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Bricks And Mortar Vs Online: Can Retro Beat New Age?

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The statistics don’t make for positive reading material if you are bricks and mortar store. In 2016, 1.61bn sales were made via the World Wide Web. In the same year, online sales accounted for $1.9tn and the figure is set to rise to $4tn by 2020. In 2021, the global retail sales from eCommerce sites are due to hit 15.5%. A store owner reading this would be forgiven for shutting up shop and abandoning ship. Fighting back seems impossible, so why try?

The answer is simple: not all physical stores close. Here are the ways they are beating the online revolution and how you can too.

Join Them

Walmart is officially the biggest business on the planet with total revenue of $482bn per year. Quite an eye-raising amount even compared to Russian oligarchs and Chinese steel companies. What is just as shocking is the fact that a corporation the size of the Walmart Group couldn’t resist the digital revolution. Instead of dismissing it as a fad, the savvy bosses got in line and developed an eCommerce site which contributes to their yearly earnings. If the biggest business in the world has to adapt, so do SMBs, vintage stores, and boutiques.

Be Fast And Convenient

There’s a myth that online shopping is the quickest form of retail therapy. Heading to the checkout and paying for goods is easy but there is still a wait. Even next day delivery means customers have to go out of their way to receive a product. Fast food companies exploit this by providing the quickest and most convenient service in town. Burger King, Subway, and Dominos are pretty much served to the consumer within minutes of ordering. Lines and long waits are just two reasons people shop at home. To combat it, you have to focus on speed as well as quality.

Analyze Real Estate

One area where websites succeed is cost cutting. They don’t need a lot of things, but the most important omission is a building. Their lack of rent means the company can spend the money on other areas of the firm. You can’t because a workspace is essential, but you can cut the costs. Again looking to the fast-food industry, McDonald’s invest in prefab metal buildings to increase sales and revenue. As they fit together seamlessly, the franchises don’t have to wait long to make money. Simply bartering over the price with the landlord is a straightforward way to secure a great deal.

Don’t Mass Produce

Spotify doesn’t have SKU numbers, which means its service isn’t mass produced. There are rivals, but Apple Music and Tidal are rip-offs of the original. And that is the appropriate word to keep in mind. An SKU number implies the product or service is easy to find throughout the industry, and that is bad for business. There needs to be a legitimate reason to lure people out of their digital den which is where innovation comes into play. Locally sourced or handmade products won’t be available anywhere else, even on the cyber highway.

Can bricks and mortar beat new age? It’s not easy but it’s doable. What do you think?

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Managing creative employees

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Managing creative employees

Designers, journalists, photographers are talented and not ordinary people. At the same time, you can often hear that they can be easily distracted. But if someone complains about the uncontrollability of the creative employees, one simply does not know how to organize them.

How to manage creative employees

Designers, journalists, photographers are talented and not ordinary people. At the same time, you can often hear that they can be easily distracted. But if someone complains about the uncontrollability of the creative employees, one simply does not know how to organize them. Find out how to organize your creative employees in the best way and without unnecessary stress following the tips from these 10-page papers.

The method of the stick doesn’t work

Formally, creative people are no different from all others. And informally, of course, the difference is obvious. The geniuses have other motivators. For example, for them recognition is more important than money. A free schedule is more comfortable than working from a call to a call.

So, it’s advisable to rather choose the right leadership style to live in peace and harmony. In the scientific literature, four types of management are distinguished:

  • Authoritarian. When everything in the company occurs at the behest of the head, and the subordinates are obedient executors.
  • Market. Relations in the team are built on the principle “you do something for me and I’ll do something for you.” This is kind of entrepreneurial approach.
  • Bureaucratic. The company has clear regulations, management orders are not discussed, and all employees are disciplined and executive.
  • Democratic (humanistic). This is a paradise for creative workers. The staff of the company is one big team, where everyone is given chances to realize their ideas, even the most grandiose ones.

Follow your line

The main words to the manager is to become the creative leader himself. However, it makes no sense to create without knowing the measure and purpose. Therefore, top managers of innovative companies adhere to the following principles when running a team:

  • Self-management. Provide employees with a field for activities, not pushing in their strict framework, but also avoiding arbitrariness.
  • Personal responsibility for the result. Do so that every member of the team understands that the success of the project depends on it. Praise because creative people like approval very much.
  • Freedom. Every employee has the right to work as he likes. Work from home, at night or daytime – in fact it’s not important. The main thing is the result.
  • Tasks for interests. A routine is the most terrible word for creatives. They are bored sitting for a long time in one place, doing the same thing. A maximum of three years, and the true creator will run away, even if you give him free breakfast and lunch. So periodically change everything: tasks, areas of responsibility, and projects.

