Archive for August, 2018

Today in Bulgaria will be Mostly Sunny with Highs of 29-34°C

Friday, August 31st, 2018

Sofia. Today it will be mostly sunny with some more clouds in the afternoon, mainly over the mountainous regions of Western Bulgaria, and in some places there it will rain with thunder. Light to moderate wind, mostly from east. Maximum temperatures between 29°C and 34°C, in Sofia about 29°C. This is the weather forecast of the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, meteorologist Hristo Hristov told Focus News Agency.

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Selena Gomez Is on a Sneaky Summer Trip to Greece and Bulgaria

Friday, August 31st, 2018

Selena Gomez’s great, Justin Bieber-free summer has included multiple yacht outings, Disneyland trips, and a vacation to Italy. It’s winding down now with one last trip abroad to Greece and Bulgaria. Gomez herself has not posted about her time there, keeping it private. But fans believe she was over in Greece volunteering with A21, a non-profit organization that works to prevent human trafficking. The singer was spotted in Greece on Tuesday and Bulgaria Wednesday.

ELLE

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Bulgaria has the Most Women in Tech in the EU

Friday, August 31st, 2018

OZY – When Bulgarian Tatyana Mitkova co-founded her business — ClaimCompass, which helps dissatisfied airline passengers get compensation — she found exactly what you’d expect from the startup sector: Most of the industry’s other founders and investors were male. As the tech industry worldwide attempts to shake off its hoodie-wearing White man image, Bulgaria has become one of the world’s bright spots.

According to Eurostat, the statistics agency of the European Union:

DESPITE BEING THE POOREST COUNTRY IN THE 28-MEMBER BLOC, BULGARIA HAS THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN IN INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) POSITIONS AT 26.5 PERCENT.

Bulgaria’s number has actually slipped slightly, even as the nation works to establish itself as a rising tech and software hub in Eastern Europe, but is doing very well compared to the 17.2 percent average across the EU as a whole. American women, in comparison, hold about 26 percent of math- and computer-related jobs, which is lower than in 1960. And Bulgaria is also one of just three countries in the EU that has a higher percentage of female scientists and engineers than male: 54 percent, second only to Lithuania, compared with a regional average of 40 percent.

“If you look back in history, first during the communist times, there were no separations between men and women, and everyone had to work,” says Anna Radulovski, a 26-year-old Bulgarian entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Coding Girls, an award-winning platform dedicated to closing the tech gender gap. Bulgaria is also first in the EU when it comes to the number of female students enrolled in ICT-related courses, at 33 percent, more than double the bloc’s average.

“In Bulgaria there are many female role models that are encouraging the next generation of women to choose careers in the computer industries — in a way, the prejudices that exist in the majority of countries are less in Bulgaria,” says Sasha Bezuhanova, a 20-year industry veteran who worked at Hewlett-Packard’s Bulgarian operation before leaving to set up Move.bg, a platform for social innovation, in 2013.

 
As of last year, only 2 percent of venture capital funds worldwide went to female-led businesses — even though female-led firms saw a higher return on equity and better results. “Obviously we need to mobilize the leadership, both men and women,” Bezuhanova says, “To present good examples and also set the stage for equal and neutral treatment of business initiatives led by men or women.”

But even in Bulgaria, there are three men in the industry for every woman, and many feel the disparity is worse in the more powerful, better-paying jobs.

“While I’m happy to see the statistics when it comes to the percentage of women in the sector, female founders and leaders are still rare,” says Mitkova. “I didn’t have many female role models to look up to when starting up.” She says investors are also mostly male, and that inspiring examples of women in startups aren’t necessarily well-known or promoted to encourage new talent.

Still, it could be worse. “After spending some time in Silicon Valley, I definitely see a difference,” she says. “Bro culture is not that common [in Bulgaria].”

  • Kit Gillet, OZY Author

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Hunting: top gun

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Little room for error in group’s shares if boom in oil market loses its spark

Consumer Email Use Up 17% Over Last Year, Is Your Business Engaging?

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Consumer Email Statistics: Use Up 17% Over Last Year -- Get Your Message Just Right

The fourth annual Adobe Consumer Email Survey has revealed consumer use is up 17% year over year. This is despite the fact there are now more channels available for consumers to interact and engage with their favorite brands.

The survey points out consumers are checking their personal email an average of 2.5 hours on any given weekday. This is in addition to spending an average of 3.1 hours checking their work email.

Suffice it to say, email is not going anywhere anytime soon. This includes small businesses looking for an affordable and effective marketing tool.

