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Canada ranked #1 best country in the world.

Canada is the best country in the world and we’re so glad you can come to experience it with us through the Start-up Visa program.

Top Spot

Canada topped the recently released 2021 Best Countries Report from US News & World Reports. Making it their first time taking the top spot in this annual ranking. Canada previously placed second last year. Third place previous to that. This is an indication of how much Canada has improved!

Canada is the best country in North America and #1 out of 78 countries. It beat out Japan, Germany Switzerland, Australia which rounded off Top five spots for Canada’s ranking at sixth place worldwide.
The top three spots were held by Norway (2), Denmark with Sweden coming fourth placing them ahead of France. France sits proudly on the fifth position after having taken first back when they won Olympic Games athletes being hosted there twice. The United States ranked just below Uruguay at 27th followed closely, just behind New Zealand then Jamaica lastly.

Ranking Measures

The ranking measures the global performance of each country based on a variety of metrics; Adventure, Agility (a sense that you can take risks without fear), Cultural Influence, and Entrepreneurship.

Canada got full marks for Quality of Life – which reflects political and economic stability. Also, public safety, and a good job market – and Social Purpose, which looks at social justice, human and animal rights, racial equity, gender equality, and religious freedom.

The Survey

The survey was conducted by Quartz and they ask people all over the world what topics matter most to them. The rankings are determined through representative polling of more than 17,000 individuals who self-identify as broadly representing the global population with an emphasis on those that will deem this topic relevant in their lives.

The top 10 Best Countries in the World

1. Canada
2. Japan
3. Germany
4. Switzerland
5. Australia
6. The United States
7. New Zealand
8. The United Kingdom
9. Sweden
10. The Netherlands

You can see the full 2021 Best Countries Report at usnews.com/news/best-countries.

Mastering Success Through Adaptive Leadership: A Guiding Light for Entrepreneurs

Adapting is paramount to achieving and sustaining success in the ever-evolving business landscape. As an experienced businessman, entrepreneur, investor, and mentor, I’ve witnessed the rise and fall of countless ventures. Adaptive leadership is the common thread separating the winners from the rest. Let’s delve into the essence of adaptive leadership, its significance, and how it can serve as a guiding principle for entrepreneurs in their pursuit of greatness.

The Shifting Paradigm of Leadership

Gone are the days when leadership was synonymous with unwavering authority and rigid decision-making. The modern business environment demands a more flexible approach responsive to change. Adaptive leadership embodies this shift, recognizing that the ability to pivot, learn, and grow is the cornerstone of sustainable success.

The Adaptive Leader’s Mindset

An adaptive leader is more than a title; it’s a mindset. It’s about acknowledging that disruptions will occur no matter how well-laid your plans are. Whether it’s a sudden market shift, technological breakthrough, or a global crisis, an adaptive leader views these challenges as opportunities for innovation and growth. They approach uncertainties with curiosity rather than fear and with resilience rather than resignation.

Key Principles of Adaptive Leadership

  1. Embrace change as a constant. An adaptive leader anticipates change and weaves it into their strategy. They understand that change is not a disruption but an integral part of the business landscape. I have had the privilege of observing a fenestration company renowned for its traditional wooden products as it successfully navigated the transition towards eco-friendly and energy-efficient solutions. It is truly inspiring to witness a forward-thinking leader who embraces change as an opportunity.
  2. Foster a learning culture. Continuous learning is the lifeblood of adaptability. Leaders who encourage their teams to learn from failures and successes create an environment that thrives on improvement. This can be achieved by incentivizing learning, such as regular training and development opportunities, and team-building activities that prioritize knowledge-sharing and collaboration can help foster a culture of learning.
  3. Open and transparent communication. Adaptive leaders understand the power of open dialogue. Honest communication builds trust and encourages the exchange of innovative ideas to help the organization navigate challenges. Simply, listening and promoting open dialogue makes the team feel heard and more willing to share their thoughts. Consistent feedback is crucial for transparent communication, helping individuals understand their strengths, weaknesses, and areas of improvement.
  4. Flexibility in decision-making. While it’s crucial to have a strategic plan, the adaptive leader remains open to altering their course based on new information. This flexibility allows for timely adjustments that could mean survival and stagnation. I have personally witnessed significant transformations, these transformations include rapid technological advancements, the impacts of globalization and market volatility, changing customer preferences, the rise of agile methodologies, disruptive forces from start-ups, the shift towards remote work and digital transformation, the increasing emphasis on data-driven decision-making, as well as the continuous shortening of product lifecycles.
  5. Empowerment at all levels: Adaptive leadership is not confined to the C-suite. Empowering employees at all levels to make decisions fosters a culture of responsibility and ownership, enabling quicker responses to changing circumstances. While there are many ways to empower employees, some of the best ways include providing training and skill-building opportunities, setting clear goals and expectations, and granting meaningful autonomy.
  6. Focus on Resilience: An adaptive leader understands that setbacks are inevitable. They build resilience in themselves and their teams, enabling them to bounce back stronger from challenges. Some strategies for dealing with setbacks include reframing the situation, seeking support from your network, and focusing on the opportunities presented by the setback. Foundational ways for leaders to be more prepared and resilient include developing a growth mindset, practicing self-care, and cultivating a strong sense of purpose and mission. 

Adaptive Leadership in Practice

Imagine a tech startup that initially focused on a specific software solution. As they gained traction, a new industry trend emerged, threatening to render their product obsolete. An adaptive leader at the helm would not see this as a roadblock but as a chance to pivot. They would engage their team in brainstorming sessions, exploring how their expertise could be harnessed to address the emerging trend. This proactive approach saves the startup and positions them as pioneers in the evolving landscape.

