Archive for August, 2017

Work Burnout Poses Problem for Small Business Owners, Per Xero Survey

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Work Burnout Poses Problem for Small Business Owners, Per Xero Survey

As a small business owner, you may have suffered work burnout. At the very least, you’ve seen the effects of burnout on your team or others in the workplace.

According to a new Xero survey released today, you’re not alone. The majority of small businesses (77 percent) feel the effects of burnout at work — at least some of the time.

Exhaustion, lack of energy, not enough time with friends and family, disillusionment and lower motivation are just some of the effects of work burnout.

Vacations are one way to cope with burnout; 98 percent of owners say they help. Yet taking vacation is a mixed bag because of not having anyone to take the owner’s place. But many owners cope by using technology to stay in touch.

If you persist in your business, it seems to get better. Age and time correlate to burnout levels, according to the survey.

The older the business owner, the less likely the owner reported work burnout.  Baby boomers (over age 50) reported burnout at a rate of 59 percent. Gen Xers (age 35 – 50) said 84 percent of them suffered burnout at some point in the last year. And an overwhelming 94 percent of millennials (age 18 – 34) felt burned out at least some of the time.

The survey does not indicate why older business owners report less work burnout. One possibility might be due to having greater experience in business and in life. Older entrepreneurs may have developed the ability to put problems into perspective and find solutions.  In other words, they may better manage the stresses that lead to burnout.

Yet conversely, as the small business itself ages, owner burnout seems to increase for a while, at least until the business gets very mature. The effect is like a bell curve. Seventy-eight percent of owners of startups (businesses less than two years old) report burnout. That percentage increases as the business ages. Businesses around from years 2 to 10 experience the highest burnout, at 86 percent.  But once the business passes the 10-year mark, it gets better. Owner burnout drops significantly after 10 years, to 65 percent.

That’s not too surprising when you consider small business survival rates. The first 10 years are rough on small businesses. About 80 percent fail within 10 years. It could be that once you get past the 10-year point, the stresses of keeping a business alive decline. And after 10 years the owner has figured out how to better cope with work burnout.

The Xero survey dealt with small businesses of up to 20 employees. Over 550 owners located in the United States responded to the survey. Some were Xero accounting software users, others not.

Xero  (XRO: NZE) is a cloud accounting software provider founded in 2006 in New Zealand.  The company grew from helping a handful of small businesses in New Zealand. Today it has over 1 million subscribers worldwide to its cloud accounting software platform.

Stressed Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Work Burnout Poses Problem for Small Business Owners, Per Xero Survey” was first published on Small Business Trends


MoviePass Shows Small Businesses the Power of Membership Programs — as Long as They Work!

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

MoviePass Shows Small Businesses the Power of Membership Programs -- as Long as It Works

MoviePass is a new service that essentially lets customers see one movie in participating theaters every day for just $10 per month. The service creates an obvious incentive for customers. Unfortunately, the service might still have some bugs that need to be worked out.

Business Insider recently tested out the service and ran into some issues, however. First, the app didn’t update with the customer’s information from the website. Then the live chat feature on the website offered a less-than-stellar solution that would have required the customer to actually buy his own ticket then receive a refund later. Eventually, MoviePass fixed the issue. But it wasn’t exactly a seamless experience.

Membership Programs Bring Customers Back

MoviePass can offer some important lessons for small business. First, the idea of the service is one that small businesses could try to emulate in their own unique ways. It’s a low cost way to get people through the door more often. So if you have a local business, maybe you could start a membership club or coupon special where people pay a small monthly fee to get great deals every time they visit your store or restaurant.

But Test Your Membership Programs Before Launch

But the second lesson is about the way your initiative actually works. If people sign up for something like this and it doesn’t work the first time — maybe there are tech glitches or your employees aren’t up to speed on how to handle those purchases — it can turn those customers away from your business forever. So make sure you really test your initiative to work out all the kinks and ensure that your employees know exactly what to do, or all your great local marketing efforts could be for naught.


This article, “MoviePass Shows Small Businesses the Power of Membership Programs — as Long as They Work!” was first published on Small Business Trends


U.S. Accepts Mexico Flood Aid Offer

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

The US state of Texas has accepted an offer of flood aid from Mexico despite tension over President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall and his threats to scrap a free-trade deal.

On Sunday Mexico offered vehicles, boats, supplies and food, reports said.

Mexican Red Cross volunteers have also travelled to the flooded city of Houston.

President Trump has not yet commented but Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has thanked the Mexicans.

“It’s very generous of the government of Mexico to offer their help at this very, very challenging time for our citizens down in Texas and now moving towards the border of Louisiana as well,” Mr Tillerson said.

It is not yet known when Mexico will provide the aid. But its government has suggested a similar mission to that sent to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when 200 Mexican troops brought food, water and medicine.

