Category Archives: Blog

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3 Ways to Achieve your Career Goals

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Climbing the career ladder is rarely achieved without great effort, whatever industry you are in - it’s very easy to lose motivation along the way. With this in mind, here are three tips to help you stay on track and realise your dreams.

·        Know your long-term plan

You probably have an idea in mind about how you’ll develop your career, but without a specific and detailed long-term plan, it’s easy to veer away from your ultimate goal. If you decide where you want to be in five years for instance, you can work backwards to establish the practical steps needed.

Maybe you’ll identify in-house work opportunities or take part in training workshops, for example, that offer an insight into your dream role. But you should also research any external courses/qualifications that could help you attain your goal.

By writing down a plan of action, including these detailed steps, you’re more likely to succeed and achieve your aims, than if you work on a vague idea with no firm basis.

·        Check your resumé and professional online profiles

Whenever you take steps towards your goal, however small, include them within your LinkedIn and other professional profiles – this will demonstrate your drive and dedication to existing and potential employers.

Regularly updating your professional profile is very important career-wise, and helps you gain exposure within your industry. Don’t forget to also amend your resumé, using any specific industry keywords that could help to get you noticed.

·        Networking

Many of us network online without even thinking about it, but when was the last time you attended a networking event in person? This face-to-face connection and casual conversation with others in your industry, is more memorable than a quick email or social media post.

It establishes your presence, allows you to articulate what you can offer, and conveys your aims, goals and wishes for the future. Personal branding is an important aspect of any career.

The phrase, “People do business with people” is a strong reminder of why you need to get out into your business community, and make an impression on influencers in the industry.

Let us help you achieve your goals – we offer a wide range of professional courses and qualifications. Have a look through our website for more information and detailed course guides.

 

 

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4 Routes to Green Logistics

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Most organizations appreciate that many of their customers and wider stakeholder base care about the environment. Some care to the extent that they are willing to do business elsewhere if they do not think decent environmental standards are being upheld. Within B2B relationships, the same is true, with expectations between suppliers about the right and wrong way to manage ‘green’ logistics. The first thing to say is that logistics aren’t impact neutral on the environment. The use of transport and fuel will always have a carbon footprint. So at this point in time, the efforts are to minimize the environmental impact caused by logistics.

  • Transport Management Systems

This is perhaps the most important of the methods that can be used to reduce the carbon footprint. A TMS is a piece of software that essentially helps with planning routes. It is used in a number of ways to reduce impacts:

  • Plan the most efficient routes with the least mileage, also given traffic conditions.
  • Manage multiple transport methods such as sea, rail, and air.
  • Optimize shipping loads.
  • Reusable cases

This is a fairly small adjustment, but by investing in and using reusable cases, it reduces the environmental impact of the logistics process. Furthermore, a well-made case will reduce the amount of damage in transit, and therefore the wastage of rework.

  • Direct thermal printing

Direct thermal printing is a greener option compared to thermal transfer printing, as it does not use ribbon. The issue with ribbon is that it is made which crude oil products and also their use produces harmful emissions.

  • Company culture

You can get points 1-3 right, but company culture will undoubtedly have a greater impact on the environment than these three combined. It is the employees of the organization that make the majority of decisions, that cumulatively will determine if green choices are made – or not. Therefore instil a green culture into the organization to ensure there is sustainable support for the environment

In Summary

As said in the introduction, being green is not an absolute. There are few businesses that are carbon neutral. Within the logistics space specifically, the aim of organizations should be to reduce their environmental impact. This will most effectively be done through direct action (points 1-3) and indirect through instilling the right culture into employees.

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6 things successful content marketers have in common

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

The vast majority of marketers implement content marketing strategies, but that’s not to say that they are all effective or successful.

Here are six things that successful content marketers have in common…

They plan

The key to a successful content marketing campaign is all in the planning. Great content marketers understand this and start any campaign by outlining their aims and objectives, and clearly laying out how they’re going to achieve them.

Of course, that’s not to say that once you’ve documented your strategy it’s set in stone, far from it. Instead, you should continually review your strategy, updating it in line with your findings and results.

They’re organised

With numerous social media networks and blogging platforms typically involved in any one content marketing campaign, things can quickly get out of hand and overwhelming! A successful content marketer understands that organisation is absolutely crucial when it comes to keeping everything on track and running smoothly.

And, if you’re not naturally organised, don’t worry, there are plenty of tools out there to help you!

They’re note takers

Successful content marketers always have a notebook or the notes page of their mobile device open. Whenever an idea comes to mind, they write it down. They might turn out to be the next big idea, or they might never leave the pages of the notebook, but at least they’ll be there when you need them.

