Harnessing a “meritocracy of great ideas”

A team of 25 students, faculty, and staff from across the Institute has been working to develop a new design subject with an ambitious goal: to propose and rigorously evaluate potential new curriculum, pedagogies, and policies to advance the educational experience of first-year undergraduate students at MIT.

The subject, Designing the First Year at MIT, will be offered in spring 2018 for MIT undergraduate and graduate students, as well as Harvard University graduate students. “The class will be tasked with leading a community-based design effort that conceptualizes the first year experience (FYE) as a complex system,” says Ian A. Waitz, vice chancellor of the Institute. “It’s a neat opportunity to shape education at MIT, while learning about design methodologies and applying them to a very challenging problem. The subject is being developed and taught by faculty and staff from all five schools. That may be a first.”

The idea bubbled up during conversations last spring between Waitz (then dean of the School of Engineering) and a group of students from the MIT Undergraduate Association (UA). Both he and the students share an interest in improving the undergraduate learning experience.

Enhancing the first-year experience was among the initial charges identified by Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart when she created the Office of the Vice Chancellor in July. Since then, Waitz has met with hundreds of faculty, administrators, and staff to seek advice on the best approach. In each session, he always asks two questions: What are the objectives of the first year? How well are we meeting them? Such intelligence is helping to guide the development of the subject in real-time.

“The course is a really interesting and effective way of getting the entire community involved in this conversation,” says junior Alexa Martin, UA vice president. “It’s more likely to result in actual change than surveys, presentations, and other things that have been done in the past.”

Martin is one of four students on the team planning the subject, along with sophomore Kathryn Jiang, UA secretary; sophomore Noah McDaniel, who chairs the UA Committee on Education; and sophomore Edward Fan, who serves on the Institute’s Committee on Curricula (CoC). This fall, they fanned out across campus to tell students about the class and ask their perceptions of the first year. What they heard revolved around a few themes, such as major exploration, first year advising, and preparing students for the second-year and beyond.

Because community engagement is fundamental for success, students in the class will continue to gather and analyze extensive input and data from stakeholders across campus. “We’d like to put the MIT culture to work — a meritocracy of great ideas,” says Bruce Cameron, director of the System Architecture Lab and one of the subject instructors.

The other instructors are Bryan Moser, academic director and  senior lecturer in the System Design and Management program; Maria Yang, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and engineering systems; Glen Urban, the David Austin Professor in Management (emeritus); and Justin Reich, an assistant professor in comparative media studies and writing.

Using a project-focused approach, the teaching team will lead weekly lectures on ways to think about, frame, research, and design solutions to the problem, along with lab-based workshops, readings, and field work. Groups of students will tackle different aspects of the first year, such as the GIRs or the residential experience, and along the way, develop skills in design, learning science, and communications.

“They’ve done an exceptional job of involving students in all of this,” Martin says about the development of the subject. “I’ve felt like my voice has been heard along the entire way. In almost every decision they make, they’re getting input from students, which is really nice to see and be a part of.”

In that sense, the approach the planning team has taken bodes well for the desired outcome. “We hope to get a lot of ‘user-centered innovation,’” Cameron says. “Who better to guide the first year experience into the 21st century than a group of MIT students who lived it?”

Waitz notes that having experience as an undergraduate at MIT, while valuable, is not required. “I hope graduate students will also take the course, as they are able to look back on their undergraduate experience, and also bring perspectives from other college programs.” 



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Game Plan Ready for 2018

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Let me help you create a game plan to make 2018 the best year of your Network Marketing career!

Register now for the 3-hour Live Goal Setting & Planning Webcast Event! http://ift.tt/2jJt56j

The post Game Plan Ready for 2018 appeared first on Network Marketing Pro.



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Why Your Small Business Should Adopt New Technology Bit by Bit

The Odds of Success With Small Businesses Technology Implementation Go up With a Bit-By-Bit Approach

There are tons of tech tools out there that can help your small business. But adopting all of that new technology at once can be overwhelming and potentially lead to a loss of productivity. Instead, it can be more beneficial to take small steps.

Small Business Trends caught up with Rebekah King, director of marketing systems for Cox Automotive at Salesforce’s recent Dreamforce event in San Francisco. Cox Automotive is a company that helps dealers and other automotive businesses digitize their marketing and sales processes. So King is uniquely familiar with how technology can help businesses of all sizes. But just because technology can be helpful doesn’t mean you should just adopt every tech tool out there right away.

In fact, King says that Cox Automotive’s strategy is more about taking small steps. And she thinks it’s a model that can work really well for companies of all sizes, no matter how big the vision might be.

Step-By-Step Technology Implementation

King said, “We may have a big vision about unifying our client experience. But we get there through putting one foot in front of the other in a very small and practical way. And one day you’ll look up after doing that and see that you’ve put together a whole program that is really moving your business forward but you didn’t spend seven months figuring it out or two years formulating the strategy. You just spent three weeks on that one piece.”

So for small businesses looking to shape a tech adoption strategy, King’s advice is to choose one small thing to focus on. Then make that small change and execute it fully before moving onto the next thing.

King added, “The very practical thing is to just take one piece of the functionality you want to be able to do. If you want to do lead nurturing — lead nurturing is a huge end-to-end vision. So just start with one part of that.”

