A new idea has taken root in Chicago—bully for that city! According to Business Week, Chicago’s Green Exchange will be the first shopping center in the U.S. for environmentally responsible and socially conscious businesses.” What a great idea!
Get this: not only will the first “green mall” in America be located in Chicago, grouping eco-friendly businesses for the first time, but the very building itself—all 250,000 square feet of it—will also be developed in accordance with LEED standards.
LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) standards were developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The LEED System “provides benchmarks for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. . . in five key areas”, states the article, “sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality”.
Apparently, a Chicago real estate developer, Baum Development, is capitalizing on refurbishing a historic building in a great location—350,000 cars pass by the site each day. Taking care to retain the building’s historic character, while retrofitting it with a “green” roof, energy efficient systems, clean air quality, a courtyard, meeting/event community space, on-site parking with priority parking given to hybrid vehicles, will make Chicago’s Green Exchange the first of its kind.
The article cites the growing market for green building materials in this country; one that is predicted to grow from $7.2 billion in 2005 to between an estimated $19 to $38 billion by 2010, according to the National Association of Home Builders and McGraw-Hill Construction. It is now possible for many owners to build or renovate their homes or businesses in an environmentally friendly way. As materials become more readily available, many consumers will no doubt, opt to do just that.
Just as importantly, “Chicago’s Green Exchange” will contain about 100 tenants; not all of them will be retail establishments, but environmentally and socially conscious businesses of every stripe. The developer is planning on a great mix: an organic restaurant and café, an environmentally-friendly building supply company, print shop, clothing retailer and furniture store. Architect and design studios whose principals focus on sustainability, as well as a car-sharing service and a bike shop are also planned tenants, so you get the picture.
What’s great about this model is that it provides a critical mass of businesses that are environmentally and socially conscious for a critical mass of consumers with the same philosophy and vision. If successful, the Chicago Green Exchange will offer a business model for other cities across the country.
With the number of consumers for eco-friendly products and services dramatically on the rise, and many new businesses taking root to supply them, this is a new concept with real possibilities.
• Are you interested in, or becoming more aware of green products and services?
• Do you support environmentally conscious businesses or consume organic foods?
• What do you think of this kind of business development plan?
• Would you shop in a “green mall”? … Read More
The computer software industry is an ever changing environment. Companies and people demand that their software do more, and of course they expect more out of the vendors that they use to supply the software they need. That is no more evident when consumers see companies acquire smaller firms to expand their business and of course their bottom line.
Recent news shows that companies like SAP are trying to maneuver their way in with the big boys. Aaron Ricadela or Business Week Online recently reported that, "SAP has decided to acquire Business Objects as part of its growth plan." According to Ricadela, "The deal would put SAP, the world`s third-largest software maker, into one of the US software industry`s hottest sectors." Currently Business Objects competes in a fast-growing market for software that help companies plan budgets and close their books. "The proposed acquisition of Business Objects comes as competitors Oracle, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft have stepped up the pace of buyouts in the corporate software sector," claims Ricadela.
Acquisitions are not the only hot topic in computer software these days. How about internet web sites and what some of them have to offer. We have all heard of the success story of companies like Google, Link Exchange and so on, where the creators come up with a wonderful web idea, and a couple of years later the company gets purchased from millions or go public in Google`s case And are now worth Billions. Nothing holds more true than the popular web site Facebook. Since Facebook has allowed outside software developers to create tools for the site, The New York Times reports, "The developers are expecting to both create and profit from expanded use of Facebook." Brad Stone of the New York Times claims, "The company`s (Facebook) book value has soared. A report that Microsoft considered buying a $ 500 million share of Facebook would put its worth at almost $ 15 billion." Stone is uncertain if the new tools can turn a profit.
Business Week recently interviewed Steve Mills, a senior vice-president and group executive at IBM ,. When they asked him about the growth of IBM`s software business, he said "that the percentage of the company`s software that comes from some of the faster growing parts of the portfolio continues to get larger." According to Mills, "every acquisition made by the company fits into one of the major categories of middleware that makes up its portfolio." IBM has decided to make a version of their Lotus Symphony collaboration software for free. A trend that other companies seem to follow, such as Sun, who recently has stated that they are going to make Solaris and Java, free, to get back to the basics of what made them, what they are.
