Stay Motivated in Business

Stay Motivated in Business

Business motivation is like a fire in that, when it first begins, it is strong enough and hot enough to push you to do whatever it is you need to do. Yet, over time, if you aren’t careful, its power starts to fade. Pretty soon, all you’re left with is ashes that serve as a constant reminder of a dream that has ultimately died.

You see it all of the time with personal goals like losing weight or becoming more fit. But when it happens in business, not only does it mean that you’re not going to be able to create a body you want, you also miss out on having a professional life that is fulfilling to the core.

So, how do you stay motivated in business, even when it feels like everything is working against you? Here are some options to consider.

Focus on Daily Growth

If motivation is like fire, this means that you have to tend to it often if you want to keep it hot. This requires focusing on daily growth according to entrepreneur, investor, and innovator Gene Swank as he says that “your mind is like a muscle and must be constantly challenged to stay sharp.”

To achieve this type of growth, Swank recommends reading positive materials daily, as well as taking care of yourself physically and spiritually because when you create a healthy lifestyle, in addition to becoming more motivated, you’re also better able to “weather the challenges” that business ownership sometimes brings.

Remember Your ‘Why’

The one question bestselling author T. Harv Eker says that most of his students have—no matter where they are in the world—is how to get and stay driven long enough to succeed. According to this motivational speaker who also wrote the bestselling book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, the answer to that question is simple. It’s to develop a strong enough ‘why.’

So, if you’re feeling unmotivated in business (or in life), maybe you’re not focusing hard enough on why success in these areas is important to you. In other words, why do you want what you want so badly? Create a list that you can review to remind you to keep going when you start to feel uninspired and ready to give up.

Get Super Focused

Another way to feel more motivated is to get super focused on what you want. You have to be able to see the future that awaits you with so much clarity that you can feel it in your bones. The reason this works is explained in one of T. Harv’s most inspiring success quotes: “What you focus on expands.”

Take five minutes a day and visualize a professional life that would fulfill you to your core. Incorporate all of your senses—sight, touch, taste, hearing, and smell—enabling your mind to feel exactly what it would be like to reach all of your goals. Essentially, this trains your brain to recognize the opportunities in your life that can make this dream a reality.

Surround Yourself with Motivational People

Have you ever noticed that when you’re around motivated and passionate people, you feel more motivated and passionate too? That’s because this particular feeling is contagious, which is a good thing for you (and your business).

It’s also why business consultant and writer Anna Johansson suggests that, if you want to get and stay motivated, it’s best to surround yourself with people who can “pick you up when you’re down.” This will keep you from getting unmotivated when life becomes a bit stale.

Getting motivated in business is easy. Keeping that motivation is a bit more difficult. That is, unless you do these four things.

 

Source: Noobpreneur.com

UAE starts rolling out 10-year visa carpet to buoy business

UAE starts rolling out 10-year visa carpet to buoy business

The category also includes science researchers, outstanding students and art innovators.

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) has started implementing the Cabinet decision to give residence visas of up to 10 years to investors, entrepreneurs and people with special talents as well as their families as of Sunday, February 3.

According to the Official Portal of the UAE Government, the category also includes science researchers, outstanding students and art innovators.

The Cabinet decision – taken in November last year – aims at improving the investment environment to facilitate doing businesses.

The decision spells out conditions for widows, divorced women or their children to continue to avail of this benefit.

The widowed or the divorced woman (or their children) should submit a request to extend their residence visas if the death of the husband or the divorce took place after they received their visas on the husband’s sponsorship. The visas should be valid during submission of the request.

The authority added that the request to extend visa should be furnished with proofs of income/finances, place of residence, the medical check-up certificates of the woman and children older than 18 years, along with the health insurance card (which is required in some emirates).

The authority would charge Dh100 as fees for visa extension for one year.

 

Source: Khaleej Times

Emerging Trends that Deliver Success to Your Business

Emerging Trends that Deliver Success to Your Business

Being diligent and aware of new trends is a basic survival trait in today’s business world. Understanding how these traits impact your business can either help you formulate a defense against the competitors or provide an opportunity to leapfrog the entire industry.

Emerging business trends often involve the latest technologies, new consumer behaviors, new supply chain methodologies, or new cultural phenomena. With a creative mind and keen eyes on these trends, businesses can activate powerful forces that propel your business to the next level.

