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Tech firms see the opportunity they have been waiting for as shoppers and business recoil from paper money. Who’s hurt when legal tender goes away?

If you are nor online, you are not making any money. You are missing out!

 

HOW TO SURVIVE THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

AND ITS AFTERMATH

By: Michel Ouellette JMD

CHAPTER ONE

Is the Coronavirus Killing Off Cash?

From the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak, stores and businesses were shuttering all over the World and many of those that were still open were balking at cash. Shoppers were switching orders to Amazon and Walmart.com. Many stores and businesses that have stayed open would not take cash requiring customers to pay either by debit or credit cards or paying first online. What once seemed like the oldest, most reliable way of paying suddenly seems a thing of the past.

The Coronavirus crisis drove businesses and people to prefer credit and debit payments to cash; a shift that is here to last. Digital payments are quick, clean and easy and that shift is now representing a huge opportunity for all retail and services businesses around the world. People did learn from their Coronavirus experience and, for many, this means no longer walking in a store or and office.

For years, I have been pushing toward a more virtual, less cash-based business and payments system, and pressing businesses and business owners to go online to free them from the uncertainty of being paid for their products or services and increase their sales and cashflow tenfold. The Coronavirus crisis is now providing me with one more argument to justify that business model: Due to the coronavirus crisis, people that resisted to shop on line are now realizing how easy, economical and efficient it could be.

The only people I know that would not benefit from such a transition are the older and poorer people that tend to be more reliant on paper money either for lack of tech savvy, out of habit or because they do not participate in the formal banking system, the poorer and vulnerable people that do not have access to banks or credit cards.

You want to help these people!

For the duration of the pandemic, give them your products and provide them with your services free of charge. Donate to them directly, personally, the same way you donate to your preferred church or charity. This is good business. These people will be very grateful and let other people know about what you have done for them. Just do not forget to deduct these “promotional expenses” from your taxable income.

Some other people will still resist going online or using their credit card because they think that how they spend their money is nobody’s business, especially the taxation officer. Just take their money and put it in your left pocket. This is still good business. Just do not provide them with a receipt.

Money habits can be hard to break

The Covid-19 pandemic, has forced every one of us to change our spending habits almost overnight. It took years for ATMs to replace visits to human bank tellers. Now this is common ground. After resisting the move for years, many businesses started accepting credit cards and online payments either through their website or bank transfer. This shift in behavior is here to stay and for most businesses, it is now the right time to integrate in their business model infrastructure to support mobile banking and digital payments.

For others, the Coronavirus crisis is the rightful and legitimate occasion to turn their operations and business into fully cashless environments, that kind of economy, that long-held dream that I have been promoting for years. It is much, much faster to send money via the internet than to mail a check. It is much, much faster to get paid via the internet than waiting for the check in the mail.

CHAPTER TWO

Where is the money going?

Starting with day one of the Coronavirus crisis, items that were once necessities become luxuries, increasingly strapped people around the world were re-evaluating what they were spending their money on and how they were spending it.

For many, as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the world, new items and goods delivered in boxes seemed a safer bet than walking into stores. Suddenly, like many others, people became hyper aware of their expenses and were now taking a painful daily look at their financial priorities: Was that $5 monthly web magazine subscription really necessary? How much does watering the garden cost? When, in order to survive, where they going to need to tap into their savings?

“We are OK for now,” they were all saying. “But soon, the bottom may fall out from under us.”

As millions of people lose jobs, take pay cuts, close businesses and absorb family members into their homes, they were being forced to rethink where their money was going. Even before the scramble for new jobs can begin, people were cajoling creditors, looking for gig work or simply cutting back to get through the first few disorienting weeks of the Coronavirus outbreak.

For some, the question was simple as whether to by a jigsaw puzzle to keep from going corona crazy, and how much to tip the person that would deliver it. But for many others, the stakes were far higher: a good credit score sacrificed to pay off certain bills before others, or dinners rationing so that cash for groceries can be repurposed for an emergency fund.

To save money, heaters have been turned down, clothing sales ignored and auto insurance policies canceled. Vacations Plans turned into at-home entertainment and long sessions with Netflix, Disney Plus and Zoom. Rents were going unpaid as people spend weeks waiting for government aid to arrive.

An economic shock like this would certainly and definitely have a long-term impact on people who have traditionally felt like they were being cautious, that they were not squandering with their money, but did not have to worry about paying for rent or affording food. They might have more debt, which will make it harder to spend in the future, or they might just feel insecure.

