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The company Mercedes-Benz Mexico announces changes in the team

Mexican talent opens its way to new international opportunities.
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March 12, 2021 3 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Mexican talent opens its way to new international opportunities. The German automotive company announced in a press release that as of May 30, 2021, José Ramón Álvarez will assume the position of Director of Marketing Communications at Mercedes-Benz Thailand.
In this new challenge, Álvarez will be supervising all activities related to the SEA 1 region area, based in Thailand.
“We can only wish all the success in the world to José Ramón, who after 8 years and 4 months in our company embarks on this new challenge within the world of Mercedes-Benz,” the document reads.
In this regard, Ramón commented that “Mercedes-Benz México has been my home, my school and the trigger for great opportunities in my career. I am excited about this new challenge. Undoubtedly, representing Mexico worldwide within a highly competitive company as it is Mercedez-Benz, it is something that fills me with Orgull or “.
Of course it is a great opportunity to represent Mexican talent, but he feels confident in everything he has learned in these 8 years in the Aztec country. “Great challenges are coming, but I have the tools and training to face them.”
Image: Courtesy Mercedes-Benz
Of course, saying goodbye is complicated, but the important thing is the teachings and the people that you carry in your heart. “I thank you all for the support you have given me throughout these years, friendships, collaborations, anecdotes, but, above all, many hours of driving and flying. Life takes many turns and I hope to cross the road again with many of you, ”said Thailand’s new director of marketing and communications.
The company wishes you a safe journey and every success in your new role. Jaime Cohen, CEO of Mercedez-Benz Mexico and Head of Sales & Marketing for Latin America, commented: “On behalf of the Mercedes-Benz Mexico family, I want to wish José Ramón every success, who will undoubtedly represent us in a excellent and will put Mexico very high .
At the moment there is no name of who will take care of the Marketing & Public Relations responsibilities. However, the company will inform you in due course.

“We wish Jota all the success in the world.”

Mercedes-Benz arrived in Mexico in 1993 as the first German manufacturer of luxury cars. In addition, in 2019 the brand was proscribed as Premium for having the highest number of sales in the country: 15,751.

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, NASA Team Up to Simulate Lunar Gravity

The two parties announced on Tuesday that they would collaborate on ways to test new technology bound for the moon.
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March 12, 2021 2 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

NASA and Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company, have teamed up to emulate the gravity of the moon in the company’s New Shepard rocket.
“The unique gravity of the lunar surface is one of the many variable conditions in which technologies bound for the Moon will have to perform well,” explains the statement from the space agency.
The first step to achieve this milestone is to convert the capsule of the ship into a centrifuge, similar to washing machines  but much more powerful.
“The New Shepard updates will allow the vehicle to use its reaction control system to impart a rotation to the capsule. As a result, the entire capsule essentially acts as a large centrifuge to create artificial gravity environments for the payloads inside,” says the NASA statement.
The innovation is expected to be ready by the end of 2022 and will become a complement to the Artemis program, which seeks to take a man again and for the first time a woman to the moon in 2024.
Before achieving the grand goal of getting cargo and a crew to the moon, the first test flight will target 11 rotations per minute to provide more than two minutes of continuous lunar gravity. It will expose the technology to challenging and difficult-to-operate conditions. 
What is the goal?
According to Christopher Baker, director of NASA’s Flight Opportunities program, one of today’s constant challenges of living and working in space is reduced gravity. 
He added that many of the systems designed on Earth for astronauts do not work the same way elsewhere. What is sought with New Shepard is to improve the time of exposure to lunar gravity and the payload capacity.
“Currently, NASA can approximate the Moon’s gravity in parabolic flights and in centrifuges in suborbital vehicles, both invaluable options for maturing promising innovations,” he said. “But these methods provide only seconds of exposure to lunar gravity at a time or limit the size of the payload, forcing NASA to explore options of greater duration and size. Blue Origin’s new lunar gravity testing capability, expected to be available in late 2022, is responding to that need.”