This article, "Why Your Small Business Should Adopt New Technology Bit by Bit" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Why Your Small Business Should Adopt New Technology Bit by Bit

The Odds of Success With Small Businesses Technology Implementation Go up With a Bit-By-Bit Approach

There are tons of tech tools out there that can help your small business. But adopting all of that new technology at once can be overwhelming and potentially lead to a loss of productivity. Instead, it can be more beneficial to take small steps.

Small Business Trends caught up with Rebekah King, director of marketing systems for Cox Automotive at Salesforce’s recent Dreamforce event in San Francisco. Cox Automotive is a company that helps dealers and other automotive businesses digitize their marketing and sales processes. So King is uniquely familiar with how technology can help businesses of all sizes. But just because technology can be helpful doesn’t mean you should just adopt every tech tool out there right away.

In fact, King says that Cox Automotive’s strategy is more about taking small steps. And she thinks it’s a model that can work really well for companies of all sizes, no matter how big the vision might be.

Step-By-Step Technology Implementation

King said, “We may have a big vision about unifying our client experience. But we get there through putting one foot in front of the other in a very small and practical way. And one day you’ll look up after doing that and see that you’ve put together a whole program that is really moving your business forward but you didn’t spend seven months figuring it out or two years formulating the strategy. You just spent three weeks on that one piece.”

So for small businesses looking to shape a tech adoption strategy, King’s advice is to choose one small thing to focus on. Then make that small change and execute it fully before moving onto the next thing.

King added, “The very practical thing is to just take one piece of the functionality you want to be able to do. If you want to do lead nurturing — lead nurturing is a huge end-to-end vision. So just start with one part of that.”

This article, "Why Your Small Business Should Adopt New Technology Bit by Bit" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Small Business Trends Magazine’s Planning Edition Helps You Map Your Company’s Future

It’s natural this time of year to think about the past and plan for the future.

That’s why we’re releasing the Planning edition of Small Business Trends magazine today. Inside, you’ll see the gamut of advice from small business experts on subjects of vital importance to companies like yours and their future.

For startups, we’ve got advice on the best parts of a winning business plan. You do have a business plan, right? Even if you own an established business but don’t have a plan in writing, now’s the time for one. The tips from expert Steven Scheck have businesses of the less and more established variety covered.

Stuck on writing a solid business plan? Check out the article inside from our reporter Rob Starr. He goes over the 10 steps you need to take to write a solid and effective business plan today.

Of course, there are business owners reading this right now and thinking about the business plan they once wrote but scrapped. Small business expert Melinda Emerson has some great advice on how to fix common mistakes that mar many business plans.

Narrowing focus a bit, our reporter Nash Riggins offers up tips for putting together your company’s marketing plan — a critical step. And Larry Alton goes over a change management plan and why your small business needs one.

And if you ever plan to walk away from your business in the distant future, planning for your own retirement as an entrepreneur is critical. After all, you don’t have an employer looking out for that part of your life!

There’s all this and a lot more planning advice in this edition of Small Business Trends magazine.

Be sure to download your FREE copy today!

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Small Business Trends Magazine’s Planning Edition Helps You Map Your Company’s Future" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Small Business Trends Magazine’s Planning Edition Helps You Map Your Company’s Future

It’s natural this time of year to think about the past and plan for the future.

That’s why we’re releasing the Planning edition of Small Business Trends magazine today. Inside, you’ll see the gamut of advice from small business experts on subjects of vital importance to companies like yours and their future.

For startups, we’ve got advice on the best parts of a winning business plan. You do have a business plan, right? Even if you own an established business but don’t have a plan in writing, now’s the time for one. The tips from expert Steven Scheck have businesses of the less and more established variety covered.

Stuck on writing a solid business plan? Check out the article inside from our reporter Rob Starr. He goes over the 10 steps you need to take to write a solid and effective business plan today.

Of course, there are business owners reading this right now and thinking about the business plan they once wrote but scrapped. Small business expert Melinda Emerson has some great advice on how to fix common mistakes that mar many business plans.

Narrowing focus a bit, our reporter Nash Riggins offers up tips for putting together your company’s marketing plan — a critical step. And Larry Alton goes over a change management plan and why your small business needs one.

And if you ever plan to walk away from your business in the distant future, planning for your own retirement as an entrepreneur is critical. After all, you don’t have an employer looking out for that part of your life!

There’s all this and a lot more planning advice in this edition of Small Business Trends magazine.

Be sure to download your FREE copy today!

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Small Business Trends Magazine’s Planning Edition Helps You Map Your Company’s Future" was first published on Small Business Trends



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The euro zone’s boom masks problems that will return to haunt it

“WHAT does not kill me makes me stronger,” wrote Nietzsche in “Götzen-Dämmerung”, or “Twilight of the Idols”. Alternatively, it leaves the body dangerously weakened, as did the illnesses that plagued the German philosopher all his life. The euro area survived a hellish decade, and is now enjoying an unlikely boom. The OECD, a club of mostly rich countries, reckons that the euro zone will have grown faster in 2017 than America, Britain or Japan. But, sadly, although the currency bloc has undoubtedly proven more resilient than many economists expected, it is only a little better equipped to survive its next recession than it was the previous one.

