How Can Businesses Tackle Money Woes In 2022? A Discussion

The number one reason why businesses fail comes down to money issues. It can be easy for business owners to lose sight of their goals, and before they know it, they have more money leaving the business than entering. If you own a company – and are struggling to tackle money issues, there is a way out. You must be willing to take the necessary steps to get there. This guide will share some valuable insight to help you get your business back on track, from business loans to monitoring cash flow; we cover it all.

Pay Off Any Outstanding Debts

Pushing the never-ending list of debts to the side will only make financial matters worse for any business owner. Rather than ignoring them, it is time to face them head-on. Firstly, you should list your debts in order of priority. Is there a way to consolidate your business loans into one? Doing this will help you avoid rising interest rates. To pay off your debt fast, you must create a strict monthly budget and stick to it. Avoid paying money for any unnecessary expenses like your monthly staff lunch – that can wait. It can help to use a budget spreadsheet so you have a clear idea of how much money you can put towards your debts each month. Once you pay off your debt, the financial stress of your business will start to ease.

Cut Down Your Business Expenses

The second you know your business is in financial trouble, you must sit down and review all of your company expenses. Is money being spent in the right areas? Are there certain areas of the business where you are overspending? For example, you may find that you are too quick to hire new employees. Instead, review the duties of your existing team and pinpoint whether certain individuals can take on more responsibility. Of course, you don’t want to overwork them, but you must ensure that everyone is pulling their weight. Evaluating your insurance policies can also help you save some money. Most companies stick with the same lenders out of convenience when they could be getting a better deal on insurance premiums elsewhere. Use a price comparison site to help you with this.

Monitor Your Cash Flow

Cash flow management should be a priority for every business. It allows you to view your company’s expenses to see what money enters and exits your business account. If you notice more money leaving your account than entering, you will identify that your company’s cash flow is in an unfavourable position. If this is the case, you must then look for ways to bring more money into the business to balance this out. The best way to monitor your cash flow is by using a cash flow report. You can find an example of one of these online. The report will show you your company’s expenditure during specific periods. Ideally, you want to try and get a cash flow report every month to keep on top of your finances.

Renegotiate With Suppliers

When a business is faced with financial hardship, it must re-evaluate all areas of its operations, including relationships with suppliers. Most companies stay loyal to their current suppliers to maintain a healthy working relationship. However, if you can get a better deal elsewhere, you must be confident to make a change. Ideally, you will start by looking for a better deal and then take these offers to your current suppliers. Ensure lines of communication are clear, and make sure to get a quote from multiple suppliers, so you have reasonable grounds to work off. If negotiation is something you struggle with, try to enhance these skills by practising them. You want to build up a good rapport with people. If you give them the wrong impression, this may put them off giving you a better deal. Be confident about what you want.

Apply For A Business Loan

Although applying for business loans can sound daunting, it can be a helpful aid to get you out of a difficult financial situation. You don’t want to choose loans with a high-interest rate. Therefore, you must shop around. Small business loans are ideal if you want a low-cost way to fund your business activities, and Capalona are an organisation that can help you acquire this. For years, they have helped many companies find business loans to provide fast and affordable solutions to help them support their goals. There are many different types of business loans that you can explore, and each one can help you maintain a steady cash flow. If you are new to taking our business loans, it is always recommended that you talk to a professional and gain their expert guidance to help you avoid borrowing more money than you need.

Bring In New Customers

To tackle money woes, a business needs to explore ways that it can make additional profit. Therefore, they need to act fast to retain new customers – while keeping their existing ones. There are a few things every business owner can do to help with this. You can offer new customers a series of discounts on their first few purchases. A deal easily entices customers, and it helps to generate interest in your brand. Online reviews can also work wonders for your business. Start cultivating reviews from your existing customers and link them to your website and social media channels. It adds credibility to your brand and encourages other customers to put their trust in you. It is worth looking at some customer review strategies online to help you get started. 

Update Your Sales Strategy

Every business owner should regularly take time to check their profit. Have sales taken a dip in recent months? If so, you need to investigate this. Take a look at your stock inventory and identify specific products that sell better than others. If this is the case, you can look at discontinuing products that are collecting dust in your stock room. If you wish to improve your sales strategy, you should always focus on what customers buy. Make an effort to increase cart value by offering discounts on bulk purchases. Changes like these will help you drive in more sales to help you achieve a steady cash flow and overcome your money woes. There are plenty of sales strategies that you can seek inspiration from online. Research different examples and put them into practice to help you find a sales strategy that works well for your business.

Gradually Increase Your Prices

If your company is struggling for money, it can be easy to raise your prices to try and drive in more sales. However, if it is not done correctly, it can frustrate your existing customers and encourage them to shop elsewhere. Therefore, when it comes to price increases, you must introduce them gradually. It all comes down to timing. You should increase your prices once you have confidence that your product/service is popular among customers. Once people are satisfied with the product you sell, you have essentially proven your worth. Introduce price increases gradually, and offer additional extras to compensate for this, like free gift wrap or delivery. Be aware that some customers will query this price increase. However, you cannot please everyone, and if your business is facing financial difficulties, it needs to be done.

