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International Expansion and PEO Hiring in Colombia

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It is a well-known fact that Colombia is a country with a strong economy and is considered to be one of the safest investments within Latin America. The nation gets more international fame among both local and international entrepreneurs because of its increasing economic growth, attractive business climate and range of commercial opportunities. Additionally, commercial activity and trade levels in Colombia have considerably increased thanks to a vast network of free trade agreements and its strategic geographic location, with access to both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The overall economy of Colombia today benefits from various natural and agricultural resources, ranging from cattle and coffee to oil and emeralds, as well as an exploding tourism industry, which continues to grow year-on-year. These features make Colombia a great and thriving destination for international expansion and investment.

However, many business owners face challenges while trying to navigate the local labour laws of Colombia. One of the most challenging jobs is engaging and hiring local staff lawfully, which can be a huge headache for those without a comprehensive knowledge of the Colombia labour market and/or employment law. Working with a PEO provider in Colombia is a great method of expansion for companies who are new to market and have a limited understanding of employment law and regulationin Colombia. It is always important to consider the different methods that companies can engage and hire staff in a foreign country such as Colombia.

A Professional Employer Organization (PEO), also known as a ‘employer of record’ is a company that brings the required tools to support companies with their market entry. It allows companies tofind, engage andhire local employees with having a local company. Companies work with PEO service providers to engage in commercial activity without the hassle of forming and maintaining a local legal entity, which can often be expensive, time consuming and complicated.

Reasons to work with PEO Service Provider

The reasons to work with a PEO service provider will vary from one employer to another. PEOs can handle the various administrative and HR headaches of employing local staff. The PEO provider will ensure full legal compliance. Today, many SMEs are choosing to work with a local PEO provider given the range of benefits that come with this type of commercial relationship. Some PEO services include, but are not limited to the following:

  • PEO solutionsfree up your valuable time and resources, allowing you toconcentrate on other important business tasks.
  • Once a contract is successfully signed between a PEO and your business, it will distribute a segment of the legal responsibilities to the PEO, freeing you from unnecessary legal burden.
  • The PEO has the responsibility of handling tax filing, payroll administration, provision of advantages,in addition to offering solutions relating to other HR functions.
  • The only responsibility of your company is to continue with your daily business operations and to manage and direct the employees properly.

Things to know about staff selection

The labour market in Colombia is fully regulated, has a large and skilled worker pool and is dedicated to protecting the rights of employees. If you are an employer, you need to meet various legislative requirements according to Colombia law.In fact, compliance with the Colombian employment and lab our regulations is both time-consuming and costly, all the more reason to work with a qualified PEO provider in Colombia.

  • Employment Contracts

The employment contracts in Colombia are classified into 4 types including short-term, fixed term, undefined length, and for a particular task. The duration and type of employment contract will vary from one employee to the next, affording you flexibility to best meet your needs.

  • Foreign Workers

These individuals are subject to the same rules and regulations as Colombian workers. They must come with an official written employment contract from their employer and also have to have the appropriate working visa.

By law, the maximum number of hours an employee can work in Colombia is forty-eight hours (48) per week. This can be spread out between Monday to Friday or Monday to Saturday. Working hours can be flexible, but must be between 06:00 and 22:00 local time.

  • Vacation Time

All local employees have the right to 15 days of paid holiday per year, half of which can be exchanged for pay with permission from the Ministry of Social Protection and Health.

  • Minimum Wage

The minimum wage is negotiated yearly between the government and local trade unions. In 2018, the minimum monthly wage was COP $781,242 (approximately USD $260).

  • Pensions and social security

The contribution is 15% of the monthly salary. Employers contribute three quarters of the payments and the employee covers the remaining quarter.

  • Maternity and Paternity leave

All women are entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave, which can be started 2 weeks before the birth of the child. The cost is covered by the Social Security System and can also be used in the case of adoption (for a child younger than seven years old). This also applies for a single father who adopts a child. It should be noted that it is illegal to fire a woman due to a pregnancy in Colombia.Fathers are afforded 4 days of paid leave if he is contributing to the Social Security System. If both parents are contributing to Social Security, then the father is entitled to 8 days of paid leave. In either case, the father must have contributed more than 100 weeks to Social Security System.

  • Healthcare

Employers are required to pay 12.5% of their staff’s salaries to a healthcare security fund.