Europe’s crisis was brutal. Euro-area GDP is roughly €1.4trn ($1.7trn)—an Italy, give or take—below the level it would have reached had it grown at 2% per year since 2007. Parts of the periphery have yet to regain the output levels they enjoyed a decade ago (see chart). The damage was exacerbated by deep flaws within Europe’s monetary union. Three shortcomings loomed particularly large. First, the union centralised money-creation but left national governments responsible for their own fiscal solvency. So markets came to understand that governments could no longer bail themselves out by printing money to pay off creditors. The risk of default made markets panic in response to bad news, pushing up government borrowing costs and...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

Europe’s banks face a glut of new rules

FOR those oddballs whose hearts sing at the thought of bank regulation, Europe is a pretty good place to be. No fewer than five lots of rules are about to come into force, are near completion or are due for overhaul. They will open up European banking to more competition, tighten rules on trading, dent reported profits and boost capital requirements. Although they should also make Europe’s financial system healthier, bankers—after a decade of ever-tightening regulation since the crisis of 2007-08—may be less enthused.

Start with the extra competition. On January 13th the European Union’s updated Payment Services Directive, PSD2, takes effect. It sets terms of engagement between banks, which have had a monopoly on customers’ account data and a tight grip on payments, and others—financial-technology companies and rival banks—that are already muscling in. Payment providers allow people to pay merchants by direct transfer from their bank accounts. Account aggregators pull together data...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

As bitcoin’s price passes $10,000, its rise seems unstoppable

MOST money these days is electronic—a series of ones and zeros on a computer. So it is rather neat that bitcoin, a privately created electronic currency, has lurched from $1,000 to above $10,000 this year (see chart), an epic journey to add an extra zero.

On the way, the currency has been controversial. Jamie Dimon, the boss of JPMorgan Chase, has called it a fraud. Nouriel Roubini, an economist, plumped for “gigantic speculative bubble”. Ordinary investors are being tempted into bitcoin by its rapid rise—a phenomenon dubbed FOMO (fear of missing out). Both the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, America’s largest futures market, and the NASDAQ stock exchange have seemingly added their imprimaturs by planning to offer bitcoin-futures contracts.

It is easy to muddle two separate issues. One is whether the “blockchain” technology that underpins bitcoin becomes more widely adopted. Blockchains, distributed ledgers that record transactions securely, may prove very useful in some...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

A regulatory tempest lashes China’s markets

IT IS is the kind of company that for years was a safe bet for investors. China City Construction is big, government-owned and focused on building basic infrastructure such as sewers. But the bet, it turns out, was not so safe after all. In November China City missed interest payments on three separate bonds, after failing to refinance its hefty debts. It is one of a growing number of victims of the government’s clean-up of the financial system, or what is known in China as the “regulatory storm”.

The storm has been gathering strength for the better part of a year but its intensity over the past couple of weeks has caught many off-guard. The government wasted little time after an important Communist party meeting in October before taking on some of the riskier parts of the financial system. As a result, China’s risk-free interest rate—ie, the yield on government bonds— has shot up. Overall, it has risen by a percentage point since the start of 2017.

For firms, even those closely tied to the state, the rise in borrowing costs has been even steeper. The yield on ten-year bonds issued by China Development Bank, a “policy bank” that finances state projects at home and abroad, has soared to nearly 5%, the highest in three years (see chart).

...


via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

Brazil puts its state development bank on a diet

Lula spots an Anglo-Saxon

IN 2009, as Brazil was buffeted by the global financial crisis, its president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, was seething. The mess, he complained, was the fault of “blue-eyed white people, who previously seemed to know everything, and now demonstrate they know nothing at all”. For him the crisis was a repudiation of Anglo-Saxon liberalism and a vindication of state capitalism. Like many countries, Brazil cut interest rates and increased spending. Unlike many other governments, however, Brazil’s used its state development bank, BNDES, to funnel subsidised credit to Brazil’s largest companies. Thanks to cheap loans from the Treasury, the bank doubled its lending, which reached a peak of 4.3% of GDP in 2010. For most loans the interest rates were half the level of Selic, the central bank’s benchmark.

The plan worked, for a while. Brazil emerged from the crisis relatively unscathed: after a short recession in 2009 the economy rebounded...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

India’s new bankruptcy code takes aim at delinquent tycoons

A SMOOTH bankruptcy process is akin to reincarnation: a company at death’s door gets to shuffle off its old debts, often gain new owners, and start a new life. Might the idea catch on in India? A first wave of cadaverous firms are seeking rebirth under a bankruptcy code adopted in December 2016. In a hopeful development, tycoons once able to hold on to “their” businesses even as banks got stiffed seem likely to be forced to cede control.

India badly needs a fresh approach to insolvent businesses. Its banks’ balance-sheets sag under 8.4trn rupees ($130bn) of loans that will probably not be repaid—over 10% of their outstanding loans. But foreclosure is fiddly: it currently takes over four years to process an insolvency, and recovery rates are a lousy 26%. Partly as a result, bankers have often turned a blind eye to firms they ought to have foreclosed on.

