The Importance of Office Location When Building a Brand

It’s very trendy, these days, to think of location as irrelevant. In many ways, it’s true. With smartphones, laptops, webcams, and video streaming services galore, there’s no corner of the world you can’t visit. Yet, it’s worth remembering that, for businesses, location is about more than how far the marketing department stretches.

On a practical level, investing in a great office location has many perks. For one thing, your employees are likely to work much harder if they actually enjoy being there. They’ll arrive at work engaged and ready to go if the office provides an easy commute. It’s also worth remembering that investors are superficial beings; they want that flashy corporate address.

This guide to the importance of office location will explain why businesses in Malaysia need to invest in the right spot for success.

Turning the Right Heads

Ironically, what with the fact that you can now run a business from a smartphone, investors are still pretty suspicious of bare bones operations. They are much more likely to fund companies with a professional set up, rather than a home based routine.

So, location really does count. Fortunately, Servcorp is a leading provider of serviced office solutions in some of the most impressive spots in the city. These beautifully designed suites are situated in the main retail and financial districts of Kuala Lumpur.

Attracting the Best Talent

It’s not just investors with a lot of cash who look for opportunities in iconic locations. Malaysia is a highly educated country, with a large English speaking population. After graduation, many young professionals move to the capital to find jobs in the corporate sector.

Mining this talent pool is just a matter of being in the right spot. If your business is physically associated with major household brands, their reputation will rub off on your own. In other words, find the most successful part of the city and show the world that you belong there.

Making Daily Routines Simple

Don’t forget that a practical, satisfying location will have a big impact on the employees that you already do have and will recruit later. The easier it is for your workforce to get into the office, the more productive they will be, particularly in the mornings.

Lengthy, uncomfortable commutes destroy morale, so pick a spot which is close to transport links. Ideally, there should be a lot of cool things around, whether that means restaurants, parks, bars, or coffee shops. There is more to work than what happens in the office.

Finding People Who ‘Get’ You

When you’re right at the heart of a big city like Kuala Lumpur, it’s almost impossible not to bump into investors, vendors, suppliers, customers, and collaborators who have similar goals and values. If you’re brand new to the market, don’t hesitate to get out and introduce yourself.

They say that no man (or woman) is an island and this is especially true when it comes to running a business. You can’t do it alone. The support of friends, partners, and creative contributors is a vital part of growing and developing.

Why Serviced Office Solutions Tick All the Boxes

Going serviced means working with an internal office management team. Tenants have their own office suites, with private space and facilities. However, the workspaces are maintained by an ‘in house’ crew of cleaners, repair guys, IT technicians, secretaries, and administrative support staff.

So, there’s no problem or obstacle which cannot be solved within hours. Plus, many of the premium addresses in Kuala Lumpur come with incredible views, beautifully designed collaborative areas, lunchrooms, and more. Whatever you need, you just have to ask.

Employee Training Courses Are Advantageous

There are many reasons why certain companies are more successful than others. Some of these companies have higher quality products. The prices of certain companies might be lower than others. Whatever the case may be, there can be no denying that employee training is a crucial factor when it comes to a company’s overall productivity. This means that it is very important for business owners to provide their employees with the training they need to do their jobs as well as possible. Here are a few of the main advantages that employee training can give to your company.

1. You will be able to train your employees while they are working.

Many business owners are reluctant to offer training programs to their employees because they believe the classes will need to be in a classroom. Therefore, that will take time away from their jobs. However, this assumption is not correct. Training can often take place while the employee is doing his or her job. This will make sure that the productivity of your company will not suffer while all of your employees are being trained. You will need to inquire about which courses are available for employees to take during the course of their job.

2. There are many courses that your employees will be able to take online.

Online courses have become very popular in the academic world. Therefore, it should not be a surprise that companies that specialize in training employees are also taking advantage of them. There are some people who have a schedule that makes it difficult to go to a classroom on a regular basis. Learning while they are doing their job might not be possible either. In these cases, online classes would be very helpful. ARC training provides logistics courses that you can take online or in a classroom. This type of flexibility will make it much easier for your employees to learn at a faster pace on a schedule that is convenient for them.