In the News: Venue Operators Awaiting Funds From $15 Billion Grant

The COVID-19 pandemic has spared few industries, but venue operators have been especially hit hard. And as venues across the country start opening partially, many operators are looking to get a lifeline from the Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant until they can fully open.
In this week’s roundup, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program to Begin Soon, $15 Billion Available piece looks at what awaits these businesses and how they can go about applying for the funds. Just like the PPP loan, there are some stipulations and the SBA is making sure the same mistakes are not repeated as the first rollout of the PPP. This time around there will be three stages in which venues that have lost 90%, 70%, and 25% of their revenue will respectively apply in First, Second, and Third Priority Grants. 
Hopefully, this will ensure those that need it most will get the grant so their business can stay alive long enough until the country and indeed the world starts enjoying concerts, shows, and other events once again.
This is one of several timely articles in this week’s round-up, which also includes a piece on most small businesses not requiring a vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test for their employees and why every business should invest in graphic design and much more. If the issue affects small businesses, you will find relevant coverage on Small Business Trend.

Small Business News Roundup – March 12, 2021
This week, these are the headlines making news in the roundup.
Biden Signs American Rescue Plan – What’s in it for Small Business?
Now that President Joe Biden has signed the American Rescue Plan into law, we look at what’s in the massive $1.9 trillion stimulus bill that’s aimed at small businesses.
B2B Sellers Investing in Ecommerce in 2021
More business-to-business (B2B) sellers are shifting their focus online, investing in ecommerce lines. Sellers are directing inventory to online selling channels, in a bid to cater for increasing demand for online transactions. This burgeoning B2B trend was unveiled in the Digital Commerce 360 Research & Data report.
PayPal CEO Dan Schulman Addresses Small Business in Inequality Speech
Small business owners need to listen up. The CEO of a big player in the digital space is saying capitalism needs a makeover. The head of PayPal is saying the tweaks needed are important for our democracy, too. And these changes will affect small businesses. PayPal CEO Dan Schulman talked on “upgrading capitalism” in a recent keynote interview.
Most Small Businesses Not Requiring Negative COVID Test or Vaccine for Employees
A majority of small businesses are not making Covid-19 vaccines or tests to return to work mandatory. The exception to that trend has only been seen so far among businesses in the health care and hospitality industries. This was the finding of a report released by the US Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey (SBPS).
4 Reasons Why Every Business Should Invest in Graphic Design
A lot has been said about the importance of visuals within the content and digital media, but what is it that makes graphics so important for your business? Graphic design is now omnipresent and used across verticals in growing businesses. Brands can leverage it in different ways and its versatility makes it a highly valuable digital asset.
Facebook Focuses on Personalized Ads for Small Business
Almost half (47%) of small businesses are saying they don’t know if they’ll survive the next six months. Facebook says it is coming to the rescue with an initiative and product updates designed to get small businesses through the pandemic. The national campaign, ‘Good Ideas Deserve To Be Found’ will highlight the importance of personalized ads for people and businesses.
Image: Depositphotos