Sell Unused Assets

Most businesses will find that they have specific assets that they use more than others. For example, is there a piece of machinery in your warehouse that does not get enough use? Consider selling it to help you maintain a steady cash flow. Assets can be tangible or intangible. Changing your working environment can also help with this. For example, moving your employees to remote working will allow you to sell your company headquarters while you work to get your company back on track. Take a look at some examples of business assets online to get a clear idea of the type of items that you can sell. You can get independent appraisals for the items you wish to sell. Then, you must find buyers. Start by advertising your sale online and consider hiring a broker to help you.

Reduce Energy Usage

It is no secret that businesses use a lot of energy each year. However, now energy bills are rising, this is putting a strain on many organisations. To combat these rising bills head on, businesses need to look at ways to actively reduce their energy usage. Luckily, this can easily be achieved with the help of some simple steps. Although turning off devices in unused rooms and avoiding leaving appliances on standby sound like small changes, they are highly effective. If you want your organisation, as a whole, to contribute towards energy-efficient operations, you must supply them with the correct training. Hold regular meetings to discuss what your employees can do as individuals to contribute towards decreased energy usage and why they should consider backing this new eco-friendly movement.

Shift the Crypto Landscape: Nature and Significance of the Decentralized Stablecoin USDD

The rise of major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum has given rise to centralized, collateralized stablecoins as the intermediary of transactions, with USDT and USDC as the representatives.

They play a prominent part in cutting transaction costs and boosting efficiency in an objective sense, but are at the same time plagued by a series of problems—from unlimited issuance, continuous deflation, and malicious activities to price swings, all flaws that come with their centralized nature. 

As the crypto space continues to expand and the market’s need for decentralized systems swells, the launch of a decentralized algorithmic stablecoin is put high on the agenda. And this is when TRON enters the game. As the world’s first blockchain with close to 100 million users, and one that offers a perfect solution to the Penrose Triangle, TRON is poised for action. 

On May 5, Justin Sun, Founder of TRON, announced on Twitter that the TRON DAO Reserve rolled out a decentralized stablecoin named USDD, which has so far been listed on Sunswap, Sun.io, Curve, Uniswap, Ellipsis, Pancakeswap, Kyberswap, etc., with an initial total supply of one hundred million. Through the cross-chain protocol BTTC, both of the circulating supply on Ethereum and BSC are near twenty million.

USDD is a decentralized algorithmic stablecoin launched collaboratively by the TRON DAO Reserve and top-tier mainstream blockchain institutions. The USDD protocol runs on the TRON network, is connected to Ethereum and BNBChain through the BTTC cross-chain protocol, and will be accessible across more blockchains in the future. USDD is pegged to the US Dollar (USD) through TRX and maintains its price stability to ensure users have access to a stable and decentralized digital dollar system that guarantees financial freedom. The website of USDD is now online?http://usdd.io?. The contract address shall be subject to the announcement on the official website.

The contract addresses on TRON, Ethereum, and BSC are as follows:

https://tronscan.org/#/token20/TPYmHEhy5n8TCEfYGqW2rPxsghSfzghPDn

https://etherscan.io/token/0x0C10bF8FcB7Bf5412187A595ab97a3609160b5c6

https://bscscan.com/token/0xd17479997f34dd9156deef8f95a52d81d265be9c

Many renowned crypto projects have tried to issue algorithmic stablecoins, but none has succeeded. Though a newcomer to the space, TRON boasts irreplaceable advantages.

First, TRON delivers near-instant transactions. USDT on TRON has an independent decentralized settlement layer, cutting the time needed for a transfer from 30 minutes to less than a second, and the handling fee from 100 dollars to a mere few cents. Thanks to the robust network, the number of daily transactions on TRON has surged to 10 million, and the total value of transactions processed every day topped $10 billion. Since the launch of TRC20-USDT in 2019, TRON has processed upwards of $4 trillion of USDT transactions. 

Bolstered by TRON’s ultra-high throughput, the four-year-old TRC20-USDT has grown into the world’s largest stablecoin network, with over $55 billion worth of on-chain stablecoins and financial assets as well as $4 trillion of USDT transactions processed. It has outperformed the USDT issued on all other blockchains by total supply, and its user base is poised to reach 100 million by the end of 2022. It is also worth highlighting that to stabilize USDD’s price and ensure the currency’s decentralization, TRON gathers a stream of top players in the crypto space to back the TRON DAO Reserve, the issuer of USDD. As the industry’s first reserve, the TRON DAO Reserve will have its team of experts and broad community users jointly decide on the supply and liquidity of USDD, affording the platform greater flexibility in response to emergencies and minimizing the price swings. 

Finally and most importantly, TRON’s superiority lies in the core mechanism of TRON-based algorithmic stablecoins. Those familiar with algorithmic stablecoins will know the three key factors underpinning each algorithmic stablecoin, namely the scarcity (inflationary or deflationary), the arbitrage dynamic (bilateral arbitrage system), and the multi-currency model (price-stabilizing). 

