Other News

Businesses Can’t Afford to Neglect Customer Service on Facebook

Your business’s Facebook Page is every bit as important as a face-to-face encounter with a customer. But some well-known retailers fail to provide adequate customer service online.

STELLAService, a New York City-based firm that rates online retail businesses for their customer service, went undercover and posted service-related questions on 20 retailers’ Facebook walls or in the comments section below the page owner’s own status updates. 

Some retailers removed the customer question from their wall without ever commenting, and another five questions remained unanswered for at least two days. Only seven businesses took the time to answer questions posted within 48 hours. 

4 Obstacles to Early Retirement and How to Overcome Them

Many of us dream of leaving the workplace while in our 40s or 50s instead of sticking it out until age 65. In fact, the 2011 Employee Benefit Research Institute’s Retirement Confidence Survey found that 16 percent of retirees left the work force before age 55, and another 15 percent did so before turning 60. Early retirement is a tempting goal, but it can be tough to achieve.

“Retirement is ultimately a mathematical equation involving current income, current expenses, savings rate and future expenses,” says Robert Brokamp, a certified financial planner and senior advisor for The Motley Fool newsletter Rule Your Retirement. “The more you can make now, and the more of that money you save, the sooner you can retire.”

Why You Should Hire Your Kids This Summer

Wondering if there’s another way out there to save money on income taxes? If you’re like many small-business owners I know, you’re ignoring a tax-saving strategy that’s eating food at your dinner table — and maybe plotting how to stay out late with friends.

Putting your children to work in your business, even if only for the summer, is one of the most underutilized tax-saving strategies today. I’ve found that many business owners simply don’t realize placing children under 18 on the payroll, or even grandchildren or adult children, is an excellent strategy to minimize tax liability.

“We will do everything necessary to ensure Spain gains the competitiveness and flexibility needed to grow and create jobs”, says Mariano Rajoy

“Our commitment to the budgetary stability targets and reforms cannot be denied”, said the President of the Government”.

While speaking in the Lower House of Parliament, the President of the Government announced a raft of measures that will be adopted “without delay” to ensure the budgetary adjustment targets are met and the path committed to at the most recent European Council is followed. Mariano Rajoy insisted that “either we all work together on achieving the same objectives or our efforts will be hollow. Either we really and truly demonstrate we are a nation that is willing to make sacrifices in order to earn ourselves a better future or our efforts will be in vain”.

Top company managers earn more despite the crisis

With over a quarter of the working population out of a job and struggling to make ends meet, the top management of companies in the blue-chip Ibex 35 index last year awarded themselves a healthy pay hike despite an overall drop in corporate earnings while public sector workers suffered wage cuts.

According to the annual report on corporate governance released Wednesday by the National Securities Commission (CNMV), the average remuneration of the directors on the boards of the biggest 35 listed companies in Spain was up 4.4 percent at 522,000 euros from a year earlier. In the case of chairmen and chief executive officers, average wages climbed to 2.4 million euros from 2.2 million a year earlier. The average remuneration per board was up 5 percent at 7.5 million euros.

Five Low-Cost Local Marketing Ideas

Over the years I’ve found that most entrepreneurs spend too much time and money on promotions that don’t generate new business.

Whether it is local sports sponsorships, newspaper-ad buys or social media, they waste money on marketing strategies that may boost their egos by making them local celebrities, but don’t actually translate into sales.

Related: How to Stand Out by Keeping it Simple

Entrepreneurs, especially those relying on customers in their local areas, should first focus on networking with other area businesses, major employers, schools, churches and other organizations. They should network and then create marketing strategies and events that are beneficial to all parties.

Average number of Social Security contributors increases to 17,027,843 in June

The average number of contributors to the Spanish Social Security System in June rose to above 17 million for the first time this year (17,027,843). This figure represents month-on-month growth of 31,332 (0.18%), which contrasts with the decline of 5,612 recorded by the System in June 2011.

The General Regime posted a month-on-month increase of 68,989 (up 0.68%) and an average number of 13,763,448 contributors.

The most significant increases were seen in Hotel and Catering (29,726 more contributors); Healthcare Activities and Social Services (up 11,574); and Administrative Activities (up 9,224). The largest declines were recorded in the Education sector (down 38,084) following the end of the school year; Construction (down 6,422); and Information and Communication (down 2,040).

Recorded unemployment falls by 98,853 in June

The data from all the Public Employment Services in all the autonomous regions for the month of June show a drop in unemployment of 98,853 on the previous month, in other words a reduction of 2.1%. Total recorded unemployment stands at 4,615,269.

Last month’s reduction is the largest June reduction since records began. By comparison, recorded unemployment fell by 67,858 in 2011. Furthermore, unemployment has fallen for the third month in a row following reductions in April and May 2012.

Recorded unemployment fell in all sectors of the economy except agriculture, where it rose by 1,182 (0.74%). There were 9,970 fewer unemployed in industry (-1.85%), 17,124 fewer in construction (-2.15%) and 52,654 fewer in services (-1.88%).

So, you think you know everything about San Fermín?

THIS fiesta is known worldwide. It’s Pamplona’s biggest event of the year. But do you really know what it’s all about?

Who is San Fermín?
Fermín was, of course, a normal person once. He was the son of the Roman ruler of Pamplona. His father was converted to Catholicism by San Saturino in about 300 AD. Fermín was sent to Toulouse for religious instruction and returned as a bishop.

Why do people wear the red scarf (panuelo) around their necks?
This is related to San Fermín. As a newly consecrated bishop, Fermín began to spread his teachings. He ran into trouble in Amiens in France. He was tortured and beheaded there and became a martyr. The panuelo represents his death, bleeding from the neck.

Starlite Festival brings top international talent to Spain

SPANISH crooner Julio Iglesias and British comedian Hugh Laurie are among the top international stars set to perform at the Starlite Festival in Marbella.

Last week Iglesias spoke of his undying motivation to make music after 43 years, saying he will rest in 30 years’ time when he is ‘on the other side’.

“If I didn’t sing, what would I do?” the 68-year-old said in Marbella. “I don’t know how to do anything else.” George Benson, Simple Minds, Paul Anka, Tony Bennett and Roger Hodgson from Supertramp will also appear at La Cantera de Naguales from July 13 to August 14.