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Business tax legislation to watch out for in 2018

An editorial stock photo of the UK Inland Revenue Tax forms with the new 2017 One Pound Coins.

As the famous saying goes, ‘in this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes’. And while sorting out tax returns and handing over a portion of your income can seem like a headache, it’s true that it’s an inevitable part of modern business life. For that reason, it makes sense to stay as on top of the latest tax news as possible in order to prepare yourself and your business’ finances for the obligations you’ll need to meet in the coming months. With that in mind, here are some of the top tax laws you’ll need to know about this year.

IR35 is changing

IR35 is the set of regulations that control how some businesses interact with and employ contractors, freelancers and other non-permanent workers without standard employment contracts. It’s common, for example, for some contractors to set themselves up as a limited company, appoint themselves as a director and then receive their earnings through the company for tax reasons. But changes to the law mean that there will soon be penalties in place if it can be shown that the worker would be a normal employee if they weren’t using another legal structure within which to work and earn, and it could be that your freelancers are now seen as “disguised employees” as a result. For that reason, it’s wise to get help with IR35 from experts so that you’re not caught out by the changes.

The “staircase tax”

A number of businesses which previously operated out of a single room in shared premises accessed by a joint lift or stairwell may have noticed that they recently had to start paying higher business rates. That was because of a Supreme Court decision, but proposed legislation is set to overrule that. If the law is approved, businesses will soon be able to ask the tax authorities for a recalculation – meaning those affected will be able to claim back the cash they had to pay out in the unfair higher rates.

Self-employed tax changes

Those who operate as sole traders may also see changes to their tax bills this year. The personal allowance, for example, is going up to £11,850, which means sole traders earning above that amount will be able to keep more of their income. Those self-employed people who work through a limited company, however, may be impacted by changes to the dividend allowance, which is going down from £5,000 to £2,000. If that might affect you, it’s worth scheduling an appointment with an accountant to discuss the changes.

2018 is shaping up to be a busy year for the business tax world, and there’s plenty to keep on top of. From changes to the rules around contracting to proposals to shift the way businesses in shared spaces are taxed, there are all sorts of things to think about. By staying abreast of the changes and seeking professional advice where necessary, it’s easy to make sure you don’t lose out through the shifts in legislation.

Should You Repair or Replace Your TV?

Interior of a contemporary minimalist living room with home entertainment system.

Has your TV stopped working? Whether your TV has completely stopped working and no longer switches on or works but has noticeable defects, you’ll most likely want to get it fixed and return it to new, working condition.

Modern TVs are quite technologically complicated, meaning that repairs often aren’t as simple as they would be with an old-fashioned CRT television. If you have a modern LCD or LED TV, there’s a real chance that it might not be “fixable” in the conventional sense.

To make solving your TV problems easier, we’ve put together a simple guide to working out whether you should repair or replace your TV. You can find our advice below, as well as tips designed to help you get your TV back to working condition at the lowest possible cost.

Is it still under warranty?

If your TV has broken and you purchased it in the last year, the first thing you should do is check to see if it’s still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

Most TV manufacturers offer warranties that last for one to two years. For example, Sony offers a two year limited warranty for most of its televisions, as well as coverage for 90 days if you use the TV commercially.

Other brands like LG, Samsung and Sharp also offer warranties ranging from 12 to 24 months for new TVs. Some manufacturers are even known for covering repairs for TVs that are out of warranty in order to retain customers.

If your TV breaks during the warranty period, the best thing to do is contact the manufacturer and the retailer from whom you bought the TV. Most of the time, you’ll be able to organise an easy, quick repair or replacement.

If it’s out of warranty

If your TV is no longer covered by the manufacturer or retailer warranty, the best approach is to contact the manufacturer for more information.

Most large manufacturers have dedicated support staff that can help you diagnose the problem with your TV. If you have a smart TV that’s no longer working properly, it may even provide you with an error code to give to the manufacturer’s support staff.

Sometimes, the manufacturer might opt to send an expert around to your home to diagnose the problem with the TV. If the problem is repairable, you’ll receive a quote for the repair. Assuming the repair is cheaper than a replacement, it’s usually best to have the TV repaired.

If it’s more expensive to repair the TV than to buy a replacement, or the problem is unfix-able, it’s best to consider buying a replacement TV.

