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Investing in fancy colored diamonds is an opportunity that investors should consider. In fact, ever since the prices of fancy colored diamonds were first recorded, they have increased in value every year, with colored diamonds surpassing all other hard asset classes for several years now.

So, what do you need to know if investing in colored diamonds is a wealth management choice you’re looking to pursue? Traditional diamonds, of course, have a foothold in the engagement ring industry, but what about their gemstone peers? There are several things you should consider when seeking to invest in colored diamonds.

  1. Colored diamonds are a stable investment 

Global economic unrest has caused many investors to rethink their portfolio. Diversifying away from traditional investments into more tangible ones, such as colored diamonds, which have shown to increase in value over time, is an attractive option to investors. Colored diamonds are a form of investment that has demonstrated stable long-term investment returns.  That’s comforting to many investors in today’s financial climate.

  1. Know the 4 C’s

The American Gem Society reports that the 4 C’s of a diamond, particularly when it comes to diamond grading, are: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat.

When it comes to cut, the more precise it is, “the more captivating the diamond is to the eye.” As for color, fancy colored diamonds occur in a range of hues. Diamond clarity involves the presence or absence of characteristics called inclusions in the stone — and a clarity grade is determined by the impact of these inclusions on the look of the diamond. Finally, carat is the diamond’s physical weight as measured in metric carats.

  1. Stick to your budget

Your budget will help you determine what kind of fancy colored diamond to invest in. Relatively common colors include browns, greys, and yellows.  Pink diamonds, on the other hand, are less common and will likely necessitate a larger budget.

  1. Elements of the fancy colored rainbow

We’ve already determined that color is one of the 4 C’s of a diamond. But did you know that there are specific elements involved in the color grading of fancy colored diamonds? These elements are Hue, Tone, and Saturation. Hue refers to the main color of the diamond, and there are 27 hues in all. Tone refers to how light or dark the color or hue of the diamond in question is — ranging from Very Light to Very Dark. Finally, saturation is determined by the strength of the color of the stone. Lighter tones range from Faint to Vivid, and darker tones go from Dark to Deep.

  1. Supplies of rare diamonds are dwindling

Some colored diamonds are incredibly rare. For example, the majority of pink diamonds come from the Argyle diamond mine in Australia.  Mineral resources at this mine continue to fall, with the mine slated to close by 2020. In short, demand for colored diamonds is already outpacing supply, and it’s expected that demand will continue to outweigh supply in the years to come.  That means it’s a perfect time to invest in fancy colored diamonds and have an asset that will only become more sought-after over time.

About Paragon International Wealth Management: Paragon International Wealth Management is a Toronto-based wealth management firm and a leader in the acquisition of fancy colored diamonds. Our firm is committed to advising clients in the area of fancy colored diamond management and dedicated to helping clients create a successful hard asset investment portfolio.



 
  


26May

5 Hiring Mistakes New Businesses Make

Posted by Pamela Swift in Human Resource

Being an entrepreneur can certainly be a challenge. If you have dreams of owning your own business, you should consider the fact that it will require a mountain of effort. There are hundreds and even thousands of tasks that must be performed to insure everything goes smoothly.

One of these tasks you may have not given much thought is hiring employees. Who you hire to help you run your company is extremely important. If you choose the wrong people, you could hasten your young business’s downfall. Alternatively, if you do not perform the hiring process competently, you could run afoul of the law. With that in mind, below five mistakes in the hiring process you should try to avoid.

Skipping the Background Check

A background check is essential to the hiring process these days. If you think you can simply save some money by avoiding this step, you could certainly face problems later on.

Nearly 50 percent of federal prison inmates go on to reoffend. If you hire an ex-con, there’s about a 50 percent chance they will commit another crime. This time, however, your company or your customers could be the victims. You won’t know about a person’s criminal record unless you actually make the effort to find out what it is.

Not Examining a Person’s Social Media

While not all job applicants use social media, many do. Using social media as part of the hiring process is also now becoming increasingly popular. 96 percent of recruiters look at a candidate’s’ social media, and rightly so.

