Foreign Languages in the US

  

Foreign Languages in the US

It goes without saying that knowledge of a second languages can have serious benefits on your career prospects and your chances of getting hired. The USA is a country built on immigration and there is a large percentage of the population who speak English as a second language. The most popular languages in the US are as follows;

1 - English. Considering this is the national language it is obviously the most spoken. It is also the most international language in the world, taking the top spots in the tourism, business and academia, and has become essential to creating business connections worldwide. An extensive knowledge of English is essential to anybody looking to stay or work in the US.
2 - Spanish. Sharing it's borders with Central and Latin America, it comes as no surprise that there is a large demand for Spanish as a second language. There are, in fact, more Spanish speakers in the US now than there are in Spain, according to the New York Post, with more than 41 million native Spanish speakers residing in the US and a further 11.6 million who are bilingual. A report in the US Census Office suggests that by 2050 there may even be up to 138 million Spanish speakers in the US, making it the world's largest Spanish speaking nation with Spanish being the mother tongue of nearly a third of the population. A large percentage of the Spanish speaking population live in Florida and California, however you will always find Spanish speakers in the US and a little bit of knowledge can carry you a long way.
3 - Chinese. Nearly 3 million people in the US speak a Chinese dialect, such as Mandarin or Cantonese, and these figures are quickly increasing. With such a large population and a booming industry, China is quickly becoming a global trading superpower with strong connections worldwide. Most Chinese speakers reside in the larger and more famous cities such as New York, LA and San Francisco.
4 - Tagalog. This is a language that comes from The Phillipines and is spoken by just over 1.5 million people in the US. This figures has tripled in the last three decades and has surprisingly surpassed the demand for Vietnamese and French.
5 - Vietnamese. The number of Vietnamese speakers has had the largest increase in the last few years, and there are currently around 1.5 million speakers in the US.
6 - French. Compared to 1980, there has been a 28% increase in French Speakers in the US. There is a much larger demand for French speakers in Canada which boasts a large French-Canadian population in Quebec and neighbouring cities. The population is denser in the north eastern states, arguably because of the influence from French-Canadian populations in the immediate proximity.
Learning a second language opens up a plethora of different opportunities, both in business and in your personal life. It allows you to possess a larger perspective and can even delay brain disorders such as Alzheimers and Dementia. With the US becoming an increasingly international nation, maybe it's time you picked up your Spanish dictionary to pad out your resume a little more.

 

Online shopping

  

Amazon International Shopping

In today's digital age, almost anything and everything can be delivered to your front door after pushing a few buttons on your computer, potentially even less with options such as amazon.com's buy with one click option. Because of this, consumers are leaving their houses less and therefore gaining less exercise. Also, by spending all of your money online, less money goes into the local community. There's also the cost of shipping to consider when buying online, although more and more companies are now offering this at discounted prices, sometimes even free, which can increase the net price of your product substantially, and the ESG disadvantages of transporting your purchases to your address, but there are some serious benefits to shopping online.

Firstly, it's convenient. It's a time saving method which eliminates the need to walk to town, and what used to take an hour can now potentially take five minutes. Some services, particularly online supermarkets, will remember your previous purchases, so while your first visit to the online store might take some time to complete, your second visit could take merely minutes if you require the same grocery list as before.
With more competition online, prices tend to diminish and so you have more chance of finding a good deal. Sometimes you can buy direct from the manufacturer which cuts out the middle-man and pushes that price down even further. With the advantage of not having to keep and maintain a physical shop, the companies operating online tend to be able to save a lot of money and to attract a larger consumer base off their cheaper prices. Also with more competition comes more variety. If you're looking for something very specific, you are most likely to find it, and if not, you are likely to find a website or a contact you can consult on how to get that. The high street is a little more refined and generic and can't compete with the variety online. There are even websites these days that do all the hard work for you and find the cheapest prices and tell you where to shop to save the most money.
Sometimes you can even cut yourself out as the middle-man. If you require sending a gift to somebody, often you can have it gift wrapped and shipped directly to the intended recipient without having to lay your hands on the purchase yourself.
There no crowded shops online, and for people who don't like being around busy markets or other people for that matter, or for people who don't have time to be waiting in a queue every time they go to buy a new t-shirt, online shopping is perfect. There is a lot less pressure to buy things quickly as people can shop at a pace that suits them, and this also encourages less spontaneous purchases which are often initiated by good deals at the checkout.
One disadvantage is when you're shopping for attire, because you can't physically try on the product. This however is beginning to change as some larger clothing companies offer free return services if it is the wrong size.
As long as you don't mind cutting the social interaction from your shopping experience, online shopping can save you a lot of time and money.

