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Business Incubator / Business incubation: Prospects for Bangladesh
« on: May 09, 2018, 01:25:55 PM »
Business incubation: Prospects for Bangladesh

When we look at our own country the implications of business incubation are immense. All eyes appear to be fixed on information technology but the next big thing widely acknowledged is biotechnology. Contrary to what people may think, over 200 students from the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology departments all around the country graduate every year in Bangladesh. Universities such as Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Shahjalal, Maolana Bhashani have varying number of intakes and this has been an upward trend. The question is, where could these genetic engineers go?
Currently, over half of the biotech graduates leave the country for higher studies. They seldom return. About 10% get into related jobs such as teaching, pharmaceuticals and research, etc. Another 10% go to jobs that have no relation to biotechnology. 5% of them start their own businesses and meet with limited success. The future is unknown for the rest 25%. However, if the policy support was in place, they could start biotech enterprises. This is not as farfetched as it appears. Bangladesh has a huge dependency on import for a lot of biotech products that could easily be produced locally.
Take India's experience for instance. The Indian government set up the Department of Science & Technology to help entrepreneurs' kick-start their businesses. The experience has been mixed. The government now has a Technology Development Board that sponsors some 60 incubators with another 30 to 40 incubators that are run privately. Why so much emphasis on incubators? As stated by Roshan Kumar, Manager, Comcubator at Mudra Instritute of Communications in Ahmedabad “an incubator can be a great place for entrepreneurs, especially for those who are in the initial stages of their ventures, anywhere from conceptualisation to early stages of operations. The incubator acts as a hand-holding guide, mentor and support system and acts as a shield from the outside world so that the entrepreneur can learn to stand up on his own much more swiftly and smoothly. An incubator offers, among other things, a mentorship network, access to investors, quality infrastructure and, above all, a vibrant echo-system, all or any of which may not be accessible to those outside.” However, incubators are only successful where the product or idea is exciting, innovative and implementable.
It is hardly surprising that India has emerged as a centre for technology innovation requisite with skilled managerial and technical manpower that is second to none. This did not come from the heavens. Entrepreneurial skill was backed up by necessary legislation. The Science and Technology Policy, 2001 recognises that science and technology are tools for national development. Formation of the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) has had vast implications for incubation. It provides policy guidelines for promoting SMEs. It provides policy guidelines at state-level and basically charts out legislation for foreign direct investment, administrative set up, access to credit, technology development, etc. The NSTEDB goes beyond mere incubation in the strict sense of the word in that it provides policies to aid in marketing, paves the way for a fiscal regime geared towards small-scale industry, helps promote “village industries” that are integrated with existing rural employment generation programmes by providing thrust to small industry, etc. Infrastructure, entrepreneurship development, international cooperation are indeed crucial towards developing an incubation echo-system.
Moving back to the Bangladesh scenario, it is good to learn that the prime minister has urged the National Institute of Biotechnology (NIB) to start a biotech incubator. True, that NIB has all the modern facilities and equipment in its Gonokbari, Savar campus. Intention is noble, but implementation will be difficult, as most NIB officials themselves live in Dhaka. Yet it is a start. But for NIB to develop, some mechanism needs to be put in place whereby personnel can start learning the ropes from people with experience in running incubators in Bangladesh. Expertise is available in the region which can also be tapped into with ease.
Although this is a recent phenomenon in the country the initial success is not meagre. Take the examples of or Creativa.Asia.These companies started off with just an idea and a lot of energy to drive forward. However, they did not know how to register as businesses nor had they any clue how to bag businesses once they were registered. However, with the help of one private sector incubator, both businesses are generating income today, creating jobs for people and adding value to Bangladesh's economy. Creativa.Asia is an interior design and event management business which finds most of its clients through the network the incubator maintains. Another incubatee of the same incubator is One Light Studio whose business is rural housing. It works in the villages of Bangladesh, where no architects or engineers step foot. Combining the technical with local knowledge of building houses, they assist to build homes with organic materials that emit zero carbon. They can help a villager build a two-storied house for seven people at the cost of only Tk200,000. Examples like this are only handful because we do not have as many incubators as we should. If a country like Indonesia can have about 500 incubators how many Bangladesh should have? A few young innovators have taken up the challenge but the government should step up and set up incubators in the public-private-partnership modality. It also needs to come up with detail policy guidelines to help facilitate an incubation echo-system.


Startup / Problems faced by Startup Businesses
« on: March 27, 2018, 12:42:24 PM »
Problems faced by Startup Businesses

Everyone has the dream of starting up their own business and being their own boss, and for most people it always stays a dream due to the many obstacles faced in starting a business and more so keeping it running and profitable.

Some key hurdles that all entrepreneurs and business owners face when starting a business are:


New businesses are often the little kid in a very, very large, bully-filled playground. Rival companies that are already trading in similar markets to yours, already have the upper hand and advantage. They have been operating for a longer time, have gained more knowledge in operating that sort of business, know the market better and can probably adapt to the market changes quicker.

Lack of Funding

99% of people thinking of starting a business wont because of the realisation of the costs and the lack funding available. Its funny that we start businesses with the aim of making loads of money, but in fact you cant make money unless you have money to fund the business from the beginning. Financial risk plays a huge part in small businesses, ensuring and maintaining a healthy cash flow is essential. Start-ups need substantial amounts of money to cover costs. When your starting from scratch there’s many things that need to be developed, for example, logos, website, accountants, marketing materials, staffing, launch programme, merchandise, the list goes on and the bill goes up and up!!

Time Restraints

Starting a business is not a part time Saturday job, business owners need to be able to commit to extremely long hours in the start-up phase. There is everything from staff contracts and health and safety policies to marketing materials and websites to develop and the longer this takes the longer the business takes to be established and the higher the financial risk becomes. The owner will become responsible for everything from the grunt work to the office managerial responsibilities.

Poor Planning

Many business fail in the first year due to poor planning and preparation before declaring themselves as “OPEN FOR BUSINESS!” Before launching any business everything from suppliers to rates should be investigated. Noticing a hike in unexpected costs after you have just launched a business can bankrupt the plans in no time. Extra time should be taken ensuring that everything is covered, the best way to do this is by creating a comprehensive business plan.

No Historical Data

New start-ups often face the problem of just not knowing what is going to happen or what should happen. Launching a new business concept to the market or even for the business owner themselves with little knowledge of the industry can be extremely hard to plan for, as there are no expectations.

However that doesn’t mean its the end of the road and the dream…
The franchise market is growing rapidly at the moment with an estimated turnover of over £12 billion last year, up another £2 billion on previous years. This market is thriving at the moment due to the unsteady market conditions (with the financial collapse only a while ago and the unrest in the international markets especially across Europe) and the reassurance of buying into a proven profitable business model.

Franchises are proving ever more popular due to the weight it lifts off all the problems that start up firms will face. We say the main problems being:


Well your a part of the big family in a franchise. The rights to a franchise allow you to trade under their Brand name, following the brands ethics, guidelines and most importantly share the knowledge that the brand has developed over the past years establishing themselves. With full backing of a recognised brand businesses have a far higher success rate in establishing themselves within the market.

