Leading The Global Wireless Power Revolution

spark connected

Founded in 2017, Spark Connected began with a vision to transform wireless power delivery and intelligent battery charging with innovative platforms, disruptive tech, and breakthrough products enabling an enhanced user experience for everyone. In the three short years since the company was born, it has gone on to achieve massive success with key global Tier 1 brands and was featured in Corporate Vision’s 2020 Corporate Excellent Awards. As we take a closer look at the firm, discover why it has been awarded the title of Most Innovative Wireless Power Technology Company – 2020.

Backed by more than two decades of combined domain expertise and the founders’ deep roots in technology, Spark Connected takes a great deal of pride in delivering advanced end-to-end wireless power system solutions that benefit a wide variety of applications and industries. Specializing in product development and engineering solutions, Spark Connected works with clients in markets as diverse and varied as industrial and Internet of Things, to automotive, medical, telecommunications, security, and consumer markets. The firm is made up of talented and passionate individuals spread across the R&D, systems, applications, marketing, engineering, and operations departments, all equally enthusiastic about developing best-in-class and industry-leading technology in the emerging market of wireless power.

Together with its proven strategic, ecosystem, and channel partners, Spark Connected helps integrate its innovative technology into everyday customer products as well as products in Automotive and Industrial markets. In doing so, the firm is continuing to drive the global transformation of how various industries can power the world wirelessly. The world has increasingly adopted wireless powering technology in various devices since 2017, and that trend shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In particular, the last eighteen months have seen phenomenal growth and innovation for Spark Connected, which can be attributed to several factors.

Firstly, the firm has been responsible for developing a scalable and unparalleled wireless power platform that is based on Spark Connected’s Pantheon™ Software. This works seamlessly with the firm’s patented system hardware designs, and the scalability allows Spark Connected to support a wide range of power levels that can address unique power delivery challenges in a variety of applications beyond just smartphones.

According to Ruwanga Dassanayake, Chief Operating Officer at Spark Connected, “Another aspect of what makes Spark Connected unique is our ability to deliver multiple types of wireless power technologies today, and still has a compelling roadmap that truly excites customers moving forwards. These solutions of the future are based on the firm’s broad patent portfolio, which continues to grow with every day. Furthermore, Spark Connected if a full member of the Wireless Power Consortium(the global wireless power standards body for Qi), and holds multiple co-chair positions in key task forces, helping innovate at the highest possible level and push the boundaries beyond charging smartphones. Lastly, Spark Connected has set an extremely high bar on the quality and level of support that is provided to customers so that they are able to focus their resources on what they do best. All of this truly sets Spark Connected apart from its competitors”.

When working with clients, Spark Connected follows a simple, yet effective, three-pronged approach. Each approach focuses on a different aspect of what the customer requires. For instance, the three approaches are engineered towards what problem is trying to be solved, whether or not the solution adds value to the customer in ways that existing market solutions cannot, and whether or not the solution is delivered in a cost-effective manner. Focusing on these three areas is key, and once they are validated, Spark Connected moves quickly with a singular focus on striving for flawless execution to meet delivery commitments.

Internally, the company culture of Spark Connected is much the same as its outward-focused mission. The company was formed on the tenets of rapid innovation and unparalleled customer support, and though the statement may seem trite, the true difference can be seen in how the employees view their job. The team is made up of people who treat a customer’s project as though it were their own. They see the importance of the role that Spark Connected plays in a customer’s success, and they see the part that they play in achieving that success. Staff have a sense of ownership that results in customer support that is far more valuable than the conventional arms-length relationship fostered by other competitors. Spark Connected has assembled a first-class team, with innovation in their DNA. Everyone is like-minded in the belief in the transformative nature of wireless power and its impact on how the connected world is powered.

Regardless of the current global circumstances with the COVID-19 pandemic, technology talent remains in high demand. Spark Connected is continuously looking to add innovative talent to its ranks as the company grows, specifically looking for individuals that have the unique combination of being innovative, passionate, keen to challenge the status quo, and the ability to think outside the box. Those staff must be on board with always thinking about how the future can be transformed further, even during difficult times. Scaling the business can sometimes be hard, but Spark Connected has grown tenfold in the last eighteen months.

Looking to the future, there is plenty of room for growth within the world of wireless technology. By 2023, more than one billion smartphones will have adopted the wireless charging technology that is already evident in various smartphone models. Along with this rapid growth in devices, comes an ecosystem rife with opportunity to support charging these devices through a ubiquitous wireless charging infrastructure in places such as hotels, apartment complexes, enterprise office spaces, public venues, and public transport.

