Archive for October, 2018

Brazil’s Petrobras announces $1.4bn sale of African oil business

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

BHP to return $10.4bn in cash via buyback and dividend

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Stripe Teams with Twilio Making it Easier for Small Businesses to Take Payments Over the Phone

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

With Twilio Pay, You Can Take Payments Over the Phone

Stripe, an online payment processing service, and Twilio, a cloud communications platform, have announced a partnership they say will make it easier for small businesses to take payments over the phone. That partnership has taken the form of new payment service from Twilio called <Pay>.

The new service will not only help businesses integrate phone payments, it will also include security protocols to ensure PCI compliance, the companies say. This is particularly important for small businesses as they continue to increase their mobile presence.

If a small business owner is not able to meet the PCI standards, credit card companies will not allow their cards to be used. This in turn greatly limits the earning capability of the business.

What is PCI?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) was launched in 2006 to improve payment account security throughout the transaction process.

The PCI DSS is a standard which ensures any company which accepts, processes, stores and transmits credit card information maintains a secure environment. And it applies to any organization, no matter how big or small or the number of transactions it carries out.

Twilio <Pay>

Phone payments are essential for any business, but for industries such as food and retail, they are especially important. And with mobile phones now in the hands of virtually ever person, businesses need to make payment on these devices seamless for their customers.

Twilio <Pay> eliminates the exposure to security and compliance risks as well as the complexities businesses face with phone payments. By ensuring the flow is secure and PCI compliant, businesses can accept payments from the millions of people on mobile phones.

When a customer orders over the phone, the Twilio <Pay> can be activated by the employee so it can start accepting the payment information. At this time, Twilio will automatically prompt the customer to input their card number, expiration date, postal code, and security code.

The customer uses the keypad to enter their payment info, but the employee can’t see or hear the details via dual tone – multi-frequency. This is the tone generated when you press the buttons on your phone.

A dual tone – multi-frequency redaction feature prevents employees from listening and figuring out the numbers and other information the customer is entering into the prompt.

Once the customer enters the information, Stripe’s technology generates a token so your company can charge the card. Best of all, only one token is generated for each transaction and the sensitive data never hits your servers. This ensures your compliance with PCI and it is one less thing you have to worry about when it comes to protecting customer information.

Currently, nine major credit cards are supported under the new solution with a fee of $0.010 for a successful <Pay> transaction or tokenization.

Image: Twilio

This article, “Stripe Teams with Twilio Making it Easier for Small Businesses to Take Payments Over the Phone” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Centrica names Charles Berry as chairman

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Move comes as British Gas owner faces increased competition from new challengers

9 Key Signs to Look for When Determining Vendor Interest

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Nine Key Signs to Look for When Determining Vendor Interest
As experienced entrepreneurs know, not every deal works out. Vendors may lose interest or not have the money or the time to make a deal happen. It is important to know which signs may indicate the vendor’s focus is shifting elsewhere. That way, you don’t need to waste time pursuing a deal that’s unlikely to come to fruition. To help, we have asked 13 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following:

“Not every proposed business deal works out: Not everyone is interested, or has the setup or time needed to pursue the idea. When talking to a vendor, what is the key sign you look for when trying to discover whether they’re going to want to agree to the deal? Why is that sign so important?”

Determining Vendor Interest

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Economic Alignment

“If both parties have a collectively held end outcome and understand how each party contributes to that outcome, then both parties will grow. In this way economic outcomes are perfectly aligned. If your vendors do not care about your customer outcomes and strictly view you as the end customer, things will fall apart quickly. If your vendors believe they win when you win, then that’s a great sign.” ~ Eric Mathews, Start Co.

2. Follow-Ups

“When gauging someone’s interest in a deal, I look for follow-ups. Do they have follow-up questions? Do they contact me to follow up on this idea? You don’t ever want to beg someone to be involved in your idea; you want them to want to be there. If you pitch your proposed deal to someone and they follow up, odds are they are interested.” ~ Ben Landis, Fanbase

3. Interest Beyond Pricing

“When vendors are interested in no more than the pricing aspect of a project, it’s best to be a little wary. When a prospect is interested in facets such as research, development and implementation, then you know you’re dealing with someone who is not out there to waste your time. The more questions I get asked, the more confident I feel about landing a deal.” ~ Derek Robinson, Top Notch Dezigns

4. What Else Is on Their Plate

“Asking a potential partner about what they’re already working on is crucial. If you get even a hint of them being overextended, you can assess their availability. It doesn’t matter how dedicated a potential partner is to the idea if they don’t have hours in the day to spend on it.” ~ Thursday Bram, The Responsible Communication Style Guide

