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  • Is a Mentor Program a Good Return on Investment? Aug 21, 2018

    In business, the bottom line is everything. For this reason, it is understandable that you may be considering whether a mentor offers a good return on investment. In this article, we are going to examine this, as well as what a mentor program can do for you and your business.

    What is a Mentor Program?
    A mentor is someone who takes a junior, less experienced colleague under their wing. They offer advice, guidance, emotional support, and act as a good role model. The protégé or mentee has someone on hand who they can trust, which is invaluable as they learn the demands of their role within the organization.

    The Benefits of a Mentorship Program
    It has long been known that a mentor can help smooth the path in many roles. Many high-level executives have mentors to help guide them in their careers. Their mentors work with them to resolve the issues faced, both professional and personal. The mentor’s first responsibility is to the individual, not the company, so their advice is always impartial. When tough decisions must be made, it is helpful to have a mentor to turn to for advice.

    The advantages of offering a mentor to employees should not be underestimated. Employees who feel secure and happy in their role are less likely to leave. Employee retention should always be an organization’s priority, as employees are your biggest asset. Mentors can also help prepare their mentees for more responsibility, by boosting their leadership skills and self-confidence.

    Mentoring also helps to boost technical skills by encouraging older, more experienced employees to teach their younger proteges the ropes. Again, this also improves employee retention rates, as your staff are less likely to seek opportunities elsewhere if they feel valued.

    Calculating a Return on Investment
    A mentorship program requires a commitment from all parties. Management must commit to spending time and money implementing a scheme. Experienced employees must commit to offering their services as a mentor. And finally, junior staff need to be open to the idea of working with a mentor.

    To work out whether establishing a mentorship program is a worthwhile investment, you should look at whether employee retention is a problem and whether you have issues finding suitable candidates for internal promotion into leadership roles. If the answer is “yes” in both cases, a mentorship program can offer you an excellent return on mentoring investment.

    Implementing a Mentorship Program
    To make it work, put a plan in place and have clear and measurable goals. There are software packages available that can help you track the number of people who register for the scheme, both mentors, and mentees. Use this to track how many mentor relationships are set up at any given time. Make sure that there are no discrepancies in the data, such as fewer minority candidates registering for either role. Mentors need an action plan. This should be monitored by administrators to ensure progress is being made.

    Even the slightest improvement on employee retention will boost your bottom line, so don’t ignore the benefits of a mentorship program.
  • Latest Technology Trends in Web Development Jul 2, 2018

    The field of web development is one of the fastest moving tech fields. New trends and best practices are constantly emerging and evolving. The following trends are those that look set to be most important as we enter the second half of 2018.

    One Page Websites
    Websites fall into one of two broad categories. The majority of the websites that we use every day will be of the multi-page type. On a multi-page website, when you click a link to another part of the website, a corresponding page is served to the user. On the other hand, one-page websites consist of a single page with a central frame. As content is called by the user, it is then loaded into this central frame. When the user clicks on something else, rather than loading another page, the content displayed in the frame is simply switched out.

    With more users than ever before opting to browse on a mobile device (more on that later), it is unsurprising that the one-page approach is gaining popularity. Mobile users don’t want to be eating needlessly into their data allowances, so a one-page site will help to reduce the load.

    Death Throes of Flash
    Ever since the first announcement of HTML 5, Flash’s days have been numbered. Love it or hate it, Flash has been there throughout many of our online lives. It is through the use of flash technology that we were first able to embed video players into websites. Our society collectively owes billions of hours in procrastination made possible through Flash animation.

    However, for a number of reasons, most of them very good, Flash is now on the way out and the transition to HTML 5 is all but complete. Flash is no longer supported or updated, and it is relatively rare to encounter it in the world online these days. To be quite honest, many of us are surprised that Flash has held out this long! Come 2019 though, we’re certain that Flash will be gone completely.

    Mobile Dominance Continues
    In one way or another, most of the other trends in web design are being driven by the ever-growing mobile browsing market. More internet browsing is now done on cell phones than on desktops. This means that website owners can no longer afford to overlook users on smaller displays. Dynamic websites that rearrange themselves according to the device they are being displayed on are the preferred solution.