In addition to the smartphone market, Spark Connected’s technology is uniquely positioned to support applications beyond smartphones, such as medical, high power industrial, and factory automation, lighting, IoT, security, and telecommunications infrastructure. Beyond the smartphone space is very much an emerging market at present, but one that Spark Connected is more excited than ever to be a part of. Untapped potential and opportunity await, with incredibly attractive annual growth rates in the next decade.

The future of wireless technology is incredibly exciting, and with Spark Connected at the forefront of the industry innovation, it is only set to become more integrated into society. As these innovations and developments keep coming, Spark Connected looks forward to spearheading and supporting the wireless power industry to become the next ubiquitous charging standard.

Surprising Study Materials to Help You Pass the Cisco 300-410 Exam

cisco

What you use for your exam preparation plays a big part in the grades you get. Every test has prep tools designed by professionals and other experts in the respective field. In this article, we’re covering various study materials for the Cisco 300-410 exam that you cannot avoid. Before covering them, we’ll be considering the main aspects of this Find More on Exam-Labs URL Click Here .

 

Main Exam 300-410 Details

This accreditation is for those who implement Cisco advanced routing as well as services designed for the enterprise. Another name for 300-410 is ENARSI and it’s meant for securing the CCNP Enterprise badge if you combine it with 350-401 assessment. However, once you meet 300-410 threshold only, you receive a certification called the Cisco Certified Specialist-Enterprise Advanced Infrastructure Implementation. This ensures that your efforts are recognized with this single step. When it comes to the details of this assessment, the Cisco 300-410 exam lasts 90 minutes. The most probable question types in the main exam may involve multiple choice, multiple correct, drag-and-drops, and exhibit. The testing price is $300 and this assessment is available in two languages, namely, English and Japanese. Now that you know the facts about Cisco DEVASC 200-901 Exam Dumps Questions , let’s now cover the exam study materials to work with.

 

Study Materials for Assessment 300-410

The same way you plan your work before you start something, exam prep also requires acquiring test materials that assist you in practicing and obtaining the necessary skills and information. Here are study materials for Exam-Labs Cisco Certification CCNA Exam Dumps:

Training courses

Courses for this accreditation can include the official ones from Cisco and as well tutorials available on sites like YouTube. For the Cisco official courses, you’ll obtain access to experimental labs so that you come into possession of practical skills. If you visit the vendor’s assessment page, you can find such course options:

 

Practice tests

Practicing the knowledge you just acquired is key in taking care of the most important issues touching 300-410. Practice tests proffer benefits such as discovering how the exam is styled, knowledge retention, identification of knowledge gaps, and improving knowledge transfer. The more a candidate uses 300-410 practice tests during his/her studies, the more s/he becomes ready and more confident to appear for the real assessment.

 

Study guides

Study guides help in capturing information as you refer and study the set topics for 300-410. You can review each topic unlimited times until you feel you have retained the required concepts. Check out the following guides for the Click Here to Find More on Exam-Labs Website on Amazon:

  • Official Exam 300-410 Study Guide by Raymond Lacoste & Bradley Edgeworth,

  • ENCOR (350-401) and ENARSI (300-410) Study Guide by Scott Empson & Patrick Gargano.

 

Cisco Learning Library

This subscription learning service connects you with online courses for networking. They include product, certification, and technology training. Learners get support through interactive courses, training labs, and vital reference materials.

 

These study materials for the Exam-Labs Cisco CCNP 300-425 ENWLSD Certification Exam Dumps assessment can only bring meaning if you purpose to use them correctly. With this list, you have no excuse for not being ready as the exam comes nearer. Take your time through the above-mentioned materials and pick out the ones that address your learning needs. What is more, remember that you’d better combine some prep materials, for instance, training courses and practice tests. And as you study, ensure to always focus on the goal you wish to achieve.

How to Make Sure Your Staff Keep Up With Compliance and Regulation

employee regulation

There are over 50,000 businesses in the UK which fall under FCA regulation. With strict measures in place, firms will undergo for a lengthy application process and need to uphold regulatory standards to be trading and avoid fines and prosecution.

Whether you offer investments, loans, finance, credit or similar, everyone in your firm has to keep within the regulatory guidelines in terms of pricing, transparency and how they treat customers.

But, when you are running a large organisation, there are a lot of employees to keep an eye on – and it only takes one mistake from an employee that could be very costly. So if you are FCA or SMCR regulated, there are a number of things can do to ensure your staff keep up with compliance and regulation.

 

Make compliance part of the company culture

Being compliant should become part of the company culture and this can be achieved by constantly referring to the business as a regulated entity. You need all staff to think ‘compliance-first’ and have any actions they take with regulatory requirements in mind.