Correspondingly, TRON’s USDD also needs to address three core issues: 1. ensure data authenticity of the price feed system; 2. guarantee price stability and control the cost of deflation with scarcity management; 3. minimize short-term price fluctuations with a well-designed arbitrage mechanism. Here are the solutions TRON offers: 

1. The USDD price oracle is provided by Super Representatives on the TRON network, who need to cast a vote for what they believe to be the current exchange rate of USD. The vote is tallied every N blocks, and the oracle will take the weighted medians as the actual rates;

2. A multi-currency method in connection with TRX is adopted to manage the long-term supply and demand of USDD. In the USDD protocol, TRON’s SRs absorb the volatility of the USDD price. When the USDD price falls below the target in the short term, users will burn their USDD to mint TRX, bringing the USDD price back to the target level;

3. The USDD protocol uses TRX as the base currency to price USDD, and it runs on the TRON network, of which TRX is the native token and the most natural defense against USDD price fluctuations. It also absorbs the short-term volatility of USDD.

In a nutshell, TRON ensures reliable price information of USDD with a decentralized price oracle mechanism, achieves USDD’s supply-and-demand balance with long-term scarcity management, and maintains its price stability by using TRX as the base currency to price USDD. As the world of algorithmic stablecoins is still virgin land, new challenges will expectedly come up down the road, and it is believed that TRON will evolve non-stop to provide better solutions to the blocks standing in the way. 

As Justin Sun stated in his open letter, the potential of USDD is immense. He also added that TRON will continue to fuel the growth of USDD, focus on its application in various crypto segments, and eventually make it accessible to all traders across the globe.

We can even boldly picture that USDD will be favored by a growing number of users for digital asset trading and even take over part of the functionality of traditional e-payment giants including Paypal, Visa, and Swift. This will allow it to further reduce the financial losses and fractions arising from transfers and trades.

Decentralization is an irreversible global trend, and the arrival of the TRON DAO Reserve and USDD is most opportune. Let us stretch our imagination to the largest extent possible and think: what is the ultimate benefit that a decentralized reserve and a hard currency can bring to our society? 

Eventually, humankind will surely achieve the freedom of finance, where value is extended, wealth is eternal, and assets flow freely. And digital technologies, advanced algorithms, the TRON ecosystem, and the innovation of the talented crypto entrepreneur will provide people with opportunities beyond their expectations to achieve this end goal.

The Best Performing Stocks in 2022 (So Far)

The global stock market has endured heightened volatility for a while now, starting with the pandemic-induced sell-offs in March 2020 and continuing through record highs in the middle of 2021.

Global stocks have also experienced a rocky start to 2022, with the S&P 500 alone having depreciated by 7.4% since January. Many stocks are also struggling with increased costs and reduced earnings as the year progresses, placing their margins under increased and sustained pressure.

Popular options such as retail stocks are also being undermined by lower sales and reduced consumer confidence, and this trend shows no sign of abating anytime soon.

With this in mind, building a viable and profitable stock portfolio remains particularly challenging in the current climate. However, we can still address the best performing stocks of 2022 so far while highlighting those that may offer further value throughout the year.

The Best Performing Stocks in 2022 So Far

Let’s start by taking a look at the stocks that have performed particularly well through 2022 so far, and it should come as no surprise that the top three is entirely comprised of oil, gas and energy firms.

After all, firms within the energy sector have continued to benefit from disproportionately high oil and gas prices through 2022.

This trend has been accelerated by the ongoing conflict between Russia and the Ukraine, during which time wholesale gas prices have more than doubled. So, here’s the top three performing equities in 2022 to date:

#3. RPC Inc. (RES)

RPC is an established oil and gas equipment company, and one that also provides a broad range of related energy services.

Unsurprisingly, RPC shares have trended steadily higher through Q1 in 2022, thanks largely to an increase in crude oil prices that have rocketed to their highest levels since the beginning of 2008.

These initial price hikes were followed by RPC’s latest revenue report at the end of January, which saw the brand record 80.5% earnings growth in Q4 2021. RPC is also expected to report sustained growth for much of 2022, thanks largely to increased activity levels and additional price increases through October at least.

To this end, the US rig count has already soared from 253 to 670 during the past 12 months alone, and when combined with soaring prices, have sent RPC shares 135% higher when compared to the same time last year.

#2. Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU)

The Peabody Energy Corp. has been rising steadily for more than a year now, recording 72% revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 2021.

These increased earnings helped to complete something of a turnaround for what’s established as the world’s largest pure-play coal producer, which had yielded a $129 million net loss just 12 months previously.

As earnings soared, however, the corporation ended 2021 with a healthy net profit of $513 million in Q4, and it has continued this impressive growth trend through the first three months of 2022.

Current and future growth is also being underpinned by the raw price of coal, which has increased from 120.00 on January 3rd to 320.00 on April 12th. This equates to growth of more than 150% during a 13-week period, and this trend shows no sign of abating any time soon.

Over the course of the year, BTU stock is up 143.5% to date, making it an increasingly popular option among investors in 2022.

#1. NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. (NEX)

Last, but not least, is NexTier Oilfield Solutions (NEX), which deals primarily in energy services and has also benefited from rising gas and oil prices in 2022.

Following updated and improved financial guidance issued in Q4 of 2021 (in the form of 25% quarterly revenue growth), the corporation’s stock climbed by 20% in January.

NexTier then reported 30% revenue growth in February, while projecting total revenue of between $330 million and $360 million by the end of the year (before interest).

Over the course of 2022 so far, NEX stock is up by an impressive 160.2%, making it this year’s best performing equity to date and a viable option for investors who want to buy in before the share price becomes too prohibitive.

