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Six cities where you’ll want to extend your business trip

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5 Tips That Will Boost Your Productivity When On A Business Trip

By Paulo Palha, founder of Travideo and The Most Perfect View

Mexico City

Mexico City is becoming an increasingly exciting spot for startups, having recently launched a series of impressive co-working spaces, accelerators and networking events.

The young, vibrant economy makes it a great place to do business, and the people are friendly which means it’s often easy to build relationships.

But the best part? The art and cultural scene has lots to offer, and will make you want to stick around long after your meetings are finished. From the ‘Casa Azul’ where Frida Kahlo was born and raised, the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco and the pyramids of Teotihuacan, there is plenty to see.

Find out more in this video.

Berlin

Berlin has long been considered a brilliant creative hub, where entrepreneurs innovate, startups are met with success and a strong economy supports emerging talent. Considered by many the ‘Silicon Valley of Europe’, chances are that if you’re working in a tech startup, you might want to spend some time learning and networking in Germany’s capital.

After hours, Berlin has some of the best nightlife in the world which is a huge draw for lots of travellers. Its history also needs no introduction, with the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall and the beautiful Reichstag building just three monuments to the city’s past that necessitate a visit. You can also head to a Second World War bunker which now houses some thought-provoking art exhibitions, and go museum hopping on Museum Island.

To cut a long story short, you won’t want to be heading home in a hurry. See more of the city in this video.

San Francisco

It’s no secret that San Fran is the place to be for small businesses and startups. But aside from the famed Silicon Valley, the city itself has a lot for travellers to see, do and enjoy. As well as Alcatraz and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the Mission District’s alleyways are well worth a tour, as the walls are decorated with over 200 murals. There are also some amazing places to eat; such as the the award winning Tony’s Pizza Napoletana and Birdsong (which serves one of the best tasting menus in the city).

This place is a keeper. See for yourself in this video.

Tallinn

Tallinn

Tallinn

Tallinn, Estonia, was recently named the best city for young entrepreneurs to start a business by GoCompare. The low cost of living, teamed with its advanced digital industry and affordable coffee, means it’s a great place to start up.

When you’re not working, the Old Town boasts stunning medieval architecture that makes for a lovely walk, and the Seaplane Harbour Museum located in a huge aircraft hangar exhibits Estonia’s maritime history. Not only this, but Tallinn does a cheap pint which is ideal if you want to wind down after a long day. See more from this striking city in this video.

Lisbon

Lisbon

Lisbon

As a Lisbon-based entrepreneur myself, I can vouch for this city’s thriving social and corporate scene. Around 25,000 new enterprises were started in Portugal in the first eight months of 2016, and Lisbon is in the thick of it, supported as startups are by government funding.

Should you be visiting the city for business, it is undoubtable that you will want to stay. The climate, the winding streets with beautiful tiled buildings, the long stretch of coastline, the delicious seafood and the relaxed atmosphere make this a brilliant destination for all types of travellers. The Castelo de Sao Jorge is also a brilliant place to go to get the most breathtaking views across the city and of the iconic red bridge. See more for yourself in this video.

Rio-de-Janeiro

Rio-de-Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Aside from being a beachside tourist hotspot, Rio is home to a flourishing tech startup scene that has been fairly well documented over the last few years, and was also my home for a while. Cariocas is one of Rio’s largest startup groups comprising several hundred members, and hosts regular events for investors and entrepreneurs; and the government’s desire to attract foreign investment and tourism has helped the business scene flourish.

For the off-duty entrepreneur who’s made the journey to Rio for work, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. Beaches abound, and a trip to Rio wouldn’t be complete without a walk up to Christ the Redeemer. This is a vibrant city that it’s always difficult to leave; see why in this video.

Business

An unprecedented Black Friday: How can retailers prepare?

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An unprecedented Black Friday: How can retailers prepare? 1

Retailers must invest heavily in their online presence and fight hard to remain competitive as a second lockdown stirs greater uncertainty

With an unprecedented Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend on the horizon (27th – 30th November), eCommerce hosting and consultancy expert, Sonassi, advises retailers to strengthen their online presence and make the necessary preparations for a fatigue in consumer spending.

James Allen-Lewis, Development Director at Sonassi, explains: “This year’s golden quarter has squeezed together three of the biggest sales periods like never before, meaning retailers will have to fight harder than usual to remain competitive this Black Friday. With greater discounts over a longer period of time, alongside the fact that a second lockdown has moved everyone and everything online, retailers will be battling it out for a share of decreasing consumer spending.

“However, this sense of uncertainty should not deter merchants from implementing their sales strategies this Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. Instead, they must go further than simply providing online discounts and tackle challenges head on by re-focusing their efforts on creating a highly competitive user experience. Successful merchants will make the necessary preparations for a change in consumer demand and invest more heavily in their eCommerce infrastructure.

“One way in which retailers can do this is by using last year’s Black Friday as a case study to inspire their future response. For example, retailers should take note of the key consumer behaviours that transpired throughout last year’s mega peak in discounting and plan accordingly for the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber-Monday weekend.

“Tactics such as providing the ultimate online delivery service and secure payment methods will also be pivotal for retailers looking to survive a fatigue in online spending. Consumers will look to retailers who do not overpromise on items like next-day delivery and ensure their checkout process is safe and frictionless for all. It is the retailers who embrace this fact and meet the needs of the conscious consumer that will win their share of consumers wallets.

