Useful Tools to Run Your Small Business from Home

The global pandemic altered the way we work and made us change our work environment. Instead of heading to the office each morning, you can make yourself a cup of coffee and start your day in pyjamas in your home. It can be a dream come true for some, and a complete nightmare for others.

No matter what you think, you can work from home successfully. Simply install a couple of programmes and apps that will help you run your business and achieve your goals. Even if you’re not a tech-savvy person, these tools will help you work from home!

1. Time tracking apps

Whether you’re working by yourself or have other colleagues and employees by your side, working from home can be challenging. How can you know that your employees are completing their tasks and doing everything they can to keep your business running? It’s simple: install time tracking apps to check how many hours have they logged!

These kinds of apps will help you control your employees remotely and see their activity during the day. However, they don’t jeopardize your or your employees’ safety and privacy. They simply follow their activity once they log in and send the report back to you.

2. Anti-virus and protection

It’s commonly known that most offices have implemented protection programmes to protect their sensitive data from hackers and intruders. However, installing such programmes on your home computer might be complicated and pricy! But how can you protect your data when you’re working from home?

The first in the defence line is an anti-virus that protects your computer and network from viruses, Trojans, malware and other dangerous things on the internet. Even though an anti-virus isn’t a mandatory tool, you may find your computer to be infected sooner or later. This will lead to stolen information, slower performances and lost time. In the end, it’s up to you whether you prefer to risk it or play it safe.

3. Accounting tools

One of the biggest downsides of a small business is that one person usually does more than one job. That’s how you can find yourself doing accountant’s work, even if you have no idea how to do so. It can’t be that hard, right? Wrong! One wrong step can cost your business thousands, if not more. So, consider installing accounting tools that will ease the process and help you track your finances.

Accounting tools are easy to use and have customisable dashboards that make the process simple, even for rookies. They have an option to integrate all of your accounts, showing a comprehensive overview, expenses and other financial necessities for small businesses.

4. Video call apps

If your job requires frequent contact with people, working from home can be extremely challenging. As not everyone checks their emails and messages often, staying in touch with everyone can be a complete nightmare. That’s why video call and conferencing apps are an ideal way of keeping up with clients and your co-workers.

Conferencing calls can be used for online meetings or simple check-up calls with your co-workers. On top of that video conferencing and call apps will make it easier to broaden your target group and obtain clients from all over the world. That will help you expand your business and reach a wider audience if that is your goal.

5. Work organizers

Planners and job organizers are useful no matter where you are. From planning your daily activities to assigning tasks and keeping up with your employees’ work, you can run your small business no matter where you are. Tools like these can also help you maintain a good work-life balance. How?

To stop your personal issues from impacting your work life, you need to focus on productivity and your job, during your work hours. On the other hand, you will need to learn how to keep your job issues away from your personal life. Work organizer apps can help you thereby keeping track of your to-dos, assignments, and schedule in general.

6. Reliable intranet solution

You may think that intranet is only suitable for larger businesses. However, your small business can thrive with the right and reliable intranet solution. It can help you stay in touch with your co-workers while you’re all working from home. Also, it will make team communication much easier.

So, think about implementing intranet systems that will encourage productivity and make access to necessary information much easier. It’s about you as an employer to provide your employees with a safe and reliable platformwhere they can discuss work without jeopardizing your business and secrets. On top of that, you can install an intranet system on your mobile phone and have all the information you need just one click away.

7. Online data storage

As our personal computers have a limited amount of storage you can use for your data, the best solution possible would be to upload your data to a certain online cloud, where you can keep it safe. In addition to that, online storage solutions save paper and therefore are an eco-friendlier solution.

Dealing with cloud storage and data systems is one of the most important skills you need if you’ve shifted to work from home. Learn how to upload data, keep it safe and use it whenever you need it. No matter where you are, online storage will provide you with access to important information.

