Keys to Securing Market Intelligence

If you are responsible for managing investments or financial portfolios the value of industry expertise and market intelligence cannot be understated.

Many fund managers, investment brokers, private equity firms, and private placement organizations, both large and small, possess either in-house expertise or utilize the services of industry advisors to provide and augment insight into the markets and players that is not often found though traditional research. Many national expertise firms exist to provide platforms for analysts and fund managers to tap into this knowledge base and gain the information necessary to fill in the gaps and enhance their understanding of the industries and companies in which they have holdings or seek to make entry.

Another useful and beneficial tactic used by many investment firms is to maintain a list of qualified industry experts that can be called upon when needed. Many competent firms specialize in particular industries and even geographies to provide expedited and very relevant information for a simple phone consultation or can be retained for specific periods of time. The firm’s information is typically retained in-house for the primary markets and industries that pertain to the investment profile of their firm and clientele.

While there are reams of information available online, much of it will require extensive investigation and vetting in order to be considered valuable. The sourcing of much of this information is provided from companies that have not actively participated in these markets and is oftentimes derived from the review of financial statements and resources available in the public domain. Some also conduct industry surveys and generate reports that are available for purchase.

The other factor in online research is time. As we all know, timing is critical and the sooner you can have confidence in the information you possess, the greater the opportunity for success and more responsive your investment decisions can be.

When it comes to investment decisions it is often wiser to seek council from those with a first-hand exposure to the specific industry in question. The information can typically include insights on competitive pressure, company leadership, pricing, market share, strategic advantages, new products in development, expansion estimates, industry and company exposures, and of course provide confidence and verification of going forward estimates and projections made by the company.

In today’s economy knowledge is king, and the information you need to make the best decisions possible is readily available to support your company and your customers.

Lying By Omission? We May Never Get “The Whole Truth and Nothing But The Truth” Ever Again

I recently read one of those thought-provoking articles that are so good at hitting that special subliminal sweet spot that’s responsible for opening the floodgates to insight and its creative aha moments.

The article is titled “The video selfie that changed the world” written by Shelly Palmer, the well-known Tech and Digital media guru.

The article is about the young lady who started a live broadcast from Facebook on her phone, in her car, as her boyfriend lay dying shot by a policeman. The world watched as he regrettably and conspicuously died while the phone streamed it live for the world to see.

I’m sorry for her loss. I’m sorry for her boyfriend and yes, I’m sorry for the policeman.

The article is not only about that. It’s about Facebook and its new live streaming option.

With that said:

This is not a political article.

This article will serve as a warning to the world that the 4th horseman of the apocalypse has arrived.

You had Social media, cameras on the phone, videos on the phone and now you have live broadcasts, through the Facebook, on the phone.

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

“All significant truths are private truths. As they become public they cease to become truths; they become facts, or at best, part of the public character; or at worst, catchwords.” T. S. Eliot

Very dangerous and nebulous times. The button is pushed 15 minutes after a particular, possibly incendiary, situation starts and then the live broadcast begins.

Is this new version of lying by omission the new truth?

We may never get “the whole truth and nothing but the truth” ever again.

What’s the big deal?

The difference between live broadcasts vs. recorded broadcasts is that with recorded broadcasts:

1 – you could always go back and study the recording and

2 – with cameras on buildings, lamp posts and in the hands of other people you may get the opportunity to see a situation from all angles, and even get to the truth of the situation and not just someone’s biased “truth”.

Even if someone wants to edit it you may be able to get it from other sources.

You have options. These are the operative words: You have options.

With live broadcasts: you only get one option and you only have a fleeting moment to absorb the “truth” and unfortunately the biased mind’s eye sees what it wants to see. There’s no going back.

You have no options. These are the operative words: You have no options.

That’s the “street” side of it. What about the business and personal side of it?

My suggestions, and I know I’ll get heat for this:

a – Don’t allow cell phones in any meeting you go into. Why?

One Example, Just One: Secretly streaming live to someone outside of the meeting could produce text messages to the opposing team that has information that creates an unfair advantage for them and ones that work against you.

Live broadcasting is fraught with manipulative and deceptive genes and it’s your responsibility to meet with everyone within your boundaries and borders to come up with new rules of engagement to deal with the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”

b – All cell phones must be checked and shut off in your workplace. The company has telephones. The time has come, and now more than ever, to consider the smart phone a frenemy and a little too smart for its own good.

c – Video, pictures and now live streaming. Protect your home and protect your business. My mother always insisted that I wear clean underwear. Her explanation: You just never know. I’m telling you now: Always assume that there’s a camera on you and conduct yourself accordingly. You just never know. Again, now more than ever.