Even when the economy was strong, many were in a precarious financial position, ill prepared to weather even minor disruptions and often weighed down by debt. Today, many of these people are experiencing a complete loss of income and on the verge of even loosing either their business or home. Those people are now relying on either good will from strangers or programs from corporations and the government to stay afloat.

For some people, many of whom have never seriously budgeted, are now mapping out strict spending schedules for the next few months. They get really creative. They eat little half meals, and they experiment with their seasonings and condiments to try to forget that they are eating the same thing over and over. They try to reschedule when monthly bills are due so she can space out the payments.

More than half of lower-income adults in North America say they will struggle to pay bills this month, compared to a quarter of their middle-income counterparts and 11 percent of those in the upper-income tier. Over all, more than half of those who expect a government stimulus infusion will use most of the money to cover essential expenses. One in five will save the funds to cover expenses further down the road.

To create a financial buffer, many people are hunting for freelance or part-time work or are working overtime in an attempt to drum up new business. For the last few weeks, for most people that I met online, they are all completely overwhelmed by their shortfall of income. For most of them, and they are not alone, while focusing on being able to afford groceries and maybe the house and car payments, they are all being stretched thin emotionally. They are totally exhausted at the end of the day.”

CHAPTER THREE

Going Online

“If you are not online, you are not making any money”

Following my predictions and recommendations, small business and shop owners are now launching “Online Stores” to either stay open or survive after the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you are like many other entrepreneurs, for years, you wanted to venture into online sales for your business, but could never find the time. Now, with the pandemic shutting down most retail stores and nonessential businesses, it is only common sense to invest your time and money in doing so. The process is not really easy and may be costly and time consuming but the bottom-line results are certainly worth it. If you are not online, you are not only making any money but you are also losing money.

For many business owners that decided to go that route, the last several weeks have been chaotic and frantic, but the hard work is beginning to pay off. The response from customers has been amazing. Many businesses are now rushing to offer online sales or expand their available product line to keep their businesses afloat and meet customer demand. And this is only common sense.

Getting creative

Around the world, online store creations jumped by seventy-five per cent when comparing the second week of April to the first week in March. Some entrepreneurs have been very creative to offer the same product or service online as they did in-store. Despite the investment and long hours involved, their sales are going up their costs are going down and they are doing even better than before the pandemic.

For most of them, it is just non-stop work providing services, fulfilling and delivering orders. It is even busy, seven days a week.

The challenge

One more time: “If you are not online, you are losing money”

Creating an online store is often challenging for small businesses. Because of the many steps it can take, it can be a tedious process. It is definitely work, but it is important work right now. Really, if you are not online, you are not making any money and even losing money.

If you are not going online now, you are not only losing money, you are jeopardizing your future.

Look at the Covid-19 is a business opportunity

Even with the country in lockdown, a number of entrepreneurs are plunging ahead with new ventures. From pet services to food delivery and even advertising, many companies are forging ahead with launch plans. Some are even focusing their startup on issues related directly to the virus. For most of them, they find that the new, challenging environment actually presents an advantage for their startup.

When offering online services, your customers no longer have to walk in your store or offices to see your products, negotiate your services and process the credit card payment. All this interaction is now happening online.

Right now, people are really out of options, and do not know how to move forward with some sort and any kind of gathering. People are going online for everything and this trend is here to grow even further and stay.

For many services businesses going online, they offer a free phone consultation to start, and then propose other services susceptible to satisfy their customers’ needs. From the beginning, the introduction offers to the end, cashing the money of the customer, everything is done online.

If you are a retailer or distributor, going online is even easier.

There are a lot of opportunities to navigate.

CHAPTER FOUR

Today and Tomorrow

Again: “If you are not online, you are not making any money”

Yes, the coronavirus curves are plateauing

There are fewer hospital admissions and the daily death toll is still grim, but no longer rising. While this is encouraging news, it masks some significant concerns. The gains to date were achieved only by shutting down the countries, a situation that cannot continue indefinitely.

No one knows exactly what percentage of the people around the world have been infected. So far, estimates have ranged from three percent to tern percent. Until a vaccine or another protective measure emerges, there is no scenario, agreed upon, in which it will be safe for people to suddenly come out of hiding.

One thing is for sure:

If, in the near future, people are to pour back out in force, all will appear quiet for perhaps a few weeks and then, without any warning, all over the world, the emergency rooms will get busy again. The tighter the restrictions, the fewer the deaths and the longer the periods between lockdowns.

