2014 World Cup, 2016 Olympics… all in Brazil!

Brazil's One-Two Global Sports Bonanza!

Wondering how your company can find success in Brazil’s upcoming One-Two global sports bonanza?

Visit this website for a great road map on resources and partnerships offered by the US  Commercial Service’s team, at five offices throughout Brazil.

They’ll help you link your products and services to companies and consumers, worldwide!

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High-Tech Hydroponic Farm Transforms Abandoned Bowling Alley

Watching this interesting trend of urban farming, as part of our discussion on the food distribution channels. Our challenge remains how to reduce distribution costs while maintaining purity of fresh foods delivered to nearby city dwellers.  Community garden plots in vacant lots remind us of the uncomplicated solution to grow what you eat, or at least eat what’s grown locally.

Which investment sector will step up first: growers, wholesale grocers, property developers?

Read more at WiredHigh-Tech Hydroponic Farm Transforms Abandoned Bowling Alley | Wired Science | Wired.com.

Free Trade Agreements Approved; Good News for Employers Across US

Hemingway Acceptance Speech, 1954 Nobel Literature Prize

Sometimes, doing a better job in our chosen fields means listening to how legends in other fields define their path to greatness. Ernest Hemingway was awarded the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature, and this is his acceptance speech, recorded in Cuba.

While my career goals do not include literary legend, I always strive to improve my writing, as a means of imparting maximum impact and value to the solutions I provide to my clients.  To me, it helps to hear what this giant of our age thinks about gaining such a prestigious honor as the Nobel.  Listen here.

AARP National Convention’s Lifestyle Expo

I’m working at the annual AARP Life@50+ national convention in Los Angeles, promoting exercise and rehabilitation systems from sibling companies VQ ActionCare and VQ OrthoCare. Because nothing says “over 50” like bum knees and lack of exercise, our products BioniCare and Resistance Chair are right at home here!

Here are my thoughts on reaching this audience:

  1. Life@50+ is a lifestyle expo.It’s unlike any other trade show I’ve sponsored because these 25,000 attendees are linked solely by their era of birth. Unlike trade shows or other consumer-focused shows that lure experts and enthusiasts in a particular category, the aisles and pavilions of Life@50+ are an A-to-Z trip through life as an older American in 2011: finances, food, leisure, communication, and health. Hence, the exhibits list reads like the Yellow Pages instead of a trade association roster.
  2. Main Street USA. Strolling the aisles is also like a shopping trip down a traditional Main Street: travel agents, medical dispensers, clothiers, Realtors. As in medieval days when merchants posted garish, graphical signs to inform and lure shoppers, we Life@50 exhibitors must show and tell our brands’ value propositions in concise, visually arresting terms. Here, it’s especially challenging to win new customers and sell them on the spot, but really rewarding when it does happen!

Life@50+ rolls through Saturday at the Los Angeles Convention Center, with a most improbable, yet purely LA mash-up of celebrities including Spike Lee, Tim Gunn and Carol Burnett.

Disruptive Trends Thrive in Hyper-Local Markets

Consider the term “hyper-local”.  In the context of this post, it describes products and services that you buy and sell from providers within close physical proximity to where you sleep and work (not to say you’re dozing at your desk…)  What product and service trait makes it the magnetic, most favored choice?

Density.  Product owners choose a few key locations wherein their target customer abounds, and blanket it, making the product’s around the corner, steady-eddy availability a blockade against competitive products. Like a magnet drawing customers, every time.

Read more at Fast Company. This great quote from the article, about one of my favorite disruptive trends, Zipcar, sums it up: “…what catalyzes [customer’s] decision to go with Zipcar is often the discovery that a car is available five minutes from home rather than 10. That trigger unlocks the magnetic properties of Zipcar.”

Your Next Client Is Waiting for You… Overseas.

Where will your next International Client come from? Watch the tech startups from India, Brazil and Europe. They’re knocking on the US market door, and will need expertise in alliance and affiliate marketing and strategic partnerships, for domestic and global market expansion.
Read more at Reuters: http://www.businessinsider.com/20-hot-international-startups-you-need-to-watch-2011-9

Cloud MSPs and VARs: What’s Your Optimal Revenue Plan?

Recently, a provider of secure, Cloud-based content management solutions announced a new threshold in required annual revenue from its network of MSPs and VARs. If threshold is not met, partners can still gain revenue via one-time referral commission.  The shift in policy is common to companies that have the good fortune to be growing, and need channel partners to ratchet up results… even though said growth is due in large part to MSP and VAR performance and expansion.

This provider’s reseller program, according to some channel partners, now requires partners to sign up for a yearly revenue target based on company size and customer demographics.  What’s unclear is how, or if the provider solicited these metric data points from the MSPs and VARs, or pushed them outward, based upon market research and sales trends. Also, how competitive and sector factors weighed results.

A solutions provider that’s channel-friendly and acknowledges that its MSP and VAR partners will haul in the majority of revenues, and administers a profitable, simple compensation program will retain channel partners who deliver increased revenue. The sticking point in channel management relationships comes when the provider is poised for growth, and needs to ensure its partners can ride along, at new levels.

The compensation should always reflect effort expended by both sides — who will carry added burden of back-end billing and administration vs. bag the sale and sprint to the next kill.

It’s up to the MSP or VAR to know its productivity sweet spot, then slot into the appropriate compensation method.  Is the staff most productive only in quick-turn, hunter-gatherer mode?  Or does it thrive when delivering multi-faceted, turnkey services. Pick the compensation program that’s right, and everyone will thrive.

There’s a great example of this scenario at Joe Panettieri’s TalkinCloud blog; check it out!

Sales Strategies for Cloud Storage Services

Cloud Solutions Sales Pros: don’t miss this Wednesday’s virtual gathering to hear latest trends and opportunities in selling Cloud-based selling strategies. The Talkin’ Cloud team has their ear to the rail on this topic.  Event is online, Wednesday 10 August. More: You’re Invited: Sales Strategies for Cloud Storage Services | TalkinCloud.

Gateway California Speaking Engagement

West Coasters: I’ll be speaking at the annual Gateway California in South San Francisco October 26, on Forming Valuable International Business Relationships.

Gateway California is a concise, one-day export/import forum, perfect for West Coast international business experts. Venue is a stone’s throw from SFO, too… an easy fly-in event for your team and you.

About the event. Learn more, register, and save the date!

Tom Hanson bio.

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