First Impressions Matter In Business

‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ is stock advice for children, yet as noted by journalist Abel Raj, physical appearance influences perception and is vital when we want to make a positive impression. One study, published in the journal SAGE, found evidence that our initial perception of people continues to affect the way we see them, even after we interact with. First impressions count in the work context because they affect the extent to which we perceive someone as trustworthy. We can decide whether or not to pursue a business contact depending on our initial instinct, and we have very little information other than their personal appearance or the look of their office when it comes to making that call.

Your office reflects who you are

The interiors of your office should make your clients feel like they can count on your professionalism. If you are in an industry like design, advertising, or art, your interiors should be modern and sleek, with touches of sophistication. Keep clients comfortable and warm with touches such as modern lighting and heating, replacing furniture such as rustic chimneys with cutting-edge double-glass fireplaces and standard lamps with sophisticated pendant lights. Color is also key; your interiors should be in sync with your logo, communications style, and website. Find your inspiration in top Malaysian companies like Time Dotcom, whose hip office features open workspaces, brightly hued furniture, and gorgeous lacquered reading desks. Equally cool is Shell, with its beanbag-filled ‘inspiration hub’, or Agoda with its futuristic dome-covered meeting spots. These companies’ respective design choices may differ but what they all have in common is an impactful way of saying exactly what they stand for through their visionary interiors.

Professional business attire is key

A fascinating article by Hugh Ujhazy highlighted the vibrant nature of business attire in Malaysia. Multiculturalism is the key, he says, to subtle differences that mark one’s individuality. Even if a business suit is called for, there are ways to express your individuality and innovation. Think a pair of designer cufflinks, a herringbone business jacket, or a slim-fitting suit in an unexpected hue such as a lighter shade of maroon. Loafers, vivid ties, and a French designer briefcase look serious yet cutting-edge. This freedom is a welcome relief indeed for those who wish to present their best self without skimping on sartorial flair or personality.

A good smile is key

Being able to smile confidently is key at networking and social events, but also at business meetings. Research has found that issues such as tooth shade and missing teeth can significantly impact the first impression other people have of us. Attractive smiles, meanwhile, are related to positive personality traits such as warmth, calmness, extroversion, and low anxiety. If dental issues have been bothering you, there are many quick solutions such as four-in-one implants and other options that may cost less than you think.

Using the right body language

Body language – the non-verbal cues you use to communicate with others – should be a priority when doing business. Looking business associates straight in the eye, greeting them with a firm handshake, and avoiding blocking body language (such as arm crossing) are key. Body language is half of all communication so use it to your advantage. Mirror the position of an important colleague, deliver your messages with a kind expression, and avoid leaning your chin on your hands when someone is speaking – it shows a lack of interest.

Your office, dress sense, and smile should be considered investments in your business career. Finely tuning each will not only impress clients but also give you a boost of confidence. In an ideal world all that matters would be ‘what lies beneath the surface’, but why not step into one that is vibrant, dynamic, and inviting, every day of your working life?

Becoming a Landlord Is a Good Way to Build Wealth

In Malaysia, gross rental yields range between 2.3 and 5.4 percent, according to Buying property in Malaysia and then renting it out to tenants is a good way to build wealth. Unless you buy real estate properties outright, your tenants will supply you with monthly income which helps to cover your mortgage,  with profits to spare. If you purchase multiple properties and rent them out, you’ll establish a real estate empire that is scalable. This quick guide will show you how to use the Web to source out good properties, how to get a property ready for rental and how to maximize your financial investment in real estate.

Use the Web to source out good properties

Technology is making it easier for prospective landlords to view properties online, according to, seeing a property is vital in terms of deciding whether to buy it or look for something better. Thanks to the latest technological advancements, such as 360-degree pictures, and VR (virtual reality), it’s possible to view properties online without missing a single thing. While you should inspect a property personally before you sign on the dotted line, you’ll find that high-tech online services make it easier than ever to create a short list of viable properties, one of which may be the perfect rental unit or units. New ways of viewing properties cut down on the time and energy involved with vetting real estate opportunities.

Get a property ready for rental

If you’re not ready to be a full-time landlord, you have another option. You may list your property for short-term rental via an online platform. Right now, one hundred and eighty thousand properties are listed for short-term rental in Malaysia. If you prefer to be a full-time landlord, you’ll need to ensure that you understand your legal responsibilities, as well as the specific rights that your tenants will have. You’ll also need to ensure that your property is safe, in good condition and appealing to prospective tenants. Lastly, you’ll have to decide if you want to manage day-to-day issues on your own, or hire a property management firm to do it for you.