What Other Stocks May Offer Value in 2022?

Of course, there are many reasons why investors may not want to invest in energy stocks. Some may be ethical investors, for example, who want to avoid assets involved with fossil fuels or those that are seeing their value increase on the back of armed conflict.

What’s more, it’s not certain that the recent growth of energy companies will be sustained indefinitely through 2022, despite the inability of governments to redress soaring gas prices and the unlikely nature of a ceasefire being agreed in Ukraine.

So, we’ve outlined some alternative stocks that may offer value through the remainder of the year, across a slightly broader range of markets. These include:

  • #1. Etsy Inc. (ETSY): Many viewed ecommerce craft brand ETSY purely as a pandemic stock buy, after its share price gained 300% through 2020 amid soaring demand. While the ETSY price may have declined from a 2021 peak of $279.53 on November 23rd to $114.25 on April 12th, it now arguably offers considerably greater value in relation to earnings and as a buy-and-hold investment. Remember, this brand also has a market opportunity in the billions, and it has only recently begun to scratch the surface in this respect.
  • #2. Pinterest (PINS): On a similar note, Pinterest may also offer considerable long-term value to investors following a difficult start to 2022. Despite losing 37% in share value since the beginning of the year and remaining 74% down on its 52-week high, PINS recently recorded a marked increase in the average revenue per user (ARPU) to the tune of 36%. This hints at increased monetisation through the site, and when combined with heightened international growth, suggests that Pinterest could be a viable target for investors across the board.
  • #3. MercadoLibre (OKOE): MercadoLibre is best known as the Amazon of Latin America, as it’s established as the market leading ecommerce space in the region. However, the company has a number of additional strings to its bow, operating a fast-growing payments platform (Mercado Pago), logistics services and a business lending service. This helps to support a consistent share price above $1,000, and while its value depreciated in March, OKOE has already rebounded to reach $1,150 as of April 12th.

The Bottom Line

As we can see, there are always ways to profit when investing in the stock market, regardless of the prevailing conditions or the impact of the wider macroeconomic climate.

2022 is no exception, with social and ecommerce platforms following in the wake of thriving energy stocks to offer considerable value to investors across the globe. Hospitality and leisure firms are also rebounding in 2022, after many saw their share prices plummet during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you’re unsure of which individual stocks to invest in this year, however, a solution may be found in index mutual and exchange-traded funds. These bundle related stocks together in a single fund, creating instant diversification across different countries and market sectors.

Investing in index funds is also relatively low cost and helps to minimise your exposure to risk, while enabling you to speculate on price movements and profit even as target markets or industries depreciate.

This is a recommended course of action if you’re new to the stock market, which is deceptively volatile and difficult to master when looking to back single equities.

Care Home Claims – 10 Warning Signs of Neglect in a Care Home

When an elderly relative moves into a care home, you expect them to be well cared for. You expect the staff to treat them with dignity and respect and meet their needs.

But sometimes, things can go wrong. Whether that’s from the care home providing insufficient training, limited resources, or staff with an unprofessional attitude, it’s essential that action is taken so that residents receive the care they need and deserve.

If there has been a serious neglect of care, then seeking compensation for care home neglect is appropriate. It’s unlikely that it is just your relative that’s not receiving the care they need and so taking more formal action ensures that the home reviews its policies and raises its standards.

If you’re worried that your loved one is being neglected in their care home, here are ten warning signs to look out for:

1. Unkempt appearance

if a resident’s clothes are dirty or their hair is unbrushed, this could be a sign that they are not being cared for properly. There is no reason why a care home resident should not be well-groomed no matter their stage of life or wellbeing. Basic care should include:

  • Clean teeth
  • Finger and toenails cut
  • Hair brushed and trimmed as needed
  • Regular showers
  • For gentlemen to be shaved as requested

2. Weight loss

if a resident has lost a lot of weight, this could be because they are not being given enough to eat or cannot feed themselves properly. It’s essential for the care home staff to monitor the weight of residents carefully and ensure they are eating enough.

3. Bedsores

Bedsores can be a sign that a resident is not being moved often enough and that their skin is coming into contact with something too hard (such as an uncomfortable mattress).  Also known as pressure sores or ulcers, the NHS comment that they can be extremely painful and can lead to serious infections if not treated properly.

4. Dehydration

If a resident is dehydrated, this could be due to not being given enough to drink or that they are unable to access the water provided. Care home staff should monitor the amount of liquid that a resident is taking on a daily basis.

5. Incontinence

if a resident is incontinent, this could be a medical condition, or it could be because they are not being helped to the toilet often enough. It’s crucial for care home staff to ensure that residents who are incontinent are cleaned and dry to avoid skin irritation and infections.

6. Poor hygiene

if a care home smells bad or there is evidence of poor hygiene (such as dirty toilets), this could be a sign that the staff is not cleaning properly. It’s essential for care homes to maintain high standards of cleanliness to protect the health of residents and staff.

7. Unsafe environment

if a care home is not well-maintained, it could be due to staff just not taking proper care of the premises or the management team is not allocating enough funding to its upkeep. This can create an unsafe environment for residents and staff and increase the risk of accidents and injuries.

