Saving on Food Expenses for Your Business

I’ve already written about the benefits of using Groupon Coupons for cutting costs on business expenses, but I’m going to take your savings a bit further with Groupon Pages. Whether you’re rewarding your hard-working employees with lunch, or you’re treating a prospective client to dinner, there’s no reason you should be paying full price for food expenses now that Groupon has released this newest edition. Groupon Pages is a massive directory of restaurants in your area that has been designed to guarantee the best dining experience with the best deals. There are many budgetary advantages that come with using this new feature, but I’ve narrowed it down to the three top ways to save. read more

Gi2C Review: Fall 2015 Career Opportunities in China

The professional job market for foreigners in China continues to grow in 2015. Forget the days when only English teaching jobs were available. China now needs business professionals with a wide variety of skills and experience in many industries to help Chinese companies become successful internationally. If you have experience in the following areas and are looking for a new career this fall, now is the time to come to China.

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Both foreign and Chinese companies in China are looking for foreigners who speak multiple languages and comprehend the nuances of international markets. To land that perfect marketing job in China, you should be social media savvy and preferably good at design and ad creation.


More Chinese companies than ever before now have the capability to sell to an international audience. As a result, they need foreign experts who can write, edit and proofread in multiple languages. To truly excel in this type of job, you should ideally be able to read the original Chinese text, but if you have a Chinese colleague with excellent English, that wouldn’t be necessary. 

IT, Web & App Development

Experienced IT experts are needed in every country, not just China. However, since China has the biggest population in the world, it only makes sense that their need for IT experts is equally as large. Those with expertise in international software, iOS and Android apps, and programming are especially in demand.

Global Sourcing, Purchasing and Quality Managers read more

How to Save Money with Groupon Coupons

When you’re running a business, you’re probably focused on two main areas: income and expenses. While making money usually falls into a fun activity, expenses can conversely seem like a nightmare. It doesn’t need to drag down profits if you know how to trim unnecessary fees and high costs. One of the easiest ways is to use online coupons.

One of the latest coupon sites is Groupon Coupons. If you grabbed deals with Groupon before, you’ll be happy to hear about this new feature. You can access sales and discounts to over 9,000 stores. You’ll get the opportunity to buy your regular office supplies, or other business needs, with over 70,000 available coupons. Another bonus is there’s no cost to use any of the coupons! You won’t have to pay any fees or upfront costs. There are also special deals that are only available on Groupon Coupons.

At Groupon Coupons, you’ll find a variety of well-known stores. You can buy almost anything you want and at a good price. You won’t have to worry about missing sales events to save a few bucks. Coupons are added daily so you’ll always have the opportunity to save money.

To make sure you don’t go on a wild spending spree, make a list of your business expenses. Some items are tangible products that you need to buy on a regular basis. Think of office supplies like copy paper, file folders, pens, pencils, and paper products. If you’re starting your office or need to repair older equipment, you might add computer equipment, computer accessories, software, cell phones, or office furniture to the list. Maybe you need to purchase staff shirts or food for the employee break room. You can find all these business products at stores featured at Groupon Coupons. You’ll recognize some of the top shops, like Sam’s Club, Office Depot, or Boost Mobile. While Boost Mobile focuses on mobile devices and internet connections, you can find computer equipment, office supplies, paper products, food, and clothing at Sam’s Club or Office Depot.

Why not buy your office supplies with a free site that offers you big savings? It only makes sense to your bottom line.

Why recommend an apprenticeship in IT?

IT has become a vital function in every company and the need for recruits in this area keeps growing as systems are updated to make them more efficient.
Add to this the growth of web and technology-based businesses and it is easy to see why this is a popular area for graduates and school-leavers to get involved in.

Surge in London-based tech companies

The exciting thing as a recruiter is that this technology boom is taking place right here in the UK. Silicon Roundabout in London is now the third-largest technology startup hub in the world.

Multi-national companies such as Cisco, Facebook, Google and Intel have all invested in the area. Further education institutions across the capital – City University London, Imperial College Londonand University College London –
are also lending their support to projects in the district.

The scope for job opportunities in this area is huge. A recent report by Tech City Investment Organisation revealed nearly 600,000 people are employed in technology in London.

Apprenticeship opportunities in this sector are bound to rise quickly as the report revealed the number of digital and tech companies in the capital rose by 76 per cent between 2009 and 2012.

Job opportunities in IT sector across the UK

There are plenty of tech jobs available outside of the capital too.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics in March 2013 showed that nearly 720,000 people were employed in the industry throughout the UK.

Apprenticeship can fill skills gap

Because technical jobs often require previous experience, apprenticeships are a great way to fill the skills gap.

In Wales, programmes have been established to help retrain graduates to enter the IT sector.

Some 3,100 new ICT recruits are needed every year to keep up with demand, according to official figures.

