potential to learn from the mistakes of others attempting fintech concepts. Oliver also doesn’t believe fintech, as it’s defined today, has much of a future. He says: “Banking will become more invisible. A good banking experience is one which is contextual in people’s lives – which is interwoven in the activities they are undertaking. So to speak about fintech is a little reductive.”

Essential tip: Test your idea before seeking funding

It’s never enough to build a business plan merely on a hyped-up idea, such as fintech. This was clearly both a help and a potential hindrance for Moneycado but Oliver was wise enough to realise the fact his startup idea needed to trade on its own strengths. He is able to identify the true and perhaps limited future for fintech as a category, and this kind of vision demonstrated in a business plan will undoubtedly impress those who read it, especially among a sea of business plans that merely list the potential for fintech and little more. He also realised his idea must not just be tested with real people but that taking the results of the testing to any investor can mean the difference between an emphatic nod of the head, or a dismissive shake of the head.

 Future goals for Moneycado

Immediate goals for Moneycado include building the waiting list to 1,000 people, something Oliver hopes to achieve by once again involving the community and running events. Once the prototype product is created, they plan commence testing among 20 of their friends. Within 12 months, the goal is to have a user base of 50,000, along with 10 to 20 travel operators onboard at which point, says Oliver, they’ll be “looking to help users with the other financial problems around holidays”. Implementing fintech in the real world can be expensive and Moneycado has also yet to seek a license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which will also need to provide accreditation for their short-term lending goals. “The tricky thing about fintech is that there’s a significant bill to actually getting anything to market,” adds Oliver, saying this is another reason why they’ve being very careful to build and test the product fully over the coming months. It’s been a hard journey since inception, he says, but again it’s not been all about the stereotypical struggle to get funding. He says: “The biggest struggle I had was the balance between being tenacious to an original idea and being responsive to feedback – trying to find the point at which it’s appropriate to change your ideas and to try different things versus sticking out an original vision and trying to build it out. That’s really challenging. There’s no manual on this and there’s no right answer.” What’s helped has been that aforementioned community and also being open. He says: “A lot of people will start out with ideas and lose interest or enthusiasm because they get a few weeks into it and realise, actually, this is quite difficult. I knew that was a severe danger there as an initially solo founder. “I’ve been very careful throughout to write about what I’m doing, to talk about it with as many as people as possible, to seek out community. Taking the time to invest in community and build a network of collaborators is a very underrated aspect of succeeding as a startup entrepreneur.”

Essential tip: Persistence is key to success

Most people considering creating a startup envision a struggle but most anticipate that will be the struggle to get funding. Oliver shows how the biggest struggle lies elsewhere: it can be yourself, even if you entirely believe in your idea and think it can change the world. To give birth to an idea requires an extraordinary personal commitment that few will ever experience.

By Keir Thomas-Bryant

Small business and accountant’s expert

Keir is Sage’s dedicated expert in issues impacting small businesses and accountants. He started his journalism career in the last century and has worked as a magazine editor, textbook author and editor, professional blogger and corporate copywriter. His work has appeared in hundreds of publications and websites and has been translated into many languages. The son of an inveterate small business person, Keir has also run several small businesses of his own, including a computer repair service where he specialised in extending the life of Apple products. He continues to care passionately about the issues and struggles facing the small business and accountant communities around the world, with an additional interest in compliance issues such as the digitisation of tax, data protection and Brexit. At Sage he is the global expert for the small business and accountant sectors, with a typical day involving blogging, writing guides, producing video projects and more. Outside of work, Keir writes fiction, walks around a bit, complains to his wife that they need more cats and cooks vegan food. He lives in Manchester, England and is based in Sage’s Manchester offices.

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A guide to doing business in a post-Brexit future

Brexit is one of the biggest challenges that businesses are facing – both now and in the future when the UK leaves the European Union (EU). But there is a lot of uncertainty around Brexit, making it difficult for businesses to take action and put the plans in place that will help them during what for most is a tricky period. However, rather than simply focusing on the challenges around Brexit, your business should be exploring ways to thrive post-Brexit. Technology and innovation are two areas where your business can step up and see positive outcomes. To help you along the way, we have created a guide on doing business in a post-Brexit world, which highlights how technologies such as Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things can keep your company moving in the right direction. For example, when it comes to customs, scalable technology could interconnect the EU and the UK efficiently. This could make a positive impact for your business when dealing with border control. The guide goes into more depth on this topic and others too.

Thriving in times of uncertainty

Should uncertainty be expected in business?

