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To Succeed in 2023, Consider These 10 Business Strategies

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As we enter 2023, it’s clear that we are entering an altered business paradigm driven as much by new technology represented by electric vehicles and the metaverse as it is by anachronistic conflicts such as the one instigated by the Russian Federation. The global recession, ongoing war in Ukraine and increased credit rates have all presented new challenges for businesses looking to grow. However, it’s important to remember that adversity can also present opportunities for growth and innovation. With that in mind, here are 10 strategies that businesses can use to navigate these challenges and come out on top.

1. Diversify your product or service offerings

By offering a wider range of products or services, businesses can hedge against market fluctuations and ensure a steady stream of revenue. This can be especially effective in times of economic uncertainty, when customers may be hesitant to commit to a single product or service offering. Consider Amazon and Google — both technology giants have expanded into multiple markets relying on organic growth, innovation and strategic acquisitions of profitable businesses. Google originally launched with search and dominated that space (or to use wunderkind tech investor Peter Thiel’s argument in his book, Zero to One, monopolized it). Amazon was an online bookstore. Enough said.

Related: 5 Questions to Ask Before Diversifying Your Business

2. Expand into new markets

Expanding into new markets, either domestically or internationally, can also help businesses diversify and mitigate risk. This can be especially relevant for businesses that are heavily reliant on a single market or industry.

3. Focus on customer retention

In times of economic uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to prioritize customer retention. By offering excellent customer service, businesses can create loyal customers who are more likely to continue doing business with them even in tough times. In 2023, excellent service means personalized service if you are catering to higher dollar customers, because many successful people feel snubbed when their first line of customer interaction is bots, algorithms and ultimately some untrained call center worker who reads from a poorly constructed script.

If you are catering to the masses, great customer service is predicated on community feedback, interaction and algorithms that are designed to empower the customer rather than further marginalize that person. There are systems in place that look to metaverse and community models to achieve these objectives and allow customers to provide feedback that’s truly meaningful to them rather than to the enterprise.

4. Embrace digital technologies

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift toward digital technologies, and businesses that embrace these technologies will be well-positioned for the future. From ecommerce platforms to remote work tools, there are numerous ways that businesses can leverage digital technologies to streamline operations, improve efficiency and reach new customers. Artificial intelligence will become the ace card in 2023 with natural language processing, smart media, PR products and machine learning leading the way. Artificial intelligence will write articles, press releases, books, essays and speeches. It is also safe to assume that 5G will impact the way we live and work in 2023.

5. Invest in employee training and development

Investing in employee training and development can help businesses stay competitive by ensuring that their workforce has the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. This can be especially important in times of economic uncertainty, when businesses may be hesitant to hire new employees. Forward-looking corporate enterprises will need to consider management of a workforce that will be working from home or remote locations. Business leaders will need to consider adopting what Silicon Valley has pioneered — a health-focused communal work environment driven by deconstructed management that empowers its employees. The days of rigid corner office hierarchies and rituals driven by cultural pressure may be on the way out.

Related: 4 Big Benefits of Improved Employee Training

6. Collaborate with other businesses

Frenemy relationships are in — and not only because they signal good corporate citizenship, but also because competition should not lead to adversity in 2023. As much as the opaqueness of globalism is uncomfortable in geopolitical settings, in the corporate environment, it may have an entirely different effect, and corporate globalism should be welcomed as a way to overcome market entry challenges. Collaborating with other businesses, whether through partnerships, joint ventures or other arrangements, can help businesses tap into new sources of expertise, resources and customers. This can be especially relevant for small businesses that may not have the resources to do it alone. By way of analogy, think of this concept as an open format for expanding one’s markets. Apple may be altering its marketing and technology strategies in the near future where decentralized models and open sources will dominate.

7. Seek out funding and investment opportunities by leveraging technological innovation

While the economic climate may be challenging, there are still opportunities for businesses to secure funding and investment. This could come from traditional sources like banks and venture capitalists or from alternative sources like crowdfunding platforms or accelerators. Even conventional businesses should consider adding a technology component to their offerings in order to be more appealing to investors and lenders in 2023.

8. Stay agile and adaptable

In times of uncertainty such as the one anticipated in 2023, it’s prudent for businesses to stay agile and adaptable so they can quickly pivot as market conditions change. This might involve adjusting business models, shifting focus to new products or services or exploring new channels for growth. Ultimately, the mantra here is to embrace technology and employee efficiency while empowering customers. For instance, enable customers to process payments and build their products through your web interface, consider closing brick-and-mortar offices and shift to online, or seek out joint venture partners that have proven market success.

