Getting involved in politics can have unpredictable positive or negative results, which is why most brands actively avoid taking a firm stance on major social and political issues. After decades of slow social progress, however, businesses are turning out to support, and to potentially capitalise on, gay pride and the broader LGBTQ rights movement. Gay pride events attract millions of people to major cities all over the world, and the potential boost to businesses who can cater to the community is very significant.
When businesses go looking for financing, they rarely do so with a great deal of time on their hands. Whether they’re hoping to seize a growth opportunity, or dealing with an unexpected cash flow problem, time is nearly always of the essence. Depending on the urgency and the nature of their particular situation, this often forces businesses to accept unfavourable interest rates. Worse, some businesses will simply apply for business loans with many institutions at the same time, hoping to qualify for a good rate with one of them. While that might work once, it can wreak havoc on the business’ credit profile.
The cost of renewable energy, particularly solar power, has dropped dramatically in the past two decades, to the point where 80 percent of new solar projects in 2019 are projected to outcompete even the cheapest oil, natural gas, and coal projects. The average cost of installing new solar panels in 2019 is just over $3 USD/watt, down from $12/watt 20 years before.
It’s difficult for businesses to determine how much to invest in their own growth, and how aggressively to pursue opportunities that present themselves. Driving innovation and product development, hiring and training new workers, expanding facilities, and other costs of growth ultimately draw on working capital that is needed elsewhere.
The construction industry can be lucrative, but it comes with its own share of risks that businesses need to manage if they want to succeed. The amount of time that passes between breaking ground on a home or building, and collecting revenues from the sale of that home are often very long. Meanwhile workers and subcontractors need to be paid, and those subcontractors need to make their own purchases in order for projects to progress. The resulting financial pressures can make it difficult for both large builders, and their smaller subcontractors to operate efficiently.
On June 18, Facebook announced that it is forming a new subsidiary by the name of Calibra, that will begin issuing its own digital currency starting in 2020. While this might look like just another blockchain currency at first glance, it comes with legitimacy, accessibility, financial backing, and centralised control that most lack. For businesses, it may represent an important opportunity.
Export businesses bridge the gap between manufacturers or resource extractors, and the global economy. Unfortunately, trading goods internationally is time consuming, bureaucratically challenging, and of course, expensive. Businesses need to invest significant funds in acquiring goods, repackaging them for export, and getting them where they need to go.
Businesses are constantly innovating and finding new ways to access the labour, supplies, and markets they need to grow and thrive. Over time, this has driven globalisation, bringing down trade barriers, and helping companies to do business more directly and efficiently over greater distances. It’s also the driving force behind digitalisation in business, giving them the ability to communicate, share data, send funds, and collaborate instantly. However, it has also made financial management much more complex.
To most entrepreneurs, the idea of spending years developing a free, open-source content management system sounds like a poor way to make a living, much less to start a successful business. Matt Mullenweg, however, did just that in creating WordPress, and wrote himself into the history books in the process.
In business, money is always scarce. Even if they could, businesses can’t afford to simply sit on large amounts of working capital. When times are good, there is always one more thing a business could be investing in to become more competitive, to drive growth, or to make itself more efficient. After all, there are always competitors battling to innovate their way to the top of any given industry’s food chain. Stopping to save up an emergency fund is much the same as simply stepping out of the race.