If It’s Tuesday It’s B2B Day

Last Tuesday was the first “B2B Tuesday,” an initiative sponsored by Alibaba.com to raise awareness about the contributions small and medium businesses make to the US economy and to help them get more market share in the global ecommerce community.
Alibaba.com is the B2B division of Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA).

B2B Tuesday will from now on be a regular event celebrated not only by Alibaba.com, but by other organizations that share similar goals. The 2B2 community will promote the successes of US 2B2 SMBs, share knowledge, resources, and other information that can help them grow. They hope to help SMBs to access the over $23.9 trillion global B2B eCommerce pie, an amount that is larger by a factor of six than the B2C eCommerce market. The event every Tuesday will feature B2B stories of success, face-to-face events, highlights of new offerings, educational content, and more.

An independent research company recently conducted a “US SMB Confidence Survey at the behest of Alibaba.com. They asked 5,000 US SMBs who engage in B2B business to relate to the following issues:

• The survey found that 62% of B2B businesses are feeling optimistic about the economy.
• A bit less than half (46%) said they expect their B2B business to improve.
• Substantially more than half (57%) hired new employees to support their online B2B buying and selling.

Other issues explored in the survey included globalization and digitalization.

“Strong SMB confidence among American business owners and entrepreneurs, plus the growth from digitizing of their business and doing business globally means the future is bright for U.S. SMBs,” said John Caplan, head of North America B2B at Alibaba Group. “Less than one third of businesses we surveyed have been doing business online for more than five years. That means there is an enormous opportunity for U.S. SMBs to digitize and grow their businesses globally with ease. And B2B Tuesday is one more example of how Alibaba.com is here to help.”

Looking into the Future with 2020 Vision

Not only does the year 2020 welcome in a new year, but a new decade as well. And this decade is expected to be a great one, based on the current economic trends we are watching.

Labor force

At the end of 2019 the economy saw unemployment reaching record lows, with an uptick in wages, especially for non-supervisory jobs. One question looming is whether this year will be the one with upward moving wages pushing inflation up as well?

Consumer spending

Even if consumer spending losses some of its muscle, the labor market just on its own will sustain spending on goods and services, and in housing, too. Keep your eyes on real estate, as it is ready to have a great coming year due to lower interest rates, and sluggish last two years. Hopeful homeowners and builders have been waiting for the starting bell to ring as numbers of building permits are rising.

Manufacturing madness

It seems that the miasma of the last two quarters of 2019 in factory production is about to lift with the dawn of a new decade. However, it could go slowly, as recovery from the China trade war might not happen overnight, and companies could stay cautious as they wait to see what kind of trade agreement with the great Asian giant will be reached.
Not to mention what effect a strong dollar will have on exports. Watch and learn.

Business Degree is a Springboard to Many Great Jobs

Having a business degree, according to people who have one, is a fantastic way to prepare for a rewarding profession in a variety of fields. They say that knowing how to start and run a successful business is helpful for many rewarding careers.

“A business degree, whether it is at the undergraduate or Ph.D. level, allows you to understand how to make money off of anything,” said one second-year MBA student. “Business degree-holders learn the basics of how to determine what a good business opportunity looks like and then how to maximize the amount of money made from this opportunity.”

The non-profit sector is another place business degree-holders can find gainful employment. It makes good business sense to hire someone who can decide the smartest way to use money efficiently, even more so when the money is acquired by people wishing to have their money used for a cause they believe in, and not wasted on unnecessary office expenses and the like.

Recipients of business degrees also learn problem-solving skills, useful in a broad range of industries.

Although some jobs require additional degrees, like engineering or medicine, having a business degree as well can help when a doctor or engineer decides to set up his own business.

There is no question that a business degree can provide a person with many useful as well as marketable skills: insight into people, the process and the product of a company, and a sense of what it takes to create a thriving organization.

Business Spotlight: Munear Ashton Kouzbari & Evolution Spine

When you need medical attention because you have an issue with your spine, you want the very best care. And you want the best equipment used by your surgeon and doctors. This is where Evolution Spine and Munear Ashton Kouzbari step in.

As a healthcare entrepreneur and consultant, Ashton Kouzbari has been in the business for many years. He values being a team player, working with a great team to achieve goals. Kouzbari is currently the President of Evolution Spine, a company based in Dallas, Texas which supplies premier implants to spine surgeons and hospitals. They pride themselves on their flawless service and continuous desire to innovate. They are currently engaged in the design, manufacturing and sales of these medical implants, instruments and biologic materials. The products are used to treat orthopedic and neurological surgical procedures for conditions like generative spine disease, spine trauma and correcting spinal deformities.

Munear Ashton Kouzbari comes to this role with an extensive educational background. He graduated with both a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance along with Minors in Mathematics & Chemistry from Southern Methodist University. He is currently enrolled in the Harvard Business School President’s Program and is actively involved in the Dallas chapter of YPO. YPO includes more than 27,000 chief executives in over 130 countries and the local chapter allows Munear Ashton Kouzbari the chance to work with other career-driven and like-minded business professionals and executives and to share ideas for the future.

How to Find a Financial Adviser

Managing your finances comes naturally to some; to others it’s a real struggle. If you’re not someone who is naturally savvy with investing or finances, you might consider hiring a financial adviser. But is this an appropriate thing to do for your age bracket and your financial bracket?

When Is the Time Right to Hire an Adviser?

Certainly, anyone and everyone could use financial assistance. Realistically, however, hiring someone can be time consuming and expensive. It’s important, therefore, to do a cost/benefit analysis for yourselves and to see if it’s really time to hire someone. Some of the reasons that you might consider hiring an adviser include that you feel lost with your finances and want a more clear understanding of your financial future; you don’t want to have to deal with this aspect of your life by yourself; or you believe you could benefit from the experience and expertise of a third-party.

How Do Financial Advisers Help?

Many people who use financial advisers report that they help you to stay on track. You have a financial goal for yourself, but it’s not always easy to stick to that goal. A study from John Hancock showed that 70% of people who work with an adviser end up staying on track or even getting ahead with their retirement savings while only 33% of people who save without an adviser do so. In addition to keeping you on track, advisers can help you to rebalance how you’ve set up your savings plan, to reorganize your investments and so much more.

How Can You Find a Personal Adviser?

There are many ways to find the right adviser for your needs. You can ask friends who already have advisors who they recommend. You can look for third-party reviews, such as this review of Fisher Investments. These types of reviews are quite comprehensive and can give you a general indication of the company’s size, its assets under management, the adviser’s services and the fees that they charge.

What Other Benefits Do They Offer?

There are clearly benefits beyond just the numbers to working with a financial adviser. They help to get rid of some of the stress in your life by doing the work for you. Rather than worrying about your finances and trying to solve this piece of your life puzzle by yourself, they take this burden from you. Just as you don’t try to fix your car without consulting with a mechanic, or your heart without consulting with a doctor, you can seek a professional for your financial needs.