 

Passive ESG Investment

  

usa business ESG Investment

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment is when a person decides with whom they should invest with beyond monetary benefits, mainly based upon social, environmental and ethical reasons. There are two different types of ESG investors; active and passive.

An active ESG investor is somebody who still keeps their profit in mind. While they will bear in mind the environmental, social and ethical values of a company they decide to invest in, their top priority is the profit they can make. An active manager would be somebody looking for a financially beneficial reason to integrate ESG factors into their business. An example of this would be a company switching to wind power to provide electricity for them because their consumer base was demanding a greener process, and so therefore to appeal to more like minded customers the company decides that the best way to expand on their business is to integrate a more environmentally operation.
Passive ESG investment is when an investor is not so interested by the profit they will make from an investment, but rather the ethical contribution it will make towards their portfolio. An example of this would be choosing one company over another to invest in as, although their projected growth was lower, the chosen company invests a large portion of money in environmental protection programmes that align with the investors values and so therefore strengthens their portfolio by non-profit means and towards an ethical goal.
To analyse a passive investors portfolio, first you must decide which values you wish to emphasise with. While some people choose to measure ESG using a point scoring system, the reality of it is much more fluid as it is based on consumers and investors opinions and beliefs over something as black and white as a fact. Basically, what is important to one person could be insignificant to somebody else.
As well as deciding which factors are deemed significant enough, investors have to decide the best ways to measure them. This can vary drastically on the investors beliefs and values and overall understanding of what they consider important.
One of the most common factors considered when making investments is fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas pollution. The general consensus is that we are running out of fossil fuels, so investing in green renewable energy is a long term solution for when these limited supplies are exhausted. Risky investments are not considered stable for long term investors.
When creating a passive investment portfolio it is also worth considering which industry sectors most align with your values. Energy companies tend to have low ESG scores, however industries such as technology tend to be much more favourable due to the nature of the underlying business models.
As the world develops and changes and consumers and investors wish to be better informed of the nature of a company and their values and beliefs, access to this information is becoming more accessible, and it is becoming more possible to refine your portfolio to something which goes far beyond merely producing a profit; you can produce a statement with where you decide to place your money.

 

Product Placement Ads

  

usa new biz product placement

Product placement is when a company uses subtlety to promote their product through non traditional advertising. This is usually achieved by paying for their product to be featured in television shows or other forms of media. With the decreasing interest in standard advertisements and the increase in users ability to skip them, product placement and insertion have been becoming more popular. Technically speaking, we are exposed to thousands of advertising messages every single day.

To show just how effective it can be, after featuring in the film E.T, the sale of Reese's Pieces increased by 65%. If we identify with a particular character, we can implicitly prefer a product even if externally we prefer something else as we feel it is a way to interact with that character's life.
Product placement is a very powerful form of advertising because we follow and watch our idols religiously, and if a company can identify a particular fan base as their target market, for them to see somebody they look up to with a particular brand associated with them makes that entire audience want your product. They are emotionally invested in the character or actor, and as a result, product placement is often a lot more effective than traditional advertising. Around 75% of all network shows feature product placement of some sort, accumulating to 71.4% of all paid placements in the media.
Products even have an influence off the screen. If you provide a cell phone for an actor, while it may only appear on the screen for a short moment, they could be seen using it off the set, or in their trailer, and this also influences potential consumers but in a much more subtle way that you may not be able to measure so accurately.
It's not just television and movies - companies also pay popular individuals or influencers on websites such as Instagram to wear their brand or to use their products. Companies either pay the individual to associate with the brand, or they will send them products for free so that they can wear them publicly and in their photos on social media platforms. Website advertising used to cover all of this till advertisers dreamed up the idea of programmatic ads which basically meant the publishers would end up getting lower and lower revenue and profits, forcing many out of business. Now many online advertisers are wondering where the online volume is but they effectively brought down their own industry. Who's left, well the big duopoly of Facebook and Google because they have a closed walled garden community which advertisers can reach. Sure there are still some big publishers left like The New York Times and The Guardian who've gone for subscription revenue models but digital publishing has been pounded badly since 2018.
To convince media firms and people to insert your product into theirs, there are a number of things you can do to help. Firstly, be flexible. If you can adapt your product to fit their needs in colour, shape and size, they're more likely to want to put it in their media. You have to be willing to provide your product instantly as media companies tend to work on tight deadlines, and if you are aiming for a television market, it pays to provide replacements as well. You have to be professional and polite with the people you are working with, and with a bit of luck and enthusiasm, they may well come back for more.
It's a long term investment with most companies seeing an effect between a month and a year after the product has been aired. While the profit to losses ratio is rather persuasive, you have to understand that the benefit is not instant.