8. Staff shortages

If there are not enough staff on duty, this could signify that residents are not being adequately cared for. When manning levels are below where they should be, then it’s unlikely that the care home has enough staff to meet the needs of residents. Recruitment issues in the care sector are currently an ongoing issue in the UK.

9. Medication errors

When residents are not getting their medication on time or in the correct dosage, the outcome can be life-threatening. This might happen because the staff is not adequately trained, or they are overworked. It’s crucial for care home staff to receive training to administer medication and have enough time to do so correctly.

10. Respect

When a resident feels that they are not being treated with respect, this could signify that the staff is not following the proper care procedures. It’s essential for care home staff to treat residents with dignity and respect at all times.

If you notice any of these warning signs in a care home, it’s essential to speak to the staff and management to get more information. If you’re not satisfied with their response, you may want to consider making a complaint or contacting the care home regulator in your country.

Making a Claim for Compensation

If you believe that your loved one has been neglected in a care home, you may be able to claim compensation. This can help cover the costs of medical treatment, funeral expenses, and other damages such as pain and suffering.

You may be able to make a claim even if your loved one has passed away. In some cases, it may be possible to claim on behalf of your loved one’s estate.

If you’re considering making a claim, it’s essential to get legal advice from a solicitor who specializes in this area of law. They will be able to assess your case and advise you on the best course of action.

Claiming Compensation on Behalf of a Resident

If you’re claiming on behalf of a resident, there are a few things you’ll need to prove for your case to be successful. First, you’ll need to show that the care home staff were negligent in their duties, and this means that they failed to provide the proper standard of care that your loved one was entitled to.

You’ll also need to show that this negligence led to your loved one being harmed somehow. This could include physical or psychological injuries or the deterioration of their health. Finally, you’ll need to show that you have suffered damages due to your loved one’s neglect.

In the UK, you can become what’s known as a ‘litigation friend’ to claim on behalf of someone else. This means that you have the legal authority to act on their behalf. In order to do this, you’ll need to get permission from the court, but this is something that a solicitor can help you organize.

Can I Claim Compensation For a Delayed or Cancelled Flight?

No one ever wants to deal with a delayed or cancelled flight, as it tends to disrupt plans and might even alter connecting flights. As a result, there are now agencies like Flightright constantly working to ensure passengers are treated fairly and get properly compensated for any inconvenience caused by the airline. If you have ever wondered whether or not you can claim compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight, this article seeks to answer your questions. 

What is Flight Compensation?

The Flight Compensation Regulation (EC No 261/2004) is a European Union law put in place to protect airline passenger rights in the event of flight delays or cancellations. With this regulation, affected passengers from flight disruptions can file a claim of €250 to €600, depending on circumstances around it.

How Do I Know If I Am Eligible?

The first thing you must know is if you are eligible to claim this compensation. Below are the criteria you must meet to be able to file a compensation claim. 

  • Your flight is departing from an EU member state or landing in one and the airline is headquartered within the EU. 
  • Your flight was delayed for at least 3 hours.
  • The airline informed you of the cancellation less than 14 days before the initial departure date.
  • The reason for the flight disruption is within the airline’s control. 

All of these will apply only if you have a valid ticket and booking confirmation. If you are travelling on a discounted ticket specifically for you, the law does not apply. If you’re filing a claim for flight delay, you must have checked in at least 45 minutes before departure time.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

The EU 261/2004 regulation states that a passenger can be entitled to compensation of €250 to €600. However, the exact amount you can claim depends on some factors and this includes the flight distance and the length of the delay. 

The flight distance is calculated as follows:

  • Short distance (e.g. London – Edinburgh) – Below 1500km –  €250 compensation.
  • Medium distance (e.g. London – Athens) – Between 1500km and 3500km – €400 compensation.
  • Long distance (e.g. London – Tokyo) – Over 3500km – €600 compensation.

If you’re filing a claim for flight delay, it is calculated as follows:

  • Short: 2 hours
  • Medium: 3 hours
  • Long: 4 hours

Apart from the monetary compensation, you are also entitled to free meals and refreshments if your flight is delayed or cancelled after you have checked in. In addition, if you have to spend the night at the airport due to the disruption, the airline is obligated to prepare a hotel accommodation for you. 

When Am I Not Entitled

While the EC261 law protects passengers, there could be times when you’re unable to file a claim. This applies when the reason behind the flight delay or cancellation was beyond the airline’s control. This may include bad weather conditions, security risks, and political unrest, among others. 

Bottom Line

Understand your rights under the EC261 law, so you can exercise them at the appropriate time.  If you ever have your flight delayed or cancelled, you can kick-start the process of getting compensated or talk to a professional to make the process swift.

How Can RPA Help with Remote Working?

Thousands of employees are now working from home in the UK with many companies seeing absolutely no need to bring their workforce back to the office. Not only will this save the business money on rent and bills, but it also helps the employee to save money too and, also, reduce their carbon footprint in the process.

Gone are the days of filling up our cars with exceptionally expensive fuel and then queuing for long periods of time early in the morning only to get into the car park to find there aren’t any spaces. The frustration expelled, time wasted and money spent can all be mitigated with RPA implementation.