In some places, a company can automate adjust their technology to be compliant, such as telling your computer not to let customers borrow more through credit limits or overdrafts, or using a computer to automate the number of follow up emails you can send for bad debt.

Having signs around the office with regulatory practices, regular emails, training sessions and constant updates from senior staff will be key to create a compliance culture.

 

Review work of employees

Although on the verge of being too ‘big brother,’ there is a strong argument for monitoring the calls and emails of employees, especially those engaging with customers and other partners.

For brokers who are making deals or for creditors making collections, it is essential to monitor the tone and practices of the staff. If you imagine a large customer call centre, you potentially have hundreds of staff that could make an error, which is not in line with regulation. Hence, having a compliance member of staff to run spot checks and control quality is vital.  

 

Reinforce with regular training

Training staff with a compliance manager is a given and usually part of any orientation or introduction to a new job.

However, compliance training should be executed regularly, whether quarterly or every 6 months. This can be evaluated through oral exams or exams taken online to ensure that staff are up to speed.

 

Make the consequences known

It may be important to put the ‘fear of god’ into employees and to understand the outcomes if they are not compliant.

This can include losing their job, the company losing its FCA license or being handed a large fine. There are always companies in the industry that fall foul to the regulator and are given similar punishments. When these stories reach the stories, it may be worth sharing these with all staff, just so they understand the severity and consequences of non-compliance.

Vacancies in The UK Down 46.1% Year on Year in June As Coronavirus Stalls Hiring

job vacancies

Professional vacancies in the UK were down 46.1% year on year in June as hiring continues to be impacted by Covid-19. That’s according to new research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), the trade association for the recruitment sector.

The data, provided by business intelligence specialist Vacancysoft, also revealed that hiring activity was impacted as early as Q1 this year, with professional vacancies down 31.3% in the first quarter, as concerns over the virus started to manifest. As lockdown took effect, volumes in Q2 dropped 69% when compared to the same period last year.

London least impacted

The statistics also indicated that the drop in recruitment has been more marked regionally than in London, which was down 39.8% year on year. In comparison, the East Midlands saw the greatest annual fall in vacancies, with volumes down 57.2%, with the South East also hard hit, with hiring seeing a decrease of 49% year on year.

Demand for IT professionals dominates UK hiring

While hiring across IT is down 37% year on year, it remains the most in demand profession, accounting for 31.5% of the country’s vacancies. This is indicative of the vast number of businesses that are still seeking IT infrastructure support as remote working continues to be implemented.

Despite all professions reporting a drop in hiring activity, demand for banking professionals also remained relatively resilient, with volumes down by just 28% year on year, indicating the continued need for financial expertise across the UK’s businesses as budgets were impacted by Covid-19.

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo comments:

“As we entered 2020 most of us in the recruitment profession had our focus fully set on Brexit, but none of us could have predicted the events which would eventually unfold across the UK and the rest of the world as Covid-19 changed our lives completely. We all knew that hiring would take a hit as a result of the lockdown, so to see jobs down overall for June is perhaps no surprise for many staffing company owners.”

“However, every business and every industry are different. Some sectors have remained resilient and are beginning to show signs of positivity as we emerge from lockdown bleary eyed and eager to get back to the grind once again. Other sectors will, however, feel the impact of the pandemic for far longer. As we enter the summer months and more businesses begin to once again open their doors for staff, we certainly hope to see professional recruitment get the much-needed boost it deserves.”

Corporate Vision Announces the Winners of the 2020 Logistics, Warehouse & Supply Chain Awards

logistics press release

United Kingdom, 2020– Corporate Vision Magazine has announced the winners of the 2020 Logistics, Warehouse & Supply Chain Awards.

The role of the logistics, warehouse and supple chain industries cannot be overestimated in the greater business world. Connectivity is something that we often take for granted in today’s digital landscape, and it is easy to simply overlook the important contributions made by the industry’s leaders, start-ups and innovators. But, as the world started the shut down in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, logistics continued on. Supply chains endeavoured to keep going, adapt, and evolve. Warehouses all over the world remained stocked. 

While we launched these awards prior to recent events, it certainly offered a stark justification for the recognition of companies in these sectors, and indeed many others that play a crucial role in the day to day running of business as a whole.

Awards Coordinator Steve Simpson took a moment to comment on the success of those recognised: “This awards programme has always endeavoured to showcase the best of the best from across these fundamentally important industries. Congratulations to all of my winners and I wish you the best of luck for the future.”