For companies expanding to Colombia or looking to hire Colombian employees, working with a qualified PEO provider can be a great option. It helps mitigate much of the legal burden associated with employing foreign employees, and supports a more efficient route to market for a growing global company. It also frees up much of your valuable time allowing you to focus on what is important to you and your business.

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Business

10 quick SEO wins for your small business

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Getting SEO right has never been so important for small businesses. If you want to attract new customers: increase your digital footprint, increase your organic site traffic for the keywords that matter to your business, and outrank your competitors in the search engine results pages (SERPs). You have to put time and effort into your SEO strategy. We’ve compiled a list of 10 quick wins to kick-start your SEO efforts, but we recommend working with an experienced SEO agency to put some weight and expertise behind your plan.

  1. Target the right keywords 

    Your time is finite, so you should focus on optimising your website and content for the keywords that mean most to your business. They could be product keywords, niche specific phrases, or keywords you know lead to the most leads or sales.

  2. Craft unique and engaging content

    72% of marketers say that content creation is their most effective SEO tactic. Take inspiration from lifestyle brand Sheer Luxe and guitar brand D’Angelico, which produce engaging visual and written content to connect with their audiences.

  3. Refine your on-page SEO

    Title tags, meta tags, meta descriptions, image alt tags, image and video weight optimisation, quick-to-load page speed, responsive design – Google wants you to give your audience the best experience possible, and making sure these areas are in order is a great starting point for better SEO and ranking.

  4. Optimise and refresh existing content

    It’s all well and good creating new content, but don’t forget to audit and freshen up any existing content you already have. Google looks for content that is current, unique and relevant to your audience. If you’ve got old content on your site, leverage its existence and get it Google-ready by reworking the copy and making sure all of the on-page SEO areas are in order.

  5. Think mobile first

    Google indexes mobile first, which means it looks at the mobile version of your website first and uses that experience to help determine where your pages should rank when people search. Etsy is a fantastic example of a mobile web experience done well.

  6. Earn backlinks

    Every time a site links to yours, this is like a ‘yes’ vote to Google, telling it to trust you and marking your website as having content that is useful and worth sharing.  Try creating standout content that excites your audience and makes people want to link to it. Surfing website Rip Curl is a example of linkworthy content – it’s unique, engaging and speaks directly to its audience: the surfing community.

  7. Take a close look at your competitors

    If you’ve noticed your competitors rising above you in the search-engine ranks, do some digging around their website. What are they publishing? Which keywords are they targeting? Are they doing anything different to you? Take note of their activity and bring something better to the table.

  8. Make your listing as clickable as possible

    Your website meta description and title can be the first interaction your audience has with your website. It has to be clickable, to entice people to take the next step into visiting your website.

  9. Test different types of content

    Written, video, imagery, infographic, interactive – which type of content best engages with your audience and earns you those valuable backlinks? You won’t know until you test different formats. TED conferences shot to global fame because of fantastic content marketing, with video and podcasts working extremely well for them.

  10. Add your business to Google My Business

    This last point is really simple and really easy to execute. If you’re a business with a website, you mustlist yourself on Google My Business to give you as much visibility as possible within search-engine results pages.

SEO isn’t new. Many brands and businesses have spent years investing time and resource into their SEO strategy, so now is the time to get on board with your own search engine optimisation. These 10 quick wins will get your started on your SEO journey, but they are just the tip of the iceberg. Partner with an SEO agency to really understand the best way to approach your SEO strategy and how to build a plan that will set you up for future search-engine excellence and growth.

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Guide to the Best Online Loans Available

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When looking for the best online loans available, you must do your homework so that you’ll know exactly what to expect online lenders to be looking for when you request a loan.

Obviously, the best online loans won’t be the easiest to get; to get the best interest rates and terms, you must take time to thoroughly check out numerous online lenders. Your collateral will have to be worth substantially more than the loan requested and you need to understand up front that if you have bad credit you will probably be paying a higher interest rate than someone who has good credit. This is just the price that has to be paid in order to improve your credit score.

If you take the time to carefully consider all of your options and choose a loan based that will fit your needs, it’s very likely that you’ll have a positive experience with your online financing.

You’re Collateral

Secured loans will probably have the most desirable payback terms… this is because the lender is guaranteed repayment by the collateral so they are willing to offer interest rates and loan terms that wouldn’t be possible if the loan was unsecured. Lenders are more confident that they will be paid back if the loan is secured by your property. Using the internet to offer their services sometimes limits the forms of collateral that will be accepted. This is because of the paperwork that is involved.