How to Spot Business Ideas Worth Pursuing

March 12, 2021 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Nothing propels a company more quickly than innovation, and nothing stifles it more quickly than a “that’s how we’ve always done it” attitude.
News startup Axios is an excellent example of a company breaking barriers and thinking outside the box. The company is making a big bet that other companies will pay to learn how to write like Axios reporters. The new communications platform, AxiosHQ, launched in February and enables companies to send Axios-style, just-the-facts internal newsletters. Its cost? At least $10,000 annually. It remains to be seen whether executives will be willing to invest that kind of money, but it’s a fascinating proposition.
Related: Why Your Marketing Team Should Be Journalists
What does it take for organizations to vet, approve and develop similarly innovative ideas? The answer is not simple, and it varies from company to company. Innovation efforts get plenty of lip service, but it’s much harder to perfect a process for selecting and implementing top ideas.
No magic wand for innovation
In the same way that data-driven decisions run many aspects of an organization, leaders need to use data to create a rubric for vetting innovative ideas. This enforces discipline and keeps everyone on the same page.
Without an evaluation process, innovation programs become short-sighted and may fall out of alignment with long-term organizational goals. Having an organized process also removes emotion from decision-making to keep project focus and dollar spend as data-driven as possible.
For innovation to succeed, leaders also have to be aligned around critical factors. This forms a living rubric that can be adapted throughout the organization as business needs shift and evolve. Generally, some sort of innovation leader — a chief innovation officer, a chief strategy officer or a business unit leader — will lead this team to ensure the process runs smoothly and stays on track.
When we developed our rubric at Coplex, we struggled to find a technical solution that was flexible enough while still enabling us to manage our ideas. We ended up building one ourselves. We now use this tool to drive the underlying engine of our entire idea management process, and it works because effective innovation strategy always starts at the top. Bring your entire leadership team together from the beginning of the process to discuss priorities and foster conversations about ideas, outlining your concrete vision along the way.
Related: Did Someone Reject Your Idea? Because of Coronavirus, They Might Reconsider
Here are three ways to evaluate your innovation ideas and create a framework to make them a strategic reality:
1. Create an innovation blueprint
Before you begin to gather ideas from your team, you have to first come up with a blueprint — such as Google’s Eight Pillars of Innovation — that defines the initiative’s overall structure. This helps put up guardrails around the problem spaces the organization is willing to play in and, more importantly, which problem spaces are off-limits.
An innovation blueprint consists of three distinct components: statement, antithesis and thesis. Your statement defines your company’s ambitions and outlines why you believe in what you’re doing, why now is the best time to do it and what makes you the best candidate for the job. From here, develop an antithesis that defines the problems, business models and core technologies you don’t intend to address. Why? It removes distractions and keeps the focus on priorities. Finally, create a thesis that gives you a clear lens into how you’ll invest in problem spaces, business models and technologies to create the change you want to see.
2. Define innovation themes
Once you’ve developed a solid blueprint, it’s time to identify the themes of problem spaces you intend to solve. This step will define the categories in which your innovation ideas should fall while clearly outlining how your solutions could come into play.
Think of this as similar to how the National Association of Engineers (NAE) outlines the many challenges left to overcome in its field. In its report on the grand challenges of engineering, NAE defines themes (e.g., joy, sustainability, health and security) as areas ripe for innovation and abundant with opportunity.
The core reason for taking this approach? It allows you to consider potential ways to innovate beyond what the organization had imagined before — and to set goals with those parameters in mind.
Related: What Sustainable Innovation Might Look Like in 2021
3. Map measurement criteria back to a rubric
Once you’ve defined your innovation themes, it’s time to develop the criteria you’ll use to measure your success. Global design firm IDEO made it a goal to quantify innovation by looking at its clients’ internal team dynamics as well as other companies focused on innovation. The firm identified six areas key to innovation and then sent its survey, coined “Creative Difference,” to larger organizations to understand how team members were performing when it came to innovation. Once the survey was complete, IDEO sent results with tangible innovation metrics and recommendations on how to follow and meet them moving forward.
As you define how you measure innovation and create your unique rubric, keep in mind that you aren’t limited to traditional metrics. Feel comfortable being creative and innovative as you decide on those! It’s possible to measure everything from societal impact and economic value to organizational scale and new market discovery.
The process of pursuing innovative ideas requires much more than a quick brainstorming session or selecting an appealing idea from a list. By creating an underlying philosophy and structure governing the prioritization of ideas that flow through an organization, you can retain control over your innovation program’s outcomes instead of leaving anything to chance.