To learn more about these illustrious winners, and to find out the secrets behind their success, please visit http://www.cv-magazine.com.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Corporate Vision Magazine

Corporate Vision is published monthly with the mission to deliver insightful features from across the global corporate world. Launched with an eye towards bettering business practices across the board, Corporate Vision focuses on spotlighting advances in the HR, marketing, coaching, and recruitment spheres, with the goal to shine a light on the gatekeepers of better business. Those that help build, through no small amount of creativity and expertise, to develop an altogether more productive and more efficient world of work.

Corporate Vision is bought to you by AI Global Media, a B2B digital publishing group founded in 2010. The group currently has 13 brands within its portfolio that include luxury lifestyle, construction, healthcare and small business focused publications. AI Global Media is dedicated to delivering content you can trust.

Issue 7 2020

Corporate Vision Issue 7 2020 cover

Welcome to the July edition of Corporate Vision magazine. As always, we aim to bring you the latest news and features from across the global corporate landscape.

And so we begin a rather tentative reopening. Some of you, I’m sure, are eager to get back to full operation, while others are more trepidatious. Wherever you stand, it’s an uncertain time for everyone. In many ways, there’s no overwhelmingly ‘right’ way to move forward, and we can only be cautious and abide by today’s best practices.

With that in mind, it also pays to pay attention to each other. To learn from each other. What works for one business could apply to your own. So, we’ve collated just a few companies across the globe who are looking to innovate, create and discover new ways to do business in this very different world we find ourselves in. To put it simply, the rules have changed, and we have to change with them.

In the meantime, I hope you all stay safe and well. Corporate Vision will be here to deliver the latest features for the future of better business.

Top Tips to Strengthen Your Recruitment Process With Video

zoom

As employers embrace video call tools such as Zoom and Skype for day to day work communication, recruitment is no different as recruiters turn to virtual interview processes to source out the best talent. For recruiters looking for a way to build a more engaging recruitment process video, Laura Webster, Global Marketing Manager at HAYS Talent Solutions shares tips and advice into how employers can build a seamless virtual recruitment process through video.

Here at HAYS Talent Solutions, we asked 300 business owners if they are using or planning to use video as a permanent part of their recruitment process post COVID-19. The results revealed over half (64%) are already using it permanently in their process while 24% say they have plans to make video interviews permanently.

There is a myriad of reasons why video is so engaging. We are evolutionarily adapted to quickly respond to the combination of image, sound, and motion, be it emotionally due to there being more cues, or because we can process it faster. Whatever the reason the point is using video in your hiring process commands the attention, and contrary to popular belief your video does not need to go viral to be successful.

Here are five examples of how you can work video into your recruitment process, cheaply and easily:

1. Advertising your jobs on social

At Hays we’ve been using a tool called VideoMyJob to equip our recruiters to create branded video job ads they can quickly share on social media using just their smartphone, like this one.

Users can record a video, edit and then share the videos all within the app. You can upload your own branding so all your videos look and feel professional, and you can even have users submit videos for approval so they can’t post just anything.

The app itself helps the user ensure their positioned correctly, and even includes an autocue if needed. Whilst the editing suite means you can not only stitch together videos and cut, but add icons, subtitles and other wording all within the app.

It’s a great way to stand out in the midst of all the other noise on social, humanise your job postings and even better it doesn’t drag on your precious marketing resources to create you a video all the time.

2. Bringing your employer brand to life

Video is a great way to show how to make your employer brand seen authentic online. By showing your company culture, environment and engaged employees, not just telling, you gain serious credibility.

These videos can be used on your career’s sites, in your recruitment e-mails, at events.

3. Explaining your application process

It is an area many an organisation missed, but constant communication throughout the recruitment process to ensure your candidates know what’s next and when it’s likely to happen is key in today’s competitive environment.

Explaining your typical recruitment process at the beginning, even if it is just what is required at application stage on your website is a must. Video can be a great medium for this, breaking up all the reading and setting you apart from the competition.

4. Use video as part of the application process

Video interviewing has been used in various ways to reduce costs on travel and make quicker decisions without the need to align diaries.

However, interviews aren’t the only way to use video in your selection process. We’ve used video as a self-selection tool as part of the screening process, by creating a video that users can interact with to see what a day in the life of a recruiter is really like and test their skills by answering questions throughout:

As candidates seek to stand out and better demonstrate the real them you should also consider accepting or even requesting video resumes. Just as we’ve sometimes found with video interviews not all candidates will be up for the challenge, but providing the option will show your organisation is open to creativity and those who are changing with the times.

5. Vlogging careers advice or to position you as a thought leader

Vlogging seems to be almost every teenager’s ideal career right now, so nothing is more on trend than a video blog. You could get your CEO or one of your key hiring managers to record an overview of industry trends they are seeing in their world of work or what they think it takes to make it to the top, to help position you as a thought leader in that space to attract passive candidates, while allowing your candidates to know a little about their interviewer or future employer.