Uncertainty is one of the biggest complaints that businesses have had around Brexit. Companies can adapt and prepare, but as negotiations on possible deals have been drawn out for more than two years, it has been difficult for businesses to be prepared as they haven’t been exactly sure what to prepare for.

The fact, though, is that the world is uncertain.

If it isn’t Brexit, it could be fallout in the trade disputes between the US and China. It could be over-regulation. It could even be a need for new skills, tax burdens, climate change or exchange rate volatility.

It is why business leaders should be creative and look upon uncertainty less as a risk, and more as an opportunity to win a competitive advantage.

Instead of simply reacting to Brexit, businesses should look at how they can thrive after Brexit. And the opportunities lie in technology and innovation.

With Industry 4.0, major innovations in technology are coming into maturity at the same time – embedded by companies around the world that are integrating the virtual and physical worlds to bring forth powerful new ways of working.

Businesses in all industries have an opportunity to use digital tools to their advantage, increasing productivity and efficiency to win a competitive advantage.

Brexit must be considered a red line where British businesses look to push heavily towards reinventing business models, products and services.

By Stacy Mcintosh

Editor-in-chief of Sage Advice UK

Stacey McIntosh is the editor-in-chief of Sage Advice UK. He has more than 15 years of editorial, PR and social media experience and has worked across print and online for national newspapers, magazines, PR and marketing agencies including Metro, GQ, Men’s Fitness, International Business Times UK and Cool Blue. @staceythemac

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Top 10 Major Export Companies

10 largest export companies represent a diverse range of distinct industries: tobacco, diversified metals and mining, energy, pharmaceuticals, chemicals as well as the aerospace and defense sector.

From an international trade perspective, the overall value of all export products from the United Kingdom declined by -19.3% from US$548 billion in 2013 to $442.1 billion during 2017. From 2016 to 2017, the value of exported goods from the UK improved by 7.4%.

In the analysis below, we compare 10 of the UK’s top exports-oriented businesses based on asset values, sales and profitability. Also presented is the city where each conglomerate has its headquarters.

The general year-over-year trends for the top UK product producers were expanding profits and asset growth.

Below are United Kingdom’s biggest exports-related companies organized by asset value. Shown within parentheses is the primary industry in which each company operates. Also shown is the change in asset value as of December 2018 compared to May 2017.

  1. BP (oil, gas): US$275.3 billion, up 4.6% from 2017
  2. British American Tobacco (tobacco): $190.8 billion, up 288.6%
  3. Rio Tinto (diversified metals & mining): $95.7 billion, up 7.2%
  4. GlaxoSmithKline (pharmaceuticals): $78.8 billion, up 7.9%
  5. AstraZeneca (pharmaceuticals): $63.4 billion, up 1.4%
  6. Anglo American (diversified metals & mining): $54.6 billion, up 9%
  7. Imperial Tobacco Group (tobacco): $42.5 billion, no change
  8. Diageo (beverages): $40.7 billion, up 8.8%
  9. BAE Systems (aerospace, defense): $30.4 billion, up 4.4%
  10. LyondellBasell Industries (diversified chemicals): $26.9 billion, up 14.8%

Nine of these British conglomerates grew their asset values from 2017 to December 2018. Leading the pack was British American Tobacco (up 288.6%) followed by diversified chemicals seller LynellBasell Industries (up 14.8%), diversified miner (Anglo American) then global beverages giant Diageo (up 8.8%).

Asset growth was stalled for Imperial Tobacco Group while pharmaceuticals provider AstraZeneca posted an anemic 1.5% increase compared to 2017.

Sales is the life blood for most businesses, and particularly for firms that compete in international trade. Seven of the United Kingdom’s largest exports-related companies increased their sales as of the 12-month period reported on December 2018.Energy sector leader BP generated the fastest sales increase via a robust 37.1% uptick from 2017. In second place was British American Tobacco (up 31.2%) followed by diversified chemicals provider LyondellBasell (up 22.7%) then international miners Anglo American (up 21.9%) then Rio Tinto (up 18%).

Sales slowdowns ranged from -1.7% for defense industry titan BAE Systems, -2.6% for pharmaceuticals firm AstraZeneca to a sobering -48.7% decline for Imperial Tobacco Group.Eight among the UK’s top exports-related businesses were able to boost their bottom-line profits as of the latest December 2018 period. The most significant profit acceleration belongs to energy sector leader BP via its 3,639% increase from $115 million in black ink as of May 2017.There was profit shrinkage for two of the above companies, specifically the -10.6% drop for aerospace and defense firm BAE Systems the -18.9% year-over-year profit erosion for pharmaceuticals developer AstraZeneca.

