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  • April 05, 2012 9:17 PM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

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    April 5, 2012 

    Just like any other industry, social media is deeply integrated into professional sport marketing.  With billions of social media users, sport is frequently mentioned, liked and followed across Facebook and Twitter.  Social media is a marketing strategy must for messaging business product and services to a mass audience.

    Produced by Banyan Branch, this infographic illustrates facts and statistics of Major League Baseball on social media sites.

    Some interesting social media facts and stats (as of March 28, 2012) :

    • Yankees are the most popular team on social media (5.3 Million Likes; 550,000 Follows)
    • American League edges out National in Facebook discussions (53% and 47% respectively)
    • Nick Swisher – Most Followers (1.48 Million Followers)
    • C.J. Wilson – Individual Player All Star Tweeter (12,917 Tweets)
    • Giants – Team All Star Tweeter (18,000 Tweets)

    Source:  Banyan Branch

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  • April 04, 2012 11:24 PM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)
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    April 4, 2012 

    work-life balanceWork-Life Balance

    Work-life balance is the process of establishing an equilibrium between work and every other aspect of life.  In a satisfying environment, one strives to seek that balance between the activities that are classified as doing work and those activities we deem essential to running the family and household, those recreational and down-time activities we need to recharge and enjoy life.

    A great work-life balance must start with you first, if you want to be a successful balanced entrepreneur.  You will also need to ensure your staff are happy and healthy in a productive environment by way of a strong, implemented work-life balance in your organization.


    To maximize your business’ performance, you and your team need to stay healthy and happy.  Work-life balance is one of those key things an employer can do outside of compensation, to provide more benefits to staff.  Without work-life balance features, employees will need to take off significant amounts of time for family responsibilities and other.  

    You as a business owner know that in some cases, staff may call in sick when family duties are calling them.  This has a significant impact on operations and performance of the organization. Business finances take a hit if leaves are compensated for, or if you have to insert replacement staff.


    If your business environment is one of flexibility to allow for flexible scheduling, encourage and promote flexible work arrangements.  This works well in industries where core functions are not considered essential services.
    Industries such as medical care or education, flexible arrangement may be difficult but not impossible.  Having flexible scheduling allows staff members to take care of family responsibilities without impacting the business or the career path.


    • Combining or revising classifications of leave (i.e.: vacation leave or medical leave)
    • Paid leave for educational or capacity building activities
    • Work at home arrangements
    • Work on the road schedules
    • Daycare programs at work
    • Concentrated scheduling
    • Allow for health, wellness and fitness programs and time for it at work
    • Bring kids to work environment if you have teams of working parents in your business
    • In stressful and pressured work environments ensure you build in corporate activities to give everyone that stress break, such as non-work activities


    The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) completed a study (Sept 2010) of the work-life balance dynamic in US businesses.  Here are some of the statistics:
    • 89% of respondents stated work-life balance was an issue; 54% stated it was serious
    • 57% of those surveyed claimed that employers are not effectively addressing work-life balance and not doing enough
    • 38% said work-life balance has worsened in these tough economic times

    However, with businesses that incorporate great work-life balance features, employees cite they are more happy and productive and the performance of those organizations show marked improvements.


    1. Physically and mentally healthier and happier employees
    2. Less absenteeism
    3. Job satisfaction level for employees increases
    4. Sick leave and medical claims decrease
    5. Improved corporate culture
    6. Improved performance of staff and units
    7. Talent management improvements in employee retention
    8. Can be included in the promotion of “best places to work”
    9. Improved enjoyment of life
    10. Improved and stronger family and business relationships 
    Encourage leaders within your organization to come forward and develop teams and meetings to address work-life balance issues at your business.  As an effective leader and entrepreneur, encourage team members to provide feedback on how to make the work environment better.  Listen and learn when employees speak on employee satisfaction in the workplace.  Survey employees frequently and engage in conversation with them about work-life balance.

    Work-life balance at work is a very effective way to improve your organization across individuals and business units.  Allow your professional teams to help others be successful with results-based, work-life best practices.

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  • April 04, 2012 2:37 PM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

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    April 4, 2012 

    Courtesy of, here is an infographic illustrating energy consumption statistics from the commercial and industry sectors.  Through analyzing 700 of the largest companies in the US, Ecova has highlighted some of the business energy trends from 2009-2011.

    With rising energy costs, businesses should be reviewing way to reduce energy consumption to lower overall cost of business expenditures.  These energy reductionstrategies can help businesses be more competitive and financial sound, as energy is considered to be one of the largest expenditures in business operations.

