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Puzzled by business phone bills? Fight back!

Why are business phone bills so hard to understand? They contain either too much detail or not enough, which usually leads business owners and accountants to give up and just pay the bill, as long as it’s within 10 to 20% of last quarter’s bill. The bills are so hard to figure out, it’s almost as if the phone companies have something to hide.

Like humans do: Robotic Process Automation

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the use of software that interfaces with computer systems in the same way as humans would. It uses AI and machine learning capabilities to handle high-volume repeatable tasks that used to require humans to perform. Such tasks can include calculations, queries and maintaining records and transactions. The software agents that perform these tasks are known as software robots or bots.

GDPR isn’t a country, but don’t mess with it

On May 25, 2018 a raft of European Union data norms will come into effect which constitute the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Despite the acronym’s resemblance to that of a defunct nation, GDPR is Europe-wide, and indeed global when its ramifications are followed to their conclusions. And whereas in old East Germany people’s data belonged to the state and private business was frowned upon, now we have a world in which private business is getting its hands on more and more of people’s data and governments are stepping in to protect their citizens.

Agribusiness: building a fertile career

In the current business environment, changing customer purchasing behaviours and technological innovations are changing the business landscape for food producers and the food supply chain. New value creation and delivery models are redefining growth and profitability across the globe. In order to stay competitive in this changing environment, all operators need to stay up to date with their knowledge.

Franchises: How to keep your shirt and make money

Despite lavish-sounding marketing gush from franchises who want to attract new franchisees, there is no guarantee that you will turn a profit at all, let alone run your business from a laptop in the Bahamas as you soak up the sun. Some franchises are genuinely great propositions (if you run them well), and others look good on paper but are minefields in reality. An aspiring franchisee’s mind should be buzzing with questions.

Mandarin Chinese: not as difficult as you think

It’s understandable for a Westerner to assume that Chinese is terrifyingly difficult to learn. With its impenetrable written characters and unfamiliar sounds, at first sight it can seem like a complex machine that only highly skilled experts are capable of understanding and using.

But when you take a little time to scratch the surface and pick up its principles one step at a time, not only is it quite similar to English but also refreshingly logical and simple. For example, here is an introduction to Chinese characters from the British Council: