As 2016 arrives, business leaders around the world are now focusing intently on their aims and challenges for the next 12 months. From implementing plans to further grow their companies, to dealing with the likely problems that will need to be overcome, this is the time of year when forward planning is the centre of attention.
Here some of the best business leaders share their thoughts on running or setting up a business in 2016.
- Have a clear objective. Understand the DNA of your business.What you put in is what you get out. Do not take “no” or “can’t” as an answer. Socialize and network within your industry.
- Get rid of all your loser friends. You know the ones – they drink too much, they get high. And like vampires they will suck the life blood out of you. That may not leave you with very many friends, but… in business your friends will not be much help. You’re too young and not rich enough to take vacations. Work, it’s a good word.
- There are many reasons people get into business. For me it was creative pursuit, and being a creator of my own destiny.You need to build your business the right way for the right reasons. If it is just for the money then you will only have a business short term.
- New companies are hungry for cash, so anything you are making will go straight back into the business. And often the founder, who is working 120 hours a week, is the last person to see any returns for a long time from their hard yards.
- Yet these are the businesses that succeed, and in the long run are the ones that are truly successful. By contrast, firms that are stripped of their cash to “fund” the lifestyle of their owners are very short-lived.
Your business plan should conform to generally accepted guidelines regarding form and content. Each section should include specific elements and address relevant questions that the people who read your plan will most likely ask. A business plan is a written description of your business’s future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you’ve written a plan, or at least the germ of a plan.
A business plan is also a road map that provides directions so a business can plan its future and helps it avoid bumps in the road. The time you spend making your business plan thorough and accurate, and keeping it up-to-date, is an investment that pays big dividends in the long term.
Business plans are inherently strategic. You start here, today, with certain resources and abilities. You want to get to a there, a point in the future (usually three to five years out) at which time your business will have a different set of resources and abilities as well as greater profitability and increased assets. Your plan shows how you will get from here to there.
The plan-as-you-go premise is simple plan for your business’ sake, not for planning’s sake. Leading business plan expert invites you to block all thoughts of overwhelming, traditional, formal, cookie-cutter business plans and embrace an easier, more practical, modern business plan the plan that evolves with your business and allows you to start building your business now!
The summary or statement should be no more than half a page in length and should touch on the following key elements:
- Business concept describes the business, its product, the market it serves and the business’ competitive advantage.
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Indonesia has been sign agreement to build a high-speed rail with Tiongkok. Officials from China and a domestic consortium signed an agreement Friday to build the first high-speed rail line in Indonesia after Japan lost in the bidding late last month. This is a good step to build Indonesia country. And also can increase economic Indonesia to the world.
The estimated $5.5 billion high-profile railway deal signed by China Railway International Co Ltd Chairman Yang Zhongmin and Dwi Windarto, the president director of a consortium of Indonesian state companies, PT Pilar Sinergi BUMN Indonesia. China had been expected to secure the project in Southeast Asia’s largest economy after Indonesian officials rejected Japan’s requirement for a government guarantee of loans late last month.
Regional rivals China and Japan had been competing to construct the 150-kilometer (93-mile) Jakarta to Bandung high-speed line as part of 750 kilometers (466 miles) of new rail planned for Indonesia. The Indonesian state-owned companies forming the joint venture agreement are a construction company PT Wijaya Karya, railway operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia, toll-road builder PT Jasa Marga, and a plantation company PT Perkebunan Nusantara VIII.
“We hope this new company will compete outside Indonesia for high-speed railway projects,” said the joint venture chairman Sahala Lumban Gaol at the signing ceremony.
He said the construction is expected to begin early next year and completed in 2018. The trains are to start operating in early 2019 with eight stops, speeds of 250 kilometers (155 miles) an hour, and a fare of about $16.
The existing regular trains to Bandung, the capital of West Java province, take about three hours and cost about $8.
President Joko Widodo has ambitious plans to improve Indonesia’s infrastructure, which could boost manufacturing and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
Everyday shoppers are rallying behind high-tech phenomena such as 3D TV, streaming multimedia and location-based savings and services, trends in business gadgets and technologies are charting a somewhat divergent course. From smartphones to GPS navigation systems, technology is everywhere in 2015. Credit professionals’ growing need for mobility and access to real-time information, helping fuel increasing demand for mobile devices and spur the ubiquitous growth of apps, online services and social networks.