Of the many new trends each year, some of them disappear quickly while others remain a game changer. Researchers and business strategists spend countless hours on trend analysis to measure their impact and longevity. And it is up to you to adapt them to your business to capture success.

In this article, we will take a look at top 3 technology trends this year that might be relevant to your business.

 

1. Promise of Artificial Intelligence

The topic of artificial intelligence is a contentious one. Some think it is the future of work while others think it is the end of work as we know it. For now, the applications of AI have helped companies streamline data analysis, business logic, consumer experiences, and sometimes in generative industries such as medical research and architecture. The benefits of these applications are huge even at this early stage of AI. As technology continues to evolve we will see much deeper and broader of AI integration to all layers of our world.

What may seem as simple virtual assistants today will likely become the steward of our experiences at work, at play, and at home in the future – powering every interaction with the world around us.

2. Video Engagements vs Social media

Social media has taken over our lives and video is a major driving force behind it. Although Snapchat was not able to kill Facebook with video, the popularization of video content on Instagram as well as on Facebook’s own platform provide generous clues on which direction social media is evolving towards.

Just this year we see the rise of another platform TikTok, which has surpassed Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Youtube in downloads last month. The app uses a video centric format unseen in any other social network with 500 million users and growing rapidly.

3. Teamwork as the core competency

As the hunt for talent continues to heat up in Silicon Valley and around the world, teamwork and employee satisfaction is more important now than ever. One of the hottest trend in corporate team building is escape rooms. These games helps enhance working relationship of company teams by immerse employees in realistic challenges where they must work together to find the solution. One of the leaders in this space is Reason, a future technology escape in San Francisco. They work with innovative companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple on team bonding events and have found a way to re-ignite the imagination of corporate team building.

Conclusion

In the business world, trends are changing as rapidly as the market and its customers. By taking an agile approach to explore and experiment, you might find the most impactful trend to your business is just around the corner.

 

Source: Noobpreneur.com

Top Tips for Outsourcing Your Way to Business Success

Top Tips for Outsourcing Your Way to Business Success

As a business owner, you’re required to wear a lot of hats. Managing Director, Human Resource Director, Accounts Director and Marketing Manager for example. This multi-role division of labour might be manageable in the beginning, but as you continue to grow and expand your operation this becomes unsustainable.

Follow these top tips for outsourcing your way to success.

Marketing

It’s essential to invest in marketing if you want to grow your business. Marketing might be fairly straight forward as you set out to get your initial customers, but once you’ve established your brand it may be necessary to invest in a comprehensive marketing strategy to access customers from outside your immediate locality or industry. Outsourcing these services to an expert marketing agency is a great way to ensure that a comprehensive marketing strategy is developed.

Payroll/Bookkeeping

Payroll is a business function that needs to be done right to ensure a happy and content work force. It can become more complicated as you expand operations to such an extent than you no longer have time for. At that point, you should consider outsourcing to a payroll management company, although the service charge might be significant depending on the size of your company. It is much better than having an underpaid, unhappy workforce.

Technology

As you upscale your operation you must develop your internal infrastructure. However, as we know, cash flow is not always as dynamic as your business deals. One way to circumvent this problem is to rent the equipment, this will allow you to upscale without having to have the cash upfront to buy the new equipment. These services usually come with the ability to renew the equipment after several years and have them maintained regularly if something was to go wrong.

Staff

Hiring staff can be risky, as a business owner, you are investing in people who have talked the talk but might not be able to walk the walk, and that could be detrimental to your business. However, outsourcing this responsibility to a recruitment company lessens the strain of the employment process as the recruitment company find you the perfect candidate. Further, using a recruitment company, although potentially costly, it will allow you to find staff quickly if you ever need to react to a new exciting project or business opportunity.

 

Compliance

In certain industries, regulatory compliance is of the upmost importance. There are companies dedicated to ensuring that your business is at the forefront of compliance. A worthwhile investment as compliance can be time consuming, complex and expensive. Outsourcing this allows you the freedom to focus on growing your operation rather than ensuring that it is compliant, which can be incredibly tedious.

Conclusion

Following these outsourcing tips is a fantastic way to ensure that you maximise your personal capacity as a business owner. Outsourcing may seem costly, but having the freedom to be able to drive the strategic direction of your business is priceless. Furthermore, when you feel like the internal capacity and operational infrastructure is in place, you can reintroduce the services that you outsourced under one roof.