With automated services at your fingertips, as a business owner, you’ll have absolute peace of mind that your staff are working tirelessly around the clock, from home, giving you an impressive work output and without compromising on quality. RPA services from Cleardata will help to keep your company working as smoothly and as efficiently as possible, but how, exactly, does RPA do that?

Invoice processing can be streamlined

Processing invoices is one of the most important parts of running a business because this is the very thing that enables continuous cash flow and income. As this is paramount to the successful running of a company, it’s important that businesses are prepared to provide clients and customers with invoices in the correct format as they’ll be needed in order to keep a financial record.

On the other hand, your business might need invoices to be sent in a particular format also and if this cannot be provided, in either case, then accountants might not have a choice but to enter any data they have manually, opening up the possibility of human error.

With RPA and automatic invoice processing, you can be sure that human error will be completely mitigated. RPA solutions, in this case, can process invoices quickly and efficiently upon receipt whilst being completely error-free in a bid to help those who are working from home to focus on more pressing, value-added tasks.

Document processing can be made more efficient

RPA solutions are well known for streamlining laborious but necessary processing tasks, such as document processing, that are expensive, error-prone or hold particularly sensitive information. It enables unstructured data to be managed effectively in a bid to improve productivity and drive down handling times. Unstructured data is usually information that has been taken or extracted from one or more of the following sources:

  • Text
  • Images
  • PDFs
  • Scanned documents
  • Natural language input

Employees working remotely will be able to rely on these RPA services to tackle repetitive tasks whilst they focus on fulfilling their role within the company, enabling them to undertake activities that involve decision making, expertise and making judgements. Automated document processing, for example, will provide the banking and finance industries with numerous benefits, including, but not limited to:

  • Wealth advisory
  • Risk mitigation
  • Loan processing

In all instances AI and RPA, particularly when combined, can augment an entire human workforce to carry out and complete the laborious tasks that your real life staff don’t have the time to do and all as accurately and as efficiently as possible.

In fact, automated document processing will be able to complete activities in a fraction of the time it would take for one of your employees to do the same thing, meaning even more tasks can be undertaken in quick succession; possibly completing multiple tasks in the time it would take a member of your staff to complete just one of them. See your productivity levels skyrocket with the implementation of document processing using RPA and AI.

Cybersecurity will be enhanced

This can help your security team to enable cybersecurity functions to run as smoothly as possible with little effort on their part. Intelligent automation will enable companies and businesses alike to create a safe, secure and well-protected cyber environment to tackle cyber security threats.

RPA will be able to automate several necessary, highly-important tasks that help to ensure that all online records and information are kept as safe and secure as possible on any and all databases in the system. For example, the following tasks can be automated to enhance cybersecurity throughout any business:

  • Vulnerability scanning
  • Patch management
  • Access management
  • Incident analysis
  • Monitoring
  • Grant or revoke access to applications where necessary
  • Scan log reports for false positives, removing them where appropriate

As an increasing number of people are now working from home, possibly managing sensitive data under the Data Protection Act 2018, for example, it’s never been more paramount for businesses to protect the information of their clients, customers and also their employees, hence why you should invest in RPA solutions for enhanced cyber security.

Timesheets can be automated for accuracy

HR departments are constantly facing the challenge of reviewing employee activity when working from home. The best way to keep track of the amount of hours your staff are putting in is to have timesheets available to them. When data is manually inputted into timesheets, there might be a brief description of the task they were doing and the time it took them to do it.

Where some employees will provide proof of the work completed, such as inputting links to documents, others might not and it can then be difficult to ascertain whether or not they actually put the time into the task that they said they did.

To help validate such records, automating the process using RPA services means that you’ll be able to cross-check the amount of time an employee was active together with several other working factors. This will help a company to track where time was spent, work output as a result and also attendance overall.

Cleardata are able to provide their customers with sterling automated processing services and digital solutions to help streamline your business, regardless of the industry you work in. They have a team of dedicated professionals at the helm of their operations, working around the clock to provide you with anything from a paperless office to safe and secure cyber networks. For more information about how Cleardata can help you today, get in touch with a member of their expert team – they’re always happy to hear from you.

Growth and Value Stocks

Any avid CFD trader desires to invest in profitable ventures and companies, multiplying their return by several folds. To achieve this goal, they must try their luck with varied instruments such as shares, commodities, indices, ETFs, and even the recently popularized cryptocurrency. Investors can pick one or more options for long-term or short-term returns based on their preferences.

However, from a CFD investor’s point of view, online trading is among the most convenient and quickest investment options available today. And one of the most popular instrument choices nowadays is growth stocks, so let’s discuss the performance of growth stocks and value stock options to discover the ins and outs of both. We’ll start by understanding what growth stock and value stock means.

What are Growth Stocks?

In simple terms, growth stocks refer to the equity stock of any company that is currently undervalued but can grow exponentially in the next few years, giving those involved in online trading of the share prices as CFDs an interesting prospect to consider. These stocks grow more quickly than other stock options they carry, presenting a considerable risk factor. Companies like Lucid Group and Roblox Corporationare growth stock options to watch out for this year.

What are Value Stocks?

Value Stocks constitute equity shares of well-established companies, generating high revenues and profit returns. Generally, high-cap companies fall into the value stock category, with a significant market share, thanks to their vast experience in the industry. These stocks offer a low to negligible scope for growth but still attract investor preference because of their continuous profitability. Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble are prime examples of value stocks that offer significant market performance in online trading.