Quickly growing industries in the US

  

usa new business Quickly growing industries in the US

As the world we live in constantly develops and changes, some industries are emerging as more essential to the current consumer market. Here are a few industries that seem to be on the rise.
Electronics - The demand for electronics is constantly increasing as more people rely on smart phones and computers to navigate through their lives. Entire corporations rely on functioning technology and so the market for creating and developing electronic hardware and software will always be big. There is a real shortage in people with the brains to develop software and there is a lot of money in making the next big advancement in technology.
Translation and interpretation - As business becomes more international and more people are travelling and living abroad, the need for translators and multi-lingual minds is on the rise. Over the next five years, there is a predicted 28% increase in jobs in the US in this particular field. The highest language in demand in the US is Spanish.
Internet publishing and broadcasting - almost everybody in the developed world relies on the internet in one way or another, and the need for content for business and entertainment will only increase as the number of people using the internet increases and the amount of time spent on the internet also rises.
Health - the health industry seems to growing in size across all sectors, including the nurses who take care of retired people, the offices associated with health services, home health care services, psychiatric care and support, even ambulance drivers, as well as the demand for doctors and nurses in hospitals.
Financial investment - there has been a positive trend in the amount of financial investment activity occurring. This means there are more jobs and opportunities in the stock market as well as associated businesses, for example, financial advisors.
Marketing consulting - it seems we need more experts in the field of marketing as businesses strive to make an image for themselves and to advertise effectively. This industry has a predicted 20% increase over the next five years.
Environment, conservation and wildlife - businesses have seen a trend in ethical investment over the last few years and the demand for ESG consideration has increased. As a result, there is also more demand for people who work with the environment and more jobs in conservation and protection. In the last decade there has also been an increasing trend in people studying subjects such as Environmental Economics and Environmental Sciences as the consumer market becomes more aware of some of the threats to the ecosystems we rely on to survive. There is a predicted 19% increase over the next five years in this industry.
A few industries are seeing a decline in growth, mostly the manufacturing of glass and metals and therefore metal ore mining also, pesticide, fertiliser and agricultural chemical manufacturing, US computer manufacturing as, despite growing demands, more companies move to Asia for cheaper labour and quicker technology advancements, the postal service and the manufacturing of communication in the US, as this can also be made for cheaper abroad.

 

Robots in the workforce

  

Robots 2019 usa new biz

It has been predicted that in the next 30 years, many roles in the work force will be replaceable by automated devices. As the world of technology is evolving, our dependency on human actions is decreasing.

Moley Robotics has invented a completely automated intelligent robot that has the ability to cook and prepare meals as well as clean up after itself. This particular device can be replicate precise recipes preloaded into its internal memory from everything between a fast food hamburger and a gourmet dish.
Robots have been used in surgery since 2000, albeit still operated by a human. The benefit here is that they are extra precise and accurate providing the human operating the machine is precise and accurate.
Soon, in Japan, the world's first automated farming system will launch. The robots will be able to grow, water, and farm the crops. The only thing they won't be able to do is to sew the seeds. In fact robots are replacing humans everywhere, from delivery drivers to pharmacists, from telemarketing to construction. The obvious benefit is saving money on paying staff wages, and although the initial setup is currently very expensive, this is likely to decrease over time, and soon many more companies will be able to afford the long time investment.
Also, with the aim of a larger profit, machines will be able to work quicker than humans; mass production is something that can be programmed. If a machine can also self replicate, then it becomes a catalyst to its own process.
Robots, unless programmed to do so, will not have feelings and social problems which could potentially slow down or effect their work in a negative way. They also don't need to be paid wages or have staff benefits, or even have lunch as they are purely machines. Robots are able to work in space, and underwater, and in very hot and very cold climates where humans cannot without very expensive equipment.
Machines are much more accurate and consistent. Once a machine is mass producing it should, in theory, produce exactly the same product over and over again, whereas a human has a higher chance of error and a lack of consistency. Machines can create anything on any scale; from buildings to microscopic devices. They will eventually only be confined by the laws of physics.
The major disadvantage is the lack of emotion when dealing with customers. People have developed the expectation to be greeted warmly when they enter a hotel by a receptionist, or to talk to somebody over the phone who understands on the same scale that they do. Also, as the popularity of robots increases, alongside the growing world population, unemployment is likely to become a larger issue when automated machinery takes over. Ironically, the demand jobs developing robots and automated devices is likely to increase as companies will look to automation as a way of saving money, and until a robot can think for itself, it will not be able to develop new ideas.
Machines are not learning devices, they are only capable to doing what they are programmed to do. This means that a machine will not improve over time unless somebody has programmed an improvement. Robots are also very expensive to set up, to maintain, and to repair. Setting up an automated production line has to be seen as an investment rather than an immediate saving.