4 Things the Fastest-Growing Direct-to-Consumer Companies Do That You Aren't Doing

March 12, 2021 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Before Covid-19, research by PricewaterhouseCoopers showed that 59% of consumers worldwide felt companies no longer offer customer experience with a human touch. While the world still grapples with an economic crisis, customers require this human element when buying products or services. When embracing a direct-to-customer (D2C) approach, business-to-customer (B2C) companies can offer a more customer-centric design, quality and service. 
This direct link enables D2C brands to control their messages to customers, which helps to source data that improves a shopper’s end-to-end experience. Here’s how your B2C brand can replicate D2C strategies to achieve data-driven growth in a post-Covid-19 world.      
1. Use data to drive business growth
B2C Companies face a convergence of continually evolving technologies, shifting demographic shifts, economic uncertainty and changing consumer needs. To survive these changes, your B2C brand needs to opt for a D2C marketing strategy to control the customer’s entire buying journey online. An online platform will enable you to control, collect and analyze customer data so that they can create a more personalized customer experience. 
For instance, D2C meal delivery business Blue Apron uses customer feedback to develop its content, product features and recipes. Unlike most meal-kit businesses, the company caters to unhappy individuals over-buying food for recipes and throwing away the extra ingredients. With this in mind, Blue Apron’s recipe kits allow customers to choose kits that possess carefully measured ingredients, which will help reduce food waste. 
Moreover, it also used customer data to develop a series of healthy recipes in collaboration with the American Diabetes Association and Weight Watchers. By monitoring what each customer ordered, this D2C brand realized many customers wanted to cook healthier dishes that were high in protein during the summer. In this way, Blue Apron uses data to continually create a more personalized customer experience for a majority of its customers. 
2. Explore new business models 
While D2C brands originally targeted niche online audiences through personalized direct digital personalized messaging and brand authenticity, many leaders knew that the business model couldn’t work forever. They realized that they needed to scale by diversifying their original business model to appeal to a larger audience. In the same way, your B2C brand must explore new business models that prioritize delivering value, even in a time of rapid disruption and change.
For instance, D2C travel brand Away continually uses product diversification to explore and develop its business model. Since 2016, it’s expanded from one suitcase to several bags, wellness products and travel accessories. Its selling point has always been to use varied and inspirational storytelling to bring its products to life. 
Recently, Away also used its storytelling advantage when launching new pet carriers. It marketed this product through out-of-home advertising (OOH), carried out in pet-friendly cities like Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and New York. The ads were a strategic move for Away as it encourages individuals to get out with a new pet during the lockdown. 
Furthermore, Away explored new business models by creating physical retail pop-ups driven by experience rather than sales. By partnering with brands like Nordstrom and Lyft to create these pop-ups offline, Away continues to tell a story to bring its design to life. In this way, it expands on its online presence’s visual nature and reaffirms its original brand value offline.
3. Provide superior shopping experiences 
No B2C business can use its online or offline stores solely as a transactional platform for a customer’s needs. Today, all shoppers seek a more profound, authentic interaction with a brand and like-minded buyers. Statistics also support this by stating that 80% of customers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experiences. 
By connecting directly with their end customers, D2C brands have built meaningful connections with customers. They can leverage the data garnered from these online interactions to refine their offerings and products. In this way, D2C brands have improved their ability to meet a customer’s demand worldwide. They deliver superior shopping experiences by putting the customer at the heart of everything they do. 
For example, D2C pet care brand Bark uses personalization to make dogs happier through its subscription boxes. Customers cannot compare its subscription box’s contents to any pet-friendly products as these are exclusive to Bark. This D2C business also tailors the contents of its boxes to the different varieties of dogs. By focusing on data garnered from customer feedback, Bark also created a Bark Shop, which allows customers to purchase single Bark products rather than opting for the subscription box. 
Further customer feedback has also resulted in improving the shopping experience through Bark Park, an outdoor dog park community, and the ‘No Dog Left Behind’ program, which allows customers to co-create Bark products. As a result, Bark has created a superior shopping experience that builds on its online community and stays loyal to its customers’ needs. 
4. Remain agile as the market changes 
Any B2C business needs to remain agile to meet their customers’ growing expectations, who expect more every day. However, as B2C companies often depend on third-party distribution and supplier partners, they do not directly access customers. As a result, they cannot actively monitor their customer’s needs. Unlike B2C brands, D2C companies can source and utilize customer feedback to stay agile and innovate in response to any new changes. 
For example, DTC company Beauties of Vermont (Beau Ties) demonstrated this agility by revamping its product offering due to Covid-19. It pivoted from creating neckties and bow ties to producing face masks during Covid-19. CEO Greg Shugar started selling KN95 masks, a version of an N95 respiratory mask. Customers who tried these initial masks then asked Beau Ties when they would begin selling cloth masks. Shugar ordered 600 of these masks initially from a Chinese factory that produces fabric for Beau Ties and then increased this to 2000 due to customer demand. 
The success of selling these masks prompted Beau Ties to create matching bow ties and masks for customers who wanted to look fashionable when going out and working from home. As a result of this product offering, this D2C company sold more than 5000 masks and hundreds of bow ties in May 2020. In this way, Beau Ties’ agility ensured that the company remained profitable during a difficult time.
Your B2C brand can achieve faster growth by using customer data to explore new business models, deliver a superior shopping experience, and run an agile operational system. The fastest-growing D2C companies’ four strategies can improve the ROI for B2C brands that get it right.  

