Why Canadian small businesses should consider the United States market
As a business owner, one of your main goals is most likely to have a successful company, right? Originally reported by The Globe and Mail, it’s recently been recommended for Canadians to expand overseas. Specifically, in order to take advantage of growing business opportunities in diverse global markets, Canadian small business should really consider markets in the United States.
According to Economic Development Canada, Canadian exports rose 5. 7 per cent—just in 2014 alone. Due to the surging American economy, weak Canadian dollar and falling oil prices, it seems like the perfect time for Canadian business owners to enter the U.S.
According to the International Monetary Fund, the American economy is currently on track for its best year since 2005. Furthermore, the U.S. market is much closer for Canadians and more accessible than China or other emerging markets. The United States market should be more familiar to Canadians too, meaning that starting the expansion process shouldn’t be too overwhelming.
While finding capital can sometimes be a headache, there are available sources—including private equity and family investors. Specifically, both sides of the border have capital options readily available to companies who are looking to grow. Simply put, people are ready to invest.
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Certain industries are doing quite well in the United States, such as the automotive market and the aviation manufacturing market. Those who aren’t in these markets shouldn’t be discouraged, but should understand that there is an opportunity for Canadians to utilize the growing market place.
And while there may be challenges and difficulties along the way, it’s important to know that success in the United States can often lead to success in other markets and territories.
[SOURCE: The Globe and Mail]
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”