 

Source: Noobpreneur.com

INCREASE YOUR WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY

INCREASE YOUR WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY

Every business wants to make the most of its workforce, yet this is often easier said than done. The good news is, there are small changes you could make that have the potential to drastically improve your employee’s levels of workplace productivity and overall efficiency in the office.

Here are five ways to help ensure that your team is working as effectively as possible, getting more work done in less time at the workplace.

1. Delegate

Assigning tasks has the built-in potential to create a sense of responsibility. Whether you are working with, within or without a team, it helps to delegate. While at it, make sure to give out each responsibility to the person who is most qualified at it. This reduces room for otherwise costly mistakes since everyone will be dealing with what they’re best at doing. The efficiency with which everyone will be working means that lots of time can be saved off each task.

2. Provide the right equipment

Repetitive tasks are some of the most tiring and time-consuming. Needless to say, when there are menial tasks that can be automated with the help of some office equipment, the prudent thing to do it automated. When the workplace is free of droning, boring tasks, there is a high likelihood of ending up with a happier, more productive workforce. The manpower that you free up will be able to redirect their energy to other more meaningful tasks.

3. Set attainable goals and targets

The other very effective way to introduce a sense of responsibility at the workplace is to set goals/targets with timelines. Just be sure to have goals that are attainable, you don’t want to kill morale with unrealistic, unattainable targets.

Targets have a way to awaken people’s inbuilt sense of competitiveness. Not to mention the sense of achievement and satisfaction that comes with the successful completion of a task. That small, manageable kind of self-imposed stress is very helpful and effective in putting both you and your team on toes, introducing a new sense of direction and focus towards meeting the goal(s).

4. Track and limit the amount of time you spend on tasks

Minimizing how much time you spend on each task is easier when you have a way to track it.  Most people are naturally poor at estimating the passage of time. One effective workaround would be to elevate your productivity with GetCloudApp’s screen recorder or use any other suitable time tracking tool to let you know the exact amount of time you are spending on daily tasks, including email, social media, and word processing.

5. Jazz up with the office with aesthetically pleasing elements

An overhaul of the office environment to make it more comfortable with just the right amount of natural light and temperature will work wonders. Know what’s even more effective as a boon to productivity? Something nice to look at! It is scientifically proven that an office outfitted with visually pleasing elements such as plants and nature wall murals can increase workplace productivity by as much as 15 percent, so it’s worth considering.

Conclusion

The bottom line is, you could increase output by either putting in more hours or working smarter. However, when it comes to overall workplace productivity, the latter can be a sum of many factors, just as detailed in this write-up.

 

Source: Entrepreneurship in a box

Three Key Company Formation Changes In UAE 2019

Three Key Company Formation Changes In UAE 2019

This year has seen a raft of banking and business regulations sweep across the UAE. There have been new tax laws, changes in Central Bank guidelines, and a general shift in bank compliance criteria.

This means if you’re a budding entrepreneur looking to start or grow a company in the UAE, you need to get up to speed with these changes.

To help, we’ve detailed three important company formation changes and explained how they could affect you.

  1. Banking regulations are tightening across the UAE

This last year has seen a number of announcements by the UAE government that have forced businesses to adapt quickly to stay competitive.

Just under one year ago we saw the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) in the UAE. This has already impacted how companies negotiate with customers and suppliers, as well as influencing pricing structures, cash flow, and business processes.

Just before this, excise tax –an indirect tax on goods that can cause harm to human health, such as tobacco– was introduced. These are big changes for a country known for being tax light.

The biggest change: The UAE government has joined over 100 countries in agreeing to a Common Reporting Standard (CRS). This is an exchange of information between different tax authorities to increase transparency.

CRS means the UAE Central Bank demands that local banks are now much more stringent in performing due diligence and compliance. As a resident or a non-resident, this could impact you in particular as your accounts would now be reportable under the CRS system, if the banks feel you are not a resident for banking purposes. This means that an Ejari (lease agreement), and DEWA bill, in Dubai’s example, are needed to support your VISA and EMID from the bank’s point of view in order for them to bank you as a resident for non-exchange.

Why is this all happening now?

Well, the more skeptical among us might suggest it has something to do with the UAE being temporarily dragged onto the EU’s tax blacklist in late 2017.

Despite being removed from the black list fairly rapidly in early 2018, the UAE is still sitting precariously on the grey list. As a result, the central bank and local banks have increased the requirements to prove your residency for banking purposes which is not a bad thing, and a sign of the progression and willingness of the UAE to evolve as it has always done over the last 50 years.

