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Developing your business abroad seems simple thanks to the Internet. However, internationalisation can fail without a good prior study of the competition, the market, and/or cultural codes.

Digital activities are continuing to grow internationally, partly due to the facilities that the Internet offers to entrepreneurs. It is easy to slack off with the advantages of technology. It allows you to create an activity with the prospect of developing it internationally, all without moving from home. This does not mean that it is effortless. To expand on an international scale, you will need to grow your expertise and multiply collaborations. Therefore, staying at home and taking it easy is not a real option.

Below are some key steps to take when planning to launch your business abroad.

Analyse your business’s performance with regards to the local market

Before considering the expansion of your business on the international scale, you should conduct a study about its current performance. Are local customers happy with the services that it offers? Is your business successful at the local level? If the answers to these are yes, you should try to understand what makes your product/service appealing to consumers.

If you are unfamiliar with the local market or the behaviour of your customers, you can ask them directly. Set up a feedback form on your website, e-mail your clients with questions or conduct a satisfaction survey. The information that you gather will allow you to identify what makes your product attractive to your consumers. This data will be crucial when you start working on internationalisation.

Understand the expectations of the target foreign market

Your product may be the best and most attractive in its local market. There is still a possibility that it will not work at all in a new geographical area. Various entrepreneurs face this problem when they attempt to expand abroad without carrying out prior research.

Determining the readiness of the target foreign market to accept your product is easier after studying its demands. It is also helpful to determine whether the competition is already established and powerful or not.

Be patient and take your time to determine the above factors instead of rushing in unknown territory. If you are lucky, you might struggle a bit in the beginning and learn as you go. With a little less luck, you will most likely fail to go with the trend and you will fall behind.

To avoid wasting your time and effort in an unsuccessful foreign business adventure, study carefully and prepare a viable plan.

Make your business adaptable

Observing the market and understanding it will also allow your company to adapt to its differences.

Adapting is necessary for the successful integration of your business in its new market. Be they languages, symbolism, colours or messages to convey, some are not well accepted in certain cultures. As they, your company should work to blend into the cultural mould of the destination market.

The prior research that you carry out will enhance your adaptability. You will be able to both merge with the culture and offer something new to the market. This is one of the formulas for success that are perfectly calibrated to an international deployment.

 

International growth is one of the most exciting and complicated stages in a business’s life. It can open up the market and the number of consumers within the enterprise’s network. It can also be catastrophic for development if it is poorly managed. Take the time to analyse and understand the new market, its cultural codes, its competition and its consumers. As said above, your product may be the best locally, but it must adapt to succeed internationally.

Communication between the members of your team is crucial to make your company achieve its objectives. Difficult communication wastes time, creates distrust and becomes a source of stress for your employees. These are the ideal factors for mediocre results. However, there are several measures that you can take to make your employees work better together. Here are 5 tips to promote harmonious collaboration between colleagues:

 

1. Promote human contact

Considering the variety of internal communication tools that companies employ, human contact is often deemed negligible. Some of your staff would rather send an email than walk to a colleague to talk over an issue.

Try to encourage your employees to get together for coffee. They might also benefit from a small informal meeting in the morning to get the day going. These will allow for a lot more productive discussion than a series of virtual messages would. Moreover, meeting face-to-face strengthens the bond within your team.

 

2. Correction: ‘reasonable’ human contact

While face-to-face communication has many benefits, it can also have some negative effects. For instance, walking up to someone to ask them about various small matters can become quite overbearing.

Before interrupting a colleague, it is important to look for signs of his/her availability. One of these might be to check whether the door to his/her office is open or closed. Another sign that someone is focused on their work would be when they are listening to music via headphones. In case the person is unavailable, it might be best to come back at a later time or to send an email.

 

3. Organise meaningful meetings

Spending time together brings team members closer and helps to identify common interests. In meetings, employees get to know each other and communicate properly. While these will not make all of the colleagues friends, they are an opportunity to understand everyone’s motivation. This will in turn also work towards making communication much easier. Also, if face-to-face meetings are not possible, video conferences are still a viable option.

