Archive for July, 2019

Investors balk at Mexican plan to revive Pemex

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Tax breaks and fresh funds will buy time, but few believe it can stave off a downgrade

Energy/defaults: Catch 22

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

US energy production proliferates even as profits are scant

BHP cuts coal production amid China pivot

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

20 Tips to Effectively Reduce Office Clutter

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

20 Tips to Effectively Reduce Office Clutter

Research shows the productivity of a business can be seriously affected by the amount of clutter around the work space. And a decrease in productivity usually means a decrease in profits.

Small businesses operating out of smaller spaces tend to be the worst effected by this problem. But it is also an easy problem to solve.

How to Reduce Office Clutter

Use these 20 ways to effectively reduce office clutter:

Inventory System Design

Design a system for necessities such as paper, stationery and ink cartridges. This way you only ever keep stock of what you need. When an office becomes over cluttered, it becomes difficult to find what you need easily, and you can end up ordering more of something you already have.

Remove ‘Just in Case’ Items

Reevaluate the items you are keeping ‘just in case’. Identify the future usage likelihood of every single item you don’t use regularly and get rid of anything that serves no real purpose.

Remove Physical Files

Digitize all of your documents to get rid of physical files that take up too much space. Receipts, invoices and other crucial documentation can all be kept in digital form and backed-up regularly to protect against disaster (something that actually can’t be done with physical copies of documents).

Stop Printing

Take the digitization of your receipts and invoices one step further by not printing anything out if it can be read on the computer.

Shred Old Documents

Any documents that do require a physical copy temporarily should be disposed of as soon as their usefulness has expired. Using your own paper shredder is good for data protection, but if that is not such a big issue then work with a paper shredding service to save even more space.

Double-Side Printing

Any documents that require physical copies should be printed double-sided wherever possible. This saves on the physical file size but also minimizes the amount of paper you need to keep stock of.

Online Task Manager

Use email for memos and task notes and make use of social media chat apps such as Whatsapp which can serve as an online company notice board.


Learn how and where to recycle everything so you don’t end up storing loads of empty ink cartridges or spent batteries, light bulbs and other such items.

Interior Design Hack

An interesting office hack for decluttering is to use the same flooring from wall to wall to give the area a sense of space. Small rugs or carpeted areas break the space up and make it feel smaller than it needs to.

Small Desks

You might be the big boss but you don’t need a big desk. Swap out big work stations for minimalist work spaces that provide just the right amount of space required for the tasks that are performed there.

Creative Storage Ideas

Use vertical space for storage. Multiple shelves can attach to the studs in the wall, or pockets where frequently used files can be stored are a great way to save space and declutter the offices of a small business.

Use ‘Dead Space’ for Storage

There are lots of ‘hidden storage’ ideas you might be able to make use of too, such as the dead space behind doors and under desks.

Declutter Your Cables

Always tie and label your cables so they are out of the way and also so you can identify which cable leads into which machine when you need to. Use sharpies to label them, with a silver color working best on black cables and a black marker on white or grey cables.

Sort Mail Quickly

Set a specific time aside to deal with all the mail, including recycling junk mail and used envelopes. This should be a daily exercise if your business receives a lot of mail.

Clear Desks

Keep all the desks as clear as possible as a cluttered desk can contribute to increased stress levels. If certain papers are absolutely necessary to keep physical copies of nearby at all times, then consider a pin board or wall pocket where they can be stored off the desk. Keep all other items to an absolute minimum. It might be a good idea to implement an end-of-day clutter clear-up routine for every desk so they are ready to go for the next day.

Reevaluate Item Usefulness

Re-evaluate the usefulness of every single workplace item. Do you really need five staplers? Is there one that doesn’t work so well and so just sits there never getting used? Apply this logic to literally everything in the workplace.  Just ensure everything that is there has a purpose and is actually useful.

Give Everything a Home

Every useful item in the workplace should have a home so that whatever it is, it is always easy to find and monitor any necessary replacements and refills that might be required.

No More Sticky Notes

For a truly decluttered office space, you must get rid of sticky notes! They can be useful in their way, and it is possible that you need to use them to some degree, but try to discourage their use as much as possible because they immediately add unnecessary visual noise to even the most orderly of office spaces.

