By Katherine Pilnick
Youâ€™ve probably heard of vertical integration, a trend to minimize middle-man work and bring products to the marketplace in as few steps as possible, and you may be wondering if itâ€™s right for your business. Vertically integrated companies have control over more than one part of production. They may partner with companies that work with the product before or after them, or they may take care of more than one step of the process in-house.
Vertical integration gives manufacturers more control over their products, including reducing costs. Customers also benefit, as they can discover otherwise lost local business and may enjoy price cuts because of lowered production costs. However, vertical integration isnâ€™t always the best option, and its effects should be considered for each unique set of circumstances.
Vertical Integration in Modern Markets
One of the most prominent examples of vertical integration is Apple, which designs and develops the hardware and software for all its products, and also puts out the final products. While specific parts of production may be outsourced, Appleâ€™s overall vertical integration gives the company more control over its product. It also ensures that the company has unique products that customers cannot find elsewhere.
Amazon is another well-known example of vertical integration. Its online marketplace and its Kindle products act as book distributors, and the company has evolved to publish books, as well. In this way, it took over another piece of the production line.
Amazon and Apple are prime examples of companies that have become significantly more involved in their product lines than is typical at other companies.
Choosing to vertically integrate your business is a big decision, and one which involves a lot of thought. It requires access to resources that small startups often lack, but it expands opportunities for future growth and success.
The main advantage of a vertically integrated business is that it will make your product unique, so that no other company can offer exactly what you have to offer. That way, you can build a loyal customer base as your company grows.
Despite its pros, vertical integration wonâ€™t help every company, especially one thatâ€™s already on thin ice financially.
Vertical integration requires a company to take on new responsibilities in production. While this can save money for business in the long run, it requires an immediate financial investment to pay for additional equipment and labor.
Likewise, entrepreneurs must be careful that vertical integration does not spread the companyâ€™s resources too thin. The company must set its priorities and stick with them, without allowing its new responsibilities to take over the core business goals.
Unless your business is already hugely successful, youâ€™ll have to determine if vertical integration is right for your particular scenario by weighing the pros and cons.
Discuss it with others at your company to gauge how willing they are to take on the risk and responsibility. You can also seek professional advice at a bank, since the new endeavor is likely to require a small business loan. And remember that there is no need to rush the decision. In most cases, the opportunity to expand will always be there. If you donâ€™t take advantage of it now, you can change your mind in the future.
4 Fast Growing Social Media and Shopping Websites
There are so many social media and shopping websites nowadays available on the web, some of them are growing rapidly because of their services, how they are managed and updated, and how the features or how user friendly they are. These websites have been increasing because of the increase of the growing interest of people on social networking platforms and people are also getting bored of the existing social websites. It has increased this year because of the social awareness of the individuals, sharing their thoughts, experiences, photos, and products daily are the things that people could do with the social and shopping websites.
Here are some of the fast growing social media and shopping websites that are grabbing the attention of more users day by day:
Basically, Pinterest is a pinboard -style social photo or an image sharing website that permits users to make and achieve theme-based image groups such as interests, events, likes or hobbies, and many more. Users can surf or browse other Pinboards or inspiration,â€™re-pin’ images to their own collections and/or ‘like’ photos. It permits its users to share ‘pins’ on both Facebook and Twitter, which permits users to share their interests, photos, events, hobbies and interact with the community.
A social media agency should post their clientâ€™s business in Pinterest to drive more traffic. It is an advantage for the business to have major products for women because most of its visitors are women.
Pinterest can help a social media company to have the advantage of driving traffic to their clientsâ€™ websites. It is really a big help for the social media companies on their Internet marketing strategies.
This is a new shopping website that made a big splash in the online community. Svpply is pronounced as â€œsupplyâ€, it is the online form of window shopping that permits users to browse products extending from clothing to home decorations and easily bookmark items when you shop.
Before you can post or shop on the website, you have to register first on Svpply.com, create your free account, search for the products or things that you want in the online store, and upload them to your account. You can also share what you have found with your friends thru social media sites like Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.
There is more! You can complete your online shopping using Svpply, just click on the BUY button and be directed to the â€œCheckout Page. Svpply also offers specialty features like monthly Editorâ€™s picks and gift guides that are giving you the advantage of having all of your shopping needs addressed on one website.