Lack of funding

This is always going to be a problem faced when starting up a business; however with the franchised model most franchisors have already carried out lengthy meetings with the high street banks. Banks are far more reluctant to fund proven business models such a franchise rather than a completely new concept with no proof of its potential success. The costs involved in starting up a franchise are also significantly cheaper then staring up a new business, there are no websites to develop, no contracts to get solicitors to review, the business model is already developed, in operation and making money!

Time Restraints

This one is a simple one…. the franchisor has already developed all of these systems, documents and resources that are needed within any business. When people buy into a franchise they are simply being bolted onto and integrated into a working business concept ready for operation in a very short period of time.

Poor Planning

For franchisors this is a constant process of continually devising business plans and development plans for their brands, and therefore it comes as second nature. Franchisors work very closely developing individual business plans with new franchises ensuring their business aims work well within the franchised model they have invested into. A easy way to think of it is…. they’ve done it before, they’ll do it again!


Startup / How to Create Financial Projections for Your Startup
« on: March 27, 2018, 09:50:51 AM »
How to Create Financial Projections for Your Startup

Creating financial projections is an important part of your startup’s business plan. If you’re seeking financing, financial projections help convince prospective lenders and investors that your business will be profitable by offering them a good return on their investment.

If you’re not seeking financing, you may think you don’t need financial projections and can just “wing it.” Big mistake. Financial projections are vital to you, too. First, they enable you to plan and budget for your new business. Second, they serve as a yardstick.

By comparing your actual financial statements to your projections, you’ll be able to see if your business is consistently falling short of your projections or surpassing them. If your projections are falling behind, then you’ll need to make some changes by raising prices, cutting costs or rethinking your business model. Conversely, if your income surpasses your projections, then you may need to hire employees, expand your facility or seek financing sooner than you expected.

In general, financial projections for a startup should go three years into the future, as it’s hard to project further than that without some historical data to use. To get started, create:

A sales forecast.
Project your sales out for at least three years, including monthly sales for the first year, then quarterly for the following years. How many customers can you expect? How many units will be sold? What is the cost of goods sold? How will you price your products?

An expense budget.
Include both fixed costs (e.g. rent for your location) and variable costs (e.g. marketing expenses). You don’t need to do an incredibly detailed breakdown, such as listing the cost of every chair you plan to purchase, but you do need general figures.
Financial projections include three basic documents that make up a business’s financial statements.

1.Income statement: This projects how much money the business will generate by projecting income and expenses, such as sales, cost of goods sold, expenses and capital. For your first year in business, you’ll want to create a monthly income statement. For the second year, quarterly statements will suffice. For the following years, you’ll just need an annual income statement.

Cash flow statement: The cash flow statement is kind of like a checking account register, but goes into more detail on how much money will flow into (income) and out of (expenses) your business. At the end of each period (e.g. monthly, quarterly, annually), you’ll tally it all up to show either a profit or loss.

Balance sheet: The balance sheet shows the business’s overall finances including assets, liabilities and equity. Typically you will create an annual balance sheet for your financial projections.
Projecting three years in the future should enable you to forecast the break-even point, which is the point at which your business stops operating at a loss and starts to turn a profit. Most startups break even in about 18 months, although that threshold will vary based on your business model and industry.

Along with your financial statements and break-even analysis, include any other documents that explain the assumptions behind your financial projections.


Product knowledge / Product Knowledge Training
« on: March 21, 2018, 03:17:12 PM »
Product Knowledge Training

Importance of Product Knowledge

Product knowledge is the most important tool for closing sales. It instills faith, trust, and respect in the customer, which creates a positive customer experience. The importance of product knowledge represents itself the most in these situations:

Answering Difficult Questions:

Many customers will have answered just about every question on your product or service before they even call you. But, there are usually a couple questions which don’t have answers online, and normally they are difficult questions like: “I have read some mixed reviews on your customer service. Can you tell me what I can expect if I have problems down the road?” This is where product knowledge training is crucial. If your team is educated on these negative perceptions ahead of time and have prepared responses for them, the answer the customer receives will be very powerful and concise. If they are caught off guard, they might become defensive, stumble over their response, or completely ignore the question, which will result in all faith being lost with the customer because the one question they couldn’t find an answer for ahead of time, was answered insufficiently.

Building Trust:

Customers have to trust the product, company, and person they interact with before they make a purchase, and by now, you probably know that the person they interact with is weighed much more heavily than the other two sources. This makes it vital for your sales team to be seen as trustworthy sources of information. As mentioned earlier, customers enter conversations armed with information about your product. Imagine what it says to your customer if what they hear from the salesperson is not the same as what they have taken from your website or marketing releases. It eliminates all trust in not only the company, but also in the salesperson, because they don’t know who to believe. This makes it crucial that not only your sales team has enough product knowledge, but that they also have the most current product knowledge.

Making Lasting Impressions:

One of the reasons that customers are doing so much research on your products and services is that tremendous competition has driven consumers to believe that all products are similar. With such a small margin of difference in the product itself, companies are realizing that they can make up for the difference in other areas. One easy area that you can make a difference is in the buying experience, but it requires an in-depth knowledge of your product to do so. For example, a customer starts the conversation by asking about one product, but your salesperson recognizes that this customer is actually a better fit for a different product (or even an add-on product.) Your salesperson then proceeds to explain the reasons why, and in doing so, has now taught the customer something and shown that the salesperson has the customer’s best interest in mind. With so many “order takers” in the sales industry right now, this is sure to create a lasting impression.

Benefits of Product Knowledge

Knowledge is power and for your sales force, product knowledge can be the vehicle to increased sales. We have already discussed the reasons why product knowledge is important to your business, but the list below highlights the benefits of product knowledge—as they directly relate to your sale team.

Strengthen Communication Skills – A thorough and wider understanding of a product enables a salesperson to use different techniques and methods of presenting a product to various types of customers. Stronger communication skills empower a salesperson to suitably adapt a sales presentation for greater impact.
Boosts Enthusiasm – Armed with deep product knowledge, a display of enthusiasm and belief in the product may generate excitement among your customers and alleviate uncertainty about the solution that the product provides for the customer.
Grows Confidence – If a customer isn’t fully committed to completing a sale, the difference may simply be the presence (or lack) of credibility or confidence a salesperson has towards the product. Becoming educated in the product and its uses will help cement that confidence.
Assists in Overcoming Objections – Factual information gained from product knowledge, may be used to strike down objections voiced by customers. Solid knowledge about your product coupled with parallel information about similar products sold by your competitors—gives you that added advantage to easily counter objections.
Product training with emphasis toward product knowledge will be more effective in helping you deliver customer experiences that “Wow” before your competitors do. In closing and to reiterate the importance of product knowledge, here’s a quote:

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
-Benjamin Franklin


Buzz Marketing / 5 Most Valuable Advantages of Viral Marketing
« on: March 21, 2018, 02:40:25 PM »
5 Most Valuable Advantages of Viral Marketing

Best way to define viral marketing is to call it word of mouth advertising that involves the efforts of your audiences. This kind of advertising spreads your message to the masses as well as helps you gain authority. You can check out the FREE eBooks Regarding Viral Marketing to be more comfortable.