They’re ahead of the trends

In any industry, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest trends and developments. But, in the the fast-paced, tech savvy world of content marketing, it’s absolutely crucial that you remain one step ahead of the latest developments and the competition.

If you lag behind, you risk looking out of touch and ill-informed.

They embrace their network

Successful content marketers understand that relationships are absolutely key. After all, knowing the right people can open countless doors for exposure, engagement, and affiliation. So keep networking, reaching out, and building relationships, not only with contacts in your industry, but also with thought leaders and influencers.

They refuse to compromise on quality

Successful content marketers are truly committed to delivering the highest quality content at all times – with no exceptions.

It’s increasingly difficult to stand out in the crowded world of content marketing, but by staying committed to quality, you stand every chance of achieving just that.

Want to know more?

To find out more about content marketing, get in touch. Our digital marketing courses are designed to help you further your marketing career and equip you with the necessary skills and experience to optimise your performance in the modern marketing environment.

 

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Making Your First Million – From Entrepreneur to CEO

By Morgan International Staff Writers

It is the milestone that most entrepreneurs hold in great esteem – the first million dollars. It is a mark of success (usually), and highlights that revenue is going in the right direction. However it is typically around this time that a number of additional considerations and responsibilities come into play. Typically it is the time where consummate entrepreneurs find themselves as more of a CEO – and for many this can feel like a rather big transition. This is the reason that for some, they decide to hire in a CEO whilst they remain in charge of product/service direction. So what are the main changes?

1) You will need more people
More revenue usually means more people are required within the business. This in turn means more hiring, more people to manage, and often a more formalized HR structure. It can be the tipping point whereby you start to need many more policies and procedures for staff to follow.

2) You rethink financing
In the early days you may be using your own funds, money from family/friends, perhaps small bank loans, or even credit card debt. There comes a point where a business will need to find different types of finance if they are to grow and be supported appropriately. This might mean business bank loans, venture capital, private investment, and/or stock market floatation.

3) You rethink your company structure
When you set up the business you will undoubtedly have done so with the current circumstances of your business in mind. Once you grow to a certain size, you may find that a different structure is more appropriate to reduce tax liabilities and also to support your business.

In Summary
Undoubtedly, a million dollar revenue will not be the exact point that everything changes. However the point of this article is that there will be a stage in the life of every growing business that things shift across a multitude of areas, and the savvy entrepreneur should be ready to make changes to support future growth.

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Tips on Asking for a Promotion

By Morgan International Staff Writers

So you want a promotion? Asking your boss for a promotion can be a very daunting prospect and I would certainly advise anybody in this situation to consider a few things in advance of even approaching the subject.

  • What do you want to be promoted to?
  • Are you confident you have the skills, attributes and experience to be worthy for the promotion?
  • Are there any organisational blockers to your promotion? Such as a temporary block on hiring and promotions.
  • Do you think your boss is expecting this conversation? Have you primed them in advance?
  • How will you feel if you don’t get the promotion and what will your follow up actions be?

 

Considering and answering all of these questions provides a good foundation for the conversation you are planning to have with your boss. It is not to say you will share all of this information, but you should have considered it. Interestingly the tips for asking for a promotion are not actually about the conversation itself, but rather they are the things you need to do before asking the question to increase your chances of success.

 

  • Performance targets

As part of the performance management process, you should seek to understand the skill and/or experience gaps you have between your current role and the one you would be interested in being promoted to. First of all this will alert your boss to the fact you are actively seeking promotion, and you can agree clear attainment goals to achieve that promotion.

  • Feedback

Ask for real time feedback on your performance. A good time to ask is in your regular one to ones. Do not wait for the periodic performance reviews as typically this will not allow you sufficient time to adjust your behaviours.

  • Successors

If you are invaluable, your boss may be wary about promoting you and leaving a skill gap. Consider if there is somebody more junior on the team who you could train/coach/mentor so that you have a natural successor to your role – or at least someone who can cover whilst a replacement is found.

  • Timing

I mentioned in the introduction that there may be times when companies have freezes on promotions and hiring. This of course would be an inappropriate time to ask the question. However if your company has a yearly cycle for promotions, asking just ahead of when you think the decisions are made would likely lead to a far more fruitful outcome.

 

In summary, whilst asking for a promotion may seem like a scary prospect, if you are sure of your value and worth, and you follow the preparation tips above, you should have a good chance of success. By working out your back up plan in advance, if you are not successful you will have the security of knowing you have alternative options to pursue.

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Why your accountancy practice should blog …

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Blog posts have two main areas of benefit – engaging your audience, and improving the performance of your website.

Blogging for your readers

Your website is usually the first place a customer or prospective customer, a peer, or a competitor will go to find out more about your firm. The pages of your website give the first, and often the only, impression of your services. They are a medium to convert and to inform. Web pages should be concise and deliver the message you wish to convey.

