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Top tips to protect your client’s data when travelling

Who thinks about securing data when travelling?

Your clients are bound to access data when travelling. In the age of the smart phone, data privacy, and hacking you and your client are going to have to think about data privacy before anyone leaves home.

Taking personal data to high risk countries?

Some countries, such as the USA, give their border security team the right to access and download all the contents of any laptop or smart phone on a person wanting to enter the USA. The equivalent of digital strip searches are increasingly common and demands that you turn on and hand over your device as surprisingly widespread.

Having personal or corporate confidential information on such devices whilst travelling is not wise. There are no current limits to what can be done with that data once a device is accessed and its contents copied.

Others, such as China, prohibit access to apps and programs which many of us take for granted as part of our day-to-day business and personal lives. A few countries block Telegram or other encrypted end to end communication apps, some also block WhatsApp.

Your client will need to think about the IT side of data when travelling

 

Top tips to protect your client's data when travelling 3
  • Agree alternative platforms if needed
  • Remove access to some programmes
  • Remove access to special category data
  • Add VPNS, anti-malware, encryption
  • Assess risk of data loss
  • Set up remote tracking and wiping
  • Check existing data policies

We still see people travelling around the world with access to all data on unencrypted devices.

Leave the main device at home?


Would taking a new phone getting a new local sim reduce the risk of data loss? That would be a phone with no historic data, loaded with only the apps needed for the trip. Some countries do not permit purchasing sims without a residential address but some sims can be purchased in advance or at the airport.

Would taking a new secured and encrypted laptop with no data on it reduce the risk of data loss? As long as there is internet access to the cloud via secure access this can be a good alternative where there is sufficient connectivity.

Read their data privacy statement

If your client’s policy states no personal data is shared overseas, (or does not mention that it is) then your client accessing or viewing data overseas is contradicting this.

If your client is going to carry on as normal this can put them in breach of their policy and significantly increase the risks of a data breach.

While many would not worry about reading emails at an airport, accessing data bases, mailing lists, etc with large numbers of customer information, or confidential business plans, are be an entirely different thing.

Be very careful about health related, financial or ID related data – all of which are highly prized by people who want to steal them.

Insurance for data when travelling

Are the devices insured for loss or damage? But what about the data. Many cyber insurance and data loss policies stop when your client leaves the country. Do they need to inform their insurers of what they are accessing when abroad?
This will vary from policy to policy and but should always contact their broker/insurer and notify them, not only that the device(s) are leaving the country but what will be accessed whilst away.

Family and personal data

There are security and confidentiality implications for their own personal data too. Removing any of their personal data that may be used for identity theft, corporate espionage, hacking or other inappropriate activity may make this sound a bit ‘James Bond’. But in a world of internet hacking and phishing, (and physical theft of devices) it is better to be safe than sorry. All those pictures of their kids can quickly find their way onto very dodgy sites, never mind their business confidential information.

Protect your client’s data

If you are applying for visas, and need to share your boss’s passport details, or other ID related details, make sure you are sharing this information securely.


Protect your business

You need to review your own insurance and data privacy policy if you are doing the travelling. And you need to make sure your client knows you are accessing personal data outside the UK and have the appropriate paperwork in place.

Whether you need to go over to a global contract, or add a cross border data privacy agreement to your pack, you need to make sure that personal data is being handled in a transparent way.

For more information on which document packs are needed when read this article here

The Benefits of AI for Business Women: Empowering Success in the Digital Age

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a game-changer, offering immense potential for business women. AI technology not only enhances operational efficiency but also empowers women entrepreneurs to achieve unprecedented levels of success. By leveraging AI, business women can streamline processes, gain valuable insights, and make informed decisions. This article explores the benefits of AI for business women and how it can revolutionise their professional journeys.

Streamlining Operations with AI

One of the primary benefits of AI for business women is its ability to streamline operations. AI-powered tools and software can automate repetitive tasks, freeing up valuable time for entrepreneurs to focus on strategic activities. From managing schedules and handling customer inquiries to processing invoices and generating reports, AI-driven automation ensures that routine tasks are completed efficiently and accurately. This not only increases productivity but also reduces the risk of human error, allowing business women to operate more effectively.

Enhanced Decision-Making with Data Analytics

Data is the backbone of informed decision-making in the modern business world. AI provides business women with powerful data analytics capabilities, enabling them to analyse vast amounts of information quickly and accurately. By leveraging AI algorithms, entrepreneurs can gain valuable insights into market trends, customer preferences, and competitor strategies. This data-driven approach empowers business women to make informed decisions, identify new opportunities, and stay ahead of the competition. With AI, women entrepreneurs can harness the power of data to drive growth and innovation in their businesses.

Personalised Customer Experiences

In today’s customer-centric market, delivering personalised experiences is crucial for business success. AI enables business women to understand their customers better and tailor their products or services to meet individual needs. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can engage with customers in real-time, providing personalised recommendations and resolving queries promptly. By leveraging AI-driven customer insights, business women scan enhance customer satisfaction, build loyalty, and drive repeat business. Personalisation through AI ensures that every customer feels valued and understood, fostering long-term relationships and brand loyalty.

Improved Marketing and Sales Strategies

Effective marketing and sales strategies are essential for business growth. AI offers business women advanced tools to optimise their marketing campaigns and boost sales performance. AI-powered marketing platforms can analyse customer data, segment audiences, and deliver targeted advertisements. This ensures that marketing efforts reach the right audience at the right time, maximising the return on investment. Additionally, AI can analyse sales data and provide valuable insights into customer behaviour, helping business women refine their sales strategies and identify cross-selling or upselling opportunities. By leveraging AI, women entrepreneurs can achieve more impactful marketing and sales outcomes.