The software industry is forever changing, very competitive, yet very necessary. If you run a small firm, or distribute a software product, you may want to look to the big boys to gain some inspiration and knowledge of where to … Read More
Away on company business in Aberdeen for the night! So after a long drive I’m so ready to head out for dinner! ? look at the size of that bed ???#companybusiness #work #dinner #ready #gymjunkie #liftinglife #squatbooty #prepiskey #girlswholift #preplife #foodie #onpoint #sw #swuk #slimmingworld #slimmingworldmafia #slimmingworlduk #slimmingworldjourney #gym #gymlife #goals #gains #fitbit #fitfam #fitness #strong #squat… Read More
The June 15th, 2009 issue of Business Week published a rather robust article on the emergence of cloud computing and what it means for the future of business and the IT industry. This article, written by Steve Hamm, does an exceptional job highlighting the application of cloud platform technology in the marketplace as seen in the examples listed below:
- Avon – Will equip 150,000 sales leaders with cloud-based computing systems accessible via smartphone and PC. Platform will keep sales leaders informed on performance of sales representatives, order quantities and overdue payments. “The idea is to increase the sales and efficiency of Avon’s distribution system.”
- Virtual Personal Assistants – Siri, a Silicon Valley based start up is using cloud technology and artificial intelligence to create applications that help people with travel arrangements and entertainment. The company plans to soon move into developing applications that are tailored for business solutions. The article gives the following as an example: A sales person asks the application to put together the best sales pitch she can make for a prospective client. The Virtual assistant then draws on information from a variety of sources to formulate the pitch.
- OptumHealth – Utilizing eSync, the company’s cloud driven system, can improve service quality and reduce costs by identifying gaps in care and helping people to respond to minor issues before they become emergency problems.
Luring the unsuspecting in with a sleek name and big promises, cloud computing seems to be the answer to all of our problems. But is it without its own challenges and risks? Gartner’s article, titled “Seven Cloud Security Risks” helps to bring everyone back down from the cloud and see the big picture: that cloud-based computing is by no means free of its own challenges. Here are a few examples they list:
- Data segregation. Data in the cloud is typically in a shared environment alongside data from other customers. Encryption is effective but isn’t a cure-all. “Find out what is done to segregate data at rest,” Gartner advises. The cloud provider should provide evidence that encryption schemes were designed and tested by experienced specialists. “Encryption accidents can make data totally unusable, and even normal encryption can complicate availability,” Gartner says.
- Recovery. Even if you don’t know where your data is, a cloud provider should tell you what will happen to your data and service in case of a disaster. “Any offering that does not replicate the data and application infrastructure across multiple sites is vulnerable to a total failure,” Gartner says. Ask your provider if it has “the ability to do a complete restoration, and how long it will take.”
- Long-term viability. Ideally, your cloud computing provider will never go broke or get acquired and swallowed up by a larger company. But you must be sure your data will remain available even after such an event. “Ask potential providers how you would get your data back and if it would be in a format that you could import into a replacement application,” Gartner says.
In the midst of a credit crisis, tightening bank lending standards, and an economic downturn, alternative methods of business financing is one of the hottest topics among business websites and business magazines.
In its small business section, CNNMoney.com recently featured an article titled, "8 Places to Get Financing." Business Week has featured articles titled "Collecting Money in a Bad Economy," "Risky Financing for Cash Strapped Startups," and "Credit Cards Replace Small Business Loans," and all over the internet you will find articles offering small business financing tips for small business Owners whose businesses are being affected by the economic happenings of today.
But even some of these alternative methods of business financing are becoming harder to get. In an article titled "Angel Investors Get Picky," Business Week's Amy Barrett writes, "Competition for startup cash is tougher than ever, and companies that might have bought venture capital in the past are turning to angels." But according to the article, even though the number of angel investors has increased, the amount lent has only increased very slowly and is expected to "hold steady" this year.
With that said, there is obviously a need for more available business financing, and to the advantage of merchants, there is another option; Merchant loans, a way for merchant business owners to use their business credit card sales to get funds for their businesses.
Lenders who provide merchant loans do so based on the borrower's credit card sales. In order to receive a merchant loan, a merchant's business must process at least $ 2,500 in monthly credit card sales. If the applicant meets this requirement, lenders will review the last four months of the business's credit card statements, and determine how much money that business qualifies to receive. The borrower can then receive that money in as little as ten business days.
You may already be sold by the ease in which merchant loans can be accepted, but it is the repayment process that makes merchant loans so suitable for owners of retail and service-oriented businesses. A merchant loan is repaid via a business's credit card sales. Meaning, every time a customer makes a purchase using a debit or credit card, a small percentage from that sale goes towards the repayment of the merchant loan. These repayments go with the flow of the business, making it easier on business owners who do not have to worry about a loan payment being too high for a particular month.
In a time when even the "alternative" sources of business financing are becoming harder to land, merchants have the upper-hand. Merchant loans are available for use with few requirements, and a simple repayment process that makes them ideal for merchant business owners. … Read More