 

4. Hang out with colleagues

If you want to create bonds between your team members and improve communication, consider bringing them together for fun activities. Arrange lunches together or go for drinks after work. Team building events or simply relaxing days out can also be helpful.

These moments bring your employees closer to each other and definitely end up having a positive impact on their teamwork.

 

5. Encourage respect and honesty

Improving communication requires commitment from the whole team. In order to achieve this, you should establish a corporate culture that promotes respect and honesty.

When there is an issue, your employees should be able to express themselves as much as they should be listened to. If you send an email or use any other technological means of communication, take the time to reread your messages to check the tone. Thoughts may manifest differently in text than in real life.

 

With seamless, respectful and effective communication, your team will become more productive. It will be easier for your employees to work together towards a greater goal: the success of your business!

People have different reactions towards the thought of changing career paths at 50. Some are excited, while some are scared and others are unsure. Many question the need to switch to another job at this specific age since they do not have much left until retirement. The reactions all depend on the point of view. One can see the years they have left at their current job as ‘a short time’ while another may see them as ‘an eternity’. Most people looking to change careers agree with the latter thought. They either do not like the work they are doing or they want to switch to something they like more. The question is: is it possible? It may be difficult, but yes, it is definitely possible to change career paths at 50.

The hardest is to decide whether to stay at their current job or to leave. After passing all these years at the same company, climbing up the ladder and becoming an expert at a specific work, choosing to switch can be very difficult. Many are scared to move out of their comfort zones, which is a perfectly normal reaction. However, time passes as people hesitate with their decision. Statistics show that workers who launch themselves directly into the job search are more likely to get employed than those who prefer to wait for the right timing.

After taking the leap, the difficulties that one may face include fierce competition, technological disadvantage and financial liabilities. There is a very big number of highly qualified young job seekers on the market. Technology will also always be a problem for the older generation. This applies to those who are 50 now as well as those who will be 50 in twenty years. Looking for a new job is also time consuming, a period which may create a dent in years of savings. However, older job seekers retain certain advantages over their younger counterparts. Their most important plus point is experience. Even if they are changing career paths, they have acquired various skills over the years. These abilities will surely be useful. High-level skills and experience in the work environment can highlight a CV and increase the chances of getting employed.

Here are some tips that can be helpful when deciding to change career paths at 50:

1. Know what you want to do and what you can do

It’s important to be both positive and realistic when choosing to switch jobs. Taking the time to think about what one wants to do and what one can do is a crucial step.

2. Weigh the money implications

While money should not be the main goal when changing careers, it should still be on the list of things to consider. After all, a certain amount of income will be necessary to pay bills and afford some luxuries.

3. Upgrade your skills

One is never too old to learn. Mastering new skills to meet the requirements of the current job market should not be a setback. The job seeker should also be ready to learn and adapt to a whole new job from scratch.

4. Seek help and support

As mentioned above, changing career paths at 50 is not easy. Therefore, seeking the support of family and friends as well as professional advice will surely be helpful.

 

All in all, ending a job adventure to begin another one can be challenging. However, wasting away precious time at a job that one hates is not a wise decision. Change should therefore be an option so as to experience what life has to offer to the fullest.

When you think about launching your start-up in Mauritius, various questions and doubts arise. Will you get funding? Does Mauritius have a market for your business? Will your start-up be able to grow within the island? However, despite its shortcomings, Mauritius may be just the right place to launch a start-up.

Helpful development schemes

Mauritius offers several development programs to help entrepreneurs in their venture. Schemes such as the SME Partnership Fund, the Mauritius Business Growth Scheme and the AFD Green Lending Scheme are available to business launchers. They can assist in both the opening and the growth of a start-up. Another way through which entrepreneurs can get support is incubators. These organisations specialise in the nurturing of a business. This includes, but is not limited to training, funding, legal assistance and the provision of office space.