Entrepreneur Franchise of the Day: Pet Wants

Pet Wants franchises offer fresh pet food manufactured from whole ingredients, containing no by-products. Two franchise models are available: a mobile model and a retail store model, with both offering delivery services.

THE PET WANTS FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY
Tap into the huge demand for fresh, custom-made pet food.  Pet Wants is riding a huge wave of pet owners spending lavishly on their beloved pets. In fact, in the $74 billion pet products industry, Americans spend over $22 billion a year on pet food and treats alone. Meanwhile, pet lovers nationwide are beginning to hold pet food to the same standards as food they put on their own tables, and they are looking for fresh, highly nutritious foods.
Spending on premium and artisanal pet foods is skyrocketing, and Pet Wants pet food franchise is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this trend, which last year accounted for more than $8 billion in pet food sales. That’s more than a third of the entire pet food market in the U.S.
Our founder Michele Hobbs started Pet Wants out of love and frustration. One of her beloved dogs suffered from painful skin allergies and, no matter what food they tried, her pet continued to suffer. Michele realized very quickly that national dog food brands were not fresh, they lacked complete nutrition and, most importantly, they were filled with dozens of non-nutritious ingredients and animal byproducts.
Michele decided to change that. She found a manufacturer and worked with them to formulate a custom pet food in small batches to be made fresh every month. Her animals loved the food — and so did the pets of all of her friends. Almost overnight, Pet Wants was born.

The Market of Pet Franchises
Now Pet Wants pet food franchise is one of the fastest-growing pet food franchises in America, with 80 locations in 26 states — proving just how powerful the demand is for premium, fresh pet food free of animal by-products and non-nutritious fillers. We offer two attractive franchise models — a mobile, event-based franchise that focuses on acquiring subscription delivery customers, and a retail pet store model that sells Pet Wants food, custom treats and high-end pet accessories.
“Pet Wants is the kind of franchise opportunity that comes once or twice in a career,” says Scott Hoots, President of Pet Wants. “We’re a new franchise brand that is experiencing explosive growth in a huge market that’s tapping into some key trends. Our delivery program brings Pet Wants food to the customer’s door, something new in most markets. It’s a great time to join Pet Wants.”
TWO PET WANTS FRANCHISE MODELS FIT ANY COMMUNITY
Pet Wants franchise owners choose from two easy-to-operate franchise models.
Mobile DeliveryOur Pet Wants Mobile franchise is a great entry point for individuals who aren’t ready for a brick-and-mortar store but want to own their own business.
Retail & DeliveryA Pet Wants Retail franchise is an affordable alternative to the big-box pet store franchise for individuals looking to establish a community hub for pet lovers without spending a fortune.

16-Year-Old Interns in Singapore Are Managing Billion-Dollar Portfolios. Here's Why.