It’s also important to keep the age of your TV in mind. Modern TVs can become out of date fairly quickly, with resolutions increasing rapidly and IoT tech become more commonplace. If your TV is more than five years old, it’s often better to upgrade than to repair old technology.

Consider buying TV insurance

Finally, one of the best ways to protect yourself from the cost of repairing or replacing your TV is to buy TV insurance.

TV insurance covers the cost of breakdowns, repairs and replacements up to £2,000, meaning that almost all TVs are fully covered. Even the cost of parts, labour and calling out a technician are fully covered, meaning you’re totally protected from the cost of TV repairs or replacement.

The future for the UK pub industry

Sign on the gate leading to the beer garden in a British pub

The pub industry has undergone considerable changes in the past 10 years. While we may be seeing plenty of bars open in the UK, the ‘traditional’ pub seems to have fallen out of favour. According to figures released by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the number of pubs operating in the UK has fallen by 17% since 2000. In numbers, that equates to a staggering 10,500 pubs closing, leaving around 50,000 currently in operation. In 2017 alone, CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) reported 985 closed their doors for the last time, with almost 19 shutting shop per week. However, it is fairly consistent with the previous year’s figures, which could suggest the hard times may have passed for the pub industry. Business Rescue Expert, leading UK insolvency experts, are sharing their thoughts on the sector’s changing landscape.

Food and Beverage Service Insolvencies

‘Food and Service Activities’ – how the insolvency service presents its data – incorporates restaurants and mobile food service activities, such as event catering and the like. The insolvency service further breaks down this data to cover ‘Beverage Serving Activities’, including pubs, gin houses and similar establishments. Below, we have compared the two types of data.

UK Food & Beverage Insolvency Service Statistics

The insolvencies charted in the UK in the F&B sector – including restaurants and beverage serving activities – are largely made up of voluntary liquidations. The numbers for compulsory liquidation are relatively small in comparison, with few administrations and CVAs in the industry also. In reality, this is consistent with the insolvency market in the UK, with CVLs accounting for 74.6 (12,681) insolvencies in total, in 2017. Across the year, 17,243 UK businesses entered insolvency in the UK.

The trajectory for total insolvencies in the UK – including voluntary – has steadily increased since 2010. The UK did experience some relief in 2014 and 2015, but the trend has continued growing since 2015.

UK Beverage Serving Insolvency Statistics

While the above paints a picture of insolvencies increasing, the numbers contradict the year on year insolvency statistics for Beverage Serving Activities. The figures remain remarkably steady and have done so for the previous four years. There had even been a slight decrease in the number of voluntary liquidations, between 2014-2016, levelling out again in 2017.

Does that mean good news for the beverage serving sector?

The beverage serving sector has seen a slight decrease in voluntary liquidations, between 2014 and 2017, so it’s heading in the right track. These figures reflect the overall decrease in the number of insolvencies across the board for the beverage serving sector. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the overall Food and Beverage sector, which has seen a rise in insolvencies up to 2017.

UK pub landscape in recent years

Over the years, the UK pub industry has faced tough changes to policies and increasing competition with ‘trendy’ bars.

Policy changes include:

  • Higher rates of beer duty (this was subject to a welcome freeze in Autumn 2017)
  • Slower rates of business rate review
  • The smoking ban in 2007 led to a significant change in the industry

When we dig even deeper into the reasons why pubs may be failing in the UK, we can attribute a lot of change to the credit crunch and global recession. During the initial launch of the smoking ban (in 2007) and up to 2010, the UK saw extremely high pub closure rates, totalling up to 6,000. To put it in perspective, an average of 850 pubs closed per year between 2011-2016 and 985 shut in 2017.

Impact of changes to insolvency rates post 2014

Market changes continue to influence the sector, and will continue to do so in the future, taking into account the figures. Increased competition from off-sales – particularly sales from supermarkets and off-licences – has had a massive impact. Consumers can actively drink at home and purchase cheaper drinks before heading out.

The dramatic increase in the number of breweries in the UK could also be counted as a factor to the changing marketplace. More than 300 breweries opened in 2016, with the number pushing way past 2,000 in 2017 and set to grow for 2018. According to reports, the ‘craft beer boom’ is responsible for the 64% increase, thus negatively affecting ‘traditional’ pubs. More and more consumers are turning towards craft beer and gin specialists, experiencing a massive boom in the industry. This estimation is also reinforced by people drinking less than ever before, and opting for specialists when choosing the indulge.

