How To Create A Business Plan

How to Create a Business Plan  Last month's blog focused on how to get funding for a new business. If you're unemployed, or looking to switch things up a bit in your career, you might be interested in finding out how to become self-employed. There's no sense in applying for government funding if you don't know what you want to have a business in. Being your own boss has its perks, but you'll lose interest quickly if you don't have a solid goal and business plan in mind.  So, before you try to finance your new business, it's imperative to consider the specifics of it. This is where a business plan comes in. A business plan is essentially a document that looks ahead and determines what your business hopes to achieve. In the life of a self-employed person, carpe diem doesn't really come into it. You need to constantly be thinking ahead so your business can remain competitive. Hence, a written plan of what you intend to do is instrumental to your company's success.  Not only this, but a detailed business plan will help you gain investors. Yes, I've talked about how the government helps unemployed people start a business, but the money…

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Gender Inequality in the Workplace

In October of last year, the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations story broke in The New Yorker. The publicity surrounding this scandal has caused a lot of questions to be asked about women's position in modern society. In a time of supposed social progress, how is it that male authoritarian figures are still getting away with behavior like this? Almost as disturbing as the rape and unwanted touching accusations in the Weinstein story was the seeming complicity of his staff and colleagues. It is as much a moral stain on those who stayed silent as it is on Weinstein himself. The reasons given for such indifference are simply not compelling or persuasive enough to ignite sympathy for anyone who was privy to this secret information.  Still, the bigger question remains: where else is this kind of thing going on? It's certainly not restricted to Hollywood. The only difference is that the world pays more attention when the skeletons of a famous celebrity come out of the closet.  Not only this, but the skeptic in me considers the possibility that perhaps Weinstein's downfall is part of  a larger, much more disturbing narrative. It is significant that many actresses only came forward as soon as…

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Robots, Machines, and Automation

Robots, Machines, and Automation Hi everyone! Hope you're having a great July. I'm in Florida and we've had some scary thunder and lightning that's as loud as fireworks! It's been a great month so far aside from that though. Anyway, this blog post is about...scary, foreboding music...drum roll...robots, machines, and automation. I just got a shiver down my spine thinking about the worrying progress of computers designed to act more and more like humans. Bladerunner eat your heart out. Machines that Learn Like People Part of the general wariness surrounding technological progress is a subconscious fear that machines will take over the world. This fear stems from the fact that humans are afraid of things that are more developed than they are. This is because human nature seeks to exert control over others, and humans worry that a species more advanced than humanity will want to subjugate it.  Well, that's my theory anyway. Hence, when there are discussions about machines that learn like people, you start to nurture apocalyptic fantasies of a future much like a robotic version of Orwell's 1984. Or something like that. So, are there machines that learn like people? Well, the short answer is yes, there will be very…

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Bizarre Global Trends: Bitcoin

What is Bitcoin? You may never have heard of it, but it's time you did. Bitcoin is taking the online marketplace by storm. But what is it? It's a form of digital currency: money you can't touch, feel, or smell, but money all the same. It is what's known as a 'crypto-currency': a digital cash system. It is also completely decentralized, meaning that it is not backed by a physical commodity (gold) or any government or bank. Japan has legalized crypto-currencies, and other countries will likely follow: just a few days ago (June 23rd) news of China developing its own crypto-currency circulated. All you do is buy some bitcoin using normal currency online, and then send coins over the internet. How to Buy Bitcoin Currency exchanges exist where you can buy Bitcoins for euros, dollars, and other global currencies. The amount you buy is then placed in a digital wallet. One of the touted advantages of Bitcoins is that, unlike standard online purchases, the fees are much lower or even non-existent due to its decentralized status. In other words, you won't have to pay additional expenses on top of the actual price of the goods or item you purchase. Where Can You Spend…

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UK Recruitment Trends 2017

UK Recruitment Trends 2017I've assessed a number of resources in order to find out the greatest range of 2017 recruitment trends for employees and employers alike. Read on to discover what challenges and benefits there are for job-hunters and hiring companies that look set to continue into 2018: Casual Hiring Bronwen Hann, President & Senior Partner at Argentus Supply Chain Recruiting, notes a trend of companies choosing to cash in on a 'gig economy'. According to Hann, 'more companies than ever are choosing to 'rent' rather than hire talent, even at the director level and above.'(1) Skills Shortage There is more competition than ever between companies looking for the best candidates. This is because the growing skills shortage of new graduates is a serious problem for businesses looking to expand. 92% of HR directors say it is challenging to find skilled professionals today. (8) This means that salary expectations are higher, making it more difficult for companies to secure the top-tier of new hires. It is thought that the UK now has 73 areas of skill shortage, up from 13 since the last report.(6) Rising Salaries In some industries like finance and accounting, starting salaries are predicted to grow in 2017. Looking back…

