The Federal Reserve’s decision in December to begin raising interest rates for the first time in nearly ten years has broad implications on a number of business fronts. To some degree, depending on the manner in which future rate hikes occur, stock markets may react positively or negatively at different points in time, inflation may rise slowly but remain contained, and loans will certainly be more costly, but also potentially easier to secure. Importantly, if your company is part of the growing global trade movement, the Fed’s interest rate approach could also inform your import/export strategy.
In an increasingly interconnected global marketplace, keeping track of international events and country-specific holidays is critical for small-business owners and supply chain managers at larger organizations. Only by anticipating potential manufacturing and delivery disruptions can your company establish a truly flexible supply chain—one that keeps your business flowing, and your customers happy.
Talk to any small business owner about growth strategies, and you will quickly find yourself immersed in a lively discussion about the benefits and challenges of international trade. Similarly, if you ask top executives at larger companies about the evolution of their business plans, you will likely hear the word “globalization” enter the dialogue.
While there is only a day of difference between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, the symbolic gap is more difficult to define, and often more perilous to cross. Ask many business leaders what the advancing calendar represents and they will talk about future opportunities, the pursuit of long-term goals, and the development of new strategies. Some may suggest that it provides for a fresh start, while others may view it as a time to build on plans that are already working.
We’ve all heard the message before: technology is changing the way companies do business. While no one would argue with this very general statement, the deeper truth is that technological advances are transforming different kinds of companies in different ways.
The rise of the Internet of Things, for instance, and the world of interconnected devices and objects that it represents will mean something different to a manufacturer than it will to a chain of retail stores. And while technology is fueling rapid globalization across many different business sectors, the level of commitment to new technologies varies from industry to industry.