Nine of the 10 largest UK export companies are based in London, England — a city once considered to be the gateway to the European Union. This notion has been cast under a cloud of doubt in light of the UK’s upcoming Brexit breakaway from the EU precariously scheduled for March 29, 2019.

  1. Anglo American: London
  2. AstraZeneca: London
  3. BAE Systems: London
  4. BP: London
  5. British American Tobacco: London
  6. Diageo: London
  7. GlaxoSmithKline: London
  8. Imperial Tobacco Group: Bristol
  9. LyondellBasell Industries: London
  10. Rio Tinto: London

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7 Top UK Start-ups of 2017

  1. Bulb

A 100 per cent renewable energy supplier that claims to be 20 per cent cheaper than ‘the Big Six’, Bulb serves around 30,000 customers with an annual growth rate of 400 per cent.

“We want to have democratised renewable energy, be helping people reduce their usage by enabling new technologies like electric cars and domestic solar,” Hayden Wood and Amit Gudka, Bulb’s founders, told startups.co.uk.

6.HouseKeep

Founded by Avin Rahberu, a former venture capitalist with investments in over 40 high-growth companies, Housekeep allows you to order a cleaner to your London home with the tap of a button.

It currently has 20,000 customer accounts with 1,000 recurring subscription contracts and is preparing to expand its business across the UK.

  1. Simba Sleep

Launched just over a year ago by James Cox and Steve Reid, SIMBA Sleep has entered an increasingly competitive market claiming to offer “the most advanced mattress in the world”.

Its technology combines a layer of foam and springs, which SIMBA says moulds itself around their sleepers.

Backed by £17.5m in funding, the company will attempt to triple its output over the coming year and expand across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

4.Tails.com

Launched by a team of dog lovers in 2014, tails.com is a tailor-made dog food subscription service with a modest mission: “to change the world of pet food for good”.

Its moral crusade operates by providing individualised dog food to hungry canines across the UK based on their weight, age, gender and breed, to calculate particular dietary requirements.

Tails.com has 65,000 regular customers and has set itself a goal of making £20m turnover by the end of the year.

  1. Perkbox

Perkbox aims to do away with David Brent world of the dull and dreary small business with its mission to increase workplace happiness and motivation through the provision of perks.

The service offers rewards such as free mobile phone insurance and cinema discounts to help companies improve their team’s productivity, with major customers including British Gas and Holland & Barrett.

In October last year, Perkbox was among a number of startups to secure backing from Sir Andy Murray.

  1. Flight Club

Ally Pally it is not, but a Shoreditch venue with a capacity of 390 is home to a startup that is revolutionising the image of darts.

Founded by Steve Moore and Paul Barham in 2014, Flight Club aims to bring the sport into the 21st century through electronic scoreboards, fast-moving multiplayer games, 100+ tournaments and one-on-one showdowns, while retaining the one essential ingredient of darts pubbing roots: beer.

“We know people get bored easily, so we are in a state of almost constant product development. We are conscious of not getting complacent of the success we have had so far,” the founders told startups.co.uk, who are looking to take the business to its second location on Oxford Street imminently.

By design or coincidence, Flight Club has a team of 180 staff.

1.Eve Sleep

The first direct to consumer mattress company in the UK, eve Sleep has emerged triumphant from ‘the battle of the beds’, having announced its IPO earlier this month while boasting 355 per cent revenue growth – £2.6m to £12m – since 2016.

Aided by investment of £17m, eve Sleep is trading in 10 countries and is now aiming to expand its product range beyond mattresses to other bedroom wares.

“We’ve had people who’ve not seen the potential of the brand and how far it can take us,” Jas Bagniewski, the co-founder told startups.co.uk. “We’ve come across plenty of non-believers when we’ve said we’ll make the mattress industry cool. But that hasn’t fazed us, it’s just meant we’ve had to work harder when pitching the idea.”

At least he can be assured of a good night’s sleep after a hard day’s graft.

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TOP 5 Richest Electronic Companies in the World

This is the list of the top 5 Richest electronics companies 2019 that have the highest revenue in the world and have been recorded some of the highest sales in the world, making them widely popular and renowned.

  1. Samsung Electronics

is a South Korean multinational electronics company headquartered in Suwon, South Korea. Due to some circular ownership, it is the flagship company of the Samsung chaebol, accounting for 70% of the group’s revenue in 2012. Samsung Electronics has assembly plants and sales networks in 80 countries and employs around 308,745 people. It is the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer electronics and semiconductors by revenue.As of June 2018, Samsung Electronics’ market cap stood at US$325.9 billion.