3. Emergencies at your company will be able to be dealt with in a faster and much more efficient manner.

You might own a factory, warehouse or some other type of business where injuries are common. Therefore, you need to make sure that your employees know what to do in the event that one of their colleagues gets hurt. Seconds count in situations like this. You should never rely on emergency medical technicians to get to your company in time. The choices that your employees make in the crucial seconds after an accident has occurred could determine if a person lives or dies. This is another reason why training your employees what to do in a variety of emergency medical situations will make your workplace much safer. You should also run regular drills to ensure your employees remember what to do.

4. Hiring a company to provide training to your employees can give you more free time.

You might have a very busy schedule when you are running your business. You do not have a lot of free time to train all of your employees yourself. Therefore, hiring a companies that specializes in providing training to employees will allow you to tend to other issues that demand your attention. This will allow you to stay on top of all the important things that are happening at your company.

 

How Losing Obamacare Will Affect Your Insurance

Obamacare is big news right now as President Donald Trump has tried and has, so far, failed to repeal the landmark policy of the previous administration. But despite numerous setbacks and consistent splits in the Republican ranks, the fight for Obamacare is not yet over.

It’s always best to prepare for the worst, so how will your insurance be affected if Obamacare is repealed?

Almost 30 Million Will Lose Insurance Entirely

To put it simply, a lot of people will be unable to afford insurance. And this won’t just be a disaster for anyone suffering from a serious illness. It will be a huge problem for anyone who relies on things like Obamacare for things like senior dental insurance.

Both medical insurance and dental insurance has a high chance of taking a big hit if Obamacare is repealed. You may find that your dental care is no longer covered and that many of your prescriptions have to be paid out-of-pocket.

Low-income Americans are especially vulnerable to these changes, and they may have no choice but to stop paying their insurers.

Pre-Existing Conditions Will Come Under Attack

If you have any form of a preexisting condition, which may even include pregnancy, your premiums are set to rise. Under Obamacare, insurers were unable to discriminate against people who had pre-existing conditions. This protection would be lifted without Obamacare and that would allow insurers to discriminate all over again.

Medicare Users Would Lose Care

Americans over 65 have relied on Medicare to help them receive care. A full repeal of Obamacare would mean higher payments for medical services covered by the Medicare Advantage portion of Medicare. It would not necessarily mean no care at all, but it would mean higher premiums for seniors signed up to this scheme.

No Coverage for Preventative Care

Another big risk to the Medicare program is that seniors would no longer be able to access preventative care for free. It would mean that many seniors would have to pay out-of-pocket for preventative procedures.

In practice this would mean that many seniors wouldn’t be able to afford preventative measures, thus leading to more major procedures and more expensive care further down the line.

More Out-of-Pocket Costs

Current studies reveal that $4,700 will be the average amount Americans will have to pay in out-of-pocket costs if Obamacare is revealed. In short, you will see less effective insurance that increases the amount you have to pay.

This happens in a variety of ways. The main two are for procedures that are no longer covered under your insurance scheme and the higher deductibles insurers are likely to impose in the event of a successful policy repeal.

Last Word – Why Obamacare Repeal is a Disaster

Obamacare repeal would mean, for the majority of Americans, less protection and bigger premiums. There are also more out-of-pocket costs for Americans everywhere.

This could mean terrible things for your insurance and your protection. What do you think is the biggest risk of the current administration taking away the protections put in place by Obamacare?

 

The Most Cost Effective Ways of Managing a Property Portfolio

Property investment can be a very lucrative opportunity, but it’s also one of the highest risk and potentially expensive ventures you can embark on.

Managing a property portfolio can be costly, time consuming and you’ll face many challenges along the way. However, there are ways you can minimise the costs involved and below you’ll discover just some of them.