Ten-Minute De-Cluttering Exercise

If your office seems like it requires a complete overhaul to get even close to something resembling decluttered, then try this ten-minute decluttering exercise every day for a week: Take two bags, one for trash and one for recycling, and go through the office inch by inch sorting everything in your path. This works best in conjunction with other tips from this list such as digitizing all your documentation.

Create a Regular Decluttering Ritual

To stay on top of the clutter, organize a regular decluttering routine that involve exercises like the ten-minute declutter exercise that everyone in the office takes part in, even if it’s just you in there!


This article, “20 Tips to Effectively Reduce Office Clutter” was first published on Small Business Trends


3 Common Small Business Myths Debunked

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

Sponsored Post

3 Common Small Business Myths Debunked

Small and medium businesses (SMBs) have a reputation for being capable and dedicated, two sentiments my team and I have definitely found to be true. But we had some questions about a few of the other descriptors we’ve heard — and thanks to data from the latest Small and Medium Business Trends Report by Salesforce Research, we can officially clear up some of those rumors. Here are three common misconceptions about small businesses, along with the data-backed truth.

MYTH: Small businesses don’t have the budget for best-in-class technology

REALITY: Small businesses are willing to spend the money if the software delivers value. Sure, small businesses and startups have to keep an eagle eye on their budgets, but they also understand that an investment in quality technology can deliver significant time savings.

Research shows that growing SMBs are especially focused on plans for business-scaling technology like CRM and financial software — and that price is actually less important to them than finding software that’s easy to use and from a reliable vendor.

The most important technology evaluation factors for SMBs

MYTH: The main reason small business owners started a company is to make money

REALITY: While money can be a factor, of course, data show that most small business founders (55%) actually started their businesses because they wanted to be their own boss and/or have a more flexible work schedule. As a group, founders and entrepreneurs tend to be idealists with motivations that go beyond making a profit — leaving money as the icing, not the cake.

Common reasons for starting a business

This breaks further between generations: Data shows that the younger millennials are more likely to pursue passions above all else.

Reasons for starting a business by generation

MYTH: Small businesses aren’t ready for advanced technology

REALITY: Not true! More and more small businesses are realizing the benefits of advanced technology like artificial intelligence (AI) — and many savvy small businesses are already using things like chatbots, automation, and predictive forecasting to connect with customers and grow.AI readiness by revenue growth

While data shows only 8% of all small businesses currently use AI, a whopping 46% of small business leaders believe their businesses are ready for AI — and 32% already have plans to implement. Advanced technology? Bring it on.

How SMBs plan to use AI

Ready to debunk more myths about small businesses? Check out Salesforce Research’s full Small and Medium Business Trends Report to get the latest data.

Republished by permission. Original here.

Photo via Salesforce

This article, “3 Common Small Business Myths Debunked” was first published on Small Business Trends


In the Spotlight: HomeGate Real Estate Has the Properties to Help Its Brokers Succeed

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

HomeGate Real Estate Wants to Change the Game With Residual Income for Real Estate Agents

There are real estate offices all over the country. So it might seem like there isn’t really a way that a company can put a new spin on things. But HomeGate Real Estate thinks differently.

Based in Charleston, South Carolina, the company sets itself apart not by how it offers real estate solutions to consumers, but by how it treats its brokers. If you’re interested in breaking into the real estate industry, this business model may be of interest. Read on for more in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Provides residential real estate services.

On the consumer side, HomeGate functions much like any normal real estate office. They help residents buy, sell and market their homes.

Business Niche: Residual Income for Real Estate Agents

Providing residual income opportunities for brokers.

Founder and CEO Paul Tippets told Small Business Trends, “Agents and brokers normally only create income when they make a sale. With HomeGate, agents and brokers can recruit other agents and brokers to the company. When they sponsor and recruit other agents and brokers, they make 4% on every transaction from whom they sponsor into the company. This is unlimited and is uncapped as long as both agents keep their real estate license active.”

How the Business Got Started

To create a company that supports brokers.

Tippets explains, “With over 23 years in business, the owners have created a structure that they would want as an agent or broker opening their own brokerage.”

Biggest Win

Achieving nationwide growth.

HomeGate is based in Charleston. But it’s growing fast. And the team hopes to keep that expansion going.

Tippets says, “Currently we have 6 offices in 4 states. With growth comes more exposure and market share.”