The Path Forward: Cultivating Adaptive Leadership

Adaptive leadership is not an innate trait; it’s a skill that can be cultivated. Here’s how:

  1. Self-awareness: Understand your strengths and weaknesses as a leader. This awareness forms the foundation for growth and adaptation.
  2. Continuous Learning: Stay informed about industry trends, technological advancements, and market shifts. Commit to lifelong learning to stay ahead of the curve.
  3. Seek Diverse Perspectives: Surround yourself with a team that brings varied viewpoints. Diverse perspectives lead to innovative solutions.
  4. Experimentation: Encourage a culture of experimentation within your organization. This fosters creativity and helps identify new avenues for growth.
  5. Resilience Building: Develop your resilience through mindfulness practices, learning from failures, and seeking inspiration from those who have overcome adversity.

In the fast-paced and ever-evolving business world, adaptive leadership is not just a strategy to consider – it’s an invaluable survival skill entrepreneurs must embrace. Having witnessed adaptive leaders’ transformative power, I have seen how they skillfully navigate challenges, turning them into remarkable triumphs and transforming uncertainties into promising opportunities.

The essence of adaptive leadership lies in the ability to effectively embrace change, foster a culture of continuous learning, and embody the fundamental principles that drive adaptive leadership. By doing so, entrepreneurs can navigate their ventures through tumultuous seas, emerging stronger, wiser, and even more prepared to conquer new horizons.

Let us all strive to master the intricate art of adaptive leadership, as it acts as a guiding beacon to illuminate the path toward a more agile and prosperous future for all. Together, we can shape a world that values and embraces adaptability as a catalyst for growth and success.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2023/08/31/success-through-adaptive-leadership-principles-to-cultivate/?sh=1d906bb1233b

The Power of Brand Management

In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive business environment, brand management has emerged as a crucial discipline for organizations across industries. A well-crafted brand strategy and effective brand management practices can propel a business to new heights, creating a solid and enduring connection with customers and fostering loyalty, differentiation, and long-term profitability. As the founder of a leading business consulting company, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of brand management, and in this article, I will delve into its fundamental principles and share some enlightening examples from my experience.

Defining Your Brand Identity:

Building a strong brand begins with clearly understanding your organization’s identity, values, and unique selling proposition. Defining your brand identity helps shape perceptions and establishes an emotional connection with your target audience. A compelling example is Apple Inc., which has masterfully crafted its brand identity around simplicity, innovation, and user experience. By consistently delivering on its brand promise, Apple has cultivated a fiercely loyal customer base and established itself as a global leader in technology.

Consistency Across Touchpoints:

Brand consistency is essential across all touchpoints, including your logo, website, advertising campaigns, customer service, or social media presence. A seamless and consistent brand experience builds trust and reinforces your brand’s values in the minds of consumers. Nike, the renowned athletic footwear and apparel company, is a prime example of consistent brand management. From its iconic swoosh logo to inspirational marketing campaigns and athlete endorsements, Nike has maintained a cohesive brand image across various touchpoints, resulting in a strong brand association with sports performance and lifestyle.

Building Brand Equity:

Brand equity is the intangible value that a brand possesses. It measures the brand’s strength and influence in the marketplace. Effective brand management enhances brand equity by investing in brand-building activities like advertising, sponsorships, and brand extensions. Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most valuable brands, has successfully built brand equity through its extensive marketing efforts, memorable advertising campaigns, and consistent brand positioning. As a result, Coca-Cola’s brand equity has become synonymous with happiness, refreshment, and timeless appeal.

Adaptability in a Changing Landscape:

Brand management is not a static process. In today’s ever-evolving business landscape, adaptability is crucial. To remain relevant, brands must stay attuned to consumer preferences, market trends, and technological advancements. An excellent example is Netflix, which initially started as a DVD-by-mail rental service but successfully transformed into a global streaming powerhouse. By recognizing the shift in consumer behavior towards digital content consumption, Netflix adapted its brand strategy, embraced technology, and revolutionized the entertainment industry.

Engaging with Your Audience:

Successful brand management involves authentic engagement with your target audience and building meaningful relationships. Social media platforms have provided businesses with an unprecedented opportunity to connect with consumers personally. Red Bull, the energy drink company, is a prime example of leveraging social media for brand engagement. Through its extreme sports content, captivating videos, and user-generated campaigns, Red Bull has created a vibrant community of brand enthusiasts, establishing a strong emotional bond with its target audience.

Brand Crisis Management:

One exemplary instance of effective brand management I witnessed involved a technology company. This company has established itself as a leader in the consumer electronics industry through consistent innovation and high-quality products. However, during intense competition, they encountered a product defect that affected many of their devices. Rather than downplaying or ignoring the problem, the company swiftly acknowledged the issue, took responsibility, and promptly initiated a comprehensive product recall and replacement program. They communicated transparently with their customers through various channels, addressing concerns and providing regular updates.

The company mitigated potential reputation damage by prioritizing customer satisfaction and maintaining open lines of communication. It demonstrated a solid commitment to its brand values, which fostered customer loyalty and trust. This type of proactive and transparent approach to brand management is a compelling example of how effectively handling crises can strengthen your company’s image and customer relationships.

Innovating and Evolving:

Successful brands continually innovate and evolve to meet changing customer needs and expectations. By staying ahead of the curve, brands can maintain a competitive edge and drive growth. Tesla, the electric vehicle manufacturer, has disrupted the automotive industry with its innovative approach to sustainable transportation. Through its cutting-edge technology, sleek designs, and visionary leadership of Elon Musk, Tesla has redefined the perception of electric vehicles, setting new standards for the industry and captivating consumers worldwide.