Enhanced Cybersecurity and Risk Management

In the digital age, cybersecurity is a top priority for businesses. AI plays a crucial role in enhancing cybersecurity and managing risks effectively. AI-powered security systems can detect and respond to potential threats in real-time, safeguarding sensitive business information and customer data. By continuously monitoring network traffic and analysing patterns, AI can identify anomalies and mitigate risks proactively. This ensures that business women can operate in a secure environment, protecting their businesses from cyberattacks and data breaches. AI-driven risk management also enables entrepreneurs to identify potential vulnerabilities and implement preventive measures, ensuring business continuity and resilience.

Embracing AI for Business Success

Artificial Intelligence is revolutionising the way business women operate, offering numerous benefits that empower them to achieve greater success. From streamlining operations and enhancing decision-making to delivering personalised customer experiences and improving marketing strategies, AI provides a competitive edge in the digital age. By embracing AI technology, business women can optimise their workflows, gain valuable insights, and drive growth and innovation in their businesses. The future of business is AI-driven, and women entrepreneurs who harness its power will be well-positioned for success.

The Power of Networking – IS YOUR PASSPORT FIT FOR PURPOSE?

During May’s 1230 TWC Bromley & Orpington meeting, 1230 TWC Member Liz Engel, gave us some information that surprised us all. Liz explained …..

Catch up

No one at the meeting had realised the importance of the issue date when checking  passport validity or you’re your passport was close to expiring. I then asked Liz if she could spare time to talk about this on 1230 TWC Business Beat Radio Sow, you can find the Podcast HERE.

In short her advice is:

For entry into Europe, your passport expiry date may not be valid so you need to make sure that you passport is no more than 10 years old.  Prior to 2018 if you renewed your passport early, the extra months were added to the end of the 10 years.  Now, since Brexit, these extra months are not recognised and if it is more than 10 years since the issue date you will probably be denied boarding.

On return to the UK you should have 3 months validity based on the actual expiry date printed in your passport.  Not every country requires 3 months, some need 6 months and some just the duration of your holiday to be covered so you need to check this.

Little did I know the importance of this information to me until I received a frantic phone call yesterday afternoon from my son who had just discovered that unless he renewed his passport NOW he’d be unable to go on holiday in a couple of days’ time. I reassured him that I knew exactly the person to help with his – Liz.

Action!

When I phoned Liz she was in the middle of an imperative piece of work for a client, but she took the time to provide all the details we needed, but then proceed to make the application on his behalf. Unfortunately, his digital photo was refused, so he proceeded to dash out going to 4 photo booths before finding a working one. Success! Liz completed the application successfully at 10.35 pm that night! Phew, one happy son!

We can’t thank Liz enough for her painstaking efforts and my son isn’t even a client – ye!

Liz.engel@travelcounsellors.com

www.travelcounsellors.com/liz.engel

Empowering Female Leaders: Navigating Legal And Regulatory Requirements

Empowering female leaders is crucial for creating a balanced and dynamic workplace. Women bring diverse perspectives and skills that can drive innovation and success. Understanding the legal and regulatory landscape is essential to ensuring compliance and fostering an environment where female leaders can thrive.

Key Legal Requirements

Navigating the legal requirements is the first step towards empowering female leaders. Familiarise yourself with gender equality laws, such as the Equality Act 2010, which prohibits discrimination based on gender. This legislation is fundamental in promoting fair treatment and ensuring that women have equal opportunities in the workplace.

Additionally, stay informed about maternity and parental leave regulations. These laws support women in balancing their careers and family responsibilities. By understanding and complying with these requirements, you can create a supportive environment that respects and accommodates the needs of female employees.

Promoting Equal Opportunities

Creating equal opportunities involves more than just compliance; it requires a proactive approach to foster an inclusive culture. Implement policies that encourage diversity and inclusion, such as unbiased recruitment processes and transparent promotion criteria. These measures can help dismantle barriers that women often face in advancing their careers.

Training and development programs are vital for nurturing talent. Offer leadership training specifically designed for women, providing them with the skills and confidence to take on senior roles. By investing in the growth of female employees, you contribute to a more diverse and effective leadership team.

Ensuring Safe and Supportive Workplaces

A safe and supportive workplace is essential for female leaders to flourish. Implement robust anti-harassment policies and ensure that all employees are aware of them. This creates a culture of respect and safety, allowing women to perform their roles without fear of discrimination or harassment.

It’s also important to provide access to resources such as counselling and support groups. These services can help address any issues that arise and support female employees in maintaining their well-being. For employers, using the Enhanced DBS Check service from uCheck ensures that all staff members have undergone thorough background checks, contributing to a safer workplace.

Balancing Work and Life

Achieving a work-life balance is crucial for female leaders. Flexible working arrangements, such as remote working or flexible hours, can help women manage their professional and personal responsibilities effectively. Offering these options demonstrates a commitment to supporting female employees in all aspects of their lives.

Encourage a culture that values work-life balance. Promote practices that prevent burnout, such as reasonable workloads and regular breaks. By prioritising the well-being of your employees, you can create a more productive and positive work environment where female leaders can excel.

