Growing your Business Beyond the End of Hope

It is easy to forget the Wall Street Crash of 1929 was the first event of the Great Depression that peaked three years later in 1932.  As we hit the 120th day since the Virus shut us down on March 19, 2020, it is time to wonder, are we anywhere close to a turnaround, or are we merely four months into a three-year crisis?

Where we are now.

One month ago, things seemed to be controlled well enough that it had become livable.  Wall Street was discussing a V or U shaped recovery.  Now, in mid-July, talk turns to a W or L shaped recovery; that is, more hard times ahead.

Everyone I talk to is nervous.  The virus counts today are bad. The death counts, which generally lag virus counts by three weeks, are going up. There is nothing on the horizon to suggest these counts will get lower soon.  One Percent of the US Population has become sick and of those people 3.8% have died. At the current rate, by November, six million more Americans will have been sick, and another 200,000 will die of it. That is 1000 times the deaths on 9/11.

What Comes Next?

The Senate is stalled giving aid while Renters and Mortgage holders reach the end of their grace period.  I know of more than one person selling their house this month because they cannot afford the payments.  These trends portend a banking crisis ahead of us that will make 2008 look small.  Earnest Hemingway writes; “How did you go bankrupt? Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”

Our Next Step.

This is a time to focus, to think clearly about the parts of the business that are working, and to leverage that to cover expenses.  Focus is difficult when self esteem is low.  Self esteem is low because the world is filled with difficulties that are beyond our coping skills.  It becomes easy to loop back on worry and become unable to plan.

Growth despite Obstacles

We need to grow our business.  We need to do it because that is what we do.  The world does not end just because we think the world is ending.  Our customers will continue on, and so should we. The best thing too remember is that all the obstacles we face in business, are being faced by our competitors. Our goal is to stay one step ahead of them.

Gaining focus

Focus is hard right now.  The distractions become an overwhelming fog of confusion. How can you plan business growth when the business conditions cannot be predicted?  But this is the same as the day you started your business, you had no idea what would happen.  The difference between then and now is your self-esteem and drive to succeed.

There is a saying; “To build self esteem, do esteemable things”.  I have found this to be true.  By helping others and by generously contributing, we gain back self respect, and the ability to focus.  In the big picture my finances are a disaster and there is no hope for the future.  But this month, and this week, I am doing fine, and the small amounts of time and money I can give out will mean a great deal to those I can help.

Toward Rebuilding

The foundation of recovery will be built on the small steps we take today to help other people, to help our customers, and to help our vendors.  Mutual help will bind us into a functioning economy.  Focus on this economy comes from being whole and being a contributor.

My Dad’s parents were married October 14, 1934.  It is hard for me to imagine two teenagers meeting, falling in love and getting married during the depths of the hardship years. The grim black and white pictures and the distant commentary do little to capture he meaning from that time.  But then, like now, every day ordinary people ate, and worked and slept.  The world recovered from the Great Depression and became 50 years of Pax Americana and prosperity.  The world will do it again. It is our choice now to become a leading participant.

Four Reasons You Need Microsoft 365’s New MS Editor In Your Life

Working and communicating online has become an integral part of everyday modern life. Whether you’re writing an assessment, scribing your next novel, or just writing a friendly email, we increasingly spend more and more time writing on a keyboard.

With the rise of connected devices like cellphones and tablets, our time spent online is increasing exponentially. A 2019 report produced by industry experts Hootsuite and We Are Social suggested the average person now spends an incredible 6 hours 42 minutes online every day – with around half of that on mobile devices.

Undoubtedly, a lot of this time is spent passively browsing, but the internet is a two-way street, and we also use it as a way of expressing ourselves, whether that is via a status update, email, or instant message.

The vehicles of this communication may have altered over time (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.), but the way we use the web itself hasn’t changed much in 30 years. The vast majority of our communication is still through the written word. Yes, video conferencing is growing quickly, but our go-to, de facto method of communicating online remains writing.

Of course, this is all great news if you possess decent writing skills, but what if your prose doesn’t quite cut it? What if, like many, you struggle with grammar, spelling, or writing?


Step up Microsoft Editor and its holistic approach to textual editing.

1. Advanced Spellchecker

When it comes to spelling, thankfully, English has some basic rules to follow, but spellcheckers have long struggled with the specific use of words in text. For example, ‘advise’ and ‘advice’ are both correctly spelled – but their use as a verb and noun (respectively) are considerably different from one another. Microsoft 365 can work out the use of words contextually and offers the correct version, based on setting and meaning.