Looking for talents

In order to prevent the search for personnel from turning into a torture, one should immediately pay attention to those candidates who are equally capable of working both in the office and in public transport. And at the same time to give out unique intellectual products that did not exist before, absolutely viable.

During the interview, offer the applicant a simple test. For example, to come up with as many options for non-standard use of a paper clip within one minute. The candidate writes the answers on a letterhead, which is then analyzed.

Work environment

It’s more interesting for the creative person to work in a circle of like-minded people. It is not necessary for this to open super offices where you can ride bikes or lie on bear hides.

The creative environment is a mood, a climate, a kind of comfort. Everything will turn out fine if you take into account some features in time:

  • Create friendly relations. It is very good when you can communicate freely the company, without hierarchy, consult all issues directly with top managers and take the initiative.
  • Support the staff. In a good working climate, ideas and proposals are received with interest and are welcomed by leaders of all ranks. Often arrange brainstorming so that everyone can feel the team spirit and positive attitude.
  • Demonstrate trust and be open. When each person puts forward ideas and is not afraid to express his opinion, the emotional burnout of staff will not overtake.
  • Joke so there will be ease, spontaneity, and a friendly atmosphere.
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The best ways to protect your business against financial fraud

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Businesses of all types can fall victim to fraudulent activity, from the smallest of enterprises to the largest multinational organisations. Financial fraud is all-too-common and can really impact on the image and reputation of any business. But, there are steps you can take to protect your business against fraud, and here’s how.

Keep a closer eye on your accounts

You need to keep a close eye on your accounts because, if you don’t know your company’s figures, how are you going know whether or not you have become a victim of financial fraud? Criminals are clever and they will be able to steal large sums of money from you over time, without it making a noticeable difference to your daily working operations straight away.

One of the best ways to stay on top of this is to invest in a software solution that allows you to keep track of your finances at-a-glance whenever and wherever you want to see them. The easier it is to access your accounts, the easier you’ll find it to monitor what’s coming in and out and spot any transactions that don’t look right.

Employee background checks

These days you need to be vigilant so consider running background checks on potential employees who will be handling money for your business, whether this is dealing with cash or financial records. Having employees that you can trust is the first step to combating potential fraud – they are, after on the front line against fraud.

Firewalls and virus protection

Make sure all your computers, including the ones used for work outside of the office, are fully equipped with the latest firewall and virus protection software. Malware and spyware are ones to consider as these could be used by fraudsters to trick their way into your systems.

Change passwords

Have your employees regularly change their login passwords. Passwords should ideally be changed every 60 to 90 days and have at least eight or more characters featuring upper and lowercase letters as well as numbers. Again, this is all about making it harder for people to hack into your systems and access your private financial data.

Keep company information safe

Your business requires you to hold information such as employee identification numbers, tax, wage and other sensitive information. This should be encrypted and safely stored, with access only given to those who require it for their jobs.

You should also keep important paperwork such as checks protected and in a secure location that is not easily accessible to the wrong hands. When it comes to disposing of any company documents, shred them. Being cautious with your business information is an important step to preventing fraud. If you give nothing away, there’s nothing for fraudsters to latch onto.

Protecting your business against financial fraud should be an important priority. Take it seriously, follow the steps above and give yourself the best possible chance of staying safe.

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Francisco Reynés: “Naturgy wants to play an important role in Europe”

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Francisco Reynés Naturgy

Francisco Reynés, executive chairman of Naturgy (formerly Gas Natural Fenosa), has mentioned the great value of the energy multinational company in the reorganisation of the sector in Europe. He has also expressed that they are open to corporate acquisitions.

Francisco Reynés has made these statements during an interview with the Spanish newspaper EXPANSIÓN, leader in economic news.

Francisco Reynés has mentioned the Naturgy Strategic Plan for the period 2018-2022, which was presented some weeks ago in London; a plan that promises its shareholders to increase the dividend in cash by at least 5% per year until the end of the period.

To reinforce the new shareholder remuneration policy, and if the intended acquisitions do not materialize, the company could allocate a maximum of € 2,000 million in the period as share buyback.

About this possibility, Francisco Reynés has explained that “in march, when we started to design the strategic action plan, we decided to conceive it without restrictions so that we can accomplish our own strategic decisions”.

“We want to demonstrate that it is not necessary to buy another company; Naturgy is in a position to develop by itself”, he added.

Once the strategic plan has been drafted and presented, Francisco Reynés has recognized that “it is important to look at everything”. It is not a race where you are running alone, you have to look what the competition is doing. To grow in business should not an obsession, it is rather an option”, he said.

Francisco Reynés has also insisted on the need to “play an important role in the reorganisation of the sector (…) We can be a relevant energy actor in Europe”, he concluded.

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