Advocating for Policy Changes

Female leaders can play a significant role in advocating for policy changes that benefit all employees. Encourage women in leadership positions to voice their opinions and contribute to policy discussions. Their insights can help shape fairer and more inclusive workplace practices.

Support networks and mentorship programs are valuable for fostering connections and sharing experiences. These platforms allow women to support each other and collaborate on initiatives that drive change. By empowering female leaders to advocate for better policies, you contribute to a more equitable and progressive workplace.

Wrapping Up

Empowering female leaders involves understanding and navigating legal and regulatory requirements, promoting equal opportunities, ensuring safe workplaces, balancing work, and life, and advocating for policy changes. By taking these steps, you can create a supportive environment where women can thrive and lead effectively. Your commitment to empowering female leaders not only benefits individual employees but also strengthens your organisation as a whole.

 

 AUTHOR: Isabella Goode

 

 

Life doesn’t always end up being sunshine and roses in Spain. Sometimes relationships change and violence gets involved. Read the story from one our members.

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    Firstly, why did you want to share your story?

    My story will be very shocking.  I want them to understand why I stayed and try and get support for where I am now.  There are charities which offer support, I just haven’t been able to find them.  Hopefully this post will help others reach out and help me find that support so I can get the ongoing treatment that I need.

    Let’s begin when you first met this man, what was your life like?

    When I first met my ex my life was great, I had my second company, I had a very hip and trendy clothing store with brand clothes, nice apartment, a nice social life and was travelling.

    And how did you meet?

    The first time I met him (shall we call him Dave?) was by coincidence, my friend had been out and Dave had forgotten one of his phones. My friend asked around whose it was and found Dave’s other number and told him she had the phone and he could call her, so he could get it from her.I was hanging out with another guy at the time that I really wasn’t in love with, but he was fun.When Dave came to pick up the phone he was very arrogant I thought.Some time passed by and I left the other guy as I thought it wasn’t fair to waste my time or lead him on as he wanted to propose to me.  I declined.When I went out and ran in to Dave.  That time I saw a different side of him, he was always very polished had like tailored clothes, handsome and very good old fashioned manners. We exchanged numbers.

    Dave was the most persistent one. We set up a place where we were gonna go out with some friends and I remember I got cold feet.  Amongst my friends, we had a code something like “hey there is our other friends” but when I saw Dave then I just got like spellbound by him, the code was off and I was mesmerised.We spent four days together just hang out and had so much fun, then he said that he needed to go home and he said for us to take a stop by his Dad’s house.What I didn’t know was that they had a family reunion and he comes from a big old and very powerful family.  All the family were there and without me knowing he had told  his family that he was gonna introduce his new girlfriend, that was me.I hesitated and said no at first, but then I started liking him a lot as he was into living for the moment, intelligent, funny, good looking and very polished. He was really a dream man.
    Things went very fast we started traveling immediately all over the world, I did have workers in the store, but I was still the one with the contacts to make my business grow, for celebrities and high end clientele. I had to do it myself as my workers had a hard time to handle them.
    He started moving my phone number to his company and doing all kinds of things that every woman wants to be spoiled and I thought I had met the man of my dreams. 

    A bit about my background

    As I came, or am from a very broken family and childhood.My father was very abusive against my mother and very strict with us.  Let’s say actually my child wasn’t broken it was a nightmare. I found out when I was 13 that I was partly adopted.  Until this day, I don’t know what the truth is.I got cancer in my early 20’s and soon after my father passed away. My mother had always had some mental issues and after the divorce she got worse.  I started working when I was 13 to have a roof over my head so I had always worked hard to have a good life and promised myself to never have a man like my father.  I finally thought that I had gotten my own family; my own man who loved me more than life.I had become a very strong person, I still am, but I’m broken inside. I still have a sense of humour but I’m now very careful which I wouldn’t want to be.
    woman, domestic violence, oppression-7662938.jpg

    And then everything change – was there a trigger? 

    So yes back to how everything started changing, I think Dave had felt my weak side and he asked about them.  I thought that I wanted to be honest so I told him about my problems from my past and thought that it would be good for him to know my fears.
    And that was the biggest mistake with him as then he knew my weak parts and what strings to pull.
    I got so brainwashed by him that I had no idea.  I just went with the flow of everything and slowly slowly in to Dave’s traps.There were still some loans left on my company. I had worked hard to get rid of the debts that I had taken to open it. At that point I had already put everything in Dave’s name, quit the company and he said he was gonna pay off the little money owed.  However Dave never did so I got bad credit rating and can have nothing to my name.  I had most of my things in his warehouse and somethings in his apartment and my clothes so it would feel a bit more like a home.Once all this was happening, came the first warning sign but I was already so deep in to being brainwashed.  Some people warned me, but I didn’t listen.We were walking home after a night out and I was walking in front of him and a street park-bench drunk commented how pretty I was.  I just kept walking but I mean I felt sorry for the man.  The I suddenly hear beating and screaming.  Turning around I realised that Dave was beating him to the point I don’t even want to know. He then told or gave me weird explanations and I just swallowed it.  Don’t ask me – I was already lost.



    And then the restrictions started …

    Slowly came rule after rule, about how I couldn’t have my hair cut because I looked like a flirt.  I have long curly hair almost to my waist.
     
    Then the clothing; I had to dress in black – no attention colours and no showing off and keep décolletage etc. hidden.
     
    Then came the tracking the hours of my movements.
     
    And then I realised all the so called good Dave was doing was to spy on me.  He would check the phone to see who called me, whom I had called.  Dave used to call around asking people how they knew me.
     
