Category Archives: Business

Exhibition Stand Ideas for Beginners

Published / by Nick

If you are a beginner looking for exhibition stand ideas on how to maximise your reach, marketing impact and branding with trade shows this article will help with that process. For many attendees that visit a trade show, they are all too familiar with walking through long hallways and excepting marketing brochures and free giveaway products. Each exhibition stand is enticing with glowing colour and after a while, attendees can end up feeling worn out from the lights and not to mention the overabundance of happy sales orientated people waiting to encourage and talk to them at every display.

Exhibition Stand for VBO Makelaar

Exhibition Stand for VBO Makelaar. Image credit: Pinterest

Being able to stand out from the competition and other displays being featured can be a difficult task. However, trade show stand contractors have been interviewed and asked for their best advice on what are the best ideas and formats to use for an exhibition stand for beginners. Be sure to follow the list of suggestions as you continue reading below.

1) Use Photo Booths

You can easily incorporate a more fun and friendly interactive exhibition stand by making the atmosphere more comfortable with photo booths. You can use a photo booth and can offer your attendees a chance to have a photo taken with your branding being visible. You can also encourage your visitor to make a special caption that somehow references your branding, product or service to further bring a buzz and sense of excitement to your stand. Another great idea that can be incorporated in this idea is to ask your visitors for permission to use their photos on your social media platform including tagging them for further viral marketing effect.

2) Offer Games

Being able to offer attendees different types of fun and interactive games will bring about a greater chance of your target audience remembering your brand and associating it in their mind as a good experience. You don’t want to offer traditional games but rather challenging games that are competitive for chances to win prizes or discounts. You can do things like establishing conversations, gain contacts and leads and engage your audience to commit to further sales calls or even to make sales directly on the spot or later on. Games are a great way to bring a positive atmosphere around your brand which is a great way to draw in potential customers.

3) Offer Competitions

Many different exhibition stands utilise the power of competitions because they are known for having a very wide and dramatic reach for advertising. Being able to offer a competition will be a great way to talk to attendees to educate and sell them on your products or services. You can offer competitions with all sorts of prizes for reward. You can offer simple things like a dinner for two at a restaurant, or be offering a prize for whoever is chosen from a random business card draw. You want to hook and keep people engaged at your exhibition stand and using competitions is an excellent method that does work. When asked, trade show stand contractors said that utilising competitions is an old method but still continues to work well.

4) Offer Question & Answer Sessions

For people who have products or services to sell at exhibition events, they can host a question and answer infomercial based session during the event. You can do these two to three different times a day during peak traffic times while people walk past your stand. You can tell them about your product and offer a fun and entertaining talk that gives information and answers questions from the audience. You can also have sales staff going through the crowd giving away business cards or leaflets offering a discount which is an excellent incentive.

5) Create a Work Area or a Relaxation Zone

Trade shows are incredibly busy and vibrant areas that can take a lot out of attendees. You can offer an area that gives people an area to relax and take time out. You can offer coffee, tea or other refreshments and even food. Just be sure your area is fully stocked and cleaned regularly and kept neat and organised. Another idea you can offer is a place to offer people to plug in their smartphones as well as portable computers. Offering an area to relax or get much-needed work done can boost your brand and company image.

Simple Ideas Work So Use Them Wisely

These suggestions are known to work and they can help any beginner looking to gain success from their exhibition stand while attending trade shows. Having a strong brand image, clever marketing and methods to educate and capture leads and make sales when combined with these 5 ideas bring greater results.

Seafarers Earnings Deduction: HMRC’s Tax Free Salary Loophole

Published / by Nick

Pay No Income Tax If You Work on a Ship

When it comes to those who work out at sea they may be capable of taking advantage of a unique piece of tax law that allows a 100% tax refund but only if you the rules are applicable to you. Known as the Seafarers Earnings Deduction (SED) it allows those United Kingdom citizens employed in the seafaring industry an opportunity to claim complete tax exemption on all foreign earned monies. It took over 15 years of legal battles between the HMRC and trade unions but a final agreement was settled in 2012 that calls for this great tax break. The trade unions continue to battle over the scope of this tax exemption to include those that work in the military in foreign waters. Since 1988 this law came into existence with its final update being in 2012. Unfortunately, many people who qualify for this exemption do not actually use it and fail to reap the rewards. Be sure to continue reading below as we outline the Seafarers Earnings Deduction and explain the rules to show you whether or not you can apply for this unique tax law.

The reason for the SED coming into law had a few important reasons. To begin with, seafarers spend a majority of their time outside of the United Kingdom, also because of the fierce competition in the seafaring industry and also to play a much-needed role in the defence needs of the United Kingdom. This interesting tax deduction was created to fulfil these roles and make up for pressures associated with globalisation and competitive job markets in the seafaring industry. Although this tax exemption was created for those employed as seafarers many UK citizens do not take advantage of this law. Many people have problems understanding the almost unintelligible information. It is hard to find the actual rules but we have taken a look at the HMRC Help Sheet 205. It is the only official piece of paper on what constitutes a seafarer and whether or not they can claim the tax deduction.