    Modular Website Creation
    The tools to allow the average non-technical computer user to build their own fully featured website have been around for some time now. However, it is now that the technology is truly beginning to mature. Previously, taking a modular approach to website building gave budding website owners limited options and resulted in a large number of websites that look and feel more or less exactly the same.

    More modern modular website creation tools are a lot smarter and are designed to produce more individualistic results. For some guidance on the best website building software to use, check out this article which covers 15 of the best choices out there.

    Any website owner who wants their website to exhibit the best design practices would do well to keep the above trends in mind. Just remember, these are only a small selection of the many, many trends that are constantly appearing.
  • Challenges UK business face during internationalisation Mar 29, 2018

    Expanding your business abroad is today easier than ever before. Globalisation, technology and widely available internet made cross-border trading much more desirable and attainable than it had been in the past. UK based companies see this as a great opportunity to approach new, foreign markets, grow their market share and consequently increase revenue. Even with a slight political uncertainty, we can see that the number of UK companies approaching the overseas markets, whether it’s within Europe or even further, is constantly growing.

    Nonetheless, although easier than ever before, taking your company abroad is still much easier said than done, and several companies, SMEs as well as larger organisations, unfortunately found out the hard way.

    When approaching international markets with your products or services, you will have to pay a close attention to a number of different factors, which can directly or indirectly affect your chances for success within a foreign market. In this article, we’re taking a closer look at some of them.


    Culture

    Culture could be one of the most significant factors when it comes to planning and approach for a foreign market. Indeed, culture may differ not only from country to country, but in some cases from city to city and therefore it is imperative to explore and fully understand the dominant culture within the market you wish to target.

    Cultural, social, political or even religious aspects can directly affect how your product/service and even company as a whole will be perceived from the consumer’s point of view. Before taking your company abroad, it’s advised to run an in-depth PESTLE analysis, which will allow you to fully understand the country you wish to enter and consequently adjust your services in order to be suitable and appropriate.

    Language and translation

    In many cases, language can be the biggest barrier between a company and the customer, or other business partners. A recent survey shows that over 70% of customers feel more inclined to commit to a purchase if the information about a product or service is available to them in their native language. As a result, in order to be successful, businesses must translate their materials and documents into the market’s native language.

    One of the most popular approaches to this problem is working with a professional translation agency which specialises in providing business translation services. Such agencies are able to cover a wide range of languages and work with content from a number of different business sectors, such as legal, marketing or technical, and guarantee highest quality of work, which is essential.

    An accurate translation is vital for a business approaching new markets. In many cases, the company’s website will be the first point of contact between your business and potential customers, consequently in order to uphold a professional image of your company, you must ensure that your website and other content are translated reliably and without any mistakes.




    Market

    Exploring and understanding your chosen market completely, before committing to expansion is nothing short of essential. From understanding your competitors, market saturation and consumer behaviour to tailoring marketing campaigns and translating your content, an in-depth analysis and plan can indeed prove to be indispensable.

    A number of companies, such as IKEA or TESCO, approached foreign markets without a prior in-depth examination of the chosen country/market, which turned out to be extremely costly, not only budget, but also company-image wise. While IKEA expanded into Japan, which is a very different market from Ikea’s home, Tesco decided to expand into USA, which, would at first appear to be a very similar market to the United Kingdom, Tesco’s home market, yet, as it turned out, nothing could be further from the truth. You can read more about these cases here and here.

    By investigating your preferred market closely, you’ll be able to spot any weaknesses and advantages your company might have abroad and adjust them accordingly, consequently increasing your chances for an international success

    Marketing

    Lastly, a competently conducted marketing campaign can be a challenge even in the business’s home country, let along abroad. Before preparing any marketing material, you must take into the account all of the above points and ensure that your content and messages will be suitable and appropriate for the target audience.

    Your company will not only have to translate or even trans-create the content, but the message will have to be fully localised, taking into account not only words, but also other aspects of the campaign, such as colours, sounds etc.