    But imagine almost no one did anything and then it escalated into violence not only verbal but physical.
     
    And at that point I was tired, I had no idea how to get out of the situation.  There was no support available for me.
     
    I did try to escape. I had only one friend whom I could trust. Once I escaped bare foot in minus degrees and ran with only my phone on me.  Well obviously he knew I had really no one left.  Dave had made sure of that.  So he called my friend and said I will come and pick up the wh*re and bring her home at 6 am. So Dave did.
     
    So all my escapes failed.  No one helped me and neither did my own mother.  She said you took a man and now you please your man. Had this been her life?
     
    But I lived my parents marriage too and it was very hard as she beaten me after Dad had left and I didn’t only pay for myself, but for my sisters and brothers.  I’m not in contact with her, I don’t have the heart to forgive her.
     
    Then with Dave it escalated to the point of that if I went somewhere I had to answer the phone all the time, report where I went and I just got in a state of mind that I was losing my self.  I was putting up a facade in front of people and being relieved when I could relax and cry.  Obviously this wasn’t what Dave wanted so I think he got even more jealous of me as I know afterwards he was cheating on me. 
     
    Dave has even got a child with a 16 year old girl which I discovered when she was six months pregnant. She sold the baby to him and received an apartment in the child’s name so when the child turns 18,  the child can decide if it wants to stay there. He also beat her and tried to kill her, she went to the police and told them everything with the result was he got called in.  The police wrote in the documents that she had birth post traumatic depression syndrome. Dave was in jail in Paris for beating up a girl before me, but his mom contacted a friend of his so they paid her off and he got out about 4 months later.
     
    Dave told people I was crazy, but how come no one in his family and friends reacted when we were living together? If I was so crazy then why didn’t he leave me and get a new one? His family knew that he beat me and no one did anything.
     
    My so called friends were telling me how terrible Dave was, but there sat my friends at his table drinking with his money, or with him paying for everything.
     
    I heard afterwards that Dave had been with some of my friends, they probably thought I had a nice rich man’s housewife while the truth was I was a locked up falling apart mess. 
    If you are finding this article upsetting please seek professional help and talk to a friend.

    The readers may be wondering why you continued in the relationship? Could you have walked away?

    Every time I walked away Dave found me.  There was really no one I could trust anymore, not even my own mother, and nothing to my name I always went back. Even though Dave literally tried to kill me, he suffocated me with a pillow, as well as kicking me out of a moving car, drove me onto the highway. 
     
    Dave was beating me and beating me so I flew a few metres with the back of my head against the wall.  With my head the doctors didn’t understand how I survived everything.  That time the flying against the wall wasn’t the worse as I gained consciousness. 
     
    He escaped, but came and picked me up the next day and he didn’t dare come inside the hospital, I was so sick and tired and didn’t know why he wanted to be with me. 
     
    I asked Dave many times if he could go to therapy with me but he always bypassed those things and usually got mad so I knew my limits and how to behave.
     
    He was a very smart man, still is, highly educated. Dave would organise our library and if I said I would go out to the grocery store he would want to make sure I had come home.  Dave would say to me “go to section 2, row number 4, book number 5, page 17 and then sentence number 9 what does it say?”  So he got crazier and more clever.
     
    I seriously thought I would be killed. Then I finally had a girlfriend who helped me to escape to the US, but even that wasn’t the answer as he came there.  He called the police in USA and said that I was dead so they came to collect a body, but I was there and opened the door. Dave made death threats to me and called and messaged me about every 2 to 5 minutes.  He left voice messages so I didn’t answer and went to the embassy to let them know that if something would happen to me it would be him behind it; I was a walking mess. I was so ashamed. I wanted to scream for help but I have always been very proud.  However, I think that many people saw through me that I was truly broken. 
     
    Sometimes I wished that a new man would come and rescue me, but if I told them my situation every single one would run away.  Maybe if I would’ve met someone with that kind of baggage I wouldn’t have started a relationship either.
     
    Dave’s family was expecting me to become the mother and give them a baby for a proper inheritance.  Thank God I had so much brain left that I knew if I would do that my life would be over



    woman, man, wall-228177.jpg



    And then your life was nearly literally over

    The most serious thing he gave me was a subdural hemorrhage 5/5.  This is one, if not the, most dangerous and deadly brain traumas of them all.
     
    When you receive a head injury you have to take them very seriously, sometimes it might pass but the damage is inside and as we get older then our bodies start also getting more tired and not keeping up.
     
    So I started having balance problems, pains, headaches, blurred vision.  Sometimes I could have 2 glasses of wine and pass out almost.
     
    But as it was inside I couldn’t understand how the me who had been a very strong person, never afraid, had the strength in me still – don’t ask me how.
     
    My intestine burst twice from stress, I got ten kilos of tumours in my stomach and various places. All the doctors couldn’t understand what was happening to me and they asked “do you have negativity and stress?” and I always lied. 
     
    After each time I said I can’t do this again but I just did it somehow.
     
    The final time, I remember I was in the bathroom and tried to get up and it was like I wasn’t in my body anymore and that’s the last thing I remember.  I gained consciousness for a little while and like a robot pulled my self up from the floor and saw that I had hematomas and pain that I couldn’t deal with. 
     
    I spoke with a friend and told her that I had no idea what was going on and then started talking very strangely and the next thing that I knew I was in the hospital.  I was bound to the bed as any movement could have killed me.
     
