Digital Transformation Strategies You Need to Know

These days, companies in quite a few industries are talking about digital transformation (DT). DT involves using process improvements and new technologies to transform your operations. You have to embrace change to meet the demands of evolving business models and customer expectations.

Digital Transformation Strategies You Need to Know

The Importance Of Security

Improving security is one of the most important aspects of digital transformation. More than ever, it’s important to protect those assets that are most vital for your organization. You need to protect identities, strategies and trade secrets. Once you’ve established stellar security, you’ll have a solid foundation for achieving comprehensive DT.

What Is Digital Transformation and How Do I Sell It?

Not many people have heard of what is digital transformation since it has become more common last year due to the start of the pandemic. Increasingly, people are recognizing that DT involves telling a compelling story. Just having the right facts and figures won’t prove enough to get buy-in from critical stakeholders. Arguably, storytelling is the most important persuasion tool in your arsenal. According to science, the human brain is programmed to pay attention to stories. After all, storytelling is how traditional cultures pass on knowledge vital for survival. If you tell the right story, you’ll be able to help your co-workers overcome any qualms they have about drastic change. Fear of change is a constant in human psychology. Even forward-thinking people often balk at making major new capital investments. However, investing in digital transformation is one of the best ways to disaster-proof your business.

A story is not a sterile to-do list or a budget. A story is not a PowerPoint presentation, no matter beautifully designed your presentation may be. Instead, a story is a series of events described in a coherent order. These events can be real or hypothetical. For example, you can describe a hypothetical future where your company is outmatched by a competitor. This type of storytelling can inspire noncommittal stakeholders to take action.

Aligning Your Transformation Strategy With Long-Term Goals

DT requires willingness to make significant changes. Nevertheless, you don’t necessarily have to reinvent the wheel. At every stage of your transformation plan, be sure to align your efforts with your long-standing goals and values. Cohesion is the ultimate watchword when planning your digital strategy. Ultimately, you’ll want each one of your digital channels to serve your essential business objectives. Web design, social media marketing, e-commerce, apps; all of these channels should cohesively serve your goals.

Part of DT is making sure your messaging and content reflect your customers’ interests and values. You’ll also want to craft consistent brand messaging. To maintain cross-channel cohesion, be sure to invest in analytics. You can use each channel to gather and analyze data about your customers’ habits. If you aren’t gaining new insights from your digital channels, you’ll need to invest every available penny into DT. When it comes to transformation, it’s never too late to start turning the ship around. Even if your digital channels are producing strong revenues, maintenance isn’t enough. Revenue growth is crucial for commercial sustainability. You needn’t give in to the temptation to adopt every trendy new digital channel that comes online. Instead, focus on developing a few key channels.

Maintaining The Right Skills Mix In Your IT Team

If you want your DT to be maximally effective, you’ll need to assemble the right IT team. That may prove more complicated then ever during this pandemic time. Make sure you are fully taking advantage of teleworking. In addition, make an effort to keep your remote workers feeling heard and appreciated. If you’re not careful, it can be easy to overlook remote team members when it’s time to hand out promotions. This type of oversight can only limit the effectiveness of your IT team.

Properly executed, DT can help you achieve transformative business goals. Do whatever it takes to get your whole organization working together on DT.

Investing in Stocks vs Bonds: A Comparative Guide

Are you interested in investing your money into stocks and bonds? You often hear those two items paired together in a sentence, but what do they actually mean? They are both a form of investment, but the similarities stop there. Both of them have a different level of risks, levels of returns, and daily behaviours that you need to be prepared for. Before you invest, it’s important to know these differences to pick which ones are the best course of action for you. See below for an in-depth guide on stocks vs bonds and how they fit into your investment plans.

What Are Stocks?

Imagine, if you would, that someone brings you a pie they made and sets it down in front of you and 2 of your friends. Let’s say the pie is cut into 8 different slices.

The maker of the pie tells you that each slice is £1 each. So you choose to buy 3 slices, one of your friends buys 3 slices, and the other buys only 2. This is essentially the concept of a stock. 

When you buy a stock, you purchase a small piece of ownership in that company. The more shares that you have in the company, the more ownership that you have over it. 

The goal is to buy shares, wait for them to rise, then sell your investment to turn a profit. 

For example, let’s say you decide to buy £100 worth of shares in Callaway Golf Company (ELY). For the sake of simple math, let’s say that Callaway shares are going for £20, so you end up with 5 shares.