In an interesting move, hedge funds in the Southeast Asian city-state are reportedly training local teenagers to manage the wealth of billionaires.
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March 12, 2021 3 min read
Hedge funds in Singapore are training interns as young as 16 years old to oversee the portfolios of billionaires moving to the city-state, Bloomberg reports.
In the case of high schooler Yi Ke Cao (whom the publication profiled), the now 17-year-old spent two weeks at $1 billion hedge fund Modular Asset Managment and quickly found herself inputting data into spreadsheets and attending meetings with wealth managers. The experience was intimidating, she admitted. 
“I was a bit terrified; I didn’t know how to react to them speaking to me, and I didn’t know how to hold a conversation, but they were welcoming,” Cao told Bloomberg. “I’m definitely more likely to consider it now.”
Related: 5 Ways to Find, Train and Oversee the Ideal Intern
In truth, Cao is among a new wave of talent that Singapore has been recently promoting amid a shortage of local expertise in asset management. As more global hedge funds relocate to the country, the government has pushed firms to hire locals rather than depend on expatriates. Through various initiatives, it has also provided subsidies for asset-management courses and offered to cover as much as $75,000 in costs when global firms send local workers overseas. 
According to Bloomberg, several hedge funds from Asia, Europe and the U.S. have moved to Singapore amid uncertainty in Hong Kong. In recent years, the special administrative region in China has suffered turmoil because of a government crackdown. Other firms have simply chosen to make Singapore their regional base. 
Business Insider further points out that an increasing number of billionaires have made Singapore their second base of operations. Billionaire hedge-fund manager Ray Dalio, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and vacuum inventor James Dyson, for instance, have all set up offices in the city-state due to enticing incentives. 
As a result, a handful of firms are now addressing Singapore’s talent shortage in house by either converting interns or retraining executives. Quantedge Capital CEO Suhaimi Zainul-Abidin, for example, told Bloomberg that most of the firm’s hires will come straight from internships. The process of securing a full-time offer, however, won’t necessarily be easy — the firm’s recent program recently hired just 10 interns out of a pool of 300 candidates. Of those 10, only three managed to transition into full-time employees. 
Still, Zainul-Abidin said he believes Singaporean locals are well-prepared for the challenge. As he elaborated in his interview with Bloomberg, the country was once home to “graduates who’d have the ability to join banks and big financial institutions because those were the names we were trying to draw into Singapore. Today, the nature of the job has changed.”

With COVID-19 Fears Receding, It's Time to Reclaim Travel Budgets and Reconnect With Customers

