Category Archives: Business

The Advantages of Outsourcing Your FCA Compliance

The Financial Conduct Authority or FCA is a government-independent financial regulatory entity. It was established in the United Kingdom and is funded by the fees paid by member companies involved in providing financial services.

Compliance with FCA authorisation regulations ensures the following:

  • Effective and fair competition between financial service providers with focus on the customers’ interests
  • The financial products and services promised are delivered by trusted and compliant financial firms.
  • Stable, sound, and resilient financial and market systems that provide pricing data that is transparent to the customers.

Being established just recently after the phase out of the Financial Services Authority, the compliance process is quite new and rules are not familiar to some financial service providers, especially the small to medium sized ones. If you fall into this category or your company may not have enough human and knowledge resources, outsourcing FCA compliance may be a more viable option. Here are the disadvantages of letting the experts do the dirty work for you:

  • They can help you through the whole gamut of the compliance process: initial authorization, documentation and control framework requirements from FCA, and provision of continuous monitoring and maintenance.
  • If you opt to get involved in the majority of the compliance process, they can provide additional support and give advice whenever appropriate. This is ideal for small firms that have commissioned the maintenance and administrative aspects of the FCA compliance internally, but still require assistance on more complex regulatory issues that may occur.
  • They can offer part-time coverage of the compliance officer’s tasks in case of absence, be it planned or unplanned. With their knowledge and experience of the process, delays will be avoided if someone from the compliance team files a leave of absence.
  • Outsourcing FCA compliance can be more cost effective since the services offered can be flexible and available on demand. Hiring skilled internal compliance officers will, on average, cost more than getting the service externally.
  • Companies specializing in FCA compliance have broader experience of the evolving regulations and applications so they can come up with better, more effective approaches in response to the changes.
  • They can provide you with a tailor-fit solution that is appropriate to the range and scale of your business activities. Not all financial firms are equal and underdoing or overdoing the FCA compliance process can have negative effects to your company’s certifications.

 

Branding Your Corporate Uniform: How to Make Clothes Speak for Your Business

Creating a corporate uniform for your business has many benefits. For one thing, it promotes teamwork and instills a sense of belonging among your employees. For another, customers find uniformed workers more trustworthy. Uniforms are also a great way to reinforce your brand: staff members advertise your business whenever they wear their corporate clothing.

Your company uniform becomes an effective means of branding for your business when it is attractive and instantly recognizable. Here’s how to make that happen.

Incorporate Company Colours

Color is the first thing people will notice and remember about your uniforms. For this reason, it’s a good idea to identify the colors strongly associated with your company and incorporate these into the uniforms. These hues can be used in details like piping or patches, or they may form the entire outfit. Just make sure that the fabric matches your brand colors to a tee!

The Logo Says It All

The company logo makes everything more professional and official. You should always incorporate it in the design of your uniform, whether it’s small on the left breast of a shirtfront or displayed wide across the back. Embroidery is an elegant, hardwearing option for smaller logos, while screen printing is the go-to for large or complicated designs. Logos 4 Polos always recommend Embroidery over printing.

Make It Distinctive

Customers often think of businesses as “that place where the waiters wear red” or “the shop where they have a dancing blue cow on their shirts”. They’ll also use such terms to describe your company to their friends. This is why your uniform needs to be distinctive.

Go the extra mile to make sure the design of your uniform stands out, while still reflecting your company’s desired image. Unique patterns or trademark prints make a bold statement, but even a simple white shirt can be made more recognizable with details picked out in the company colors.

Always Have Options

It’s always wise to have options. You may want to have a casual uniform for everyday wear, and a more formal version for special events. You should also consider what your employees will wear when the seasons change. Having company jackets or sweaters will keep your brand visible even when you have to cover up during the cold months. Similarly, a summer uniform with shorter sleeves and lighter materials will be a godsend when it’s hot.

