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In attempt to keep its incubated entrepreneurs inspired and motivated, Turbine organizes Entrepreneur’s Talks. This is an opportunity for founders of new start-ups to learn about the journey of seasoned entrepreneurs, to ask them for advice and to exchange ideas with them.

In November 2019, we had the pleasure of welcoming Delphine Taylor – The person responsible for l’Express Property

 

In 2008, Delphine Taylor launched Lexpress Property, the first online web portal for selling and renting property in Mauritius. Many brilliant entrepreneurial stories start with a need identified from different life experiences. This was also the case for Delphine Taylor.

Her professional career started in Paris, her finances were very low after ending a backpacking trip and was lucky enough to have a friend host her for a year. This was during 1998 and at the time there were no jobs to be found in her field, so she took whatever came her way: babysitting, waitressing, call center jobs… And this is how she got noticed my one of her clients, Cisco Systems, who offered her a job with responsibilities that were below her capabilities, but she took the job anyway as she wanted a to at least have a way in.

6 months later she was promoted to the coordinate the CRM project in France and she got her certification in Siebel to specialize herself. She was then headhunted and landed a job at Lectra Systems as a CRM consultant, to consequently become the international head of the project. Her team implemented 35 subsidiaries across the world. Delphine says that working at such an international level allowed her not only to work on the same project from 35 different points of view but also, using 35 different methodologies, which she says was quite the challenge!

She emphasizes that her key take-away from this experience is that one must not be afraid to start from humble beginnings and to climb the ladder as opportunities present themselves. Everything one learns in so doing can prove to be very valuable, it’s just a matter of putting your ego aside.

After all this, Delphine Taylor moved back to Mauritius and thus began her adventure with Lexpress Property. It all started with herself and a friend, in her room trying to build a website. Taylor claims that at the time, she didn’t have much knowledge about how to start web platforms, but it was an idea that had come to her as a result of her multiple moves and quests for accommodation during her travels.

She explains that her entrepreneurial adventure was not an easy one, that it required a lot of energy, time and perseverance. Many obstacles were met but with every hurdle came a creative solution, which is what made her experience developing Lexpress Property a beautiful adventure.

The most rewarding aspect of this adventure for her is to start on a blank slate and seeing her idea come to life as time went by. Before starting the process of creation, Delphine says that she does a significant amount of benchmarking, she reads a lot and corroborates her ideas with her entourage who challenge her thoughts. She then adapts her idea to the market she is looking to target and launches the product while keeping in mind that the revenue and costs of the business should be the backbone of her focus; this is something that seems very basic but entrepreneurs often get distracted from the main objective of a business which is to make money.

Often young aspiring entrepreneurs contact Delphine for some insight into the businesses they are trying to develop. They come forward with beautiful ideas that can no doubt interest the consumer. Delphine says she is very impressed with the Mauritian entrepreneurs’ creativity and proactiveness. However, she is often presented business plans that according to her, do not describe sustainable businesses as the entrepreneurs developing them have not spent enough time thinking about the different aspects of the business or have just not benchmarked their business against realistic standards; too often, they will think about the product before thinking about the business or the costs associated to that specific product.

Delphine expresses that the Mauritian market is full of talent and that they need a structure that accompanies them throughout their entrepreneurial journey and facilitate start-up funding!

She also shares an anecdote of her entrepreneurial adventure with us: When she launched Lexpress Property, she did a small market research which included 15 real estate agents, equipped with her PowerPoint presentation she set out to go and meet them one by one: 9 of them said that they would not be on-board with her project because they did not believe in it, 4 others said maybe but only one said yes. That was her mother’s real estate company, Villa Vie. Despite this, she still decided to go ahead with the adventure, and what a good one it has been!

At the time, she says, she was not aware of the effort and relentless amount of work this implied. She was lucky to have her husband who was supporting her. There’s always a risk that one chooses to embrace when they embark on the entrepreneurial journey, the key is to evaluate this risk and the associated consequences, but most importantly, one should consult other entrepreneurs as they could help in challenging the project.