 

Should you go to a bar with your boss

  

usanew biz bar boss work professional

It's a delicate situation. The person in charge of your pay checks and any potential promotions has invited you after work for a couple of casual pints, and of course you have to say yes because he's your boss, and you want to be appealing and liked by him as he is the person who will be able to push you higher up the corporate ladder, but you have to remember that it's never really casual and that it's a minefield of possible disasters. Here are some things to look out for.

When it comes to settling the cheque, while you know that your superiors earn a considerable more than you do and you're possibly down to your last few dollars to last you the rest of the week, offer to pay. Your boss will most likely decline your offer of payment, but it will leave a positive impression. By tipping the bar staff you will also imply that you are a generous and kind person.
Be careful with your intake. Your boss may peer pressure you into drinking copious amounts, and while he or she may be disappointed that you cannot keep up, they will be even more disappointed if you become embarrassingly drunk. Be careful to control your consumption, even when somebody else is paying - you have to be in control of your actions and your words to ensure you leave them with the correct impression.
Try not to talk about work. This is a chance to get to know your superior on a personal level and to appeal to his more intimate and less professional self. Also, by talking about work you can possibly slide into back chatting or gossiping over employees in the company which your boss might not see eye to eye on.
Make sure not to linger too long, especially if the boss is paying. This will show that you don't want to be an expensive inconvenience and that you're not taking advantage of their generous offer, but also the longer you stay and the more alcohol you consume, the more likely you are to bring up something in conversation that you will later regret. While this is a casual and intimate environment, you still need to be perceived as a professional to be able to impress your boss.
By consistently refusing the offer to go to the bar, you could be perceived as a negative person who is not open to suggestion, adaptation or new ideas, and it can also suggest you are an anti-social person. You do not have to drink alcoholic drinks to be in attendance, and a non alcoholic drink allows you to keep your wits about you and ensures that you are still bonding with your employees and not purposely missing the opportunity. Nobody will judge you negatively for not drinking something alcoholic.
And above all, remember that the reason for attending is networking, and not to get drunk and party. The drinking is merely the setting, the purpose is to create stronger connections.

 

Smart Phones and Business

  

smart phone

Almost everybody owns a smart phone which connects to the internet these days. Whereas before, online data could only be accessed through a computer terminal, now emails and communications are available 24/7 at the touch of a button. These advancements in technology have had several effects on business and business continuation.

Workers now possess more flexibility as they are able to catch up with their business on the go with much more ease. Even when travelling to and from the office, or while you are away on business trips or even on holiday, as long as you have access to a 3G network you are able to continuously communicate with your clients without the need for a computer or laptop. Smartphones often come with smart software that allow you to update your schedules and calendars on all your devices at once, so even adjusting these isn't problematic from your cellar device, and having a cellular device on you at all times also has the added ability of reminding you of important dates and events in your schedule through push notifications, alarms and reminders that you are guaranteed to see, regardless of your location.
Employees have a greater ability to be able to take their work home with them. Even without a computer or laptop, people are able to write and send emails, adjust and send documents, amend schedules and access the internet which means that when you have approaching deadlines that put pressures on you that regular office hours simply don't suffice for, tasks can still be completed outside of the office and on the move. With the ability to access anything from anywhere, working on the move is becoming more and more popular.
With the ability to conduct teleconferences and Skype interviews from your mobile device, international hour differences are less of a problem as you can conduct these from anywhere where you have access to a network or wifi connection. This means that this is no longer restricted to office hours.
Smartphones are multitasking devices which allow you to complete several tasks at the same time through multiple applications which leave each other uninterrupted. Often these apps can communicate with each other so that you can transfer files and data between them. With such a simple interface, often it is easier to control several applications at once through your smartphone than on your computer device.
Smartphones give you immediate access to your bank accounts and you can manage, make and receive payments at your fingertips from anywhere. You also have instant access to platforms such as Facebook and Instagram which can be used to promote your business within seconds, as well as quick and easy access to stock reports and essential business data.
The biggest disadvantage to this development in technology is that where people used to just leave the office and switch off, now they are more likely to take their work with them all the time. This can lead to an increase in stress levels, a more agitated sleep pattern and more disruption to their private lives, however, overall, smartphones have had a very positive impact to businesses all over the world.