    These may symbolise different things in different cultures and countries, and so ensure to let your translation agency know this before proceeding.


    As you can see, there are many factors business owners must pay close attention to when approaching foreign markets. From understanding the chosen market, competitors and potential customers to translating materials and documents, localising the company website and marketing campaign, you’ll have to overcome a number of different obstacles before successfully growing your brand abroad. Nonetheless, with careful planning, approach and help from a translation agency, the rewards can be truly remarkable.
  • How to double your revenue with the right software Mar 26, 2018

    You could double or even triple your business revenue with the right software solution.

    Andrew Lobel, Managing Director of Magora UK, shares the secrets of leveraging competition.

    Andrew, tell us a bit about the company. What distinguishes Magora from other UK developers?
    • That’s simple. We treat each project as our own. We don’t follow existing paths but create new highways for our clients. We offer not just programming but fully-fledged business development.
      We create opportunities for each of our partners, helping them keep ahead of competitors by developing a digital environment where clients get to know the products or services online, without a middleman. Breaking the classical approach allows us to provide new business opportunities.

    What would you recommend to entrepreneurs to become successful?
    • Stop doing the same silly things. Do not be afraid of becoming the innovator, of doing a lot of cut-and-tries [market tests] to find the best original solution. Bring your crazy ideas to life.
    All Magora team members firmly believe that technical progress can bring benefits to any entrepreneur. And to help business people like you come closer to your dreams and give you the chance to be creative and successful (and to save a lot of money via business optimisation at the same time), we’ve launched a series of free webinars dedicated to business digitisation.

    Our senior business development consultant James Watkins discusses different approaches to digital transformation, outlining new ways to increase profits, and reveals success stories of world-famous brands.


    Who would you recommend the webinar to and how do they go about joining it?
    • Anyone who wants to get a clearer vision of how their business can become twice as profitable with the help of information technologies.

    To find hidden opportunities for your enterprise, join the next Magora webinar on 5th April 2018 at 16:00 (GMT).

    Participants will get answers to their questions and along with James will draft a step-by-step plan for business growth with bespoke software for their own company. Register for a webinar here.
  • What is Monero? Mar 25, 2018

    Blockchain technology is very much in vogue right now. While Blockchain can be used for a variety of useful and beneficial purposes, its most prominent use at the moment is in cryptocurrencies. These digital currencies rely on Blockchain technology to function, but while they might all share this aspect of their DNA, each cryptocurrency is different from the last.

    Monero is one of these Blockchain based cryptocurrencies. On their website, the developers describe Monero as being an untraceable, secure, and above all, private, cryptocurrency system. Monero claims that by using a proprietary cryptographic process, they are able to maintain the total privacy and security of all the transactions made through the network. In today’s world, where transparency is becoming the standard, the appeal of Monero is easy to understand.

    Origins
    CryptoNote is a protocol used in a number of different decentralized currencies. It doesn’t support the biggest cryptocurrency of them all, Bitcoin, but it is very similar in nature to the application layer protocol that is used with Bitcoin. The first currency to make use of CryptoNote was Bytecoin. Bytecoin displayed initial signs of promise, but before long, a number of users were flagging up some shady goings-on. Because of these, and with 80% of Bytecoins already published, it was decided that Bytecoin would be forked.

    The coins in the new chain which resulted from this forking were called Bitmonero, eventually being shortened to just Monero. At the helm of Monero is a team that consists of seven developers, five of whom have opted to remain anonymous.

    Privacy
    With so many different cryptocurrencies out there, many people find themselves wondering what exactly is the difference between them. In the case of Monero, its biggest selling points come from the properties of the CryptoNote algorithm. First of all, customers using Monero have complete control over all of their transactions. Monero offers all the privacy and security that you could want in a digital currency platform.

    If you are looking to invest in cryptocurrencies, then Monero is a good one to start with. You can find a Monero price guide here.