Brand management is an indispensable aspect of modern business strategy. It empowers organizations to shape perceptions, build meaningful consumer connections, and drive long-term success. By focusing on brand identity, consistency, equity, adaptability, audience engagement, crisis management, and innovation, businesses can harness the power of branding to create a lasting impact. The examples shared in this article illustrate the tangible benefits that effective brand management can bring. Embracing these principles and investing in brand management is a worthwhile endeavor that can yield substantial returns in today’s dynamic and competitive marketplace.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2023/07/27/the-power-of-brand-management-unlocking-success-in-the-modern-business-landscape/?sh=77938c533dfd

7 Ways To Successfully Scale Entrepreneurial Ventures

Entrepreneurial ventures are often started by individuals passionate about solving problems and creating new opportunities. However, scaling a venture can be challenging, requiring the business to grow rapidly while maintaining its core values and culture.

As a business consultant who has successfully scaled many ventures, I have found that several key factors can help businesses grow while staying true to their core values. Here are seven steps to consider implementing if you haven’t already.

1. Develop a clear growth strategy.

To scale successfully, you need to have a clear growth strategy that includes specific goals, timelines, and metrics. Your strategy should also identify potential challenges and opportunities that may arise during the growth process.

2. Build a strong team.

Scaling a business requires a team of dedicated and talented individuals who share the same vision and values as your company. Hire people who are passionate about your mission and have the skills to help you achieve your goals. Determining who would be a strong team player during the hiring process can be a daunting task. One key factor is the individual’s experience working in a team environment. Were they able to contribute to the team’s success, communicate effectively, and work well with others? Additionally, asking behavioral interview questions targeting teamwork can give valuable insights into the individual’s ability to work effectively with others.

3. Foster a culture of innovation.

Encourage your team to be creative and innovative in their approach to problem-solving. Create a culture that values experimentation and rewards risk-taking. Promoting creativity and innovation within a team is crucial to achieving success on any project. Creating a culture that values and celebrates innovative ideas is essential to encourage creative problem-solving. This can be achieved by actively seeking out and encouraging collaboration and brainstorming sessions, providing opportunities for professional development, and fostering an environment where failure is viewed as a learning experience rather than a setback. Additionally, creating an atmosphere that supports experimentation and risk-taking can help inspire team members to think outside the box and develop creative solutions. By prioritizing a culture of innovation, teams can unlock their full potential and help drive meaningful progress forward.

4. Leverage technology.

Technology can be a powerful tool for scaling a venture. Look for ways to automate processes, streamline operations, and improve customer engagement using technology. One of the best practices for discovering what processes can be automated is to conduct a thorough assessment of all business processes to identify areas that are repetitive, time-consuming, and prone to errors. Documenting each task, mapping out the process flow, and analyzing bottlenecks can provide valuable insights into where automation can be implemented. Additionally, exploring software solutions that automate various tasks can be helpful. By leveraging technology, businesses can efficiently complete tasks, freeing up time and resources to focus on core business objectives. This leads to cost savings and can improve customer engagement through faster response times and enhanced customer experiences. Ultimately, businesses can position themselves for long-term success in their industries by embracing technologies that automate repetitive processes.

5. Focus on customer satisfaction.

Customer satisfaction is key to scaling ventures. Make sure you are delivering a high-quality product or service that meets the needs of your customers and exceeds their expectations. One way to determine whether your product or service meets your customers’ needs is by collecting feedback. Surveys, online reviews, and feedback forms are all valuable tools for gathering customer information. Analyzing this feedback regularly is essential to see where improvements can be made. Another step towards improving customer satisfaction is by providing excellent customer service. Ensure that your employees are well-trained and capable of handling inquiries or complaints. Additionally, offer incentives such as discounts or rewards for loyal customers. Businesses can build and maintain a loyal customer base by taking these steps.

6. Manage your finances wisely.

Scaling ventures requires capital, but managing your finances wisely is essential. Develop a budget, track expenses, and look for opportunities to reduce costs and increase revenue.

7. Stay true to your values.

Finally, staying true to the core values that drove you to start your venture in the first place is essential. As you grow and scale, ensure you remain true to your mission and values and build a business that reflects those values. Leaders are vital in driving their organization toward their mission and vision. The most successful leaders understand that ensuring their business reflects their values is crucial to achieving those objectives. So, how can leaders determine if their company is on course with their mission and values? One way is by setting clear goals and regularly monitoring the progress to understand if the efforts align with the company’s mission and values.

Leaders can also establish a culture of accountability and transparency to build trust and ensure that every team member is aligned with the company’s values. It’s also essential to listen to feedback from employees and customers to gauge how well the business is meeting those values. By regularly assessing their organization and taking action, leaders can ensure that their business is built on and reflects their values.

In my experience, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to scaling businesses. Each business is unique and requires a tailored approach considering its goals, values, and culture. However, by focusing on the key factors outlined above, ventures can set themselves up for success and achieve sustainable growth over the long term.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2023/06/23/seven-ways-to-successfully-scale-entrepreneurial-ventures/?sh=6aa241564190

A Guide To International Relocation For Startup Leaders

For startup business owners looking to gain the knowledge and tools needed for international relocation, I have crafted this guide with essential information on visa types and more – giving you the advantage to take your venture global. With this all in mind, let’s get started taking steps toward success.

Understanding Different Types Of Visas

The first thing you need to determine is what type of visa you and any co-founders will require. The type of visa you need will depend on various factors, including the country where you have headed and your proposed roles within the company.

