Why Should Entrepreneurs Care About Google’s Algorithm Update?

Google are set to update their algorithm. Why should an entrepreneur looking to build a successful business care? That’s what I’m about to explain here on the Htet Tayza blog.

The Google algorithm

Over a billion people use Google. That’s a very big share of any company’s target audience. If you’re building a business this means that it’s a good idea to think about how you can get your firm’s website to appear prominently when people look for your industry on the search engine, if you want to capture a customer base.

The tech giant uses an algorithm (formula) to determine what comes up when a user puts your company’s name into the search bar. It uses over 200 criteria to determine what this formula is. You need to work with the search engine’s algorithm if you want your business’ website to rank for its name when someone searches for you on Google.

Google to make algorithm mobile-friendly

Google regularly updates its algorithm to make it easier for users to find relevant information. Most of these updates are miniscule. They’re nothing more than data updates. They don’t matter. However some updates change the way the entire algorithm works.

One such update will be rolled out on the 21st April. Entrepreneur.com recently reported that the update has been designed to make sure that more mobile-friendly content appears in searches.

We don’t know much about the update. Google are keeping the details under wraps for now. What we do know is that it’s set to be a massive update and that it will impact websites written in every language you can imagine. We also know that it’ll only effect searches performed on mobile devices.

Consumers love to use Google on their phones

This may lead you to wonder, if your company website doesn’t receive most of its traffic via mobile devices, why should you care? You should care because people are coming to depend on their smartphones more than ever.

Data compiled by Comscore in 2014 shows that 60% of all Google searches are now performed with a mobile phone. Furthermore, 70% of all activity on social media now takes place with a mobile device.

Mobile is the future

This is why you need to care about Google’s latest algorithm update. It should remind you that if you’re looking to build a digital marketing strategy for your business, you need to cater it towards mobile devices if you want it to be successful. Mobile is the future and you need to embrace it if you want to build a customer base and generate profit.

Why Should You Encourage Sociability Among Your Employees?

A new survey has shown that hospitality is one of the most sociable industries in the UK. Why should you care, I ask on the Htet Tayza blog, and why should you encourage sociability among your employees?

Survey reveals that UK hospitality is a sociable industry

A Constructaquote survey of 2,792 full time workers in the UK showed that 49% of employees in the hostility industry socialise with colleagues outside of work at least once a month. Meanwhile 64% of respondents said that they had formed friendships with their co-workers because they spend so much time together.

Constructaquote creator and chief executive Lyndon Wood explained why employee sociability is key to success. He was quoted by Big Hospitality saying that: “I truly believe that having colleagues that you can have a laugh with and go out for a few drinks on a Friday night is really key to job satisfaction. Not only will having strong friendships at work help ease any stress or pressure that might come alongside your job, they also make it less likely you will want to leave your company.”

The link between happiness and productivity

Wood is suggesting that sociable employees are happy employees. Employees often spend more time with their co-workers than they do their family and friends. If they don’t like their fellow members of staff, tensions can rise quickly and sour a work environment. If they get on, then the employees are happier to work together because they’re friends who enjoy spending time with each other.

I would go further. I would suggest that you need to take this survey seriously because there is a link between happiness and productivity. Research from the University of Warwick found that people are 12% more productive when they’re happy. This increases their output and could lead to a bump in your profit margins.

Dr Daniel Srgoi, from the university’s Department of Economics, explained the link between happiness and productivity. Srgoi commented that “the driving force seems to be that happier workers use the time they have more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality.”

Why should you care?

That’s why you need to take note of this study. It shows that sociable employees are happy employees. Further data indicates that happy employees are productive employees. Productive employees can do more work at the same level of quality. This can aid expansion and grow your business.

The Department’s Professor Andrew Oswald put it in terms anyone can understand. He said that “companies like Google have invested more in employee support and employee satisfaction has risen as a result. For Google, it rose by 37%, they know what they are talking about.” Employees are satisfied when they go to work every day with people they like, so you need to implement measures to promote sociability among your workforce.

How to Turn a New Hire into a Valuable Member of Your Team

A new hire is an investment. How do you make the most out of your investment to generate a healthy return for your profit margins? That’s what I’m going to tackle on the Htet Tayza blog by explaining how to turn a new hire into a valuable member of your team.

