Why you shouldn’t dismiss Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Retailers in the UK have been jumping on the US Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping weekend, with much success. We are still seeing year on year sales increases and it doesn’t look like its slowing any time soon. So should you be looking at capitalising on this major shopping weekend? If you’re not sure check out the figures below, from My Voucher Codes for last year.

The effect Black Friday & Cyber Monday had in the UK in 2015:

  • Total sales across the four days (Friday to Monday) came in at an impressive £3.3bn.
  • Online sales increased by 11% year on year.
  • Amazon sold approximately 7.4 million items over the weekend.

Black Friday

  • Year on Year growth for Black Friday was 35% increase.
  • Sales on Black Friday were up 223% compared to a normal day.
  • UK shoppers spend £1 billion on Black Friday.

Cyber Monday

  • Year on Year growth for Cyber Monday saw a 34% increase.
  • Online traffic was boosted by 60% on Cyber Monday compared to a normal day.
  • UK spent an estimated £943m on Cyber Monday.

Speaking about the Black Friday and Cyber Monday phenomenon in the UK, Chris Reilly, General Manager of My Voucher Codes said:

“We are very receptive of US imports in this country, so unsurprisingly a retail sales weekend has also been very popular with British shoppers. We know from our figures that many people head online to research which retailers are offering these Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals and many use this to start their Christmas shopping. We saw an increase of 19% in the number of users accessing our site on Black Friday compared to 2014, and a huge increase of 137% on a normal month end Friday.”

He added:

“We also saw an increase in total page views across the site, with 1,426,065 in 2015 compared to 637,508 in 2014. Our most popular pages were:

  1. Debenhams
  2. Boots
  3. House of Fraser
  4. Tesco
  5. AO
  6. Very
  7. Currys
  8. Disney Store
  9. Pandora
  10. Black Friday

We expect to see an increase again this year, however as with all growth, we don’t expect the increases to be as big as previous years as we feel we may have started to hit peak on these sales.”…

Continue Reading →

Title Tags – Junk or Jewels

That is complete and total BS!

Title tags might just be the most important part of the entire page. Here’s why:

  1. They matter to the search engines
  2. They are the link to your site in the search engine results
  3. They are used to create the text for ‘Favorites’ listings
  4. They display in the title bar of the web browser

First, they matter to the search engines. Title tags might not be the most important factor for getting good search engine results, but, everything else being equal the site with the best title tags wins. Your title tags should start with the main keyword phrase that you want the page to be found for.

It should not start with your company name! Unless your company name happens to be the phrase.

Second, they are the link to your site in the search engine results. Most search engines make the title tag of the page the main link text that you click on to get to that site. If your page is optimized for a keyword phrase and that phrase is at the start of your title tag, when someone searches for that phrase the link to your site has the phrase in it.

Most search engines will bold any words that were used in the search that exist in the title tag or the web page description. Which link are you more likely to click on, the one that just lists a company name, or the link with the key words you search for in the link?

Getting them to click on YOUR link is what it is all about.

Third, they are used to create the text for ‘Favorites’ listings. When someone is on your site and saves it in their favorites, most web browsers use the title tag as the text for the favorites listing. If they try to save more than one page on your site they will get an error if your title tags are not unique.

Also, if your title tag is done properly, the visitor will not have to type their own text when they save the favorite because your title will say it all.

Your title tag should say it all!

Forth, they display in the title bar of the web browser. This might not be as important as the other reasons, but, a well thought out title tag in the browser title bar can drawl the attention of the viewer. They know what the page is about just by the text in the browser title bar.

So, make the most of your title tags. Every title tag on your site should be unique. Every title tag should start with the key word phrase that best describes the page. Every title tag should read well and not just be a list of keywords. Keep your title tag length to 6 to 8 words.…

Continue Reading →

4 Career Options Available to Project Management Graduates

With the world continuing to experience a population boom, there is a constant need for qualified and experienced project managers to enter the fold. There are construction projects, city management and logistical concerns, and a myriad of other areas where such an individual can prove most useful. Out of this has grown the secure and exciting area of project management. If you are good at keeping schedules and working with large teams, this is an area that you might want to consider entering into yourself. If you are just now starting your college search, or you are looking for a new vocation altogether, take a look at the following four career options available to project management graduates.

Construction Site Manager

Upon earning a project management degree online, you will be well positioned to apply for a job as a construction site manager. This is an extremely important role given all of the various building projects taking place around the country and world today. Construction site managers are tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the entire building project. You will need to keep all of your respective teams on task and on budget. This requires comprehensive knowledge of the building industry, and that is what you will begin learning in your degree program and as you gain experience in the workplace.