According to Campaign Monitor, email delivers the highest ROI for marketers and it beats social by 40X for customer acquisition.

Kristin Naragon, head of Adobe Campaign, explained why email continues to be one of the best marketing tools for marketers. On the company blog, Naragon said, “Why is email so ingrained in our lives? One reason may be that it’s so manageable—we can sort, file, filter, and generally get things done. It’s also a known, safe quantity. We’re familiar with how to make email work for us, and we feel confident about the privacy of our data.”

For small business owners, it means being able to launch targeted campaigns without breaking the bank while seeing real-world results.

The survey was carried out with the participation of 1,000 white-collar workers to look how consumers are communicating across email and other channels.

Consumer Email Statistics

The 17% year over year rate represents a steady growth in the use of email. So much so, 85% of the respondents said they check it before they go to work and close to a quarter look at their email before they even get out of bed in the morning.

Consumer Email Statistics: Use Up 17% Over Last Year -- Get Your Message Just Right

 

This type of engagement shows email is still highly relevant for brands by a long shot. When it comes to interacting with brands through email, 50% said it is their preferred channel.

Direct mail is next at 20%, followed by a phone call, text message/SMS, and social media channels at an equal 7%. Although chat bot use is up by 200%, it only represents 3% of the way consumers interact with brands.

Email is effective, but it has some drawbacks as consumers are quick to pull the unsubscribe button if they are not happy.

The survey said 45% of respondents unsubscribe because they get too many emails. This can be solved by being more diligent when brands interact with their customers.

Consumer Email Statistics: Use Up 17% Over Last Year -- Get Your Message Just Right

One third or 33% said, not recommending products that match their interests is a big enough reason to unsubscribe. Another 22% said sending offers that have already expired is an issue, while 17% said misspelling their names is equally problematic.

Email in the Workplace

When it comes to using email in the workplace, consumers between 25 to 34 years old spend more time in their inbox with 6.4 hours per day. This is compared to 5.8 hours for those 18 to 24 years old and 5.2 hours for those over 35 years of age.

Email has also become a preferred way for workplace communication, as it ties face-to-face conversations at 31%. Phone communication comes in at 16% and instant messaging is at 11%. This is followed by file-sharing services, enterprise social network, and video conferencing at four, three, and 3 percent respectively.

Consumer Email Statistics: Use Up 17% Over Last Year -- Get Your Message Just Right

Email for the Small Business Owner

For the small business owner, email is an affordable option to increase their presence by interacting and engaging with their customers. Adobe says the solution it provides helps entrepreneurs with tools for delivering the maximum impact with their email marketing.

This includes: predicting the best time to send emails; intelligently segmenting emails based on individual engagement; simplifying email creation; obtaining and acting on more granular insights; creating multilingual push messages, and scaling and delivering contextual emails

You can take a look at the rest of the data here on SlideShare.

Images: Adobe

This article, “Consumer Email Use Up 17% Over Last Year, Is Your Business Engaging?” was first published on Small Business Trends

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15 Email Signature Best Practices

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

15 Email Signature Best Practices
With an incredible 269 billion emails sent every day around the world, it stands to reason, emails are a vital form of communication for small businesses. Email signatures are an important part of a small business’s identity, helping nurture consistency and professionalism.

Email Signature Best Practices

If you want to improve what is likely to be one of your most prevailing forms of business communication, take a look at the following 15 best email signature practices.

Have an Email Signature Practice in Place

First and foremost, you should have an email signature practice in place. As Ivana Taylor, small business marketing expert, online publisher, influencer and publisher of DIYMarketers.com, told Small Business Trends:

“The most important email signature practice is to HAVE ONE. I’m astonished at how many people have NO email signature.

Make It Clear Who You Are

It might sound obvious, but your email signature needs to include your name and your position in the business, so recipients know exactly who you are.

Include Information About How People Can Reach You

Emails provide the perfect opportunity to provide recipients with your contact information. As Ivana Taylor advises:

“Every email signature needs to have (at the very least) your name, physical address, best number to reach you, your email address, as well as a skype address (for international folks).”

Include Links to Social Media Channels

Encourage your email recipients to find and follow you on social media by including links to your social media channels on your email signature.

Make Your Email Signatures Mobile Friendly

Did you know that 50% of all emails are sent from mobile devices?

As Growth Mail, providers of innovative email signature software recommend, rather than sending emails that feature unprofessional “sent from my mobile” messages, send emails that “still feature your professionally designed email stationery and clickable marketing messages,” wherever you are.

Include a Headshot on Your Email Signature

Enhance the professionality of your emails further by including a headshot so that people know what you look like. According to Ivana Taylor this matters for a host of reasons.