Various visas are typically available to suit different business situations, so it’s essential to understand the best option for your business. Here are five types of visas commonly available to entrepreneurs:

Business visitor visa

This can be an excellent option to establish initial contacts with a potential partner or investor overseas. Business visitor visas may also allow you to attend business meetings, conferences, or other events in other countries.

Investor visa

Suppose you plan on relocating your business to another country and investing a significant amount of money into the country’s economy. In that case, you may be able to apply for an investor visa. However, to qualify, typically, you must invest a large amount of money in a business and enterprise approved as a foreign investment by the country’s government.

Work visa

Depending on the type of work visa you qualify for; you may be allowed to work and live in another country long term.

Self-employment visa

Suppose you own your own business and want to relocate it to a new country. In that case, you may be eligible for a self-employment visa that allows you to live and work in the country for an extended period. Some countries require that you have a certain amount of capital to invest before you can apply for this type of visa, while others will simply need you to prove that you have made a successful business for yourself in your home country.

Startup visa

This visa is usually offered to entrepreneurs looking to establish a new business venture in a foreign country. To qualify for this type of visa, you may need to show that you are making a solid effort to develop a successful and innovative business in the new country. Often, a startup visa will allow you to live and work in your new country. I must mention that with the Canadian Start-Up Visa, you can say goodbye to temporary visas, as it leads to permanent residency.

Once you have selected the type of business visa you will apply for, you’ll need to demonstrate that your financial assets and your company fulfill eligibility requirements. Be ready with education or work experience records, as these may also contribute to determining qualification.

My preferred option is usually a startup visa, as I’ve found it gives entrepreneurs the most outstanding amount of freedom and flexibility in terms of the type of work, they can pursue. For example, in Canada, I’ve noticed that the Canadian Start-Up Visa provides the most benefits while living and working in the country.

Finding Success In A New Country

Some argue that the team is the most critical component of a startup’s success. By assembling a talented and diverse group of people passionate about their work, you can maximize your chances of success.

But ultimately, I believe the success of a startup is determined by whether it provides value to its customers. After all, why else would people continue to pay money for your product or service if they aren’t getting anything in return?

Prepare a well-crafted business document package outlining the key highlights of what differentiates your products or services from others. Also, outline your product’s target market, competitive advantages, sales and marketing strategies, and other critical business model components. All this information will help the country’s authorities understand the opportunity and value you offer and why your company is worth approving.

Starting a business abroad is exciting, so ensure you have all your ducks in a row. Make sure to come prepared with the necessary financial resources—you’ll likely need to provide proof that they are available and accessible. Doing this diligent preparation can help ensure that setting up your company in a new location will go as smoothly as possible.

Preparing For The Challenges

I think the main challenges in business immigration-related programs include meeting the eligibility criteria, providing adequate documentation to support your application, and navigating complex regulations and processes. Moreover, starting a business in a new country can be challenging due to cultural and language barriers, unfamiliar market conditions, and legal differences.

Entrepreneurs can navigate these challenges and increase their chances of success in a new country by doing their research and seeking professional help and advice from experts familiar with the local market conditions, regulations, and legal requirements. (Disclosure: My company provides business consultation)

A lot of work goes into qualifying for a visa and starting your own business, but the rewards can be tremendous. So, if you have the ambition and drive to succeed, go for it!

Have you ever heard the saying, “A big business starts small“? This quote is often credited to Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, and serves as a reminder that big businesses don’t happen overnight. Starting with even just one single idea can lead to extraordinary growth and success.

The information provided here is not legal advice and does not purport to be a substitute for the legal advice of counsel on any specific matter. You should consult a licensed adviser concerning your situation for legal advice.

The Benefits of Having an Exit Strategy

It’s no secret that businesses should have an exit strategy. But what is an exit strategy, and why is it so important?

According to Investopedia, an exit strategy is a plan for selling or disposing of a financial or business asset when certain conditions have been met or exceeded. It is used by investors, traders, venture capitalists, and business owners.

Four Types Of Exit Strategies

There are four main types of exit strategies businesses use to sell or dispose of their assets: initial public offering (IPO), mergers and acquisitions (M&A), private equity investment, and private investment in public equity (PIPE).

By investing in an exit strategy, businesses have the potential to unlock immense value. But careful consideration must be given when analyzing a company’s assets and liabilities.

IPO

Going public via an initial public offering (IPO) provides a business with access to capital and exposure to stock markets or securities exchanges. It is a comprehensive process that involves meeting disclosure requirements, regulating all transactions according to trading rules, and offering shares of stock or other forms of security for purchase by the general investing public. 

Ultimately, an IPO is useful in industries where value is dependent on consumer perception as it allows companies to gain widespread visibility quickly with minimal risk and effort.

M&A

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are transactions that involve one company buying all or the majority of the assets of another company for strategic or financial reasons. This is an increasingly popular business strategy. However, these transactions often come with a myriad of legal, tax, and commercial considerations that can be complicated for acquirers to navigate without the help of experienced investment bankers.

Private Equity Investment

Private equity investment is the acquisition of companies by private-equity firms, which specialize in making investments in return for an ownership stake in those enterprises. The shares are generally unavailable to the public. These firms acquire an equity interest in a company by purchasing its shares from existing shareholders and lenders and then exercising their right to purchase more shares at a future date.

All in all, private equity investment provides a great pathway for companies looking for more control over enterprise decisions without sacrificing access to unique resources for high returns.