The government estimates that the IT sector in Wales will grow at twice the Welsh employment rate until at least 2020. That means there will be plenty of jobs and not enough people to fill them – great news for graduates and school-leavers.

Overall benefits of apprenticeships

It is clear to see that the IT sector is a booming industry and therefore an attractive proposition for would-be job seekers.

The next question is how to get the correct training to secure a position in a tech firm?

Apprenticeships provide an ideal route for school-leavers who may lack practical know-how.

Even those with good grades may be overlooked in favour of candidates with experience and this is where trainee schemes come into their own.

They usually last between one and four years and provide apprentices with real-life experience of working in an IT environment.

If an apprentice decides to leave when their apprenticeship is finished, they will have specific experience to show prospective employees. If they decide to stay, there are often opportunities for promotion as an employer will value staff with in-house experience.

Apprenticeships are often a more appealing option than further education as participants are being paid to train for a nationally-recognised qualification.


Why user experience should be at the heart of every Cloud

While businesses the world over seem intent on jumping on the Cloud bandwagon at the moment, it’s important for those who have yet to make the leap (and equally for some of those who have already completed the transition) to remember why they are implementing the technology into their organisation.

Improving efficiency and reducing expenses are likely to be two of the main reasons behind any Cloud adoption – but while, in theory, these should be a matter of course as a result of the nature of such an innovation, there are no guarantees.

This is partially down to the so-called ‘human factor’. While making it easier for employees to pool resources and communicate with one another in a more effective manner should automatically result in a better streamlining of operations, if those workers aren’t 100 per cent behind the Cloud, this isn’t always the case.

Furthermore, if the workforce isn’t fully behind the new way of doing things, the business as a whole can ultimately end up suffering. Thankfully, it’s a scenario that can be easily avoided if the correct steps are taken in the lead-up to incorporating the technology.

The importance of user experience, therefore, should never be underestimated. As a business owner, if you’re about to spend capital on investing in a new Cloud system, you need to be certain that you will see value for money. This can partially be achieved by consulting with employees beforehand on what services they feel will make a difference to the way they do their jobs. Sometimes, the information you need is better coming from the horse’s mouth.

One case of where prior research could make a big difference is the implementation of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies for Cloud working. In theory, this can offer a more flexible environment for both the company and its workers – although its introduction needs to be carefully considered when there is a risk of sensitive information being inadvertently shared with the outside world via a connected smartphone or tablet. Not only can this potentially compromise the organisation employing BYOD, but it can also result in possible legislative breaches.

Another consideration to be taken into account is whether or not the addition of applications will improve the efficiency of a Cloud service. Providers like Canopy often offer a range of programs to complement the network. For example, its Anytime Files app is an ideal solution for firms that need to share files with clients over a network that is more secure than the likes of DropBox. Similarly, Canopy Archives or Contracts are self-explanatory in what they offer users – meaning every company’s Cloud can be tailored to its own needs.

Ultimately, this technology can and should be beneficial to an organisation at all levels. If not, then business leaders need to be asking why. In an age when value for money has never been more sought-after, the merit of not jumping head-first into the Cloud and instead taking the time to understand what’s best for your firm on an individual basis shouldn’t be underestimated.

Data Storage Solutions

In todays’ brave new technological world, the need for secure and accessible data storage has never been greater. Even small businesses have a tremendous amount of material that needs to be kept for reference or for legal reasons, including documents, emails, databases, customer details, presentations and more. Your business operations might even include video or audio files. In the past, this needed to be stored on servers onsite, but cloud storage solutions are becoming increasingly popular, especially with the advent of fibre optic broadband to make data transfer fast and simple.


Reasons for needing secure storage
So why does your business need secure storage? No doubt you will be able to think of many reasons. Increased risks of litigation means you need to keep records of all your business dealings. Government legislation is being revised constantly, demanding that more and more data is kept for reference or for legal reasons. And vulnerability to hackers, malware and spyware could have serious implications for your company, so a secure back-up system is essential.

Assessing your storage needs
Before committing yourself to a data storage solution, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Begin by taking inventory of your projected data storage. Which applications take up the most space on your current system? What do you predict your future needs to be? What are the legal requirements for keeping different kinds of data and how much of each kind do you have? Do you need immediate easy access to your stored data, or do you just want a simple archiving solution? Do you need individual data storage solutions for your staff e.g. those who work from home or on the move? And how will you ensure that confidential data is stored securely?

Once you have answered these questions, you are in a better position to choose the best data storage solution for your organisation.

Data storage solutions
If you choose to house your own data, then much depends on how much you need to store, and the kind of operations you carry out. Individuals can use USB sticks or external hard drives which can be encrypted and password protected for security.

If you need a larger solution then you could consider network attached storage. Data can be accessed easily on-site and even remotely by your staff. Data servers can store large amounts of information, and many systems have a dual backup facility, so that if one server goes down or corrupts, your precious data is still safe.