A separate convoy of 33 English-speaking Mexican Red Cross volunteers left for Texas to work in Houston shelters.

Some on social media pointed out that groups Mr Trump has been accused of demonising have been prominent in their offers of help for flood victims.

Mr Trump has promised Mexico will pay for any border wall. But Mexico has refused and the US president has conceded that the US will have to find initial funding.

He has threatened to force a federal government shutdown if funds are not allocated in the upcoming budget, but economists from investment bank Goldman Sachs say Storm Harvey has made that less likely.

Mr Trump has also promised emergency funds to rebuild in Texas and Louisiana, but also plans to cut nearly $1bn from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) budget to help get work on the border barrier started, the Associated Press news agency reported, quoted by BBC. 


Foreign Direct Investments in Non-Financial Sector in Bulgaria Grew by 1.4% in 2016

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

According to preliminary data 335 802 non-financial enterprises submitted their annual reports for 2016 at the National Statistical Institute. They generated BGN 137 139 million of production value and BGN 48 566 million of value added at factor cost, and employed 1 966 554 persons.

According to preliminary data 34 178 industrial enterprises submitted annual reports on their activities in 2016, which were 10.2% of the total number of the reported non-financial enterprises at the NSI.

In 2016 the production value of industrial enterprises was BGN 66 376 million at current prices, or 48.4% of the total value of non-financial enterprises.  In 2016 the value added at factor cost in the Industry amounted to BGN 19 271 million at current prices, which formed 39.7% of the total value of non-financial enterprises.

In 2016 the number of persons employed in the industrial enterprises was 639 168 persons, or 32.5% of the total employment in non-financial enterprises.

In 2016 the production value in construction sector was BGN 11 548 million  at current prices, or 8.4% of the total value of non-financial enterprises. 

In 2016 in the construction sector the value added at factor cost amounted to 2 697 million BGN at current prices, or 5.6% of the total value of non-financial enterprises.

The number of persons employed in the construction sector in 2016 was 142 570 and formed 7.3% of the total employment in non-financial enterprises.

Annual reports on their activities in 2016, according to preliminary data, were submitted at the NSI by 140 425 trade enterprises, or 41.8% of the total number of reported non-financial enterprises.

In 2016 the production value in the trade sector was 20 946 million BGN at current prices, which formed 15.3% of the total production value of non-financial enterprises.

In the trade sector, according to preliminary data, the value added at factor cost amounted to 10 359 million BGN at current prices, or 21.3% of the total value of non-financial enterprises. 

In 2016 in the trade sector were employed 511 690 persons that formed 26.0% of the total employment in non-financial enterprises

Annual reports on their activity in 2016, according to preliminary data, were submitted by 141 686 enterprises in the service sector, or 42.2% of the total number of the reported non-financial enterprises at the NSI

In 2016 production value at current prices for BGN 38 269 million  was generated by service sector which formed 27.9% of the total production value of non-financial enterprises. 

According to preliminary data, in 2016 the value added at factor cost in the service sector was 16 239 million BGN at current prices, or 33.4% of the total value of non-financial enterprises.

In 2016, according to preliminary data, the number of persons employed in the service sector reached 673 126 and formed 34.2% of the total employment in non-financial enterprises.



It is Official: Liverpool Signed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

The midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is now officially a Liverpool footballer announced from Anfield. Reports Sportal
The transfer sum for the English national is GBP 40 million. 
“I am currently on international duty with the English national team at St James Park. I am very happy that I signed with Liverpool. I want to thank everyone that made this possible. Currently I am focused on the two upcoming matches of the national team. 
However, I can not wait go to the training ground in Melwood and talk in front of the club TV.” said Ox, cited by the official site of the Mercyside tea. 


The gap between India’s richer and poorer states is widening

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

COUNTRIES find it easier to get rich once their neighbours already are. East Asia’s growth pattern has for decades been likened to a skein of geese, from Japan at the vanguard to laggards such as Myanmar at the rear. The same pattern can often be seen within big countries. Over the past decade, for example, China’s poorer provinces have grown faster than their wealthier peers. India is different. Far from converging, its states are getting ever more unequal. A recent shake-up in the tax system might even make matters worse.

Bar a few Mumbai penthouses and Bangalore startup offices, all parts of India are relatively poor by global standards. Taken together, its 1.3bn people make up roughly the third and fourth decile of the world’s population, with an income per person (adjusted for purchasing power) of $6,600 dollars. But that average conceals a vast gap. In Kerala, a southern state, the average resident has an annual income per person of $9,300, higher than Ukraine, and…Continue reading

Uber picks Dara Khosrowshahi as its new boss

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

“A LEADER is a dealer in hope,” said Napoleon Bonaparte. For much of this year Uber, the ride-hailing firm, has lacked both leadership and optimism. But on August 27th news leaked that Uber had poached as its new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, the boss of Expedia, an online-travel company. Mr Khosrowshahi is seen as both an astute dealmaker and a canny manager. In his 12 years at the helm of Expedia, the gross value of its hotel and other travel bookings more than quadrupled and its pre-tax earnings more than doubled.