It has worked miraculously well for thousands of marketers in improving the growth and success of their online businesses. It helps in getting tremendous exposure, visibility, and better traffic conclusively getting your increased sales revenue.

Here are some of the most valuable advantages of viral marketing you might be looking for.

1. An Enhanced Customer List

If you think what help does a customer list do, you need to know that a customer list plays an important role in your online marketing quite in the same way as it does in the off line marketing. Suppose you sell ice-creams, won’t you expect your already existing customers to show more interest in your newly introduced flavors over the new customers?

It is not just the quantity but also the quality of your customers that decides your business. Every loyal customer you gain adds to your customer list and viral marketing works quite well in enhancing this list of yours.

Suppose you have a customer A who is totally satisfied with your products, he introduces your name to his friend B who turns into your new customer, now he too finds your stuffs good and introduces them to a third friend say C. So, now from your older customer A, you have gained B, C and if this process goes on you’ll surely have really large list. This is what a word of mouth recommendation does.

2. Remarkable Growth in Comparatively Lesser Time

Did it ever occur to you why is viral marketing called viral by the way?  Well, you can say it has virus like characteristics – i.e. it develops in almost geometric progressively. You can also say that it is kind of contagious! And once it hits a group of people, it soon gets spread everywhere and this also affects your sales and profit. As a viral disease has amazing potential engulfing masses so has it, so you can expect huge traffic to your site and more clicks and conversion.

3. You Gain More Credibility

As it essentially works on personal recommendations, with time when you are known to lots of new people because of being recommended by their friends and network, your credibility is increased among your audiences. Also, you are being recommended and shared by masses, you get greater noise, and there’s a remarkable buzz about your products among the masses. It works like the links of a chain, i.e. one event leading to another and all finally getting you more credibility. You get higher traffic and better comments that works for your business on a positive note.

4. Better visibility

So your stuffs are being recommended, shared, commented upon, and discussed among your audiences, this creates a really better buzz which leads to greater visibility.

5. Cuts your Promotional Costs

Though this won’t happen at the very beginning, but with time it will cut down your promotional costs as you already get enough visibility and buzz around the internet, so you don’t need to spend extra amount for promoting your site.  It is indeed a great way to lower down your advertising expenses as enough advertising is done without spending a buck by being recommended by your existing audiences. There are many other advantages of viral marketing, the above mentioned ones are just a few of them.


Pricing / Pricing Strategies
« on: March 21, 2018, 02:09:45 PM »
Pricing Strategies


In terms of the marketing mix some would say that pricing is the least attractive element. Marketing companies should really focus on generating as high a margin as possible. The argument is that the marketer should change product, place or promotion in some way before resorting to pricing reductions. However price is a versatile element of the mix as we will see.

Penetration Pricing.

The price charged for products and services is set artificially low in order to gain market share. Once this is achieved, the price is increased. This approach was used by France Telecom and Sky TV. These companies need to land grab large numbers of consumers to make it worth their while, so they offer free telephones or satellite dishes at discounted rates in order to get people to sign up for their services. Once there is a large number of subscribers prices gradually creep up. Taking Sky TV for example, or any cable or satellite company, when there is a premium movie or sporting event prices are at their highest – so they move from a penetration approach to more of a skimming/premium pricing approach.

Economy Pricing.

This is a no frills low price. The costs of marketing and promoting a product are kept to a minimum. Supermarkets often have economy brands for soups, spaghetti, etc. Budget airlines are famous for keeping their overheads as low as possible and then giving the consumer a relatively lower price to fill an aircraft. The first few seats are sold at a very cheap price (almost a promotional price) and the middle majority are economy seats, with the highest price being paid for the last few seats on a flight (which would be a premium pricing strategy). During times of recession economy pricing sees more sales. However it is not the same as a value pricing approach which we come to shortly.

Price Skimming.

Price skimming sees a company charge a higher price because it has a substantial competitive advantage. However, the advantage tends not to be sustainable. The high price attracts new competitors into the market, and the price inevitably falls due to increased supply.

Manufacturers of digital watches used a skimming approach in the 1970s. Once other manufacturers were tempted into the market and the watches were produced at a lower unit cost, other marketing strategies and pricing approaches are implemented. New products were developed and the market for watches gained a reputation for innovation.

The diagram depicts four key pricing strategies namely premium pricing, penetration pricing, economy pricing, and price skimming which are the four main pricing policies/strategies. They form the bases for the exercise. However there are other important approaches to pricing, and we cover them throughout the entirety of this lesson.

Psychological Pricing.

This approach is used when the marketer wants the consumer to respond on an emotional, rather than rational basis. For example Price Point Perspective (PPP) 0.99 Cents not 1 US Dollar. It’s strange how consumers use price as an indicator of all sorts of factors, especially when they are in unfamiliar markets. Consumers might practice a decision avoidance approach when buying products in an unfamiliar setting, an example being when buying ice cream. What would you like, an ice cream at $0.75, $1.25 or $2.00? The choice is yours. Maybe you’re entering an entirely new market. Let’s say that you’re buying a lawnmower for the first time and know nothing about garden equipment. Would you automatically by the cheapest? Would you buy the most expensive? Or, would you go for a lawnmower somewhere in the middle? Price therefore may be an indication of quality or benefits in unfamiliar markets.

Product Line Pricing.

Where there is a range of products or services the pricing reflects the benefits of parts of the range. For example car washes; a basic wash could be $2, a wash and wax $4 and the whole package for $6. Product line pricing seldom reflects the cost of making the product since it delivers a range of prices that a consumer perceives as being fair incrementally – over the range.

If you buy chocolate bars or potato chips (crisps) you expect to pay X for a single packet, although if you buy a family pack which is 5 times bigger, you expect to pay less than 5X the price. The cost of making and distributing large family packs of chocolate/chips could be far more expensive. It might benefit the manufacturer to sell them singly in terms of profit margin, although they price over the whole line. Profit is made on the range rather than single items.

Optional Product Pricing.

Companies will attempt to increase the amount customers spend once they start to buy. Optional ‘extras’ increase the overall price of the product or service. For example airlines will charge for optional extras such as guaranteeing a window seat or reserving a row of seats next to each other. Again budget airlines are prime users of this approach when they charge you extra for additional luggage or extra legroom.

Captive Product Pricing

Where products have complements, companies will charge a premium price since the consumer has no choice. For example a razor manufacturer will charge a low price for the first plastic razor and recoup its margin (and more) from the sale of the blades that fit the razor. Another example is where printer manufacturers will sell you an inkjet printer at a low price. In this instance the inkjet company knows that once you run out of the consumable ink you need to buy more, and this tends to be relatively expensive. Again the cartridges are not interchangeable and you have no choice.