Pub industry in the future

Looking at the figures, appealing to younger generations may be the way forward for old-fashioned pubs. According to The Pub Market Report 2017, 14.8% of 18-24 year olds (from a survey of 2,000) listed social media as their top leisure activity. Therefore, a proactive social media strategy may be able to pull the traditional pub from the past and into the present – particularly as drinking in a pub was voted 16th. That same report also stated that atmosphere, friendliness, music and free WiFi played a part in their choice to drink.

Ultimately, the landscape for the pub industry has changed dramatically over the past 10 years, and will continue to do so. The pubs that adapt to the changes and aim to improved will be better placed to survive in the industry.

Forex Trading

3d illustration

In June 2016, the citizens of UK voted to exit the EU. With the UK government having enforced Article 50 of the Treaty on the EU, UK is set exit the EU come March 29, 2019. Of course this has affected forex trading and is expected to remain so at least until the UK finally exit the EU. Even after that, the uncertainty may stretch further for an unanticipated period of time.

Brexit has been seen as the circumstance that has caused restrictions in the forex market, especially to UK forex traders. With many investors increasingly shunning British founded financial systems; it is likely that many investors will opt to use other types of currency as opposed to the pound. Since currency is derivative and liquid based, investors will still be able to make profit regardless of the deteriorating forex market, characterized by barriers and speculations against the pound, with many investors waiting to see how it will perform against other currencies especially the USD and the EURO.

Various happenings in Europe and the USA in the year 2017 have continued to affect forex trading. Many currencies have declined since then and this trend is likely to remain significant in the forex market for longer. Many traders are finding it difficult to launch profitable strategies, a predicament that may discourage forex traders in the UK from making currency investments. As a result of this, the forex market activity is bound to drop which may lead to a fall in the economic prevalence.

Today, foreign exchange popularly referred to as forex exchange is one of the most traded markets globally. Trillions of pounds are traded every day and this amount is expected to increase exponentially along the years. Traders vary from big corporate companies to individuals. With the increased use of the internet, forex trading is set to become more popular as many people discover the same through social media platforms.

There are various factors which determine currency shifts including major disasters, global events, economic and political stability, monetary policy, and currency intervention. Forex trading is executed in pairs and the trader makes a projection sighting the anticipated exchange rate variation between the two currencies. Their projection will determine the currency they will purchase. Assuming that their projection is right, their currency of choice will rise enabling them to sell it at a profit. If the opposite is true, then they will lose.

For instance, USD/GBP indicates the number of pounds a dollar can buy. Assuming the trader thinks that the dollar’s value will increase against the pound, they buy the dollar using the pound. In the event the exchange rate increases, then they can sell the dollars and gain profit. Generally, forex trading has become popular among investment connoisseurs because the markets remain open throughout globally.

Forex trading is quite popular among traders in the UK. However, it is risky and has been compared to gambling. Individuals who want to join the world of forex trading can read through various books and tutorials available online. Some experts claim that traders can make a fortune in forex trading. However, it is worth mentioning that many traders incur losses every other day. Executing currency transactions can be an expensive idea and while huge companies may make a substantial amount of profits, making big profits as an individual trader can be an arduous task.

If you are a novice forex trader, it is advisable to invest money that you can afford to lose. Potential investors may not find comprehensive information regarding forex trading and how to make a profit. While there are financial advisors and brokers willing to advice would be traders on basic investments and the magnitude of risk involved, many individual forex traders have learnt the skill by themselves, either through research or consulting from expert traders.

Finally

Tutorials and guidelines may paint forex trading as an affluent venture and promise you huge returns within a short period of time. Do not believe such promises. It is important to read and research widely before venturing in online trading. Forex exchange is a risky activity that many tutorials never talk about. Where possible, identify a successful expert trader and learn the trade from them.

How can Smart Alarm Systems protect you and your family?

Call box and digitally coded gate lock for new house

Keeping your home and family save is a key priority for most people, and can also be a major stressor, getting the balance right between protection and paranoia, security and surveillance is something most people struggle with daily, but it becomes worse when you have children. One of the simplest ways you can help to keep your family safe is with an alarm system for your home, either a simple burglar alarm or a high-tech smart alarm system.

If you are looking for more ways to secure a new home, then check out this handy list.

What is a Smart Alarm System?