Many seafarers are subject to hard working conditions. Image credit: Vessel Finder

All it states is that you must work on a ship. Now what is not classified as a ship has been listed as the following classifications of ships. This new rule was put into place as of 1998. If you are working on of these vessels the SED will not apply to you. This includes fixed and floating production platforms, mobile offshore drilling units as well as flotels.

Claiming SED is Better Than Ignoring this Tax-Free Opportunity

Many people in the seafaring industry believe the misinformation and myths that this exemption is not a real thing. Of these people, some will decide not to claim their income on their taxes. The other group of people will typically decide to set up limited companies ashore and in other countries to pay fewer taxes. Honestly not filing your taxes or using this 100% tax exemption is a mistake as you can be greatly rewarded without having to pay tax.

Other seafaring individuals won’t take advantage of this exemption because they do not understand the requirements of days spent in the United Kingdom. If you understand how the exemption works you will understand that you may not spend more then a 183 days per tax year in the UK. Travel days make this seem more confusing but a day in the UK is
calculated by whether or not if you were in the country as of midnight of that particular day. Any day spent in the UK will count towards the 183 days you are allowed ashore per year to use this tax exemption. Be honest and be sure
to keep records and statements that prove your time spent ashore.

The Seafarers Earnings Deduction is a great piece of tax law and is a great alternative to the Offshore Disclosures Facility because it enables you to declare all of your earned offshore income without having to pay a tax. Declaring your income honestly is important because of the Open Exchange Of Information, the government can keep tabs on you.

If you choose not to declare your income there is very little you can do with it. If you ever want to get a mortgage or a loan you will have to prove your income to all lenders who now require a SA302 letter. You can only get one if you file your taxes.

Despite myths and rumours, it appears that the Seafarers Earnings Deduction will be an applicable tax exemption for many years to come. If these rules apply to you then, by all means, save with this excellent piece of law for seafarers.

Article Credits

The author wishes to acknowledge the following third party websites for use of material including text, media and reference material:

Bird Surveys: Their Vital Part in Environmental Surveying

Published / by Nick

Safeguarding Britain’s Protected Species

Landscape architecture is an area that encompasses several fields. Apart from the creation of practical and sustainable design solutions, landscape architects also take care of the conservation of habitats or historical sites, along with sustainable drainage systems, landscape design and urban design. Landscape architects also carry out ecology surveys and assessments in a bid to make sure that protected species are safeguarded. They also carry out marine surveys and habitat surveys when necessary. These are considered to be indispensable practices before a proposal for development can be acted upon.

Another area of importance are bird surveys. In the UK birds along with their nests and eggs are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Some bird species are offered more protection than others, simply because of their higher profile. There are a considerable number of species which are protected, and so before you can commence a development, you need to make sure that a professional landscape architect is consulted so that a bird survey is carried out at the site.

Tawny Owl. Image credit: Edinburgh Hawk Watch

Tawny Owl. Image credit: Edinburgh Hawk Watch

Some clients are not aware of this. However bird surveys are required for all of those development sites where there is a possibility that certain important species or assemblages are present. Such surveys are also a must in cases where a considerable level of disruption may occur, such as when it is likely that there will be a significant loss of bird nesting habitats. This applies even in cases when the particular species assemblage is not particularly significant. The aim is not to curtail development, but rather to make sure that any important species get protected. Apart from this one will also be better able to ensure that there will not be any detrimental effects on biodiversity.

The bird surveys that are carried out will vary according to the type of development that is being proposed for that site. Breeding bird surveys are among the most common ones. Such surveys are carried out after having carried out a number of site visits, generally even five visits. These are best carried out between the months of April and June so as to record as precisely as possible all the birds that are seen or heard at the site where the development is being proposed. This is in accordance to the Common Birds Census Technique. In other kinds of development it may be necessary to carry out more in-depth studies over a whole year.

Purple Heron. Image credit: Bird Forum

Purple Heron. Image credit: Bird Forum

Many clients worry about the fact that the presence of birds at the site where they wish to undertake some sort of development, might end up hindering that development. Their application for development may be rejected purely because of this reason, and when one is a developer most likely the birds in the area end up being the last thing on his mind, especially if the proposed development means a good investment or source of income. However, in reality the aim of bird surveys is to establish the likely impacts of the proposed development, so as to be better equipped with knowledge to establish the best course of action. For instance, the landscape architect will identify any issues which would need to be considered throughout the design, as well as suitable mitigation measures. Thus he will evidently need to work closely with the design team. Mitigation could include having a number of nest boxes within a proportion of the buildings on the site, or planting new hedges so as to provide additional room for nesting and foraging.