Product Bundle Pricing.

Here sellers combine several products in the same package. This also serves to move old stock. Blu-ray and videogames are often sold using the bundle approach once they reach the end of their product life cycle. You might also see product bundle pricing with the sale of items at auction, where an attractive item may be included in a lot with a box of less interesting things so that you must bid for the entire lot. It’s a good way of moving slow selling products, and in a way is another form of promotional pricing.

Promotional Pricing.

Pricing to promote a product is a very common application. There are many examples of promotional pricing including approaches such as BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free), money off vouchers and discounts. Promotional pricing is often the subject of controversy. Many countries have laws which govern the amount of time that a product should be sold at its original higher price before it can be discounted. Sales are extravaganzas of promotional pricing!

Geographical Pricing.

Geographical pricing sees variations in price in different parts of the world. For example rarity value, or where shipping costs increase price. In some countries there is more tax on certain types of product which makes them more or less expensive, or legislation which limits how many products might be imported again raising price. Some countries tax inelastic goods such as alcohol or petrol in order to increase revenue, and it is noticeable when you do travel overseas that sometimes goods are much cheaper, or expensive of course.

Value Pricing.

This approach is used where external factors such as recession or increased competition force companies to provide value products and services to retain sales e.g. value meals at McDonalds and other fast-food restaurants. Value price means that you get great value for money i.e. the price that you pay makes you feel that you are getting a lot of product. In many ways it is similar to economy pricing. One must not make the mistake to think that there is added value in terms of the product or service. Reducing price does not generally increase value.

See also eMarketing Price and international Marketing price.

Our financial objectives in terms of price will be secured on how much money we intend to make from a product, how much we can sell, and what market share will get in relation to competitors. Objectives such as these and how a business generates profit in comparison to the cost of production, need to be taken into account when selecting the right pricing strategy for your mix. The marketer needs to be aware of its competitive position. The marketing mix should take into account what customers expect in terms of price.

There are many ways to price a product. Let’s have a look at some of them and try to understand the best policy/strategy in various situations.

Premium Pricing.

Use a high price where there is a unique brand. This approach is used where a substantial competitive advantage exists and the marketer is safe in the knowledge that they can charge a relatively higher price. Such high prices are charged for luxuries such as Cunard Cruises, Savoy Hotel rooms, and first class air travel.


How to Use Networking Events to Build, Maintain and Grow Your Business

What is networking?

In the simplest of terms, networking might be referred to as the lowest-cost marketing method many businesses can employ. Business networking can be defined as a process in which you might leverage your existing business connections to develop sales and business opportunities. That’s not it. You can also use networking events for affiliate marketing, collaboration and joint ventures.

So, in effect, it’s a process of building and fostering new relationships through introductions and referrals. It’s not about what you know about the business. It’s about who you know in the business.

When it comes to networking, the medium you utilize is almost as important as, if not more so than, the nature of the process. Business networking can be conducted through networking events involving face-to-face meetings, formal or informal gatherings and communication mediums like phone and email.

However, the single most influential medium of networking these days is social media. And that should be our focus of attention. Let’s consider a prominent business networking website, LinkedIn, as an example.

Business networking and LinkedIn

Facebook and many other social networking websites were established with a simple purpose – to do what it said on the banner, to bring people together socially. It wasn’t long before people discovered that if you can use social media to connect socially, you can also do it to connect professionally.

And, lo and behold, LinkedIn was born.

As a business person, if there’s one thing you should absolutely excel at, it is knowing how to use LinkedIn to build powerful influence. When you think of LinkedIn, you imagine establishing a strong network by creating new connections.

But there’s a lot more to it. LinkedIn also offers you the ability to create networking events through which you can invite your connections. You can also find and attend the right events which, you think, will bring you closer to business success.

Social media networking strategy

If you want to use social media as a tool to promote your business networking events, why not be prepared to use it right? You need to have a social media strategy with special events.

A strategy, by definition, is a series of steps designed to achieve a singular purpose. In this particular situation, your purpose is to use your social media presence to attract more participants to your networking events.

To create a strategy, you would need to conduct a lot of research on who your potential audience is. Then, you need to find the best ways to reach that audience, grab their attention, and convince them that attending your event would be worth it.

Why networking events are so crucial

There’s one crucial thing that needs to be said here. Living in a post digital revolution age does not, in any way, diminish the importance of face-to-face business networking events. In spite of the digital age (or, perhaps, because of it), more people than ever prefer the face-to-face interactions that networking events offer.

The research data on the importance of face-to-face network is staggering. Forbes Insight, conducted a survey on this very subject. And, an overwhelming 84 percent of the respondents stated that they prefer face-to-face meetings when it comes to establishing business relationships.

When asked why they preferred in-person business meetings, here were some of the responses:

85 percent said it builds stronger and more meaningful relationships
77 percent liked the ability to read facial expressions and body language during in-person meetings
75 percent preferred it due to the prospect of more social interactions and bonding
The data is overwhelmingly in favor of face-to-face business networking events. This suggests that when we think of using social media for business networking, we’re not just thinking about conducting networking through social media. We also need to come up with ways to use social media to boost attendance at a networking event.

The last word

Networking events are crucial to the success of your business. Whether you want to use networking for self promotion, like Jimmy Fallon, or you want to promote a social cause, like SheWorx, or you simply want to bring in more blog traffic from the offline world, you know what you need to do.

So go through your list of contacts and start preparing a strategy to win them over.

Now that you have seen how to build, maintain and grow your business through networking events, its time for you to apply the tips I’ve shared. If you have any questions, leave your comment in the box below.


MakerSpace / Makerspaces: the Benefits
« on: March 21, 2018, 01:47:36 PM »
Makerspaces: the Benefits

The benefits of educational makerspaces are many and varied. While they do not come without their challenges, makerspaces can have a significant impact on student learning and development. In fact, makerspaces were recently identified as one of six important developments in educational technology for K-12 education by the New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Report for 2015, which states, “Makerspaces are increasingly being looked to as a method for engaging learners in creative, higher-order problem-solving through hands-on design, construction, and iteration” (p. 38). According to the NMC (2015), makerspaces have the potential to effectively address the necessary skillsets for students in the 21st Century (p. 38). What follows is an explanation of some of the potential benefits that can be gained through maker learning and well established makerspaces.

Making and Tinkering are Powerful and Empowering Ways to Learn

“Ultimately, the interdisciplinary and empowering natures of these makerspaces can help prepare youth for a future we can’t yet imagine” (Davee, Regalla & Chang, 2015, p. 10).

Makerspaces within schools and school libraries provide powerful contexts and opportunities for students to learn and develop new skills.  As the makerspace movement “draws upon the innately human desire to make things using our hands and our brains”, school makerspaces can provide this necessary outlet for students, fueling engagement, creativity and curiosity at the same time (Fleming, 2015, p.2). For example, a research study conducted by Small (2014) found that “students who participated in activities involving innovation were inquisitive, imaginative and motivated. They wanted to solve real problems that could help people” (as cited in Moorefield-Lang, 2015, p. 108).