This is bad for the banks and worse for the economy, which has slowed markedly, in part as credit to companies has dried up. The problem festered for years, not...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

A flattening yield curve argues against higher interest rates

CENTRAL bankers may control short-term interest rates, but long-term ones are mostly free to wander. They do not always behave. When Alan Greenspan, then chairman of the Federal Reserve, was raising short rates in 2005, he described a simultaneous decline in long rates as a “conundrum”. His successor-to-be, Ben Bernanke, blamed foreign investments in American assets because of a “global saving glut”.

Janet Yellen, today’s (outgoing) Fed chair, faces a similar puzzle. Ms Yellen’s Fed has raised rates twice this year, and will probably make it three times in December. In October the Fed began to reverse quantitative easing (QE), purchases of financial assets with newly created money. Despite all this monetary tightening, yields on ten-year Treasury bonds have fallen from around 2.5% at the start of 2017 to about 2.3% today. As a result, the “yield curve” is flattening. The difference between ten-year and two-year interest rates is at its lowest since November 2007 (see chart).

The...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

What cheese can tell you about international barriers to trade

Slicely does it

BEN SKAILES, a British cheesemaker, is busy as Christmas ripens demand for his Stilton. Foreigners make up a third of demand for his dairy, Cropwell Bishop Creamery. This exporting achievement is not to be sniffed at when one considers the barriers to the cheese trade.

Some are natural. Perishable food goes better with wine than long journeys. At least Mr Skailes’s Stilton can survive the three-week trip to America. (His is best eaten within 16 weeks.) Softer cheeses struggle, giving American producers an advantage.

Other hurdles are man-made. Tariffs and quotas are supposed to support domestic dairy industries, and are more onerous than in other sectors. The European Union protects its dairy industry with a 34% average duty, compared with an overall average of 5%. In America it is 17%, compared with 3.5%. Stilton escapes American quotas, but full “loaves” are taxed at a 12.8% rate, or 17% if they arrive sliced. (Unprocessed...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

New in November—save time, stay secure, and do more

Today’s post was written by Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for the Office team.

Earlier this month, we announced the worldwide availability of Microsoft 365 Business, a purpose-built productivity and management solution for small and medium-sized businesses. We also introduced Microsoft Connections, Microsoft Listings, Microsoft Invoicing, and the Office 365 Business Center in the U.S., U.K., and Canada to help small businesses empower their employees and unlock growth and innovation.

Additional new Office 365 features this month focus on enhancing organizational productivity and simplifying business processes while maintaining a secure and compliant environment for teamwork.

Enhancing security, privacy, and compliance

As organizations embrace digital transformation, it is increasingly important for IT to ensure that employee and customer data is protected and handled appropriately. New updates to Office 365 this month help organizations understand what information they have stored, manage access to resources, and strengthen their compliance posture.

Analyze more content with Advanced eDiscovery—eDiscovery is a tool that helps organizations analyze data across Office 365 to identify information that they have stored about a person or topic. Now Office 365 E5 subscribers can upload documents from outside Office 365 and analyze them with Advanced eDiscovery using the new content import feature. This extends the benefits of Advanced eDiscovery beyond Office 365, providing organizations with a single way to discover content relating to compliance matters from across their organization.

Secure external sharing links in OneDrive and SharePointIn September at Ignite, we announced a number of improvements to external file sharing in OneDrive and SharePoint, including the ability to send secure external sharing links. This feature is now generally available to Office 365 subscribers, allowing external recipients to access files and folders—without a Microsoft account—by providing an email-based verification code each time a user accesses a file. IT administrators can also specify how often external recipients must get a new code and re-verify their email address, providing ongoing protection for your organization’s files and folders when they are shared with external recipients.

Improve compliance posture with Compliance Manager—Starting this month, organizations can participate in the preview for Compliance Manager, now available via the Service Trust Portal. Compliance Manager is a solution built into Office 365 that connects Microsoft security and compliance tools with the unique regulatory requirements different organizations may encounter. This helps Office 365 subscribers improve their compliance posture through risk assessments on Microsoft Cloud services, actionable insights, and simplified compliance workflows.

Simplifying processes and saving time with intelligent tools

This month’s Office 365 updates also help customers manage resources in more effective ways and make it easier for Firstline Workers to optimize their time throughout the workday.

Clock in and out in Microsoft StaffHub—New features in StaffHub help organizations centralize many of the daily processes workers undertake, reducing overhead and maximizing the impact of their Firstline Workforce. Now workers can clock in and out of their shifts within the app, in addition to managing daily activities and accessing company news and resources. These updates help streamline daily processes and help create a more well-informed workforce.

Automate files with Microsoft Flow in OneDrive—Flow provides a set of tools to automate tasks across apps and services, simplifying the process of managing repetitive and often complex actions like PDF conversion and approval routing. Starting this month, Office 365 subscribers can now run workflows on selected files and folders in OneDrive, allowing for the simplification of common tasks like saving multiple email attachments to folders and providing upload notifications.