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Trump’s Effect on Jobs in the UK

Last Friday, the 20th of January, saw the inauguration of America's 45th President, Donald J. Trump. A controversial figure, Trump's campaign promised to bring manufacturing back to America and look after the American worker, who he felt had been severely let down by the Obama administration. I'm not here to tell you what I think about Trump. I'm here to tell you something much more relevant to recruitment. This post examines the effect of Trump's presidency on the UK job market. How will his inauguration directly affect British workers and job-seekers? Let's find out. I'm no stock market expert, but here are some intriguing statistics for you: The Dow Jones, a stock market index which tracks publicly-owned American companies, reached an all-time record of 20,000 today (Wednesday 25th January 2017). This is directly connected to Trump, whose policies are much more business-friendly than Obama's were. The Dow started off 2016 at a low point of 15, 451, but by the end of the year it came close to the 20,000 mark. According to various sources provided at the bottom of the article, this is because of Trump's business-related policies. Cutting taxes and regulations for businesses stimulates the economy and encourages more investment. How,…

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Post-Brexit Job Market

Happy September-almost-October everybody. This post is four days overdue. In case you hadn't noticed, they're supposed to be out on the 25th. Well, I have no reasonable explanation for why I didn't make the deadline this month. I actually just lost track of the date, and the only way I was reminded of it was checking the use-by on sausages in the fridge. Anyway, last month I promised to be more specific about the impact of Brexit on the job front, so here it is. After consulting various sources provided below, I have some insights to share with you that will hopefully ease your anxiety about looking for work, or changing career path, or whatever situation you find yourself in. Below is a list of popular phrases that dominate the commentary on the post-Brexit job market, and my analysis of what it really means. Note: Some of these studies only focused on the first month after Brexit, so we can't take them as gospel because employers one month in are going to be very worried about an unstable economy and very cautious about hiring. Something I noticed while conducting my research is that the majority of studies on this are remarkably quiet about…

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More About Brexit

I promised you all I would write in greater detail about Brexit last month, so here it is. One month after the referendum, The Guardian published an article talking about the impact Brexit had on the economy. Now, The Guardian is an anti-Brexit newspaper, so pretty much any discussion they put out there is going to spell doom and gloom for the future of Britain. However, that being said, the article in question does present some graphs and evidence; a refreshing anomaly compared to the usual patronising rhetoric. So it's up to me to have a look and see what the graphs actually say, because their analysis (before I even read it) is probably going to be all-sorts-of lopsided. What can I say, I'm terribly prejudiced — I live and breathe stereotypes. Okay so: here we go. Oh wait — here's a link to the article so you can read it for yourself and follow my analysis. Before even getting to the graphs, the first paragraph sets off alarm bells in my overly-critical mind. The second sentence is this: 'What is clear is that the decision to leave the union will have far-reaching consequences for all areas of British society and the economy for years to…

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Why you Shouldn’t Panic about Brexit

This month's post adopts a somewhat more serious tone than usual. This is because I'm tired of the distorted 'facts' circulated by 'experts', 'objective' media outlets, and morons on social media about the UK's decision to leave the EU. Firstly, it's difficult to find a quality source that doesn't get all melodramatic about the supposed end-of-the-world Brexit repercussions. This is because the media is generally supportive of the Remain campaign. Thus, you will be hard-pressed to find a newspaper article online that presents an objective analysis of the consequences. Then we have the so-called economics experts. When we read an article and see that an expert in economics has said something damning, we are prone to panic. However, when you read lots of different articles and see that lots of different economists say lots of different things, you begin to realise one very important fact: Economics is an art, not a science. Sure, it uses fancy graphs and bar charts, but it relies very heavily on interpretation, and sometimes the graphs don't ask, or answer, the right question. Consider this source, for example. One of the charts asks the question 'Do migrants reduce UK wages?' The analysis which follows says there is no…

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