    My body also started shutting down in many ways, so strange things happened that I had never heard of.
     
    Luckily the doctors found a steroid based medicine that stopped the bleeding on the last day before I would’ve had my surgery.  It has meant a minimum of one year hospitalisation and no guarantee of recovery. Its been over a year now and yes they have offered to let me stay in the hospital but I felt it was too much to be there.  Once again I got the strength to get go and start fighting for my life.
     
    I was not able to talk or walk, my own doctor was thinking I had one month left.  A lot of the patients die within the first year.  I made a good recovery and the doctor was amazed, but I did do everything I was told.
     
    Dave did start to call me after the incident.  I have gathered evidence against him and it did escalate him from being so called worried to threatening to kill me with all the worst words he could come up with.
     
    Something in my brain just clicked off and for the first time I said to him whatever you say is going in one ear and out the other. I’m not afraid of you anymore, maybe I am too honest but I have gotten my strength mentally quite a long way and I’m starting to find me again which feels wonderful.



    Even in your dark moments where do you find hope?

    I deleted many people from my life and had for the first time in my life time to think about everything.
     
    One thing I’m proud of is that I am finally over him.  I feel like I’m not afraid anymore what can happen  to me.  I’ve been through it all. And the only way out here is death, not that I’m suicidal in anyway
     
    I’m full of life and would want to get my life back for what ever time I have and the better I can get and heal, the better chances I have to survive longer. 
     
    In the darkest moments I find hope from all my travels and memories of all the interesting people I’ve met, the places I’ve seen.  I’ve been to more than a hundred countries and if my health and life situation would change I would love to visit them all. By travelling I’ve seen so much bad, poverty, slavery so I’m thinking even though after all it could’ve been worse or I don’t know my life has been tough. But I’ve accepted it and the friends I’ve made I have truly made them my own family.
     
    I have always been a very overly positive person and that’s something that still hasn’t died inside of me.  As much as I have seen of the bad I’ve seen so much good. And I wish I could be of good once I get my self back on my feet.

    Where are you now?

    I have had luck with having a few good friends helping me this far, but I can’t rely on them forever so now I need to take over the fight and get on my feet and get healed with my body.  Then hopefully I can get more work and live as a normal a life as I can with my restrictions.
     
    I will never be able to run again, jump, go the gym, walk alone without people surrounding me, dive in to a pool, carry anything heavy.  I shouldn’t stress, I have to take it easy.  I cannot be in contact with anyone who doesn’t understand my situation as they can think I’m drunk.  My speech can get blurry and my balance can get off when I get a seizure. My neck and back are locked.  It’s a damage from the brain that can be helped with “neuronerve healing”, physiotherapy to strengthen my overall health and then surgery which I am too weak for now still. So those are my plans.  I call it “Get well 2024”.
     
    Now I cherish just waking up seeing the sun. Small things brings me happiness. If some one just smiles or I make someone smile it warms my heart.
     
    Then I have many skills so I’m hoping that my languages would come in use, my consulting skills, visualisation and my art connections, to be able to work with easier tasks and feel that I got my life back. And maybe be able to give me a chance to find love.  Inside I’m still feeling a big urge for love, but I’m very cautious and I don’t think of that too much.  The main thing is to get well, work and then live my life the best I can. 



    What resources have you found? Have you found organisations who can help you?

    All the companies that say that they help women, they only ask for donations.  You write to them and they tell you that they only give through organisations.  You call them and they say they are too small to help. And nowhere is there a section for victims.  Obviously you would need donations but its important to have a straight link for women in need whom can contact you direct.
    The biggest question is when so many donate where does the money go? For example in the USA its legal with loop holes and only 10-20% goes to charity.  I’m sure the same thing happens in Europe also, or just scammers and then the ones who really do a good job are left empty handed. Many don’t even answer.
    Things come and go like money the most important is I have to live with myself for the rest of my life and the best I can do is to make the best version of me whom I admire and would like to become. Maybe finally then the spell will break and it will bring me more like minded people as I didn’t have this mindset before.
    I have found actually one serious company, two others that wrote me a little but from over 200 letters only one has taken me seriously.  They are small and offer mental health strengthening, but they have also gone out of their way to try to fight for me. So after all I’ve been through then I was told to do an GoFundMe campaign which I did.  I heard that there are scammers there, people take advantage of other peoples kindness, and well I’m not a scammer but I do need help and I don’t have family and my friends have already gone out of their way to help me.I’m hoping that from every cent to whatever the amount is, I could come up with the amount that I need to get together to regain my health, step by step and to get my life back as good as I can and get on my feet.As the treatments aren’t to cheap, I have spoken with doctors and had check ups. So the amount I have asked for should be able to cover it all. Even though you have free healthcare there are very man powered decision makers and as I don’t have a burnt face, I have a few years to wait. Those few years are living crippled in pain which isn’t helping me. I need the help now or my only option is to give up, go back to the hospital and I really don’t want to do that as I earlier wrote it would kill me of trying to fight this.I’m so hoping that this is my last fight before its my time to go back to hospital, as I have had my fair share of them. But now I’m too tired and to even go there with my mind but to think.

    I will get the help I need and I will get back on my feet and I will get my life back, a new and a better one. The past lead me to this one. 

    How can we help?

    Visit my GoFundMe page and support me if you can.

    And if you have a friend who needs support, or you yourself are a victim of domestic violence, these services are available for Women in Spain

    Thank you for being so brave as to share your story and hopefully help other women both understand and get support if they are facing a similar situation.