Ask for Employee Input

Asking for employee input is a very important part of a uniform’s design process – after all, they’re the people who’ll be wearing it! Seek their input so that your uniform will be functional and comfortable in addition to being effective company branding.

Hiring a Photo Booth to Boost The Morale and Productivity of Your Employees

Having stressed and demotivated employees can be costly to your business. It could lead to decrease in productivity and lower revenue. Your clients will also not receive the quality of customer service that they deserve if your employees are all burnt out.

One way to boost the morale and productivity of your employees is to hire a photo booth. You can hire a photo booth during an office event or you can simply place a photo booth in your lobby or your pantry so your employees have something fun to do during their lunch breaks.

Many corporate consultants agree that having fun at work can significantly increase the morale and productivity of the employees. You must also remember that happy employees will always go an extra mile to make the customers happy!

Hiring a photo booth can definitely make your employees happy! It gives them something to look forward to. It gives them a venue to release work stress and just enjoy even for a few minutes. Your employees could use props and they can take as many pictures as they want. They can also goof around the camera and share a few jokes while inside the booth. Your employees will definitely feel more energized after they are back from break. This would in turn increase their productivity.

Hiring a photo booth can also create a light environment in the office. It is important to hire a photo booth service, especially if you have a high-stress environment. Photo booths can be a great outlet where employees can have fun!

You can also use photo booths as a reward to those who have been performing well in the workplace. You can give passes to performing employees so they could have unlimited use of the photo booth. This will make them feel appreciated. This will also increase their morale. They could also post their fun pictures on their Facebook!

You can also use photo booths hire for corporate events. Check out their top reviews on Yell. Aside from the fact that it is fun, it is also a great way to communicate a message to your employees because you can actually add in some test into each photo. It is a great way to increase the visibility of your company name and logo.

You can also hire photo booths during company family days and during your annual Christmas parties. Doing this will give an opportunity to your employees to just relax and be silly even for a little while. Choose a local photo booth hire company to you with great reviews and you can’t go wrong!

Digital Marketing on a Budget

Marketing is a very important element of any kind of brand. The common misconception is that marketing, especially in this day and age, is expensive. However, even startups with limited budgets can take full advantage of what marketing can bring. Here is a simplified guide to digital marketing on a budget.

One of the best ways to gain affordable exposure is to use social media to your advantage. Just about everyone is into social media networks, including various business establishments. Here are some ways on how you can fully leverage the marketing potential of social media networks.

  1. Use social media as an extension of your brand- Post updates, promotions, and other related stuff that your clients will get interested in. There are only 2 rules to follow: the content must always be tied to your brand’s message and never post too much or too little.
  2. Using Google adwords for your business (ensure you get a Google voucher first!)
  3. Provide value to your followers- As mentioned earlier, you must post information your clients can relate to and get value from. This means either you give them information they need or give them a compelling reason why they should try your service.
  4. Engage with your fans/followers- One of the best ways to generate and maintain interest in your brand is by communicating with your followers. Don’t be afraid to initiate interaction. More importantly, make sure to reply to any message or comment, regardless if it is positive or negative.

Content marketing is one of the most classic forms of digital marketing. When used the right way, it is still more than capable of generating interest to your brand. To take full advantage of this area of digital marketing, here are some of the things you must do. Points provided by Gareth Bull of Bulldog SEO agency based in London.

  1. Think of ways to get your message across- There are many ways to reach out to your target audience. The best way is to create content that will give value to them. Whatever content you make must be created with the aim of giving value to your clients.
  2. Look for affordable yet effective content- Availing of some promotional content can be expensive. However, there are some effective marketing tools that can be availed of for cheap. Look out for these and pick them up to generate leads for your brand.
  3. Promote the content- You will have to promote your content so it can get maximum mileage. You can use your social media accounts, use email marketing, enter related forums, and other innovative ways to share your content to those who you think will need it.

