By Nigel Hilton
The world economic forum published an article in late 2017 that stated that democracy is on the decline. Countries around the world are seeing the democratic values decline sharply, but we can’t blame that will all the issues the world is facing at the minute. But a world without democracy is not one that we want to live in. Democracy covers a wide range of categories. It is measured by the function of a government, the state of civil liberties, and political culture to name but a few. There are still some countries leading the way that have a strong democracy, Norway and Iceland are to name but a few. So considering that democracy is on the decline, we’re going to explore what a world with no democracy is, and what is being done to try and strengthen it around the world.
Democracy actually effects economic growth more than you would realise, but there have been many studies carried out that have tried to prove this different. It is in fact common belief that it has no influence over economic growth at all, but you can’t ignore the statistics. The lower the level of democracy goes in a country, the lower the level of economic growth. This is because political regimes aren’t being carried out to protect the economic growth of a country. The effects of which can be catastrophic for the economy and cost of living within that country.
The government holds a lot of power, that’s always been the case. But the power the government has often causes so many issues in the world. There is only so much the public can do with regards to this, but the state of civil liberties does protect us somewhat. It means to government can’t change civil rights such as the ‘free exercise’ which allows people to practice their religion. What it doesn’t protect us from is the decisions being made about wars and the things that are really damaging our countries. The National Endowment for Democracy is funding non-profit organisations that are trying to change the level of government power in countries that might have a lower level of democracy, and in turn bring countries closer together. Because it isn’t just government power that democracy determines, it is just so much more than that. Countries such as North Korea have zero levels of democracy, and their ruler does in fact have full power of the decisions that will affect his nation.
Public Political Influences
The public can only have so much say in what the government does, as we’ve already said. But, the higher the influence of the public, the higher the level of democracy. It is giving the public the right to decide smaller decisions that happen within the country. Take the recent brexit of Britain. 72% of the population turned out to vote, which saw a rise in the level of democracy within a country. The less influence the public has, the more decisions that the government could make that would not go in favor of the public.
By Sharon Jones
Disastrous productivity level due to the wasting of time and resources is a major issue across all many business large or small. However, for the small operator or micro business, productivity really can be a big deal. After all, your margins are slim, and any unnecessary delays can put you in a place where achieving your targets for that period is impossible, a problem that will then have a negative knock-on effect on your profits. With that in mind, find out below how to eliminate poor productivity and ensure that your business is running as efficiently as possible.
Eliminate redundant tasks
First of all, one way in which you can boost productivity in your business is to identify and then eliminate tasks that are redundant. This task can sound pretty easy, but it can be tough because most people are resistant to change and like to keep thing the way they have always been.
In fact, employees can often get twitchy when you are attempting to streamline task as they feel they might be out of a job soon. However, if you explain to them what is happening and include them in the process, you are likely to get a much better result and find that thing get more productive faster.
In particular, consider tasks that are by many individuals in a day that only really need to be done once. Things like writing letters and documents, where most use a standard text, and just a few individual details are added.
You could save a great deal of time by introducing a document management system that allows everyone to work from the same updated templates rather than come up with their own every time. You could even increase continuity and standards across different departments and employees as well. These all being things that will have a positive effect on your business.
Cut the cord to your email
Next, let’s look at emails. Even bosses of companies have a problem here, as there seems to be an innate belief that it is vital to read every message the moment that it comes in.
Guess what? There isn’t! In fact, doing so is distracting you and breaking your focus for the task that you are working on. Something that makes everything take longer, and you feel more stressed. So get everyone to turn off their email notifications, and schedule two short action times in the day where they can deal with them to improve productivity.
Bye bye smartphones
Smartphones in the workplace can be a good thing, especially if they are in use for company business. However, there are so many distractions including apps, and news, and messengers on them that they can easily suck attention away from work tasks.
Banning smartphones may be controversial but just think how focused people will be.
That is why if you want to improve productivity in a major way you could take the controversial decision to ban smartphones in the workplace. Although, you do need to remember that this will apply to yourself as well as your employees! Who knows though, maybe it will help you to get more done too?