As Callaway grows, so too will the value of your shares. Let’s say that over time, they end up experiencing a 50-per cent. So now, each share is worth £30 apiece. You decide to sell all of your shares for £150. 

By buying your stocks low and selling high, you’ve turned a profit of £50. You bought them for £100 and sold them for £150. You can scan the stock market however you so choose, buying any stocks that you envision a legitimate return for!

What Are Bonds?

Instead of purchasing a piece of the company as you would with a stock, a bond is when you loan out your money to a business. This can help them grow and expand their business, getting their hands on the money they’d need (from you) to do so.

In return, the company you lent the bond to will pay you back the full amount with interest. Unlike stocks, bonds are more of a long-term play. They’ll help you make a bit more money over time. The more bonds you invest in, the more you’ll gain in return.

So let’s say that you buy a bond for £1,000 (just for the sake of simple math). Let’s say it pays you back 1% annual interest over the next 10 years. With that bond, you would make £10 in interest over the next decade. 

When the 10 years has concluded on that bond, you will have made £100 in interest payments that you wouldn’t otherwise have made. 

There are many variables to bonds. You can purchase ones with a duration of only a few days or ones with a duration of several decades. The interest rate varies as well, so be sure to find a balance that you’re comfortable with.

What Are the Risks Involved?

As you’ve already seen in this article, both stocks and bonds can have tremendous payouts for those that invest in them. However, there’s always a potential that either one does not do well, and you lose money on the whole deal. Here’s a bit more insight on that:

The Risks of Stocks

Earlier, we highlighted a scenario in which you would make money investing in shares from Callaway Golf. However, every stock that you purchase has risk involved, some more so than others.

All it takes is one setback from the company you’ve invested in to incur a loss. Back in April 2010, BP was flying high. They were seemingly doing everything right and their stocks climbed up to $60 in US Dollars (approximately 44 British pounds).

Then, almost out of nowhere, the deepwater horizon spill occurred. Over 3.19 million barrels of oil were spread throughout the Gulf Coast. As a result, their stocks fell 55%, meaning that investors lost over half of what they paid to buy BP stock in April.

Granted, most losses are not that significant. By educating yourself and reading investor books, you can limit your losses when you invest.

The Risk of Bonds

The ideology of bonds is sound. You lend a certain amount of money to a growing company, then they pay you back over time with interest. All is fair in the world.

But what if that company goes under before they’ve paid you back? What if they go bankrupt during the term of your bond? You may never get back your full investment entirely.

As you can see with both stocks and bonds, there are risks. However, you can minimize the risks of both by performing thorough research.

In the case of bonds, do your due diligence on any company you lend money to. If they’re shooting for the stars too quickly, they might overextend themselves and leave you to suffer a loss as a result.

Stocks Vs Bonds: Invest Your Money in Both

Now that you’ve seen a comparison of both stocks vs bonds, as well as the differences between the two, it’s time to use that information effectively.

For more financial advice, make sure to read this article on the 5 things that you need to do with your money once you’ve turned 20.

Be sure to circle back on our blog often to receive more information and guidance on economics, finance, banking, and so much more.

How Long Does It Take to Start a Business?

Are you thinking of starting a business?

Every year, many people dream of quitting their full-time jobs and starting their own successful enterprises. Often, these people have big visions for their businesses, and they hope that they’re able to channel their dreams into something profitable and impactful.

But sometimes, these people worry about how long it will take them to get their new company up and running. After all, quitting your full-time job is a risk, and you don’t want to go too long without making a paycheck.

So, how long does it take to start a business?

We love supporting people who are establishing their own businesses, and below, we’ll go into how long it takes to start a company.

Keep reading to learn more!

How to Start a Business

So, have you wanted to begin creating a business?

If you’ve wanted to venture out and build a brand and name of your own, you probably want to know the fundamentals of getting started. Let’s go into the steps of starting a business below.

Define What You Do

Before you set out to create a business, you should know the basics of what you want to do.

Of course, organisations always change and evolve, but successful business owners begin with a vision. They know which central service they wish to provide, the client needs they plan to meet, and who they believe their target audience is. 

To get this part of it right, you need to do a lot of research. Make sure you’ve thoroughly ensured there is a demand for your products or services and that you know which demographics are looking for the solutions you provide.

This can take up to a few months, depending on how much research you do.

Get Your Domain 

What is your domain?

It is the name by which your company is known on a public level. It will go on all of your official materials, your advertising, and your website, so make sure you choose wisely.