“If you’ve never met someone and you’re going to finally meet at a conference — the image is a big help. But here’s another tip — use the SAME headshot image for ALL of your profiles including your email signature because this makes it easy for people to confirm that the John Smith that is writing the email is the same John Smith on LinkedIn for example.  If you have a popular name, it’s critical that you give people as much information as you can so that they can connect with YOU and not someone else.”

Create a Clear Design

Fussy email signatures that are long and cumbersome can confuse and put recipients off. Aim to create a clean, clear and consistent design. As Chamaileon, experts in email signature design, recommend:

“Your email signature design shouldn’t be too long. Don’t include more than 7 lines. Don’t share too many details about yourself. It’s not your biography. Needless to say, you shouldn’t include personal details either.”

Add a Link to Your Blog or Website

Email signatures are a great opportunity to promote your blog or website, so be sure to include a link to them.

Provide Links to Featured Products

Ivana Taylor also advises using email signatures to add links to featured products.

Feature Links to Case Studies

Sophia Bernazzani, writer and editor of the HubSpot Service blog recommends linking to case studies in an email signature.

“If you’re talking to potential customers, what’s better than sharing stories of successful ones?”

Add Links to an Automated Meeting Scheduler

Ivana Taylor says small businesses should think about adding a link to an automated meeting scheduler, “so that people can schedule meeting with you.”

Include Free Tools on Your Email Signatures

If your small business has a free tool, help engage recipients and generate greater interest in your business and its services or products by including a link to your free tool on your email signature.

Have a Professional Sign Off

“With much love” wouldn’t look too professional in a business email. Whilst there is no right or wrong, it’s a good idea to have a professional email sign off practice throughout the business, such as “best regards” or “yours sincerely.”

Keep Email Signatures Consistent and On Brand

The emails you send are a representation of your business and your brand. Make them recognizable by using the same branding that identifies your business, such as the color, font and logo.

As Lisa East, Senior Account Manager at Autoweb Design and Marketing and Sales Consultant at The Thinking Cap, advises:

“Keep it on brand, make sure you keep to your colour palette.”

Go Through All of the Platforms that You Use and Make Sure You Have a Signature

Reiterating Growth Track’s recommendations to ensure your email signatures are mobile friendly, Ivana Taylor advises going through all the platforms that you use making sure you have a signature.

“Your email signature is valuable marketing real estate — so be sure to use it to its full potential,” said the marketing expert.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “15 Email Signature Best Practices” was first published on Small Business Trends

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SSE and Npower energy merger provisionally cleared

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Watchdog finds tie-up would not raise competition concerns

65% of Retailers Will Offer Same-Day Delivery by 2019 (INFOGRAPHIC)

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Growth of Same-Day Delivery: 65% of Retailers Will Offer It by 2019 (INFOGRAPHIC)

Small businesses are always looking for ways to have a competitive advantage in the market. Now they are not only competing on price and customer service, but also on speed.

According to a recent report by Go People, a Sydney-based on-demand delivery and courier startup, 65% of retailers will provide same-day delivery services by the year 2019.

“Globally speaking, same day delivery is no longer just a concept. Instead, it’s the standard practice in many industries nowadays,” writes Nick Hartman, Marketing and Communications Manager for Go People, on the company’s blog. “Fashion retailers, food and beverage companies, medical suppliers, car accessory manufacturers, and a lot more are now offering same-day delivery service to consumers.”

Demand for Same-day Delivery Services Rising

If you regularly make delivery transactions for consumers, one of the things you should be focusing on is meeting your customers’ demand for fast delivery service, says Hartman.

For many customers, who are doing most of their shopping online, same-day delivery is a key factor they look for before making a purchase. Go People says as much as 61% of shoppers are willing to pay extra for the convenience same day delivery brings, including saving time and a trip to go pick up the goods.

From a business perspective, same-day delivery increases customer satisfaction and can give you a lot of repeat business from customers. In fact, offering same-day delivery can help your business gain a competitive edge over 85% of other industry players, the company says.

Businesses that have same-day delivery capabilities position themselves well to attain twice as much conversion and significant increases in year-over-year sales.

“Whenever you deliver on your promise to make their orders immediately available for your customers, you are making a good impression that will help keep your brand on top of their mind,” Hartman adds.

Challenges of Fulfilling Same-day Delivery

About 41% of merchants are already offering same-day delivery, but the service is not without its challenges. Delivering customers’ orders within a few hours, or within a certain time window on the same day can be quite costly and a logistical nightmare if not handled properly.

