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Business strategy

It has already been a rough year for business owners, and we’re only at the halfway point. Brexit shocked the economy across the globe, and it wasn’t just British companies that took the hit. Every business owner braced themselves as the pound took a hit and economy tumbled down with it. That situation still hasn’t been resolved, and while it has stabilised, it could still have a greater effect. Particularly, after Britain officially leaves the EU, which may not be until 2021. Meanwhile, a recent report has revealed just how many employees receive basic benefits. Around seventy percent of employees in America alone do not receive health care. It’s no wonder that companies are inundated every year with injury claims. Without winning in court, it seems many wouldn’t get the money they need when they’re off work.

Then, there is the growth of other economies. Both China and India are growing at a rapid rate with new businesses opening up every day. In India, entire cities are being built up for business and will be active on the global market by the end of the year. This means a fresh dose of competition for companies that have already been established. New companies are almost always setup to run online. This means continued trouble for high street shop owners. Online companies can cheapen their costs and therefore sell at a lower price. These are just some of the issues that businesses are facing this year. However, it’s pointless to look at the problems, unless we can start to consider the solutions.

Increasing Competition

In many ways, increased competition from international businesses isn’t a problem. In fact, for the consumer, it’s good news. They can get the same product at a lower price, hopefully, made to the same quality. It also pushes other businesses to step up their game and deliver a better service to their customers. These are the advantages, so what are the disadvantages?

Well, firstly, it does create what is essentially a tilted playing field. Particularly when you consider that a lot of new international businesses are setting up where labour and tax laws are more lenient. China, for instance, have little to no laws preventing the use of cheap child labour. This is always going to make a manufacturing business cheaper to run. Ethically, the situation is questionable, but there is no doubt this practice does cut down costs. It is one of the reasons why Western companies are moving to countries like China. Then there are the tax laws that give companies incentives to set up in the first place. Both these facts make it more difficult for older companies to stay competitive.

They have to find other ways to cut costs. There are solutions to this problem, though. Businesses need to focus on how to make their companies more efficient. One possibility is to use outsourcing services. By investing in outsourcing services, companies can get rid of expensive costs in their model. Instead, another business takes on this cost for them. This makes the overall expense of the company a lot cheaper. There are countless services that can be outsourced in business from fully managed IT to legal services. Smaller companies can then be just as effective as bigger businesses with the same level of costs.

Businesses, may also want to look into advantages they have that other companies do not. A lot of international companies can not afford to invest in the latest tech and hardware. However, businesses that have already been stabilised can. This new tech makes these businesses a more powerful force on the market. They can improve their efficiency levels and make sure that their business is more productive.

Another advantage these businesses have is the access to skilled workers. Any economist will tell you that they key to a successful company is often hiring the right employees. With the right workers, you can guarantee you have the knowledge and the skill you need to make sure your company comes out on top.

Changing Dynamics

Recently, there has been a shift in the relationship between the business and the consumer. In the past, it was easy to keep business operations away from the interest of the customer. Now, customers and clients want to know everything about how businesses operate. They want to understand the production methods and connect with the people behind the business. Essentially, they want companies to engage with them in a more personal way than they had previously. This is putting pressure on businesses because a lot of companies are already doing this. They are connecting with their customers and making sure they feel more involved in the process. Marketing has become a far more interactive experience.

New and old businesses need to be doing this if they want to keep the interest of customers. One possibility to start considering is using social media to connect. Through social media, companies can easily interact with customers through technology. They can send updates, ask questions and provide customer services. They can even use it as a form of simple yet effective viral marketing. Even companies that don’t operate online should be using these types of resources. It is the only way to keep the interest of the customers.

Of course one of the current major problems has nothing to do with competition or customers. Rather, it is entirely based on the actions and decisions of employees. In particular, almost every business is dealing with the issue of premises liability. Premises liability is essentially a duty of care to employees in business. If an employee is injured, the business owner is held directly responsible. As such, they or their company can be sued for damages in the event of an accident. This is one of the reasons why it’s important have full insurance in place for your business. That way, if a claim is made, it should be partially covered by your insurance.