Architectural Project Manager

Buildings are becoming more modern and contemporary by the generation. This requires professional architects to work on the project from the beginning. This is yet another aspect of project management that you can prepare for. If you enjoy designing things, then becoming an architectural project manager might be well suited to your vocational aptitude. You will learn how to design buildings so that they can be built in stages, and this is exactly the essence of what project management is all about.

Real Estate Project Manager

Mega cities are growing every year. The number of cities that number in the millions of residents is on the rise. This has brought about the need for real estate project managers to develop buildings that are conducive to masses of people living under the same roof. Engaging entire communities in the process is essential, as are environmental protection issues. If you enter this exciting career field, you will be on the cutting edge of innovation and progress. That is a great place to be indeed.

Systems Implementation Manger

With technology continually evolving, it is important to have a systems implementation manager in place to ensure that everything is working properly. As a part of a project management team, you will be expected to help improve systems throughout an organization and roll out updates in such a way that the daily functioning of various departments are not adversely affected. This is becoming more important than ever given the scope of global competition that exists.

These four career options are really just the tip of the iceberg. When you earn a degree in project management, you will be well positioned to enter a field that is in high demand globally. The sky is the limit as to what types of projects you can be involved with. However, it all begins with a quality education, so make your choice wisely and get started on this path today.…

Continue Reading →

How to achieve a great work life balance

Have you not been feeling inspired at work lately? If you have been floating around in the doldrums for a while, chances are good that you have been spending too much time with your nose pressed against the grindstone.

A simple vacation might recharge your batteries temporarily, but if you repeatedly end up watching the clock until it strikes 5, it’s obvious that you are in need of a better work-life balance.

You’re far from the first person to experience this problem, as Marc J Leder, owner of Sun Capital, which is a leading private equity firm in Boca Raton, Florida, grappled with the same issues just a couple of years ago.

However, he has found a better balance between life and work in 2016, and so can you. Below, we have put together several steps that will help you re-structure your job and life so that they can work better together.

1) Be honest about your needs

The first step to attaining a superior work-life balance is to be completely honest with your employer about your current situation. You’re no good to your boss if you are in a constant state of burnout, so be sure to advise them of this before your reduced productivity is chalked up to something else.

Your managers aren’t mind readers, so tell them what’s going on and you’ll be on the right path towards a healthier work-life relationship.

2) Schedule downtime like an appointment

If you are self-employed, the temptation to work all the time can be hard to resist. There is always something you can busy yourself with, and there’s always another dollar to chase. After a while, work takes over your life, and even though you know you should be relaxing, you feel pangs of guilt when you aren’t doing something productive.

If you find yourself in this situation, you need to start treating ‘me’ time like a client. Block it off in your calendar, making this appointment one you shouldn’t ever miss. While this can be hard for some people to stick to, your physical/mental health and your loved ones will thank you for it years down the road.

3) Figure out what matters to you

If you haven’t taken significant time off in a while, it is possible that you will have no idea what to do with yourself with no work to distract you. In order to head this problem off at the pass, figure out what you would do everyday if you had a hundred million dollars in the bank.

If you are still stuck, ask yourself, ‘What did I do before my profession began to take up so much time in my life?’. Start doing that thing again, and then go from there.

4) Don’t let work creep back into your downtime

One of the hardest things about maintaining a good work-life balance is maintaining it. Tipping too far to the relaxation side of the scale is a common fear of chronic workaholics. After exploring the alien world of ‘free time’ for a while, they falsely perceive that they’ve slacked off too much, leading them to dive head-first back into their work.

As a result, it’s often best to start by scheduling just a little bit of free time back into your schedule at first before eventually getting to where you should be.…

Continue Reading →

How to Properly Look After Yourself if You Have a Busy Job

Life is full of stresses. This is true for people at all levels of an organization, from the janitor to the CEO. Many people even say that they are married to their job, although Charles Phillips says his work is his mistress instead. That gives a clearer division between his personal and professional life. It is a well known fact that people work too many hours and are getting increasingly stressed. This actually goes to the detriment of their productivity, which is why it is so important for people to actually take a break and get a balance that is healthy for their mind, body, and soul. For Charles Phillips, Infor CEO, this starts with looking after yourself as well, a message he makes very clear to his staff.