Online storage is increasingly popular and is ideal for large corporations, because vast amounts of space are available, and the data can be accessed from anywhere. Data is stored securely, backups are done remotely by the hosting company, and the monthly fee is offset by the lack of costs for installing and maintaining your own system.

Secure data storage is essential for every business, large or small, but by considering your options carefully, you can find a solution that is perfect for your individual circumstances.


How charities can utilise technology to their advantage

Charitable acts are on the increase as the economy returns to stability, and charities stand to gain in both the engagement and giving stakes if they know how to take advantage of the favourable economic conditions.

Late last year it emerged that the world became a more generous place, with increases recorded in the number of people donating money or volunteering their time to help those less fortunate than themselves. According to the World Giving Index 2013, more than three-quarters of the British population donated money to charity in a typical month, while more than a quarter of people gave their time to charitable endeavours.

But sustaining an increased level of engagement and calling onboard a greater number of people is not without its challenges, which is where technology come into play. Many people spend significant portions of their daily lives using computers, smartphones, tablets and the like, presenting countless opportunities for charities to reach out to new audiences, or sustain the interest of those they already have onboard.

There are all sorts of measures charities can take to ensure optimum opportunities for engagement, including:


More than a quarter of time spent on the internet is through social media, and charities stand to reach billions of people by utilising the networks. The content produced and shared over social media is vitally important to engagement, and this can be anything from a blog post or infographic to video content or thoughts on a recent piece of legislation.

Images and interactive media like competitions and surveys can be useful in getting people to interact with the charity and become more aware of its brand, while shareability is another important element, helping charities spread their message.

Another growing phenomenon in the social media realm is the use of the hashtag; both Twitter and Facebook use the method to draw interest to a specific word or phrase, and this could be a useful technique with regards to current campaigns.


The advent of smartphones means people are increasingly browsing the internet, checking their social media platforms and sending or receiving email over the phone, driving companies and charities to make mobile-friendly versions of their websites or create apps that people can use on the go.

More than 60 per cent of people go online using their phones, and charities could extend their reach by ensuring their websites and social media can be accessed and used with ease on mobile platforms.

To ensure users have an optimum experience, the website should be attuned to mobile viewing and easy to navigate. It can be useful to optimise the website so it’s easy to find from search engines, while links from social media can also help to drive traffic.


In order to make it easy for those who cooperate with the charity to know about important dates or events, utilisingspecialist tools like event registration software can help charities keep track of numbers for events, also sending out invitations at specific times and reminders about important events to delegates.

Some firms develop technology that integrates easily into businesses or charities’ own technology frameworks, and it’s possible to find software that is compatible both with PCs and mobile internet.

There’s also scope to develop software that allows interested parties to donate over their phones by simply sending a text message, or by making a payment directly through the charity’s website. These joined-up solutions can make consumers’ experiences feel easy and seamless, inciting them to stay connected with the charity.

Contracting: A beginners guide

Contracting can be a very lucrative way to work for professionals who choose to become self-employed. Reduced taxes and hourly pay can mean that contractors are able take home more than an employee working on the same project. However, when starting out as a freelancer there are a number of things that must be considered. After all, contracting is very different to being employed by a company.


Perhaps the main reason many professionals move from employment to contracting is the fact that it can offer the chance to increase earning potential.

A company may enlist you to carry out a certain project due to the specialist skills you posses. This means that you can potentially charge more for your services – although this will also depend on your experience and qualifications.

As a you will be on a temporary contract with a firm, you will not be entitled to benefits that full-time employees get as a part of their contracts. Sick pay, holiday pay, redundancy pay and employers’ national insurance will not be paid by the company you are currently working for.

While this may sound like bad news, it can mean that the firm can afford to pay you more on an hourly basis and still save money.

Due to the nature of freelancing, client contracts will be negotiable. Therefore, it is possible to acquire more money for the service you will be providing – again this process will depend on your experience.


As a contractor, you are in charge of managing your time and your own work. Many contractors thrive off this way of working, as it means that you are your own boss.

However, this means that things like taxes, invoices and administration tasks are now your responsibility and time must be set aside to carry out these duties properly.

For first-time contractors just starting out, it can sometimes be beneficial to seek out the services that umbrella companies offer. With this type of firm, areas such as taxes and payment are taken care of for the contractor as a part of the service.

This allows a contractor to focus fully on their current project while the umbrella company deals with the rest. They will work out your tax contributions, chase up your pay and perform all the necessary administration tasks that relate to these things.


Freelancing allows you a certain degree of flexibility that you would perhaps not find in employment. You can work where and when you want to. So if, for example, you decided that a long holiday was in order, you could take one in between contracts. This would of course depend on your financial situation and need to work, but the option is there.

You can also choose which contracts you would prefer to work on. This will become more common as you gain experience in your sector. Top contractors with experience and specialist skills can be a highly sought after commodity, as they offer businesses a service that they may not currently have with their current staff.