Recently, however, businesses are struggling to stay afloat in a sea of countless claims. This is why companies are working hard to make their properties safer than ever. It often costs money to ensure that safety levels are kept at a constant high. It is worth it to prevent an expensive lawsuit hitting a business fresh on the market. For a new company, an expensive PI claim could be a death sentence.

Due to the new level of engagement between companies and customers, there is a chance for public perception to be more damaging. An example would be the issue of the green company. In many ways, it is beneficial for businesses to go green. In particular, it will cut their energy costs right down, thus making their business more efficient. Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the fact that the fixed costs of making a business green are expensive. For some companies, they are too high to handle. Yet, customers are now more aware of which companies are green and which aren’t. Many businesses might be more inclined to use companies that are less environmentally damaging. That’s why last year when the car pollution controversy exploded many brands stock prices took a tumble. Public perception is a powerful force in almost every major industry.

One reason for this is the increased reliance of views online. Almost every major business is reviewed online by the buying public. You may not think that one bad review of your business is going to make a difference. However, those bad reviews build up and could earn your company a negative rating. At that point, it may stop new customers buying from your business. This doesn’t mean that companies should avoid reviews online. Quite the opposite. Businesses need to be aware of the power these reviewers have. The worst thing that a business could do is ignore them completely. You need to do your best to reconcile with these customers. Although be aware, many people use these reviews in the hope of getting free benefits from a company.

Fluctuating Demand

If you are setting up a new business this year, it would be a mistake to believe that you can rely on a constant wave of demand. This is not how the market works, and a number of new businesses are learning this lesson the hard way. In particular, if the economy takes a turn for the worse, fewer people are buying. This is a particularly challenging problem for companies that sell what could be classed as luxury products. In this case, many customers are unlikely to buy at all. Even loyal clients may cease to make purchases during times of economic turmoil. This is why constant cost cutting is so important. You need to make sure that you do not raise your costs to the point where you won’t make a profit if demand decreases. When you run a business, it’s always best to hope for the best and prepare for the worse.

It’s clear that businesses will face a lot of issues on the market this year. But with the right strategies in place, they can overcome them.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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SkyBridge Receives “Exporter of the Year” award from Global Chamber Phoenix

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The SkyBridge air logistics project received the “Exporter of the Year, Services” award, granted by the Phoenix Global Chamber within its annual Grow Globally Fair, which brings exporters and importers together, along with international investors.

The award was presented to SkyBridge, a company chaired by Ariel Picker and directed by Felipe Monroy. The effort to position www.skybridgeaz.com as one of the leaders in the international logistics sector within the business community in Arizona has been coordinated by Marco Lopez, president of Intermestic Partners.

SkyBridge is planned to become the first international air cargo hub to house Mexican and US Customs in the United States.

Its operations are based at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and will allow e-commerce companies and manufacturers, among others, to do business in Mexico and throughout Latin America, with a more efficient and profitable transport of goods between countries, thorough inspections and adequate security controls.

The development of this project will create 17,000 new direct and indirect jobs, as well as more than 3.5 million SF of development which will include industrial, aeronautical, office and commercial real estate.

The construction plan will detonate other benefits in the border region. Arizona’s proximity to Mexico and its surroundings are highly favorable for business, and they make the state a natural center for air cargo companies, large and small, eager to see their businesses grow on both sides of the border.

In this sense, Grow Globally Fair gives global business leaders the opportunity to see what’s new, who is new and how they can grow better.

With that purpose, the Phoenix Global Chamber awards prizes in honor of the success achieved in international markets and in the United States, whose categories are: Exporter of the year, product; Exporter of the year, services; Importer of the year; Landed Company to see; Cross-border consulting; Transcendent leader of the community; International banking; International commercial law; Immigration lawyer; Diplomat of the year; Translation and localization; International logistics; International accounting and taxes; International finance and insurance; International Emerging Risk; International Talent and Payroll: International Real Estate Leader; International wealth management; International business training and discourse; International IT services; International market; International education; Collaborating Organization; International nonprofit; International business city; an Elected leader with global mentality; Young Global Leader, and Global Leaders of the tribe of the year.