Structuring your investments to take advantage of tax breaks

The government may be taking a larger tax cut from private landlords, but did you know there’s still ways you can benefit from numerous tax breaks?

If you own the properties jointly with your spouse for example, you could save in capital gains tax. This is because it allows you to double the CGT allowance, meaning if you both pay a high rate tax, you could save as much as £3,000 when selling a property.

You could also buy a property using a limited company structure. This would allow you to bring in some of your income in the form of dividends and could work out more tax efficient than having the property in your own name.

Saving when buying or selling a property

The biggest expense that comes from managing a property portfolio, is when you want to buy or sell a property. The fees can be significantly high and it’s easy to get ripped off. Therefore, one way to make it more cost effective is to choose a reliable, affordable agency such as GVA Grimley Limited.

Choosing a company renowned for its competitive fees and unique investment opportunities could save, as well as make you, a small fortune.

Get on top of repairs quickly

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when you have a healthy property portfolio, is slacking on maintenance and repairs. The trouble is, minor repairs can quickly turn into major problems if left unfixed.

Many landlords are tempted to fix any issues either themselves or save money by hiring a friend to do the work for them. However, this can actually end up costing a lot more if the work carried out isn’t to a high standard.

Carrying out regular maintenance and fixing any potential issues quickly is going to save you a lot of money in the long-term.

Overall, managing a property portfolio can be costly, but with the advice above it is possible to make cut backs. There are a lot of cost-saving tricks you can use to make sure your portfolio delivers maximum returns so it’s worth doing a little research to see where else you can cut back.

Is the Citroen C3 the Best Value Supermini?

The supermini market is one which is fiercely competitive. This is good news for those that require a small vehicle, as it means that there are plenty of great options available. In order to be appealing, the car must be compact, easy to drive around town and economical. Many motorists also want an eye-catching design and plenty of tech inside.

Right now, the class leaders include fantastic superminis like the Ford Fiesta, the Skoda Fabia, the SEAT Ibiza and the Citroen C3. These are all excellent choices, but in terms of best value for money, it is the C3 that is leading the pack.

Costs

Available from just  £10,525 from places like Robins & Day, the Citroen C3 has a very low price-tag but is one of the best superminis available. In terms of running costs, the entry level C3 can return 60.1mpg and every edition emits less than 110g/km. All diesel models emit below 100g/km. This makes the C3 superb value for money and one of the more affordable cars available.

Design

The C3 has a fun, bold and quirky design. It features the funky plastic cladding that is found on the C4 Cactus – this serves a practical purpose in addition to an eye-catching exterior design. Inside, the C3 looks smart without going overboard. One of the key selling points of this car is the comfort level in the cabin and there is a surprising amount of space considering the size of the car. It also features a large boot so that you can comfortably carry passengers and luggage.

Performance

The C3 is ideal for use around the city as it has responsive handling and a smooth ride. It does not provide the most thrilling driving experience and instead opts for comfort, which is something that families will appreciate and benefit from.

Tech

The intuitive 7-inch touchscreen makes it easy to control the infotainment, air-con and heating, plus there is plenty of connectivity options. One particularly valuable piece of technology for city use is the ConnectedCAM, which is a camera located at the back of the rear-view mirror. It records everything that you see out of the windscreen which can be useful for criminal proceedings and insurance claims. It also features a handful of driver aids to improve safety, such as speed sign recognition, lane departure warning and speed warnings.

Overall, the Citroen C3 is a fantastic value supermini that is as practical, reliable and economical as the more expensive class leaders.

Why Private Jets will Not be a Pursuit of the Super-Rich Alone in the Future

There is no form of transportation more glamorous than a private jet. When we think of private jets we think of rock bands, Hollywood actors and the wealthy elite sipping champagne high in the skies. Whilst it is true that previously a private jet has been an activity pursuit of the super-rich alone, this could all be about to change.