We hope that you have a clear understanding of what growth stocks and value stocks represent and how to differentiate between the two. Now it’s time to understand how the two options fare in the markets. Below is a comparison based on four essential criteria:

Comparison Between Growth and Value Stocks

1. Market Perception

Growth stock companies generally constitute unique or innovative solution businesses with high scaling potential. These companies are growing fast compared to the average industry growth rate and have significantly noticeable revenue growth.

Value stock companies include fundamentally established businesses that have been operating for a significant number of years and have carved a distinct position in the market for themselves. These growth rates stay close to the estimated averages.

2. Risk Level

Growth Stocks carry a higher risk factor than value stock companies due to several factors. However, high volatility and unpredicted market fluctuations can render these companies into high losses or force them out of business. It remains the primary threat to investors.

Value stock companies are considered relatively low-risk investment options for online trading because of their steady performance, however they’re not risk-free. Being a well-established and trusted brand, these companies are less volatile and more resistant to market anticipation and unpredictable market changes.

3. Historic Performance

Growth stocks have had an underwhelming performance in the last few years. It attributes the lack of potential marketing opportunities to garner public exposure. It made growth stocks an undesirable online trading option for an average investor.

Value stocks have remained a public favorite investment option because of their security and relatively low risk. However, don’t confuse low risk with no risk—all trading comes with risk and it’s important to educate yourself on the potential risks value stocks come with before choosing them as a CFD trading instrument.

4. Future Predictions

In the past five or more years, growth stocks have captivated the attention of investors. Studies have shown renewed interest in such companies with social media marketing. It has boosted public confidence in growth-stock companies.

While value stocks have been a preferred investment for a long time, they’re showing signs of slowing down. They have long lost their monopoly on equity investment. However, it remains a popular option for CFD investors.

To Summarize

We hope you have learned more about value stocks and growth stocks and have earned the expertise to help you make intelligent investment decisions. We are sure that this knowledge will be helpful the next time you are doing online trading as CFDs and building a rewarding portfolio. While both of these stocks come with a number of diverse pros and cons, make the final decision after considering the associated risks and your patience for higher returns.

Walmart Appears To Quietly Enter The Metaverse

Walmart appears to be venturing into the metaverse with plans to create lines of digital assets. Based on recent announcements and filings with the US Patent Office, retailing giant Walmart is preparing to offer digital products and establish its brand in a new online sales and marketing portal.

It is significant when the nation’s leading brick-and-mortar retailer announces plans to expand virtual and digital retailing. Walmart trademark applications offered detailed descriptions of a wide range of virtual products and branded digital assets.

By entering the digital environment, Walmart will join leaders in the use of metaverse technology. The company will create and sell a type of currency and NFTs. Walmart will locate its digital goods on a blockchain platform. While the developers of cryptocurrency invented blockchain to work with Bitcoin, the technology can hold anything with digital form and give it value by proving existence and ownership.

 Blockchain and Digital Currency

 Walmart announced plans for a virtual currency, as well as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. The idea of cryptocurrency is not new to marketing. In some ways, the old business models of earned coupons, shopper reward points, and airline miles were types of cryptocurrency. They existed in a digital environment and used electronic records to confirm their existence, ownership, and prevent double spending.

The metaverse is digital concept that will immerse users in a virtual world with connections to the real world through Virtual Reality ( VR) and Augmented Reality ( AR) technology. In the metaverse, consumers will shop for virtual goods and products at virtual stores.

Marketing Is one of the new frontiers for blockchain technology. NFTs are emerging as a popular digital item to create awareness, promote new products, and reward customers. There is no appreciable downside to offering NFTs to customers as gifts or sold items.

 Selling in the Metaverse

Companies have begun using metaverse compatible modes of offering and selling products. Luxury clothing lines have advanced their brands as NFTs. Tokenization is a new way to confer ownership of a branded item. The digital products trend offers buyers a chance to own an elite brand item and putting it on the metaverse. For example, they can dress avatars in the top designer brands of clothing and accessories. Metaverse galleries can display NFTs as art or collectibles.

The urgency of moving with the trend may reflect the feeling in many companies of having moved too slowly into e-commerce. The advantages of early adoption showed in the expansion to ecommerce, and firms that moved slowly felt they ever regained lost ground.

Nike and the GAP are examples of the rush to metaverse marketing. The GAP sells NFTs of its iconic logo clothing like sweatshirts and hoodies. Nike has opened a venture to create an online world called Nikeland. To support its metaverse presence, Nike purchased and virtual sneaker company.

 Walmart Can Have an Impact

By its size and volume, Walmart can impact markets substantially. The company has scores of millions of shoppers and is a household name in retail. Walmart has a remarkable potential to advance awareness and participation in cryptocurrency and NFTs.

How Can Oil Price Fluctuations Affect an Investing Portfolio?

Fluctuations in crude oil prices can have a meaningful impact on broad economic activity, and also on how an investment portfolio evolves over time. Now is the time when traders need to adjust their strategy and make sure to trim or increase exposure on certain companies, so they are able to meet expectations at the end of the day.