Automatic drive classification with Mile IQNew features in MileIQ use Microsoft AI to save time by automatically classifying trips. MileIQ will now detect frequently visited locations, learn how they are typically classified, and offer to auto-classify them in the future. Additionally, Work Hours makes it simple to set the times a user works, including multiple shifts, and will automatically classify drives outside of those hours as personal. Subscribers always have the option to re-classify a drive if necessary from the web dashboard.

Bringing AI to job seekers with Resume Assistant—Earlier this month, we announced the preview of Resume Assistant, a new feature in Microsoft Word to help Office 365 subscribers craft compelling resumes with personalized insights powered by LinkedIn. With over 80 percent of resumes updated in Word, Resume Assistant helps job seekers showcase accomplishments by surfacing relevant examples of work experience and top skills that industry professionals use to describe themselves. Ultimately, this helps Office 365 subscribers be more easily discovered by recruiters and land their ideal job.

Additional updates

  • GDPR compliance—GDPR requirements are effective in May 2018. Learn more about GDPR compliance in our latest webcast.
  • Office Mobile apps on ChromebookEarlier this week, we released a preview of the Office Mobile apps for Google Chromebooks. These apps were originally designed for Android phones, and they’re not yet fully optimized for the Chromebook form factor. We’ve done some initial work on the end user experience and want to gather customer feedback. As with all of our mobile apps, an Office 365 subscription is required to edit documents on devices with a screen size of 10.1 inches or greater.
  • Office Lens—Office Lens is now integrated within OneNote to provide scanning, cropping, and rotation of photos, documents, whiteboards, and business cards.

Learn more about what’s new for Office 365 subscribers this month at: Office on Windows desktops | Office for Mac | Office Mobile for Windows | Office for iPhone and iPad | Office on Android. If you’re an Office 365 Home or Personal customer, be sure to sign up for Office Insider to be the first to use the latest and greatest in Office productivity. Commercial customers on both Monthly Channel and Semi-Annual Channel can also get early access to a fully supported build through Targeted Release (Clients, Services). This site explains more about when you can expect to receive the features announced today.

—Kirk Koenigsbauer

The post New in November—save time, stay secure, and do more appeared first on Office Blogs.



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50 Small Business Export Ideas

50 Small Business Export Ideas

Small businesses make up nearly all of the U.S. exporting market. And international consumer markets like China’s growing middle class offer plenty of opportunities for even more small businesses to get in on the exporting game.

Small Business Export Ideas

If you’re interested in starting a business that exports products to other markets around the world, check out these 50 small business export ideas.

Vehicle Exports

The auto industry in the U.S. makes it a great area to focus an exporting business. You can work with manufacturers or even export used vehicles.

Auto Parts Exports

You could also focus your efforts on smaller products within the automotive niche like parts and tools.

Computer Exports

Computers and similar tech are also popular in markets around the world. So you could start an exporting business that focuses on computer parts and similar hardware.

Smartphone Exports

Or you could focus on smartphones and used mobile technology products.

Tech Accessory Exports

There’s also a huge assortment of tech accessories for smartphones and computers that you could export from the U.S.

Clothing Exports

There isn’t a ton of clothing manufacturing in the U.S. compared to some other countries. But you can still create a business that exports clothing from certain U.S. designers or even independent artisans.

Beauty Product Exports

You can also start a business that exports beauty products like cosmetics, hair care and skin care items.

Cotton Exports

Cotton is a popular export for U.S. businesses. You can ship the raw material to manufacturers in other countries that make clothing and textiles.

Art Exports

You could also start a business that focuses on exporting art to collectors around the world.

Collectible Exports

There are also a number of other niches that are popular with collectors around the world. So you could start a business with a very specific collectible product line that you ship out to those collectors.

Leather Goods Exports

Leather goods are also popular in markets around the world, making for great opportunities for exports.

Timber Exports

You can also start a business that exports raw wood material to companies that manufacture furniture and similar products.

Paper Exports

Or you could process that material further and then ship out raw paper materials to businesses that use it in various manufacturing processes.

Home Goods Exports

For those who want to ship products to actual consumers or retailers that sell to consumers, you could sell home decor or housewares.

Produce Exports

Farming or agriculture businesses can grow by exporting produce to various markets overseas.

Meat Exports

Beef and other meat products from U.S. farmers are also popular in markets around the world like China.

Seafood Exports

If you have a fishing business, you can also export those products to markets around the world that don’t have access to the same types of seafood.

Rice Exports

The U.S. recently struck a deal to export rice products to China. So this is another viable opportunity for U.S. food businesses.

Livestock Exports

For businesses that have the logistical ability to transport animals, you can export livestock to other countries in North America.

Animal Feed Exports

Animal feed is another potential area for farming and food businesses to consider.

Packaged Food and Beverage Exports

You can also actually package and brand food products and then sell them directly to consumers or retail outlets in other countries.

Pharmaceutical Exports

Though there are plenty of hoops to jump through when exporting pharmaceuticals, you can work with drug companies to arrange the export of various pharmaceuticals to medical suppliers in other countries.

Metal Exports

Various metals can also be popular for manufacturers and other types of businesses around the world.

Gem Exports

Or you could focus on a smaller niche and export gems to jewelers and similar businesses in other countries.

Machinery Exports

Machinery and factory equipment is another popular category for U.S. exporters.