A smart alarm system combines the security of a conventional burglar alarm with the ability to control, monitor and interact with the alarm remotely using an app on your phone, tablet or computer. Most systems include alarms, locks, security cameras, motion detectors, and door/window sensors, this list is not an extensive list though and the latest smart alarms almost double up as a home management system.

What are the befits of a Smart Alarm System?

The main benefit of this system is that you will be alerted to anything suspicious as soon as it happens, so you don’t have to replay on neighbours calling the police when your alarm goes off. You can either have an alarm that will call for you or you can call when you are alerted. It also gives you the ability to turn lights and appliances on and off remotely to give the appearance that someone is home which is a great deterrent.

They are not only useful when you are out of the home, you can set the alarms to cover parts of the home, so if you are going to bed you can set the alarms for downstairs so you would be instantly alerted if there was an intruder. You can put motion sensors in the babies room so you would know if someone went in there, and you can also remotely access the security cameras if you were away and had left your children with a childminder, this is great for that added peace of mind that your family is safe when your not able to be there.

How much Do smart alarm systems cost?

Smart alarm systems varies greatly in price with basic systems coming in at around £150 and more complex systems costing upwards of £600+. Not everyone will need to spend £600 on an alarm though as the number of features and security coverage needed will very from person to person.

Attracting the best talent for your business

The firms who get it right are those who know the value of getting and retaining the best staff, and there are lots of ways that companies can improve their techniques for growing the talent pool. It’s important to assess the whole brand of your business when trying to attract good staff and that means how you come across to potential employees.

Therefore, consider how your company is perceived by people looking for a job. Do you have good mission and vision for your company? Do you come across as employee-friendly? Do you give the impression that new staff can grow and progress with opportunities for challenge? It can help to look at these aspects of your business intermittently and analyse if you are giving out the right message as when this is undertaken effectively excellent staff will naturally start to gravitate to your company.

Job Description

Don’t underestimate the benefits of a well thought out job description and person specification that clearly defines the roles, tasks and behaviours of a particular job. Many companies don’t invest much thought in these key documents and are then surprised when potential candidates don’t match up to their requirements.

Equally, good candidates want to understand as much as possible about the role and if they feel it is good fit for them, so use the many internet resources at your disposal to devise the perfect job description.

Networking

Good employees can come from a number of directions not least through the contacts and networks of your already established staff. Therefore, make sure you spread the word amongst staff about other positions you wish to recruit to so that they can pass this to professional colleagues, networks and family members.

Social Media

Make sure you tap into the many benefits of professional networking through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to connect to a huge audience of potential employees. The beauty of modern technology means that you can get the message out to literally hundreds of people from the comfort of your P.C. or laptop and with minimal costs! There are a range of helpful sites and information to support businesses to use social media more effectively.

Recruitment Agencies

Another great method for acquiring key staff for your business is through recruitment agencies who will have undertaken all the legwork to screen and profile staff and match them to an employer’s needs.

Agencies work with a range of businesses from small SME’s to large blue-chip companies in diverse sectors and are well-versed in every aspect of assessing top quality candidates and matching them to the business needs of their clients. This means that by the time they are referred to a potential employer they have already had a range of background checks and compatibility profiling to ensure that businesses get top notch candidates for interview. Many companies have grown their business by recruiting in this manner and equally, excellent candidates get a chance to progress their careers.

Internet

In addition to the benefits of social media outlined above the internet is a powerful tool for recruitment. There are many options to post vacancies including professional association websites classified advertisements, newspapers, trade journals and job websites so hunt around for the best options.

4 ways in which chain conveyors are used in business

"Shot of a chain and bearings rolling along a track in on an industrial machine. A great editorial shot for industry, engineering or manufacturing."

The main task of conveyors is reducing manual work when transporting materials in businesses while increasing efficiency at the same time. Chain conveyors are specifically used in moving heavy loads by employing the use of strong, continuous chains. They are mostly implemented using a double strand architecture. However, depending on the weight or width of what is being transported, chain driven conveyors may have a varied number of strands. In businesses, these conveyors are used in:

  1. Moving heavy products

Chain conveyors are tough and strong. They can withstand the weight of heavy things such as engines and their components without slipping as rubber conveyor belts would. Also, when these heavy materials are placed on them, they do not compress or buckle as roller conveyors would. Instead, they provide grip and efficiently move materials around the business plant.