PIPE

Private investment in public equity (PIPE) refers to private investment in public equity (as opposed to private equity investing in private businesses) in which large institutional investors buy securities in newly formed companies at significantly discounted prices. PIPE is primarily done to access the company’s future returns at comparatively low risk.

PIPE could be an ideal exit strategy for companies in rapidly changing industries or those that require long-term investment in research and development.

When Planning an Exit Strategy

Crafting an exit strategy is the ultimate opportunity for you as an entrepreneur to reflect on your successes and challenges. An effective plan will enable you to approach retirement or further career ventures with clarity—free from any unfortunate surprises along the way—by properly disposing of assets in advance.

The strategic planning process you use to develop your exit strategy should include the following steps:

First, it’s essential to have a clear vision of where your business will be in the future. What does success look like? Are you aiming for an increase in profitability over time so that it can generate maximum value when sold, or are there other goals, such as passing on management responsibility to another investor who will take things further? By defining these objectives now, you can help ensure that everyone is working toward the same outcome.

Next, you need to determine who will be involved in the process of selling your company. Will you take an active role in the sales process, or will you leave it to the professionals to handle the details? How will you select professionals best suited to your needs?

And finally, you will need to create a plan of action to help you achieve your goals.

Each of these steps is vital in successfully achieving your objectives. Be sure that you dedicate the proper time and resources to each task if you want to ensure that your exit strategy is as effective as possible.

Get the most value out of a sale

Don’t settle for less than what your business deserves. Take the time to explore all possible opportunities, and never forget that you don’t have to accept any offer immediately. Thoroughly research potential buyers before deciding so that you can ensure a fair deal. In my experience, it will almost always be worth the wait.

Planning for all possible angles of a sale should be part of your process. Think about when to sell, what kind of business you’re divesting from, and the potential buyers who may show interest. A well-executed strategy in advance sets you up for long-term success.

Using experts

Once you are ready to start looking for a buyer for your business, I find that talking to a business broker is an essential step in getting you prepared. They can assess where your sale process stands and help you discover potential buyers while ensuring that everyone involved gets fair terms. Their insights can be invaluable throughout this journey—saving time and stress on your part.

It’s also essential to have professional guidance from an attorney as you navigate through this complex process. They can help clarify sale terms, secure fair dealings between both parties, address potential tax implications of the purchase, and ensure legal rights are maintained throughout.

Lastly, a reliable accountant is a must-have for any business sale. They can set up the necessary accounts, line out your financials, and help prevent future tax issues while safeguarding you from potential buyer disputes after closing.

With these experts on your side, you’ll be more likely to end the transaction on solid footing.

Overall, to get top dollar for your business, you should start preparing well before the actual sale and carefully consider the options available to you. 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2023/02/01/the-benefits-of-various-exit-strategies-planning-and-getting-the-most-out-of-a-sale/?sh=4b2ae7477615

Article by Michael Shribman, President & Founder at APS Global Partners Inc.| President & Founder at Medias Health Inc.| Influencer of Forbes.

The power of storytelling in business

Businesses have always used stories to connect with their customers and promote their products or services. After all, everyone loves a good story. In today’s world, however, the art of storytelling has taken on a new importance. With so much content being created and shared online, it can be difficult to make your brand stand out from the crowd. That’s where storytelling comes in. By crafting engaging and authentic stories, you can connect with your audience on a deeper level and persuade them to choose your product or service over your competitors. Here are five ways that story can be used to enhance your business ’ online presence.

1. Position the message so your audience can relate to your business

If you’re looking to grow your business online, you need to create compelling content that people will want to read and share. By creating blog posts and other written content around relevant topics and themes, you can draw the attention of your target audience and build a loyal following of loyal customers. Social sharing buttons can also help to increase traffic to your website and increase the reach of your post. As people start to share your content on social media, it will attract more visitors to your site and help you to reach a wider audience.

Whether you’re offering a product or service, it’s important that you clearly communicate what makes your company different and unique from your competitors.

2. Keep things authentic and simple to tell the story of your business

If you are running a blog, it’s important to keep it authentic and true to who you are as a brand.

Be authentic and keep the language simple. Always try to include a personal anecdote or example as well to humanize your stories. This will help to create a connection between you and your audience and let them know that they can relate to your story on a personal level. It will also make them more likely to connect with your brand on a social level and hopefully, eventually become a customer of yours! Remember that not everything has to sound perfect in order to be effective. Sometimes simplicity is the key to great writing So take a deep breath and relax. Getting your message out there is more important than perfection! Keep it simple and keep it real!

3. Know your firm’s history and engage with it.

Research the history of your firm and how this has helped to shape the type of company it is today. Then use this research to engage with your audience in a meaningful way by sharing this information with them on your blog. This will give them a behind-the-scenes look at your business and show that you have a real passion for what you do. Showing interest in your community is a great way to build a strong relationship with your followers and attract new customers to your business! It’s also a great way to promote your business at the same time

Focus on the emotions of your stories

When it comes to storytelling, it’s important to focus on the emotions of your target audience. For example, if you sell women’s clothing you could tell a story about a woman choosing her first dress for a special event and how excited she was to finally find the perfect dress for the occasion. This is an example of a humanizing story that demonstrates why your product or service is so important and how it will make the lives of your potential customers better in some way. On the other hand, if you sell cars you could tell a story about how buying a sports car changed someone’s life for the better and helped to make all of their dreams come true. This story will inspire people to buy your product because it will make them feel like anything is possible if they follow your lead and pursue their dreams!

To sum up, storytelling is one of the most powerful forms of marketing that you can use to promote your business. Learn the right way to do it and start selling your product.