Makerspace learning can also empower students, helping them to shift from being passive consumers of information and products to active creators and innovators.  As Martinez and Stager (2013) assert, “Making lets you take control of your life, be more active, and be responsible for your own learning” (p. 29). Furthermore, it is the process of making that emerges as a powerful experience for students, not necessarily the completion of a final product. As Burke (2014) explains, “What is made may not matter at all; it can still influence the thought process, vision, and ability to connect of a learning maker.  These abilities can enhance a person’s thinking and work in many different fields” (p.13). As Laura Fleming (2015), one of the first school librarians to pioneer a makerspace within her high school library, attests, makerspaces cultivate a multitude of advantages for students:

Maker education fosters curiosity, tinkering, and iterative learning, which in turn leads to better thinking through better questioning.  I believe firmly that this learning environment fosters enthusiasm for learning, student confidence, and natural collaboration. Ultimately the outcome of maker education and educational makerspaces leads to determination, independent and creative problem solving, and an authentic preparation for real world by simulating real-world challenges (p. 48).

Makerspaces are Learner-Centered Opportunities

“When we allow children to experiment, take risks, and play with their own ideas, we give them permission to trust themselves. They begin to see themselves as learners who have good ideas and can transform their own ideas into reality” (Martinez & Stager, 2013, p. 36).

As Martinez and Stager (2013) argue, “Making is a stance that puts the learner at the center of the educational process and creates opportunities that students may never have encountered themselves” (p. 30).  In a maker classroom or library, the teacher acts as a mentor and at times as a learner himself, as students are enabled to bring their own skills and ideas to the forefront. According to Kurti, Kurti and Fleming (2014), makerspaces encourage independent exploration and “owning the learning experience opens unexplored horizons to students because independent thinkers have the uncanny ability to strike out into uncharted territory” (p. 20). Makerspaces provide flexible learning arrangements that promote both autonomy and collaboration, enabling students to test out their own ideas and innovations.

Makerspaces Offer Authentic Learning Experiences Connected to the Real World

“Schools are turning to makerspaces to facilitate activities that inspire confidence in young learners, and help them acquire entrepreneurial skills that are immediately applicable in the real world” (NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition, p. 39).

Authentic, real-world experiences engage children, enabling them to see beyond their own context to understand the applications of what they are learning and doing.  Maker learning is designed to provide such authentic experiences.  As Martinez and Stager (2014) report, “Makers are constructing knowledge as they build physical artifacts that have real-world value” enabling kids to “solve real problems with their own inventions”.  Fleming (2015) also addresses the networked, outside-of-the-four-walls nature of makerspace learning, arguing that makerspaces “offer far wider spheres of communication and enables a critical mass of learning to be achieved globally rather than necessarily locally” (p. 10). Finally, Burke (2014) describes an example of a high school chemistry class maker activity, where students were studying ions and designing 3-D models of molecules.  Burke (2014) reports that the maker activity portion of the learning “makes it more interesting and gives them [the students] a chance to learn new software, which they will have to do later in life.  It has real-world connection for students beyond what they are learning in chemistry” (p. 27).

Makerspaces Help to Prepare Students for the Future

“The turn of the 21st century has signaled a shift in the types of skillsets that have real, applicable value in a rapidly advancing world. In this landscape, creativity, design, and engineering are making their way to the forefront of educational considerations, as tools such as robotics, 3D printers, and web-based 3D modeling applications become accessible to more people. Makerspaces are increasingly being looked to as a method for engaging learners in creative, higher-order problem-solving through hands-on design, construction, and iteration” (NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition, p. 38).

By providing opportunities in entrepreneurialism, exposing students to new skills and technologies and opening doors to new career paths, makerspaces can help to prepare students for the future and ignite a passion for lifelong learning. Martinez and Stager (2013) argue that making exposes young learners to engineering skills which provides a helpful context for some of the more abstract concepts in math or science.  Furthermore, “for older students, making combines disciplines in ways that enhance the learning process for diverse student populations and opens doors to unforeseen career paths” (Martinez & Stager, 2013, p. 3).  Fleming (2015) further expounds on the valuable characteristics encouraged by maker learning, such as the development of a growth mindset and a toleration for risk and failure, arguing that “failure is a necessary step on the road to success and innovation” (p. 9). Finally, as Kalil (2010) reports, “The maker mindset empowers people not just to seek out jobs in STEM or creative fields, but to make their own jobs and industries, depending on their interests and the emerging needs they see in a rapidly changing society” (as cited in Pepplar & Bender, 2013, p. 23).

Makerspaces Address Differentiation and Multiple Intelligences

Makerspaces, like the new school library learning commons model, are flexible, adaptable learning environments that can address differentiation and multiple intelligences, modifying the educational experience for those who learn differently. According to Martinez and Stager (2013), “hands-on learning through the sort of rich projects advocated by makers offers flexible opportunities for students to learn in their personal style or styles” (p. 22). As Fleming (2015) asserts, makerspaces are “uniquely adaptable, learning environments that our students need, want, and will flourish in” (p. 46). Makerspaces, by their nature, reflect community interests and needs and adapt as those interests and needs evolve over time.

Makerspaces Engage Community and Invite Cross-generational Learning

“Community is the defining element of the maker movement on both a local and international scale”, and as communities, makerspaces exemplify the following qualities: co-working, collaboration, teaching, learning and an open sharing of ideas (Burke, 2014, p. 12). Makerspaces invite local “experts” to share their skills and passions with students so that they in turn can share with others, thus bringing the community into the classroom. Furthermore, there is often a role-reversal involved in makerspace communities.  For example, Burke (2014) reports on a makerspace in an academic setting where “Students, staff, and professors have regularly come to participate in workshops.  The experience is really creating a community of peers in that faculty and staff members are often learning from students” (p. 91).

Makerspaces also invite cross-generational learning and lifelong learning (Fleming 2015). As Peppler and Bender (2013) report, cross-generational can range from “parents with expertise in fixing or modifying cars, to grandparents who sew or crochet, to aunts and uncles who carve at home in a woodshop. Makerspaces are a place for individuals with a range of expertise to share their passions” (p. 27). Much like libraries, makerspaces are designed as an entire community invitation, offering “something for everyone”.

Makerspaces are Inter-disciplinary Reflections of Real Life

Similar to school libraries, makerspaces promote inter-disciplinary learning and knowledge, effectively dissolving the artificial barriers that schools create for subject areas. Martinez and Stager (2013) argue against these subject distinctions, stating, “the real world doesn’t work that way! Architects are artists. Craftsmen deal in aesthetics, tradition and mathematical precision. Video game designers rely on computer science. Engineering and industrial design are inseparable.  The finest scientists are often accomplished musicians” (p. 2). Makerspaces can create a more realistic environment that reflects how professionals approach their work. Peppler and Bender (2013) also discuss how makerspace “cross-disciplinary and interest-centeredness contrasts with traditional school participation in which disciplines are isolated from each other and problems or projects are imposed upon learners” (p. 27). Makerspaces promote an innovative blend of disciplines that can ignite problem solving and spark new invention.

