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Articles

Funding Fairness: Investors vs. Founders (part 1)

22/07/2011, 14:48

By Oleg K. Temple, July 2011.

Part I of II: Opening gambit

Every modern businessperson will agree: honest investors are hard to find. In the ever-escalating battle for survival, small and medium businesses seeking funding are required to comply with a mind-boggling quantity of rules and regulations. Actually, hundreds of major international banks and investment companies can be found fairly easily online, however, passing the screening process is no trifling matter and it is more likely that a plan to rescue one's personal economy by cracking Fort Knox would work first time round than a business plan would sail pristine through to the finish.

Managing Stress in Business

01/07/2011, 16:38

By Oleg K. Temple, June 2011.

In the modern world stress plagues us from all sides. We stand at the peak of our technological advancement, yet we are unsatisfied - yesterday's express speed is today's snail pace and we are expected to perform more tasks quicker than 20 people could handle 100 years ago. The rat race rules remain the same - whether the rodents invent bicycles, booster rockets or teleporters. When is enough truly enough? How to summon the strength to carry on without doing irreversible damage to yourself and hurting those around you - after all, unresolved conflict at home and personal problems will inevitably reflect upon your in business performance anyway.

How to successfully market your hotel, travel agency or any other business (part 2)

27/04/2011, 17:05

By Oleg K. Temple, April 2011.
Part II of III - The lifecycle of a meme

Isaac Newton's third law affirms: “action is equal and opposite to reaction”, so it is with a marketing campaign – the larger your goal, the harder it is to tip the scales from concept to prospect at takeoff and then keep the campaign flying. You may wonder, how does this apply to the hotel industry – “as a manager of a mid-sized guesthouse snugly situated in the tranquil English countryside, what do I care for memes?” The answer is simple: advertising is about getting the right kind of attention for your hotel or any other business, i.e. to attract guests or customers and retain them as regulars. Even if you design the most exclusive hotel or guesthouse with state of the art conference facilities, luxury restaurants and top-notch amenities, without promotion your hotel would shrivel and fail – this applies the same way for luxury hotels located in New York, Chicago, Berlin and anywhere else in the world, just as it does for budget hotels, guesthouses, bed and breakfasts and the like.
The difference that the internet and in particular social media has brought is that now SMEs can market themselves at a fraction of the cost, with the predominant part of the investment being time, i.e. anyone can strike the creative spark idea spark idea that will start as a susurrus and then suddenly become amplified and intensified into a squall taking the internet by storm. In the previous part of this article, we examined the recent hoax that rocked Twitter, this time around, we will look closer at the vectors of change and how memes of such vast magnitude are born and replicate.

How to successfully market your hotel, travel agency or any other business

16/04/2011, 08:28

By Oleg K. Temple, April 2011.
Part I of III - The snowflake that brought down a mountain

Marketing your company is a vital necessity in any business – the basic marketing principles apply in the same way for hotels in California, as they do for travel agents in Illinois and financial consultants in London or Brussels. Rules of engagement are: identify your target group and figure out how to pique their interest in regard to your product or service. The internet is a wonderful tool and the recent ascension of social media to the forefront of marketing has empowered many SMEs, allowing them to promote their products effectively and at low monetary cost. Still, the challenge remains – how to make your idea stick in everyone’s mind and stand out above the buzz? Why should tourists lodge at your hotel or buy specifically from your business? You will be able to answer all these questions yourself once you understand how to engineer and orchestrate the social mechanics behind the Tipping Point.

Rethink Power & Energy Solutions – bright ideas to keep you warm

04/04/2011, 08:20

By Oleg K. Temple, November 2010. Published in PRIME Match Magazine #40.

The advent of the energy revolution in this new millennium is as unstoppable as sunrise on a new day, try as they might (by buying up and suppressing new energy patents, political lobbying etc.), the oil giants can do nothing to halt the inevitable. The technologies to heal the world and its people exist and once they become available at fair market prices (rather than at prices aimed at deterring the consumer), factories will begin mass production and the consumer will take to clean technologies like fish to water.

The Baltic Power Scene

13/03/2011, 13:11

By Oleg K. Temple, October 2010. Published in PRIME Match Magazine #40.

“NUCULAR” POWER

Nuclear power is generated through controlled (i.e., non-explosive) nuclear fission reactions that vaporize water and the steam drives the turbines to generate clean electricity.

Will the Eurozone umbrella hold or fold?

27/06/2010, 18:24

By Oleg K. Temple, June 2010.