These are only some of the tools that will make working at home easier. Install them and make the whole process of remote work easier for you and your employees. Even something simple like these tools will help you run your business successfully

How did you sleep ? 💤😴

An aspect of our lives that has a significant impact on our mental health is our ability to get a good night’s sleep. We spoke to Karl Rollins, sleep management expert for a comment on how sleep affects mood.

Is there a certain sleep cycle we should all adhere to?

“Absolutely, our own one and we shouldn’t deviate from it!

We humans all adhere to our Circadian rhythms or the 24-hour sleep/wake cycle. Within that 24-hour period we are awake, active, sleep then awake again. However, the actual timing of this differs from person to person because we are governed by our genetics on this one.

It’s called our ‘Chronotype’. There are two main types: Morning Larks or Night Owls. Larks naturally go to bed and get up early and Owls are the opposite. Most people fall into one of these two categories. This harps back to when we were cave-dwelling hunter/gatherers. To ensure we would be successful with our endeavours (and to increase our safety) there were effectively two shifts, morning, and evening.

Simple Sleeping Habits:

  1. “Don’t force yourself to stay up all night if you’re a Lark and don’t take yourself off to bed at nine o’clock in the evening if you’re an Owl.”
    Accept your genetic propensity to sleep and stick to it, you’ll notice a decrease in stress and an increase in vitality.
  2. Another habit to acquire is to ditch the tech an hour before bed and make the sleep environment as dark as possible.”
    This gives the brain a very clear signal to start producing the sleep hormone melatonin.
    In the morning, get as much light into the eyes as possible, this stops melatonin production.
  3. “Another recommendation is to stay hydrated but avoid sugary drinks.”
    This is all simple and obvious, but the best advice usually is.

How does sleep affect us?

“A thing to remember about sleep is that it is a very complex series of 90-minute cycles which are broken down into stages. Each stage performs a different task and one of these is to repair damaged cells and flush out toxins. This can only happen when we allow a cycle to complete and are hydrated enough for efficient flushing. When we sleep well, we feel well. I don’t know about you but when I’ve had a great night’s sleep my stress levels are low, my productivity is high, and I feel like I can cope with life so much easier.”

Beautiful Clothes inspired by the Beautiful Games – SOCCER BIBLE X FARAH

The Unity Collection from Farah X SoccerBible, celebrates the unifying power of football and fashion. Football has a unique ability to bring people together. A universal language that beautifully breaks down barriers, opens dialogue and embraces emotion, the beautiful game can be a catalyst for progressive change and pioneering thinking. Linking up to champion the eclectic nature of football, SoccerBible and Farah have created this unique collection.

The collection, which pops with expressive colour, is inspired by many nuances of European countries. From pub carpets to the finest military camo, each piece in the collection has looked to mix football and fashion with a subtle and considered approach.

This summer will be an opportunity for people to connect in a way like never before. The harmony of togetherness is something we can all cherish in a post-Covid world. This collection looks to add to the celebration and bring out the beauty and colour that runs deep across a number of nations that will be taking to the stage through the international football scene.

The collection has been designed to fit an open mind that appreciates cultures. It’s about acceptance, crossing borders and saying it’s ok to be French and wear something inspired by Italy. It’s all about Unity and the memories that can be created as we come together and bask in a summers’ tournament.

Bespoke pieces in the collection have been inspired by the nations of Scotland, France, Belgium, Italy, England, Germany, Ireland and Wales. Triumphant tartan, enigmatic pinstripes, French cuisine – it’s a multitude of flavours.

SoccerBible will release their next print magazine entitled ‘Utopia’ this summer. The issue will feature an exclusive interview with Sports Team which sees members of the band wearing pieces from the Unity capsule collection. In addition, SoccerBible have also shot and interviewed Everyone You Know and TSB as ambassadors in support of the collection. With them, SoccerBible have discussed the collective appreciation for where football meets fashion and the bond that crosses the game with music.

What your foot type says about your Health

Did you know, today is National Barefoot Day ? It is a time where we are encouraged to look after our feet and appreciate their importance, and as 75% of the population reportedly suffer foot problems in their lifetime, it is vital we get to know our feet and what they need.