Makerspaces Can Function as Catalysts for Change

“Makerspace education also has the potential to empower young people to become agents of change in their communities” (NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition, p. 38).

Finally, as Peppler and Bender (2013) assert, “it’s clear that the maker movement is an innovative way to reimagine education” (p. 26). Fleming (2015) also supports the view that makerspaces can support the redesign of school learning opportunities, stating:

I firmly believe that makerspaces are more than capable of driving real and sustained systemic change from within the system…That, in my opinion, has things exactly the right way around: real change has to come from within the system, from a growing recognition of a need for change in the schools and classrooms themselves (p. 55).


Nanotechnology / Nanotechnology Applications
« on: March 21, 2018, 12:09:20 PM »
Nanotechnology Applications

Areas where nanotechnology is used

Today, a life without nanotechnology is hard to imagine. Nanotechnologies – to be more specific: nanomaterials – are already used in numerous products and industrial applications. Our Nanotechnology Products and Applications database already provides an overview of how nanomaterials and nanostructuring applications are used today in industrial and commercial appplications across industries (please note: This is NOT a consumer products database that you can find elsewhere; so no antibacterial socks, bathroom cleaners, face creams, or pet products here...).
Our section "Ten things you should know about nanotechnology" provides you with an excellent first overview of what nanotechnologies are, what they are used for, and what some of the key issues are. If you want to get a more in-depth view of nanotechnology in important industry areas, then this section is for you. Also check out our primer How does nanotechnology work?
Here is a brief overview of some current applications of nanomaterials. Most of them represent evolutionary developments of existing technologies: for example, the reduction in size of electronics devices. They also give us an idea where nanotechnology will take us and where nanotechnology can be used in the future.


An important use of nanoparticles and nanotubes is in composites, materials that combine one or more separate components and which are designed to exhibit overall the best properties of each component. This multi-functionality applies not only to mechanical properties, but extends to optical, electrical and magnetic ones. Currently, carbon fibres and bundles of multi-walled CNTs are used in polymers to control or enhance conductivity, with applications such as antistatic packaging. The use of individual CNTs in composites is a potential long-term application. A particular type of nanocomposite is where nanoparticles act as fillers in a matrix; for example, carbon black used as a filler to reinforce car tyres. However, particles of carbon black can range from tens to hundreds of nanometres in size, so not all carbon black falls within our definition of nanoparticles.
Clays containing naturally occurring nanoparticles have long been important as construction materials and are undergoing continuous improvement. Clay particle based composites – containing plastics and nano-sized flakes of clay – are also finding applications such as use in car bumpers.
Nanocoatings and nanostructured surfaces

Coatings with thickness controlled at the nano- or atomic scale have been in routine production for some time, for example in molecular beam epitaxy or metal oxide chemical vapor depositionfor optoelectonic devices, or in catalytically active and chemically functionalized surfaces. Recently developed applications include the self-cleaning window, which is coated in highly activated titanium dioxide, engineered to be highly hydrophobic (water repellent) and antibacterial, and coatings based on nanoparticulate oxides that catalytically destroy chemical agents. Wear and scratch-resistant hard coatings are significantly improved by nanoscale intermediate layers (or multilayers)
between the hard outer layer and the substrate material. The intermediate layers give good bonding and graded matching of elastic and thermal properties, thus improving adhesion. A range of enhanced textiles, such as breathable, waterproof and stainresistant fabrics, have been enabled by the improved control of porosity at the nanoscale and surface roughness in a variety of polymers and inorganics.

Tougher and Harder Cutting Tools

Cutting tools made of nanocrystalline materials, such as tungsten carbide, tantalum carbide and titanium carbide, are more wear and erosion-resistant, and last longer than their conventional (large-grained) counterparts. They are finding applications in the drills used to bore holes in circuit boards.


Incorporating nanoparticles in paints could improve their performance, for example by making them lighter and giving them different properties. Thinner paint coatings (‘lightweighting’), used for example on aircraft, would reduce their weight, which could be beneficial to the environment. However, the whole life cycle of the aircraft needs to be considered before overall benefits can be claimed. It may also be possible to substantially reduce solvent content of paints, with resulting environmental benefits. New types of foulingresistant marine paint could be developed and are urgently needed as alternatives to tributyl tin (TBT), now that the ecological impacts of TBT have been recognised. Anti-fouling surface treatment is also valuable in process applications such as heat exchange, where it could lead to energy savings. If they can be produced at sufficiently low cost, fouling-resistant coatings could be used in routine duties such as piping for domestic and industrial water systems. It remains speculation whether very effective anti-fouling coatings could reduce the use of biocides, including chlorine. Other novel, and more long-term, applications for nanoparticles might lie in paints that change colour in response to change in temperature or chemical environment, or paints that have reduced infra-red absorptivity and so reduce heat loss.
Concerns about the health and environmental impacts of nanoparticles may require the need for the durability and abrasion behaviour of nano-engineered paints and coatings to be addressed, so that abrasion products take the form of coarse or microscopic agglomerates rather than individual nanoparticles.


Nanospheres of inorganic materials could be used as lubricants, in essence by acting as nanosized ‘ball bearings’. The controlled shape is claimed to make them more durable than conventional solid lubricants and wear additives. Whether the increased financial and resource cost of producing them is offset by the longer service life of lubricants and parts remains to be investigated. It is also claimed that these nanoparticles reduce friction between metal surfaces, particularly at high normal loads. If so, they should find their first applications in high-performance engines and drivers; this could include the energy sector as well as transport. There is a further claim that this type of lubricant is effective even if the metal surfaces are not highly smooth. Again, the benefits of reduced cost and resource input for machining must be compared against production of nanolubricants. In all these applications, the particles would be dispersed in a conventional liquid lubricant; design of the lubricant system must therefore include measures to contain and manage waste.


Human Resource / Role of HR in Banking
« on: March 18, 2018, 04:47:48 PM »
Role of HR in Banking

The banking industry is a highly regulated powerhouse that stabilizes the economic environment of nations around the world. Banks store sensitive, personal information about their clients, and commercial banks often house more valuable inventory -- cash -- than other retail operations. Bank employees, from executives to tellers, must have a higher level of integrity and trustworthiness than employees in most other industries, making the role of HR in banking that much more important.

Applicant Screening

Certain jobs do not really require a thorough background check, but any job in a bank definitely does. Human resource departments in banks must go the extra mile to uncover the criminal and financial history of job applicants, for the safety of their clients and their organization as a whole. Banks are highly unlikely to hire candidates with financial fraud on their records, for example, due to the sheer weight of temptation a position in a bank would place on someone with that kind of history.