What this means for you in 2019

Every year, the country does more to align itself with its international partners.

As with any country, you need to stay on top of the tax laws and banking regulations. The problem now is that things are changing so fast that information on the internet quickly becomes obsolete. So always check the date when the information was written and double check any advice.

This may all sound ominous, but in the long-term it’s actually positive for you as a business owner. Such changes show the UAE’s willingness to adapt and move with the times. They will create new opportunities for FDI and ensure compliance with international standards.

But this also means it’s more important than ever to find a trusted advisor in the UAE. One with local knowledge and expertise, who will be able to guide you through the process of setting up a company step by step.

  1. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are becoming the go-to places for new business

A knock-on effect of these tax and bank regulations is a physical shift in where companies are choosing to locate their office.

New Central Bank guidelines require a UAE residency visa and Emirates ID if you want to open a corporate account. Also, as a signatory, you will need a local corporate address that is a physical office. A flexi-desk will no longer cut it in many cases, plus you will need a residential address to support any application, to show you are based here.

In the past, one of the great attractions of the Northern Emirates’ free zones was their flexi-desk options. But no more. Now there are only a few places where banks are prepared to consider a flexi-desk and they’re all in and around Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Examples include DMCC, Dubai South, DWTC, JAFZA, DIFC, DSP, and ADGM.

Added to this, the Northern Emirates are no longer the cost-effective option they used to be.

The E-Channel Immigration System is a unified immigration system implemented in five of the seven Emirates back in 2017. The Northern Emirates have been forced to introduce the system, but Dubai and Abu Dhabi continue to use their own independent ones for now.

While E-Channel has many benefits, such as online processing and faster approval, it comes with a high outlay of AED 7,000 to 8,000.

Take Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) as an example. Registration costs AED 2,000. Then there is an AED 5,050 guarantee fee (although bear in mind this is refundable). Annual re-registration then costs around AED 1,200.

What this means for you in 2019

With Northern Emirate free zones costing more, clients are looking more closely at options in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

But that doesn’t make it an easy choice. Where you locate depends on several factors including your business activity, size of operation, overall visa requirements, and amount of capital you have to invest.

Something else to be aware of: Moving into 2019, the UAE government is introducing dual licenses that allow companies to hold one license to operate in the mainland and one to operate in a free zone without needing office space for both companies. This widens your options, but of course it can also make your decision more complex. But it does bring massive benefits for business planning.

Again, it will pay to take one-on-one advice to find the best option for your company and receive help dealing with local banking regulations.

  1. Banks are favouring different business activities

If you’re looking to start a general trading or management consultancy company then things might be tougher for you in 2019. Business activity choice is coming under greater scrutiny as banks clamp down on what they deem ‘high-risk’ or ‘vague’ activities.

It doesn’t help that UAE federal law is very stringent about companies not deviating from their registered activities.

‘The company shall obtain all the approvals and licences as required for the activity to be conducted by the company in the State prior to commencement of its activity.’

Unfortunately, banks are also becoming warier when it comes to certain nationalities. Some people are viewed as riskier than others from a geopolitical standpoint, leading to more compliance paper work and background checks. Ultimately, this can mean higher costs, delays and in some cases rejection of your application, where a proper business plan is not submitted or where supporting information is not available and in place.

What this means for you in 2019

Think carefully about how you would define your business activities. Given how lax some other countries can be with upholding activity registration, it can be tempting for entrepreneurs to assume the same for the UAE.

This would be a big mistake. Even if the bank accepts your application, things may go awry further down the line. You may encounter issues when it comes to audits. You may face questions about your suppliers or clients. You even run the risk of fines.

But the above pitfalls can be avoided if you seek out a specialist consultant with a reputation for offering a high-quality service. Ultimately, this is how you can ensure your venture gets off to the best possible start.

Keep your ear to the ground

The past couple of years have seen rapid change to how companies operate across the UAE. There is little to suggest 2019 will be any different. So, make sure you keep up-to-date with changes as and when they happen.

 

Source: Entrepreneur

Reasons Why UAE Attracts Global Startups

Reasons Why UAE Attracts Global Startups

With the new raft of government incentives, 2019 will be the year that places the UAE as the No.1 location for startups globally. The economy is predicted to grow, Dubai Expo 2020 is fast approaching, and exciting opportunities are being created for entrepreneurs of different ages, genders and backgrounds. The multitude of startup-friendly initiatives include incentives for female business owners and young entrepreneurs, extended five-year visas for older professionals, 100% foreign ownership of companies, and ten-year visas for some business owners and property owners. So,

Here are six key reasons why entrepreneurs are considering the UAE as the number one spot to launch their 2019 startup.