  1. Moving products through extreme temperatures

Chain conveyors come in handy in moving products through either hot or ice cold temperatures along the processing/ manufacturing plants. A roller conveyor might not be suitable for high temperatures because its components might expand unevenly and ruin its ability to roll. Similarly, a rubber belt roller might not be suitable for cold temperatures because rubber gets hard and stiff in the cold which makes it lose grip and therefore slip. This leaves chain conveyors as the most suitable option to operate in such conditions.

  1. Moving in indexing mode

Chain conveyors are the safest option when dealing with high precision processing. These conveyor units usually contain an index drive that moves the material to the exact position for further processing. An example is the precision link conveyor which is used by design engineers and machine builders to move engine parts to accurate positions for robot welding, automated inspection or other automated processing procedures.

  1. Moving products in variable speeds

The ability to change speeds on conveyors when moving materials is very advantageous. Chain conveyors can easily be fitted with a Variable Frequency Drive which can adjust the conveying speed to suit the speed at which other activities in the plant are being carried out. This adjustment can be done comfortably without worrying about slipping because sprockets grip firmly onto the chains regardless of external factors.

Additionally, chain conveyors have several advantages come in a variety of types which are majorly classified as pallet handling conveyors and factory handling conveyors, each with its own unique application area.

Advantages of chain conveyors

  1. Ease of installation

Chain conveyors are very easy to install. In fact, most chain conveyor manufacturers offer free installation services for every purchased conveyor to make it easier for you to begin operations immediately.

  1. Affordable

Their affordability is relative to their durability. Since they last for long with little maintenance costs, whatever the chain conveyor’s initial cost was, it is recovered eventually because it gives you a high return on investment.

  1. Flexible

Chain conveyors are very flexible. As the business operations scale upwards, more conveyors might be required. It is quite simple to modify and upgrade existing ones which reduces the overall scaling costs.

It is important to note that each conveyor system has its own application area where it performs best. Before buying such a system, consider these tips so that in the end you get the most efficient system that suits your business requirements.

Medical Options You Need to Know for Emergencies at Work

You should always be prepared for any medical emergency at work – particularly as an employer. While you may not expect any serious incidents, prior preparation minimises risks and safeguards your business reputation. Medtree are leading suppliers for medical apparatus and first aid kits, and are sharing the options and provisions for your business.

In 2017 alone, there were a reported 609,000 non-fatal injuries. Thankfully, fatal injuries are rare, with the construction industry attributed to the highest number. However, you must be aware of the common causes of injury to ensure you can protect your employees. In the UK, the most reported incidents are due to slips, carrying and handling.

Risk assessment

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 outlines the necessity for a risk assessment. An assessment is essential to analysing the safety of the workplace and subsequent conditions. If you are unsure of what to include, we suggest looking at the government website. You can also find many free templates online. The basics of your assessment should include:

  • Actions to resolve any medical incidents
  • Name the first aiders within the venue
  • Identify any unsafe working

Importance of accident reporting

Accident reporting is critical for your business. Should a severe accident occur, and the proper provisions are not in place, you could face more than an employee out of work for a while. Many team members are unaware of the need to report emergencies, protecting them and your company. To rectify this problem, you should extensively outline all information required for accident reporting, providing employees with the forms to do so.

Potential hazards

It’s impossible to eliminate all hazards for your workforce. You would be working all hours available to do so, but you can identify potential hazards and reduce those risks. For example, if you are aware of what commonly causes injury, you can work to improve safety.

Handling incidents

Handling and carrying incidents accounted for 122,000 non-fatal injuries within the UK. While you cannot always be around for events, you can put procedures in place. An example is to provide thorough handling training to your staff, ensure doorways and warehouses are not obstructed, with clear pathways.

Falls

Falls account for the most significant number of incidents across all industries in the UK. Many slips can be avoided with proper measures in place. If there happens to be a spillage, clean it up immediately. Use signs to highlight any potential hazards and use suitable floor materials. Ignoring the most common incidents could leave your business reputation in tatters.