The benefits and drawbacks of new employees  

Every entrepreneur dreams of hiring new staff. Taking on more members of your team implies that your company is expanding, and that you need to take on new people to handle the increasing workload.

Yet new hires are a double-edged sword. They may have the experience you need, but they aren’t familiar with your venture. They don’t know how you do things and this could turn them into a drain on your resources and give you no choice but to let them go.

The cost of staff turnover

Staff turnover is the anathema of profit margins. Figures from Oxford, UK-based income protection providers Uncum show that the average cost of replacing an employee in the country is £30,614. Employee turnover cost is exorbitant around the globe.

An article on Inc.com states that when a company loses an employee it drives down productivity, overworks remaining staff, deprives the company of the outgoing employee’s knowledge base and imposes interview and training costs for their replacement. An infographic from Fast Company Magazine shows that 81% of people who leave a job in the first six months work in entry or intermediate level jobs, making employee turnover a particular issue for the hospitality industry, which relies on low level workers.

Four tips to bring the most out of your new employees

However entrepreneurs can persuade their employees to stay. They just have to find ways to bring out the best in their staff before they decide that the job isn’t for them. Here are four ways you can do so:

  • Implement training: How do you familiarise a new member of staff with how you do things? Show them how you do things. If you implement an extensive training programme you can provide an incoming member of staff with the knowledge they need to adapt to your way of working.

 

  • Encourage questions: A new employee will have questions. Let them know that they won’t be penalised if they ask them. If your new member of staff doesn’t know what they’re doing, how can they be good at their job?

 

  • Bond the team: People like happy working environments. Make the new member of staff feel like a member of the team and you’ll cultivate bonds that encourage team work in your new employee. Happy employees are productive employees.

 

  • Monitor their progress: A new hire may feel that they don’t have the seniority to speak up if there’s a problem. However you need them to speak up if you’re going to solve it. Schedule one-on-one meetings so you can track their progress and prevent any problems that would turn the hire into a drain on your resources.

The onus is on you

A new hire is only what you make of them. If you put measures in place to turn them into an asset, they’ll become an asset. If you neglect them and leave them to their own devices, your neglect will turn them into a toxic investment. Strive at every moment to turn a new hire into a valued member of your team.

Explore the cradle of civilisation

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Israel sits at the heart of the cradle of civilisation, making it a fantastic holiday destination but is it safe to visit? That’s the question I’m going to explore on the Htet Tayza blog this week.

Explore the cradle of civilisation

I believe that travel broadens the mind. That’s why I think that everyone should carve some time out of their busy schedules to make the trip over to Israel.

No country has a history like Israel’s. Sitting in the heart of the region that was once known as the cradle of civilisation, Israel is the birthplace of two of the Abrahamic religions; Judaism and Christianity. It also holds great significance for followers of the third Abrahamic religion; Islam.

This means that Israel is a treasure trove of historical, religious and cultural sites just waiting for you to find. Jerusalem alone attracts numerous tourists every year. Israel’s capital is the home of famous tourist attractions such as the Western Wall, the only remains of the mythical Jewish Temple, the Dome of the Rock, the Mosque built on the site where according to Quranic scripture, Mohammed ascended up to heaven, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; the supposed site of Christ’s crucifixion.

Contentious territory

Therefore there are multiple benefits to gain when you travel to the Holy Land, yet there’s one drawback.  The country has been the site of contention for years.

The modern state of Israel was founded on May 14th, 1948. Israel was previously a British protectorate, however before it fell into the hands of the largest empire in the world it was an Ottoman territory. It has a large Muslim population. The years since statehood have seen the country become embroiled in conflict.

What does the Israel Ministry of Tourism say?

This begs the question, is it safe to go there? According to the Israel Ministry of Tourism, yes, although tourists from certain countries may need a visa to do so. Click here to see if you would need a visa to travel to Israel. On its website the Ministry says:

‘Israel is an extremely safe country to visit and tour. In 2012, close to four million tourists came to Israel, an all-time record, and all of them went back home again safe and sound. We would not encourage tourists to come if we felt they would be in the slightest danger.’

Is it safe to visit the Palestinian territories?

Israel is one thing, but the Palestinian territories are another. All of the famous tourist sites I mentioned above lie in Palestinian land (technically) as does the Church of the Nativity, the basilica in Bethlehem that marks the believed birthplace of Christ, and many others.