The Pros and Cons of Managing Your Payroll In-House or Outsourcing It to Another Entity

One of the business decisions you have to make is whether you’ll be managing your payroll in-house or outsourcing it to other companies. Your staff’s wages and commissions need someone to be focused on making the necessary calculations to ensure everyone gets what they deserve on payday. There is also a need for a specific person to attend to disputes, concerns or issues regarding their wages.

Now, why would you let other people facilitate managing your payroll in-house or outsourcing it when you can do it by yourself? There are many reasons to do that.

For one, you need to be qualified as an accountant or anything related to finance management to be an effective payroll specialist. That means enrolling yourself in school to learn finance management. That is going to take time which you may not be able to afford as of now to learn something which you can easily pay other people to do for you; although learning the basics of finance management is also a good thing to learn, which you can do as soon as your business is stable and able to run on its own without your active participation.

Two, this task can be very tedious and if you’re truly serious about managing your business, your focus should lie on spearheading activities and properly delegating tasks that would be considered as administrative to other people who are experts in that field.

Now, here are some pros and cons when it comes to managing your payroll in-house or outsourcing:

  1. Managing your payroll in-house allows you more control of wages and commissions, if there are any, that need immediate decisions for approval or denial.
  2. Whereas managing your payroll through an outsourced company allows for more objectiveness when it comes to payroll issues, concerns or disputes.
  3. Using an outsourced company to do your payroll for you frees up your business expenses in terms of overhead and housing the staff in your office.
  4. Managing your payroll in-house will allow you to maximize the efficiency of the people working for you as you can designate to do other jobs if calculating for pay is not yet critical. This often happens during the middle of the month or if it is more or less 10 days away from payday.
  5. Managing your payroll in-house allows for faster communication between you and your payroll staff whereas outsourcing it requires either extensive telecommunications or scheduled visits from the outsourced staff for clarifications.

So now that you have all the pros and cons of managing your payroll in-house or outsourcing it to other companies, it is now time for you to decide which option to take.

7 Practical Tips for Web Marketing that Lets You Save on Cost

Building the online presence of your business has never been more practical than today. The internet gives you limitless resources to build your online presence. What if you are running your business on a tight budget? Here are seven (7) practical tips worth considering.

Define Your Market

The first thing to do is to identify your market. Get to know who your target audience is.

To define your market is to know your business well. This way, you’ll be able to find the match between your product and the market. Knowing and understanding your market will allow you to reach your audience successfully without unnecessary cost.

Set Your Goals

What do you wish to get from online marketing? How do you wish to benefit from your strategy? Are you doing it to increase the level of awareness of your target market? Is increasing your income your goal?

You may have several goals, small and big ones. It is important that you monitor and measure your goals. As you achieve each of your goals, reset them as necessary. This will allow for the continued growth of your business.

Create Your Budget

After defining your target market and setting your goals, it’s time that you create your budget. The advantage of web marketing is that you reach your goals with success despite the tight budget. The internet provides you with free tools you can use. This will reduce the cost of your marketing plan, as you can spend your money on the non-negotiables.

Strengthen Your Brand

Branding allows you to differentiate your business from the competition. In setting your business apart from the others, you create loyal customers. You can begin by creating your business website with a unique domain name that represents your business.

Optimising Your Website

Your target audience is more likely to find your website through the search engines. The goal therefore is to appear on the first page of search engine results, preferably as one of the first ten websites. You can do this through search engine optimisation (SEO).

You can do SEO yourself, but understand that it is a time-consuming process. Doing it yourself may interfere with your core activities. Consider enlisting the services of a reliable agency or the right persons who can do the job for you. The benefits outweigh the cost.

Blog to Earn Leads

Blogging is a cost-effective and efficient way to generate quality leads for conversion. Give your readers fresh high-quality content. The content should not only be informative, but it should also be engaging. Engaging your readers is the key to increase traffic for lead generation.

Use the Influence of Social Media

Join social networking sites where your target audience frequents. Social media is an influential platform to connect with your target market first and then to market your product. Use it accordingly.