Capturing first-mover opportunities arising from global economic recovery

The global economy is finally showing signs of recovery as it climbs out of the trough of recession. The US economy is clearly back on track with rising corporate earnings and falling unemployment rate. Economies in the Eurozone are also slowly but gradually moving upwards again despite seeing mixed performance across different member states. The same applies to Japan. And China, now the world’s second largest economy, is on a healthier and sustainable growth pathway as it slows down the pace of growth. All signs point to a better economic and business environment down the road. However, despite the optimism surrounding the global economy, volatility and uncertainty remain. To complicate matters further, central banks around the world are one by one implementing monetary measures which may lead to unpredictable (or undesirable) consequences. The year might have started on a positive note, but uncertainty will continue to be a drag and a Black Swan event, if happens, may send the world economy into tailspin once again.

Given the current economic condition, companies remain cautious and exercise stringent cost control as a precaution against unforeseeable circumstances. Levels of corporate borrowing continue to be low despite low interest rates which have kept borrowing cost near record lows. For small- and medium-sized enterprises, the current situation poses challenges but also brings opportunities. Companies may be able to do well and even expand further if the cards are played right. A carefully formulated business strategy and a properly executed marketing plan are necessary for companies to grow further during times of uncertainty.

Hong Kong is greatly affected by developments in the US and China. An earlier than expected rate hike in the US and a sharp slowdown in China’s economy are likely to be unfavourable to the local economy and business environment. Small-scale local businesses are walking on a fine line trying to expand their scale without putting excessive burden on cost. A carefully crafted marketing plan can help pave their way to further growth.

The good news is that companies can now make use of the digital space to promote their products and services at a reasonable price. The internet has proven to be a very useful marketing tools with the advantages of being able to reach out to a wide audience and an easily manageable and adjustable design. Online marketing comes in different forms, among which search engine optimization, or SEO, are increasingly accepted and adopted by local companies. Hong Kong SEO companies offer specialized services which can be tailor-made according to clients’ requirements to boost the rankings of clients’ websites in search results with the aim of generating more leads and sales. If you are interested to know more about how SEO can work for your company and information about other online marketing tools, please click here.

Why Eco-design Products are in Now

eco-design-fair-2007I know what you are thinking – what in the world does eco-design mean exactly? This term may be a stranger to many of us, but certainly not product design businesses. Eco-design aims at reducing negative impact on the environment in terms of sourcing, manufacturing, marketing and distribution. Such products should be environmentally friendly and reusable; some examples include furniture, household appliances and electronic equipment.

This newfound business strategy is becoming increasingly popular among product designers and manufacturers. There are many business advantages adopting such strategy – not only does it help develop a more positive brand image, it also helps reduce production costs for companies. My engineering management professor once told us that according to the university research findings, eco-design products help boost sales by almost 10% as people are becoming more environmentally conscious. Customers tend to trust that green products like relatively more reliable because of quality materials and design. In addition, because of the reduction of waste, labor and material consumption, manufacturers also benefit from the overall cost reduction.

But the most important element that eco-design products encourage is innovation. The concept prompts designers to think outside the box and develop user-friendly, efficient products. This helps businesses stay ahead of the game and competitive. In Hong Kong, the idea of eco-design is less heard of; but countries in Europe have embraced the strategy and achieved some great success. Green labels have become a major success factor in the customer selection process because of the rising awareness of environmental production in these countries. With issues such as global warming and pollution, many Western countries are taking the lead to resolve these global issues by altering people’s mindsets and way of living. Unfortunately, in Hong Kong and China the concept of environmental conservation is still relatively underdeveloped. However, since pollution problems have risen to become a more pressing and concerning issue, more efforts have been made by the government to reduce pollutants emission and recycling. Some provinces in China are actively discovering ways to tackle pollution problems in order to improve the overall standard of living. Conservation efforts include placing cycling bins in residential area and the reduction of vehicle gas emission. Eco-design is undoubtedly an up-and-coming trend that businesses should look out for to draw attention from customers.

Environmental awareness, therefore, goes hand in hand with the development of eco-design products. Increasing awareness will generate demands for such designs, leading to greater innovation and technological development. The rise of eco-design goes beyond new business revenue generation; it aims to achieve a higher global conservation mission. If you are thinking about taking advantage of the next new trend to make a killing, eco-design should be on the top of your list.

Three Signs to Look for in a Good Online Jewellery Store

Handmade-Jewelry-12-640x459As a huge fan of accessories and jewellery, I’m not ashamed to say that I’m an expert when it comes to picking the right online store. I used to make a lot of purchases on Amazon and EBay but lately I’ve discovered a lot of hidden gems in other places as well. There are numerous online stores that specialize in handmade jewellery. If you are looking for some cute, elegant necklaces and handmade earrings for sale to match your outfit, here are a three signs to look for.

First, variety of key. A perfect jewellery store will provide you with a great range of style to go with any of your outfit. As a woman, I understand the importance of a versatile wardrobe. Sometimes you need to dress to impress on special occasions; other times you just want to go for the natural look with the minimal amount of makeup. You need all types of accessories to suit your mood and style on any given day. You need something that never goes out of style, but you also want something that looks a bit edgier and unique to prepare for any special occasions. A perfect jewellery store should always have a great versatile selection ready for you.

Second, free shipping and guarantees are essential. One downside of buying jewellery online is that you cannot try them on in person and make sure that it fits you right. This could be really tricky because you are not exactly familiar with its style and material just from the pictures available on the site. There is a high chance that you will end up with something that just doesn’t look good on you. Therefore it’s better to have a return option that includes all shipping fees, saving you a bunch of unnecessary cost. Also, if you are spending a thousand dollars on an expensive necklace, you want to ensure that there is warranty in place in case it gets damaged in the future.

Third, media exposure is always great. High profile coverage really gives you that boost of confidence when you are choosing among a million other jewellery sites. Since these days online scams are literally everywhere, you really need to make sure that the sellers are credible and have a good history with customers. From what I have learned from my online scam experience, once your money is gone, it is gone forever and the bank and police are not going to be of very much help. It is really important that you watch out for any signs of scam websites when you shop online.

So next time if you are looking to buy handmade necklaces or other accessories online, be sure to look out for the three signs above to find the perfect store.