First aid kits

You’d be surprised how many employees are unaware of where their company first aid kits are stored, and who are the first aiders. The size of your workforce should directly correlate with the number of first aid kits. Your basic kit should include:

  • Gloves
  • Various types of dressing
  • Eye pads
  • Sharp and blunt scissors
  • Instant ice packs
  • Sports tape
  • Triangular bandages
  • Sterile gauze swabs
  • Crepe bandages
  • Wound wash solution
  • Deep freeze spray
  • Emergency foil blanket
  • Safety pins
  • Resuscitation face mask

Emergency medical plan

We cannot stress this point enough, but you need a plan of emergency. You should include all of these factors to your medplan, to protect both your employees and company:

  • Proper evaluation of the incident
  • Indicate which staff members must undertake incident reporting
  • Identify all first aiders and ensure they have had adequate training, and certificates have not expired
  • Store first aid kits and certificates in a clear, easy-to-reach place for all employees
  • Deliver the emergency medical plan to all staff
  • Consult with healthcare professionals
  • If you have any medical facilities close by, ask whether they can assist in an emergency

Useful medical apps

Medical apps can certainly never replace the need for proper care and healthcare professionals. However, they can spell the difference between fatal and non-fatal in many cases, with several apps approved by trusted names.

Medical dictionary

The medical dictionary does exactly what you would expect, providing access to more than 180,000 medical terms. The ‘clear, in-depth definitions of medical technology’ could prove invaluable when describing an incident to a healthcare professional. The app, which has several thousand downloads, offers terms for diseases, common ailments, drugs, physiology and even treatments.

First Aid by British Red Cross

The British Red Cross has produced an excellent first aid app, with fantastic guidance for all first aiders and even those that are not properly trained. The app shares step-by-step instructions for many medical incidents, such as asthma, broken bones, burns and even choking.

St John Ambulance First Aid

This app is similar to the above, offered by the trusted St John Ambulance. While both of these apps do not replace official first aid training, they do provide clear guides to assessing an accident and what steps you can take before paramedics arrive. This app boasts the addition of voice instructions, covering major and minor illnesses.

If you put proper medical provisions in place, you can rest assured you have fulfilled your duty of care and ensured the protection of your company reputation.

8 Quick And Easy Supply Chain Wins For SMEs

Portrait of adult businessman using tablet computer in office with big windows

While the biggest improvements to your business occur through large-scale changes and long term thinking, few things are as encouraging as implement a quick, easy change that produces real results.

From rethinking the way you transport inventory to renegotiating your payment terms, making small, simple changes to the way you manage your supply chain can have major benefits for your business, both in the short term and over the next quarter, year or decade.

Below, we’ve listed eight quick and easy “wins” for your supply chain management process, all of which can help you increase efficiency, improve effectiveness and lower costs for your small or mid-sized enterprise this year.

Reposition your top-selling inventory items

Do you run your own network of fulfillment centers or warehouses? One easy win, on a local level, is to reposition your fast-moving items so that they’re easier for employees to pick and pack for individual fulfillment.

Look into alternative transportation and shipping options

When was the last time you checked out alternative transportation and delivery options? As your business grows, it’s important to keep up to date with the latest rates from a variety of logistics providers, as you could be paying more than the market rate relative to volume.

Use an on-demand packaging machine

On-demand packaging machines, which cut flawlessly-sized boxes from cardboard, can help you save money, improve efficiency and reduce resource usage as your business fulfills more orders and makes more deliveries.

Use EDI software to eliminate paperwork

Human data entry means human errors — an aspect of supply chain management that many SMEs find unavoidable. Luckily, EDI platforms like XEDI can be used to eliminate paperwork and automate parts aspects of your supply chain for fewer errors and better accuracy.

Simplify your payment terms with suppliers

When and how does your company pay its bills? If you’re currently on different payment terms with all of your key suppliers, try negotiating with them to produce a more consistent payment system that lets your accounting department pay suppliers at optimal efficiency.

Consider drop-shipping specific items

Drop-shipping — shipping orders directly from manufacturers or suppliers — is rapidly becoming more popular, even among mid-sized and large retailers. While it’s rarely cost effective for your top-selling products, drop-shipping can often help you simplify fulfillment for niche products.

Equip employees with portable label printers

Portable label printers allow your fulfillment and logistics staff to print labels as required, without having to return to a standard printer between picking items. The end result? A less centralized, more effective fulfillment environment in which orders are picked, packed and processed faster.

Improve communications with suppliers

Finally, sometimes the easiest way to improve your supply chain is to reach out to your suppliers more frequently.

From frequent reports to weekly or monthly phone calls, clear and steady communication can be key to maintaining a strong supply chain. As suppliers become more important to your business, make it a priority for your team to invest in stronger relationships and increased transparency.