A healthy dose of paranoia as a preventive measure, will go a long way in protecting your life and your livelihood. It’s not an option anymore. It’s your fiduciary responsibility to implement and explain the ramping up of the precautions that are needed, to the people in your Success Support Community and beyond.

Do it now… Be proactive. Tomorrow is bringing many more challenges.

Good luck out there.

How Is A Business Affected By The Environment?

Although living in a high-tech world, nobody affords neglecting the environmental impact over a business. From industrialized research sites to water parks and open-air theaters, all these business must be aware of the natural factors that may temper with their activity. Understanding the risk and managing the activities accordingly is something every company should do. Adhering to ISO 14001 EMS will assure that the company is ready to reduce the negative impact natural factors have and will be able to maximize production, labor cycles and will have a greater return of investment. But first, let’s find out how nature influences a business.

Natural hazards pose a serious threat to any business. Placing office buildings or industrial installations in areas frequently affected by tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, flood or other similar events will be a big mistake. Not only will the workers be exposed to life-threatening situations, but also, the cost of insuring the assets will be high. This is why the first thing when planning a new business location will be to make sure that the location is safe and not affected by frequent extreme phenomena.

Sometimes the businesses are the ones causing the environmental problems, which in return, provide negative effects. We are talking about the waste created by plants and other industrial buildings. There are many laws which prohibit dumping byproducts in open air. Not respecting the laws will lead to not only legal consequences, but also will create unpleasant work conditions. Working near leaked toxic disposal or smelly substances will certainly modify any worker’s behavior. The overall result will be reduced productivity and a greater risk of being sued, by either authorities or workers.

When a business depends on the natural resources of an area, things get a bit complicated. It first depends on the used resource, mainly if it can be regenerated or not. It is totally different to work with gold, silver or coal, which will be depleted, eventually and there is a total different story to work with trees or fish, like salmon, which can be regenerated (if there is a proper seed or breed management).

Another aspect, which is usually neglected, is wildlife. The specific fauna of an area can have a great unexpected impact over a business. For example, rodents can chew all sorts of cables and created really dangerous situations. And wild predators can even pose serious threats to a company’s workers. This is why nature must not be neglected when overseeing business operations.

How To Limit Liability In Your Early Education Company

There is always risk and opportunity for liability in an early education company, but there are a number of ways you can limit your liability and manage risk in your business. Here are 11 things you may want to consider. (** Always talk with the proper professionals before taking action.)

1. The Heart Stopper: Make sure you never lose track of a child. This terrifying event is most likely to happen when moving back and forth to the playground or when children are transported via busses or vans. Sometimes it is not enough to count the number of children. Make sure you perform a sweep after “all” of the children have left an area. This is especially important for busses and vans as children are easily overlooked when they are in the back of a bus or van.

2. Observe Good Business Practices: This act is incredibly important. While it doesn’t guarantee that you will be safe in your business environment, it certainly reduces the risk of getting sued.

3. Business Component Incorporation: Incorporate your business to limit your personal liability.

4. Real Estate: If you own real estate for your early education company, own it in a corporation or LLC that is different than the corporation that owns your business component. By holding your real estate in a different entity, it can be protected from litigation against the childcare business. Remember, you don’t have to be wrong to be sued. Over the years, we have seen childcare company owners sued frivolously for little more than a parent that just needed a source of income.

5. Transportation: While some companies don’t go this far, owning your company vehicles in a separate transportation company helps to limit liability in the event of a traffic accident. Some people and their attorneys view litigation like a lottery. Fighting a lawsuit with someone who is trying to make a “corporation” pay is time consuming at best. It’s also likely to increase your insurance rates.

6. Insurance: Make sure you have the proper insurance coverage, including but not limited to, liability, property, flood and business interruption coverages.

7. Teachers: Train your teachers so they instinctively guard against any threat to the children, themselves or your center(s).

8. Playgrounds: Sectionalize playgrounds to make sure older children don’t accidentally collide with the little ones when playing outside.

9. Security: Install proper security doors and surveillance cameras so unwanted visitors don’t gain access to your center or the people in it.

10. Licensing Compliance: While licensing is always part of the daily childcare business, keep in mind that the regulations are there with good purpose. Sometimes it is the smallest act of prevention that stops a catastrophe.

11. Professionals: Make sure you have at least one good attorney and one good CPA on your team. Having the right professional to show you the correct path is much easier than learning things the hard way.

By following a few practical and common sense rules, you can limit both your risk and your liability in your business.

(Legal Disclaimer: Always consult the proper professionals before taking action. By and before the use of the information provided herein, reader agrees that BFS┬« is not responsible for viewer’s actions related to said information.)