    Some key business energy consumption data points:

    • 8% decrease in electrical energy consumption intensity by business for the 2009 to 2011 period
    • 30% of company energy consumption is considered waste
    • $202 Billion – the cost of energy across the US commercial and industrial sectors
    • Energy cost is the 3rd largest company expense, just behind labor and material costs

    Energy efficiency

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  • April 03, 2012 1:38 PM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

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    April 3, 2012 


    There are many pros and cons to having the US Military lead operations around the world.  We can all imagine that in tough economic times, it is increasingly more difficult to justify and to get approval for military spending.


    If you were wondering on the breakdown on the US Federal Budget, here is a descriptive infographic, courtesy of highlighting their analysis of the overall budget and military expenses in the US.


    US Military Spending Key points:

    • Total US Outlays (Federal Funds):  $2.65 Trillion
    • Military spending:  $1.45 Trillion (54% of the budget)
    • Non-Military spending: $1.20 Trillion (46% of the budget)
    • US Military Spending accounts for a whopping 43% of the total global militaryspending
    • Dept. of Defense spends 99.98% of budget on military; spends 0.02% on peaceinitiatives

    Military Spending Infographic

    Infographic,  information, analysis courtesy of thecongressmansdinner



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  • April 03, 2012 9:19 AM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

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    April 3, 2012 


    video game industryVideo Game Industry

    Social media, online, streaming, and new platforms are all factors that play into the rapidly changing video game industry.  Many video game industry strategies are continuing to build on trends around social media sites, development of new tablet, mobile, handheld and console devices, and faster streamlining internet connections.



    Posed to be a $65-80 Billion industry per year in 2012 and 2013, the emphasis in the video game industry continues on developing apps and games for mobile devices, while still not losing focus on console gaming with PS4 and Xbox 720 slated to début late 2013 or early in 2014.


    Social Gaming

    Building off the social gaming successes of companies like Zynga and Playfish, developers will continue to tie into the building user base of social media sites, now well over 1 Billion users.  However, users and developers are aligning for a far richer, deeper social gaming experience.


    Last December, Zynga approached a $1 Billion valuation based on valuation tied to the hundreds of millions of social media users who flocked to their “free” games.  Zynga is one of those companies that speculated around revenue generation of a massive base of users.  Solid revenue generating models are developed once companies reach this stage to give assurances to investors.  In most social gaming sites, significant revenues are generated from advertising, rather than pay per use for gaming, and those models will be changing.


    Offering More Free Access / Micro Payment Models

    The movement is not away from free access, but more towards more free.  The objective of many online entertainment gaming companies is to accumulate as many users as possible, and thus, valuation of these sites increase.


    Revenue models from gaming companies now include “pay by extra-feature”, or added features by subscription.  These tactics, sometimes referred to as “micro-payment” models tap into a user market willing to pay a very low monthly fee for gaming access.


    Valuation of website inclines with the number of unpaid or paid subscribers.  The economic and business value of high volumes of potential consumers is prized by investors.


    video game industryMobile Gaming Will Dominate

    The mobile and tablet gaming industry is increasing at a good pace, with reference to Nielsen’s annual U.S. Gaming: A 360° View survey (March 2012).  Marketing research firm M2 Research is predicting that the mobile gaming market will blow past the $6 Billion mark in 2012.


    The use of mobile platforms will continue to grow at alarming rates.  2012 will see the app and game market develop around the new iPad 3, Sony’s PS Vita, and many mobile devices utilizing the Android operating system.


    Android Operating System (OS) gaming is dominated by users in the 25-34 age brackets.  Android is gaining massive strides as the dominate operating system for mobile smart phone and tablet devices.  By February 2012, 450,000 apps were available for Android.   iPhone gaming has appeared to be penetrating evenly across all age segments.


    Cloud Gaming

    Cloud gaming, which is essentially “Gaming on Demand”, will continue to build in 2012, as it makes it easier and faster for all gamers to connect from any type of mobile to console device.   Cloud streaming gaming is considering similar along the lines of streaming movies.  Here is a YouTube video on Cloud Gaming and its appealing direct, instant streaming features to video game enthusiasts.


    The gaming industry will generate much interest over the next few years.  Entrepreneurs, developers, and businesses in the industry should keep a frequent eye on the rapidly changing gaming landscape.