Blog posts are a way to add to your marketing messages with news, information, tips and updates. If they are effectively shared on social media or via email marketing they reach previous visitors of your website, engage your existing audience and can reach new customers who follow blog links back to your site to discover more.

Quality, informative articles, even more in-depth guides and “how to” guides, build credibility and authority in your marketplace. They are an excellent way of showcasing your expertise to potential customers and continuing to guide and engage existing customers.  Your customers need constant coaching to provide the information you need, by the deadline you need it. As they deal with their day today financial management they will have questions and need guidance. Often you will do this on a one to one basis with each client. Writing blog posts about upcoming deadlines, changes to regulations, and articles which answer and explain some of the daily financial challenges a business will face is an effective way to reach many of your clients at once. Using a blog to communicate answers to frequent questions and lead your customers is powerful way to control your client base and maintain their engagement preventing them from looking elsewhere for support. You will also free valuable time to invest when a client needs extra individual attention.

Blogging for your website

Constant new website content is critical for SEO. Search engine algorithms are constantly seeking out fresh content and ranking higher those websites where they find it. Blogs posts and informative articles are an excellent way of constantly building SEO friendly new content on your website. They provide excellent content for social media, linking back to your website and helping to build social media followers. Website linking, and social media platforms and follower growth are two more key ways to improve SEO.

Content marketing describes the strategy of utilising and broadcasting website, blog and social media content. Effective content marketing, especially in the accountancy field where competition is high but full utilisation of SEO strategy is rare can quickly set you ahead of your competition. Locally assess the content marketing of your competitors. If you can see you can quickly do more than they do through simply providing and broadcasting content, you may have found the angle you need to monopolise your marketplace.

 

 

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Artificial Intelligence: Its Influence on Life and Work

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Artificial intelligence (AI) has changed the way we work and access information. Its power has been harnessed by companies of all sizes seeking a commercial advantage via enhanced customer interaction, and faster processes.

You may not even be aware you’re using artificial intelligence technology, so entrenched has it become in our digital society. So what are some of the commonly-used pieces of AI software, and how do they help in our everyday lives?

·        Digital assistants

Digital personal assistants are voice-activated, and can help you organise your life by carrying out certain tasks. These might include reminding you of an upcoming meeting, for example, checking the weather forecast before you leave the house, or playing your favourite music on demand.

·        Smart cars

Autonomous vehicle software is programmed to ‘teach’ the car how to react in a range of pre-defined situations. Driverless technology includes rotating cameras that identify objects within a certain distance, lasers, sensors, and GPS receivers intended to avoid hazards and negate the need for human action.

It is, perhaps, only a matter of time before haulage and fleet vehicles become involved in this revolutionary change, affecting the way we carry out business on a large scale.

·        Online helpdesk

Links to online customer ‘chat’ software are now a common sight on business and e-commerce websites. The technology enables consumers to obtain instant answers to a range of pre-defined queries about products and services.

Although they have their limitations, ‘chat bots’ as they are also known, allow organisations to provide efficient customer service without the cost of employing additional members of staff.

·        Consumer information

Artificial intelligence is a powerful way for companies to gain a competitive advantage by tracking changes in consumer shopping patterns. It has transformed the way firms market products and services to their customers, and allows them to adjust commercial plans when necessary.

AI technology is able to collect vast amounts of detailed information, collate it into a usable form, and utilise the data to increase sales and encourage customer engagement.

Browse our courses and qualifications to stay ahead of this ever-changing aspect of employment.

 

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Identifying Supply Chain Leaders

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Just because someone is not operating within the supply chain function, or is perhaps not of a certain pay grade, does not mean that they are not an influential supply chain leader. There are many informal leaders who are keeping the show on the road and are often decentralised and hard to identify. I guess you may ask, why do these individuals need to be identified by the organization? The answer is that if you do not know which human resources are important, how can you 1) ensure they stay, and 2) give them the tools they need to succeed?

What do Supply Chain Leaders do?

How can you spot a supply chain leader? There a number of tell-tale signs:

  • They prioritize certainty

Supply chains can be long and complex, with a number of touchpoints. If the end of that supply chain is delivery of a product to a customer, the organization will want to say with some level of certainty when the product will arrive. To make this possible, and accurate, full clarity of the supply chain is needed, along with agreed SLAs, and back up plans if there is an issue with any point in the chain.  A supply chain leader will seek methods to introduce certainty to uncertain areas of the supply chain.

  • They plan in line with culture

The plans might be strategic or tactical, but they will always align with the organizational culture. They will support the vision of the organization and the overall direction.

