To accomplish this, it is critical for business owners and their management teams to identify their unique selling proposition (USP). In other words, they need to understand a key component of their success comes from the knowledge of why their product or service is appealing to customers – the reason why customers chose them over the competition. Without this basic knowledge, business owners are at a significant disadvantage when they want to increase revenue in the current marketplace or enter new or untested markets. 

Over the last few years, the economy has taken its toll on many small businesses and their owners. Not surprisingly, they are feeling beat up and hopeless, and lack the courage to fight. Some have given up and lost their purpose in life and business.

America’s sales tax system is broken! Sales tax collection is spread across more than 17,000 individual sales tax jurisdictions in this country, yet the rules aren’t uniform from one county to the next. It’s a complete pass-through for businesses, but it represents a huge cost to be compliant, with painful consequences for not following the rules.

For nearly three decades, companies have relied on sales and operations planning (S&OP) in their effort to improve business performance. What originally started as basic production planning in the 1970s evolved into S&OP in the 1980s. During that period, companies developed aggregate planning processes to align supply, demand and resources such as capacity and inventory. By the mid-1990s, S&OP further evolved to include product and portfolio management and financial projections.

Virtualization is a fact of life in information technology today. More and more systems are migrating to virtual machines (VMs) or to entire private cloud platforms, while major vendors have moved to fully support their platforms on virtual systems. Although this shift has led to an increase in efficiency and reliability, it also raises some unique issues in terms of recovery of data (as opposed to the recovery of entire servers).

There is something magical about the performance of effective teams – the way the members come together, align their talents and put aside their differences, and then almost flawlessly execute to achieve a goal. What is clearly apparent is a sense of urgency – an urgency that is self-driven by an impassioned pursuit of something that matters. There also is a critical awareness within the team that persuades members to put aside their individual differences in order to achieve a success bigger than any of them singly. Effective teams, no matter their objectives, all share three vital and distinct characteristics: they are cohesive, aggressive and targeted (CAT).

The outsourcing of IT, engineering and business services has benefitted the manufacturing industry profoundly over the past few decades. Outsourcers have successfully taken out costs and helped customers drive efficiencies for their own customers. In recent years, though, the model has been changing. Competition, combined with the recent global financial crisis, has increased the pressure on outsourcers not only to continue to deliver price advantages but to generate greater value in a wide variety of areas.

From the G-7, to the BRIC, to the N-11, the search is ongoing for markets that promise growth and new opportunities for businesses around the globe. To that end, Goldman Sachs and others have conducted extensive analysis of market conditions in countries far off the traditional radar screen. However, what companies need to pay close attention to when selecting a new target market isn’t just one country's market performance over another. Rather, the right target market has everything to do with aligning your company's unique product/services, goals, vision and global strategy with the most suitable country and then region.

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