AUTHOR: Ali Meehan – Costa Women and Business Coach

Empowering Women: Taking Control of Your Financial Future

In today’s world, financial literacy is not just a skill but a necessity. Yet, despite significant strides toward gender equality, many women still leave their financial management to their partners. This trend can have serious implications for their financial security and independence. Understanding and managing your finances is crucial for every woman, ensuring autonomy, confidence, and long-term stability. This blog delves into the importance of financial awareness for women and why it’s essential not to leave this critical aspect of life solely in the hands of a partner.

Financial Independence Equals Empowerment

Financial independence is a cornerstone of personal empowerment. When women understand and manage their finances, they gain control over their lives. This control translates into the ability to make informed decisions about spending, saving, investing, and planning for the future. Relying on a partner for financial decisions can leave women vulnerable in situations such as divorce, the death of a spouse, or even simple disagreements over money. By taking charge of their finances, women can ensure they have the resources and knowledge to support themselves in any circumstance.

The Gender Pay Gap and Financial Awareness

The gender pay gap remains a persistent issue in the United Kingdom, with women often earning less than their male counterparts for the same roles. This disparity makes financial literacy even more critical for women. Understanding how to budget, save, and invest can help bridge the gap and provide a buffer against income inequality. Women who are financially savvy can negotiate better salaries, benefits, and make smarter career choices that enhance their earning potential.

Building Confidence and Reducing Anxiety

Many women experience anxiety around finances, often due to a lack of understanding or confidence in their financial knowledge. This anxiety can be mitigated through education and active involvement in financial planning. Learning about personal finance—budgeting, saving, investing, and retirement planning can empower women to take control of their financial future. Financial literacy events, programmes and resources are widely available, and taking the time to educate oneself can pay significant dividends in confidence and peace of mind.

Protecting Against Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is a form of domestic abuse where one partner controls the other’s access to money, in that way controlling their actions and limiting their independence. By understanding their finances, women can protect themselves from such abuse. Knowing how to access and manage their money, understanding joint accounts, and having personal savings can provide a safety net and an escape route from abusive situations. Financial literacy is, therefore, a critical tool in the fight against domestic abuse.

Planning for the Future

Long-term financial planning is essential for ensuring a comfortable and secure future. This includes saving for retirement, investing wisely, and planning for significant life events like buying a home or funding education. Women often face unique challenges, such as career breaks for childcare, which can impact their long-term financial stability. Being proactive about financial planning helps women to prepare for these challenges and ensures they have the resources they need for the future.

How to Get Started

Taking control of your finances might seem daunting, but there are many resources available to help. Here are some steps to get started:

  1. Educate Yourself: Use online resources, books, and courses to learn about personal finance. Various websites and newspapers can be very helpful. As can speaking to an Accountant, or Financial Adviser.
  2. Create a Budget: Track your income and expenses to understand your financial situation. Use budgeting apps to help manage your money effectively. A simple spreadsheet can also work well.
  3. Start Saving: Open a savings account and start building an emergency fund. Aim to save at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses.
  4. Invest Wisely: Learn about different investment options and consider talking to a financial advisor. Investing can help grow your wealth over time.
  5. Plan for Retirement: Ensure you are contributing to a pension plan and understand how much you need to save for a comfortable retirement.

In the UK, as elsewhere, it is essential for women to take control of their financial lives. Financial literacy empowers women, providing the tools and confidence needed to manage their money effectively and independently. By understanding and managing their finances, women can ensure their financial security, protect against abuse, and plan for a prosperous future.

Don’t leave your financial future in someone else’s hands—take control today and empower yourself for a brighter tomorrow.

 

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Amplifying Your Business Presence: The Power of Testimonials for Women Entrepreneurs

Establishing Credibility and Trust

 In the competitive landscape of entrepreneurship, establishing credibility and trust is paramount, especially for women navigating their way through the business world. One often overlooked yet incredibly potent tool for achieving this is the strategic use of testimonials. These endorsements serve as powerful social proof, validating the quality of your products or services and fostering connections within your network.

Fostering Connections and Collaboration Testimonials offer a tangible reflection of your business’s impact on your clients or customers. They provide insight into the value you deliver, and the positive experiences others have had working with you. For women entrepreneurs, who may face unique challenges in gaining recognition and building trust, testimonials can be particularly invaluable. They offer a platform to amplify your voice and showcase your expertise, ultimately bolstering your credibility in the eyes of potential clients or partners.

Also, testimonials serve as dynamic networking tools, facilitating meaningful connections and collaborations. When shared strategically across your digital platforms or during networking events, they can spark conversations and pique interest in your business. As women entrepreneurs, fostering strong networks is essential for growth and success. Testimonials act as social currency, helping to forge genuine connections and open doors to new opportunities.

Embracing Testimonials for Growth

Incorporating testimonials into your marketing strategy is not only a savvy business move but also a testament to your commitment to excellence. By harnessing the power of authentic praise from satisfied clients or customers, you can elevate your brand presence, cultivate trust, and expand your network of supporters. So, don’t underestimate the impact of testimonials—embrace them as a catalyst for growth and empowerment in your entrepreneurial journey.