Use your profits to buy more properties

Everyone has different investment goals. If getting rich and enjoying financial stability are your goals, you should roll profits from your rental property into buying more rental properties. If you’re willing to educate yourself, do the hard work and take some risks, becoming a landlord will be the stepping stone to owning a series of Malaysian properties that become a huge nest egg. You’ll always be able to borrow from the equity that you establish in these properties, so they may also be considered a rainy-day fund.

View properties for sale online today

Now that you know why becoming a landlord is a good way to access steady returns and accumulate properties that help you to enjoy the ideal lifestyle down the line, why not check out properties for sale online? There are Malaysian real estate firms that use the latest technology to give prospective buyers the ultimate online viewing experiences. When you choose this form of real estate investment, you’ll be choosing a time-honored method of acquiring wealth.

What is Ripple and How to Trade it Online

Money transfer and international remittances is one of the largest financial industry in the world. The need for these services has increased with the growth of globalization. Globalization has enabled people to move from their native countries to other countries in search of opportunities. Companies too have become more global.

All this has led to the disruption of the traditional money transfer companies like Western Union and Moneygram. They have been disrupted by companies like PayPal, Skrill, Transferwise, and Venmo among others. Still, the challenge of sending money abroad has not been solved entirely. There is the problem of the duration the funds take before they arrive to the recipient. There is also the problem of the fluctuating currencies and the price of sending the money.

To solve these problems, three young men – Arthur Britto, David Schwartz, and Ryan Fugger – developed a company known as Ripple in 2012. The company operates in the Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) industry which enables companies and people to send money faster and cheaper.

It is built on a distributed open source internet protocol, consensus ledger, and the decentralized digital asset called XR. The technology has become so popular that it has been adopted by some of the biggest banks and remittance companies. Companies like Western Union, Santander, American Express, and Credit Agricole have adopted the technology.

As a trader, it is possible for you to make money trading the ripple assets. Today, one ripple costs $0.5, which is a significant low from its all-time high of almost $4. Ripple has a market value of more than $20 billion making it the third largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin and Ethereum which have a market value of more than $111 billion and $52 billion respectively.

Like Bitcoin and Ethereum, you can buy Ripple for speculation purposes. This is where you buy a few Ripples and store them in your wallet and hope that the price will go up. Since Ripple is one of the least expensive cryptocurrencies, small movements could make you earn a fortune if the price moves in the same trajectory as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

You can also trade Ripple CFDs using forex and CFD brokers. Here, your role is to find short term opportunities to buy or sell the Ripple. By buying, you hope that the price will move up while when you sell, you hope that the price will fall.

To know when to enter a buy or short position, you need to be good at fundamental and technical analysis. Fundamental analysis entails looking at the key issues with Ripple and the market itself. For example, when a new major company adopts Ripple, the market will react by buying more XRPs. If an early adopter exits, traders will react by selling their holdings.

Technical analysis on the other hand entails using one or a combination of multiple indicators to predict the future movement of the CFD. Ideally, you should use indicators that show when a trend is forming, and then confirm the trend with oscillator indicators. By taking time to learn more about these indicators, you will be at a good position to be an excellent Ripple and other cryptocurrencies trader.

Freelance Online Payments – How to Reduce Your Fees

A growing number of people is migrating to the online work environment. This is mainly the case due to the fact that online freelance work is the most liberal labor market in the world. You can negotiate directly with clients from around the globe and set your work conditions without the middleman.

What can be inconvenient in this form of work are payment procedures. When you’re getting paid online, you might have to pay high fees to the payment mediators. In this guide, we’ll explain how to reduce fees for online payments.

Pay less using PayPal

PayPal is one of the most popular online payment services, due to its reliability and expediency. However, it also charges some fees for online payments. For entrepreneurs and online workers it’s $0.30 plus 2.9% of the paid amount of money. For larger transactions, it can be a substantial sum. Here’s what you can do to minimize these fees.

Getting paid as a friend or a family member

If you use PayPal to create invoices for your work, you’ll automatically be charged the aforementioned fee for business users.

However, if you use another option, such as an online invoice maker, or an accounting software, you can write in that invoice that you are client’s relative or friend. By doing so, you’ll dodge the payment fee and keep a few cents more on your account.

The main drawback of this payment is the step in which the client needs to sign in their PayPal account and authorized this friend/relative payment there. Also, the payment they make that way won’t be protected, which can be off-putting for some clients.