She imparts one last piece of advice to us as a conclusion; according to her, there’s one main key to success and that is to prepare one’s project thoroughly before even asking other entrepreneurs and businessmen/women, to challenge the idea.  She then adds that finances are important, she herself decided to partner with La Sentinelle which was a strategic partner. She describes that a successful partnership is a great contributor to the exponential boost to a business.

And finally, she says that the most important aspect of building a business is the team. Any entrepreneur should know to surround himself/herself with people with the right competences and dynamism. They should also learn to create a pleasant atmosphere at work. When people are happy, they perform better. With the right team, everything is possible. This is what makes the Lexpress Property (now Mediatiz) a successful company she says!

 

 

Magnus Rehn is an engineer, turned serial entrepreneur turned coach, investor and advisor. He currently wears many hats, juggling between his many responsibilities masterfully travelling from Sweden to Portugal to Singapore. Early in December 2019, he found his way to Mauritius to visit Turbine and consult with our coaches, incubates and to spark some inspiration amongst Mauritian founders.

To understand the purpose of this visit, it is important to note that one the main value propositions of Turbine is that it is based on the established business model of STING (Stockholm Innovation and Growth). STING is a business incubator & Venture Capital Fund for start-up to seed phases of technology driven, entrepreneurial and fast-growing companies within the international cleantech, ICT and MedTech industries. Magnus’s role at STING is geared towards the sustainability/cleantech sector including renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, water treatment and monitoring, biomass generation and waste management, social/impact innovation and solutions for developing countries.

During the week that he was here, Magnus consulted with our business coaches in order to share and promote the best practices when it comes to coaching start-up founders. He also laid much emphasis on the difference between an advisor, a mentor and a coach. He explains that in contrast to a consultant, advisor or even a mentor a coach’s role is not to advise but to guide the founder’s attention to specific issues and to allow them to find their own path in tackling the hurdles of entrepreneurship. Afterall, it is their company and it every action taken by the company should be the founder’s prerogative.

However, no training is successful until and unless one can make sure that the value delivered is captured. After imparting precious advice to the coaches, Magnus made all of Turbine’s coaches practice their newly learnt coaching skills in order to showcase that guiding a conversation with someone and allowing them to reach conclusions of their own is in fact not easy at all. It requires one to develop an analytical attention when the coachee (person being coached) is speaking. It also requires much patience sometimes to identify what the problem might really be? Is it truly that the business is not functioning up to standards or is it something different, something personal?

By the end of the week, Magnus delivered a well awaited workshop called the Scale Up Workshop. Founders of established startups were invited to come and understand that it takes to scale their businesses successfully. One of the key take-aways from the workshop was that if a founder wants to scale their company, he/she needs to ensure that the processes put in place are scalable. It is certainly acceptable to do certain things at the beginning that might not seem sustainable at first just if the process evolves and becomes better adapted to being duplicated. During the workshop, Magnus also shared important matrices to deeply analyze the different pre requisites in order to be able to scale successfully.

The analysis provides a strategic breakdown of which products are more likely to scale successfully and which are not; it also includes an extensive breakdown of the pre-requisites to scales, from development to marketing to the identification of scaling buddies (strategic partners that allow you to scale) to an analysis of the different markets available to the founder: Every aspect is covered, an accounted for.

This workshop was organized with the hopes of sparking an inspiration and extending the aspiration of Mauritian founders to tackle and explore new markets.

Turbine’s goal is to become the leading entrepreneurs’ hub not only in Mauritius but in the region as a whole. The purpose of a visit like Magnus Rehn’s is to ensure that the budding Mauritian ecosystem bases itself on reputed international standards. As a community of individuals with an insatiable thirst for self improvement, we will be organizing many new activities to spark the right initiatives in the entrepreneurship and innovation industry.