Related: 5 Ways to Adapt to Change and Build a More Resilient Business Model

9. Emphasize the value of your product or service

In times of economic uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to clearly communicate the value of your product or service to customers. By highlighting the benefits that your offering brings, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors and convince customers to make a purchase. This may involve leveraging public relations firms and utilizing AI to communicate your offering through online marketing platforms and social media.

10. Take advantage of low-cost marketing and advertising channels

While traditional marketing and advertising channels may be less effective in times of economic uncertainty, there are still plenty of low-cost options available to businesses. From social media marketing to content marketing, businesses can reach new customers without breaking the bank.

As the Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” By following these general strategies, businesses can mitigate the economic risks of 2023 and benefit from new tech trends that will likely become the new norm.

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Why All of Us Need to Join the Fight for Workplace Diversity

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The Ernst & Young 2020 Global Private Equity Report found that 74% of private equity firms under $2.5 billion did not have set targets for ethnic diversity and had no plans to set any.

While this might come as a surprise to those with no history working in private equity or hedge funds, this statistic and the recent media attention Soo Kim has received regarding the TEGNA takeover, unfortunately, come as no surprise to me.

As a former employee of Standard General, one of only a handful of Black Americans working in the hedge fund sector and an immigrant founder, I’m appalled at the lack of diversity in this space. However, I can firmly say that it would be a lot worse without Soo Kim’s contribution — but we need more than just him to join the cause.

Related: 18 Business Leaders on Creating an Inclusive and Equitable Society

What’s happening with Soo Kim’s TEGNA takeover?

In February 2022, Soo Kim’s Standard General, with funding from Apollo Global Management announced a deal to acquire TV station owner TEGNA for roughly $8.6 billion. TEGNA is the second-largest local TV broadcaster by revenue, operating 64 TV stations and two radio stations across various markets in the U.S. Contrary to large TV consolidation mergers, this particular deal has drawn a number of vocal objectors.

Ostensibly, the critique has come from a union — The NewsGuild — that purports to be concerned about jobs, despite the public commitments that Standard General made to preserve local station employment. While concerns about jobs are admirable, the publicly filed comments from these groups include statements that, in so many words, say that Soo Kim’s ownership of this station group would do nothing to advance diversity as understood by the civil rights community and public interest.

Is there a “wrong” type of minority?

These commenters continue to say that Soo Kim was not barred by his race from becoming a successful entrepreneur.

As a fellow New Yorker and both graduates of Stuyvesant High School, I can speak to our experiences. Using his Asian ancestry against him is exactly the kind of short-sighted hateful rhetoric causing so many issues for Asian communities across America. I have seen this in all aspects of American life, from Wall Street firms to my days at West Point and in Baghdad.

When there’s a flag draped over your coffin, there is no “wrong type of minority.” Yet we seem to treat immigrant founders and founders of color like there is such a thing as a “wrong” type of minority.

The indivisible nature of the United States is our greatest strength, but that strength is weakened by the belief that Soo Kim being Asian makes him unqualified to pursue the commercial principles that our country was founded on.

However, what worries me more than anything is that Kim hasn’t been treated fairly by anyone throughout this deal. Are these political letters and criticism influencing the regulators whose judgment the closing of this deal depends on? I know firsthand how hard it is for founders of color to access the capital to pull off deals of this magnitude. An adverse outcome here would have a chilling impact on minority ownership of broadcasting assets at the very least. Perhaps this is what the objectors want.

While the thought of that is troubling at the very least, I believe what’s been so impactful and appalling to me throughout this entire debacle has been the fact that I know Soo Kim. I’ve worked with him, I have represented him on public company boards and I’ve seen what he stands for. It’s unimaginable to me that he could be on the receiving end of such racism when he so clearly stands for justice and equality.

Related: 6 Ways to Offer Allyship to Black Entrepreneurs

Commitment to diversity

As the founder of Standard General, Kim has been tireless in his commitment to diversity: from hiring to using his power to change companies to better reflect what America really looks like. More importantly, he didn’t limit his search to just Asian professionals. Black, Asian, Jewish and white employees all were represented in the 12-person team at Standard General while I was there. He has also consistently appointed women and people of color to the boards of his companies throughout the years.

I have seen the good he does in his companies and how hard he works to provide equal access to opportunities regardless of race or gender.