1. Growing economy 
The UAE is already one of the world’s leading startup hotspots. As more businesses flood in, attracted by generous incentives to start and grow, the economy and startup market will strengthen further. In October, the International Monetary Fund lifted its forecasts for economic growth in the UAE to 2.9% in 2018 and 3.7% in 2019, significantly higher than its April forecast of 2% and 3% respectively. The strengthening economy is down to several factors, one being an increase in oil output and rebounding oil prices, which have given the government more money to spend, a budget stimulus of US$55 billion, but most of all, the cyclical effect as the UAE comes to the end of its recent slowdown, stabilizes and then starts to pick up again.

A stronger economy will help entrepreneurs to grow their business fast and attract talent. The UAE cabinet has approved a zero-deficit federal budget of AED180 billion for 2019 to 2021. Meanwhile, next year’s budget has been approved at AED60.3 billion – much of which is to be allocated to sectors with a focus on citizens’ well being, health and education. This will come together to make the UAE more attractive to talent seeking to live in a country with a strong focus on quality of life.

2. New visas for older expats 
A new law, due to come into force in 2019, will allow foreigners to obtain extended residency visas in the UAE after they retire. This represents a major incentive for older entrepreneurs and seasoned professionals to remain in the UAE and is expected to attract people approaching retirement age to set up companies in the UAE. The new five-year visa will be particularly attractive to those who call Dubai or Abu Dhabi home. Visa laws and your business The extended residency visa is good news for entrepreneurs, as it will encourage seasoned professionals to continue to call the UAE their home, long after they would have previously moved to retire elsewhere. This will help to nurture long-term growth, providing a broader and more stable economic platform for startups.

3. Exciting opportunities with Dubai Expo 2020 
As Dubai Expo 2020 approaches there will be an increased demand for companies providing ancillary services for ‘the greatest show on earth’. The Expo is expected to attract 25 million visitors, bringing a significant demand for local entrepreneurs. Among the startups set to benefit are events companies, hospitality businesses and firms offering services and supplies for the exhibition. With less than two years to go, purse strings have been loosened and tenders awarded, and this flow of funds will act as an immediate stimulus in 2019 to the economy with funds flowing to all sectors and all industries.

What the Expo means for your startup: Expo 2020 will provide a ready-made market for a wide array of small and mid-sized businesses specializing in the specific requirements of servicing an influx of 25 million people. Many businesses will benefit solely from the increased footfall.

4. Green light for 100% foreign ownership 
Earlier this year, the UAE government announced its decision to allow 100% foreign ownership of companies in the UAE. This comes as part of a new visa system for international ‘investors and talents’, which includes a long-term 10-year visa for certain categories of professionals, business owners and property owners. Dubai Chamber says the plan is expected to result in a clear boost for the UAE’s emerging small businesses. The country has plans to allow for 100% business ownership for most enterprises. This incentive was previously only applicable to companies operating in the free zones– other companies were required to have an Emirati sponsor with a minimum 51% ownership.

How you can benefit from the new law: This new 100% ownership rule and 10-year visas will result in better planning by business owners and a greater emphasis on the training and ups killing of top talent, thus making it easier to attract the top talent to the region and make the UAE competitive on a global scale. The global investors’ ownership is expected to reach 100% by the end of the year.

5. Opportunities for female entrepreneurs

Women make up 70% of the region’s university graduates and 44% of the workforce, and there has been a surge in female entrepreneur support groups, advisories and workshops. The Dubai-based, Women’s Investment Network, is just one which has been set up to help female entrepreneurs and other women with financial management. With more women investors and a more inclusive, diverse and consequently booming ecosystem, there has never been a better time for a woman to open a business in the UAE.

6. Influx of young talent 

The new visa system and a raft of incentives for young entrepreneurs look set to attract a new generation of business leaders to the Emirates, as well as boosting the local labour market with new talent.

How you can benefit as a young entrepreneur:New five or ten-year student visas are being introduced to enable students to stay and find work in the UAE once they have graduated. Other initiatives include Expo 2020’s Youth Connect scheme which aims to encourage young people to become ‘the innovators and thought leaders of tomorrow’. Meanwhile, the government’s UAE Youth program targeting 21 to 30-year-olds is designed to help innovative young people gain a rounded education in business.