Alternatively, you could just create simple careers advice videos to support your candidates further.

The historic world of ‘advertise & apply’ (where active jobseekers at that point in time apply to advertised vacancies) is being superseded by a ‘find & engage’ approach, and few things are more engaging than video.

Your candidates want to know what it’s really like to work at your company, and video allows you to give them the context that words alone will struggle to convey. So whether you’re showcasing your employees, your workplace, the things you believe in or just promote your job openings video could well be a new addition to your talent acquisition toolkit.

The Real Value of a University Education Revealed

graduation
  • Average university graduate earns £582,532 over their lifetime which is 23% more than those without a degree
  • An engineering degree increases a graduate’s lifetime earnings by £140,000 on average
  • Women with degrees earn 51% more than those without, across their lifetime

Ever increasing university fees and fear of student debt might put many people off higher education, but investing in your education significantly increases your lifetime earning potential, according to new data from Money.co.uk.

A study of 2,042 UK adults commissioned by the personal finance experts at Money.co.uk, reveals that as many as 62% believe that gaining a university degree will not increase an individual’s lifetime financial value.

However, Money.co.uk has launched a new Degree Valuation Calculator, combining its survey data with salary data from the Institute of Fiscal Studies, to reveal the true value of higher education.

The data proves that for the vast majority of graduates, a degree has a significant impact on lifetime earnings. The average graduate will earn 23% more over their lifetime than those who do not study at university.

According to the calculator, the average university graduate earns £582,532 over their lifetime, which is £107,532 more than those with a minimum of five A-C grade GCSEs.

On average, by the age of 29, men with a degree will be earning a salary of approximately £35,500 – this is a 19% wage increase compared to men of the same age who left education having achieved a minimum of five A-C grade GCSE’s.

For women however, this difference is even more prominent, as women aged 29 who left education at this earlier stage typically earn approximately £20,800 per year, meanwhile female graduates can hope to be earning as much as £31,500 per year on average at this age –  a difference of 51%.

The research reveals the largest increases in lifetime earnings for women can be seen in female graduates with a degree in economics, who earn an average of £671,000 over their lifetime, 122% more than women without a degree in any subject.

Moreover, women with a medicine degree will on average earn 113% more over their lifetimes than the average woman without a degree, whilst female maths graduates can expect an increase in lifetime earnings of 95%.

Graduates of Oxbridge and Russell Group universities are likely to see the biggest increase in lifetime earnings amongst those who have a degree. The average graduate of these universities can expect lifetime earnings of £651,000, which is an increase of £176,500 compared to the average UK non-graduate, with a minimum of 5 A-C GCSEs, who will earn £475,000 across their lifetime.

Recent findings from the Chartered Association of Business School suggest that the UK’s most popular degree subject is currently business. According to money.co.uk’s calculator, business graduates can expect to earn an impressive £659,000 over their lifetimes, which is £184,000 more than individuals without a University education.

Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at money.co.uk comments: “Despite the financial burden of tuition fees, it is clear that university degrees are still a key factor in boosting potential earnings for the vast majority of graduates.

“Our new calculator is a unique tool that allows individuals to compare just how much they can benefit financially from attending different universities and studying different subjects. This is particularly useful to anyone who may be in the process of deliberating their future academic and professional endeavours.

“University is a worthwhile, long-term investment for many, both financially and personally. Going to university is definitely something to consider saving up for and opening up a dedicated savings account for this is a great way to do so.”

7 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Career as a Photographer

photographer

Beginning a career as a photographer can be a great way to transform a hobby into a profession. If you have a genuine talent for photography, then there are chances that you could build a name for yourself and make a very good living doing what you love. However, it’s more complicated than posting a few of your pictures on social media and crossing your fingers.

Taking pictures is the easy part, it’s everything surrounding the business that you’ll need to get a grasp on if you want to succeed. Here’s what you should know before you start a career as a photographer.

 

You Might Have to Improve Your Skills

You may be good at taking photos and have gotten some compliments from your friends and family. However, that doesn’t mean that you’re ready to make it a career.

Do you find yourself taking a lot of pictures that you can’t use and have to rely on photoshop? Well, if that’s the case, it usually means that you’re simply not good enough yet. Your photos should be exposed correctly, in focus, and look great in-camera without the use of photoshop.

If you’re constantly blown away by the work of other photographers and wonder how they’re able to do what they do, then this might be another sign that you’re not ready yet. That doesn’t mean that you absolutely have to be able to replicate your favorite photographer’s work, but it also shouldn’t seem out of your reach. If that’s the case, then you may need some extra formation.