It is sometimes possible to use the item that you are financing to secure the loan… this is especially true if you are looking for a home loan or a car loan. However, you are probably going to need a down payment. Once the application is done you will know how much cash you will need for the down payment.

Some online lenders will not advance loans for purchasing something. They tend to lead more toward consolidating your debts or improving your credit. These lenders will usually accept high-value home equity as a good choice of collateral because it is easier to handle and they do not need storage space as they do for physical properties like vehicles. It is easy to transfer the ownership because the actual property is not involved. It is simply a matter of paper work.

Options for Repayment

Just like any other financial transaction, the best online loans will have some repayment terms that will be agreeable for both the lender and the borrower. This is essential. Lots of online lenders offer automatic payments from the customer’s bank account. This is an easy method of payment and the borrower will not forget the due date or have to write and mail checks. Many customers will find an option on the website so they can choose to use a wire transfer or pay online. If you prefer, you can mail your payment to the physical address.

Doing the Paperwork

It is easy to apply for best online loan available over the internet, but there is still some paperwork that has to be completed and mailed or faxed to the lender.

To make things easier for everyone involved, the best loans do as much of the paperwork online as possible but there may still be, some forms that have to be printed out, completed, and signed. The lender will want a hard copy of all documents along with identification.

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How to organise your online content

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You’ve decided to embark on a content strategy – that’s a smart move, because it’s one of the most powerful and cost-effective digital marketing strategies. But now the hard work starts. Whether it’s just you producing and promoting content, or whether you lead a team of writers, keeping track can be tricky. If you’re not organised, you’ll quickly lose track of what you’ve released and what you haven’t, and what was successful and what wasn’t. This can be multiplied several times if your team is large.

Here we’ll take a look at some of the best ways to keep your content machine well oiled and organised – and ensure your five-star strategy has the best chance of success.

Create a content calendar

The first thing to do is create a content calendar. It should detail what you intend to write and when, as well as where you plan to publish the content. It sets out your strategy as actual concrete content, with deadlines to sharpen the mind and ensure you get things done. Undelivered content is worthless.

An effective strategy to help make things easier is to divide your calendar into content themes. Rather than flitting from topic to topic, this helps you delve deeper into particular subjects and reduce the time needed on research. The culmination of each theme can be an in-depth white paper you offer as a download in exchange for contact details to build your email list.

Depending on your strategy, you’ll also need to make sure you have a good balance between on- and off-site content – content calendars are the ideal way to ensure this.

Finding the right project management tools

There are a plethora of content project management tools (not to be confused with content management systems) out there, with a host of features. The hard part is choosing the right one – this image from Curata demonstrates just how complex the landscape is.

You need to set out what you want to achieve and the level of collaboration and workflow management you need. Chad Harwood-Jones, Managing Director of content marketing agency WooContent, says: ‘It’s ultimately about finding the right tool for your business. Recommendations help, but the most important thing is to define your objectives first then select the provider that can best help you achieve them.’

If you’re unsure, or just want to get going quickly, Google Drive is a great place to start. Google’s G Suite contains software to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more – all of the systems can be used collaboratively with everyone editing the same documents. Personal accounts are free, and business accounts can be more cost effective than more expensive alternatives.

Set the standard with templates

While you don’t just want to produce cookie-cutter content, using templates to promote consistency can save hours in edits and re-edits. By creating a template with the correct formatting, sub-headings and images, you’ll ensure your writers and collaborators are more likely to get the required results first time. Make sure people know how much they need to take the templates as gospel and how much they can use their creative licence.

Create toolkits, checklists and brand guidelines 

Another way to ensure cohesion between all content producers is to create documents that detail your identity and standards. Your brand guidelines should detail your company’s personality, writing style and visual identity, so will help new collaborators to produce content that meets your specifications.

This can then be extended to toolkits and checklists you can use for more detailed instructions on each channel, such as a blog-writing checklist or video-marketing toolkit.

Reporting on your success

A measure not to be overlooked, reporting on your success (or not) is crucial to learning and optimising your activity going forwards. If a piece of content is successful, great. Evaluate how successful it was, analyse why and replicate it. Maybe you could repurpose it into other formats?

If it didn’t work, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes! Effective measurement and reporting is the only way you’ll know what’s working and what isn’t.

Although it’s not the most exciting part of content marketing, without effective organisation, your content strategy is doomed to fail before you’ve even begun. Putting the time in to produce effective processes before delving headlong into content production will reap rewards in the long run.

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