Artificial intelligence (AI) might represent a threat to some jobs which could be carried out by machines in the future. However, this technology remains very interesting in the field of recruitment and skills management. In an ever-changing job market where training will become continuous, AI draws up new communication patterns for recruiters and candidates. It also gives human resource departments access to new possibilities and opportunities.

Combined with a human perspective, AI could positively influence recruitment processes in the future.

 

Better and more efficient recruitment processes

Automation in recruitment will enable the management of large volumes of jobs and applications. For example, on LinkedIn, the AI algorithm quantifies the skills of the applicants with regards to a job offer. Afterwards, it proposes a classification of candidates, taking into account their levels, training and their previous job backgrounds. This is useful for the candidate, who can know where he is in relation to his competitors. This functionality is also useful for the company who can assess the applications more quickly.

Following the intervention of the AI, the recruiter can fully make use of his emotional intelligence during interviews. He can assess each candidate’s know-how, non-verbal communication, fluency, leadership and/or proximity to the company’s values.

 

Learn throughout your career(s)

Another part of human management in which AI has a strong place is the evolution of careers. The contemporary situation of careers is very unstable. There is a rising trend of professionals who are changing career paths due to poor career guidance. Many employees are also experiencing a static state when they should be in an environment that allows them to grow. AI will be able to help people develop their own skills, in order to build a fulfilling path for themselves. That will be possible through automated skills audits that facilitate self-diagnosis. They will be able to assess their orientation, identify missing skills in order to access new careers.

Companies have already seized these tools to support their employees in new jobs and thus develop their employability. By offering more opportunities for growth to their employees, companies can expect to grow in return. This will happen due to a constant improvement of their employees’ skills as they evolve with regards to their careers.

 

Working towards sustainable recruitment

The social and environmental awareness that accompanies the digital revolution is also changing recruitment patterns. Companies who adopt values relating to environmental sustainability are more likely to attract young and passionate employees. The same logic applies to diversity and human and/or career growth. In light of this reality, it is our collective and individual responsibility to be part of a sustainable recruitment process. That involves using IA solutions as an access facilitator. The digital transformation of recruitment must indeed be a catalyst for diversity and equity in real life.

 

Digital technology allows people to go beyond their own networks, meet new people and confront various points of view. Afterwards, things can go a step further following physical encounters. In this context, determining factors build each one’s path towards his sustainable professional project and his future career.

A motivated team equals work that is of high quality. Discover 5 tips to motivate your suppliers or employees on a daily basis.

Poorly motivated employees or suppliers tend to quickly exhaust themselves, thus becoming unproductive.

You should aim at achieving a good quality in terms of work and increasing your employees’ loyalty towards your company. To do that, you may have to switch strategies regarding your employees. That is, shifting from the simple assignment of objectives to the transmission of a company culture.

Here are 5 tips to boost your team’s motivation and get better results:

  1. Create a feedback culture

Your employees may not know how to improve or they may not be able to improve. In these cases, how will they and their work be able to evolve?

Regular feedback gives you the opportunity to boost their growth. This does not mean scheduling more meetings. Rather than that, try to take a look at your team’s productivity from time to time.

  1. Delegate more difficult projects to your team

In order to not end up with automated employees, try to protect your staff from a boring daily routine. When employees perform the same tasks every day, they quickly become complacent. Get them to try other things by giving them the opportunity to take risks.

One way to do this is to give them a project that really represents a challenge to your team. Define new targets and objectives during quarterly reviews. They will have the following quarter to work towards these goals.

  1. Maintain a list of challenges

Ask your teams to create a list of projects to complete, problems to solve or skills to acquire. The goal is to find a challenge to keep them busy, but also to teach them how to challenge themselves.

Your employees will be eager to take on a new project or solve new problems. Testing their skills outside of their day-to-day work will make their job more interesting. Instead of waiting for the time to pass, they will focus on solving business problems or improving outdated processes.

  1. Offer various training programs to your employees

Training allows employees to increase their effectiveness on the job. It also ensures that their knowledge and skills are up to date.