“It’s very hard and expensive,” Daphne Carmeli, chief executive of Deliv, a same-day delivery startup based in Silicon Valley, told Inc in an interview. Carmeli was responding to rumors that eBay was preparing to kill its same-day delivery service, eBay Now, a claim eBay has denied.

Carmeli observed that eBay’s challenges implementing same-day delivery stemmed from paying too much for couriers and its process not being efficient. Moreover, not enough people have been using eBay Now. These are common challenges small retailers also face when developing same-day delivery.

Small retailers not only need to lure customers to their online or physical store, but also get those orders out fast. Problems arise when small businesses don’t have the resources, capital or staff required to execute such a service.

“If you’re selling something for $20 or $30 and you’re paying minimum wage [to your courier], I would assume the margins are pretty thin,” Kerry Rice, an analyst with investment bank Needham & Company tells Inc. “You really start to eat into what’s profitable.”

However, if you are able to overcome the challenges of implementing same-day delivery in your business, and your customers are actively asking for the service, it is well worth the effort. You could get a lot of mileage in putting same day delivery at the heart of your operations, says Hartman.

Growth of Same-day Delivery — Infographic

Go People has created a useful infographic presenting global same-day delivery statistics you need to know. The infographic also offers other insightful information you can use to put your small business on a stronger footing with same-day delivery. Check out the infographic below to learn more.

Growth of Same-Day Delivery: 65% of Retailers Will Offer It by 2019 (INFOGRAPHIC)

Image: Go People

This article, “65% of Retailers Will Offer Same-Day Delivery by 2019 (INFOGRAPHIC)” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Panasonic to Move Europe Headquarters from UK to Amsterdam due to Brexit Fears

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Panasonic plans to move its European headquarters from Britain to the Netherlands later this year over concerns about potential tax issues related to Brexit, a company spokeswoman said Thursday.

“We will move our European headquarters to the Netherlands,” the spokeswoman told AFP, confirming a report in the Nikkei business daily about the Japanese electronics giant’s decision.

Laurent Abadie, CEO of Panasonic Europe, told the Nikkei that the headquarters would move from outside London to Amsterdam in October.

The decision was sparked by fears that Japan could treat Britain as a tax haven after Brexit if London decides to lower its corporate tax rate in a bid to attract businesses, she said.

If Japan made the designation, Panasonic could face back taxes levied by Tokyo.

Abadie told the newspaper that Panasonic had been considering a move for the past 15 months, with concerns about post-Brexit barriers to the flow of people and goods also a factor in the decision to move.

Of the 20 to 30 people in the London office, around 10 to 20 employees dealing with auditing and financial operations would move. Investor relations staff would stay put, the newspaper said.

Britain is due to leave the EU in March 2019, in a process that has sparked uncertainty in the business sector and concern about the consequences for the country’s economy.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-08-panasonic-uk-headquarters-brexit.html#jCp

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Bulgarian WWE Star was Originally Supposed to be a Comedic Act

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

As we all know, Rusev has transitioned from being one of WWE’s best heels to now becoming a top SmackDown Live act infamous for his “Rusev Day” gimmick.

Rusev originally debuted on the main roster as a dominant Russian heel, accompanied by Lana. However, it would be impossible to fathom that back then, the creative team had an entirely different direction planned out for him.

According to Whatculture.com’s book “Shocking Wrestling Plans You Won’t Believe Almost Happened“- Before The Bulgarian Brute’s main roster debut, the WWE Creative Team were shown clips of him in NXT. Unexpectedly, they burst out laughing immediately (perhaps due to the ‘Classic Golden Era Villain’ feel to his character).

Therefore, the creatives started coming up with pitches for him as a comedic act. However, Triple H always saw Rusev as a dominant heel. Thanks to The Game, the creative team had to instantly drop any ideas regarding Rusev as a comedic character.

As former WWE writer Kevin Eck explained–

We started coming up with pitches for him as a comedy act, but we were told that Triple H envisioned Rusev as a monster heel so we had better forget about the character being played for laughs.

Turns out, even Vince McMahon had questions as to whether Lana should remain part of Rusev’s gimmick or not (as Kevin Eck states in the book). Can you ever imagine Rusev in his early days without Lana by his side? Sure, he might have gone a little farther by himself, but Lana was an integral part that ensured Rusev’s success as a monster heel.

But Vince McMahon was not the only one here, former WWE writer Kevin Eck later revealed that he never thought Rusev would have had any success even with Lana by his side. Rusev is not the face of WWE in 2018, but it is safe to say that The Bulgarian Brute has managed to stay relevant so far.

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