Expanding on the Importance of Testimonials:

  1. #TestimonialsMatter: Discover how testimonials can shape perceptions and build trust in your business.
  2. #NetworkingSuccess: Learn how testimonials can facilitate meaningful connections and collaborations in your professional network.
  3. #BrandCredibility: Explore how testimonials contribute to enhancing your brand’s credibility and reputation.
  4. #CustomerEngagement: Understand the role of testimonials in engaging and retaining satisfied customers.
  5. #DigitalMarketing: Uncover strategies for leveraging testimonials across digital platforms to maximise their impact and reach.

With testimonials as your allies, you can navigate the business landscape with confidence, harnessing the power of social proof to elevate your brand and forge lasting connections.

Fostering Connections and Collaboration

Testimonials offer a tangible reflection of your business’s impact on your clients or customers. They provide insight into the value you deliver and the positive experiences others have had working with you. For women entrepreneurs, who may face unique challenges in gaining recognition and building trust, testimonials can be particularly invaluable. They offer a platform to amplify your voice and showcase your expertise, ultimately bolstering your credibility in the eyes of potential clients or partners.

Moreover, testimonials serve as dynamic networking tools, facilitating meaningful connections and collaborations. When strategically shared across your digital platforms or during networking events, they can spark conversations and pique interest in your business. As women entrepreneurs, fostering strong networks is essential for growth and success. Testimonials act as social currency, helping to forge genuine connections and open doors to new opportunities.

Testimonials as your allies

With testimonials as your allies, you can navigate the business landscape with confidence, harnessing the power of social proof to elevate your brand and forge lasting connections. Testimonials not only validate your expertise but also provide a platform for others to see the value you bring to the table. In an environment where trust and credibility are paramount, leveraging testimonials can be the key to unlocking new opportunities and establishing yourself as a trusted leader in your field. So, seize the power of testimonials and watch your business presence soar to new heights.

Maximising Efficiency: The Upsides of Outsourcing Your Finance Team

 

In the dynamic world of business, where fluctuations in workload are the norm rather than the exception, companies constantly seek ways to optimise operations and cut unnecessary costs. One innovative strategy that has gained traction among forward-thinking businesses is the outsourcing of financial functions. This approach not only accommodates the ebb and flow of work but also brings a wealth of expertise and flexibility to the table. Let’s delve into why outsourcing your finance team might just be the game-changer your business needs.

Introduction to Outsourcing in Finance

At its core, outsourcing involves hiring external parties to handle certain business functions instead of managing them in-house. When it comes to finance, this can cover a gamut of services, from bookkeeping and payroll to management reporting and tax advisory. But why opt for outsourcing, and what makes it so beneficial for businesses today?

The Benefits Unpacked

Meeting the Demand with Flexibility

Outsourcing shines by offering a solution to the fluctuating demands in finance. It eliminates the predicament of hiring employees who might be overqualified during lean periods or underqualified when the workload peaks. This flexibility ensures businesses can scale their financial operations up or down without the hassles of recruitment or layoffs.

Access to Specialised Expertise

Imagine having a team of experts at your fingertips, each specialising in different areas of finance, and all for the cost of hiring just one or two full-time employees. Outsourcing makes this possible. Businesses can leverage specialised skills—from tax advisory to advanced bookkeeping—without the overhead of managing a large in-house team.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

The financial landscape is ever-evolving, with new market trends and software developments emerging regularly. Outsourced finance professionals dedicate themselves to staying ahead of these changes, ensuring your business isn’t left behind.

Cost Efficiency and HR Simplification

Outsourcing significantly reduces the burden of human resources and overhead costs associated with maintaining a full-time staff. This includes everything from salaries and benefits to office space and equipment. Furthermore, it mitigates the disruption caused by employee absences, guaranteeing continuity of service.

Expertise Without Oversight

One of the most appealing aspects of outsourcing is accessing high-level expertise without the need for direct management. This frees up your business to focus on core activities while leaving financial management to the experts.

Challenges and Strategic Considerations

Despite the advantages, outsourcing isn’t without its challenges. It demands active engagement and clear communication from the business to ensure success. The relationship with the outsourced team must be managed effectively, with roles and expectations clearly defined from the outset.

Overcoming Market Challenges with Outsourcing

The recent talent shortage, exacerbated by shifts towards remote work and the impacts of the pandemic, presents a significant challenge for businesses. Outsourcing offers a viable solution, allowing companies to fill skill gaps swiftly and efficiently without navigating the unpredictable terrain of direct hiring.

Alice Elsmore, Director of Chartered Accountants at Monahans said “For those organisations who may be exploring outsourcing options, a clear driving force is a severe lack of talent in the market. Businesses in the finance and accountancy sector are struggling to find high-quality candidates to replace employees who may have left, or to make new hires. And if you are hiring for a very specific role, it becomes even more challenging. This is due to a combination of factors, including the impact of remote working, which has opened up the market considerably when it comes to location. And the knock-on effect of reduced numbers of trainees brought into firms during the pandemic. As a result, many are looking for alternative solutions to fill their skill shortage.”

Conclusion: A Path to Enhanced Efficiency

In conclusion, outsourcing your finance team can significantly enhance operational efficiency and financial management. By providing flexibility, specialised expertise, and cost savings, it enables businesses to navigate the complexities of today’s economic environment more effectively. However, success requires a strategic approach, with a focus on clear communication and effective partnership management. As businesses look to the future, embracing the outsourcing model could well be the key to staying competitive and agile in an ever-changing market landscape.

 

 AUTHOR: Isabella Goode

 

 

How to Make Your Business More Attractive to Clients

Running a business can be challenging, but there are several ways you can make your company more appealing to potential clients. By focusing on the client experience and presenting your business as warm, inviting and professional, you’ll be more likely to win over new customers. Follow these tips to help make your business shine.