  • They seamlessly manage stakeholders

In any supply chain, there are a large number of stakeholders, including the customer. A supply chain leader will find a way to manage competing priorities.

  • They mindfully balance risk and reward

Within any supply chain, there will be opportunities, but that may come with a level of risk that outweighs the reward. For example, swapping out a logistics partner to a cheaper alternative will save money, but there is a risk of undermining service. A consummate supply chain leader will weigh up the potential gains against the risks.

In Summary

Individuals exhibiting the signs outlined above tend to earn trust and the confidence of those around them. This means that regardless of their position within the organization, they are an important supply chain leader. These individuals need to be identified and nurtured by the organization so that they continue to deliver this important value.

 

 

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How to Secure Employee Loyalty

By Morgan International Staff Writers

High Turnover is a Global Problem

There is a global problem with employee turnover rates. All businesses should expect a certain level of turnover, for retirement, poorly performing employees, and some natural change. In fact some attrition is positive as it brings new people and their ideas into the organization and avoids stagnation and groupthink. However what we are witnessing in the Middle East specifically is higher than the global average and this is of course raising questions as to why employees in this region are so keen to move on so quickly.

 

The Research

Research has shown that employee turnover rates are predicted to rise to 23.4% by 2018, which is up from 20.6% in 2012. A report by Hays CGC showed that 31% of employees in the UAE changed jobs in 2015, with 57% saying they planned to make a move in 2016. Employee turnover at this level is problematic and extremely costly for businesses in the UAE. In fact it is estimated to cost $2.7billion per annum according to figures provided by Bayt.com and YouGov Siraj.

 

The next obvious question is, why is employee turnover so high in the Middle East compared to other regions? There is no universally accepted answer to this question, but there is one dominant theory which relates to supply and demand. In recent years, a high number of skilled workers have found employment in the UAE, which for the first time has saturated demand, causing wages to flat-line. This has meant employees have not received the pay rises of the past and are perhaps looking elsewhere to get that salary increase.

 

4 Tips to Secure Employee Loyalty

Many organizations are now seeking ways to increase employee loyalty and reduce attrition.

  1. Invest in the hiring process

Hiring can be a long and expensive process, but getting the right candidate in the beginning can save a lot of time, trouble, and cost later on down the road.

  1. Invest in your employees

Spend money on training and other professional qualifications they might be interested in undertaking that have a synergy with the role they are doing.

  1. Promote promotion

Have clear succession planning and make paths to promotion clear and attainable.

  1. Empower employees

Give them responsibility and ownership with tasks. Help them to understand how their contribution is important to the success of the organisation.

 

In Summary

High turnover is a global issue but it is a particularly prevalent issue in the UAE at the moment. One way to tackle this is by implementing the tips above, and using the expertise of a professionally qualified HR professional who can implement a retention strategy.

 

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Financial Habits of Successful Small Businesses

By Morgan International Staff Writers

I am sure you have heard it said many times that liquidity is an imperative consideration for all businesses – not just those that are small. However for small businesses it can be even more important as they may have less financial back up when the bank balance is zero and invoices are stacking up. Being financially savvy is incredibly important for a small business, and a study by Freshbooks in the US looked at 1700 small businesses to ascertain the financial habits that make for success or failure. These are our top 5:

 

  • 69% of small business owners review finances regularly

It is important to have a real time view of the financial situation, and a forecast of what is coming up. For most businesses there will be a pattern of income and expenses, but as with all things there will financial impacts that fall outside of this pattern. Reviewing finances regularly allows for planning in case of impending liquidity issues.

 

  • 47% of small business owners maintain a budget

Reviewing finances is a first step, but it is also important to have a budget that looks to the future and estimates income and expenses. This is in essence a planning document and it allows small business owners to make more informed decisions. Most find that they get more accurate at budgeting over time.

 

  • 52% of small business owners put their taxes aside

The government is one institution most small business owners are fearful of being indebted to. Taxes that will become due should be estimated as income is earnt, and put to one side for when the tax bill arrives. In most countries, late payment of taxes will incur a substantial penalty, therefore should be avoided.

 

  • 50% of small business owners proactively reduce debt

Some debt is cheaper than other types of debt. Most businesses will be leveraged to some degree, but there should be a plan to pay off debt, particularly that which attracts high interest rates.

 

  • 64% of small business owners set up an optimal structure for tax purposes

In each country there will be various company set up structures. It is important for small business owners to consider what the most appropriate structure is for them and often that relates to minimizing liabilities, including taxes.

In Summary

The success or failure of small businesses is strongly correlated to their ability to manage their finances. For those running small businesses that are not financially savvy, it could be very useful to employ the services of a financial advisor who can provide assistance.