March 12, 2021 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
The time is right for smart businesses to plan for life after quarantine. COVID-19 vaccination rates are up, infection rates are down, and states are launching more plans to re-open the economy.
While it’s liberating to consider the first steps after lockdown — hugging loved ones, traveling to see family and friends, hosting a happy hour — it’s important to realize that business will face some tough choices.
I’m focused on the fate of business travel. Before the virus, tens of thousands of businesspeople would never think twice about getting on a plane to meet a prospective customer. It was an expected part of the job. You flew, you entertained clients over cocktails and dinner, you closed the deal. 
Related: 7 Entrepreneurs Who Built Businesses Off Their Love of Travel
COVID-19 stopped all of that. No flying — just Zooming. We learned to connect with customers without ever leaving the home and replaced pre-flight packing with time spent tidying the square behind our camera to look presentable and professional.
Before the virus, who would have even considered a wine tasting with prospective clients via computer? For better or worse, the pandemic forced many businesspeople to learn new skills.
At some companies, travel budgets were slashed to reflect the new reality of working from home. At many others, however, that money was moved from field operations to central marketing, where the investment was shifted into general brand awareness. As Dave Lubowe, a Managing Director at Ernst & Young, recently told me the company spent money in new ways this year, including running a 25-episode digital content series focused on helping companies through the pandemic.
Meeting in-person still important
But with the corner being turned on COVID-19, companies should prepare to reclaim much of that old travel budget and plan to embark on a wave of reconnecting trips.
While it’s true that video meetings are an efficient and inexpensive way to stay in touch with clients (and working from home can be incredibly productive), nothing can replace the feel and effectiveness of face-to-face meetings. In Lubowe’s words, there is no substitute for showing up. He looks forward to getting back to in-person meetings in some form in the near term.
After more than a year of quarantine, it’s hard to underestimate the pent-up demand for in-person contact. Businesses must be prepared for when customers and prospects are ready to start choosing humans over Zoom.
It is also important to be realistic. Business development will not be the same as it was in 2019. 
Many clients will remain concerned about the safety and propriety of sales meetings. The climate and culture around COVID protections vary by company and region, so it’s important for sellers to be extremely sensitive to customer wishes. Some customers will want much more time and testing to feel comfortable emerging from quarantine.
Related: 7 Tips to Improve Your Sleep While Business Traveling
However, I’m confident most places will embrace a new hybrid of remote and in-person contact. Nothing beats a quick video conference for cost and convenience, and Zoom should remain an important part of every seller’s toolbox.
Make sure the travel is worthwhile
For the customers and prospects who are ready to leave lockdown, businesses should greet them with open arms. Dinner, cocktails, and sports or theater tickets will once again prove a great way to personally thank clients who stuck with you during these challenging times. They are an important means to catch up and learn about coming trends and changes. Those kinds of conversations happen a lot less often on Zoom.
Yet the return to business travel should not be done indiscriminately. Businesses should put a premium on the return on investment from travel and act accordingly. 
As the world emerges from virus lockdowns, it will be harder to justify trips to those big annual conferences — unless there are specific plans to meet individual clients and prospects. 
Here are some questions to ask before getting on the plane: Does this conference have actual potential buyers for me? Can I build community around this trip? Will I gain significantly more by travel than by contacting the same people by phone or video? Am I traveling because it’s valuable, or am I traveling because it’s traditional?
COVID-19 has changed business-as-usual for the foreseeable future. But that does not mean everything we did in the past should go away. Most likely, at least initially, business development will take a hybrid form that relies on video conferencing but also restores in-person meetings, dinners, and entertainment.
The smart businesses will need to adapt and be ready to engage with current and potential customers in whichever way they want.

10 Authors Offering Entrepreneurs Insight and Advice for Successful Leadership

Growing in leadership is a life-long process, so learn from these authors who may have been at it longer than you.
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March 12, 2021 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Being an entrepreneur is a lonely, scary life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enlist some help. Many people have been in your shoes before and come out on top. Why not let them teach you something?
There are plenty of books out there by entrepreneurs claiming to contain the keys to success, but not all books are created equal when it comes to what they can teach budding titans of industry. Here are some of the authors delivering the most valuable insight today.
1. Alexsys Thompson —The Power of a Graceful Leader
Being a leader is about utilising all of your strengths to better an organization, even if they don’t fit into antiquated definitions of leadership. Alexsys Thompson uses The Power of a Graceful Leader to show just how important it is to be honest with yourself in leadership roles. Gracefulness isn’t usually thought of as a key leadership quality, but it can make all the difference between a businessperson and a visionary. 
Related: 9 Actions Successful Leaders Take Daily That Speak Louder Than Words
2. Laura Calandrella — Our Next Evolution: Transforming Collaborative Leadership to Shape Our Planet’s Future
If the world is currently facing unprecedented challenges, why are our leadership models largely unchanged from the way they have been for decades? Laura Calandrella blazes a fresh trail with her new book, showing how innovative, inclusive leadership methods can make all the difference in the coming years. Our Next Evolution is an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs looking to carve out a space for themselves in the 21st century.