To ensure that their markets remain upright and sprightly in the long-term, in the good old days, the EU countries came together and created sensible (albeit optimistic) fiscal rules that set the gyration boundaries for their rapidly unfurling economies. Government debt must always reside south of 60% of GDP at the end of the fiscal year and the annual government deficit must not eclipse 3% of total GDP. Shockingly, Finland and Luxembourg are the only two of the 16 Eurozone countries that have managed to rein in the rapacious crisis and adhere to both of these cardinal rules. Hence, the EU economy plummeted into disarray and the path to recovery is proving to be a slow and arduous one.

Are Baltic Banks Client-Friendly?

02/11/2009, 08:42

—a look at the "Baltic Banking 2009" report by EPSI Baltic

By Oleg K. Temple, November 2009.

Since 2004 EPSI Baltic has been monitoring the pulse of the consumer trends in the Baltic region, analysing numerous public polls and studies in the financial, telecommunication, general insurance and other fields. The latest EPSI study focuses on the banking sector of the three Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. No one is shocked that during this time of global economic downturn the satisfaction rating of clients takes a dive, on the contrary, what raises eyebrows is the reaction, or rather lack thereof of the Norwegian and Estonian consumer.

Editor’s Focus: Eye on Latvian Real Estate (part 2 of 2)

19/10/2009, 07:38

By Oleg K. Temple, October 2009.

Unless you've read part one of this article (and perhaps even if you have), you may think I've gone soft in the head when you read the next phrase: it is a good time to be in Latvia! Sure, prices for real estate have crashed through the basement and (largely due to the 3% VAT increase in January this year with another +2% VAT hike looming in 2010) commodity prices have escaped up the chimney taking consumers' income with them in a puff of smoke.

Latvia: Milestones on the Road to Economic Recovery

02/10/2009, 13:23

By Oleg K. Temple, October 2009.

So let's pick up where we left off, thus far we have examined the factors that significantly eroded the competitiveness of Latvia such as unwarranted wage increases and low productivity. We have established that Latvian policy makers under the firm hand and watchful eyes of the IMF, the European Commission and other powers have opted for the high road of domestic discipline and restrained spending while uprooting and eradicating problems that have disharmonized the economy. By choosing to crack down on the problems of the economy and reinforce the foundations for sustained competitiveness, the programme aims to avoid the ephemeral success of floating the Latvian lat, while sweeping the real problems under the rug. Experts agree that for the first time, the young country's government seems to be doing what is actually needed, but is it too little too late? Is there a chance that the crisis will continue to escalate until it boils over and the government buckles to the devaluation sermons of the Scandinavian press?

Baltic Tiger: In the Eye of the Storm

01/10/2009, 20:45

By Oleg K. Temple, October 2009.

Unemployment, defaults, foreclosure and bankruptcy have become the bywords of our time. The domino effect that hit the rest of Europe in 2008 was but a glancing blow to some countries such as Norway. The country domestically contained the crisis largely, by virtue of being outside the EU and continued full sail in true Norse fashion. Currency Expert Chuck Butler* comments that the Norwegian krone is HSBC's preferred G10 currency where the bank expects a sustained appreciation over the next 18 months. Whereas the crisis wasn't as kind to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, countries that were much more vulnerable, colliding with the recession maelstrom head-on. Indeed, the Baltic countries were caught off-balance in their 3rd stage of transition to the Economic Monetary Union of Europe. After a decade of unprecedented growth without foundations and safety measures, the inexorable economic law kicked in and the Baltic house of cards built on the shifting marsh of inexperience imploded with a bang. Today, the dust is beginning to settle and it is time to look to the future.

Editor’s Focus: Eye on Latvian Real Estate (part 1 of 2)

24/09/2009, 10:33

By Oleg K. Temple, September 2009.

It's no secret that of late, Latvia has become singled out as the "sick man of Europe" — a country crippled, maimed and burned by an overheated economy gone berserk, which has now coughed its last and ground to a halt. Doomsayers foretell a long cold winter ahead, before a slight seasonal revival in 2010.

Editor’s Focus on Business

09/09/2009, 11:19

By Oleg K. Temple, September 2009.

This month we're kicking off a new series of articles entitled "Editor's Focus" with the aim of illuminating the dark recesses of business to give you an insight of how experts navigating the dangerous waters of mid- and post-crisis economies are keeping their decks dry.

Join me, Oleg K. Temple on a thrilling quest for clarity amidst the chaos and meet the giants that thrive atop the tough, green-leafed beanstalks of business.

Doldrums at the Shodō 書道 Calligraphy “seminar” of Riga “Takai” 2009

22/08/2009, 20:27

By Oleg K. Temple, August 2009.

Truly, the organizers of this travesty need to procure an unabridged copy of "PR for Dummies" and try to grasp the basic idea at the very least.

Shoddily nailed together by a Latvian Kendo club this event was probably the sorriest display of incompetence I have had the misfortune to witness. The chaps should just stick to their fencing and leave organization of important events to the professionals.

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