In light of this, Cas Paton Founder and CEO of OnBuy.com’s Shoe Department reveals the structural characteristics of each of the seven main foot types and the primary aliments they are likely to experience:

Peasant foot is defined by the big toe, long toe and middle toe being short and of equal length. To accommodate for the lack of balance caused by the shortness of these three toes, peasant foot is structurally ‘flat’. Despite aiding stability, having fallen arches can affect the bodies alignment which increases the risk of ankle, knee and hip pain.

Square foot is characterised by all five toes being of equal length, giving a broad, firm base. A wide ball and narrow heel are typical of this foot structure, resulting in increased pressure on the toes and ball of the foot. This unequal distribution of weight can result in persistent metatarsalgia if incorrect footwear is worn over a significant period of time.

Greek foot also known as the flame foot, is defined by a protruding second toe and is one of the most common foot types worldwide. This shape is caused by a structural ‘abnormality’ in the metatarsals, which are long bones connecting the toes to the back of your foot. With this foot type the first metatarsal bone is shorter than the second, which can cause more weight to be put on the thinner second metatarsal bone. This can result in pain in the arches of your feet.

Stretched feet are characterised by separated toes caused by wideset metatarsal bones. Due to the already wide nature of this foot structure, people with ‘stretched feet’ are a lot more prone to ‘splay feet’ which refers to the sinking of the transverse foot arches over time which, much like with the Greek foot, leads to load-dependent pain.

Roman foot is the most common and is characterised by inward pointing toes and, much like the peasant foot, the first three toes are of similar length. People with Roman foot typically have high arches allowing for greater acceleration and ease when changing direction suddenly.  This is due to stiffer form limiting supination and pronation, allowing the foot to adapt and move quicker. People with Roman foot are however more prone to ‘hammer toes’, which is caused by the weakening of the muscles surrounding the toe. People with Roman foot are more prone to this due to already having an imbalance in muscles and ligaments that keep the toes straight.

Egyptian foot is distinguished by a long, big-toe, followed by the other toes being on an incline. Such feet are usually longer and narrower than any other shapes. Despite being the foot type least likely to suffer from arthritis, bunions and load-dependent pain, this narrow structure allows for greater supination when walking. Supination is one of the leading causes of ankle pain.

Simian foot is identified by disproportionally small inward facing little toe and an inward facing big toe. This shape is caused by a curvature in the phalange bones. Due to both toes tending to drift laterally people with this foot type are most likely to get bunions.

So good they put my name on it- Could these sunglasses be the ONES of the season – Kirk Originals

Choosing the right pair of sunglasses for you, is as difficult as fInding the perfect house to  buy. Well by Jove, I think we might be able to make you life a little bit easier for you this Summer.

You know how it is, my face is too round for those frames, and these are too small for me, these style doesn’t suit me, etc etc. Well let me introduce you to the ‘Anthony’, by the leading British sunglasses brand, Kirk Originals. The Anthony, not only have a wonderful name, but their frames have a universal shape that suits pretty much every face shape.

Plus, Kirk Originals have a pretty envious heritage in the industry and are the go to brand for fashion insiders and those in the know. What who are this brand?

Well, Kirk Originals was established in 1992, however, to recount its history from then would be disingenuous as the business’ foundations were laid all the way back in 1919. It was then that two brothers by the names of Percy and Sidney Kirk established Kirk Brothers, an innovative optician, lens and frame manufacturer operating from 34 Grays Inn Road in London.

The optical industry in the UK was at this point in history thriving, and London was the epicentre of this burgeoning trade. The two brothers were perfectly-matched for a family business enterprise, with plenty of business and marketing acumen genetically combined ingenious creativity, and so the business was founded on solid ground from which to build from. 

Percy was the marketing trailblazer and came up with several profound ideas that bolstered Kirk Brothers’ reputation. These include setting up the first publicity department for a London-based optician and utilising motorcyclists as couriers, the latter of which is hard to imagine given that today it’s standard practice.