However the region’s current troubles are a point of concern. Is it safe to visit the Palestinian territories? The Ministry says: ‘it’s wise to check on the political situation before entering the Palestinian Authority.’ They also advise you to take your passport, as you’ll need it to make the crossing.

 

Be careful

Yes, in theory it’s safe to travel to Israel and even to make the crossing into Palestinian territory but I’d be careful if I were you. Check the political situation before you go so you can be sure you’ll be safe when you visit Israel.

Why Should You Implement a Flexible Working Week?

Htet Tayza Work Week Hours

A range of statistics prove that your business could reap multiple benefits if you allow your employees to work flexibly. On the Htet Tayza blog I outline four reasons why I believe businesses should implement a flexible working week.

95% of medium businesses have a flexible working week

Most employers balk at the idea of the flexible working week. They imagine that if they implement this kind of employment schedule their staff will take it as an opportunity to pass the buck, whilst they’ll be stuck in their office until midnight picking up the slack. However 95% of medium sized firms in the UK offer some kind of flexible working week options to their employees.

Four reasons you should implement a flexible working week

They recognise that the 9-5 working week is a dying breed. Here are four reasons why so many medium sized companies have implemented flexible working options:

  • They boost productivity: Staff recognise that flexible hours are a privilege, not a right. Pollsters Ipsos MORI conducted a study in 2012 which showed that 47% of workers try to be “extra visible” after being provided with a flexible schedule. They overcompensate and that’s why research from Regus found that 70% of managers said that productivity went up after they introduced the measure.

 

  • They attract and retain employees: Modern life is hectic. There are a lot of people who can’t do 9-5. For these people, flexible hours are an essential. A study from The Telework Network found that flexibility was cited as an “important factor” why 83% of those surveyed joined a new company. Meanwhile a 2012 survey of 2,500 managers by The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) showed that 76% said that employee retention was one of the reasons they adopted a flexible working week.

 

  • They make money: The boost in productivity translates into an increase in revenue. A Regus poll of 2,500 senior managers saw 63% of those questioned linked the measure to a growth in revenue.

 

  • They reduce sick days: Companies lose billions in revenue every year through employee sick days. However the same 2012 CIPD poll showed that 56% of managers said that sick days had decreased once they introduced flexible working. Experts have suggested that flexible hours can reduce sick days because they improve work/life balance. This means that employees are less stressed and need fewer sick days.

Flexibility is good for business

Employees are vital to any company. If you provide them with flexible working options you give them a reason to do their best. You need your staff to give you everything they’ve got if you want your venture to become a success.

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How Often Should you Walk in a Day?

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise you can get. This has made me think on the Htet Tayza blog I; how often should you walk in a day to promote physical and mental fitness?

The health benefits of walking

I’m a strong believer in the health body, healthy mind ethos. Promote physical fitness and mental acuity will follow. Mental fitness is vital for the entrepreneur looking to build a successful venture, as it equips them with the mental capacity they need to handle the challenges such an endeavour is sure to bring.

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise you could possibly integrate into your fitness regime. Walking can strengthen your heart, build stamina, develop muscle groups in your legs and burn excess calories. How many steps do you need to take per day to reap these health benefits?

How many steps should you take per day?

According to the NHS in the UK, you should aim to walk 10,000 steps in any one day. This is because experts recommend that you devote 150 minutes per week to exercise if you wish to develop your physical fitness.

Research shows that taking 10,000 steps per day equals roughly 150 minutes of exercise per week. Therefore walking 10,000 steps every day will fulfil your weekly quota for exercise. However I would suggest you think about combining walking with other forms of workout if you truly want to promote physical fitness.

How can you ensure you walk 10,000 steps every day?

Yet most of us, especially entrepreneurs looking to make their first million, have busy lives. We don’t always have time to fit exercise into our hectic schedules. How can you ensure you walk 10,000 steps every day?

You need to get creative. Buy a dog and start walking it. Walk to work instead of taking a bus. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you find ways to incorporate walking into your routine, it’ll be easier to walk 10,000 steps every day. I’d also suggest you invest in a pedometer, so you can measure how many steps you take every single day.

Don’t set 10,000 steps down in stone

Therefore guidelines suggest that you walk 10,000 steps a day if you want to promote physical and mental fitness. Yet I’d suggest that you don’t set this number down in stone. Make an effort but don’t place unnecessary strain on yourself to walk 10,000 steps every day if you find yourself unable to do so.