Things to consider doing business overseas

Based on the opportunity to work with lots of businesses based in overseas locations, I have found it to be a very rewarding experience. One of the best things about working with international ventures is the chance to learn about new products and services. In my role, I often have to research new companies and industries, and this has given me a great deal of knowledge about the global marketplace. If you are thinking of starting a business overseas, there are many things to consider. To make sure your business is successful, here are some tips to follow:

Market research

Research is one of the most important things when it comes to starting a company. If you are going to invest your time and money into a business, it is important to know that the business is going to be successful. Conduct market. This will help you determine whether there is room for growth in the market and which market you should focus on.

Target customer

Next, you must determine who your target customers are. You can also find out where your customers are located and identify your competitors. Once you have identified your target audience, it will be easier to market your products and services to them.

Business Location

It is important to consider location when choosing a location for your business. You need to take into consideration what type of customer base you intend on targeting and the demographics of the area where you plan on opening your venture.

Cost

Another important factor to consider is cost. You may need to find cost-effective methods of doing business overseas. Using technology to your advantage is a great way to reduce the cost of doing business.

Video conferencing, for example, can replace the need for expensive business trips. Online collaboration tools can help teams to communicate and work together effectively, even when they are in different countries. And finally, online project management tools make it easy for businesses to coordinate activities between different offices and time zones.

Business Name

Very important to figure out what your business name should be. You should choose a name that is unique to your company but also easy to remember. You should check that your company name is available locally. If your business name is not available in the local language, you may consider choosing a different company name.

Legal

Once your company is established, you will need to register it with the government. Choose a local attorney who can help you with the paperwork and represent you during the process. You will need to obtain a license from the local government to operate your business legally.

You must decide what type of structure is right for your business. You can incorporate a company as a sole trader, a partnership, or a limited liability company. Each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages. The type of business you choose will depend on your business needs and financial circumstances.

Business Relations

It is very important to establish a good relationship with suppliers and customers from the very beginning of your business. It will make it easier for you to get the supplies you need and help grow your venture. It will also build a good reputation for your business and help you succeed in the long run. Working with local partners can be a great way to reduce costs and minimize risk when starting a business overseas. They can provide valuable insights into the local market and help you navigate the regulatory landscape.

Online Presence

As a business owner, it is important to maintain a social media presence. Social media is a great tool that you can use to connect with customers and promote your brand. You can use it to share information about your venture and engage with your followers.

Your business will need a website if you plan to market your products or services online. Additionally, you should make sure that you have a strong online presence if you decide to sell products on online marketplaces. You will need to build your website from scratch or purchase a theme from an online template store. You will need to use SEO best practices to make your website more searchable. If you want to expand your business internationally, you will need a powerful marketing strategy that will help you to reach potential customers in different countries.

Work-life balance

It is important to maintain a healthy work-life balance if you want to succeed in business. Being an entrepreneur is a lot of hard work, so you need to find ways to relax and take your mind off work. It’s important to socialize and connect with other people in your industry so you can learn from each other’s experiences. Stay motivated and positive if you want to achieve your full potential as an entrepreneur.

Helpful tools for your business

Finally, it is important to set up an accounting system to keep track of your finances. This will ensure that your company remains profitable and gives you the information you need to make informed decisions. CRM software is also a useful tool for helping you to manage customer relationships and track sales.

To sum up, it’s important not to be afraid to take chances. Building a successful business takes time and dedication. You need to be committed and have a long-term vision if you are serious about growing your business.

You need to be willing to take risks and make changes when necessary. Creating a business is something that can be rewarding but it can also be challenging at times. Don’t let the challenges of entrepreneurship discourage you from pursuing your dreams. With the right knowledge and tools, you can achieve success in your venture. Failure isn’t the end of the world but giving up is. You should be prepared to make mistakes and learn from your experience so that you can become a stronger entrepreneur over time.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2022/12/13/things-to-consider-when-doing-business-overseas/?sh=59395650f635

How To Find Investors In A Remote World

These days, connecting with potential investors no longer relies solely on in-person meetings. Between social media platforms, video conferencing tools, and virtual events, it only takes one online interaction for an entrepreneur to connect with someone who can open up a wealth of funding opportunities.

With digital options being embraced by more and more people all over the world, taking advantage of these different mediums can attract the attention of potential investors virtually. To help, 15 members of the Forbes Business Council each share one strategy entrepreneurs can use to find and command the attention of investors in a remote world.

Partner With Local Business Organizations

If you’re looking for investment opportunities, now is the time. With so much money flowing into the market, investors are aggressively seeking new opportunities. Get involved with local business organizations. Take part in virtual events and never remain silent. If you’re proactive and promote your business effectively, you’ll be sure to find the right investors. – Michael Shribman, APS Global Partners Inc.

Reach Out To Known Investors In Your Space

With the transition to a remote-work world, innovators and entrepreneurs are able to identify, pitch, and close deals with investors on virtual calls with decks, ideas, and passion. With the internet’s vast ability to be our greatest resource, one can identify who is investing in their space by conducting industry research and reaching out digitally in a way that will stand out. From there, the door is open! – Christian Brown, Glewee

Find Your Market Niche

With so many options available online, no matter the economy, quality products and services will always be in high demand with both consumers and investors. These do elicit higher prices, but they also create a feeling of privilege and prestige. Exclusive and niche companies, rather than mass production and affordable products or services, bring investment attraction. – Martina Seferovic, OIP Inc.