A company offering hands-on, up-to-date training will not only retain its workforce, but also reap the benefits of their improvement.

  1. Change the objective-setting process

Objectives are important to motivate your group. To challenge your employees, you need to rethink the goal-setting process.

They should not focus on reaching them, but on finding the best possible solution to achieve them. This technique challenges the employee to be creative, rather than to find quick and simple solutions.

Set animated, necessary and achievable (but not too easy!) goals that your employees will enjoy reaching. Unlike the easy targets, which leave them stuck in a routine, these should stimulate brainpower and encourage high performance.

 

Challenge your team members to take risks, step out of their daily roles and advance in their careers. Also, do not forget about challenging yourself. Improve your training, focus on feedback and rework your goals. In the end, everyone will be more successful and more committed, including you.

In attempt to keep its incubated entrepreneurs inspired and motivated, Turbine organizes Entrepreneur’s Talks. This is an opportunity for founders of new start-ups to learn about the journey of seasoned entrepreneurs, to ask them for advice and to exchange ideas with them.

This month, we had the pleasure of welcoming Zulaika Sunthbocus – Co-founder and Managing Director at Spoon Consulting.

Zulaika is Mauritian, born and raised. She has done her primary and secondary studies in Mauritius and then moved to France to pursue her tertiary studies following which she started working as a software analyst. She always knew she wanted to come back to her roots in Mauritius.

While in France, Zulaika tells us she climbed the professional ladder she started off as an analyst, getting from programmer to manager to project manager. By the time she left France she was an IT consultant at PwC accompanying her clients in their information system implementation. When she came back, Zulaika worked at Accenture as a Delivery
Manager for about a year. It was then that she teamed up with her co-founders in order to set up Spoon Consulting.

The idea was to build a company that would provide ERPs and CRMs, and they could do so by leveraging the fact that all 3 of them were Oracle consultants. The 3 founders invested their savings in order to create Spoon Consulting. Zulaika mentions that they have always been trend setters as even during their early days they were investing significantly in training on the salesforce platforms for their team.

In the early years, she was very involved in operational activities of the company until one day she decided that perhaps she should try something a little further out of her comfort zone. She decided to venture out into another business. Being a certified PADI passionate diver, it was no surprise that her venture was in the diving sector. She built the business up and ran it for a couple of years.

But fate brought her back to Spoon Consulting in 2013, this time her role in the company was different. This time around she was more in charge of the Talent and Culture aspect of the company, and it turned out to be something she thoroughly enjoyed. Today Spoon Consulting has over 100 employees and she attends most of the recruitment interviews.

She enjoys working with her teams in order to promote a healthy work culture. She explains that having a committed team is one of the pillars of running a successful business. At Spoon Consulting prides itself in the attention that they provide to their employees. It is important for them to make their talents feel like they are the major asset of the company directly generating  value for the company through their high-quality delivery geared towards customer excellence.

 

Q&A Time:

 

To what would you attribute the sustainability of Spoon Consulting as a company that is born and bred in Mauritius?

She accounts the sustainability of Spoon Consulting over 15 years to the following:

 

The Team

 

She has nurtured a leadership style with the major objective to empower her team which remains the major asset of the company

Within this culture, she is continuously challenging her team, taking them out of their comfort zone, and at the same time motivating them and valorising them and above all making them feel as part of the Spoon Consulting family

Ongoing training including soft skills training is being delivered whole year round to ensure that her people are not only getting more money in their pockets but also strengthening their brains.

 

 

  1. Commitment and Strength.

It is important to note that it was not always a “La Vie en Rose” scenario with starting a company as a woman in the time that she did. IT was, as it continues to be, a male dominated industry and in that time, it was crucial for her to be committed to producing good work and maintaining positivity in order to build her credibility. She also points out that it is important to believe in yourself and never give up and today she is proud to be on board of several IT commissions in Mauritius, hence sitting at the same table of the IT guys .