The Future of Aviation

The rise of on-demand services like Uber and Deliveroo has completely changed the way in which we live our lives. This is now spreading to the aviation industry with an increase in on-demand flight services. Currently, there are all kinds of businesses set up that are allowing people to charter a private jet on a one use basis. Whilst this is still quite expensive, the competition and demand for this service could see prices plummet in the near future. Some people are going as far as saying that commercial planes could become a thing of the past down the line.

On-Demand Flights

Some companies, like Victor, allow you to compare private jets and book a flight to any destination and at a time of their choosing. In addition to this, some of these companies offer more affordable flights on a private jet on empty legs (jets are usually only chartered one way). Although you cannot pick the destination or flight time, it is still a way to experience what flying on a private jet is like.

Subscriptions

Alternatively, other businesses have opted for a subscription service and this is targeted at businesses. It sees a fixed monthly payment where the customer can then arrange as many flights as they wish. In just a few flights they could break even, so it is a superb option for those that regularly arrange business travel. Similarly, other companies have annual membership fees where private jets are shared with other members and a handful of guests. As you can see, all of these companies are looking for ways to bring the premium experience to a much larger audience.

Currently, it is mainly businesses that are taking advantage of these services. Flying on a private jet is particularly beneficial for work related purposes, but the demand is certainly there for leisure travellers. Due to the image of this being a glamorous and luxurious form of transportation, many people have dreamed of flying on a private jet. This, and the host of benefits that it brings over commercial aircrafts, could result in chartering become much more affordable in the near future.

5 Reasons Going Cashless Will Save You Money

Am I the only one who had to deal with bounced cheques as a kid?

You’d think it’s not something a kid even needs to know about. But I learned early on what it meant when a cheque was returned with a pretty stamp.

Of course, the bunch of returned cheques we’d periodically receive didn’t belong to me. Both of my parents were responsible for spending money they didn’t have.

My job was to help them file and keep track of when and where their money was rejected. There’s a quaintness in the ability to pay for something knowing you don’t have the money.

Old school money

Cheques are old school. The earliest known use of a cheque (or its equivalent) was in the 9th century. It was called a saqq. Quite simply, it was a vow of payment, to avoid having to send the actual payment over long, hazardous distances.

Which makes it particularly incredible that some people still use them.

Granted, the technology has improved quite a lot in the past 1200 years or so, but more and more the cheque is becoming outdated.

Cash is going the same route

But it’s no longer just cheques that are ridiculously outdated. Cash has been around for a very long time – the concept of coins and paper to which we arbitrarily assign value. An easy to lose, bulky, dirty symbol of what these days is an abstract concept.

In fact, in an age of digitized currencies such as bitcoin, it is absurd that cash still plays a big part in people’s lives. It’s as if we sometimes still rode horses to work instead of taking the car.

There are many reasons to stop using cash. These are the top 5.

  1. You have to count it

We’ve all agreed that if you’re a character in a movie, you can identify a million dollars on sight. But in real life, we have to count cash. In a world in which money can be easily viewed as a figure on a screen, counting cash is not just old-fashioned but a total waste of time.

  1. You miss out on modern innovations

Credit card processing machines are not the same clunky things with only one use. In fact, they now collect information, use biometrics, and can accept payment from smartphones. With new apps coming out that make paying a bill even easier, you stand to miss out on automatically updated loyalty cards, too.

  1. You can’t keep track of it

Okay, you can keep track of your finances, but it takes a lot out of you. It means holding onto receipts in order to annotate money spent. Whereas if you use a debit or credit card, the transaction will show up in your banking records automatically.

  1. You can get robbed

If your credit card gets stolen, you can cancel it immediately. If your cash gets stolen, it’s gone forever.

  1. You have to carry it

Fact: in the near future, we’re no longer going to carry wallets. Instead, we’re going to wear our money. Already, using a smartwatch is a great way to eschew even the credit card.

If you’re still carrying cash around, rethink how you spend your money. Going completely cashless will, in the short and long term, make your life more convenient, help you keep track of your finances, and keep you in touch with the modern world.