Develop A Compelling Pitch

The key to finding investors in a remote world hinges on several things. First, create a clear and compelling pitch that articulates what problem is being solved, why it is compelling and unique, and why it will be successful. Leverage your network through social and digital channels to share your pitch and create qualified referrals. Find vetted investors through investment websites. – Jackie Shoback, 1414 Ventures

Leverage Your Network

Warm introductions remain the best route for fundraising in a digital world. The best strategy is to network with other entrepreneurs and impress them enough to get a genuine recommendation in front of their own investors. Today, networking with entrepreneurs is the easiest it’s ever been, with dozens of accelerators and communities connecting people digitally. – Tyler Weitzman, Speechify

Go Where The Investors Are

Investors are an important audience for us. We look to connect and build relationships with them where they spend their time, and like many of us, that is increasingly online. Digital events and social networks are the most common method, but we are also developing an organic strategy by creating inbound content combined with an outbound email marketing strategy. – Anand Subbaraj, Zuper

Engage On Thought Leadership Platforms

Consistent engagement on thought leadership platforms can heavily influence your chances of acquiring investors. Virtual or social impact has become the fastest route to expanding a business and brand. The more you share your knowledge on various topics that relate to your business, the greater the chances that you’ll attract growth through potential investors while also developing promising partnerships. – Makeba White Chanay, B1 Ventures & Holding

Nurture Your Relationships

Focus on relationships. Your developing network is your most valuable resource—don’t focus on monetizing it, but do focus on cultivating it. If you are an asset to those you interact with, it will be easy to ask and explore when you have needs. Building an investor network works the same way, and it can be built remotely through regular video calls and check-ins, even when you’re not raising funds. – Jeffrey Wessler, Heartbeat Health

Build An Audience That Can Double As Investors

Build your audience in a digital world, and allow them to be investors and lifetime contributors to your business. As you continue to build out and scale based on what your audience suggests, you will build trust and investment while also gaining opportunities to scale and be introduced to other resources. – Blake Van Putten, CISE

Look Into Online Investor Platforms

There are multiple investor companies and government grants that can be found online. Lately, many platforms have appeared that help startups connect with needed investors. These online platforms are a good way to start the journey of raising capital. Staying up to date with the latest technology and having your business ideas reflect that online is another must. – Oxana De Castro, FOXYLAB NEW YORK

Cater To Market Demands And Expectations

As business becomes more digital, your company will appeal to a broader set of investors. There will be fewer borders between you, your capital, and strategic support. Recognizing how this changes the criteria through which you’re evaluated is important, and catering to global expectations—based on regional market demands—is key. – Casper Rasmussen, MACH Alliance

Be Transparent About Company Values

It’s incredibly important for digital materials to be crisp, clear, and ready to share at any moment. Subtleties can get lost during virtual meetings, so your supporting documents can fill in that clarity. Regardless of where the discussions happen, the most important thing is to find investors who align with your company’s vision and corporate values. – Derek Lim Soo, Peak Power Inc.

Create A Strong Brand

One of the keys to finding investors in an ever more remote—but better connected—the world is ensuring you have a strong brand. If your narrative is compelling and your connection to your audience organic, you’ve done the hard bit. Whatever medium you use, make sure potential clients feel reassured and connected to your business. This is how you build trust. We always strive to develop and honor that. – Natalie Bellis, The Seventy-Ninth Group

Focus On Building Long-Term Relationships

In some ways, the more the world changes, the more things stay the same. While there are many digital options one can leverage to get investors’ attention, I have found that nothing is more powerful than connecting one-on-one. While that’s not “scalable,” it does allow you to go deeper to build valuable long-term relationships, gain trust and learn much more about your product and the market. – Stephen Sokoler, Journey

Commit To Forward Movement

Keep moving. People are attracted to progress and movement. The fund must grow, the portfolio must grow and our partnerships must grow. When you hit a wall, go over, below, around, or straight through it, but do not stop! – Jeremy Krell, Revere Partners

By Expert Panel®Forbs Counsil

Emulate Canada’s Immigration Policy, Ex-Minister of Immigration, Counsels World Leaders

Leaders of advanced countries have been urged to emulate the friendly immigration policy of Canada.

Former Minister of Immigration and Citizenship of Canada Gerry Weiner gave the charge while delivering a keynote address at the opening session of the maiden Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) Intercontinental Migration Summit hosted by the Medgar Evers College (MEC), City University New York (CUNY) on Wednesday in Brooklyn.

Weiner, who spoke on immigration policies and emigration, urged nations to copy the friendly immigration policy of his country.

Properly managed immigration

Also an ex-Secretary to the Government in Canada, Weiner however cautioned that migration should be properly managed by both developing and developed nations with adequate provisions to lower the unemployment ratios forcing migrants to desperately search for greener pastures abroad to avoid agitation for revolution.

Gerry cautioned that migration should be properly managed by both developing and developed nations with adequate provisions to lower the unemployment ratios forcing migrants to desperately search for greener pastures abroad to avoid agitation for revolution.

Welcoming the guests, Dr. Antionette Coleman, Senior Vice President and Provost of the MEC said the institution was proud to host the event.

She pledged that the university would take migration discussion beyond the classroom and encouraged contributions to deepen policies and implementations to improve migration governance.

The President of the JIFORM about immigration

Speaking, Dr. Ajibola Abayomi, the President of the JIFORM with over 300 journalists covering migration across the continents said the summit was aimed at promoting academic inputs on migration matters, networking, robust policy on safe, orderly and regular migration among nations and individuals in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).

He said the reappraisal of labor migration was imperative given the significant contributions of the migrants to the advancement of both low and high-income economies which recorded over $714 billion in remittances in 2019 alone and other significant improvements in the subsequent years.