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Axel Andorff and Carsten Isensee, new SEAT Vice presidents for R&D and Finance

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The Spanish car company, SEAT is betting on the future by hiring two prestigious new executive vice presidents. The company hired Axel Andorff as the new executive vice president of R&D (research and development), and Carsten Isensee has been appointed as the new executive vice president for finance. With both appointments, SEAT is focusing on Innovation and securing the company’s record profit and investment figures.

Who are Axel Andorff and Carsten Isensee

Research & Development and Finance are two of the most important areas on a car company. The new vice presidents of these areas, are both executives with international experience and extensive knowledge on the car market. Axel Andorff will be replacing Dr. Matthias Rabe (who will run the technical development operations area at Volkswagen), and Carsten Isensee, who is taking over for Holger Kintscher (who will be working as head of IT and finance at Volkswagen).

Let’s see who are these two new incorporations to the SEAT executive staff. 

Axel Andorff (R&D Vice president)

Axel Andorff is a German economic and mechanical engineer (from the German University of Kaiserslautern), with 20 years of experience at the car market, where he worked for Mercedes and held various positions in the research & development area of that company.

New responsibilities at SEAT

The new R&D vice president will be in charge of the company’s innovation projects, especially those involving connectivity and car electrification, developing technologies and new forms of mobility. He is in charge of the SEAT Technical Centre, who is focused on R&D. It has an area of 43,000 square meters, prepared and equipped (of a total area that covers a surface of 200,000 square meters). More than 1000 qualified engineers work on this center, using advanced technology (simulations, virtual reality…) to create modern and reliable cars, and developing new car technology.

In 2018 SEAT allocates 862 million euros on total investments and R&D expenses, 47% more than in 2017.

Carsten Isensee (Executive Vice-President for Finance)

Carsten Isensee has a degree in business management from the German University of Wilhelmshaven, and he has made his entire career in the Volkswagen company. His last charge was in China as an executive vice president for finance.

2018 was a historic year for SEAT. Sales have grown by over 10%, increasing from 468,400 sold vehicles in 2017 to 517.600 in 2018. With the incorporation of Carsten Isensee to the company, they expect to continue increasing their sales along 2019 and the next years.

New responsibilities at SEAT

The Finance vice president joins the Spanish car company with the objective of reinforcing the company’s profit record and investment figures, and to strengthen its financial basis for future Automotive (LINK NOFOLLOW) projects.

The car market is a very competitive sector. Last years SEAT increased its figures on sales, profits and investments. With the new vice presidents incorporations, the company is focusing on increasing these figures and securing its position on the market.

As SEAT president Luca de Meo said: “It’s time to look to the future with the ambition to grow”.

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Gutemberg Dos Santos and Robert Kiyosaki share their vision of leadership

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Gutemberg Dos Santos is a Brazilian-American entrepreneur and one of the main promoters of the use of Blockchain technology and crypto economy.

Gutemberg Dos Santos and Robert Kiyosaki

Gutemberg Dos Santos a couple of years ago sponsored an event in which the Guinness Record broke with the largest number of people playing Cash Flow, a game developed by Robert Kiyosaki. Today, Dos Santos shares some reflections that emerged on that occasion about what a good leader is. 

A good leader is an excellent guide to reach common goals. If I want my team to work successfully I must share my skills and offer the best tools for their performance. I am also committed to strengthening the capabilities of each of the members and never assume that we all work the same as diversity enriches and complements the unit. 

Sharing experiences. If I share my experiences with the rest of my team regarding the success and failures I have had in some projects, I will empathize with my team and together we will be able to reach the goals proposed for the company.

Listening. This part is essential for a business to prosper, if I do not listen to my people I will be walking towards darkness. I must always remain alert to the doubts and questions that my team may have, in this way I will know if we are all on the same frequency and we are walking towards the same course.

Motivating my team. I take my time to know my team, how old they are, what is their educational and socioeconomic level; what goals they pursue in the short and long term. This will help me find keywords that guide me to be empathetic with them and be able to have better communication. 

Being proactive. When facing a difficult situation, I try to get the best out of it, without falling into frustration and rather detect alternative solutions. Trusting and being flexible. I am attentive to the capacities and strengths within my work team, this way I trust people in order to delegate tasks, likewise I am open to listen to proposals and suggestions that lead us to strengthen our project. 

For more information, please visit : www.gutembergds.com 


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