And, because I am the diversity and inclusion officer for the MediaCo board of directors, which owns the radio stations Hot 97 and WBLS (which has a management team that is over 50% diverse and a staff that is over 70% diverse overall), I would say that it is precisely Kim’s unique background that could help improve TEGNA own documented diversity issues.

If other leaders follow Kim’s lead, we can slowly but surely change the diversity problem. But we all have to actually commit.

How the TEGNA deal compares to other acquisitions

Just to drive my point home, I believe it’s important to take a look at how this TEGNA deal compares to other similar acquisitions.

Recently, the TV industry has seen a surge in big deals. For example, Gray Television acquired Meredith’s and Quincy’s local stations with virtually no opposition from across the aisle. Scripps bought ION Media Group and Nexstar Media Group also added to its empire by snatching up Tribune Broadcasting — moves that heavily concentrated power in this industry space.

All of those prior deals did not face any of the scrutiny and criticism from this deal, which is curious because the TEGNA deal shrinks the company with the concurrent sale of a number of stations to Cox Media Group, and does not require any statutory divestitures or regulatory rule waivers as each of the above did. And yet, with Standard General’s deal, the informal 180-day “shot clock” for a regulatory decision has long passed.

The point? The lack of opposition to other similar deals shows young entrepreneurs and immigrant founders that even when you try to play fair as a person of color in this industry, you just can’t seem to win.

Related: 5 Ways Entrepreneurs of Color Can Determine an Ally’s Authenticity

The system has to change

In one interview, Kim said that after the takeover, TEGNA would get a “company with a minority owner, run by a woman, that’s committed to serving diverse communities. We think that’s good business.”

It is good business, and I am delighted to see that Kim and Standard Media CEO Deb McDermott have received letters of support from legislators, civil rights groups and minority media groups. I applaud these groups for speaking up in defense of Soo Kim and other minorities in this space. I, too, am doing my part to speak up against these racist attacks. However, that isn’t enough anymore.

The system has to change — and it changes by not allowing these types of attacks, comments and ideals to persist in any way, shape or form. We must stop entertaining the idea that these types of comments are valid or even acceptable. We have as a nation all experienced the heartache of watching videos of racially motivated violence against people of color from all walks of life. Racial oppression takes place in the business world just as it does in the streets, just without the same visible evidence but the same indelible impact on those persons of color involved.

As a business leader, here’s how you can enact systemic change:

  1. When making hiring decisions, stop going with your gut. Newsflash, your gut always leads you to the most comfortable choice. Instead, create a list of metrics you will hire for and focus on hiring someone that meets those metrics. Blind auditions eliminated discrimination in the world’s greatest orchestras. Imagine what it could do for your business.
  2. Be aware that there are challenges diverse individuals face in business that you don’t see or experience. Do your best to factor those in when evaluating candidates. They may not have Goldman Sachs on their resume, but can you see evidence of ability in past academic performance or in other areas like military or community service?

As the great Martin Luther King Jr. said, “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

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Better Chip Stock in 2023: AMD vs. STM

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While the last year has been challenging for the chip makers, the outlook for the industry is improving. Moreover, lucrative government initiatives are expected to strengthen the industry further. So, quality stocks Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and STMicroelectronics (STM) could witness stable growth. But which is the better buy in 2023? Let’s find out.

The semiconductor industry witnessed significant supply chain disruptions in 2022. However, according to Peter Voser, the chairman of Swedish-Swiss tech and engineering giant ABB, the global shortage of semiconductors is expected to ease this year.

Moreover, the CHIPS Act is expected to bolster the industry further. It allocates $52.70 billion for American semiconductor research, development, manufacturing, and workforce development. Lucrative federal investments are expected to help the semiconductor industry thrive in the upcoming terms. The global semiconductor industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7% until 2030.

Therefore, quality stocks Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) and STMicroelectronics N.V. (STM) are expected to gain significantly. AMD and STM are popular chip makers operating globally.

AMD has gained 16% over the past month, while STM has gained 32.8%. Also, AMD has lost 20.5% over the past three months, while STM has gained 24.5%.

Which stock is a buy? Let’s find out.

Latest Developments

On December 1, 2022, AMD and Viettel High Tech (Member of Viettel Group) announced the successful completion of a 5G mobile network field trial deployment. This collaboration for advanced 5G connection deployment is expected to be strategically beneficial for both companies.

On the other hand, on January 30, 2023, STM launched the world’s first MCU Edge-AI Developer Cloud.