In this year, the focus will instead lie on more intuitive and powerful portable productivity solutions, tools which facilitate greater virtualization and accessories that make everyday tasks and mobile communications simpler. As a bonus, many also incorporate features popular with the general public, such as casual videoconferencing, breezy wireless connectivity and fully customizable content.
Following are five trends that promise to define 2015’s best business gadgets, each likely to filter their way into any enterprise in the coming months.
1. 4G Connectivity
Wireless-cellular carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile are all embracing the high-speed 4G Internet bandwagon. Expect each to trot out a variety of handsets which utilize turbo-charged networks that allow small-business owners to enjoy Web surfing and downloads at speeds three to four times faster than current 3G standards. Choices will be numerous, ranging from the QWERTY keyboard-enabled HTC EVO Shift, capable of acting as a mobile hotspot for up to eight WiFi devices, to the Samsung Infuse, which adds an attractive, oversized 4.5-inch display.
Regardless of whether you need a brawny, dual-core processor-powered model like the Motorola Atrix (capable of docking with a full-size screen to double as a laptop), expect marked speed boosts across the board. This will not only aid modern executives accessing more online information and multimedia than ever, but also provide a ready platform for impromptu videoconferencing from a number of handsets.
The success of our business depends on effective information technology systems and on continuing to develop and implement improvements in technology; certain significant multiyear strategic information technology projects are currently in process. Information technology is a modern phenomenon that has dramatically changed the daily lives of individuals and businesses throughout the world. Information technology is driven by the microchip, which owes its existence to the semi-conductor.
Our business depends in large part on our technology systems for interacting with employers, policyholders and sales associates, and our business strategy involves providing customers with easy-to-use products to meet their needs. Some of our information technology systems and software are older, legacy-type systems that are less efficient and require an ongoing commitment of significant resources to maintain or upgrade to current standards (including adequate business continuity procedures). IT solutions run the gamut from personal computers and computer software to production robotics to communications technology. Leveraging information technology for business success is key to survival in the modern business world.
Our success is dependent in large part on maintaining or improving the effectiveness of existing systems and continuing to develop and enhance information systems that support our business processes in a cost-efficient manner.
Information technology has grown to permeate the business world, affecting how companies make and market their products, as well as how people communicate and accomplish their jobs in modern organizations. Specialized software shapes best-practices and industry standards, continually changing the face of business in almost every way.
Production technology has allowed modern companies to make great strides in operational efficiency and the effectiveness of human resources. Automation technology, such as assembly lines and computer-controlled machinery, can allow companies to produce unprecedented volumes of goods, and advances in transportation technology allow businesses to ship their products anywhere in the world.
Information technology has also changed the way that companies operate internally. Personal computers have become a necessity for a large majority of corporate jobs, and many manual labor jobs require the use of a handheld computer or other electronic device as well.
What Is the Cloud?
At its simplest, refers to any service delivered over the Internet instead of locally through your own hardware. When you use web-based file back-up services, that’s using the cloud. When you play Internet radio, that’s using the cloud. When you access your company’s online CRM system, that’s also leveraging the cloud. The fundamental idea is that when you’re using a cloud-based service, you’re leveraging computing resources that are located and delivered from somewhere else. This can be as simple as storage, as is the case with a cloud-based “file cabinet” such as Verizon Cloud Storage or Verizon Online Backup, or it can come in the form of a software application you run online.
Looking for a place in the cloud to store your small business’s data or share it with your partners? Here are 10 options that won’t burst your IT budget. Need additional space? All of these plans let you upgrade, often for a modest fee.
1. Microsoft OneDrive (Free, up to 7 GB) OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) has the instant advantage that it’s built into a wide variety of Microsoft products, including the latest version of Windows and Windows Phone. Windows users can access OneDrive directly from the desktop and from key Office applications. No additional software required.
2. Google Drive (Free, up to 15 GB) A venerable and quite popular storage system, Google Drive is well integrated with Google Docs, the company’s online document creation and editing system. Documents stored on Google Drive can be easily shared and, in many cases, collaborators can edit the same document simultaneously.
3. Dropbox (Free, up to 2 GB) Widely popular despite its relatively small starter capacity, users love Dropbox thanks to its impressive support for a variety of mobile devices and operating systems as well as its dead-simple user-friendliness. The (paid) business plan includes unlimited storage, which is uncommon.