Far too many entrepreneurs know only the ins and outs of their local ecosystems. Brian Requarth is here to rectify that with Viva the Entrepreneur, an informative and engaging look at what entrepreneurship looks like in Latin America. Full of lessons for those willing to learn, this book is a great primer for an oft-ignored market.
4. Timothy Yen — Choose Better: The Optimal Decision-Making Framework
Oftentimes, being an entrepreneur can feel like facing down an endless stream of questions, many of which have no clear right answer. Choose Better is Dr. Timothy Yen’s guide to wading through some of these difficult quandaries and making the best choice even when it’s not so clear what the best choice is. Every entrepreneur will make choices big and small, and a book like this can help ensure that they’re making the right ones. 
5. Tanner Chidester — Infinite Income: The Eight-Figure Formula for Your Online Business
Infinite Income encapsulates that beautiful promise of doing business online: easy marketing opportunities, low overhead costs, and a seemingly endless stream of customers. Tanner Chidester thrived in this landscape, and in this book he gives you the tools you need to do so yourself. 
Related: 4 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Accelerate Online Business Growth This Quarter
6. Mandy Gilbert — Just Go With It: How to Navigate the Ups and Downs of Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship isn’t a straight path upwards; it’s full of twists, turns, dips and drops that can make you too queasy to reach your end goal. If you’re feeling lost, know that Mandy Gilbert has been there before. Just Go With It is her guide to making your way through whatever your career path has to throw at you and coming out even stronger than before. 
7. Jared Graybeal — The Self Help Book: 6 Practical Ways to Never Stop Growing 
Growth mindsets are second nature to most entrepreneurs, but leaning too hard into growth can cause some serious burnout down the line. The Self Help Book is a guide to taking growth-focused attitudes and ensuring that they always produce positive outcomes. Self-care may not sound like a crucial component of business management, but Jared Graybeal has found that it’s indispensable to success. This book will show you how.
8. Robert Althuis — Never Enoughitis: A Story of Success, Emptiness, and Overcoming Myself
The end goal for every entrepreneur should never be success; it should be satisfaction. Never Enoughitis is Robert Althuis’s story of how success on paper doesn’t always translate to happiness in reality; lean too hard into your career, and your career will start to push back at you. 
9. Andrew Freedman & Paul Elliott — Thrive: The Leader’s Guide to Building a High-Performance Culture
Achieving a good company culture can sound like a mystical and intangible thing to do, but Andrew Freedman and Paul Elliott have proven otherwise. Thrive outlines its authors’ Exemplary Performance System, EPS for short, that provides a powerful framework for establishing a productive culture in businesses of all kinds. It’s easy to let considerations like profit margins take precedence over culture, but this book shows why the latter should always be at the forefront of your thinking. 
Related: 5 Leadership Strategies to Improve Team Performance and Grow Your Small Business
10. Adii Pienaar — Life Profitability: The New Measure of Entrepreneurial Success
For Adii Pienaar, having a profitable business isn’t enough, even though he managed to create a highly profitable one himself. You need to be satisfied with your life as well. Life Profitability is just what it sounds like: a guide to ensuring that your entrepreneurial journey allows you to maximize your personal happiness alongside success in the workplace. 
Hitting the books at this point in your entrepreneurial journey can pay big dividends down the line. By learning from what some of these authors have to teach, you can create the entrepreneurial path for yourself you’ve always wanted.

China Considering Million-Dollar Fine Against Jack Ma's Alibaba

Chinese authorities are purportedly preparing a fine that exceeds the $975 million Qualcomm paid in 2015.
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March 12, 2021 2 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Amid the Chinese government’s conflicts with businessman Jack Ma, China’s antitrust regulators are preparing a record fine against his e-commerce company, better known as Alibaba.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the authorities are considering imposing a fine on the Chinese firm that exceeds the $975 million that Qualcomm Inc. paid in 2015 for anti-competitive practices. To date, Qualcomm’s fine has been the largest in China’s corporate history.
Jack Ma, one of China’s richest men, criticized his country’s banking system during an event in Shanghai. Since then, the Chinese government has scrutinized his business more than ever.
Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba and Ant Group. Image: Depositphotos.com
For months, Alibaba has been in the sights of the Beijing government, along with its financial subsidiary Ant Group Co. The authorities strongly criticized Ant, which they consider a risk to the country’s financial system and urged the fintech company to make changes in its operations.
According to the U.S. media, some officials familiar with the matter explained that regulators do not want to crush Alibaba, as long as it separates itself from “its striking and outspoken founder and aligns itself more closely” with the Chinese government.