When selecting your domain name, make sure it remains memorable, fits with the tone and personality of your brand, and communicates what you do. Run it by a friend, loved one, or colleague to see if other people think it’s a good name.

How long this takes depends on you and how much time you dedicate to finding a domain that works. 

Find a Business Location

Where do you plan to work? Every business needs a specific location.

These locations range from an office in a high-rise to a desk in your home. Think about what you can afford and what type of building would best suit your needs.

Make sure you take into account any renovations you would need to make on your potential office and ensure it fits within your budget.

Finding a business location can take anywhere from a few weeks to 2-3 months.

Get the Proper Licenses and Permits

When you start a business, you often need proper licensing and permits.

Check with your local government to see what kinds of additional documentation you need. The requirements vary from location to location. Obtaining these documents often takes you from a few weeks to up to a month.

Your business also needs a seller’s permit if you plan to sell products.

Local Registration

You also need to register your company with the local government. 

To do this, you will need to select the type of business you want to have, so make sure that you know which type of company you’d most like to create. 

Completing this process takes about a month, including the time you take to decide which kind of company you would like to create.

Determine Your Funding Needs 

Now, you need to determine how much funding you need and how you will get the funding. 

This often takes a long time; in fact, it can last up to many months. To get started, do your research on what your overhead costs will be, including any shipping charges, product costs, utility and rent bills, and employee salaries. 

All of this information should then go into your business plan. Your business plan consists of an overview of your entire company, including a detailed explanation of what you do, your organisational structure, your expenses, and your marketing plan. This usually takes quite a bit of time.

The exact amount of time depends on how much time you can devote to putting the plan together. 

Getting Funding

After you’ve created your business plan, you should use it to try to get investors or a bank loan.

This gives you the funds you need to start your company. Often, this also takes a while, as banks and others who invest in your business will want to know how they will make their money back. While many wonderful new businesses launch all the time, newer companies are also unproven, so you will need to convince them you’ll be able to repay them.

How Long Does It Take to Start a Business?

So, how long does it take to start a business?

We recommend giving yourself a large amount of time to start your business. After all, this is the foundation of what you’ll do, so getting it right is important. Starting your company will probably take you at least a year or two.

It often takes even longer for a company to become profitable. After you launch your company, you need to work on raising business awareness and gaining your clientele. It takes 2-3 years for most small businesses to turn a consistent profit.

Ready to Start Your Business?

So, have you asked yourself, “How long does it take to start a business?”

If so, we hope the article above answered your question! It usually takes a while for businesses to get up and running and turn a profit. Still, if you have a dream and believe you can make it, the handful of years of work are worth it!

Have questions? Want more advice? Contact us today!

5 Ways To Save Money With Your Online Shopping

Online shopping is the one thing in our life that is never going to stop. But, let’s be real, it is not surprising that we often end up spending a lot more than we have and that too in one round. If the same is happening with you, we’d suggest that you find some wholesale online shopping websites like DHGate that host a range of amazing items for half the price but double the quality.

All that aside, here’s a quick list of tips that you can use to save money the next time you think of shopping online.

  • Make a list

We can’t stress this enough but making a simple list of the items that you want to buy. This might not seem like a lot, but it can help you save a lot of coins. Firstly, you will know what you want and what you don’t. So, the moment you navigate through the website, you won’t get side-tracked by other items that you probably don’t need in your life. Instead of aimlessly scrolling around the website, you can go ahead and buy things.

  • Compare the prices

Another way to save money while shopping online is by comparing the prices. One of the best ways to do so is by comparing the prices on multiple websites. This can help you solve a lot of hassle and help you get a better idea of what’s right and what’s not. Try and choose the items across the major online portals because that helps you get a better idea of what kind of prices are trending.

  • Look out for sales

Another factor that you need to look out for is the sales that happen on online shopping websites. There are several platforms that you need to look out for. That said, the sales are often seasonal, so you need to keep an eye out for that too. Make sure that you even set up alerts or notifications for the website to get notifications about the deals that are happening around.

  • Join online shopping communities

Much like how there are several groups for foodies on this planet, there are also a few online shopping communities that you can join to get an idea of what kind of offers that you can avail and what kind of coupons that you can use. In these communities, you can also get a better perspective of things, which comes in handy as well.

  • Refrain

Several people have a bad habit of just buying anything even when they don’t need it. If you are one of them, you need to avoid giving in to that habit altogether. Make sure that you keep a check on the items that you need only. Just because there is a sale going on doesn’t mean you need to buy something.