Ricardo De Sa Earp, Executive Vice President of General-Purpose Microcontroller Sub-Group, STM, said, “Our goal is to deliver the best hardware, software, and services to meet the challenges faced by embedded developers and data scientists so that they can develop their edge AI application faster and with less hassle.”

Recent Financial Results

AMD’s revenue came in at $5.60 billion for the fourth quarter that ended December 31, 2022, up 16% year-over-year. However, its non-GAAP operating income came in at $1.26 billion, down 5% year-over-year. Also, its non-GAAP net income decreased marginally year-over-year to $1.11 billion, while its non-GAAP EPS decreased 25% year-over-year to $0.69.

On the other hand, STM’s net revenues came in at $4.42 billion for the quarter that ended December 31, 2022, up 24.4% year-over-year. Its net income increased 66.6% year-over-year to $1.25 billion, while its EPS increased 61% year-over-year to $1.32.

Past and Expected Financial Performance

AMD’s revenue is expected to increase 5.1% year-over-year to $24.71 billion for the current fiscal year 2023, while its EPS is expected to increase 2% year-over-year to $3.58 for the same period. Moreover, its EPS is expected to rise 14.3% per annum for the next five years. Also, it surpassed EPS estimates in three of four trailing quarters.

On the other hand, STM’s revenue is expected to increase 6% year-over-year to $17.10 billion for the fiscal year 2023 and 4.8% year-over-year to $17.92 billion for the next fiscal year 2024. Its EPS is expected to increase 7.7% year-over-year to $4.36 in 2024. Moreover, its EPS is expected to rise 5% per annum for the next five years. In addition, it surpassed EPS estimates in all four trailing quarters.

Profitability

AMD’s gross profit margin of 50.95% is higher than STM’s 47.34%. However, AMD’s EBITDA and net income margins of 24.30% and 9.96% are lower than STM’s 34.76% and 24.55%, respectively. Also, AMD’s ROE, ROA, and ROTC of 7.37%, 2.26%, and 5.72% are lower than STM’s 36.00%, 20.34%, and 20.13%, respectively.

Valuation

In terms of forward EV/Sales, AMD’s 4.85x is higher than STM’s 2.41x. Its forward EV/EBITDA of 14.93x is 114.8% higher than STM’s 6.95x. Furthermore, AMD’s forward P/E of 66.92x compares with STM’s 11.06x.

Thus, STM is relatively more affordable.

POWR Ratings

STM has an overall rating of A, equating to Strong Buy in our proprietary POWR Ratings system. On the other hand, AMD has an overall rating of D, which translates to Sell. The POWR Ratings are calculated considering 118 different factors, with each factor weighted to an optimal degree.

STM has a B grade for Quality. Its trailing-12-month CAPEX/Sales of 19.57% is 679.5% higher than the industry average of 2.51%.

On the other hand, AMD has a D grade for Quality. Its trailing-12-month CAPEX/Sales of 1.80% is lower than the industry average.

In addition, STM has a C grade for Stability, in sync with its beta of 1.30. On the other hand, AMD has an F grade for Stability, with its beta of 1.98.

Of the 92-stock Semiconductor & Wireless Chip industry, STM is ranked #2, while AMD is ranked #88.

Beyond what we’ve stated above, we have also rated the stocks for Growth, Value, Momentum, and Sentiment. Click here to view STM Ratings. Get all AMD ratings here.

The Winner

The supply chain issues in the semiconductor industry are expected to ease this year, which should boost production. Given the steady prospects of the industry, quality stocks STM and AMD should benefit. However, STM’s better financials and attractive valuations make it the better buy here.

Our research shows that the odds of success increase when one invests in stocks with an Overall Rating of Strong Buy or Buy. View all the top-rated stocks in the Semiconductor & Wireless Chip industry here.

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STM shares rose $0.16 (+0.34%) in premarket trading Wednesday. Year-to-date, STM has gained 32.75%, versus a 6.29% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.


About the Author: Riddhima Chakraborty

Riddhima is a financial journalist with a passion for analyzing financial instruments. With a master’s degree in economics, she helps investors make informed investment decisions through her insightful commentaries.

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These Co-Founders Built a Mobile Farmers Market With a Mission

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“The world was in shambles,” Prosperity Market co-founder Carmen Dianne says, recalling the pandemic and social unrest of 2020. “It was really hard to see everything that was happening, to know that 41% of Black-owned businesses were closing. The grocery store lines were so long, just getting food was even more difficult than it had been previously.”