2. Word and Phrase Suggestions

No matter how confident the writer, everyone hits a brick wall from time to time. Microsoft Editor continually scans your text to understand what you’re trying to say and offers on-the-fly word or phrase suggestions to improve your text and avoid repetition. It offers style and grammar refinements, unobtrusively making suggestions when you need them. 

3. Seamless Integration With Your Office Network

Of course, for most of us, writing takes on the greatest significance in our work. Day to day emails, reports, and written updates are a common part of most jobs these days. Good business communication requires clarity, precision, and brevity. Thankfully, MS Editor has in-built tools to check the quality and precision of your writing.

Perhaps most significantly, the all-encompassing nature of the Microsoft 365 suite also allows seamless integration with your existing company network, meaning you can transfer or collaborate on files easily. Of course, this integration also needs bulletproof Microsoft 365 security provisions, but it’s a terrific way to streamline the way you work and participate with your office network.

4. Use Anywhere – Any Device, Any App

MS Editor comes complete with add-ons for Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome so it can be used anywhere – on any device – to check everything you write. From Twitter tweets to Gmail emails, Microsoft Editor is constantly monitoring your text for correctness, grammar, conciseness, and spelling.

As one might expect, MS Editor also works in-built with other universal Microsoft apps like Word and Outlook as well as the entire Microsoft 365 suite to offer you complete peace of mind while writing. It is your take-anywhere personal editor, an essential app in the modern connected age and aid to writers (skilled or unskilled) everywhere.

The Most Underrated Social Media For Business Promotion

There are two extremes that should be avoided:

  1. Underestimating or ignoring social networks.
  2. Trying to be everywhere at the same time.

In the first case, you lose a lot of potential buyers. In the second one – overrate your opportunities. It will need a whole team of SMM managers and an impressive budget to launch Twitter and Facebook ads, get Instagram followers, buy sponsored materials on Tiktok or media. Moreover, you never know whether it works out for sure.

Capturing as many social media as possible seems like a good idea, but in reality, it is more efficient to concentrate on two or three social networks and do everything possible to pump them. In this article, we will consider 3 most underrated social networks which should be considered for your business promotion.

At The Very Beginning

Create your success strategy by choosing the right social networks for the brand. Always start with research: find which social network your target audience uses. Analyze demographic data, figure out what type of content will be in demand, and give people what they are looking for.

If social marketing does not work for some reason, the problem may be that you are focusing on the wrong channels. To avoid this, calculate everything and be extremely careful.

What you need to consider when choosing social networks:

  1. Time factors: how many hours your team will need every day.
  2. The financial costs of creating groups, designing images, and videos.
  3. The costs of maintaining and promoting pages and communities.

Only by counting these data, you can make a clear marketing budget.

Twitter

One of the most promising and fastest-growing networks is Twitter. It is serious, popular with celebrities and business, easy to set up, has a large audience, and is convenient to use.

Its feature is a limited message size, pithiness, and dynamics of data flow.

Twitter advantages:

  • low labor costs for generating content (all messages are limited by the number of characters);
  • instant distribution of information, in one hour an up-to-date message can fly around the entire network;
  • it represents a significant number of businessmen and politicians;
  • visitors are very active, a large number of people use smartphones and tablets while sending tweets;
  • a significant amount of traffic.

Perhaps the biggest problem which companies face on Twitter is figuring out how to stand out on such a noisy network. Thousands of messages are sent every second, so capturing an audience’s attention can be a daunting task.

What to post on Twitter?

The key is sharing information that is valuable to your audience. It is also useful to share materials that promote the business but do it in accordance with the content plan.

If you do not feel sure, look at more successful competitors. Learn what content they distribute and what they post. Use someone else’s experience as a starting point for creating your own strategy.

Also, keep in mind that the most effective way to upgrade your Twitter account is to chat with others.

Instagram

Instagram has evolved from an entertaining social network into an effective marketing tool. A young audience is actively seeking and interacting with brands directly in the social network. 51% of millennials enjoy their favorite brands on Instagram.

Moreover, many people buy products or follow links from the profile page to external sites. Instagram application navigation allows users to smoothly flip through their feeds, which makes users more involved than on other social networks.

On average, users buy products when they interact with a brand about 7 times. Instagram is a perfect place to show off to your customers several times.

Also, more than 60% of users are ready to buy the goods of the brands they are subscribed to on social networks. The percentage of uengagementser  on Instagram is the highest compared to other social networks.