Can he rally the troops? Uber is a fast-growing company that was last year valued privately by investors at around $68bn, but it has suffered a host of setbacks, which led to the ousting of Travis Kalanick, its co-founder and boss, in June. The firm faces a criminal probe by America’s Department of Justice into a covert software feature that tracked regulators, as well as allegations of incubating a sexist culture. It must also contend with multiple lawsuits.

Mr Khosrowshahi is less well-known than two other finalists for the job—Jeff Immelt, who until recently was CEO of General Electric, and Meg Whitman, who runs Hewlett…Continue reading

Bulgaria has the Cheapest Beer in the World

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

”How much does beer cost?” Is usually the first question asked when someone recommends a holiday destination. Beer is an integral part of the hot summer days not only in Bulgaria, but also in countries around the world. Travelex has accumulated a list of refreshment beverages prices in 32 countries.

Bulgaria topped the Travelex International Beer Index 2017 for beer destinations in the world. As in our country one can drink beer at the lowest price.

The beer index is a trustworthy formula that has been used in the United Kingdom for centuries. The results are based on the average cost per beer in each country to help beer lovers look for where to spend their  summer. Here are the top 7 countries where a cold beer mug is cheapest:

Bulgaria – 2 leva / 0,97 British pounds
Czech Republic – 30 crowns / 1.07 pounds
Hungary – 350 forints / 1.09 pounds
Mexico – 25 pesos / 1.15 pounds
Portugal – 1.50 euro / 1.35 pounds
Thailand – 60 baht / 1.45 pounds
South Africa – 25 rands / 1.55 pounds
Poland – 7 zloty / 1.56 pounds


Macron Government Launches Overhaul of France’s Labour Laws

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

President Emmanuel Macron’s government has begun its drive to overhaul France’s rigid labour laws, vowing to “free up the energy of the workforce”.

The reforms aim to make it easier for bosses to hire and fire.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said they were ambitious, balanced and fair but it was natural that not everyone would support the changes.

Protests against the plan are expected next month, but two of the biggest unions say they will not take part.

Jean-Claude Mailly, the leader of Force Ouvri?re (FO) praised the government’s “real consultation” and “social dialogue” and wanted no role in demonstrations on 12 September.

The union with the biggest presence in the private sector, CFDT, said its members would not take to the streets either, although it was ultimately disappointed that its position was not reflected in the final text.

Further demonstrations are promised by far-left leader Jean-Luc M?lenchon on 23 September.


Small Businesses Can Market with GIPHY as Platform Passes 200 Million Users

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

GIPHY Reaches 200 Million Daily Users -- GIFs Become More Popular Than Ever

In just four years, GIPHY has reached 200 million daily users, while serving more than one billion GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) every day. In announcing this milestone, the company is still trying to figure out how to monetize the platform as more people and businesses come aboard.

You probably already know what a GIF is, but GIPHY might be new to you. GIPHY can be described as the search engine of GIFs. The company says it is the easiest way to search, share, and discover GIFs on the Internet. So why is it necessary to index GIFs?

With more than a billion GIFs being served by GIPHY daily, everyone from individuals to small businesses and large enterprises are using GIFs to engage with their audience. Being able to identify each GIF and provide data on how it is being used is extremely valuable for companies.

The new count feature lets you see the number of times a GIF has been viewed regardless of how many times it loops. You will be able to view counts for every GIF from an official Artist or Partner with a cumulative count for the channel. 

Benefits of Using GIFs

For a small business, GIFs have many upsides. They are cheaper than video, effective, easy to consume and can be better than static images, depending on the context. You can promote your brand easily across all platforms, especially mobile to quickly tell a story and engage with your audience.

If you use email for marketing, using a GIF increases click, conversion, open, and revenue rates.

The Future of GIPHY

Having raised close to $151 million in four rounds from just 13 Investors, GIPHY has a valuation of $600 million. Obviously these VCs see a big upside. As these investors look for returns, the company is said to be testing ad products, according to TechCrunch.

This will provide many new opportunities, not only for the major brands currently using the platform, but also small businesses.

GIPHY is free, so you can create and deliver a GIF using the platform to promote your business, and get ready for paid ads when they come around.

Image: GIPHY

This article, “Small Businesses Can Market with GIPHY as Platform Passes 200 Million Users” was first published on Small Business Trends


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