With the UAE economy predicted to grow significantly and with a wealth of initiatives aimed at attracting entrepreneurs and helping startups grow, 2019 looks set to be an ideal time to launch a business here in the Emirates.

 

Source: Entrepreneur

New 100% investment law redefines UAE’s business landscape

New 100% investment law redefines UAE’s business landscape

The new UAE investment law, which allows up to 100 per cent ownership to foreign investors in some specific onshore business sectors, is expected to give a major fillip to private and foreign direct investments (FDIs).

In the first quarter of 2019, the government is expected to announce a full list of sectors that come under the 100 per cent foreign ownership rule aimed at boosting investments in non-oil industries and creating jobs for nationals.

Minister of Economy Sultan Al Mansouri said increased foreign ownership would be permitted in sectors including technology, outer space, renewable energy and artificial intelligence.

The law, seeking to redefine the investment landscape of the UAE, is among a spate of path-breaking reforms such as long-term visas for professional and investors, aimed at fueling economic growth.

Analysts expect up to 15-20 per cent annual increase in foreign direct investment with the law coming into effect. In 2018, the UAE retained its rank as the region’s top destination of FDI inflows in line with the previous year when it drew $11 billion, accounting for 22 per cent of total foreign direct investment to the Middle East and North Africa region.

The UAE’s pro-business environment, excellent infrastructure, relatively diversified economy and political stability continue to position it as one the most preferred investment destinations in the world, according to Garbis Iradian, chief economist at the Washington-based Institute of International Finance.

The UAE has rolled out several other bold reform initiatives, including the bankruptcy law, to boost investor confidence over the past several years.

FocusEconomics’ panel of economists believe that along with the investment law, a looser fiscal policy and notably large investments in infrastructure, would prop up growth in the non-oil economy by supporting private investment momentum.

The new UAE Commercial Companies Law (CCL), which was introduced last year, contrary to the expectations of the global investor community, did not amend the 49 per cent limit on foreign ownership. Under the new CCL, a foreign investor can only own a maximum of 49 per cent of a locally incorporated company, apart from companies incorporated in a free zone in which they can own 100 per cent.

According to legal firm Clyde & Co., the “negative list” of sectors where the full foreign ownership is not permitted contains 14 industries.

They include oil exploration and production; investigation, security, military; banking and financing activities; insurance; pilgrimage and umrah services; certain recruitment activities; water and electricity provision; fishing and related services; post, telecommunication and other audio visual services; road and air transport; printing and publishing; commercial agency; medical retail (including pharmacies); and blood banks, quarantines and venom/poison banks.

 

Source: ZAWYA

Marketing trends entrepreneurs should embrace next year

Marketing trends entrepreneurs should embrace next year

The upside of working in the marketing world is it never gets boring. The downside for some means you can’t get too comfortable. Trends evolve all the time. What was working well for you in the past two years may not work effectively next year.

As we start our new year, here are four marketing trends that you should embrace:

Influencers going hyperlocal

Though influencer-marketing is here to stay, businesses are looking more closely at micro-influencers. A well-known, beloved, local mother in a small community, for example, would be an effective choice for a baby’s product brand, rather than a mega-influencer with millions of followers who wouldn’t relate very personally with the target audience.

A couple of clients I worked with asked me to connect them with micro-influencers, though they had the budget to work with mega-influencers. They believed that their message would be diluted with a mega-influencer, and a local one would provide them with an optimised reach.

Video dominance

I spoke about video earlier this year, and I can still say that this trend isn’t going anywhere. Everyone from government officials to media organisations are choosing video as a key channel to share their stories. It’s an effective, engaging and efficient form of communication.

YouTube is the largest search engine after Google, and Instagram has introduced IG TV that allows users to upload vertical videos. This means that users don’t need to flip their screens (which many users, including me, hate doing) to watch the video, and it allows to longer uploads. It’s growing at a slow pace though, but I believe it will pick up more in 2019, especially since many regional influencers, such as fashion blogger Ascia from Kuwait, have embraced the platform. She uses IG TV to share her vlogs for her skincare routine.

I also believe that more media organisations will be using it to share video reports, mini documentaries and interviews for its convenience. Users don’t have to switch between social media apps such as Instagram and YouTube to watch different content – it’s all in one place. IG TV could be the perfect substitute to watching television, and media organisations should jump on the bandwagon so as to not lose momentum.