The reason why is easy to understand. You may find clues about behaviors that would not be a good fit for your company and could cause problems later down the road. For example, if a candidate is reposting content that sympathizes with terrorists on Twitter, chances are you don’t want that person working for you.

Hiring People You Know

New small business owners often make the mistake of simply hiring people they know. This could be friends, family members, college roommates or what have you. However, unless your goal is to have a family business, you should probably think more strategically about the hiring process. You want to hire the best applicants for the job. You may be biased towards people you already know. Furthermore, employing friends or family could actually do irreparable harm to those relationships. You need to keep this in mind.

Not Open to Outsourcing the Process 

Hiring new employees is a very complex and time consuming process. Even worse, it’s a legal mind field. If you make mistakes and disregard the law, you may end up being sued. This is one of the reasons why many companies outsource the hiring process to a recruitment process outsourcing firm, or RPO for short.

This will move the legal burden to that third party. Furthermore, it will save you a lot of effort by having experts perform the recruitment process for you. You’ll be able to focus on more important tasks like your end product. It has been reported that two thirds of companies partly or wholly outsource the recruitment process.

Ignoring Intuition

The interview is one of the most important parts of the recruitment process. The reason that is true is because it gives you information you can’t discern just by looking at a resume. How a person acts and converses in person is a big part of whether or not that person is employable or a good fit with your company. In this regard, intuition is important. Someone who makes a good impression may be a better choice than a person who comes off as antisocial but has more accomplishments on their resume.

The hiring process is extremely important. It can be tricky for a new business, but you must take recruitment efforts seriously, and there can be serious negative consequences if you don’t.


One of the most important things tied to high conversion rates is making an effective call-to-action (CTA) on your website. Engaging your audience and visitors in this way may be exactly what you need to boost your business and see your business flourish.

There are some tactics you should keep in mind when approaching CTA implementation to your website and we’ve summarized some of them for your better understanding of the process. Making a compelling CTA can be tricky, u don’t want to be too aggressive, yet, you don’t want your CTA to seem like something visitors would rather avoid than click on it. Here are some things to keep in mind when making an effective call-to-action on your site.

What is CTA?

Basically, CTA is a button on your page that helps you make leads out of your visitors, by filling out a form on your landing page. CTA button takes your potential customers to your higher-value offers page – the landing page.

The conversion process from visitors to leads can even lead to getting more paying customers, so it’s important to address it in the proper way. CTAs are the first step in the conversion process. They are what starts the conversion as they promote an offer and links which take to your landing page, where the conversion process takes place.

CTA Sequencing

There are many various examples of CTAs, as they are a part of the majority of websites with any interest in the conversion process. Luckily, learning from those examples showed us general practices, which can help us define the best applications for the successful conversion process.

Generally, here are some examples, and only one of those is really able to give the wanted results.

  • CTA > Blog Post > Landing Page
  • Landing Page > CTA > Thank You Page
  • CTA > Landing Page > Thank You Page
  • Blog Post > CTA > Landing Page

As you can see, some of these examples include CTAs with blog posts, which, in practice, don’t really affect conversion rates that much. The second and the third examples include the landing page, but that’s where you need to take your visitors, so the choice is obvious.

The ideal sequencing for a good CTA strategy is to have a call-to-action that takes your visitors to the Landing page, and after they’ve filled out the form, they are taken to the Thank You page to collect the offer.

Best CTA Practices

There are some great practices that have proven to be quite successful in elevating conversion rates. There are 5 major things to keep in mind as noted by freelance web developer Sydney:

  • Standing out – the more your CTA grabs your visitors’ attention, higher conversion rates are imminent. Make sure your CTA is consistent with your website, but it should be quite visible or stand out in best possible way.
  • Action orientation – take care of your wording. If the visitors have to think hard about their next step, then something is wrong. Tell them what to do and aim them in the right direction.
  • On-Page placement – CTAs should stand out, but they should also seem like they are the part of the page. You don’t want CTA buttons to seem like they don’t belong, for it may throw off your visitors from clicking on it.
  • Consistent keywords – if you use the same keywords and phrases for the full conversion process, your visitors understand what to do and where are they going to get. Look at the entire process as a whole and you can get great results.
  • Test changes (A/B testing), analyze results – when experimenting with CTA changes start small. Implement a small change and watch it perform. Changes like color, font style or the wording should all be tried on its own, in order to see what the true results are.