By Jerry Mooney
More and more businesses are taking to the realm of online commerce. There’s a good reason for this. Online retail has massively increased in popularity over the past decade or so. Just take a look at the success of online retail giants such as Amazon! While in the past, the majority of people would head straight to a brick and mortar store on the high street when looking for goods and products, nowadays they have the option to purchase their wares online from the comfort of their own home. Increased demand for convenience means that customers can often receive exactly what they want by the next working day or even the same day as they place their order! While convenience may well be one of the main benefits for users of online commerce, the practice actually offers various other benefits. Reduced operation costs (as online businesses don’t have the expense of brick and mortar property rent, a lack of overheads such as gas, electricity, or water bills) mean that goods can be offered at a lower price too! It’s not all too surprising that you might be considering taking your small business online or setting up online if you haven’t yet commenced trade. However, if you do take to the virtual realm, there are a few business practices that you will need to familiarize yourself with. Top of the list? SEO. Here’s everything you need to know about the practice and how to make the most of its benefits.
What Actually Is SEO?
To keep things simple, let’s first state that “SEO” stands for “search engine optimization”. It is a business practice which revolves around getting as many search engine users to visit your webpage as possible. Of course, every small business operating online needs as much traffic as possible in order to secure sales and boost brand exposure. But where do search engines come into this? Well, just think about it. When consumers want a certain item or are trying to find your brand, they make use of search engines and generally limit their search to results that appear on the first page. When’s the last time you ever went beyond a search engine’s first or second page when looking for anything? Very rarely. You really do need your website to feature as highly as possible to guarantee hits. Now, each and every search engine will be different, and each uses its own means of ordering their results. So, which search engine should you focus your efforts on? While there are various search engines out there, generally speaking, Google tends to be the most effective and is consequently the option that will bring you the best results, so should be the search engine that you focus your main efforts on. This is because it is the most popular search engine. 1.7 billion people make use of it, so you want to appear as high in the Google search results as possible in order to get the greatest exposure, make the most sales and generate the most profit. However, if you prefer other search engines such as Bing or Yahoo, don’t worry, you can focus on them too.
How Do You Set Up an SEO Campaign?
So, as you can see, there’s plenty that you can gain from SEO. So, it’s time to start focussing on putting an SEO campaign together.
The first thing on the checklist of your SEO campaign is to get engaged with blogging. Google loves legitimate posts. If you clearly pay for posts elsewhere, they’re likely to miss you out of their optimisation. Instead, you need casual, natural looking links to posts on blogs that frequently put out posts without advertising purpose. For a complete piece on this, take a look at Blogger Outreach Best Practices – How To Write A Guest Blog Post For SEO.
A key part of SEO is keyword optimisation. This is the act of researching, analyzing, and selecting the best keywords to incorporate into your webpage in order to drive traffic to your page effectively. While most search engines will not release the details of exact search terms that users submit when searching for goods, most of the time, general common sense will work. Consider what you would put in when searching for the goods that you provide. Also, browse lists of others’ commonly searched words and incorporate as many as possible into every aspect of your site.
If you’re not already familiar with the process of outsourcing, it’s time to start looking into it. We’re all well aware of how busy people setting up a small business or maintaining a small business can be. There’s so much to focus on. So many areas to constantly develop or nurture. So it’s not surprising that you may not have time to do absolutely everything yourself. Outsourcing is the business practice of sending your work out to third parties to deal with and complete. Now, there’s a good chance that you don’t really have the time in your schedule to spend researching SEO in-depth, but to make a success of your campaign, you really do need a good working knowledge of the area. Luckily, there are other individuals out there who have studied it extensively and can optimise your entire webpage quickly and simply without having to conduct extensive prior research (as they’ve already done it time and time again). Outsource this aspect of your work to them. They’re much more likely to make a success of your campaign first time around!
While you may never have heard of SEO before, hopefully now it’s firmly stuck in your mind as a business essential that can make or break your brand’s success. If you haven’t yet dabbled in SEO, it truly is time to start focusing on creating a high profile SEO campaign that will drive as much traffic to your commercial website as possible. This should serve to expose your brand and secure sales, allowing you to turn over the profit that you deserve!