Bank Security

Human resources departments must design and monitor work processes to reduce opportunities for internal theft and collusion. HR policies separate cash receiving, storage, processing and disbursement, and record all activities via video surveillance. In the event that an employee attempts to steal from a bank, the HR department must handle the legal paperwork and administrative processes required by court proceedings.

Pay Decisions

As with other industries, HR professionals in banks have a hand in making decisions for pay raises and promotions. Bank workforces are unique in that they often have two methods of paying employees: salaries for back-office and other personnel, and commissions for sales employees. Promotion decisions for salespeople selling loans and other financial products differ from decisions to promote administrative staff. Banks' HR departments must manage both equitably and strategically to develop the workforce.

Executive Recruitment

The banking industry is highly competitive, and banks constantly navigate a legal minefield that can devastate companies that step out of line. Finding the right executives is crucial in any industry, but especially one in which competition is so fierce and legal compliance so important. Human resources professionals in banks must go the extra mile to recruit the best executive talent in the banking field, allowing their organizations to thrive and grow into the future. Human resources departments in corporations must gain approval of the board of directors before bringing someone in to fill an executive spot, as well.


Strategy and Planning / Basics of strategic Planning
« on: March 18, 2018, 04:30:08 PM »
Basics of strategic Planning

What is Strategic Planning?

Strategic planning is an organizational management activity that is used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, ensure that employees and other stakeholders are working toward common goals, establish agreement around intended outcomes/results, and assess and adjust the organization's direction in response to a changing environment. It is a disciplined effort that produces fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide what an organization is, who it serves, what it does, and why it does it, with a focus on the future. Effective strategic planning articulates not only where an organization is going and the actions needed to make progress, but also how it will know if it is successful.

What is a Strategic Plan?

A strategic plan is a document used to communicate with the organization the organizations goals, the actions needed to achieve those goals and all of the other critical elements developed during the planning exercise.

What is Strategic Management?  What is Strategy Execution?

Strategic management is the comprehensive collection of ongoing activities and processes that organizations use to systematically coordinate and align resources and actions with mission, vision and strategy throughout an organization. Strategic management activities transform the static plan into a system that provides strategic performance feedback to decision making and enables the plan to evolve and grow as requirements and other circumstances change.  Strategy Execution is basically synonymous with Strategy Management and amounts to the systematic implementation of a strategy.

What Are the Steps in Strategic Planning & Management?

There are many different frameworks and methodologies for strategic planning and management. While there are no absolute rules regarding the right framework, most follow a similar pattern and have common attributes. Many frameworks cycle through some variation on some very basic phases: 1) analysis or assessment, where an understanding of the current internal and external environments is developed, 2) strategy formulation, where high level strategy is developed and a basic organization level strategic plan is documented 3) strategy execution, where the high level plan is translated into more operational planning and action items, and 4) evaluation or sustainment / management phase, where ongoing refinement and evaluation of performance, culture, communications, data reporting, and other strategic management issues occurs.

What Are the Attributes of a Good Planning Framework?

The Association for Strategic Planning (ASP), a U.S.-based, non-profit professional association dedicated to advancing thought and practice in strategy development and deployment, has developed a Lead-Think-Plan-Act rubric and accompanying Body of Knowledge to capture and disseminate best practice in the field of strategic planning and management. ASP has also developed criteria for assessing strategic planning and management frameworks against the Body of Knowledge.


The Importance of Creativity and Innovation in Business

An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it. — Bill Bernbach, co-founder of Doyle Dane Bernbach

Over the last decades, innovation and creativity have become critical skills for achieving success in developed economies. The need for creative problem solving has arisen as more and more management problems require creative insights in order to find suitable solutions.

Creativity goes hand in hand with innovation. And there is no innovation without creativity. While creativity is the ability to produce new and unique ideas, innovation is the implementation of that creativity - that's the introduction of a new idea, solution, process, or product. Creativity is the driving force behind innovation and the incorporation of looking at things from a different perspective and freedom of restrictions by rules and written or unwritten norms.

Why is creativity important in business?

Creativity and innovation within a well-run companies have always been recognized as a sure path to success. Stimulating creativity and exploring completely new and unknown before territories lead as result to increasing the productivity of the organisation. Encouraging the employees to think outside of the box and giving them time and resources to explore new areas for innovative ideas is the key to cost-effective business solutions.

Creativity improves the process of solving problems. It doesn't matter if we're talking about developing a new strategy or an innovative way to stay ahead of the competition. Creative problem solving gives that competitive edge that any business is striving to achieve.

Creative ideas and innovative approaches can come from almost anywhere- from your partners, customers, target groups, employees. They can bring you fresh perspectives and ideas, so show them that you’re listening and open to their feedback. That's why it is important an open exchange of ideas to be supported and encouraged by the company.


Why Bangladesh needs Entrepreneurship Incubation Centers

Business incubation programmes are often sponsored by private companies or municipal entities and public institutions, such as colleges and universities. Their goal is to help create and grow young businesses by providing them with necessary support and financial and technical services.

Popular in Western and Far Eastern countries, Incubators provide numerous benefits to owners of startup businesses. Their office and manufacturing space is offered at below-market rates, and their staff supplies advice and much-needed expertise in developing business and marketing plans as well as helping to fund fledgling businesses. Companies typically spend an average of two years in a business incubator, during which time they often share telephone, secretarial office, and production equipment expenses with other startup companies, in an effort to reduce everyone’s overhead and operational costs.

Conception and Results

Business Incubation Centres have been receiving increasing attention as a tool to promote entrepreneurship, both in the developed and developing countries. They have become an integral part of the business assistance framework to offer critical support to newly formed enterprises. Recognizing its importance, all major stakeholders are trying to define, identify, measure, formulate and evaluate various aspects related to these programmes. Business incubation initiatives have arisen especially over the last decade with varying degrees of success in different parts of the world. Many countries including India are still experimenting with it to foster entrepreneurship.

While the Indian Government is trying to aggressively promote entrepreneurship, the entrepreneurs continue to face numerous challenges and the new venture failure rate is very high. In view of this, the Business Incubation Centres have assumed a lot of significance as they provide an enabling environment to deal with the difficulties in the process of entrepreneurship by providing comprehensive and integrated support to the entrepreneurs, thereby reducing the new venture failure rate substantially.

These Centres provide start-up businesses with a variety of services such as physical space, office equipment, business services, management guidance and an enabling environment to facilitate their development until they are capable of surviving on their own after exit from the incubator. At the macro level, they regenerate public confidence in entrepreneurship and help create an entrepreneurial environment.

Why do we need it?

Moving back to the Bangladesh scenario, it is good to learn that the prime minister has urged the National Institute of Biotechnology (NIB) to start a biotech incubator. True, that NIB has all the modern facilities and equipment in its Gonokbari, Savar campus. Intention is noble, but implementation will be difficult, as most NIB officials themselves live in Dhaka. Yet it is a start. But for NIB to develop, some mechanism needs to be put in place whereby personnel can start learning the ropes from people with experience in running incubators in Bangladesh. Expertise is available in the region which can also be tapped into with ease.