5. Interest in Discussing Specifics

“I never fully trust that anything is done until a contract is signed. However, when a vendor I am pitching to begins talking in specifics, it’s usually a good sign they are onboard. When I hear them speaking specifically about numbers and ideas, that’s usually a good sign.” ~ Colbey Pfund, LFNT Distribution

6. Interest in the ‘Small Print’

“I look for signs that prospects are interested in the “small print” of a deal such as delivery date, specifications, warranty or other specifications on the contract. When they’re too focused on the big picture, then it suggests that they’re still shopping around. When they want to know the finer points, it means they’re ready to move forward.” ~ Shawn Porat, Scorely

7. Transparency

“We’ve all had the experience of asking someone to explain what they are thinking, and then they break eye contact. They throw up obstacles. They can tell you haven’t assumed their authority, so they start smoke screening. I’m out the door at the first sign of a lack of transparency. By contrast, I feel great when they explain their reasoning and they make perfect sense.” ~ Zev Herman, Superior Lighting

8. Ability to Offer Solutions

“One sign to look for is that the vendor offers solutions when you ask for any sort of personalization for your business, which is almost always needed in some way, shape or form. If they don’t respond at all or do not propose something that sounds like it will specifically work, you may want to move on.” ~ Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

9. Genuine Passion

“Most importantly, I gauge their passion. We only work on projects we are passionate about, and I expect those we work with to share that feeling. It’s easy to tell when someone is just going through the motions. Without both sides on the same page, it’s impossible have a successful and long-lasting working relationship. ” ~ Justin Lefkovitch, Mirrored Media

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “9 Key Signs to Look for When Determining Vendor Interest” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Strike Slows Shipments To and From Canada

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Canadian postal workers’ union has been in strike since October 22. The situation affects deliveries to the whole world, incl. in our country.

The staging actions are carried out on a rotating basis in various places in the country, and in the affected areas shipments are not accepted and delivered, informs Bulgarian Post.

Canadian mail continues to work in the rest of the country, where no strike actions are currently taking place.

Information on normalization of the situation will be published on the site of Bulgarian Posts EAD.

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The Criteria for the Potential Dangers of Dams will be Clear Within Two Weeks

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

The Bulgarian Government has appointed an interdepartmental commission to determine the criteria for classifying dams according to the degree of potential danger. It will have 14 days to develop the classifier of water basins according to how much they threaten the population, the Council of Ministers decided at its meeting on Wednesday.

According to the latest amendments to the Water Act, dams must be divided into three groups of potential danger – first high level of potential danger, second significant degree of potential danger and third low level of potential danger.

The Commission includes representatives of the Ministries of Environment, Regional Development, Agriculture, Energy, the Economy, the Interior, as well as the scientific community directly concerned with the dam walls and their facilities.

According to the legal changes, the care of the dams was granted to the Ministry of Economy, as the municipalities were given the time to give up their water basins, which they could not manage, for the benefit of the state-owned company, the State Consolidation Company maintenance of dams. In the summer, the government lent 500 million leva to the consolidation company for urgent dam repairs with severe problems. Doubts, however, are that the SCC could spend this amount in non-transparent manner and pick just certain firms.

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Prices on Small Businesses Reach a 10 Year High, Report Says

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

BizBuySell Q3 2018 Insight Report: Prices on Small Businesses Reaches a 10 Year High

The Third Quarter 2018 Insight Report from BizBuySell.com reveals yet another record when it comes to the selling price of small businesses.

BizBuySell Q3 2018 Insight Report

According to the report, this has allowed small business owners to ask and receive a record amount of money. BizBuySell.com is attributing the current market conditions to strong business financials in the third quarter.

For small business owners looking to cash out, this might be a great time. However, if the current trend keeps going the way it has for the past several quarters, there’s no telling how high prices can go. And with more people looking to buy a small business, there could be many more quarters with record highs to come.

Bob House, president of BizBuySell.com and BizQuest.com, addressed the possibility of even higher prices in the press release. House said, “We’ve now had a few record-breaking years in a row in terms of transactions and it appears 2018 will be no different. The fact that small businesses are selling for the highest price to date and demand hasn’t slowed shows how much confidence both sides have in today’s market.”

The data for the quarterly Insight Report from BizBuySell comes from an analysis of around 45,000 businesses for sale and those recently sold across the US. The statistics are from business-for-sale transactions reported by participating business brokers across the country.

The report focuses on more than 70 major U.S. markets with publications on local, regional, state and national data.

Third Quarter Data

The biggest data point is the high selling price for businesses. The median selling price for a small business went up to $249,000 in the third quarter, which is a 10.7% increase from the same period last year.

According to BizBuySell, this is the highest amount since the company started collecting sales data in 2007.