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  • April 02, 2012 10:57 PM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

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    April 2, 2012 

    From the Tax Foundation, here is a calendar highlighting that US citizens must work an average 107 days into the calendar year to reach the Tax Freedom point.  It illustrates what proportion of your work year goes straight to taxes.

    tax freedom

    Courtesy of

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  • April 02, 2012 2:16 PM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

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    April 2, 2012 

    Tax deadlines are close approaching, and as you are preparing to send in your hard earning money to pay your taxes, here is a brilliantly crafted infographic, courtesy of H&R Block, on income tax system statistics.

    Some highlights of the tax system:

    • 35% – Average income tax rate in the US (20% higher than Hong Kong’s rate)
    • 26.3%  of every tax dollar is spent on the military, 24.3% on health care, & 21.9% on education
    • 7.4% of every tax dollar is spent on debt interest ($472 Billion in 2013 alone)
    • Average refund expected to be over $2,900 (meaning an average of $2,900 was over-paid)

    In these economic harsh times and with debt accumulated from economic action plan spending, debt interest portions are sure to increase.  A balance should be struck to ensure future generations are not enslaved to pay the interest and deprive citizens of much needed social services.  Imagine what $472 Billion could pay for in 2013 instead of debt payments.  How much will this impact you?

    tax system


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  • April 01, 2012 10:44 AM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

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    April 1, 2012 

    The price of crude oil, and consequently the price of everything, is rapidly increasing.  This infographic, courtesy of highlights the impacts of oil prices.

    Some fact and impacts of oil prices:

    • 10 out of the last 11 recessions occurred after an increase spike in oil prices
    • $330 Billion – US net outflow for foreign oil
    • Economists projecting 2012 to have the highest gas prices in history
    • Estimation of up to $200 per barrel of oil if Iran relationship worsens
    • Highest impacts would occur to lower – middle income earning families

    Time for increased emphasis on alternative energy sources and technologies?  You bet.  Tough economic times and challenges such as these open the doors further to business opportunities around alternatives and green clean energy.


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  • March 31, 2012 9:16 AM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

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    March 31, 2012 

    The National Retail Federation (NRF) has released some estimated retail statistics for US consumer spending in the 2012 Easter period.   This could be noted as more positive economic indicators, with projected spending to increase for this year’s season.  Retail entrepreneurs and business owners should tune-in to lucrative events in the annual calendar, as all pose to be potentially lucrative if you tap into some niche retail areas.

    Here are some highlights on 2012 estimated US retail spending around Easter, based on a NRF survey:

    • Estimated average spending on retail merchandise, food, candy: $145.28
    • 2012 estimated average spending is up by +11% over 2011 ($131.04)
    • Total estimated retail spending for Easter 2012:  A big $16.8 Billion

    Easter Calendar - spending

    Here are the biggest categories in a breakdown of the estimated retail spending around Easter 2012:

    • Fashion & Accessories:  $3.0 Billion
    • Easter Candy:  $2 Billion
    • Easter meals & food:  $5.1 Billion
    • Easter gifts & cards:  $2 Billion

    It is interesting to note that the average estimate spending is $44.34 for Easter meals, $20.57 for Easter Gifts, $10.50 on flowers, $9.07 for Easter decor, and from the half that buy greeting cards, an average of $7.04 on greeting cards.

    Easter Shopping

    Some interesting trends are highlighted in this NRF survey around how and where consumers will shop:

    • 63.5% will shop at the local discount store
    • 42.6% will shop at a department store for gifts; highest percent in the survey’s history
    • 8.7% will shop online, represents a 4% increase over last year
    • 25.4% will shop at a specialty retail store

    Similar to other calendar events, Easter consumer retail spending can bring significant revenues to your business, if you target customers in niche areas.  If you are in retail in these areas, do not overlook the power of retail during special periods.  Plan well in advance for periods of retail opportunities.

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  • March 30, 2012 8:23 PM | Strategy Plan One (Administrator)

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    March 30, 2012 

    Here are some interesting statistics and trends in the online wine sales industry in this infographic, courtesy of  Neo Mammalian Studios.  Tapping into the growing online wine sales market can be very lucrative.  One company, Garagiste, with sales of $30M per year, started on an initial investment of $500.

    Statistics and Trends:

    • Lot 18 – over half a million members
    • Average range of prices for a bottle of wine online:  $20 – 37
    • Average range of discounts for wine online: 30 – 51% 
    • Page views for at least two online wine sales companies: over 600,000 per month (Jan 2012)

    wine trends - online wine sales

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