A Healthy Lifestyle

A number of things are promoted strongly at Infor, thereby ensuring that people are healthy, happy, and productive. These things include:

  • Eating a healthy diet. The best diet in the world is the Mediterranean diet. This includes lean protein, fresh fruits, and vegetables. The diet has been proven to increase wellbeing and stamina. Furthermore, it means eating small bites more often, and this means regularly taking a break.
  • Sleeping enough. When people are tired because they don’t get enough sleep, they also become more stressed. One thing that seems to be disrupting sleep is using electronic devices before bedtime, due to the blue light. This is why even Charles Phillips, a man who seems permanently attached to his two (!!!) cellphones, puts them down at least one hour before bedtime.
  • Relaxing and having fun. Life was made for living, not working. It is all too easy for a job to become all consuming, and for personal life to suffer as a result. Everybody should have a personal hobby, one that they may share with friends of family members, and they should allow themselves the time to partake in this hobby.
  • Charles Phillips and his wife Karen have set up the Phillips Charitable Organizations to engage in philanthropic activities. While most people don’t have the financial capabilities for this, volunteering is something anyone could and should do to increase their personal wellbeing while helping others at the same time.
  • Building a support system at work. Sometimes, things happen and there are reasons as to why you can’t come into work. If you have a support system in place, you can cover for each other so you don’t come back to a huge workload when you return. Simply return the favor when it is your colleague’s turn to have an emergency.

Do You Need Professional Help?

Most of us get stressed, or even overly stressed. Sometimes, however, things really get too much and you do need a bit of extra help. The risk of burnout is very real, and this can leave you unable to work for very lengthy periods of time. Most employers now have direct links to counseling services or other mental health providers, so that you can speak to someone in confidence before things get too bad.…

Continue Reading →

From Little Acorns: How to Plant the Seeds of Small Business Success

If you’d like as little hassle as possible starting a business, starting at home makes sense. Even so, there are important steps to take.

You’ll need a business plan, a financial plan, a plan to find dependable employees and even a plan to find the most favorable business credit cards and additional cards for your employees. As challenging as it may be for new entrepreneurs starting with their small home businesses to gain mastery of these areas, it’s often the legal requirements of entrepreneurship that trip new entrepreneurs up the most. Here is a quick rundown of the ideas to keep in mind. These tips should help make sure that your new home business is in full legal compliance.

Know what business category to pick

When it comes to legal compliance, sole proprietorships are the easiest for first-timers in businesses. Tax compliance is one example of the ease of compliance seen for these businesses. Filing income tax for such a business only requires a Schedule C together with a regular Form 1040. Setting up a partnership or a limited liability company means being stuck spending hundreds of dollars each year on twice as many tax returns.

Find an occupation license

Licensing laws vary from state to state, and can vary from one business area to another. If you have a business to do with food preparation or childcare in mind, for example, you are likely to need to comply with tough licensing rules. If you aren’t aware of the licensing requirements in your state, you only need to look up the information you need on the government’s Career One-Stop website.

Set your business up to pay sales tax

Whether you are selling a service or a physical product, there usually are sales taxes to pay a government authority somewhere — a county, city or state. It’s money you add to every sale, collect from customers, and pass to the government.

Every state has a sales tax structure of some form. While the states of New Hampshire, Oregon, Delaware, Montana, and Alaska do not have a statewide sales tax, many of their local counties do. If you are unsure if your business is liable to pay sales tax to a government authority, you should look up information on GovEngine, which is a government site, or Lexis Nexis, a private entity.

In the event that you should find that your business owes sales tax, you need to apply to the government agency that deals with sales tax, for a permit that allows your business to sell to customers. It’s called a seller’s permit in some states, a resale license or a certificate of authority in others.

Once your business possesses such a permit, you won’t need to pay sales taxes on purchases that you make for your business  It can be an important source of savings.

Register the name of your business

You need to make sure that the name that you use for your business isn’t already in use. Doing so could invite litigation. If you do have a unique name, you still need to make sure no one else takes it. All you need to do is to search for online resources such as Swithboard, The Ultimates, TrademarksEtc.com or the United States Patent and Trademark Office. If you’re really serious, you should simply use an attorney with a trademarks and patents specialization.

Clear your business with every local authority

From rules that your local condo association and homeowners’ association may have about home businesses, to zoning requirements by local governments, it’s important to get the green light from every authority that may have a say in where you physically locate your business.

There are plenty of financial and legal details involved in establishing even the simplest kind of home business. Putting in the work needed right at the start helps you avoid unexpected challenges along the way.…

Continue Reading →