Allen-Lewis concludes: “With Black Friday and the build-up to Christmas just around the corner, retailers must adapt to changing consumer demand, invest more heavily in their eCommerce infrastructure and focus their efforts on creating the ultimate online experience. The only way to plan ahead amid challenging times is to listen to the needs of the customer.”

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Optimistic outlook for 2021 public M&A

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Optimistic outlook for 2021 public M&A 2

Optimism is returning and the outlook is positive for the Australian M&A market in 2021 after a COVID-induced crash in deal activity in 2020, according to Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s tenth M&A 2021 Outlook report.

The special report reveals that an environment of historically low interest rates positions M&A as a significant means of achieving growth and generating returns, including for private equity firms looking to deploy capital and strategic buyers focused on complementary acquisitions.

With the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, global political instability and arguably the greatest economic challenge since the Great Depression, M&A 2021 Outlook details somewhat surprising trends emerging for the next 12 months and analyses a number of common COVID-19 myths and their influence on future M&A deal making.

Corrs’ detailed examination of the Australian M&A market draws on data taken from the firm’s proprietary database of transactions combined with in-depth research for the 12-month period ending 30 September 2020.

Key trends identified in the report include a rapid escalation in M&A levels and an increase in creativity in pricing and speed in closing deals, while also highlighting the critical need for support from target shareholders. Conditions also appear to be set for a continued rise in equity prices as a result of the ongoing influx of capital into Australian equity markets, making it imperative that bidders employ strategies to move quickly on M&A transactions.

Discussing the M&A 2021 Outlook, Corrs Head of Corporate, Sandy Mak, said “Despite a challenging year, our research indicates that 2021 could well see the volume and value of deals continue to grow. We are already witnessing this uptick in activity and while some industries and sectors are seeing a faster rebound than others, early indications are that the wider public M&A market will continue to strengthen over the coming months.”

Based on its detailed research, the M&A 2021 Outlook report discusses further key findings including:

  • Deal volume and value is the lowest since 2016, however volumes have shown significant recovery since June 2020.
  • More than 50% of deals in 2020 were ‘hostile’ and not recommended at the outset.
  • 71% of deals over A$500 million were structured by way of a takeover – a significant increase from prior years – largely as a result of increased competition for assets through rival bids.
  • Despite border closures and the tightening of foreign investment regimes, the percentage of deals with foreign bidders has increased materially since April 2020.
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5 steps for SMEs to budget properly for the coming year

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5 steps for SMEs to budget properly for the coming year 3

By Fabio Comminot, Head of Dealing, Switzerland at Ebury, one of Europe’s largest Fintechs, has provided a five-step guide to make sure budgeting is done on time.

During the challenging times of COVID-19, it is difficult to forecast orders and costs. This is especially true for SMEs that operate internationally and therefore are exposed to currency fluctuations and market movements. So budgeting is immensely important.

Autumn is budget season for most companies. Upcoming project costs, sales and fixed costs must be defined or forecasted. Budget planning should be as accurate as possible right from the start of the process to avoid unexpected consequences at the end of the year..

With the effects of the COVID pandemic it has become difficult for all companies, no matter their size or history, to plan and make sales forecasts. Early planning and hedging are especially important for companies that work internationally and are therefore particularly exposed to currency risk.

These five steps will help SMEs take the right measures for the coming financial year, in time for budget season:

Step 1: Estimate your costs or sales in foreign currencies 

As difficult as it may seem, every company must estimate its expected fixed and variable costs for the coming year. Most companies can forecast their revenues based on experience or existing orders.

However, start-ups or young companies should also be able to at least estimate their costs including rents, insurance, wages and production costs. Special attention should be paid to costs or revenues that are spent or received in a foreign currency.

Step 2: Profit or cost assurance – define the strategy

As soon as an approximate plan for the coming year is in place, the company should consider the importance of currency management. Regular earnings or expenditures in foreign currencies are exposed to movements in exchange rates. If costs in a foreign currency are to be forecasted until the end of the year, the company needs to minimise volatility. This means that the exchange rate should be fixed so that there are no unexpected negative consequences at the end of the year.

Another option would be to protect the operating profit. Fluctuating exchange rates can rapidly ruin intended profit margins. In this case the company could aim to define the forecasted sales in the foreign currency and fix the margin based on this.

Step 3: Fix your budget rates 

The budget is set, the currency management goals are defined, the major part is done. Now it is a matter of defining the budgeted rates for the various currencies based on the current exchange rate. A buffer of about 5% can be useful when doing this – for example. instead of fixing the exchange rate from US dollar to Swiss franc at the current 91 cent, a rate of 95 cent could be budgeted. In this way, the minimum budget rate is defined and any negative exchange rate movement can be at least partially compensated for.

Step 4: Define the hedging strategy

With the targets and the budget course set, the next questions are: What currency developments can be expected? What is the industry outlook? Is the order situation relatively secure? Or is there practically no empirical data?

This step is where Ebury can support the company. Our experts in FX markets help answer these questions and begin to define the individual hedging strategy.

Step 5: Ensure a flexible fit

It’s done: the measures have been defined, now it’s time for implementation.

Ebury will implement the previous steps and , so that the company focuses on its core business. In contrast to traditional financial services providers such as banks, Ebury constantly monitors international trade and political events in order to assist clients with strategy adjustments. The Ebury team is supported by state-of-the-art technology and international currency analysts. It makes no difference whether the changes are driven by the currency market or whether the company’s order situation itself is changing. This allows the SME to focus on its operational business, which is worth a lot in uncertain times like these.

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