A World Without Borders – The Revolution of Product and Service Delivery

Traditionally, there have always been two distinct and exhaustive routes of pursuit within business – the delivery of a service, and the delivery of a product. Whether it be a family owned outlet selling a hamburger, an individual offering consulting or a multinational corporation contracted to build an aircraft, the idea has always been simple: Offer a product or service, something of value, and then, ultimately, sell it. For centuries this has been the way wealth through goods and services has been pursued, and for centuries the formula has remained the same – until the last few years.

The Internet has, in many ways, revolutionized the way we live. Before you shout “Yeah, that’s obvious!”, consider the facets you may not have – the facets, in specific, that relate to product and service delivery, and indeed the way you run your own business. If you deliver either a product or a service, you have undoubtedly faced these two questions at some point:

o How do I communicate to my market what I am offering, and how do they contact me if they’re interested?
o How do I deliver my goods/services to this market?

And herein lie the limitations of the conventional method. Communicating your products and services to your market is expensive – sometimes prohibitively so – and even with the most ambitious advertising campaigns it is unlikely you will reach a significant portion of your potential market. Those you do reach may not be interested, and you may be competing with many other enterprises offering the same, or similar products. Even if you do manage to communicate to your audience the merits of your business, enticing a consumer to contact you and take action is, as you will have undoubtedly experienced, a whole different ballgame. The pursuit of this goal is once again wrought with difficulty, both financial and administrative, as extensive marketing teams, campaigns and infrastructure are set up, all in the hope that revenues will, as a result, increase – by definition, a gamble. Calculated, yes – but still a gamble. Depending on your industry and the goods/services you offer, you will also experience difficulty in delivering your products and services. Say, for example, you are based in the USA and a company from China wishes to contract you; for most businesses that aren’t multinational corporations, and hence do not possess an infrastructure capable of breaking through the language barrier, many profitable pursuits may be lost. Even if this infrastructure is in place, the pure logistics of such activities indicate that the undertaking enterprise needs to be very, very well-established prior to being successful in such deals – adding a formidable barrier to entry and discouraging entrepreneurs and startups alike.

Not anymore. The Internet has granted us the ability to conduct business, at whatever scale and on a multi-national level, with next to no capital, very little infrastructure and overheads that are a laughable fraction of a hard-good equivalent. The concept is very simple, but it’s power is not fully appreciated by many budding entrepreneurs – you can offer whatever good or service you want, and in order to market that product, you need to pass on one, simple piece of information: your website address. That’s it. No longer are you marketing to the few million in your city, but rather to the worldwide virtual population – billions of people, and growing at a rapid rate. To contact you, your market / traffic need click a single link, and in terms of delivery – well, more and more, that’s automated. Even without a hard-good service, your business may be able to generate substantial passive income – many site owners these days make in excess of $40 000 profit a year by this method alone, some hardly out of their teens. And that’s not all. Many of these people are 1-man companies.

Yes, much of this is obvious – and yes, you may have thought about it. But have you really THOUGHT about it? Ask yourself that the next time your bills arrive.

Wedge Michaels is a resident finance commentator and stock trader for [http://ww

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Inland Marine Insurance Protects Diverse Commercial Goods And Properties

Engaging in commerce during the 21st century means transporting goods and properties across great distances at times, and that means the proper type of coverage is necessary. Inland marine policies were devised centuries ago to provide coverage for goods transported by sea. As the Industrial Revolution took hold during the 19th century and helped to create the extensive overland transportation routes of the 20th century, the need for coverage for diverse goods and properties while in transport became great.

Whether transporting products via railroad, truck, airliner of seagoing vessel, an inland marine policy can help insure businesses and products against a variety of possible perils, whether they be accidental loss, damage that might occur during a vehicular accident, theft or some other form of destruction, such as an all-consuming fire. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 1933 first began defining and establishing regulations for inland marine plans to clear up the confusion created when traditional marine policy providers competed with more traditional insurance operations to provide protection for the overland transportation of products.

Inland marine policies account for about 2 percent of all premiums collected by property and casualty firms in the United States, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Also called “floaters,” the policies provide coverage for diverse commercial goods and properties being prepared for transport or while in the process of transportation. That means goods that actually are being moved, such as by a semi-trailer traveling along a freeway, or while being stored and awaiting transport, such as in a warehouse, are protected by the policies. No matter where the products are located, so long as they are being prepared for and actually moved, the policy still applies.

And with the 21st century advancements in diverse goods and services, the policies have expanded upon what they protect. Some insurers now extend coverage to new technologies and “clean energy,” such as wind power enterprises, their owners, developers, contractors, consultants and others involved in such types of commerce. The policies provide risk mitigation, claims services and specialty investigations, depending on which insurance firm is underwriting the policy.

Even construction firms can have the protection provided by such plans to ensure their valuable equipment as well as the projects they might have underway. Whether building a relatively small storage facility or working on a large office building, a diverse commercial goods and properties plan is available to ensure no unnecessary losses occur and business can continue.

Consultation with insurance professionals can help business owners determine the type and extent of protection they need and ensure they won’t go bankrupt or have their clients sue them if something bad should happen.

Good deals on insurance are available online at [http://www.generalinsurance.org].

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