 

You Will Need Some Time to Build Experience

Don’t expect to start working on big projects from the beginning. Chances are you’ll need to get practice first, even if you have the fundamentals. Different jobs might present different challenges, and you need to be able to get it right every time before you can call yourself a professional photographer. This is why you might want to start with small work and with friends and family so you can fine-tune your skills.

It also means that you may have to do some volunteer or pro-bono work to earn your chops. At least, if you make mistakes on these jobs, the client won’t be as angry and will understand that you’re still learning.

 

Forget Normal Working Hours

If you decide to work as a photographer, know that you may have to work more often than what you’d like. Events are often on the weekend, and gigs can last well into the night, so know that this could take some of the time you usually have off.

There are no sick days either, and if you don’t feel like working one day, you could get yourself and your clients in trouble. So, make sure that you’re ready for the commitment and that you’re the kind of person who follows through on their engagements.

You also have those gigs when you have to start at strange hours, like the middle of the night or before dawn. This could be very tough for some, so this is another thing you’ll have to prepare for. Even if you manage to get some editorial or advertising work, you still can’t expect to work a regular 9 to 5. Your work will depend on deadlines, and you sometimes won’t be able to leave until the material needed is finished. Then you have to deal with calls, emails, and everything else that comes with running a business, so don’t expect it to be a joyride.

 

You Might Have to Deal with Difficult People

People take their image very seriously, and some might be more perfectionist than others. Then you have those who don’t know what they want or have unrealistic expectations. This is all part of the job, and something you’ll have to be ready to face.

Photography is one of those strange positions where everyone seems to think they can do what you do better, so be ready to hear harsh criticism from people who have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. This is why you’ll need to have a nice disposition, and it will be your responsibility to tell them why certain things might not be possible.

You also need to be able to see when someone may have a point, and be ready to take criticism. You need to have thick skin in this business, and try to view everything as a learning experience. The last thing you want to do is take it personally. Legitimate criticism will only make you a better photographer if you take the time to take it in and make the improvements needed.

 

You Don’t Need to Spend a Lot on a Website

Know that you don’t need to spend tons of money on a website to get started. There are services like Format that will allow you to build a great looking photography portfolio website in minutes. All you’ll need to do is pick the theme that you want, create an about and contact page, drag and drop your photos, pick a few details, and you’ll have a fully functional portfolio site up and running. Their service is also pretty affordable, so that should be more than enough for someone who’s just starting.

 

You’ll Spend a Lot of Time on the Business Aspect

You have to be prepared to spend as much time, if not more, on managing and promoting your business than on photography. Learning your craft is one thing, but learning how to sell it is another. We strongly suggest that you start educating yourself about the business aspect of photography before you get started.

As far as marketing goes, don’t expect that you’ll be able to get successful by putting your work on Instagram and start cold messaging people. You’ll have to use a wide variety of techniques to get your name known, and you also have to be ready to do the work needed to get recognized in your local market. There’s a lot more groundwork involved than it seems, and you’ll have to be able to sell yourself. So, if you’re introverted, you’ll need to learn how to get out of your shell, or you’ll have a lot of trouble getting known in that business.

 

You May Build a Whole Different Relationship with Photography

There’s a major difference between doing something as a job, and doing something for fun. You may love photography, but things become different after you’ve spent 12 hours editing work for a client.

You will be working on other people’s schedules and conditions and might have to stomp on your convictions and creative vision to satisfy them. We have to expect that most photographers get into the field out of love, but still, a lot of them get into slumps and burnout, so you’ll have to constantly pay attention to your mood, and don’t let a bad gig linger too long if you don’t want it to influence your outlook negatively.

  These are all things that should be at the top of your mind if you are thinking of starting your own photography business. Know, however, that making it is possible, as long as you have the talent necessary, and the hustle to sell it.  

The Unexpected Costs of Distracted Driving and What Companies Can Do About It

car crash

Driving accidents that happen while working can have severe detrimental effects on a business’ reputation, consequently damaging their bottom line. In fact, even ‘slight’ accidents cost a business an average of around £25,500 in the UK. Find out how to protect your business from such costs by educating your staff and managing risks.

Each year there are more than 125,000 deaths and 50,000,000 injuries on the world’s roads, illustrating the devastating effects that unsafe driving can have. While not all traffic incidents have these awful outcomes, other driving accidents that happen while working can have severe detrimental effects on a business’ reputation, consequently damaging their bottom line. In fact, according to statista.com, ‘slight’ accidents cost a business an average of around £25,500 in the UK. Find out how to protect your business from such costs by educating your staff and managing risks.

 

Why – and what – does distracted driving cost a business?