Several days ago, US crude oil spiked to a 13-year high of $130, for the first time since the beginning of the financial crisis. These valuations spill over into the prices of goods and services people consume, which might have a significant impact on margins.

Tech stocks

Technology-based companies are the most severely hit, as of now. Surging oil prices support higher inflation, which in turn prompts investors to get out of “growth-oriented names”. According to analysts at XPro Markets, an emerging online brokerage brand serving a global audience, popular CFDs like Tesla, Facebook, Netflix, and Zoom, have had impressive returns since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Higher inflation means the potential for interest rates increases. As long as crude oil prices remain elevated, the potential for a rebound in tech remains subdued. It would be wise, given such circumstances, to reduce exposure to tech, or at least conduct intensive research, in order to find names that could outperform in this environment.

Consumer Discretionary

People buy products they need or want. The first category is usually referred to as “staples”, while the second one is “consumer discretionary”. As oil is expensive, utilities and food become top priorities for the wider public, leaving less disposable income for other goods/services that are more luxurious.

Nike and Adidas have been pressured since 2022 started and there is little hope for a strong recovery as long as basic needs remain expensive. Consumer discretionary is, thus,  another side of a portfolio that could be impacted negatively by high oil prices.

Although companies that are part of this sector are widely available for trading, as brands like XProMarkets cover them, investing in the long run at this point might not mean entering at an optimal valuation. Short-term bounces could only be due to short covering, trapping buyers who believe that the bearish sentiment will end soon.

Energy

Incentivized by rising oil prices, investments have been pouring into the energy sector. This puts companies like Chevron and Exxon Mobil in a favorable position, especially now that Western countries have imposed sanctions on Russia, meaning the supply shrank dramatically.

Growing demand for energy puts brands operating in a good spot. Basically, high prices mean their inventories are like an asset that grows in value over time. However, a balanced approach should be kept here and a portfolio needs to be built with the same diversification mindset in place.

This is a highly unpredictable market and anything can happen. A continuation higher in the oil trend will not be good news, simply because it can lead to demand destruction.

Three Tips To Help You Manage Your Business’ Finances More Effectively

After an incredibly bruising two years for businesses, we were all hoping that things would look considerably rosier in 2022. And it’s true that there have been many promising signs that elements of the new normal were rolling back. It does look like we can get back to business with greater confidence. However, when it comes to finances and our budgets, we know that there are some tough times ahead. The current furore over the energy crisis and skyrocketing energy bills is going to hit businesses as well as households, and there are so many areas which are still shrouded in uncertainty. Is it finally safe to commit to a return to the office, or is remote working here to stay? Are there going to be further blows to businesses from Brexit or do we know enough at this point to plan our spending for the next few years? How will climate change impact our companies, and are shortages due to the pandemic or other wider factors?

With all these myriad concerns, every business owner is thinking hard about the best ways that they can better protect and trim the fat from their budgets. If you are looking to manage your business’ finances more effectively in the months ahead, here are a few tips to get you started.

Bring In The Professionals

Let’s start with one of the most important pieces of advice that we can give you. If you run a business, then you really need to have an accountant or financial advisor that you can trust. While many larger companies will do this as a matter of course, a lot of smaller businesses and self-employed people think that they can handle all of their financial responsibilities by themselves.

It is certainly true that you do not get your own business off the ground without knowing a little about how to balance your books, but there are so many different challenges out there that will demand your attention. You simply cannot afford to miss a beat and a good accountant will take this huge responsibility off your plate. They will be able to help you file everything correctly, plan for difficult periods, and help you to plan for the future. They can also help you to apply for any government grants and incentives too. This is definitely something worth paying for.

Educate Yourself About The Current Climate

As much as we are all hoping that things will go back to normal in the year ahead, the fact is that the game has changed irrevocably in so many ways. It is not just about the forces that have been impacting the market. It is also about the technology that we use to monitor our finances and identify new opportunities.

As a business owner, you need to have a clear understanding of how to improve the health of your company, identify opportunities for investments and how to use the resources that you have for maximum impact. We also need to recognise that we should take advantage of online courses and other opportunities to learn more about the changing landscape that we are operating in. If you want to learn more about the frameworks and tools of modern corporate finance, look at the managerial finance course from LSE. This six-week online certificate course from the London School of Economics and Political Science will give you the tools and framework to make better decisions and communicate more confidently when it comes to finance.

Make Smart Cuts, Not Quick Cuts

When we are worried about our finances, that tends to mean that we need a solution fast. Even the most experienced business owners can be prone to panicking when it comes to making cuts to their budget, but we all know that cutting quickly does not necessarily mean cutting cleverly. It is important to listen to your gut, but we have all seen how quickly things can change in the current climate and you need to make sure that you are not saying goodbye to something that you will need in a few months’ time.

For example, we have all seen that the return to the office has been a contentious issue. It has even been linked to the great resignation, although there has been some debate about just how great that mass resignation has been. But if your business is not ready for, or not suited for, a digital-only space just yet then you should think carefully before you cut out that brick and mortar location entirely. Think about offering a hybrid work scheme for your employees, where you can negotiate on the hours spent in the office or at home. Beyond the office, it may help to make a list of the things you cannot afford to cut, whether that is your security software or your insurance policies. There are some services that we should continue to pay for even when times are tight.