    Fungibility
    Another selling point of Monero is that it is fungible. Fungibility is a measure of how interchangeable a particular asset is with other goods or assets that are the same type. To understand fungibility, consider a simple example. If a friend lends you $50 as two $20 and a $10, and you repay them with a $20, a $10 bill, and four $5 bills, then they aren’t going to mind. In this example, the dollar has fungible properties.

    Dynamic Scalability
    Finally, Monero is dynamically scalable. Scalability is a hot-button issue in the world of cryptocurrency, especially over the last few months. Unlike Bitcoin, Monero has no pre-defined block size limit. This isn’t something that the average user will notice, but Monero’s block reward penalty, which is built into the system, is effective in achieving what other cryptos accomplish with their block size limit.

    Cryptocurrencies have really taken off over the last few years and Monero represents another innovative step along this exciting new tech path.
  • The Best Ways to Manage your Finances as a New Employee Mar 1, 2018

    There is no doubting the fact that education can lead to a more successful career. For a lot of young Brits, this has always been a factor that compels them to finish higher education degrees and look for jobs in either the public or private sectors. Evidently, this has been proven by figures showing how more and more people are pursuing their respective specializations in various universities. Funding for state-run institutions remains to be robust, showing a potential spike in graduation rates in the foreseeable future.


    Still, the issue of giving students a chance to pursue their own career paths doesn’t end in them obtaining their diplomas. To a certain degree, a lot has to be considered when it comes down to providing new graduates with jobs and still a lot more when it comes down to helping them settle.


    For their part, fresh graduates who have just started working in their first jobs will have to make sure they survive with the meager entry-level salaries they have to work with. That being said, it is important for them to manage their finances wisely and avoid a sloppy start in their paths to professional success.


    Start planning

    For many newly graduates, the world of “adulting” is a scary place to be. The main reason for this is financial management. For some reason, young adults struggle with keeping their finances in line. But really, it’s only a simple matter of tracking your expenses. It couldn’t be that hard, but considering how easy it is to squander a month’s worth of work inside a pub, newly hired graduates will have to exercise a bit of self-control. Luckily, there are tons of financial planning apps online that can help them keep tabs of their spending and make wiser purchasing decisions.


    Open a deposit account

    Saving money is as important as job security. And in such a precarious economic environment, newly hired employees should start securing their finances as early as possible. In this case, they can open deposit accounts that generate interest overtime. Once you get your first paycheck, allocate a certain portion to it to this account and make sure to do same with each subsequent pay.


    Get other sources of income

    If time is in your favor, you can actually pursue extra work on the side to enhance your cash flow. A lot of graduates, after all, take part as online freelancers, rendering their services in creative areas such as graphics designing and more technical areas such as consultancy.


    Get a kickstart

    There will be cases in which you have to sacrifice a month’s paycheck, cases such as home emergencies or a burglary. These scenarios will dry out your funds, so you have to wait until you get your next salary. Fortunately, you can avail of services like payday loans that you can get for low interest rates. These also come in handy when you have a ton of bills to pay, an apartment to move into, or to survive the long wait.
  • 4 Benefits of Power BI You Need To Know Jan 15, 2018

    The growth of a business increases the amount of data generated making the management of such data quite hard. This creates a barrier for enterprises that use data to make decisions. This is because the best business decisions ought to be guided by correct data, especially as the business grows. Power BI can come in handy in such situations. However, before you dive headfirst into an implementation read these 5 must-know facts about PowerBI.

    Here are the 4 benefits it brings to your business:

    1.Makes data more accessible

    Power BI is a great way to transform big data into visualizations which are insightful and absorbable at a glance. Additionally, the design of Power BI aligns with various Microsoft software like SQL, or SharePoint documents. You will be able to connect to about 60 software that most businesses use such as Google Analytics, SAP, Salesforce, and MailChimp among others. With such a wide application, it becomes easy to pull data into a central and easy-to-digest dashboard.

    2.Easy to implement

    The implementation of Power BI is easy –you only need to incorporate a few IT or engineering resources. There are also instances where you do not need any IT applications at all. All that your managers will do is have an API key that they can use alongside the Power BI software. In case you already have Microsoft systems such as Office 365, you will find it natural to use this software as it aligns well with Microsoft Teams and Office 365 Groups. In addition, implementation of the Power BI software requires little capital and less extensive training, which makes it highly beneficial for any organization that implements it.