 

Samsung is a major manufacturer of electronic components such as lithium-ion batteries, semiconductors, chips and flash memory devices for clients such as Apple, Sony, HTC and Nokia. It is the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones and smartphones, started with the original Samsung Solstice and later, the popularity of its Samsung Galaxy line of devices. The company is also a major vendor of tablet computers, particularly its Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Tab collection, and regarded for developing the phablet market through the Samsung Galaxy Note family of devices. It has also developed 5G capable smartphones through the Galaxy S10+ 5G and foldable phones through the Galaxy Fold. Samsung has been the world’s largest television manufacturer since 2006, and the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones since 2011. It is also the world’s largest memory chips manufacturer. In July 2017, Samsung Electronics overtook Intel as the largest semiconductor chip maker in the world. Samsung Electronics is the world’s second largest technology company by revenue.

  1. FoxConn

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., trading as Foxconn Technology Group and better known as Foxconn, is a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturing company with its headquarters in Tucheng, New Taipei, Taiwan. Today, it is the world’s largest provider of electronics manufacturing services and the fourth-largest information technology company by revenue. The company is the largest private employer in Taiwan and one of the largest employers worldwide. Its founder and chairman is Terry Gou.

 

Foxconn manufactures electronic products for major American, Canadian, Chinese, Finnish and Japanese companies. Notable products manufactured by Foxconn include the BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Kindle, Nintendo 3DS, Nokia devices, Xiaomi devices, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and the TR4 CPU socket on some motherboards. As of 2012, Foxconn factories manufactured an estimated 40% of all consumer electronics sold worldwide.

 

Foxconn has been involved in several controversies. In 2010, following a series of employee suicides at its factory in Shenzhen, Foxconn was criticized by labour activists, who accused the company of providing low wages and allowing employees to work past legal overtime limits

  1. Apple Inc.

Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. It is considered one of the Big Four tech companies along with Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

 

The company’s hardware products include the iPhone smartphone, the iPad tablet computer, the Mac personal computer, the iPod portable media player, the Apple Watch smartwatch, the Apple TV digital media player, the AirPods wireless earbuds and the HomePod smart speaker. Apple’s software includes the macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and tvOS operating systems, the iTunes media player, the Safari web browser, and the iLife and iWork creativity and productivity suites, as well as professional applications like Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, and Xcode. Its online services include the iTunes Store, the iOS App Store, Mac App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV+, iMessage, and iCloud. Other services include Apple Store, Genius Bar, AppleCare, Apple Pay, Apple Pay Cash, and Apple Card.

 

  1. Hewlett Packard/HP

The Hewlett-Packard Company (commonly referred to as HP, and stylized as hp) or Hewlett-Packard (/ˈhjuːlɪt ˈpækərd/ HEW-lit PAK-ərd) was an American multinational information technology company headquartered in Palo Alto, California. It developed and provided a wide variety of hardware components as well as software and related services to consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises, including customers in the government, health and education sectors.

The company was founded in a one-car garage in Palo Alto by Bill Hewlett and David Packard, and initially produced a line of electronic test equipment. HP was the world’s leading PC manufacturer from 2007 to Q2 2013, at which time Lenovo ranked ahead of HP. HP specialized in developing and manufacturing computing, data storage, and networking hardware, designing software and delivering services. Major product lines included personal computing devices, enterprise and industry standard servers, related storage devices, networking products, software and a diverse range of printers and other imaging products. HP directly marketed its products to households, small- to medium-sized businesses and enterprises as well as via online distribution, consumer-electronics and office-supply retailers, software partners and major technology vendors. HP also had services and consulting business around its products and partner products.

Hewlett-Packard company events included the spin-off of its electronic and bio-analytical measurement instruments part of its business as Agilent Technologies in 1999, its merger with Compaq in 2002, and the acquisition of EDS in 2008, which led to combined revenues of $118.4 billion in 2008 and a Fortune 500 ranking of 9 in 2009. In November 2009, HP announced the acquisition of 3Com, with the deal closing on April 12, 2010. On April 28, 2010, HP announced the buyout of Palm, Inc. for $1.2 billion. On September 2, 2010, HP won its bidding war for 3PAR with a $33 a share offer ($2.07 billion), which Dell declined to match.

 

  1. Dell

Dell is an US multinational computer technology company that develops, sells, repairs, and supports computers and related products and services. Named after its founder, Michael Dell, the company is one of the largest technological corporations in the world, employing more than 145,000 people in the U.S. and around the world (Annual report 2018).