  1. Money

The next thing is, money. During the first few years of Spoon Consulting, revenue was an issue for the company. She says this is something that everybody should be aware of, it is normal to have to bootstrap at the beginning. Getting money flowing into the business will not be easy. It can be frustrating to see that the forecasts don’t match the reality of the company’s performance. She says: “10 years ago, I was struggling, and it can be a stressful experience!” but today we are experiencing a constant increase of 20 percent of our revenues ( chiffre d’affaire) since 2015  and we have over 100 clients

  1. And last, but not the least: Diversity

Don’t be afraid to embrace new technologies and trainings for your employees. It is important to make it as a priority: Invest in training and cater for their well-being on a daily basis  .

Always ask for feedback, even though sometimes feedback can be negative, it is important to be able to learn from your mistakes. Focus on lessons learnt and  learn from the perception of the client. See the situation from the client’s point of view. This will help you identify the factors that help differentiate you from your competitors.

Moreover, when it comes to personal level, Zulaika says it is important to be passionate and motivated. She lays emphasis on keeping a positive and bold attitude while working.

She says she is amazed when she sees entrepreneurs working at Turbine. She feels that these people are fearless and is quite inspired by this.

How do you recruit? And how do you make them stay?

 

They recruit graduates from the University of Mauritius who they then put through a bootcamp training and on the job training.

  • Treating Talents Like Assets

When it comes to retaining talent, Spoon Consulting is a big advocate of investing on training, valuing the talents they recruit. To treat them like assets that appreciate over their journey with the Company. This creates value for the company as well as the employee as you then become an institution through which they get to grow professionally. That being said, the company also covers half of the medical insurance, they pay half of the gym membership, they sponsor mini football pitch for team members that like to play football.  They are sponsors of a great number of IT events in Mauritius and  they even bring members of the team to huge IT events in San Francisco on a yearly basis since 6 years now.

  • “Top Talents”

She explains that Spoon Consulting has also implemented “Top Talents” these are employees that get preferential trainings to develop their skills based on their exceptional performance. There are two appraisals a year and managers are trained to value their subordinates.

  • Performance Appraisal

Their performance appraisal is based on Engagement, Value Creation and Knowledge transfer within the team.

  • Team Building!

They have also coined the term “Spoon Spirit” in the company which implies taking ownership of their tasks and feeling like they are in a family at Spoon Consulting. A lot of the training at Spoon Consulting is done by the seniors to the juniors.

How do you keep up the spirit when the revenues fluctuate?

On low seasons they encouraged people to follow training to improve their skills. It is important to show them that they can still generate value for the company when the sales are low. Developing their skills during low season ensures that they can deliver a continually improving service to their customers.

How have you managed to stay with your co-founders?

It is important to have complementarity at the heart of a founding team. Theirs is broken down as follows:  Marketing, Tech and Culture.

It has not been that easy, she says. But they have had (and try to keep) a good communication. They have never taken one executive decision without having a unanimous clearance. When one of the founders wants to take a new measure or initiative, Zulaika explains that they must have a valid and rational reasoning behind it.

As a parting note, Zulaika imparted an important piece of advice: Learn to identify and to seize opportunities. They can make or break your path as a business owner.

 

Moving a business is complicated and costly. You need to plan everything perfectly and anticipate future happenings before you expand your space.

The more your business grows, the more space your team needs. With sustained growth, you will need to move offices so that your employees are comfortable. You will also need to plan for future additions to your team.

Here are some tips to help you when plan your move:

Time your business’ move

A larger space becomes increasingly important as your company undergoes steady growth. However, if you decide to move, you should ask yourself when the right time to do so would be.

The answer becomes “yes” as soon as you begin to experience disorder and distractions. Is there no room to work anymore?  Does the location no longer support your employees’ productivity? If the answer to these questions is “yes”, it is time to consider moving.

 

Be thorough in your planning

Consider changing offices well in advance to have a smooth transition to the new location.