Biggest Risk

Changing the structure of the business.

Tippets says, “If the current brokers were not on board with the change, it could have hindered our growth, and possibly would have had to start over from scratch.”

Lesson Learned

Hire experienced agents right away.

At first, the company hired a lot of new brokers just breaking into the industry. But if he could do it all over again, Tippets says he’d take another route.

He explains, “Experienced agents attract other experienced producing agents.” That makes it easier to provide residual income for real estate agents as we go.

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Leveraging new technology and growth opportunities.

Tippets explains, “$100,000 could help scale our business nationwide faster and allow us to enhance our technology. Currently we are growing by word of mouth only. No loans have been taken out, and we are growing organically.”

HomeGate Real Estate Wants to Change the Game With Residual Income for Real Estate Agents

What Sets the Business Apart

A community service element.

Tippets says, “We strive to give back to the community by donating to several charities, and volunteering to help out when needed. In June we will be volunteering to join a local business in the area to clean up our beaches.”

Favorite Quote

The answer is always no, unless you ask.

Tippets explains, “Not sure who said it, but I say it all the time.”

* * * * *

Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Images: HomeGate Real Estate business lounge, 2019 awards banquet

This article, “In the Spotlight: HomeGate Real Estate Has the Properties to Help Its Brokers Succeed” was first published on Small Business Trends


20 Famous Asian Americans Who have Changed the World of Business

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

20 Famous Asian Americans in Business

There have been so many Asian Americans through the years who have helped to shape the business landscape. This type of representation is important for aspiring entrepreneurs. If you’re interested in starting your own business, here are some famous Asian American entrepreneurs who can serve as role models.

Famous Asian American Entrepreneurs

Jerry Yang

Jerry Yang is the co-founder of internet giant Yahoo. He stepped down from the company in 2012. But he helped to build one of the largest and most influential online directories.

Vera Wang

This famous fashion designer worked her way up in the industry by working for other designers like Ralph Lauren. Then she discovered her love for producing wedding dresses when she designed her own.

Amar Bose

Amar Bose started out simply by tinkering with electronics in his family’s home. Then he went on to create the popular brand Bose.

Victor and Janie Tsao

This husband and wife team founded their company just because they wanted to connect multiple computers to a single printer. Then they eventually turned it into the global brand Linksys.

An Wang

Wang was a computer engineer who experienced unrest in China during his early years, but eventually went onto find success in the U.S. He founded computer startup Wang Laboratories and invented magnetic core storage.

Andrea Jung

Andrea Jung is the President and CEO of microfinance company Grameen America. She is recognized as a trailblazer for women in the business world, working her way up the ladder in a number of high profile companies.

Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh got his start as an entrepreneur in the dot com boom. But he’s mainly known as the head of Zappos, an online shoe company that is known for placing a high value on company culture.

Do Wan Chang and Jin Sook Chang

This husband and wife team founded the popular fashion chain Forever 21. They started it with a single store and just $11,000 and grew it to include about 800 stores around the world.

Charles Wang

Wang co-founded Computer Associates, which became one of the most successful software companies of the 1990’s. He then went onto become a majority owner of the New York Islanders hockey team.

Steve Y. Kim

Kim worked multiple jobs to support his family in the early part of his career. And he went onto found multiple successful companies, including Fibermux and Xylan.

Scott Oki

Oki was one of the top executives in the early years of Microsoft. Though he didn’t found the company, he was integral in helping it grow in markets around the world.

John Tu and David Sun

These two entrepreneurs might not be household names. But together, they invented some of the technology you probably use on a daily basis, including USB drives and flash cards.

Alex Chung

Chung worked his way up in the tech industry with big names like GE and Comcast. He eventually went onto found multiple companies, including Artspace, The Fridge, and Giphy.

Jeong H. Kim

Kim immigrated to the U.S. as a teenager and spoke very little English. He eventually joined the Navy and worked several jobs before starting his own ventures. He’s best known as the President of Bell Labs.

Indra Nooyi

Nooyi was one of the first women to lead a Fortune 500 company. She served as the CEO of PepsiCo until 2018. And she currently serves on Amazon’s board of directors.

Sehat Sutardja

Sutardja co-founded Marvell Technology Group back in 1995. But he started out by repairing radios and other tech components.