The asking price is also the highest since 2007, which now stands at $269,000 for the third quarter, a growth of 7.6%. This is a 93% sales-to-ask ratio, meaning buyers and sellers are on the same page when it comes to the value of the business.

They are seeing eye-to-eye because according to the report, the median revenue of business sold in the quarter was $530,995 with a cash flow of $116,229. This is an increase of 7.4 and 2.8 percent respectively for revenue and cash flow year-over-year.

BizBuySell Q3 2018 Insight Report: Prices on Small Businesses Reaches a 10 Year High

As to the number of businesses which changed hands in the quarter, a total of 2,685 owners and buyers agreed to make deals and close. This is a 3.7% increase from the Q3 2017, which is on pace to break the record for the most businesses sold for the year.

BizBuySell Q3 2018 Insight Report: Prices on Small Businesses Reaches a 10 Year High
Challenges Looking Ahead

In the report, BizBuySell points out several possible challenges as the year ends. In the fourth quarter a number of events can influence the current upward trend.

The first is the November elections. As President Trump continues to get rid of regulations he has created a more positive environment for many small businesses. The election results can stop or slow down the continuation of his agenda.

The second issue is tariffs. Currently, the President enjoys support from small business owners, with 76% approving how the President is handling the situation. The support even comes from business owners who will be negatively impacted by the tariffs.

Even with these challenges, BizBuySell says its data shows an active market for the foreseeable future.

Image: BizBuySell

This article, “Prices on Small Businesses Reach a 10 Year High, Report Says” was first published on Small Business Trends

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World’s Tallest Statue Built in India (Video)

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today, dedicated to the nation a 182-metre statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, believed to be the tallest in the world and said it will be a reminder about the courage of a man who thwarted efforts to disintegrate India.

In his speech, Modi stressed that the statue would generate immense employment opportunities for the local tribals living near the dam in Narmada district.

 Gujarat’s governor OP Kohli, chief minister Vijay Rupani and BJP chief Amit Shah were also present at the unveiling of the Statue of Unity.

PM Modi described the Statue of Unity as a symbol of the country’s engineering and technical capabilities.

To welcome visitors, the Gujarat government has not only built a 3-star hotel, shopping centre and a research centre in the Sardar Patel statue complex, but has also built high-speed elevators that will take you to a height of about 400 feet through the core of the statue where you can get a panoramic view of the surroundings.

What is unique about the statue?

Apart from being the world’s tallest statue, it also holds the distinction of being among the fastest to be completed -just 34 months unlike China’s Spring Temple Buddha which took 11 years.

The work began on December 19, 2015.

The imposing monument is twice the height of the Statue of Liberty in the US and is built on an islet, Sadhu Bet, around 3.5 km downstream from the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat’s Narmada district.

The best way to reach Sadhu Bet island is to take a boat ride.

Built at a cost of Rs. 2,989 crore, the statue depicts Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first home minister, wearing a traditional dhoti and shawl, towering over the Narmada River.

Padma Bhushan awardeeRam Vanji Sutar, a 93-year-old acclaimed sculptor who graduated from the prestigious J.J School of Art in Bombay designed the statue.

He has sculpted masterpieces including that of Mother Chambal at Gandhi Sagar Dam in Madhya Pradesh, equestrian statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Amritsar, and numerous statues of Mahatma Gandhi.

It has been built by Larsen and Toubro and the state-run Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. It took about 250 engineers and 3,400 labourers to construct the statue.

Malaysia-based Eversendai, which constructed Dubai’s famous Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa buildings, was handed the contract for the steel framework.

 Construction materials used to build the statue

It has been built using over 70,000 tonnes of cement, 18,500 tonnes of reinforcement steel, 6,000 tonnes of structural steel and 1,700 metric tonnes of bronze, which was used for the outer cladding of the structure.

The Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust (SVPRET), set up by Modi in 2011 arranged some 129 tonnes of iron implements from nearly 100 million farmers in 169,000 villages across all states to construct the base of the statue.

The statue is conceived as a naturalistic depiction of Sardar Patel in a walking pose.

To get it right, designers sifted through 2,000 photographs of Sardar Patel before picking the one that they would model it on and then converted the two-dimensional photograph into a three-dimensional model.

Source: indiatoday.in

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Today THE FATHER Comes To National Theatre in Sofia

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

The Father by French playwright Florian Zeller comes to Bulgaria’s National Theatre beginning October 31, 2018 on select dates through December 31, 2018.”Father” is an absolute hit on the theater stages of New York, Paris, Berlin and London, reports TransmediumNews

The virtuous storyline follows the character of Andr? / Vladimir Penev / into a world of multiple identities. 

For tickets and more information please visit https://nationaltheatre.bg/play/bashtata/

Read more here

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