China did not allow Wuhan, Nanjing and other cities to reopen until intensive surveillance found zero new cases for fourteen straights days, the virus’s incubation period. At home, people can still take domestic flights, drive where they want, and roam streets and parks. Despite strict or mandatory restrictions, everyone seems to know someone discreetly arranging play dates for children, holding backyard barbecues or meeting people. Even with rigorous measures, Asian countries have had trouble keeping the virus under control. How can we be so arrogant?

If there is a lesson to be learned from China, it is that reopening nonessential businesses, lifting all distancing restrictions, requires a steady declining of cases for at least fourteen days, the tracing of ninety percent of all people that came in contact with a person affected by the Covid-19 virus, an end to all healthcare worker infections and at least the immediate instauration of recuperation places and facilities for mild cases. This is a strict minimum and for most of the location where the Covid-19 safety and prevention precautions have been relaxed, none of these pre-emptive steps have been followed. Get ready for second wave of the Coronavirus infection.

“If there is something that people need to realize, it is that is not safe to play poker with the Coronavirus; that the faucet needs to be reopen gradually”

Previously unthinkable societal changes have taken place already. Schools and business have closed, and millions of have applied for unemployment. Taxes and mortgage payments are delayed, and foreclosures forbidden. Stimulus checks, intended to offset the crisis, were issued. Food banks opened doors across the world, and huge lines have formed. Except for the upper class of the society, the world has become a welfare world.

A public health crisis of this magnitude requires international cooperation on a scale not seen in decades. Once the pandemic has passed, the economic recovery may or may not be swift depending on the way we are dealing with the pandemic today. The psychological fallout is harder to gauge. The isolation and poverty caused by a long shutdown may drive up rates of domestic abuse, depression and suicide.

In such a scenario, immunity to the virus will become both, a societal advantage and disadvantage. Imagine a population divided into two classes: those who have recovered from infection and presumably have some immunity to it; and those who are still vulnerable. It will be a frightening schism: Those with antibodies will be able to travel and work, and the rest that will be discriminated against.

As people stuck in lockdown will see their immune neighbors resuming their lives and even taking the jobs they lost, it is not hard to imagine the enormous temptation to join them through self-infection. Younger citizens in particular will calculate that risking a serious illness may still be better than impoverishment and isolation.

Even though limited human trials of three have already begun, any effort to make a vaccine will take at least a year to eighteen months. This is being very optimistic. Treatments are likely to arrive first. Meantime, for the next two years, I strongly suggest that you exert extreme caution. Avoid people that you know that may have been exposed to the virus. Avoid shaking hands and touching your face. Wash your hands. Keep safe distancing from everyone you meet and finally start doing business online.

Above everything else: Stay Safe!

 

Michel Ouellette, ll.l, ll.m

Business Growth Strategist

 

 

JMD Systemics

Systemic Strategic Planning / Crisis & Reputation Management

Skype: jmdlive

Web: www.jmdsystemics.com

Michel Ouellette / Joseph Michael Dennis, is a former attorney, a Trial Scientist, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.

For the duration of the pandemic and its aftermath.

JMD Systemics is her to help.

Book Your “FREE” Consultation Now

 

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JMD

J. Michael Dennis is a former attorney, a Trial Consultant, a Trial Scientist, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.

Book a FREE 15 minutes Skype Consultation with JMD live

Skype: jmdlive

 

 

 

Long-running issues with privacy and integrity came to a head in Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica crisis.

In the social media world, the pace of change has always been brisk. But 2018 marked a true inflection point. Long-running issues with privacy and integrity came to a head in Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica crisis: “Users began to question the value networks provide and seek more meaningful ways to engage.”

Against this backdrop, intimate new social media formats have risen for connecting and sharing content. A radically new social paradigm is emerging: “Consumers want to be treated like individuals, not demographics.”

Consumers are now demanding more value in exchange for their time and information.

JMD

J. Michael Dennis is a former attorney, a Trial Consultant, a Trial Scientist, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.

Book a FREE 15 minutes Skype Consultation with JMD live

Skype: jmdlive

Is your future and the future of your family secured?

Why do I need a formal business transition plan?
A formal business transition plan puts your goals, priorities and strategies in place for a successful transition to face the future. Without a clearly defined plan, business owners are leaving their personal and financial future to chance.

I am not sure I am ready to transition out of my business. How do I know when the time is right?
Transitioning out of your business is all about setting and reaching goals. Have you accomplished what you set out to do with your business? Do you have dreams of doing things other than running your current business? Answering these questions will tell you if the time is right to implement a formal business transition plan.