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Why Self-Confidence is Vital for Entrepreneurs

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My experience has shown me that every business owner needs to believe in themselves if they want their venture to become a success. On the Htet Tayza blog I explain why self-confidence is vital for entrepreneurs.

“I always knew I was going to be rich.”

Ask any of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and they’ll tell you that they never had a single doubt that the venture they were about to embark on would turn out to be a success.

US business magnate Warren Buffett once said that “I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute.” Meanwhile when Dell CEO and Chairman Michael Dell was asked what he wanted to do with his life by his dad, he simply said “compete with IBM.” Ask any entrepreneur and their story will be the same.

The importance of self-confidence

In other words an entrepreneur needs to be self-confident if they want to be a success. Studies have shown that self-confidence can be linked to success.

A study conducted at Purdue University in 1998 of 3,000 entrepreneurs found that a third held the belief that their venture had a 100% chance of success. Meanwhile research undertaken at the University of Houston in 1997 concluded that entrepreneurs are biased to think that they can prevent anything negative from happening to their venture. Finally a study done at Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2013 even discovered that entrepreneurs believe that they’ll have a longer lifespan than anybody else.

An entrepreneur needs to believe their business will be a success

This means that evidence seems to suggest that there’s a link between entrepreneurial success and self-confidence but why? The answer to that question may lie in the struggles that an entrepreneur is set to face as they establish their venture.

Statistics from the US show that a third of ventures will fold in their first five years. Two-thirds will collapse within the first ten. According to Business Insider, Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman has suggested that entrepreneurs need to be confident to even take on this kind of risk.

Kahneman commented that “a lot of progress in the world is driven by the delusional optimism of some people.” He went on to say that “the people who open small businesses don’t think, ‘I’m facing these odds, but I’ll take them anyway.’ They think their business will certainly succeed.”

Entrepreneurs need to be confident to take a chance

Therefore self-confidence is vital to entrepreneurs because it gives them the support they need to take on the considerable risk of starting a business. Without self-confidence entrepreneurs would never take the chances they need to capitalise on in order to edge out their competitors and build a lucrative venture.

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Can Travel Benefit Your Mental Health?

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I believe that travel holds a number of benefits for the entrepreneur looking to make their way on the road to success. Is mental health one of them? Keep reading the Htet Tayza blog to find out.

The benefits of travel

Every budding young entrepreneur should take the time to travel the world. This is because in my opinion, travel opens up your mind. It exposes you to new cultures, traditions and experiences. It introduces you to new people and ways of life.

I believe that these experiences are vital in business. Industry is competitive; you need any advantage you can get to triumph over your adversaries in the world of business. The insights that come from travel can give you the edge you need to come out on top against competitors that are looking to dominate the same market you are.

Travel gives you perspective

Yet an article that was featured on Psych Central back in 2013 has also led me to believe that there is another benefit to travel that I hadn’t thought of before. It can boost your mental health.

The article quotes travel consultant Sarah Jensen. The consultant suggests that there are several ways that travel can prove advantageous to somebody’s mental health, yet there is one benefit she highlighted that I found particularly fascinating.

Jensen argues that travel gives you proper perspective. She writes that “when people view others in similar or worse situations, they tend to realise that their problems are no longer as daunting as they may have earlier believed.” She goes on to argue that “this greatly helps in reducing any stress or depression that may be lingering in the body.”

Why travel is good for the mental health of an entrepreneur

In my opinion this shows that travelling could prove particularly beneficial for the mental health of a young entrepreneur.

Establishing a business – one that you hope will become successful – is a strenuous task. It’s so easy to stumble and fail. Failure can lead to the development of mental health conditions such as stress and depression. Therefore getting out in the world and seeing other people deal with these same problems could help a frustrated entrepreneur deal with the stress and depression that can often accompany this difficult time in their career.

Travelling can benefit your mental health

So yes, it turns out that one of the benefits of travel is that it can boost your mental health. Entrepreneurs in particular should take note of this as it suggests that travel can help them overcome the mental health conditions that could cripple their capability to build a successful career.

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How Much Sleep Do You Need?

An entrepreneur needs to look after their health if they want to be successful. On the Htet Tayza blog today I ask; how much sleep do you need if you want to stay healthy?

Is Margaret Thatcher a good role model for entrepreneurs?

