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8 Tips to Invest Without Too Much Risk

If you can’t stand the thought of losing money, you might be afraid to invest it. But you also know that keeping your money totally safe in a savings account or a CD that only earns 1% or 2% a year could be financial suicide.

When you get down to the heart of investing, there are two ways to make money: You can be an owner or a loaner. In other words, you can own assets that you expect to increase in value or you can loan money for a specified return.

How to prevent employee vacation scheduling nightmares

How to prevent employee vacation scheduling nightmaresJason just announced that he got a great deal on tickets for his vacation. And Emily dropped a vacation request on your desk this morning. And now, Melanie is talking about her planned summer cruise. You’re happy your employees are looking forward to summer vacations – until you look at the dates and realise that they’re all for the same week in August. Now what?

Conflicts will happen, it’s inevitable. At some point two or more employees are going to request the same vacation days. And only one will be able to go.

How far will technology go?

Singularity is near. The natural progression of human evolution with a just little twist— technology. In other words, super intelligence will soon become a part of our daily lives and man will be merged with machine. Sure it sounds wild, but just think about what we have been able to achieve over the past 50 years alone.

Just look how addictive consumer behavior is for a new Apple product. Sure you can cop the latest iPhone or Mac, but the newer and improved version will always be released in the next couple of months. Similarly, all technology will keep replacing itself at a faster and faster rate until it all becomes a blur. Everything is becoming more efficient and compact and we can expect to see this trend continue until it isn’t even tangible.

How to stay ahead of your competitors.

Know the competition. Find out who your competitors are, what they are offering and what their unique selling point (USP) is. This will identify the areas you need to compete in, as well as giving you a platform for differentiating yourself.

Know your customers. Customer expectations can change dramatically when economic conditions are unstable. Find out what matters to your customers now – is it lower price, more flexible service, the latest products? Revise your sales and marketing strategy accordingly.

Is working from home for you?

As more and more professionals seek a better work-life balance and more companies adopt flexible policies to accommodate shifting workplace priorities and realities the working from home option is becoming increasingly viable.

Employees see this as an ideal means to remain in the workforce and continue to be employed thereby maintaining all the tangible benefits of being part of an established company, while enjoying all the advantages of being based at home. The option has its potential pitfalls however and below we discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of working from home.

How to kick-start your work week

shutterstock_116821123We all know that success in life depends on a combination of hard work and talent. There’s also no denying the «luck» factor – being in the right place at the right time and meeting the right people. That said, there isn’t a «secret» to that kind of luck. It’s about doing things that put you in a position for that luck to happen.

We found ten things that successful people do at the start of their work weeks. Try them out, and you might find yourself having better luck as well.

James Reinhart, ThredUp.com – Use weekends effectively

You can’t have a great Monday morning if you had a lousy weekend. Work is obviously important if you want to be successful, but there’s always something that can wait until Monday. Weekends are a time for yourself, to unwind, to relax and to think. In fact, many people do their best thinking during leisure time, because you’re free from other work distractions and can think abstractly.

Some of the best quotes

  • Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. –Napoleon Hill
  • Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. –Steve Jobs
  • Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein
  • Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.  –Robert Frost
  • The common question that gets asked in business is, ‘why?’ That’s a good question, but an equally valid question is, ‘why not?’ –Jeffrey Bezos

Mental strength is key to success

For all the time executives spend concerned about physical strength and health, when it comes down to it, mental strength can mean even more. Particularly for entrepreneurs, numerous articles talk about critical characteristics of mental strength—tenacity, “grit,” optimism, and an unfailing ability.

However, we can also define mental strength by identifying the things mentally strong individuals don’t do.

Starting from scratch Vs Buying a business

Deciding whether to buy an existing business or start your own comes down to three things: what experience you have, what kind of business you want, and how open you are to taking financial risks.

Once you decide these things you can make a decision on how to proceed.

• How much experience do you have?

There is much more risk involved with starting your own business versus buying your own. 40 percent of new businesses fail in the first year and 80 percent fail within five years. If you have little experience with business or with the industry that you are planning on entering, buying an existing business is the safer route, as starting your own requires expertise in the areas of financing, infrastructure, and cash flow. Even if you are buying a business, it will take time to learn how it operates and where its weaknesses lie in order to craft a proper growth strategy.

How to make a successful career change

Making a career change can be a challenging endeavour in the best of times, so this economy certainly doesn’t help. Sadly, a lot of people allow that to keep them frustrated and stuck–not just for the present moment, but for the long haul. They think about making a change, decide they can’t do it, and stick their dissatisfied noses right back down to the same disheartening grindstone. They will repeat the process the next year, and the year after that.

If that sounds familiar, what are your options? Suck it up and chalk it up to the fact that work is a four-letter word? You could, but there’s a better option.

How To Become A Successful Entrepreneur

Is there a guaranteed formula to follow (as the headline suggests?)

Of course not. A quick look at the people who have become successful entrepreneurs shows the paths they took are as unique as they are.

But—and it’s a HUGE but—while their behaviour was idiosyncratic, their thinking was not.

A study shows that serial entrepreneurs—people who have successfully started two or more companies—all followed the same approach. And if it has worked for them, it may very well work for you.

How to launch a product successfully

According to reports, 250,000 new products are introduced to the world each year. We’re overwhelmed by so many new product entries, which range from sophisticated new technologies like the Nest thermostat and infomercial sensations like Pajama Jeans. To complicate things, brands are introducing new line extensions like Kraft Sizzling Salads, Disney Appmates, and a wealth of «new and improved» products from venerable brands like Gillette and Kleenex.

But the fact remains that the success rates of new product introductions and innovations have improved little over the last 20 years. Reports show that 66% of new products fail within two years, and a startling 96% of all innovations fail to return their cost of capital. This is due to a number of factors, including economic conditions, an explosion of consumer touch points, shifts in decision-making behaviour, and the deluge of information marketers have to sift through to ensure they are up to speed with the latest trends.