Great goals to have in mind when analyzing your CTA are 1 – 2% click-through-rate and 10% for click-to-submission rates. When your CTA has these numbers, you know you’re doing something right.

Great CTA Examples

We’ve selected a few of the best CTAs that we think do their job great. You can see the different design techniques used to achieve amazing conversion rates.

  • Dropbox – Always simple with a lot of negative space, Dropbox is always aiming at the subtle and simple approach. Thanks to this, their CTAs stand out by merely using the same color as the logo, making their page consistent, and visitors clear of what they should do next.
  • Netflix – Biggest fear when it comes to signing in, for most visitors is – will I be able to cancel my subscription later on? Netflix solved this in a neat way. They have simple, yet quite noticeable CTAs stand out, but the content and the text around it indicate that users are free to “Watch anywhere. Cancel anytime”. This has helped their conversion rates grow significantly.

Conclusion

Creating an enticing CTA can really help any website’s conversion rates expansion, and they can help your business evolve. Using proper techniques and strategies, you can adapt your CTAs in best possible way, and maximize the full potential of your website.


Here’s the thing about sustainability that developing entrepreneurs need to keep in mind: Some of today’s most successful entrepreneurial brands achieved their size and reputation by weaving planet-friendly policies, practices and initiatives into the very fabric of their businesses.

Take Elon Musk, who has dedicated himself to leveraging technology to make the world a better and more environmentally healthy place. With Tesla Motors, he’s made electric cars cool and mainstream, even as he takes a deep dive into other commercial initiatives to vertically integrate clean energy.  Or Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard, who pioneered the idea and practical application of “circular economy,” as opposed to the linear economy standard – “make, use and dispose.”

However, entrepreneurs don’t have to cause green revolutions to reap the benefits of an environmentally friendly orientation.

One route to success is by integrating sustainable practices into the way business is done. It’s becoming the new norm in real estate development, for example, where entrepreneurs can strive to create buildings that meet such sustainability metrics as GRESB, or the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark. Others, like Toronto’s Mizrahi Developments, have demonstrated their commitment to green standards by including Energy Star technology in their developments and earning GreenHouse Certification.

Other entrepreneurs adopt a green focus that’s reflected in their operations. A sustainable model can improve profits and reduce costs by reducing waste and recycling. Making a practice of acquiring energy-efficient equipment can also yield returns in terms of overall business performance.

Consider the benefits to an entrepreneur of an emphasis on sustainability:

  • A burnished brand. Increasingly, people base their decisions to purchase goods and services on a company’s sustainability practices and overall impact on the environment. A strong brand creates lifetime customers. It’s also an important competitive differentiator. It’s something that can solidly carry an entrepreneurial business into the future.
  • An attractive posture for recruiting and retaining employees. Younger generations, especially, have been raised on a pretty steady diet of messages promoting environmental protection. They not only want to buy from sustainable companies, but want to work for those that walk the talk. Your sustainability practices will ensure people who share your values will want to work for you.
  • Better productivity and reduced costs. Sustainable business operations create greater efficiencies. This streamlining conserves resources by reducing waste, which improves employee productivity. Ultimately, costs go down.
  • Easier compliance with government regulations. Climate change, dwindling energy resource and a jeopardized environment are all in the sights of government regulators. Taking a proactive stance on your organization’s role in countering such impacts will put it in a better position to respond in a timely manner.
  • Happy investors and shareholders. Ultimately, sustainable companies do better overall. Various studies have shown that high-sustainability businesses substantially outperform low-sustainability companies as well as the market in the medium and long terms.

Making sustainability and environmentally friendly practices a building block of an entrepreneurial business can be a challenge. Early stage companies, in particular, tend to cope with issues like a small customer base and high operating costs that can inhibit investment in a sustainability strategy. Those that can overcome such barriers, though, will make substantial contributions toward the greening of economic development.


Article Contributed by Sara Taylor, President, deepSEE Consulting and Author of Filter Shift: How Effective People SEE the World.