Among Instagram users, the percentage of engagement is 2.2%. On Facebook, it is only 0.2%.

If your business is looking for new customers, this is a great place to attract them.

What is important to consider when building an audience?

  • The location of your customers may be in the area of ​​the city or the whole city.
  • Find influencers in your industry. They do not have to be stars. They can also be popular people in a particular city. Offer them a discount or an extra bonus for participating in your event or using your products.
  • Respond to all comments and try to show that you care about your audience.
  • Encourage people to share your content or use branded hashtags.

TikTok

TikTok is a service that is visited by more than 850 million people every month. It is a social network that combines the functions of Snapchat, Instagram, and recently forgotten Vine. In mid-2018, it broke all records and outperformed the number of Instagram downloads.

Today it still has a leading position among free software on Google Play and App Store.

The service captivates users with its simplicity and functional variety, great multimedia potential, and wide opportunities for launching interactive challenges.

The app has special algorithms that allow beginners to quickly gain millions of views. The service will only continue to gain popularity. A new stage in development will involve a more mature audience.

What Are TikTok Features?

TikTok videos are dynamic clips, reactions to trends, or sketches. A large number of music tracks, masks, beauty effects are available for the implementation of creative ideas.

According to statistics, 26% of TikTok users are young people aged 18-24. In general, the service is focused on a segment of a young audience. Approximately 50% of the accounts are owned by people under the age of 34 years.

However, this does not prevent the use of the platform for advertising purposes. Many stars, as well as well-known companies, successfully hold challenges to increase the recognition of their personal brand and the promotion of goods.

Brands and business accounts will start promotions on TikTok very soon. Therefore, in order not to miss the opportunity to get new customers, we recommend that you start brand promotion on Tik Tok today, while the competition here is much less than on Instagram.

You can officially advertise on TikTok from 2019. Currently, there are 4 formats: Brand Takeover, In-feed Native Video, Hashtag Challenge, and branded stickers and masks. Using this interactive element, you can quickly gain audience loyalty.

Small Business 2020 –How do you spell Opportunity in a Recession

This week we paid the last payroll of the first quarter of the Virus. We have endured Shut Down, Financial Panic, Protests and Riots. We have learned to shop with a face mask on, issue staff policy for social distancing, and made a revised marketing plan for the year. What else could go wrong?

There are three things that still darken the horizon; Banks have insufficient reserves, Global Banking system is unstable, and the Virus is returning with force.

2008 Redux for US banks

The banks are in a position to repeat their 2008 melt down. In 2008 the culprit was CDO’s based on mortgage loans, at a time when a critical mass of people defaulted on their mortgages. Currently the risk is in CLO’s, a similar instrument based on Collateralized Business Loans. These instruments are held by Banks, and are dependent on payments by businesses. Those same businesses that are struggling to maintain sales and market share against a public that is socially distanced. The key time period is August 2020. When 2nd quarter earnings reports come in, CARES Act! funding has run out, mortgage relief, renter relief and unemployment relief will all be past their 90 day limits. If individual payments are not made then bank collateral will melt from the bottom up.

Global Banks under pressure

Globally, banks are dependent on their loan customers making payments. In addition, most global banks have substantial investment arms. As we get to August Earnings Season, we will get our first look at how these assets are performing. Areas of concern involve HSBC with substantial assets in China, Hong Kong, and also the largest bank in the UK. Since we no longer know what country Hong Kong is, putting treaty, import and export status on hold, several banks are highly invested in the HK economy. In addition, nearly every bank worldwide has substantial interest that Oil stay above $30 per barrel. As we saw with Cushing Crude in May, the $30 benchmark is not a given.

Virus Wave Returns

We are now seeing several states reporting substantial increases in Virus cases. The US as a whole was holding steady at 20,000 new cases a day for nearly five weeks. That number is rapidly moving higher now. The curve is rising. There is no question today that the virus is again out of control in half the US states, including our own. If the current rate of increases takes hold, we could see 50k cases per day by August, and discussion of a far more drastic shut down of the economy.

How to Plan for What Comes Next?

Is Congress going to play Santa, or Marie Antoinette? Are protests going to fade out, or strengthen? Will the US Treasury continue to spend taxpayer money to prop bonds and stocks (That’s Capitalism Baby!) Small business remains trapped between the disaster and the goodie bag.

Be careful, be grateful, and be patient. Only time will tell which decisions we make today will turn out to look smart in the future.