Sidney meanwhile was a deft creator, a resourceful and hands-on kind of guy, who notably transformed a sewing machine into a lens cutter which was a pioneering feat at the time. Because of him, Kirk Brothers registered many patents in the 1920s and 1930s in creating component and lens parts, pince-nez and safety lenses for motoring.

In 1941, London was subjected to a dark and oppressive cloud and deafening sounds of The Blitz. This gave the Kirk family no option other than to sell the business, as its headquarters was sadly caught in the crosshairs of Luftwaffe’s offence. Each brother then went at it solo within the optical sphere. Percy became a wholesaler of motoring lenses under the name of Percy Kirk, and Sidney then started an optical manufacturer called Kirk Optical in Hatton Garden. 

Records from this point onwards until the early 1990s are irritatingly vague. But that’s customary given the industry’s major decline in Britain in the 1970s. However, the post-war period in Britain and abroad as progressive and culturally dynamic entities have proven to be more influential and crucial to Kirk Originals approach today in comparison to details on the fragmented and confusingly dissolved Kirk Brothers business. This, we will touch upon later. 

Purely by chance in 1992, a descendent of the founding Kirk family discovered a box of vintage frames, like one does. They were reminiscent of a seemingly bygone era of style: emphatically bold, full of character, heavy in weight and made to a level of quality that was nonexistent across the early 1990s eyewear market. 

These vintage frames were retailed from Covent Garden, yet the supplies quickly ran out, and so Kirk Originals sought out a manufacturer in England and injected a spectrum of contemporary colours and tones across these classic styles of sunglasses. It was very much a winning formula, as no other eyewear brand for men had ventured in this direction before. 

Kirk Originals was an instant hit, frequently seen in the pages of style bible The Face, and on-stage being worn by leaders in the burgeoning Cool Britania, Brit Pop, Acid Jazz, Rave Music scenes. Liam Gallagher is the best-known patron, however, The Brand New Heavies, Paul Weller and The Young Disciples were all equipped with non-conformist attitudes and were well-accustomed to Kirk Originals’ confidence-boosting aesthetic.

As cyclical as trends are, the market for Kirk Originals in the early 2000s waned and the business moved into optical frames. With this, the British essence of the frames was lost with manufacturing undertaken overseas. However, its legendary status for 1990s style continues to exist. 

In June 2017, Kirk Originals was relaunched by IDL Group, a premium architecture business with experience in the luxury sector, at London Collections: Men. The business embarked on a strategy that had a simple but effective ethos: make frames in England by hand using the best materials and most skilled craftspeople and produce perennial eyewear that transcends fickle fashion

To do this, Kirk Originals has gone back to basics and even sourced a workshop where its craftsman produced handmade frames for the business back in the 1990s. Spearheaded by Mark Brown as Creative Director, he has revisited the glory years of masculinity and references mid-century and modernist eyewear through a global lens, channelling traits of confident men with modern design updates.

Luminaries that have helped frame the business’ aesthetic are spread across music, film, the arts, literature and design, both in the UK and abroad. From your silver screen icons such as Robert Mitchum, Jack Nicholson, Terrence Stamp, Alain Delon, and both Paul Newman and Michael Caine in the 1970s, to stage commanders such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Chet Baker and The Clash, and finally to great minds such as James Baldwin and I. M. Pei, Mark Brown has endless reserves of post-modernist seeds of inspiration to work with.

The reception to this new frontier for Kirk Originals has been well-received in a relatively short period of time, and stockists such as Mr Porter, The Rake, Lodenfrey and more, are all testament to that and we’re extremely grateful for their on-going support.

While having stockists that are held in such high regards is a wonderful bonus, the mission statement will always be the crucial aspect of the business. 

Kirk Originals is and always will be totally committed to making the best frames possible in England, and despite time moving at a seemingly accelerating speed, it will always look to champion the aesthetic and attitudes of the 20th century’s foremost characters.