Lata Krishnan

Krishnan started her career as a financial analyst. But she then went onto found Smart Modular, a company that made memory chips, along with her husband.


This article, “20 Famous Asian Americans Who have Changed the World of Business” was first published on Small Business Trends


How to Extend Your Business on Other Markets

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

Businessmen can expand their companies on foreign markets through several options. For instance, they may register one of the legal entities that are available on those markets; however, they may also opt to incorporate a branch office or a subsidiary, which are two types of business structures that are especially designed for foreign companies expanding on foreign markets. There are various advantages for each of these structures and the selection should be based on the costs associated with the expansion of the company, the liability of the parent company, the types of services or products the company offers and numerous others.

Incorporating a branch/subsidiary

The branch office and the subsidiary are business entities that can be found in all the member states of the European Union (EU), but they may also be set up in Asian countries and other regions. The incorporation procedure varies from country to country, but in Europe, the registration requirements are basically the same, considering that the EU has a unitary legislation.

As a general rule, the registration of a branch in Europe is comprised of specific corporate documents. For example, in Malta and in other European countries, the investors will need to provide a copy of the certificate of incorporation of the foreign company, a copy of the parent company’s bylaws and also a certificate of good standing of the parent company. A branch office in Malta must also have a representative, a legal requirement that can also be met in other European countries.

However, the most common way to start a business in most of the countries is by registering a limited liability company (its name may vary depending on the country where the investors will operate). This entity has a set of advantages and certain European countries (such as Ireland or Romania) offer various types of limited liability companies, designed for certain categories of investors or business activities.

The limited liability company is the preferred legal entity across the world as it is designed for small and medium-sized companies, which carry business activities in any given economic sector. For example, the limited liability company can be used for starting a dental clinic, a florist business, a real estate company, a retail company and numerous other businesses.

In other regions, such as the Cayman Islands, the most common way to start a business as a foreigner is by opening a non-resident company. This type of company offers limited liability to its founders and it provides a set of tax exemptions. More importantly, it can be started by a single shareholder and it is not required to subscribe a minimum share capital. The manner in which an investor expands his/ her business activity should always take into consideration the commercial legislation available in a given country and the advantages provided by each business form.




An Accident Left Three Metropolitan Districts without Electricity

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

High-voltage power lines accident, owned by the State Electricity System Operator, led to the exclusion of the Boyana substation in Sofia, CEZ reported. “Boyana” square, “Cinema Center” and part of “Manastirski livadi” in the capital are without electricity.

CEZ mobilizes all of its available teams to provide alternative power to the affected users as soon as possible, from the company assured.

Until the accident has been rectified, the company will maintain the supply of power to a backup scheme.


A Free Hepatitis C Research Campaign Starts Tomorrow

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

A “Let’s find the missing 69,000″ campaign which aims to detect hepatitis C infected patients starts. Free examinations will be provided within the framework of the initiative, which will start tomorrow and will continue until the end of August. The campaign targets people between 34 and 69 years of age. The research will be carried out at the St. Ivan Rilski Hospital in Sofia every working day from 8.00 to 14.00.

According to official data, nearly 77,000 Bulgarians are infected with hepatitis C, but 90% of them – 69,000, do not suspect that they carry the disease virus, the specialists from the hospital said.

“Our goal is to find the infected, especially in risk groups – drug addicts, prisoners, hemodialysis patients,” said Prof. Krasimir Antonov, a gastroenterologist at the hospital. The hepatitis B and C treatment is paid by the NHIF for health-insured patients, but there are discussions about the treatment of uninsured people, said Dr. Tonka Varleva, director of the Prevention and Prevention Directorate at the Ministry of Health. According to her, by the end of July a draft National Plan for the Prevention and Control of the Five Types of Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. will be elaborated.

Around 1,200 hepatitis C patients are treated with the latest therapy, which is fully paid by NHIF, Elena Toteva from the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) said. She also noted that the Fund pays about BGN 50 mln a year for therapy. In the next year, NHIF is expected to pay for hepatitis C patients who have not responded to the therapy, she added.

Doctors and patients propose the hepatitis C study to be included in the national hepatitis C prevention plan and to be included in the complete blood count (CBC)t in the prophylactic package.

In September, data on the spread of hepatitis C in EU countries will be clear, Dr. Vorleva said.