    3.Strong security and access control

    Many organizations use Active Directory (AD) especially if using other Microsoft solutions. Similarly, the access control of Power BI is set via the AD. Nevertheless, the Power BI software is a bit different in its level of security. With its row level security, managers can choose when to grant or rescind access to certain data. Further, automation of the Power BI software makes it easy to restrict access to particular data to specific team members. This makes it easy to enhance confidentially where needed which makes data secure and improves the usefulness of your organization’s reports.

    4.Simple learning curve

    The fact that most people are familiar with a majority of the Microsoft products in use in the organization is an advantage on the use of Power BI. The reason for this is the fact that the majority of these users in the organization will find the Power BI ribbons, as well as several other interface elements quite easy to adopt and use. There are also a number of ideas for Power BI users.

    The benefits of using Power BI in a growing organization are numerous. With its simplicity and compatibility with major Microsoft software, it makes it easy for any user to make use of the Power BI services immediately. Its capacity to export data easily to other systems such as Excel is a great addition.
  • Financial Influences of “Brexit” and the United Kingdom Oct 31, 2017

    The European Union (EU) is composed of over 508 million people, and was developed to maintain a strong political and economic unity amongst 28 countries. The European Union (EU) was designed to connect the included European countries through a legislative, political, and trading dynamic, which benefits each of the countries within a fair, profitable system.

    From laws to trading policies and development, the EU offers financial stability and democratic freedoms and rights for international trading, contributions, and benefits globally. With a stake of over 7% of the world’s total population, it is understandable why the EU is so valuable to the stability of its countries economics, political governess, international impact, development, and relations.

    Annually, the EU reaps a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of around $18 trillion US dollars. This equates to 24% of global nominal GDP, and a purchasing power parity of over 17%.

    It is therefore understandable why and how the most recent “Brexit” move by the United Kingdom will likely have, at least in the short-term, such devastating economic impacts in some areas (purchasing power and dollar value), and profitable benefits in others (reduced tourism and estate rates or pricing). All of these variables, in consideration of its citizens, global investors, and foreign visitors or businessmen contribute greatly to the United Kingdom’s economy and purchasing power.

    What the “Brexit” Means for Foreign Investors
    As the value of the Great British Pound (GBP) decreases or fluctuates erratically because of current economic concerns of instability and uncertainty, lenders both locally and internationally are changing their policies and approach towards the United Kingdom and financial endeavours.

    Major lending institutions overseas such as the Singapore United Overseas Bank (Southeast Asia’s third largest) are taking new steps such as halting the ability to take out loans or mortgages on homes within the UK, as well as many others. Many citizens of the United Kingdom are in turn pursuing popular “Payday Loan” options as a temporarily alleviation of economic crisis.

    While the borrowing and estate market might be in the (long-term) favour of both lenders and borrowers, due to uncertainty, many of these institutions, including the DBS and OCBC are avoiding or pulling out altogether - at least temporarily.

    These major lenders and banks located throughout Singapore and Asia are very hesitant to give out loans for UK projects, warning their borrowers of the current economic instability, and lack of ability to project likely yields and profits in investing in UK-based estates. On the flipside however, most of these major (Asia-based) banking institutions and lenders have not completely halted their programs for lending for business project loans and development - however remain weary moving forward, as the Sterling Pound (£) falls 10% under the Singapore dollar.

    Global Options and Conclusion
    Although not all lending institutions are backing out or moving away from lending US dollars and other currencies to support loans and investments in the UK, the amount that have will dramatically impact the stability of the Great British Pound (GBP), likely towards a direction of continued value-regression.

    Moving forward, British students that have expatriated to other EU states for the sake of learning may experience a future inability to receive UK approved student loans. Citizens, if negotiations with the EU fail, might also experience a lack of accessibility to their pensions and health benefits as they have enjoyed the freedoms and benefits of to-date. That is, if they currently or plan on continuing to live in these EU connected countries.