What Successful Poker Players and Finance Professionals Have in Common

Poker and finance are two of a kind. The type of strategic thinking that is instrumental in winning poker is the same requirement in making successful finance and investment decisions. In poker and trading, players and investors are both required to balance expected returns with associated risk. Which is why it is no big surprise when someone in the field of finance is successful in poker, and vice versa. Both all about mastering the basics and maintaining self-discipline. Learning the basics in one field can actually benefit the other. So, a poker player might improve his hand by studying the tricks in finance, and a trading professional might improve his investing decisions by playing poker. 

Different Setting, Same Strategy

Poker players and investment traders are always attuned to noticing patterns and letting them inform their decision-making, although there may be slight differences in how they approach pattern analysis. For poker players, it is critical to watch opponents closely and look for indications such as changes in body language and other “tells” that could reveal their next bet. Meanwhile, in investing, the approach is not as personal as that of poker, as traders analyse data in order to forecast where the market is headed. In both arenas, pattern analysis is vital. It is necessary to observe changes and fluctuations from the status quo in order to decide one’s next move.  

Access to online poker games is beneficial to anyone who wants to become successful in the card game of poker. Unlike in the past, when one needed to go to a land-based poker room in order to play and learn the strategies of the game, online poker sites are now easily accessible to anyone who wants to become an expert poker player. One’s understanding of poker is related to the number of hands they play, and playing online makes it possible to play more games than in a physical casino. Some online poker sites even let new players play for free without requiring a deposit, and there are even bonuses given out too. And with mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, one can play online poker anytime and practically anywhere. All it takes it to download the app or access the site on a browser. Click here to see how you can practice poker online for free by playing different variants such as Texas Hold’em, 7 Card Stud, Omaha as well as webcam poker, where you can see your opponent, and fast-fold versions like SNAP.

Risk Management and Recovery from Losses

Successful poker players and trading investors should both be impartial and well-acquainted with risk. While people outside these industries may find it challenging to separate the decision from the outcome, this is something that expert poker players and investment traders are very good at. They are able to make an unbiased decision and accept the outcome, whether it was a success or not. It is equally important that they bounce back from losses, assessing carefully and objectively what went wrong and planning their next move.

In both fields, there is no room for sulking. Playing your loss over and over in your mind will not change anything, but focusing on your next hand could give you the win you’ve been wanting to achieve. Both poker players and investment traders are able to quickly move forward from any losses. They know how to compartmentalise, and they do not allow defeats to affect their strategy. In both poker and trading, one must be able to strategise based on factors revolving the current situation. It is dangerous to base one’s decisions on recent losses, or even on recent gains.

Top Poker Players Who Are Also on Wall Street

One proof that the worlds of poker and finance are similar on so many levels is the existence of top poker players on Wall Street. For one, there’s Vanessa Selbst, the most successful female poker player to this day. Vanessa has achieved almost $12 million in winnings and recently made a career switch from poker to finance. Vanessa is a three-time World Series of Poker winner and known to be an aggressive player with a diverse background. Before she took a job with Bridgewater, the world’s largest hedge fund, she worked at consulting giant McKinsey & Company.

Another legend in poker who migrated to Wall Street is Jason Strasser, one of the top figures in the poker tournament scene back in early 2000. To the surprise of many, Jason left poker in 2007 to take on the role of co-founder and chief investment officer at Caption Partners. But Jason didn’t leave the poker world for good. He still plays in poker tournaments from time to time. In fact, he recently topped a massive field of 1,249 entries and secured the 2018 World Series of Poker Circuit Choctaw $1,675 No-Limit Hold’em main event title, earning $332,539 and his second WSOPC gold ring.

In 2010, Louis Bacon’s $4 billion hedge fund, Moore Capital, hired James Vogl from North London. James won a coveted bracelet in 2004 during a World Series of Poker event in Las Vegas. In the said event, he won over 800 other players and earned $400,00 0 in tax-free profits in just one hand. James, who admits that he is highly competitive, has always had a passion for risk and reward games, spending a lot of time learning poker and the odds, practising and doing the calculations.

High stakes, effective strategy, risk-taking, and a lot of self-discipline – these are just some of the things that are needed in poker if one wishes to succeed in this game. And since poker and finance are practically identical, these factors are equally essential in the world of investment trading. What’s amazing about these two worlds is, they offer the same opportunities and excitement to people who excel in either that one can grow in one field and evolve in the other, such as the case of the top poker players who decided to join the exciting world of Wall Street. 

 

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