It is important for developers to realise how important it is to conduct bird surveys and allow them to shape decisions from then onwards. Development is a part of life however we need to be responsible enough in striking the right balance between nature and buildings. Bird surveys have the initial intention of helping us know how to strike that balance. We can always find practical solutions to make this a win-win situation. Thus, landscape architects should always inform clients of the various feasible courses of action and possible options, while encouraging them to be responsible in what they decide to do, for the benefit of all, including the innocent birds and other creatures on the site. By hiring a landscape architect to prepare accurate bird surveys that will help you in your decision making process you will be able to opt for a more reasonable finalisation of your development plans.

Choosing an affordable SEO Company

Published / by Nick

Understanding the best approach to finding a search marketing partner

Anyone who runs an online business knows of the importance of high levels of organic traffic. Paid channels such as PPC, banners, affiliate schemes and sponsorship can go a long way to building brand awareness but at the expense of your balance sheet. It’s expensive, notoriously difficult to get right and can spiral out of control if not kept on a constantly tight leash.

So even with multiple Google algorithmic updates over the course of the past few years, internet entrepreneurs are still seeking ways to achieve better natural ranks because essentially, they cost less and they work. The risks involved in SEO are still overshadowed by the cost outlay of going “traditional” and paying for every add, impression and click you put out on the web. Organic ranks if achieved are the promised land of every online business because once acquired, are in most cases, without associated fees.

So how do you go about selecting an appropriate SEO partner to help with your search marketing needs? It’s not like the market is short of options. Anyone who’s been involved with any form of website project, whether it be a blog, e-commerce business, corporate brochure, directory or social platform will know that there’s a lot of folks out there offering their self-proclaimed expertise. The sad fact is, these experts seldom prove to be the case and in fact, for the most part, are just opportunists reselling the work of a few mass link builders with a renamed, rebranded package. Nothing worse than getting the same junk as your competitors for your hard earned cash.

So the issue not not finding a SEO partner, it’s finding the right one and so with that in mind, you have to start to look more closer to home, rather than for the cheaper, more attractive overseas options.

The fact is, anyone who is willing to hire a so-called SEO guru from an overseas country, who they have no prior knowledge of, no professional relationship with and no idea of their true credentials, is effectively placing their internet business on the roulette table and waiting to see if the ball lands on red or black. It’s that clear cut.

It’s ludicrous to think that this practice still exists today but so many reckless business owners are willing to gamble they livelihoods and in many cases, the careers of they staff by hiring someone who could destroy their online presence if they’re not careful. Since 2012, Google has made a concerted effort to make the search experience of their users as high as possible. By doing so, they have made numerous algorithm updates to ensure the best quality, most relevant sites get ranked higher and with that, those sites that have signals and shares from multiple sources that are clearly bonafide, natural and authentic. Cheap overseas SEOs have never worked in that way and have for the most part, focused clearly on mass link building in a haphazard and unstructured way that can lead to any site, including some big name players, to get a massive slap round the face!

So when reverting to the original title of this article, it brings are entirely new meaning to what “affordable SEO” really means. If you still feel it’s simply down to the cost outlay then the whole point of this article has gone completely over your head.

Hopefully the penny has dropped and you’ve come to realise that finding an affordable SEO company means what you are willing to risk and what you can afford to lose in terms of your business, your search visibility and your longer term future. if you are still in the mindset that affordable SEO is still about cost, you are wrong. it’s about what will work, who will do the best job for you, who will lay out a clear and defined strategy and who will do it the correct way following Google’s updated Webmaster Guidelines.

If your mindset is on that path, you already know where to look and how to find the right partner. Look local, hire local and win local.

A Guide To Selecting the Best Property Maintenance Company in London

Published / by Nick

A large amount of repairs are more than needed for each and every building to live through the years and most importantly, stand up proudly and offer a pleasurable appeal in terms of aesthetics. At this point, you may be thinking that is easily achievable on your own. However, the tasks like lawn care, window washing, handyman work, painting as well as a dozen more may seem distracting once you consider them for your property.

Therefore, going for the concept of selecting a property maintenance company in London to professionally maintain your investment is a cost-effective option which will most likely pay off well on the long run.

First of all, both business and commercial properties have been hard in nature, meaning that their complex technological advancements comes in price with the maintenance involved. At many times, an ideal property maintenance in London is the best option a home or business owner can treat his area to – whether it is landscaping, electrical work, cooling or heating or security issues. Having one number and one provider to cover all of these issues or similar ones is the main advantage of property maintenance in London.

However, with this option comes a whole set of other considerations for you to have in mind. Selecting the best and most reliable property maintenance company in London is never easy.

The best thing when choosing a property maintenance company in London, UK is to go for a team that happens to has experience in the field as well as focus to your most tailored needs in particular. For example, if you desperately need your parking lot maintained as well, or even your windows and other blacktop areas, the choice should always be a reputable property maintenance firm in London with wider expertise in these areas.

A qualified and licensed property maintenance company in London will always ensure proper maintenance as well as health-and-safety conformity and correct removal of waste.

In the end, it’s you and your property, and it’s valuable that you provide the best care ever. That is why your requirements should always be prioritized for someone who can handle them, saving you many headaches and costs in the future.

London Property Maintenance