That’s why you should suggest this payment hack only to reliable and long-term clients.

A direct transfer to a bank account

Another clever way to access your PayPal payment without fees is to make a direct transfer to your bank account. It will take one or two work days for this transaction, which is an acceptable amount of time.

Nevertheless, you need to check with your bank the currency exchange rates. Some online freelancers get paid in dollars or euros, but they can only withdraw their payment in their domestic currency. Since there are usually some fees here, make sure to double check these conditions.

Online payments via credit cards


More and more online entrepreneurs are turning to plastic payments. Credit cards are omnipresent and they’re accepted as payment methods in every corner of the world.

Also, their providers are constantly making an additional effort to improve their security features. For instance, Mastercard has recently started using the fingerprint technology for their cards.

What you need to do if you want to get paid via credit cards is to create an account on Wave, PayPal, or any other online payment platform. When your client makes a credit card payment, it’s processed to your account. After that, you withdraw your money via the option you’re previously chosen (read the PayPal paragraph above).

In case the number of payments you receive via credit cards rapidly increases, think about getting your own processing terminal for this sort of payments. E-commerce entrepreneurs often have the need to start using these payment options, to reduce their fees and speed up the payment procedure. Read more about the solutions in the article published by PC Mag.


Electronic funds payment

If you want to receive your payment as fast and least expensive as possible, you should use the electronic funds’ transfer. With this payment method, the money is transferred directly from your client’s bank account to your bank account.

The greatest benefit for both parties is the fact that there are no fees. Also, there’s no hassle with paper documents, stamps, or any other nuisance that could waste your time. Apart from that, you can do the entire procedure from the comfort of your home.

A fly in the ointment here is the fact that it might take a few days if the sender and the receiver of this payment have accounts in different banks. In that case, there also might be some payment fees, but they may vary from bank to bank. Because of that, ask your bank officials about these potential fees.


Working in this day and age has many benefits, especially in the online community. Still, getting paid electronically includes some inconveniences, like fees and payment delays, which can make it difficult for you to get properly paid for your work.

That’s why it’s imperative to check the terms and conditions of the services you’re planning to use for payments. There are always some ways to reduce the fees, like the ones presented in this article, and make the most of your online work.

AuthorBio: Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus – a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.

Should Your Office Have an Outdoor Area

Landscaping is usually one of the last things you think of when considering your business, but it’s still an important part; after all, the outside of your business is the first thing your customers see and contributes to their first impression of your business.

Beyond that, creating a pleasant outdoor space like a courtyard to discuss business with your clients or allow your employees to enjoy the weather on a nice day while on their breaks can be a nice touch to impress new clients and improve employee morale. In this article, we’ll provide you with some information to help you decide if you should put an outdoor area outside your office and also provide you with some tips to get you started.

Benefits of Adding an Outdoor Area

Adding an outdoor area to your office can provide many benefits for your employees, customers, and your business as a whole. First off, it’ll make your office building look official and established to have a well-designed outdoor area like a courtyard.

It can also help to create a calming atmosphere for your employees and customers, especially with a pond or fountain. Outdoor areas also provide a safe and convenient place for your employees to go to take a break from work, eat their lunch, or meet with customers or clients. An outdoor area can be a great investment towards impressing and pleasing your customers or clients and improving employee morale.

Downsides to Adding an Outdoor Area

There are a few downsides to having an outdoor area at your office which you may find insurmountable. The first downside to an outdoor area is the price. It can be expensive to put make all the changes and purchase everything you need for an outdoor area like a courtyard.

The expense also varies based on how elaborate of an outdoor area you’re wanting putting in. If you’re the project is going to involve landscaping, laying down cement for a patio or carport, or a pond it’s probably going to be pretty pricey. However, you can minimize your outdoor area and save some money, if that’s a large concern. There’s also a fair bit of upkeep involved with an outdoor area, especially when there are flowers and foliage involved that need to be cared for regularly. If there are large expansions of grass, the mowing of said grass will also be a responsibility you’ll have to consider.

What Should You Consider Before Putting in an Outdoor Area

There are a few necessary things for you to consider before you put in your outdoor area. First, you need to see what you have room to put into space outside of your office and if it’s financially and physically possible to make the image you have in mind happen.

If a pond is something you’ve considered, you will also need to consider pond pumps and other necessary tools for you to keep a healthy pond. You’ll also have to consider if you need a landscaper or landscaping crew to implement your image because that could be expensive. You should consider several different options around your area for landscapers so you can ensure you’re getting the best services and the best price.