Diversity Fatigue. It’s that feeling that employees in the workplace express when they see a Diversity training on their calendar, “Seriously?! Diversity training again?” It’s that feeling that seasoned Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) practitioners express when I run into them at a Diversity conference and they say, “We’re still talking about the same issues we talked about 20 years ago!” It’s that feeling that leaders in organizations get after supporting a D&I strategy but still don’t see the results they’d like to see.

This fatigue is a symptom of a larger issue.  Despite decades of hard work by committed practitioners and leaders, the promise of D&I has remained ever outside our reach. As a practice of Diversity and Inclusion, our approach needs to evolve in order to fully meet that promise. It’s time for Transformational Diversity.

Transformational Diversity is a shift to a new level that requires us to actually operate differently. We enter the workplace—whether it is already diverse and inclusive or not—with new mindsets and skillsets that allow us to transform the situations we’re in and the organizations we lead because we’re actually able to see and respond to greater levels of complexity. This sets a goal that is much more challenging and thus more requires more comprehensive work. When we operate in this stage, we ensure that differences transform individuals and their ideas as well as organizations, their environments and the work they generate.

To achieve Transformational Diversity, we need to be able to Filter Shift®, to recognize both our own unconscious Filters as well as the Filters of others, then shift those Filters to respond more effectively in each situation and with every decision.

Filter Shift combines both the ability to reduce the negative interference of the unconscious and increase the ability of Cultural Competence. With a combination of these abilities, we are able to see and respond to the complexities of Diversity, to transform our perspectives and therefore the situations we are in and to finally achieve the promise of Diversity.

Both of these abilities are necessary for us to reach that transformation. Let’s look first at Cultural Competence. Many of us are operating on the left side.[1] In a continuum of cultural competence development there is a distinct difference between the first three stages on the left side where we are significantly less effective and the last two stages on the right side where we reach higher levels of effectiveness as we interact with others. 15% of us have made it to the right side, but only 2.5% of us are in the last and highest stage of competence where we have the level of competency necessary to operate in today’s diverse workplace. [2]

When we operate on the right side, we begin to see a greater level of complexity when it comes to differences. The key is that we see those differences without judging them—consciously or unconsciously. They aren’t good. They aren’t bad. They’re just different.

This is where the ability to reduce the negative interference of the unconscious comes in. Our Filters, that operate in our unconscious, determine how we see each other, the decisions we make and the behaviors we deem good, right and professional. Since they are formed by my past experiences, I believe them to be true even when they’re not.

Obviously, when they’re not, they get in the way and can cause misunderstandings. That’s when we need to be able to shift them to be more effective.

This ability to Filter Shift allows us to see greater complexity in our colleagues and therefore, greater complexity in their contributions. When they are able to do the same, the benefits are exponential. With these skills, we can regularly achieve the maxim of “the sum is greater than the whole of its parts.” I am able to see myself and my ideas differently because I can see them through the eyes of others. That’s transformation.

Transformational Diversity allows us to finally fulfill the promise of Diversity. For decades we have said that a diverse workplace is better, that diverse teams are higher performing and make better decisions. In actuality, drawing from the research of Joe DiStefano, we learn that diverse teams can be the least productive and lowest performing.[3] DiStefano specifically compared diverse teams with homogenous teams and then looked at their performance to see which group did better. He found three types of teams.

The majority of the diverse teams were also the lowest performing teams, falling behind their homogenous counterparts. However, there was also an elite group of performers. Those were the very few diverse teams that outperformed the homogenous teams.

What makes that smaller group of diverse teams so elite and high performing? It’s their ability to interact more effectively with the diversity around them.

Transformational Diversity provides the prescription for Diversity fatigue along with the much-needed traction for our spinning D&I wheels. Most importantly, it helps our organizations and the individuals within them to be their most effective.

This is the new way forward.

[1] Intercultural Development Inventory, IDI LLC, 1998-2011

[2] Intercultural Development Inventory, IDI LLC, 1998-2011

[3] Creating Value with Diverse Teams in Global Management, Joseph J. DiStefano & Martha L. Mazneski, 2000



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