Transportation Equipment Exports

You can also focus on equipment for transportation companies like aviation parts or equipment for railway systems.

Chemical Exports

Organic chemicals can also be popular with a variety of different organizations around the world.

Medical Equipment Exports

Or you could focus on providing medical equipment to facilities in other countries.

Electrical Equipment Exports

You can also build a business that exports electrical equipment to builders and businesses.

Coal Exports

Coal is still used by a lot of outlets as a power source. So you can potentially export the material to those outlets.

Plastic Exports

You can also export raw plastic material to manufacturers that use the material in various products.

Environmental Technology Exports

Or you can provide products or even services for companies that want equipment and expertise to improve their environmental initiatives.

Handmade Product Exports

Handmade products have become increasingly popular in markets around the world. So you can export your own handmade products or even arrange exports for other handmade businesses.

Used Product Exports

You can also focus on selling a variety of different used or secondhand products to consumers in other countries.

Software Service Exports

If you have the ability to create software or cloud based services, you can focus on selling those products or services to users in other countries.

Financial Service Exports

It’s also possible to build a business around financial services that focuses on markets outside of the U.S.

Business Service Exports

Or you could provide services to other businesses and focus on working with companies in other countries.

Information Service Exports

Information service, like IT expertise or consulting, can also provide great business opportunities. And you can easily work with clients in outside the U.S. either by traveling or communicating mainly online.

Training Exports

You could also build a business centered around training for workers and companies in other countries.

Entertainment Exports

Since U.S. entertainment like music and movies tend to be popular in other countries as well, you can build an export business that brings those items to international consumers.

Construction Exports

You can also start a construction business that provides services in international markets.

Engineering Exports

Similarly, you can start an engineering business where you work with companies and organizations around the world.

Running an Export Warehouse

You might also consider starting a warehouse business where you store and arrange for the export of various products for other businesses.

Dropshipping Service

Or you could create a more all-encompassing service for ecommerce businesses by working as a dropshipping provider that covers all of the shipping and logistics for ecommerce businesses.

Export Brokerage

You could also start a business where you serve as a trade agent to help other small businesses manage their exports.

Customs Brokerage

Or you could focus more specifically on helping exporters with issues related to getting items through customs.

Export Consultant

It’s also possible to create a consultancy business that helps other businesses looking to break into the business of exporting.

Running an Export Directory

You could also start a business that lists various exporters in a directory format to help importers looking for specific products or services.

Export Marketing Service

For experienced marketers, you could start a marketing company that helps exporters market their products to their target customers outside the U.S.

Export Insurance Service

There are also a lot of insurance considerations for businesses that export. So you could start an agency that helps those businesses get the insurance they need to protect their assets.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "50 Small Business Export Ideas" was first published on Small Business Trends



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50 Small Business Export Ideas

50 Small Business Export Ideas

Small businesses make up nearly all of the U.S. exporting market. And international consumer markets like China’s growing middle class offer plenty of opportunities for even more small businesses to get in on the exporting game.

Small Business Export Ideas

If you’re interested in starting a business that exports products to other markets around the world, check out these 50 small business export ideas.

Vehicle Exports

The auto industry in the U.S. makes it a great area to focus an exporting business. You can work with manufacturers or even export used vehicles.

Auto Parts Exports

You could also focus your efforts on smaller products within the automotive niche like parts and tools.

Computer Exports

Computers and similar tech are also popular in markets around the world. So you could start an exporting business that focuses on computer parts and similar hardware.

Smartphone Exports

Or you could focus on smartphones and used mobile technology products.

Tech Accessory Exports

There’s also a huge assortment of tech accessories for smartphones and computers that you could export from the U.S.

Clothing Exports

There isn’t a ton of clothing manufacturing in the U.S. compared to some other countries. But you can still create a business that exports clothing from certain U.S. designers or even independent artisans.

Beauty Product Exports

You can also start a business that exports beauty products like cosmetics, hair care and skin care items.

Cotton Exports

Cotton is a popular export for U.S. businesses. You can ship the raw material to manufacturers in other countries that make clothing and textiles.

Art Exports

You could also start a business that focuses on exporting art to collectors around the world.

Collectible Exports

There are also a number of other niches that are popular with collectors around the world. So you could start a business with a very specific collectible product line that you ship out to those collectors.

Leather Goods Exports

Leather goods are also popular in markets around the world, making for great opportunities for exports.

Timber Exports

You can also start a business that exports raw wood material to companies that manufacture furniture and similar products.

Paper Exports

Or you could process that material further and then ship out raw paper materials to businesses that use it in various manufacturing processes.

Home Goods Exports

For those who want to ship products to actual consumers or retailers that sell to consumers, you could sell home decor or housewares.

Produce Exports

Farming or agriculture businesses can grow by exporting produce to various markets overseas.

Meat Exports

Beef and other meat products from U.S. farmers are also popular in markets around the world like China.

Seafood Exports

If you have a fishing business, you can also export those products to markets around the world that don’t have access to the same types of seafood.

Rice Exports

The U.S. recently struck a deal to export rice products to China. So this is another viable opportunity for U.S. food businesses.

Livestock Exports

For businesses that have the logistical ability to transport animals, you can export livestock to other countries in North America.