Companies that have anything from a few company cars to a generous fleet of vans need to be aware of the true cost of poor driving and traffic accidents. There are costs associated with all of the following:

  • Repairs to the company vehicle – this could be minor costs without going through your insurance, or insurance excess costs if damage is more severe.
  • Repairs to 3rd party vehicles – the same as above.
  • Increased insurance rates – with every incident reported, your business vehicle insurance costs are likely to increase.
  • Injuries – if your driver has injured someone due to careless driving, it might be possible that they can make an additional claim – such as if they suffer from whiplash.
  • Downtime – if either your vehicle is damaged, or your driver has suffered an injury, this could lead to downtime from work.
  • Fuel – according to research carried out by DirectLine, reckless drivers who travel at high speeds and break suddenly spend on average 67% more on fuel. So even if there are no accidents, there is still unnecessary cost to the business for driving this way.

There is also the very real threat of the cost of damage to your company’s reputation. When accidents occur, it’s likely that members of the public – whether they are pedestrians or other drivers – will witness the incident. If your driver was obviously distracted or driving recklessly, in a vehicle with your company name and logo on the side, these same members of the public will quickly associate your business with carelessness and even arrogance. This will likely lead to a sense of distrust in your staff, and an unwillingness to do business with you.

Location technology company TomTom carried out research to find out how important good driving was to consumers, and the majority of the 1,000 people they asked said they were put off a business if they saw staff driving badly.

 

Implementing an effective driver safety programme

To avoid traffic incidents and the consequential costs involved with them, company owners and senior staff must put into place an effective driver safety training course. Whether you’ve hired experienced drivers, or new recruits that have not had their driving licence for many years, it’s important to offer regular driving training and refresher courses. This could include:

  • An in-house hazard perception test (videos can be found online)
  • A Q&A style training session during which the rules of the road are tested, including a quiz at the start and/or end of the session
  • Practical driving time with a senior member of staff as a passenger, who will assess the experience and identify potential problems

There are many online driving courses – some chargeable and some free – which can be utilised by a company with drivers. These are designed to provide those who already have a licence with a refresher on everything related to road laws, safe driving habits, road courtesy, speed awareness, hazard perception and car maintenance.

Any driving training provided should be conducted when a new driver first joins the team, and then on an annual basis after that. Managers should also consider requesting that any drivers who do get into accidents, should take the training again after the incident has happened.

 

Promoting a culture of fuel-saving

Another way to cut costs is to educate your drivers about how to drive in a fuel-preserving manner.

Businesses with a substantial fleet are likely to have a fuel card system in place with which their drivers can buy fuel as and when needed. These can be useful if you’d like to dictate where fuel can be purchased from – such as only supermarkets, or only garages with whom your company has a discounted rate. If your company does not use fuel cards it can still be useful to inform your drivers about preferred suppliers, in order to keep fuel costs down.

Educate your staff about the importance of good driving to reduce fuel costs, such as with the following habits:

  • Adhering to speed limits
  • Turning off the engine in traffic (when stationary for 30 seconds or more)
  • Using the highest gear possible for the speed
  • Being aware of what’s ahead to avoid sudden breaking and other manoeuvres

 

Vehicle tracking

Companies with a fleet of vehicles might consider installing a tracking system on them, in order to accurately measure the way the vehicle is being driven. While trackers might not necessarily be welcomed among staff, if you are frequently having issues with incidents they can be a useful tool.

As well as finding a vehicle’s location at any given time, modern trackers can measure speed, detect irrational driving and sudden manoeuvres, and fuel economy. This will allow managers to quickly discover which, if any, drivers are not behaving in a careful way. If preferred, vehicle trackers could be used as a deterrent for poor drivers, i.e. if they are only installed in the vehicles that are regularly found to be involved in incidents.

 

Reducing business costs

While some drivers might continue to drive in a careless or distracted fashion, especially if this has come as a result of years of bad habits, to inform staff about road safety and fuel consumption is one of the most effective ways to combat this.

In addition to providing regular training, managers should find a way to reward good driving and reprimand those who are involved in incidents when they are at fault. Only then will employees appreciate their value to you as a safe driver, and with this will come a shift in their driving behaviour. With informed driving staff who understand the true cost of distracted driving, it should be possible to keep such costs down for your business.

Taking Pictures for Your Business – What You Need to Know

photos for business

Taking Pictures for Your Business – What You Need to Know

Every business nowadays needs to include high-quality images that it can use across its various media. You could be in any sector or industry from energy to hospitality, but you will still use images to convey parts of the business to others. Here is what you will need to know about creating images for your business.

Why Not Just Use Stock Images?

One choice that you will always have will be to use stock images. This could be a great option, but it does have some limitations. Firstly, you need to make sure that you have the rights to the stock images in question. Nothing can look more unappealing than watermarks across the image because it has not been purchased.