Create a Welcoming Physical Space

Your office space serves as the face of your company, so ensure it makes a great first impression. Keep the reception area tidy and decorate it in your brand colours and style. Have comfortable seating available and make sure any staff who greet clients are friendly and attentive.

Invest in Your Office Environment

Along with your reception, take time to improve the overall look and feel of your workplace. Get office plants to liven up desks and common areas. Research shows that natural elements like plants help reduce stress and improve moods, so they’re sure to make employees and clients feel at ease. And don’t worry about the cost of watering them either! You can compare business water suppliers through The Business Water Shop to save money.

Upgrade Your Technology

Nowadays, clients expect companies to have up-to-date technology they can use when visiting an office. Make sure you have fast, reliable internet and equip meeting rooms with audiovisual equipment like TVs, projectors, and video conferencing tools. Supply plug sockets and USB charging ports so clients can easily charge their devices. These conveniences show you’re tech-savvy and client-focused.

Promote Your Brand Identity

Having a strong brand helps your business create instant recognition and appear polished and professional. Come up with a logo, tagline and style guide that represent your company’s mission, values and personality. Make sure your branding is highly visible – feature it on your website, business cards, signage, uniforms, social media, promotional materials and more. A consistent brand identity makes your business look cohesive.

Provide Exceptional Service

At the end of the day, how you treat your clients is what will encourage repeat business and referrals. Make customer service a priority by training staff on polite, attentive service skills. Be available to promptly respond to client enquiries and requests. Go above and beyond by surprising and delighting customers whenever possible, such as including small gifts or perks. Providing an outstanding client experience helps you stand out.

Invest in Your Employees

Don’t overlook the importance of your team when improving your client-facing image. Happy, engaged employees project positivity and are more likely to give great service. Offer benefits, bonuses and perks to boost satisfaction. Encourage bonding through team events. Provide professional development opportunities. Making your company an enjoyable place to work keeps staff motivated to impress clients.

Get Involved in the Community

Being an active member of your local community builds goodwill that can make your business more appealing. Sponsor local teams, donate to area charities, volunteer at community events and work with civic organisations. Supporting the place where you and your clients live and work demonstrates you care and want to give back. It’s an easy way to enhance your reputation.

Focusing on client needs is crucial for companies wanting to attract new business and impress customers. By improving your physical space, operations, branding, service and more, you can position your business as one that puts clients first.

 

 AUTHOR: Isabella Goode

 

 

The benefits of fidget spinners for stress reduction and productivity

In recent years, fidget spinners have surged in popularity, captivating people of all ages with their mesmerising spins and tactile sensations. Initially designed to help individuals manage stress and improve focus, these simple gadgets have evolved into versatile promotional items with many benefits for businesses. Here, we delve into the advantages of choosing fidget spinners as promotional products and how they can elevate your brand presence.

Enhance Brand Visibility with Promotional Fidget Spinners

Promotional products serve as effective vehicles for increasing brand awareness, and fidget spinners are no exception. Featuring your company logo or message on these spinners ensures your brand is prominently displayed whenever the gadget is used. Whether in the office, at school, or during leisure time, fidget spinners provide a constant visual reminder of your brand, helping keep your business top of mind.

Moreover, fidget spinners have a broad appeal, making them ideal for reaching diverse target markets. These gadgets cater to a wide demographic, from students seeking stress relief during exams to professionals looking for a distraction during meetings. By distributing promotional fidget spinners at events, trade shows, or corporate gifts, you can reach potential customers across various age groups and interests, effectively expanding your brand’s reach.

Boost Brand Perception with Quality Fidget Spinners

The quality of the promotional products you offer reflects directly on your brand image. Choosing high-quality fidget spinners as promotional items from websites like Buy Promo Products demonstrates your commitment to excellence and attention to detail. A well-designed and durable spinner enhances the recipient’s experience and reinforces the perception of your brand as reliable and trustworthy.

Additionally, the tactile nature of fidget spinners provides a unique opportunity to engage customers on a sensory level. A smooth-spinning, satisfyingly weighted spinner can evoke positive emotions and leave a lasting impression on users. By associating your brand with a pleasurable sensory experience, you can foster stronger connections with customers and create advocates eager to share their positive experiences with others.

Customise Fidget Spinners to Reflect Your Brand Identity

One of the critical advantages of promotional fidget spinners is their versatility in customisation. With a wide range of colours, designs, and materials, you can tailor fidget spinners to align perfectly with your brand identity and messaging. Whether you opt for classic colours that match your brand palette or incorporate unique design elements that reflect your company’s personality, customised fidget spinners offer endless opportunities for creative branding.

Why choose Fidget Spinners?

Furthermore, fidget spinners’ compact size and portability make them ideal for showcasing your brand in various settings. Whether placed on a desk, carried in a pocket, or displayed as a novelty item, branded fidget spinners serve as miniature ambassadors for your brand, sparking conversations and generating curiosity wherever they go.

In conclusion, promotional fidget spinners offer many benefits for businesses seeking to enhance their brand presence and engage customers. From increasing brand visibility to boosting brand perception and enabling creative customisation, these versatile gadgets provide a cost-effective and impactful way to promote your business. By harnessing the power of fidget spinners as promotional items, you can effectively connect with your target audience and leave a lasting impression that spins far beyond the initial interaction.

 

 AUTHOR: Isabella Goode

 

 

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