Animal Feed Exports

Animal feed is another potential area for farming and food businesses to consider.

Packaged Food and Beverage Exports

You can also actually package and brand food products and then sell them directly to consumers or retail outlets in other countries.

Pharmaceutical Exports

Though there are plenty of hoops to jump through when exporting pharmaceuticals, you can work with drug companies to arrange the export of various pharmaceuticals to medical suppliers in other countries.

Metal Exports

Various metals can also be popular for manufacturers and other types of businesses around the world.

Gem Exports

Or you could focus on a smaller niche and export gems to jewelers and similar businesses in other countries.

Machinery Exports

Machinery and factory equipment is another popular category for U.S. exporters.

Transportation Equipment Exports

You can also focus on equipment for transportation companies like aviation parts or equipment for railway systems.

Chemical Exports

Organic chemicals can also be popular with a variety of different organizations around the world.

Medical Equipment Exports

Or you could focus on providing medical equipment to facilities in other countries.

Electrical Equipment Exports

You can also build a business that exports electrical equipment to builders and businesses.

Coal Exports

Coal is still used by a lot of outlets as a power source. So you can potentially export the material to those outlets.

Plastic Exports

You can also export raw plastic material to manufacturers that use the material in various products.

Environmental Technology Exports

Or you can provide products or even services for companies that want equipment and expertise to improve their environmental initiatives.

Handmade Product Exports

Handmade products have become increasingly popular in markets around the world. So you can export your own handmade products or even arrange exports for other handmade businesses.

Used Product Exports

You can also focus on selling a variety of different used or secondhand products to consumers in other countries.

Software Service Exports

If you have the ability to create software or cloud based services, you can focus on selling those products or services to users in other countries.

Financial Service Exports

It’s also possible to build a business around financial services that focuses on markets outside of the U.S.

Business Service Exports

Or you could provide services to other businesses and focus on working with companies in other countries.

Information Service Exports

Information service, like IT expertise or consulting, can also provide great business opportunities. And you can easily work with clients in outside the U.S. either by traveling or communicating mainly online.

Training Exports

You could also build a business centered around training for workers and companies in other countries.

Entertainment Exports

Since U.S. entertainment like music and movies tend to be popular in other countries as well, you can build an export business that brings those items to international consumers.

Construction Exports

You can also start a construction business that provides services in international markets.

Engineering Exports

Similarly, you can start an engineering business where you work with companies and organizations around the world.

Running an Export Warehouse

You might also consider starting a warehouse business where you store and arrange for the export of various products for other businesses.

Dropshipping Service

Or you could create a more all-encompassing service for ecommerce businesses by working as a dropshipping provider that covers all of the shipping and logistics for ecommerce businesses.

Export Brokerage

You could also start a business where you serve as a trade agent to help other small businesses manage their exports.

Customs Brokerage

Or you could focus more specifically on helping exporters with issues related to getting items through customs.

Export Consultant

It’s also possible to create a consultancy business that helps other businesses looking to break into the business of exporting.

Running an Export Directory

You could also start a business that lists various exporters in a directory format to help importers looking for specific products or services.

Export Marketing Service

For experienced marketers, you could start a marketing company that helps exporters market their products to their target customers outside the U.S.

Export Insurance Service

There are also a lot of insurance considerations for businesses that export. So you could start an agency that helps those businesses get the insurance they need to protect their assets.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "50 Small Business Export Ideas" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Tech giants will likely dominate speakers and headphones

MUSIC lovers do not typically go to the opera to buy a speaker. But at the Palais Garnier in Paris they now can: Devialet, a local maker of high-end speakers, on November 29th opened a store in the 19th-century music venue to sell its most sophisticated product, called Phantom. Looking like a dinosaur egg, this supercomputer for sound (priced at $3,000) is considered one of the best wireless speakers available. It also comes with a dedicated streaming service for live performances, including some at the Palais Garnier.

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GREAT expectations attended digital journalism outfits. Firms such as BuzzFeed and Mashable were the hip kids destined to conquer the internet with their younger, advertiser-friendly audience, smart manipulation of social media and affinity for technology. They seemed able to generate massive web traffic and, with it, ad revenues. They saw the promise of video, predicting that advertising dollars spent on television would migrate online. Their investors, including Comcast, Disney and General Atlantic, an investment firm, saw the same, pouring hundreds of millions of dollars each into Vice Media, BuzzFeed and Vox (giving them valuations of $5.7bn, $1.7bn and over $1bn, respectively).

They have had successes. Some became ninjas in “SEO” long before most print journalists knew it stood for “search engine optimisation”. They introduced “clickbait” to the lexicon. Some, like BuzzFeed and Vice, worked out that fortunes were to be made in brand-supported viral hits—or “native advertising” that looks similar to the sites’ own snazzy...



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Plant-based “meat” is so tasty that Europe’s meat industry has to bite back

Carroticide

THE “kapsalon” is a healthy mix of chips, melted Gouda cheese, shawarma, lettuce and garlic sauce and is a tried and tested hangover cure in the Netherlands. So naturally, a butcher’s shop on the Spui, in The Hague, put it on its takeaway menu, alongside burgers and sausage rolls. As two young women walk out, tucking into their steaming kapsalons, an elderly gentleman asks how to prepare the steak he has just bought. The scene would have most carnivores fooled. For this butcher deals only in meatless “meat”.