You can get around this by choosing to use free stock images instead, but this still has limitations. One of the major ones that you may encounter is simply a lack of diversity in free stock images. You might not be able to find exactly what you want. This means that you can either opt for something that isn’t quite right, or you could be left without an image to use at all. Neither of these could be an option for you.

Instead, you need to give some serious thought to creating your own images from scratch. This will give you a bank of images that you can pull on for different tasks as and when you need them.

What Will the Images Be For?

You will no doubt have an idea about what you want the images to primarily be used for, but you need to make sure that you are not boxing yourself in too much. Sometimes, you need to create images that will be used in one specific project and no more. There are other times that you will want to create some more general images that could be used for multiple projects.

Try to think about where the images will be used. For example, you might not want to use newsletter images in the same way that you would use individual product shots and vice versa. By having some clear thought on how you best want to use each image, you should be able to develop your image catalogue without too much overlap.

Do You Need a Professional?

professional photographer

How are you with a camera? If you know how to line things up and take a clear image that will appeal to many, there is no reason why you can’t take the pictures for your own business. Even an amateur may be able to get the perfect shot. You could ever go on a few courses just to elevate your skills a tiny bit.

However, there are some circumstances where it might be better for you to instead use a professional. For example, headshots for your team might look more uniform and neater if you have a photographer come in to do them all in one go. If you instead try to take them as you go, there is a chance that there will be some major discrepancies amongst you. Trust in the skills of the photographer to make things come out that bit better.

How Will You Edit the Photos?

It is incredibly rare that someone will just take a photo and then put it on their website. Most will go through some form of editing and maybe even a little retouching to make sure that they are as good as possible.

If you are committed to learning photography skills for your business, you should also think about investing in some editing lessons. For example, one of the major things that you need to pick up is the ability to colour correct. Many photos have lights and darks in the wrong places, or they might be a little too washed out. You need to know how to correct the colour balances to make these pop, especially if they are to go in an advert or are to be a key part of your website.

How Will You Schedule the Photoshoot?

Any creative project is going to take time to organise. You might think that you will be able to throw it together in no time at all, but there is a chance that you could need a day or even longer. It is rare to take the perfect shot on the first go, whether you have the model in the picture, or you are just doing a still life or landscape. A change of angle or lighting could make all the difference, and you need to make sure that you are getting as many shots as possible so you can compare them later.

If you have many a busy workday to juggle on top of a shoot like this, it can actually be quite difficult to find time for it. You need to make sure that you are leaving a block in your calendar in which this photoshoot can be done. It might go by in a flash, or it might take the whole day to organise. Each one can be so very different, but it can result in some unbelievable shots.

Start Taking Your Own Pictures Now

taking your own pics

If you have been relying on stock photos up until this point, you need to think about changing this soon. Having your own collection of photos for your business can make putting together a creative campaign or a new website that bit easier.

No matter what sector you work in, you deserve to have some clear and beautiful photographs that you can work with. Take the time to find a photographer and editor who also share your creative vision. When you can find people who all work together harmoniously in this way, you can be assured that you are going to be able to get your hands on some of the best images you could ever want. Start thinking about the styles of images that would work best for your company today.

World Youth Skills Day 2020: Supporting the Future of Business

2020 World Youth Skills Day

As the 2020 World Youth Skills Day takes place in a global economy that is still contending with business closures, international talent acquisition and management firm, Alexander Mann Solutions, has urged employers and recruiters to support education leavers during these difficult times.

The annual celebration of global emerging talent – an initiative run by the United Nations – aims to combat youth unemployment internationally. Currently, around one in five young people are NEET: Not in Employment, Education or Training, with Covid-19 set to exacerbate this issue.

According to Alexander Mann Solutions, employers and recruiters need to work together to offer greater support to emerging talent to not only help them find work, but also secure the future skills businesses need to thrive.

Jane Clark, Global Head of Emerging Talent Consulting at Alexander Mann Solutions, explains:

“There’s no doubt that times are tough for organisations worldwide at the moment, but we can’t forget that it’s difficult for our critical talent pools too. The likes of education leavers are facing a real challenge trying to seek employment and training in a Covid-19 environment. But this talent pool will ultimately play a significant role in the future success of companies worldwide, and what we all do today to support the hiring and up-skilling of these individuals, will define how successful our businesses can be in the future.

“Without the training and development that’s available through the likes of graduate programmes and internships, companies will quickly find themselves facing a dearth of talented individuals to drive growth. As we celebrate World Youth Skills Day, I urge employers to consider what more they can do to support this crucial talent pool and refrain from cutting back on investment into the future workforce.”