“Human mobility is the fulcrum of the global economy. The theme of this summit was carefully chosen to highlight the importance and the need for a review of migration policies in several regions of the world, especially to the advantage of the migrants that are economic developers.

“Migration is a human right issue. The JIFORM since its inception in 2019 has shown tremendous commitment to fighting migration menaces and challenges like human trafficking, smuggling of migrants, sexual slavery, and irregular migration and promoting regular migration with quality information to make labor migration safe and rewarding for all.”

Dr. Ajibola said the summit would continue in America as an annual event and expressed the desire to keep the partnership with the MEC towards sustaining it.

The minister for Labour and Social Security

Alpha Timbo, the minister for Labour and Social Security, Sierra Leone who spoke on Labour Migration And Ilo Convention: Challenges And Prospects For West Africa said: “Good governance is very significant in regulating labor migration and this involves ratification of International instruments, inter nation-state collaboration or agreements. 

“The West African nations must evolve capacity building for migrant workers, training and preparation of migrants with soft and hard skills and a digitalized migration for tracking, monitoring and social protection with effective enforcement or implementation of the policies to achieve the desired objectives of safe, orderly and legal migration” the minister suggested.

In her submission on decent work strategy, Dr. Princess Ocansey, a member of the African Union Labour Migration Advisory Committee bemoaned the unemployment ratio in Africa but stated that: “Well-managed Migration can provide several solutions! From temporary circular migration opportunities to strategically positioned remittances to fix emerging forex issues and more.”

“The African Development Bank stated that one-third of Africa’s almost 420 million millennial-aged 15 to 35 are unemployed and discouraged, another third are insecurely employed, and only one in six are employed on a salary basis. This is a ticking time bomb! A security issue our governments must not overlook.

What we need

 “We need a mindset change for our youth to become creative job creators- instead of sitting and waiting for nonexistent jobs, especially in the post covid era. We need a paradigm shift, shifting from working unilaterally to multilaterally all over the world – in order to make it. No longer can we be in silos – this post-pandemic era commands us to come together, to fight together, not fight each other – or we sink together” she averred.

Pastor Solomon. A. Folorunsho, the chairman of the Home for the Needy, and his counterparts from Germany, called for support for the victims of forced migration.

He drew attention to the needs of his foundation in Benin City, Nigeria taking care of over 5000 internally displaced persons and other migrants including food, drugs, funds, and scholarships.

Addressing Economy: Diversity of migration and benefits to migrants and host country Dr. Wale Idris Ajibade the Executive Director of African Views (AV), a nonprofit organization in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council advocated more tolerance for migrants from the host countries saying they had a key role to aid development.

Continental leadership awards were given to President Maada Bio of Sierra Leone, Lazarus Chakwera, the President of Malawi, Alpha Timbo, and Princes Ocansey.

The summit was moderated by Professor Byron Price, and Raquel M. Bennett both from the MEC, and Dr. Ajibola Abayomi.

The need to restructure labor migration across the continents topped discussions at the opening session.

The 3-day hybrid summit was themed: Appraising Human Mobility And Security: Prospects And the New Challenges Of Labour Migration Post-Pandemic Era had arrays of speakers from across the continents in attendance.

By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos

Canadian business grants

Canadian business grants can help businesses of all sizes get the funding they need to grow and succeed. In addition to providing financial assistance, grants can also help businesses develop new strategies, and improve their operations.

Standard government business loans or capital from banks, angel investors, and VC firms are often the funding channels of choice for Canadian entrepreneurs. However, if you are willing to invest the time, you may be able to for several Canadian business grants. These programs are offered by numerous organizations including provincial and federal governments as well as private entities like foundations. Depending on the nature of the grant and who’s offering it, these opportunities can be highly competitive or fairly easy. In some cases, you may even be able to get multiple grants to maximize your chances of receiving financial assistance.

Examples of the types of grants that you may be able to apply for in Canada:

  1. Startup Grants – This is one of the most common types of Canadian business grants available. Many of these programs are designed to encourage and support new businesses by providing financial and mentoring assistance. In addition, many startup grants also require that you develop a concrete business plan and present it to your local incubator or business association for approval.
  2. Research and Development Grants – This type of grant is often offered directly by governments but may also be offered through other organizations such as foundations and private companies. The amount of money that is awarded typically depends on the project’s overall budget.
  3. Business Expansion Grants – This type of grants is usually offered to existing companies. To companies who are struggling to keep up with the demand or are facing other challenges related to growth.

If you are thinking about applying for a grant in the near future, do your research ahead of a time to increase your chances to get approved. It might also be a good idea to consult with a business consultant.

The best resources for small business grants in 2022:

  1. Canada Startups funding database. Information and access to over 800 government grants and loans. You must pay a membership fee to search the database.
  2. Etools for exporting (Canada business database). A searchable database of provincial and territory-specific programs and services to help you find loans, grants, and other funding options for your small business or startup.
  3. Funding programs for employment and social development. A list of links to Canadian government grants and contributions that help support jobs, training, and social development.
  4. Fundingportal. Fundingportal helps you find funding from 11,000 government grants and business incentive programs in the U.S., Canada, and the UK.
  5. Futurepreneur Canada. The only national, nonprofit organization that provides financing, mentoring, and support tools to aspiring small business owners aged 18-39.
  6. Government of Canada business grants and financing. Gain access to information on all Canadian government grants, loans, private, and public sector financing and leveraging personal assets.
  7. Mitacs. You’ll find a list of programs and funds available for projects that connect Canadian academia, industry, and the world—to create a more innovative Canada.
  8. Indigenous small business owner funding programs. A list of Canadian government funding services for First Nations or Indigenous citizens of Canada.