 

Successful advertising for today’s market

  

advert example

In an age where the internet dominates our lives and people spend the vast majority of their time scrolling through a news feed, advertising has had to adapt to capture attention even quicker than before. The use of visuals in advertising have become even more important as often a potential consumer's eyes will only glance over the advert for a fraction of a second as they scroll past it on their screen.

If you think about it, Instagram is a very strong media platform because it says so much with so few words. People simply don't have the time to sit and to read through pages of information and they want quick, easy access to mass content with quick and easy responses to show their support or appreciation for what is on display.
So how can we apply this to advertising? What visual features make you stand out from an endless stream of mediocrity?
Colour is a very important tool. Your reaction to certain colours is very personal and emotional and can completely change your mood. As an advertiser, you have to decide which mood you want to inflict upon your target audience that would be most effective to persuade them to buy your product. Bold and bright colours will make you stand out from other advertisements and media, but may not portray the message or the mood that you wish to deliver.
Creating a brand and a strong image for yourself is important. If you can reach the stage where a small logo or a simple typeface is immediately recognised as your brand, such as the Apple logo or the purple used in Cadbury's advertising, then you have really implanted your company and your product into people's subconscious. This can be achieved through repetition and ensuring that you have a strong brand and logo. Just be careful not to over stimulate with repetition that they decide to block out your advertising campaigns.
The people in your advertisements obviously play vital roles. Consider the body language of the people in the pictures. Do they look confident? Do they look happy? Viewers of your adverts will automatically assume that your product will have the effect on them that it has on the people in your images.
You have to be careful not to overcrowd your imagery. The use of negative space is very effective as it promotes simplicity and draws focus very quickly to a particular point on the advert. Also when composing your image, consider using the rule of thirds for maximum impact, or to be really direct with potential customers, central composition can also be really effective. Patterns are visually satisfying to consumers and can have a very positive effect.
People remember about 80% of what they see and only 20% of what they read. The way to truly speak to somebody on a personal level is through their eyes and not through words. Imagery is a language that transcends all language barriers, although it can be interpreted differently by different cultures. Especially in today's markets where people simply don't have the motivation to read large amounts of text, it is the quickest and most effective way to promote your product.

 

The coffee business

  

coffee

After water, coffee is the most consumed drink in the world. From your humble cup of nescafe gold instant all the way to a single origin dark roast barista crafted flat white in a modern independent cafe, with so many formats enjoyed by a bullion people worldwide there is something to satisfy every palette and it is easy to see how it has become such a big and important business in todays society.

On average, an American spends $14.40 a week on coffee from cafes. On average, Americans drink 3 cups each every day. The average net profit on a cup of coffee is between 400% and 500%, with roughly 80c spent on labour and materials and the average cup costing $3.50. There are 25 billion small producers relying on coffee for a living. Around 30 million coffee brewing machines have been sold in the US every year since 2010. 45 hours are spent every year on Americans waiting for coffee, compared to the 48 hours they spend in the shower. 46% of coffee drinkers visit a cafe more than three times a week, and 56% percent of these people will buy a pastry with their drink. Needless to say, the market is massive.
The majority of coffee is consumed at home, however the three companies boasting the largest sales in coffee are McDonalds, Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts. There is however a trend developing which is complicating the art of coffee. The daily consumption of espresso based beverages in the US has tripled since 2008, and a lot of this growth has been seen in the younger generations. The coffee industry remained largely unaffected by the 2008 recession as millennials proved that it had become a staple that they were willing to pay for, even in trying times, who also tend to spend money on products from companies that reflect their personal values more than previous generations. This is seeing an increase in fair-trade and organic products.
There is a rise in consumption out of home and in a social environment, with consumers expecting to have their coffee served precisely as they wish. This is boosting business in smaller, independent cafes and also creating more competition amongst these companies as they all try to bend and adapt to an ever changing market as well as provide something unique.
Apps are changing the way that people buy coffee. These days, you can order your coffee from your phone and so you don't have to wait in line to acquire it. This also opens a potential stream of information which, whilst before was largely unappreciated, today is expected, so that consumers can find out where their coffee beans are sourced, how they are roasted, and the best ways to have it prepared for their particular taste.
The rise in app usage comes alongside a rise in interest in technology. More consumers are looking to buy coffee related gadgets so that they are able to produce high quality beverages in their own home, and the market for this is sharply inclining.

 

  
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