Although this is a recent phenomenon in the country the initial success is not meagre. Take the examples of or Creativa.Asia. These companies started off with just an idea and a lot of energy to drive forward. However, they did not know how to register as businesses nor had they any clue how to bag businesses once they were registered. However, with the help of one private sector incubator, both businesses are generating income today, creating jobs for people and adding value to Bangladesh’s economy.

Creativa.Asia is an interior design and event management business which finds most of its clients through the network the incubator maintains. Another incubatee of the same incubator is One Light Studio whose business is rural housing. It works in the villages of Bangladesh, where no architects or engineers step foot. Combining the technical with local knowledge of building houses, they assist to build homes with organic materials that emit zero carbon. They can help a villager build a two-storied house for seven people at the cost of only Tk. 200,000.

Examples like these are only handful because we do not have as many incubators as we should. If a country like Indonesia can have about 500 incubators how many should Bangladesh have? A few young innovators have taken up the challenge but the government should step up and set up incubators in the public-private-partnership modality. It also needs to come up with detail policy guidelines to help facilitate an incubation ecosystem.

SD Asia’s recent endeavour, Innovation Xtreme (IX,) is turning heads as a platform for rising local startups. SD Asia founder and CEO Mustafizur Rahman Khan cited an example,, who went from being an aspiring startup in 2014 to being one of the key speakers in last year’s edition of IX. ‘They credit us for being the catalyst of their success,’ he said.

But he is also cautious about the outcome from Innovation Xtreme. Long term benefits will happen, he adds, but for now SD Asia is just building the blocks to ensure that happens.

The SD Asia CEO also does not expect revenue to be the key strength from organising IX, but rather foresees data to be a key industry driver, which will support tech companies to lead the way.


A guide to paper sizes when designing a brochure

We recently looked at a guide to paper weights when designing your brochure. Paper weight is the thickness of the sheet of paper you use and there is a wide range of weights to choose from when deciding your brochure. Paper weight will often impact on the cost of your final print job but it can also impact on the perceived quality of your brochure. Paper size is another important aspect to consider when deciding on your brochure.

The size of pages you decide to use will often impact on what you can include in your brochure so it’s important to decide on the page size of your brochure before starting your design. Going bigger with your pages can give you more space to work with and get creative but can also be more expensive. Opting for a smaller page size can help you save money but can also reduce the amount of space you have to get your message across. Smaller page sizes can however lend themselves to making an impact though and can work particularly well in providing support information for products.

Common paper sizes for brochures:

Perhaps the most popular of all paper sizes when it comes to creating a brochure is A4. A4 is the most used paper size in the world and a format and size that consumers are familiar with. The dimensions of an A4 page are 297mm high x 210mm wide (11.69 inches x 8.27 inches). An A4 page also covers an area of 0.65 square foot. When it comes to creating an A4 brochure, your design will be a folded A3 page. This is why it is important to remember your bleed area and any margins.


If A4 is the most popular size of brochure then A5 is a popular runner up. An A5 brochure is A4 pages folded and is a much more compact brochure that allows you to prioritise your information to provide the most important details to your customers. It does however provide you with enough space to get creative, especially if you are using it as a brochure to showcase products or images. An A5 page has dimensions of 210mm high x 148mm wide (8.27 inches x 5.83 inches). Again, it is important to remember your bleed and margin dimensions to ensure you use the correct area when designing for print with an A5 brochure.


Another popular brochure size which can be on the larger size but none the less offers great visual impact is an A3 brochure. A3 brochures are folded A2 pages and are often used for brochures with fewer pages due to the added cost of printing larger pages. They do however provide you with additional space to get creative and can be a great way to showcase a series of products. The dimensions for A3 pages are 297mm high x 420mm wide (11.69 inches x 16.54 inches). These dimensions also happen to be the same as the length of an A4 page (297mm) and the width of an A2 page (420mm).


Another increasingly popular page size for brochures is 1/3 A4 or DL as it is more commonly known. DL stands for dimension lengthwise and three DL’s make up an A4 page. DL size is extremely popular for creating brochures and menus and is the perfect size for inserting into envelopes. This makes DL brochures a popular size for direct mail campaigns. If you are considering DL size pages for a brochure, the key dimensions to remember are 210mm high x 99mm wide.

210mm x 210mm:

A popular brochure size that we regularly come across here at Digital Printing is 210mm x 210mm. This square approach is becoming increasingly popular with companies who wish to highlight their products and services.

Other paper sizes to consider:
While we have looked at some of the most popular paper sizes for brochures, it is also possible to look at larger or smaller pages to help make your brochure really memorable.

Now that you have an idea of the different sizes of pages to use when designing your next brochure, it’s time to start thinking about how to design a brochure your customers will want to read. The size and type of paper you will choose for your brochure is only as good as the information you put into it. Take your time to get the right message and right look for your brochure.


Brochure and Leaflet / Difference between Brochure and Leaflet
« on: March 14, 2018, 03:29:44 PM »
Difference between Brochure and Leaflet

Key Difference:

A Brochure is a short, printed document, also known as a pamphlet. It is a booklet containing descriptive or advertising material. A leaflet is a small printed sheet, containing information about certain materials.
Brochure and Leaflet are two terms, which provide certain information about the new product in the particular company. It also gives information about new hotels, shops, gadgets, etc. It is almost similar to each other.

According to, the definition of a Brochure is, a “publication consisting of one folded page, or several pages stitched together but not bound, used mainly for advertising purposes.”

Brochure originated in the early 1748. It is derived from a French word ‘brocher’ which means to sew, from Middle French. It means to prick; from Old French ‘brochier’.

A brochure is a small, thin book or magazine that usually has many pictures and information about a product, a place, etc. It is mostly of a single-sheet (bi-fold) or three sheets (tri-fold), which can be easily spread over different places. They may advertise new products, locations, shops, events, hotels, etc. It should be very attractive so that people at least have a glance over it. Nowadays, there are varieties of patterns and designs in brochures. They can be magazine style brochures, 3-folded brochures or postcard brochures.

On the other hand, leaflets are printed sheet with different sizes of papers. It can be either of A4, A5 or A6 size, where A6 is the smallest one. Leaflet is not that explanatory than brochure. Its font size is small, so that the brief information can be written in the appropriate form. The reason their size is small is so that they can be easily handed over to anybody.

Though its sizes are small, its main focus is to grab the reader’s attention. Leaflets texts are usually small and are expected to be clear. Leaflets should be the way that persuades readers to take action.

If one needs a professional leaflet or your leaflet needs to look ultra professional, consider using professional printers who may have a graphic designer to do the hard work. Leaflet also varies in shape, texture, quality, size and weight, according to the company’s demand.

A brochure consists of more than a page of information. It is usually folded or bound in ways to make it appear like a compact article. On the contrary, leaflet usually comes in a single page handout.


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