I know my business better than anyone else; why shouldn’t I handle my transition plan and process myself?
Business and personal transition are a complex and personally time consuming and challenging processes that are very difficult to handle by yourself and get it right. Most transition processes involve emotional, fiscal and risk management issues requiring a team of professionals familiar with these areas to take care of them.

Who are the experts on a transition team?
Depending on what phase you are currently in, any of the following professionals may be involved: Accountants, Certified Financial Planners, Lawyers, Business Consultants, Business Brokers, Bankers and so on. To achieve a successful transition plan, all the work required from all the professionals involved shall be coordinated by a Corporate Strategist Expert well familiarized in all the activity fields involved.

Why do I need a transition team?
Simple: you want to maximize your assets. You need experts in every area to help you get the most cash for yourself and your business. Using a transition team will cut down on the enormous amount of time you would otherwise have to spend planning, marketing, talking, negotiating and working to find a potential buyer or partner who might otherwise end up walking away. Unless you have been through a merger, acquisition or divestiture, transition planning and execution are unlike anything you have ever done before.

Why shouldn’t I hire an investment banker or any single professional to handle my transition process?
Other than SSTM, there is no national firm or individual that handles every aspect of a business or personal transition process. And if you have cost issues, you should do a comparison.

Where can I find these experts?
Even if you have an accountant, broker or financial advisor, they may not be uniquely qualified to assist you with the transition. You need experts focused on business transitioning. SSTM will work with you and your team of trusted advisors to identify and provide you with the best choices for each expert.

What information do I need to prepare for my transition?

  • Financial documents:
    • A minimum of five years of financial documents
    • Audited financials for three years
    • Pro-forma sales and cash flows for two years out
    • Three years of taxes
    • Company insurance documents
    • Personal financial information (account statements, complete copies of federal and state tax returns, estate documents)
  • Customer lists (shows history of longevity)
  • Vendor lists and relationships
  • Operational systems and procedures for everyone and every part of your business
  • Legal corporate documents
  • Contracts with vendors, suppliers, customers and clients
  • Intellectual property rights and assets

How long does it take to complete a successful transition process?
Typically, depending on your goals, expectations, the nature and size of your business a successful transition process may be completed inside a time-frame of SIX months to FIVE years.

What if I have already completed some parts of the process?
SSTM can become involved at any point of your transition. Our experts will review the work you have already completed, provide recommendations and take the necessary actions to keep or get you on the right track. Even if you have completed your transition, our certified financial planners can help with wealth management.

How do I get started?
The four phases of proper business transition planning are:

  1. Pre-Sale Phase
  2. Positioning for Sale
  3. Transaction Phase
  4. Wealth Management

Following the above Four Phases of a Successful Business Transition Plan, SSTM uses the following process to guide you through your transition.

  • Data gathering
  • Initial Expert Team Consultation
  • Selection of your team
  • Creation and Execution of the Transition Plan
  • Successful completion of the transaction
  • Wealth management system put in place for a secure financial future

SSTM, helping companies successfully complete business transitions.

JMD

J. Michael Dennis is a former attorney, a Trial Consultant, a Trial Scientist, Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.

From now on, woe betide the party that having attested to the character and probity of its candidates, politicians and staff, is revealed to have been conned or simply been sloppy in its vetting. The political pain will be far worse than the earlier discomfort of often humiliating intense investigation of candidates.

In days gone by, political candidate vetting was never a very rigorous process. If you had a union leader, heart surgeon or hockey star as a good prospect, you really did not want to know anything else about the past of this political candidate. Unless you were very unlucky, past events or incidents of his or her life such as criminal conviction of any kind, spousal abuse, adultery or child molestation were unlikely to ever emerge.

Back then, the final test in candidate vetting, was the senior recruiter looking the prospect meaningfully in the eye, and saying with great solemnity, “Now, is there anything you have not disclosed that there is even a distant prospect, if it were revealed, that would bring shame or harm to the party or yourself?”

Today, that test is no longer sufficient.

Serious archival research, social media tracking, and even private investigators are now the norm and political parties are no exception to the rule. Political parties must now meet the new standard. The price of failure to do so is too high to pay.

Invasive inquiry, aggressive reference checking, difficult final interviews and even undated resignation letters are the new standard, the new norm.

JMD

https://www.jmdsystemics.com/

Michael Dennis is a former Corporate and Business Law Attorney, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense & Free Speech helping you achieve greatness.

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Twitter, Facebook, JMDlive.com, The Futurist Daily News, JMDsystemics.com, Bunkumless.com, SSTM Solutions, Pinterest and Tumblr.

 

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