Rise of quality over quantity

Businesses are becoming more aware of how different their audiences are. In the case of one of my clients, they worked with a local personality who was prominent in the business field, but only had 400 followers on Instagram. You may think she’s not an influencer at all. What is 400 against someone who has a million? However, when we did work with that thought leader to host a small gathering to launch my client’s fashion collection, they made a five-figure sum in under two hours. Bottom line: it’s not about the quantity, but the quality of who is promoting your business. In the end it doesn’t matter how many followers a person has, but whether they can influence a sales conversion.

Evolution of AI

Artificial intelligence makes our lives much easier, especially when there’s a lot of data to analyse, and it can save employees a lot of time on mundane admin tasks.

For retail businesses, it can help you monitor your customers’ shopping patterns online, or even analyse your readership behaviour if you are running a media publication. We already engage with it every day – in the form of online advertisements.

If incorporating AI doesn’t apply to your business, I’d suggest you stay up-to-date with its evolution and watch how the market, and especially your competitors, are working with it.

Marketing, though an exciting field, is becoming more and more complicated. It’s a combination of cutting-edge technology, psychology, sociology and old school business. Though these are the major trends to watch out for next year, keep an eye out on other trends that will emerge along the way, and analyse how they can benefit your business.

 

Source: The National (Manar Al Hinai)

No fee hikes, new taxes in UAE

No fee hikes, new taxes in UAE

After a fruitful 2018, the UAE will be starting the new year with an affirmation that will benefit businesses, individuals and the overall economy.

The UAE government earlier announced that Federal government fees will not be increased for a period of three years.

A decision to this effect was taken during a UAE Cabinet meeting and is intended to attract more foreign investments and promote economic and social stability, as well as support the industrial and commercial sectors.

The UAE Ministry of Finance has affirmed that no new fees or additional taxes would be introduced in the coming years.

The Ministry of Finance has also confirmed that the government plans to spend more in 2019 while doubling the amount of loans extended to small and medium enterprises as well as boosting housing support for Emirati citizens.

The UAE, which expects to earn Dh12 billion revenues following the introduction of value-added tax in 2018 and Dh20 billion in 2019, has been repeatedly ruling out the imposition of any new taxes over the next five years.

The Ministry of Finance predicted that the national economy would prosper in 2019 and is poised to perform better than it did in 2018. This year, following the introduction of VAT, the UAE launched a string of initiatives to boost investor confidence and attract global talents.

Recent decisions related to entry visas, residence permits, and business visas have received regional and global acclaim, with the Cabinet recently announcing new visa facilitations and granting longer-term residencies for job seekers and non-residents.

The UAE also introduced a new insurance plan aimed at foreign workers and makes it easier for employers to engage in their activities and recruit talents. The Cabinet approved a six-month visa for jobseekers who stayed in the country for a longer period than the validity of their visas and wish to work therein.

The UAE has also approved a system granting a 10-year residence for investors and specialists and has announced a reduction in the cost of self-employment in certain free zones.

“The UAE is ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa as the best competitive economy, according to the recent 2018 Arab Competitiveness Report. This is a new testament to the UAE’s continued success and prosperity. The excellence of UAE economy in terms of competitiveness is very important, because it is an indication that the government in all its agencies and bodies, and the private sector in all its institutions are operating efficiently,” said UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri.

Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, said the new incentives announced by the Federal Government like the 10-year visa for investors and professionals, as well as 100 per cent ownership in business will go a long way in attracting capital to the UAE.

“Apart from people like us who are already here, large number of investors from various countries will definitely make UAE a destination for investment,” he added. The Central Bank of the UAE has projected a year-on-year real GDP growth of 4.4 per cent in the fourth quarter 2018 supported by a 6.7 per cent growth in the oil sector.

Growth projections for 2019 show that economic activity will improve due to expected higher oil prices, more oil production, and the effects of the announced fiscal stimulus packages, underpinned by the strong fundamentals. Real GDP is expected to grow by 4.2 per cent in 2019 as oil and non-oil sectors are projected to grow by 5.2 per cent and 3.7 per cent, respectively.

The Ministry of Economy said the UAE is expected to witness a new breakthrough under the qualitative initiatives and unprecedented economic stimulus package approved recently by the Federal Government and local governments, particularly the governments of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

 

Source: Khaleej Times

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