“We want to become the biggest butcher in the world without ever slaughtering an animal,” says Jaap Korteweg, a ninth-generation farmer and founder of The Vegetarian Butcher. Since opening its first shop in The Hague in 2010 the company has been developing plant-based products that look, smell and taste like meat. “This shouldn’t just taste like real chorizo, it should leave the same red stains on your fingers,” says Maarten Kleizen, an...



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ANGLO-SAXON capitalism has had a bad decade. It is accused of stoking inequality and financial instability. A relentless pursuit of shareholder value has led big firms to act in ways that often seem to make the world a worse place. Aeroplane seats get smaller, energy firms pollute the air, multinationals outsource jobs and Silicon Valley firms avoid tax. Some people think that governments should exert more control over private enterprise. But what if the answer to a deficit of corporate legitimacy was to give shareholders even more—not less—power?

That is the intriguing possibility raised by a new paper by Oliver Hart of Harvard University and Luigi Zingales of the University of Chicago. Their argument has two parts. First, the concept of shareholder capitalism should be expanded, so that firms seek to maximise shareholders’ welfare, not just their wealth. Second, technology might allow firms to make a deeper effort to discover what their true owners want. Over 100m Americans invest...



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AKIO MORITA, co-founder of Sony, liked to recall his first trip to Germany in 1953, when a waiter stuck a small paper parasol in his ice-cream and sneered: “This is from your country.” Like many of his post-war compatriots, Mr Morita was ashamed that Japan was known for shoddy goods. The fierce drive to reverse that reputation resulted in the Deming Prize, a quality-control award named after an American business guru so revered in Japan that he received a medal from the emperor for contributing to its industrial rebirth. All that hard work is under threat.

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...



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China’s largest online publisher enchants investors and readers alike

WeChat, we read

WHENEVER Xu Jie goes to the cinema to watch mystery and detective films, she leaves disappointed: to help stamp out superstition, China’s censors excise ghosts and zombies from the screens. So for her fill of phantoms, she turns to the flourishing online-literature scene. There, authors are allowed to take liberties from which most of China’s state-owned publishing houses would recoil. Homophones stand in for forbidden words. Danmei, a new online class of homoerotic story, is especially popular among young women. Readers can choose from over 200 established genres such as xianxia, a fantasy world of deities and martial arts.

The corporate prince of this virtual realm is China Literature, a spin-off from Tencent, a gaming and social-media giant. The four-year-old online publisher listed on Hong Kong’s stock exchange on November 8th, raising just over $1bn. The offering was a huge success; at...



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How One Tech CEO Takes a Different Approach to Growing Her Business

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How One Tech CEO Takes a Different Approach to Growing Her Businesstilr is an innovative hiring solution that’s taking a different approach to connecting job seekers with potential employers. An algorithmic hiring solution that matches companies and job seekers based on skills, it bypasses traditional search methods that rely on resume keywords.

We caught up with founder and COO Summer Crenshaw at Dreamforce to learn about the vision behind tilr and how the company is driving growth by thinking differently.

Q: Online job postings are hardly a new idea. What’s different about tilr?

My co-founder Carisa and I both previously worked at CareerBuilder.com, where we learned that traditional job posting technology is biased. It maximizes results for people who write resumes well, or college students who know how to stuff them with keywords. People who have gaps in education or employment are often eliminated, even though they are fantastic candidates. But there are a lot of companies who aren’t looking for the swankiest resume; they value workers based on the skills that they have. We created tilr to focus on the skills that a company needs — and a candidate has — not on their resume writing skills.

Q: tilr has a unique approach to understanding customers that you call empathy mapping. How do you do it? Is it hard?

Empathy mapping is super easy. My team is constantly thinking about our buyers and talking about their personas — but we take it to a whole new level. We think a lot about how a potential customer is impacted from an emotional standpoint. For example, we might know that she always commutes by car. What is she listening to? How does she feel when she gets to the office and opens her laptop? Going an extra level deeper helps us build products and experiences that will surprise and delight customers.

Q: You have a unique model for engaging with community organizations to help drive business. How does that work?

We’ve been partnering with community organizations, working together to provide them services they need. We’ve found that’s an effective way to get the word out about what we are doing for companies and individuals looking for work. For example, tilr is empowering workers to get back to work. And so is the United Way. We go about things in different ways but the end goal is the same. Community organizations have been a very, very important channel for us and that’s a playbook that we hope to replicate in additional cities.

Q: Has technology contributed to your success? What’s your advice for companies that are choosing and implementing it?

We’re a Salesforce shop, but although we’re a tech firm we don’t just use technology for the sake of it. Small businesses always have resource constraints, so you need to think long and hard about what success looks like. You have to do a cost-benefit analysis and examine what happens if you take a lower-cost solution now but have to retrofit it down the line. You have to be very proactive about scaling and planning for business success. Look 1 to 2 years out as you make decisions.

Image: Salesforce/Summer Crenshaw

This article, "How One Tech CEO Takes a Different Approach to Growing Her Business" was first published on Small Business Trends



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