Former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is famous for only getting four hours of sleep a night. According to the BBC this was confirmed by her Downing Street press secretary Sir Bernard Ingham, who said that “she slept four hours a night on weekdays” but that “I wasn’t with her at weekends. I guess she got a bit more then.”

Love her or hate her the ‘Iron Lady’ of 80’s UK politics got things done. Margaret Thatcher achieved many of her aims. This may lead you to think that you should follow in her footsteps and only get four hours of sleep a night if you want to be successful as an entrepreneur, so you can devote as much time as possible to work. Is this the case?

Why do you need to sleep at night?

To answer that question first we need to look at why you need to sleep at night in order to maintain our physical and mental fitness.

Some scientists believe that sleep allows your body to rest and recharge. This is somewhat supported by the evidence of what happens when you don’t get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease and strokes.

However according to the Sleep Foundation in the US, the primary benefits of sleep are cognitive. You take in a lot of information in one day and sleep allows your minds to process and consolidate this information into memories. Therefore sleep is particularly vital for an entrepreneur as someone looking to make a success of a new business needs to keep their mind sharp to tackle the challenges that often accompany this significant task.

How much sleep does your mind need?

So how much time does your mind need to complete this process? It varies but scientist generally believe that it takes more than four hours. Most experts suggest that you sleep between five and 11 hours per night.

Yet this is a wide recommendation. This gives some validation to the theory that different people need different amounts of sleep per night. After all Margaret Thatcher and Bill Clinton were both able to get by on four hours and they were incredibly successful.

Everyone is different  

What does this say how many hours of sleep you need every night if you wish to maintain you physical and mental fitness? It suggests that the answer is relative. Everyone’s different, yet you should make sure you get right amount of sleep for your body and mind to remain healthy if you want to be successful.

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Five Ways to Let Your Employees Know You Appreciate Them

Hospitality is an industry that depends on the people it hires to man its ranks. As such on the Htet Tayza blog I’ve decided to look at five ways to let your employees know you appreciate them.

Hospitality businesses depend on their employees

Whatever industry they choose to forge their career in, there is one eternal truth every young entrepreneur needs to acknowledge. They need to cultivate a talented employee roster if they want their business to become a success.

This is particularly important in the hospitality industry. Hospitality businesses such as restaurants and hotels need good employees to carry out the everyday tasks e.g. serving customers that their revenue streams depend on.

Employee retention is a major issue for hospitality sector

Yet employee retention is a particular problem for the hospitality industry. For example according to The National Restaurant Association’s Chief Economist Bruce Grindy, there was a 62.6% turnover rate in the restaurants-and-accommodations sector in the US in 2013. This contrasts with a turnover rate of 42.2% for the overall US private sector.

As such entrepreneurs who are looking to build a hospitality business need to develop strategies which will enable them to hold on to talented employees. There are many strategies you can use to hold onto a good employee, yet there is one simple method that will prove particularly effective; showing your employees you appreciate them.

Five easy tips to let your employees know you appreciate them

Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Everyone likes to feel as though their hard work is being acknowledged. Doing so may persuade a talented employee to stay with you. Here are five ways you can show your employees that you appreciate them:

  • Say please and thank you: Manners get you everywhere. They indicate that you respect an employee enough to believe they deserve common courtesies. Please and thank you go a long way.

 

  • Get the treats in: Who doesn’t love after work drinks or pizza Friday? Get a little treat in for your employees when you’ve had a particularly successful week and they’ll know you value their hard work enough to believe it needs a reward.

 

  • Cut them some slack: Everyone makes mistakes. Yet you don’t need to punish the people who work for you every time they make one. Cut them some slack every once in a while and you’ll show your employees that you appreciate everything else they do, so you can forgive one little mistake.

 

  • Be nice: Simple, yet effective. People like positive people. Strive to be nice to your staff and they’ll see that you like the work they’re doing. Why else would you be in such a good mood? Plus your good mood will put them in a good mood and positivity goes down well with customers.

 

  • Give them a challenge: Nothing shows appreciation like trust. Trust your employees with tasks that prove a challenge and you’ll show that you believe in them. You’ve seen their work and you know it’s good.

Be a good boss

Basically showing your employees that you appreciate them and the work they do isn’t rocket science. Just be a good boss and treat your employees with respect. Respect is often the difference between a member of staff who stays and a member of staff who goes.