Expect the unexpected. Take your time and consider the company’s and the staff’s needs. Anticipate your growth rate before deciding on the size and location of the new office.

Consider the storage of equipment and the number of new employees you will need in the future.

 

Think of your employees

Don’t follow the trend, look for the best option for your employees:

Open-spaces may be popular but are they suitable for your team?

How can your company adapt to this change?

What changes do you need to make to create the best possible environment for your employees?

Ask them what they need. Involving everyone who works with you is important, because everyone will have different ideas and demands.

For example, a creative team may request a private room, the human resources may need individual offices, and sales people will want space to welcome clients.

While you won’t be able to meet all of their requirements, asking them will make your employees feel more valued.

 

Avoid an expensive and long-term lease

Don’t let prestige blind your judgement!

Your profits may have skyrocketed, and you may have hired new employees. That does not mean you have to move to a high-end building, especially if it is just for “the image”.

 

Choose large spaces

To avoid getting stuck in another small office a short time after your move, always think of extra space.

Even if your team can’t use it all at the moment, you can still rent it before hiring new staff. This saves you the hassle and distraction of finding even more space as you grow.

 

Train your team to adapt to new environments

A team should be operational regardless of the environment.

Build team spirit in your employees so they always remain productive, no matter where they have to work. It is also always important to arrange your future office a way that will foster team work.

By following these 6 tips, your move will go smoothly and you will not fall behind in terms of productivity. Consider involving your employees for this important moment in your company’s history. Finally, don’t forget to inaugurate your new office by throwing a party!

With the advent of laptops and increasingly accessible and fast internet connections, working at home is a huge success. Many digital nomads take advantage of their freedom to change offices regularly. Some of these entrepreneurs choose coworking, the benefits of which are more numerous than one might think. This article will elaborate on coworking and office sharing experiences and their advantages.

Coworking saves money

Sharing offices often happens for economic reasons. Office rent can cost a lot of money per square metre, especially in big cities. Adding a few more workstations to the premises will allow you to optimize the work space, thus reducing the cost.

Similarly, there are many ways to diminish other fixed and variable costs associated with business management. These include the consumables related to the basic management of the company (coffee, electricity, internet, printer, maintenance expenses, etc.).

A group meeting room, with a reservation system, also allows you to fully exploit the space that you are renting.

Why not also consider sharing software licences? Creating an additional account is better than subscribing to a new full subscription.

If your businesses are successful and the coworking goes well, you can consider renting bigger spaces for your growing companies. It will enable you to increase the standard of your office without costing too much.

 

Say goodbye to loneliness

One of the main problems of entrepreneurship is loneliness. Therefore, another main advantage of coworking is the possibility to meet people.

By “crashing” into offices that are not your own, you can meet other people and no longer work alone. These meetings can often also generate additional business for you or your host. Coworking with people in a field of activity close to or complementary to your practice is a smart move. You can respond together to requests from customers or simply seek help from those around you.

 

Shoot for your business’ growth

If you trust and get along with your coworkers, try to organise regular meetings. For example, you can have breakfast together on Friday mornings and talk about what happened during the week. These meetings would allow you to discuss problems and think up solutions, like a team. This is a great way to come up with fresh ideas that you maybe would have never thought of alone.

Incubators are particularly suited to this practice and are the ideal place to find coworkers.

 

Prerequisites for problem-free coworking

For coworking to work, you have to get along with the other parties. This is why a lot of people choose to cowork with friends. However, strangers can also make for perfect coworking partners.

For instance, open spaces are places where everyone can work together as long as they follow the rules. The aim is to create an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding. These rules should include noise restrictions and security measures. You can also create a contract to make sure that everyone abides by the rules you define.

If you can find the right coworkers and working environment, your business will evolve in a dynamic space. This is less socially taxing and more beneficial in terms of money and growth than working at home. Ultimately, the key is to follow the rules and get along with each other for a smooth coworking experience.

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.