A Sustainable Business Network Model for Southern Africa

IntroductionThe relevance of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional integration process emanates in part from the view that there is a trade-off between regional integration and integration with the global economic system. Whilst integration with the global economy could provide the impetus for economic growth, regional integration could provide the required protection from the ills of globalization. This argument is based upon the belief system that regionalism could be used as an instrument to create a new equilibrium that balances the protection of the vulnerable and the interests of the particular population living in that environment against the integrative, technological dynamics associated with globalization.In this regard the SADC can typically be classified as a vulnerable region as it is dealing with a marriage of third and first world realities characterized by the existence of cultural colonialism accompanied with perceptions of higher and lower cultures, severely distorted levels of inequality, destructive development policies, extreme poverty and demands for immediate relief for the sake of survival.The Problem StatementIf Southern Africa intends to succeed, a new look is required of the region’s social capital capabilities using fresh and creative business strategies, which will build on mutual foundations of trust. This implies amongst others a need to develop strong partnerships between all the stakeholder groups that can be unified into a strong wish power supported by a congruent business approach.The Proposed Business Network SolutionThe new business development strategy in Southern Africa should emphasize the endogenous business sector, of which the informal small business sector is the most important factor. It is estimated that the majority of Southern Africa’s working population operates in the informal economic sector without legislation, insurance, employee protection or rules. It is therefore important to integrate the informal small businesses into the formal economic sector as it may serve as the springboard to effective enterprise development in the SADC.The second step is to ensure that all small businesses are well embedded in open business network relationships in order to enable them to search and obtain resources that they do not possess. By doing this an opportunity-driven approach is adopted that may lead to competitive advantages for businesses for it creates the opportunity to take advantage of the knowledge and problem-solving abilities of all actors belonging to their supply and demand networks directly or indirectly. However, to ensure sustainable business development an epistemic small business community is regarded as a pre-requisite. It requires that the small business community network should share a set of normative and principle-belief system, which provide a value-based rationale for the business and social actions of all the actors. Business framework conditions should also be crafted that could provide a raison d’etre and an agreement of the common purpose that the small business environment pursues.The outcome of the network implementation process is that every business in essence becomes a networked organization or an extended enterprise positioned to compete in the global market. It is envisaged that the implementation of the network approach should be accompanied by some social interventions, as small business owners in the SADC do not operate in a normal market economy. One option for example is to enter into sub-contracting relationships with large companies to produce sub-components of final products.

Getting Started in Internet Marketing

There are several avenues that should be investigated and used when getting started in Internet marketing. Internet marketing is a powerful tool that can bring your services or product to people around the globe creating a huge market of consumers. Much of Internet marketing revolves around keyword searches and the resulting lists created from search engines. Understanding key word marketing is the first step to having a successful online career.To optimize your marketing you need to determine the keywords associated with your customer base or the desired market and how to get the most from them. To have your article of information appear at the start of search engine result list your marketing information will need to contain many keywords. The closer the keywords are to the actual search word and the frequency in which they appear in your article will cause your information to be appearing at the top of the list.There are keyword analysis services available, such as Wordtracker that can provide information on the most popular keywords currently used. The variations in keywords can also affect your search as using capitals can change the outcome of how often the word is used. You should try to include all the possible variations of a specific key word in your marketing to get the maximum results from that one keyword. Many times one keyword can have up to 4 variations, for example; internet marketing, Internet Marketing, internet markets, etc.You should also realize that when starting to use internet marketing the key is exposure and just getting your business or product information to as many individuals as possible. E-mail lists are a great way to spread the word as are frequent news letters that contain product information and special deals and services. You can also offer a special discount for the first purchase as customers always feel more inclined to make a purchase if the product is on sale. Free shipping is also a great incentive.To benefit from the internet you should submit marketing articles on your product or services to web directories. Selecting the correct category can cause your information to be viewed by the correct people or your carefully constructed marketing article can be lost into the wide world of information to only be viewed by a small amount of individuals.An easy way tot find the correct web directory category is to go to a web directories home page and type in the exact keyword for your interests. Then you should notice the category link under the first result listing. All of the top listings should be categories in which you want to submit your marketing articles. It is possible to determine whether the category is considered commercial or non-commercial. Some web directories to use is MSN Search, Yahoo search, and LookSmart directory.There are many other tips to use when getting started in Internet marketing but to be successful you need to understand all the ways in which you can utilize the internet to make the most money for your company. There are many articles available that can provide detailed information in successful internet marketing methods including common mistakes and tips to the trade.

Cross Platform Fitness Device by Microsoft

There have been fitness apps and fitness tracking devices offered by Apple, Android, and now by Microsoft too. Microsoft has introduced a health fitness device labeled as the Microsoft Band along with its homegrown app that just might seem a version of Google Fit or Apple HealthKit.Let us find out more about it and understand why it is worth it?About Microsoft HealthMicrosoft Health is the name of the service that is designed to serve as a cloud-based utility and cross-platform compatibility. However, if you are thinking that it is similar to what Google and Apple are offering then you need to know more about it.This device works with establishing physical link along with fitness software to provide accurate health and fitness data. Additionally, health data of any user along with vital health statistics that are accessible from multiple devices makes it easy for a user to obtain information related to health conveniently.This device collects data including information related to general health, calories, fitness, steps, heart rate, and nutrition. It is then complied and presented as the Intelligent Engine that is a proprietary of Microsoft.About Intelligent EngineIntelligent Engine harnesses the accumulated data that helps in presenting details that is easy to understand. Things like information upon exercises that burn most calories, intensity of workout, and the sleep pattern comprising restless sleep/ restful sleep are interesting additions that are unique in its own ways.With time the Intelligent Engine will incorporate more information that related to your lifestyle and thus learn more with your activities that will keep updating. Other things that Microsoft is planning to include in its device would be e-mail and calendar information. This would help to relate the given data to the schedules. Facts like calorie intake at a given time and individual need helps in determining the level of training or if one needs to run faster to burn up the calories.About Apple and GoogleApple and Google too harness the data but with Microsoft Health things change but what makes it stand apart is its cross-platform ability. It is available for iOS, Windows, and Android. You can even use it on your Mac or your Windows PC. The HealthKit from Apple is specific to iOS devices whereas, the Google Fit is meant only for Android users. However, comparatively Microsoft Health is available on all platforms and would work equally well with iPhone 6 motion processor as well as Android phone and Android Wear smartwatch.Apps IntegrationThis device is designed to work with other apps too such as RunKeeper, MyFitnessPal, and MayMyFitness. The data is compiled and stored that is then incorporated into Microsoft Health.You will be able to connect to the Microsoft HealthVault that is designed to work with the data and help you share it with medical services providers.
This app is available for free and is compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows phone OS.