The Mauritian market and growth opportunities

As a developing country, Mauritius is hungry for and open to new ideas. Innovation is fuelling the booming technological sector and creativity is being sought out everywhere. Now would therefore be the best time to introduce your idea and to try it in a start-up. Many young entrepreneurs have tested the waters, tasting sweet success. Some of them are Blast Burson-Marsteller, Focus Events, Sweat and Laugh, amongst others. As the country continues to develop, it will rise in terms of economy and innovation, providing further growth opportunities to Mauritian businesses.

Beginner friendly environment

Aspiring entrepreneurs who want to launch their first business will find Mauritius to be right up their alley. If you are Mauritian, you can count on your familiarity with the country and its citizens for a pretty smooth start. Mauritians who open their business on the island already have an idea about what their market will welcome or reject. They also benefit from the support of their family and friends, which is an invaluable asset. Before becoming a fully-fledged enterprise, start-ups often have to go through trial-and-error phases. While some aspects of a new business may pass with flying colours, others may fail. Dealing with failures is hard for anyone, even more so when in an unfamiliar place surrounded by unfamiliar people. As such, it is always a good idea to start in a familiar environment.

Foreigner friendly too

Favourable conditions also welcome foreigners who wish to launch a start-up in Mauritius. With the country’s low-tax jurisdiction and investor-friendly environment, the process to open a business on the island is quite smooth. Foreign entrepreneurs can also benefit from the support provided by the schemes and organisations mentioned above. Since Mauritius is a small country, it can also be a perfect test location for a start-up. Trying out an idea can be risky depending on the scale at which the test is carried out. Therefore, reducing the impact of the success/failure by testing in a small area can be beneficial to new businesses.

While Mauritius is small, it is a fertile hub for entrepreneurs. Its current status as a developing country prompts further growth, offering the right environment for the launch of start-ups. Whether you are enthusiastic or hesitant about opening your business, the advantages and opportunities that the island provides will undoubtedly be beneficial to your venture. So, ready to take the first step?

Technology is omnipresent in our current lives and its importance is bound to grow as the years pass. One of the most innovative fields of study within computer science is artificial intelligence (AI). This sector focuses on the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.

Speech recognition, machine learning and problem solving are some of the activities performed by these intelligent computers. As the popularity of AI increases, so does its application in various industries. Below are some of the ways in which this technology will revolutionise our lives.

Health will no longer be a problem

Machine learning refers to a computer that can learn by itself. As Pedro Domingos, author of ‘The Master Algorithm’ says, “Machines can attend to vastly more information and more complex processes than human beings”. Given a certain database, an AI system can analyse it to find the solution, and this includes the cure to cancer.

Various companies are already making use of machine learning to observe and identify human behaviour. Smartphones, for instance, already include several health sensors. In the future, this technology might be improved to predict when a person is going to have a heart attack. Following this diagnosis, the phone will call the emergencies and may also save the person’s life. Sensors might be included in people’s bodies to cure them from illnesses before they even realise they are sick.

Wars will involve less human loss

As Chinese philosopher Laozi stated, “The best soldier fights without vengeance, without anger and without hate.” Robots fighting in the stead of humans on the battlefield will result in a decrease in the loss of lives. Even if it is smart, artificial intelligence will still be artificial. Computers do not get angry, sad, scared or murderous. As machines do not feel emotions, they are less likely to suffer from traumas and to act on impulse. Decision-making with regards to fights may therefore become more strategic and less chaotic.

The job market will change drastically

Robots are already responsible for a staggering number of job losses incurred over the past decades. With the rise of artificial intelligence, this number is sure to climb even higher. 47% of global jobs could be taken by AI in the years to come, according to an Oxford University study. Indeed, the creation of intelligent machines that can think for themselves will negate the need for much human interference. Surgeons will be replaced by computers who will not make mistakes and soldiers by robots who will not die.

However, not all jobs are at risk. For instance, mental routine work is a lot easier to automate than common sense. This includes street sweepers and people who do work which requires contact with the physical world. Jobs that function via creative and critical thinking will also be more in demand.

 

Despite having both its good and bad points, artificial intelligence will no doubt affect human life in the future. Understanding how it works is therefore crucial for progress within the field of machine learning.

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