If you are here trying to save some extra coins during your online shopping, you must keep a check on these tips before making the purchase. Remember that you don’t need to buy something if you don’t need it.

5 Things You NEED To Do With Your Money Once You Turn 20

When you’re young and carefree, it’s easy to neglect your finances. A lot of young people don’t know how to manage their money and end up getting into debt.

But as a young adult, you’re actually in a great position to set good financial habits for life. Making savvy decisions from when you turn 20 can build solid foundations for a financially healthy future. 

Let’s dig a little deeper. Here’s our list of top money management tips to consider when you’re 20 years old. 

1. Get Into Good Habits With Your Money 

You’re only going to be able to start saving once you’re spending less than you earn. So the first step towards financial security is setting up a watertight method to track and manage your expenses. 

You need to have a clear view of your fixed expenses such as rent and council tax, and also a firm grip on your variable expenses such as fuel, food shopping, and utility bills. Then you can set a budget for discretionary expenses like nights out with friends and clothes purchases. 

After you have a system set up, you can manage your cash flow and track your spending, to ensure you’re staying within your budget. A popular method to manage this is by setting up a zero-based budget, where you allocate every penny of your income to a specific expense or savings goal.

By adopting this method, you should prevent yourself from getting into debt. But if it’s too late for that, you should focus on clearing your debts. Limit your credit card spending; you should only use your credit card enough to establish a decent credit score. Once your short-term debt is clear, you can make a start on clearing your student debt. 

A final good habit to set up is to automate all your payments. It’s good to set up your direct debit payments to go out near the beginning of the month, so you have a clear view of what you have leftover for discretionary spending, once all the bills are paid. 

2. Start Saving Now! 

You’re never too young to start thinking about savings. You should start out by building an emergency fund, then work towards having 3-6 months of expenses set aside. Having a reasonable liquid cash reserve will prevent you from getting into debt in emergency situations. 

You might want to set up separate savings goals for big purchases, such as your first car, so you have the money upfront rather than having to take out a loan. Longer-term savings goals are also worth considering, such as a deposit on a house, paying for postgraduate education or saving for your children’s future. 

In terms of saving for retirement, the earlier you start, the more benefits you will reap. You should aim to be putting at least 10% of your income into a pension fund.

3. Protect Yourself 

You should make sure that you have all the insurance you need to protect yourself from future problems. Car insurance of course is a necessity if you have a car, but you should also consider pet insurance if relevant, as vets’ bills can be very high.

You may want to invest in health insurance and also income protection insurance. If you have children, you’ll also want to look at life insurance. It’s not the most exciting topic to be thinking about, but there are benefits to setting up insurance policies while you’re young and insurers see you as less risky. 

4. Invest in Yourself 

When you get your first job, it’s easy to just feel grateful to have found employment, especially in today’s challenging economic circumstances. But you should still negotiate your salary to make sure you’re being paid what you’re worth. 

You might also want to plan for further education and training. Lifelong learning has many benefits, not just for your career but for your own happiness and sense of fulfilment. 

You could also look into setting up a side hustle to earn some extra money to put against those savings targets. Perhaps you have a hobby that you could make some money out of? Maximizing your income is a great way to grow your savings. 

5. Think Long-Term

There’s never a better time than what you turn 20, to be thinking long term. Establishing your wealth goals and prioritising them when you’re young is critical to long-term financial security.

Once you’ve paid off your debts and you have enough liquid cash saved up to pay for any emergencies and planned future purchases, now’s the time to think about investing. It’s a good idea to start investing as early as possible, by putting money into something other than your retirement plan.

But perhaps you don’t really know what to do with your money? It might be wise to hire a financial advisor to help you choose the right kind of fund to invest your money in. It’s sensible to get some advice about the best investment bank options before you decide where to put your hard-earned cash. 

You need to make sure that your money is working for you, wherever you choose to keep it. You could see which providers have won banking awards, to help you choose the best banking services. 

The longer your money is in an investment fund, the higher the returns are likely to be. So choosing the best bank while you’re young is a good long-term strategy to build wealth. 

Seize The Moment!

The sooner you take control of your finances, the better. Your 20s are the perfect time to establish good habits and routines around money to set you up for long-term financial security.

Building wealth takes time, so starting young will reap long-term benefits. It’s never too early to educate yourself. Check out our informative articles on wealth management to expand your knowledge and help you to make the best decisions about how to manage your money.