Should You Take Financial Advice from a Robot? This often question from any entrepreneur. While many people cultivate personal relationships with their financial advisors, others are taking an approach that’s decidedly unhuman – robots. Robo-advisors are gaining traction as millennials are increasingly entrusting their bank accounts with mathematical formulas instead of people.
Expected to reach $2.2 trillion in assets under management by 2020, the robo-advisor industry is growing at an annual pace of 68%, according to a recent report from A.T. Kearney. Lower fees are a key factor behind the expanding industry.
“People have been looking for this kind of low-cost, automated quality advice for decades and it hasn’t been available to many,” said Jon Stein, CEO at Betterment, whose robo-advisors manage over $2 billion. With traditional advisors, investors will not only pay more in fees, but they are “not going to be as well-diversified, not be as well cash managed. You’ll make bad decisions because you’ll react to the market.” Humans are “not rational actors,” he claimed.
Some of the top human advisors have stringent financial requirements, limiting the opportunity to the wealthy 1%. Stein said his average robo customer is about 36-years-old with $140,000 in annual income and $250,000 in investable assets.
“Most American households don’t have enough investment assets that would make them attractive clients to traditional good investment advisors,” said SigFig CEO Mike Sha. SigFig is a robo-advisor startup that enables its customers to link their Charles Schwab (SCHW) or T.D. Ameritrade (AMTD) accounts with its service.
And robots are utilized for more than just traditional bond and equity investments. Lending Robot uses automation to determine which lending opportunities on platforms like LendingClub (LC) make sense for its clients. Robots are “more efficient and more objective than humans, and they never take breaks or play golf,”said Emmanuel Marot, CEO of Lending Robot.
Many people question whether I have found a secret to successfully building businesses.
After reflecting across 40 years and thinking about what characterises so many of successful ventures, I have come up with five “secrets” to business success.
1 – Enjoy What You Are Doing.
Starting a business is a huge amount of hard work, requiring a great deal of time, you had better enjoy it. There was no great plan or strategy. The name itself was thought up on the hoof. building a business is all about doing something to be proud of, bringing talented people together and creating something that’s going to make a real difference to other people’s lives.
2 – Create Something That Stands Out.
Whether you have a product, a service or a brand, it is not easy to start a company and to survive and thrive in the modern world. In fact, you’ve got to do something radically different to make a mark today.
3 – Create Something That Everybody Who Works for You is Really Proud of.
4 – Be a Good Leader.
As a leader you have to be a really good listener. You need to know your own mind but there is no point in imposing your views on others without some debate. No one has a monopoly on good ideas or good advice.
Get out there, listen to people, draw people out and learn from them. As a leader you’ve also got to be extremely good at praising people. Never openly criticize people; never lose your temper, and always lavish praise on your colleagues for a job well done. o see if there’s another job within the company that suits them better. On most occasions you’ll find something for every single kind of personality.
Many Canadian executives are confused about what cloud computing is, and are worried it’s not a safe way to store important company information, even as the technology promises competitive benefits for flexibility and cost cutting, Microsoft Canada Co. says.
Cloud computing is “a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet,” Microsoft said. From posting content to the Internet to storing data to search services for websites, there are constant updates being made to the cloud-based services businesses can use to reach customers and build businesses.
“We have a long way to go in helping Canadian C-Suite fully understand what the cloud is, what it does and the difference it can make in efficiency, profitability and success of their organizations,” said Janet Kennedy, president of Microsoft Canada.
Microsoft says that many businesses could save money by running programs in the cloud and they can make starting a technology business cheaper, since many services are pay-as-you-go.
In fact, many people are already using cloud-based services, even if they don’t know it, and many company chief information officers have more cloud services in their IT departments than they realize. Microsoft said that almost every business already uses one cloud-based service, whether it’s e-mail, a collaboration system or data storage.
But many Canadian businesses, especially small and medium sized enterprises, are fearful of the cloud. The study found that 45 per cent of respondents think storing their company’s information in the cloud would be unsafe.
Businesses have been bombarded with cautionary tales of data security breaches at companies such as Target, Home Depot and JPMorgan, and that’s contributing to a climate of uncertainty and trepidation around privacy.