One of todayâ€™s trends which social media is focusing is online Pin boarding. Users â€œpinâ€ their items and images what they like on the virtual boards and sharing it with their friends that have similar interests and can give and take ideas. Pinterest maybe the most popular of these websites because of its unique features that permits users to interact, engage, and connect with the imaginative process with people who have shared their interests. Furthermore, socializing and connecting with friends through online is the major factor in currentâ€™s Social Media part.
Online shoppers or users used to find themselves shopping for toys for their loved-ones, gifts, clothes, supplements, and other items that could give them convenience in shopping. Online shopping gives them convenience because it doesnâ€™t need to be in the physical store to purchase or look for the items they want. Wanelo has covered the way for businesses to seize more market share by attracting in online marketing and makes easy for the shoppers.
Polyvore focuses on fashion, it is for the fashion enthusiasts and advocates. It is devoted to style and giving a platform for fashion enthusiasts for showing or demonstrating their works in the entire world. It is one of the largest online communities with members from across the globe and helps to unite online shoppers and trendsetters / trend starters by showing the latest trends, the hottest brands, and trend forecasting.
It allows users to create different outfits by culling various products from online stores and online fashion collections, publishing and sharing their works with friends and other Polyvore users.
Polyvore is now becoming another trustworthy social media network for online businesses who aim to create more connection and interaction with their online prospect buyers and online buyers. Some Big Fashion companies are having relationship or connecting Polyvore for promoting and exhibiting their designs, products, and for showcase.
Thank you, Richard!
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Where Do You Start?
Starting a new business is a big decision, which has to be taken with much thought and diligence. No two years are the same and with changing trends one has to be vigilant enough to tap the right business opportunities at the right time.
The year 2012 is the year of the retail business, personal care, hospitality and education. While these are not the out-of-box industries that seem to be providing good potential for growth, but it is the way one propels their business using the right techniques catering to the modern times. Success lies, not in what you sell, but how you sell it. Here is a brief overview of the top five industries to start a new business:
Health and wellness: a healthy lifestyle is something which every one aspires for. The health and wellness industry covers a large domain including healthy eating, fitness centres, fitness consultancy, personal grooming, care of the elderly and to an extent hospitality. Consumers are growing aware of what they are eating, the sources of their food, keeping fit by visiting gyms and fitness centres, consulting with yoga gurus and experts and even opting for stress management activities. All these areas of health and wellness offer opportunities to start a new business.
You could start a franchisee that offers healthy snacks or open up a fitness centre or a gym. If you are good at providing consultation, you can go for a health and fitness centre with expert consultants offering tips on healthy and nutritious eating. The corporate sector too is urging its employees to be more fit, healthy and stress-free, which means that you can introduce wellness plans for the corporate sector.
The beauty industry: trends are indicative of the fact that the beauty industry is a growing sector and so it has made the list of the top five industries to start a new business. As per the surveys conducted worldwide, it has been seen that consumers have more disposable income, allowing them to spend more on personal grooming and healthcare. For this reason, there has been a surge in beauty salons, spas and centres for beauty treatments. Barber schools and cosmetology are the growing sectors in this industry with more and more people becoming interested in looking and feeling good.
Clothing industry: clothes have always been a favourite with women. However, with the new trends pouring in, it is seen that even men are getting more particular about the way they dress up. For this reason, the clothing industry along with the clothing accessory industry is a very good area to tap into when looking to start a new business.
Education: with increasing globalisation and the need for highly trained and skilled professionals all over the world, education has come to the forefront as one of the top industries to start a new business. Whether it is a business school, language school, a trade school or an educational consultancy, you are sure to receive a very good response.
Food industry: with recession almost gone now, people have higher levels of disposable income. This means the capacity to spend on healthy and organic foods and snacks has increased. Taking up franchisees of a frozen yogurt, healthy snacks, organic foods can be a way to start a small business.
So, if you are interested in starting up a new business, one of the safest bets would be in one of these mentioned industries. However, these are only 5 of the many industries out there. So, if these donâ€™t take your fancy, there is a plethora of other industries to choose from.
Working as business & finance analyst in Brisbane, Jim is very much interested in management consulting for finance projects. He writes about new challenges coming up in next year’s in the industry. You can find more information at bsbdc.com or follow Jim on Twitter at @JamesForrest8
Thank you, Jim!
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!