Resume & Career Advice

April 19, 2011

Industries That Thrive With Earthquakes

Earthquake-Proof Industries

Are there industries seemingly unaffected and thriving after an earthquake?

The recent earthquake and the resulting tsunami in Japan have killed thousands, displaced hundreds of thousands, and left a nation of 100 million and the whole world—in tears. The tragedy is nothing to make light of, but in order to perceive the proverbial rainbow after the storm, we would need to move forward and see what we could learn from the disaster.

Not surprisingly, Japanese stocks fell after the catastrophe. However, it would seem that certain industries ought to thrive with earthquakes in Japan, Haiti or anywhere else. In fact, the data supports the theory that some industries boom after an earthquake hits.

One stock analyst pinpoints certain companies that develop storm and tsunami warning systems as potentially good buys. Also, businesses that deal with earthquakes, whether offering warning devices or building fortifications against such are expected to do well. In fact, the construction industry as a whole seems to be one that bounces back quickly after an earthquake. Less than a month after the incident, construction seems to be on the rise. It seems logical, as after the dust settles, people start to rebuild. However, the real winners are businesses that manufacture metal products. The industry has been doing consistently well after the calamity, registering the highest gains in the Tokyo Stock Exchange as of April 4.

Furthermore, despite the initial drop, insurance companies, even in the US, are starting to get better, as people begin looking for ways to survive financially after a disaster like in Japan. Another trade that seems to benefit from an earthquake is pharmaceutics, considering the resulting injuries. Numbers from both the TSE and Standard & Poor’s substantiate these claims.

Finally, while real estate is sure to suffer after an earthquake (would you buy a house in an area just devastated by an earthquake?), Haiti, struck by a 7.0 last year, showed how hotels, at least those that did not crumble, could benefit from such. The Haiti earthquake, one writer says, “shrank the market and jacked up occupancy rates.”

After an earthquake, not all industries are crushed to the ground. Not to be opportunistic, but some even tend to do better.

December 9, 2010

Formulating a Competitive Value Proposition

Value Proposition

Do you see your value proposition at the core of the company?

Even marketing professionals fail in drafting an effective resume. “Its all about selling and marketing yourself,” says a professional resumé writer from a leading online résumé service provider. “It is all about creating an effective, competitive value proposition,” he added. So, in marketing oneself, one has to think about a good value proposition for them. In business organizations, including online businesses, effective competitive value proposition is a must. What value proposition exactly?

In a business or marketing setting, value proposition answers or summarizes why a consumer should choose to buy a product or avail of a service. In other words, value proposition is a statement that aims to convince potential customer that one particular product or service will add more value or will provide better solution to a problem than other similar offerings. Companies use value proposition to target customers who will benefit most from using their products. There are many considerations that must be thought of when creating or formulating value proposition. Below are some tips in formulating a competitive value proposition.

1. Know your company’s or business’ strengths. Get everyone involved in the company and do brainstorming. Ask everyone from customer service to top management and all departments ‘what the company or business does best?’ Identifying strengths is the first key in knowing what to offer.

2. Identify the market. Just as there was brainstorming with ‘what the company or business does best?’ there should also be brainstorming in identifying the market and segment it targets. ‘What is the target market?” Example, which particular segment of online users is the target for the product or service?

3. Learn from the customers. Ask the customers through surveys. Learn what the customers want through other forms of research.

4. Know the competition. Learning the competition’s value proposition can help you improve your value proposition. How to do this? Well, buy from the competitor and subscribe to their newsletters. This will be very beneficial to your company.

Value proposition can make or break a company. It is a must for any businesses to draft a highly effective and competitive value proposition in order for customers to patronize the company’s products and/or services.

August 11, 2010

Top Companies to Work For

Top Companies: Want to Know the Company That Performs Best?

Check out 2010’s top companies as rated by Fortune Magazine.

The latest list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by Fortune Magazine has been released. Topping it are SAS, Edward Jones, Wegmans, Google, Nugget market, Dreamworks Animation, NetApp, Boston Consulting Group, Qualcomm and Camden Property. The results make for an ideal checklist for any applicant; but more importantly, they inform job seekers of what to look for in an employer.

So what does a “best company” have? Among those that made it to the list, an obvious answer is how the company continues to grow. Google, for instance, which ranked fourth from Fortune’s list, is on a continuous hunt for new employees this year, with demand reaching thousands; while the Boston Consulting Group, which is on rank eight, is famous for offering superior incomes and benefits to its employees so that even new consultants get as much as $184,000. These companies are doing very well in the market, and it reflects on what opportunities they provide. Another important characteristic is the growth that a company offers their employees, including the professional and the personal. In DreamWorks Animation, which ranks sixth on the list, the animators enjoy an atmosphere of creativity and openness, instead of pressure and strict deadlines; and in SAS, which occupies the topmost spot on the list, employees enjoy perks such as accessible and top-of-the-line services in health, child care, and recreational centers – to name a few. Finally, one observes the best companies to work for are those that genuinely care about their employees. 94-year old Wegman’s Food Markets, which ranks third, never let its employees undergo layoff. Similarly, Edward Jones, which is at top two, had never laid off any of its tens of thousands of employees – even during the recession . Fortune’s list has spoken: the best companies to work for are those that truly value their employees.

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