Dell sells personal computers (PCs), servers, data storage devices, network switches, software, computer peripherals, HDTVs, cameras, printers, MP3 players, and electronics built by other manufacturers. The company is well known for its innovations in supply chain management and electronic commerce, particularly its direct-sales model and its “build-to-order” or “configure to order” approach to manufacturing—delivering individual PCs configured to customer specifications. Dell was a pure hardware vendor for much of its existence, but with the acquisition in 2009 of Perot Systems, Dell entered the market for IT services. The company has since made additional acquisitions in storage and networking systems, with the aim of expanding their portfolio from offering computers only to delivering complete solutions for enterprise customers.

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‘Before we knew it this little website had 350,000 users’

When Adi Tatarko and her husband decided to renovate their California home in 2009, they found it wasn’t as easy as they thought it would be.

“We were really excited about decorating and we had ideas, but the process became unbearable,” Ms Tatarko says. “Seeking out architects and designers who had the same vision as us was so time consuming.”

The pair turned to the internet for help but found a dearth of websites offering support and inspiration – and so the idea for Houzz was born.

The community-based platform features articles and photos posted by architects and interior designers, as well as product recommendations. It also connects users with industry professionals who can help them with their projects.

Today Houzz has 40 million monthly users and is reported to be valued at $4bn – but when it launched a decade ago, the founders had much more modest goals.

“We really wanted to keep it small, as we didn’t want to lose the community feeling of it. We never thought we’d expand beyond California,” says Ms Tatarko, 46.

To begin with, Ms Tatarko and her husband Alon Cohen, 48, ran the website as a side project while working full time; she at an investment firm, he as a senior director of engineering at eBay.

The pair had just 20 users on the site, who were all parents from their children’s schools, along with a group of designers and architects from the San Francisco Bay area who were offering their services.

Very quickly the community grew, as the professionals began to recommend Houzz to their clients.

“After about six months we got requests from New York and Chicago, asking if we could open a section for them on the website,” Ms Tatarko says.

“Before we knew it this little community website had 350,000 users.”

In 2010 the pair managed to secure their first investment of $2m from Oren Zeev, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. They then left their jobs to work on the project full time, and used the money to hire their first staff.

Ms Tatarko says one of the biggest challenges was finding the right staff, or “Houzzers” as the firm likes to call them.

“For a long time we both interviewed every candidate, in fact 50% of our time was spent looking for them. We knew that getting the right people with the same vision as us was key.”

Houzz, which is free for homeowners and professionals to use, makes its money by taking a 15% commission on products sold through its marketplace. It also hosts advertising and sells premium listings for industry professionals.

Charles Bettes, boss of UK architecture firm Gpad London, think it has been a success because it helps users find “tailored inspiration” for their home improvement projects.

“Historically, interiors magazines, TV shows and other people’s houses’ were the main sources of inspiration for people when considering home renovations.

“Today, there’s far more inspiration available online. However, this wealth of imagery can be overwhelming. But platforms such as Houzz provide a curated showcase of some of the best refurbishment projects.”

In 2013, Ms Tatarko and Mr Cohen decided to expand overseas after realising that almost a third of Houzz’s users were based outside the US.

It launched first in Europe, then in Asia, and today says about half of all new users are international. Reflecting this it has opened six international offices, in places such as London, Berlin and Sydney.

Such growth has helped it to raise more than $600m from investors to date, but the firm is reportedly yet to make a profit.

In January it announced it was cutting about 10% of its 2,000 strong workforce, making 110 people in the UK and Germany redundant, and a further 70 in the US.

At the time, reports suggested it had expanded too quickly and questioned whether it had the right strategy.

“We restructured our international marketplace workforce… so that we can double down on the areas that will have the greatest impact for Houzz,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch at the time.

“It’s always difficult to go through a restructure at growth stages, given the impact on people’s lives.”

Despite the setback, the firm says its business remains strong, and there have been rumours it plans to list its shares on the stock market.

It has continued to update its service, too, having launching an augmented reality tool in its app that lets you to see, in real time, what furniture and designs will look like in your home.

Houzz TV, which shows online videos of celebrity home improvement projects, has also been a hit. The concept was devised by actor Ashton Kutcher, an investor in Houzz, who appeared in the first episode.

“Ashton was really keen on not just investing in the brand but also being as involved as possible,” Ms Tatarko says.

“We did the pilot and it worked really well, so decided to launch it as a show and have had celebrities such as Gordon Ramsey and Olivia Munn take part.”

Some 2.1 million professionals now sell their services through Houzz, and Ms Tatarko says the site is helping small businesses to grow.

She speaks of one UK designer who, after being contacted through Houzz, got a job renovating an Australian client’s holiday home in the south of France.

“It gives small businesses a platform to showcase, not just to their local community, but to the world, what they can really do.”

Article Culled from BBC business

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