Dianne and her friend Kara Still didn’t want to stand by amid the tumult — so they took action.

To address the economic instability and food insecurity facing the Black community, the Los Angeles-based duo co-founded Prosperity Market, a mobile farmers market featuring Black farmers, food producers, entrepreneurs, artists, florists and chefs.

At the time, neither Dianne nor Still had experience in the food industry. Dianne was a makeup artist; Still worked as a fashion designer. Yet coming into the food space “with fresh eyes” has been advantageous for the co-founders, who’ve been ready to question and challenge things from the start.

Entrepreneur sat down with Dianne and Still to learn how they built Prosperity Market while navigating an industry that was entirely new to them — and hear about the exciting initiative they have planned next.

Related: Sorel Liqueur’s Founder Shares His Multi-Million-Dollar Comeback

Black business owners suffered the greatest earnings losses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 800,000 Los Angeles County households (almost a quarter of the total), experienced food insecurity over the 12 months ending July 2022, up from 17% in 2021, according to a study released by Public Exchange.

And a report from the U.S. Small Business Administration found that Black business owners suffered the greatest earnings losses during the Covid-19 pandemic: They lost between 11% and 28% while white business owners saw decreases in the 2-15% range.

Dianne and Still came up with a two-pronged approach to tackle the problems of food insecurity and economic instability in the LA area. They’d take healthful and affordable food options directly into the communities that needed them — and partner with Black businesses and farmers to make it happen.

The co-founders’ vision was clear from the start: They wanted to launch a mobile trailer, largely inspired by Dianne’s days as a makeup artist on set, where snack trailers were common, to transport the products to local communities.

But as newcomers to the food space, they had to contend with unknowns along the way, and they soon realized that such an ambitious endeavor would require the kind of funding that would only come once they started to prove themselves. That’s when they landed on the idea for the pop-up markets.

The co-founders consider the required pivot a “blessing in disguise,” as it allowed them to familiarize themselves with the market, connect with vendors and build relationships with different communities.

Image credit: Courtesy of Prosperity Market

Related: The 10 Best Books for Black Entrepreneurs, by Black Entrepreneurs

“Because we hadn’t intended to start this, it wasn’t like we had a business savings fund.”

In the first six months after they came up with the idea for Prosperity Market, the co-founders had to learn how to do it all — from getting permits to finding funding.

“[Funding] took some figuring out,” Still says, “because we hadn’t intended to start this, it wasn’t like we had a business savings fund. So really what it looked like once we were getting started was friends and family outreach.”

The inaugural market opened in February 2021, and in the lead-up to launch, Dianne and Still prepared relentlessly, researching everything from farmers to food to economics.

Dianne and Still also crafted an aesthetic to help Prosperity Market stand apart from traditional farmers markets. “[Our creative backgrounds] informed our branding and the experience that we want to create, and the theme, continuity and way we show up,” Still explains.

But one thing the co-founders hadn’t banked on? Just how difficult it would be to find Black farmers.

“It was like, Okay, we need more Black-owned businesses,” Dianne says. “We need essential Black-owned businesses — we’ll find Black farmers. And then we had trouble doing that, and we had to learn about the history of Black farmers and why it was this way. So that added another layer to our work.”

Image credit: Courtesy of Prosperity Market

Related: 6 Ways to Offer Allyship to Black Entrepreneurs

“You can get your hot food and shop for your groceries and produce all at the same time.”

Through it all, the co-founders’ dedication, flexibility and creativity have helped Prosperity Market gain traction and find success.

As word about Prosperity Market spread, friends and family continued to support Dianne and Still’s venture — and so did their other fans. In 2022, the co-founders launched a crowdfunding campaign on the platform Fund Black Founders with the help of a grant from the JLH Social Impact Fund.

It was a triumph and allowed them to raise enough money to fund the mobile trailer they’d dreamed up at the beginning of their journey.

“That was such a transformational experience for us,” Dianne says. “It taught us a lot. It is not for the faint of heart, let me tell you, but we did it: We raised over $111,000 for our mobile trailer.”

The long-awaited trailer will be 48 feet long with a farmers market that’s set up to look like a produce aisle with shelves full of goods, and a kitchen in the back, which Prosperity Market will rent out to different chefs and food entrepreneurs.

“So it’s a pop-up food truck all in one trailer,” Dianne says. “You can get your hot food and shop for your groceries and produce all at the same time.”

Image credit: Courtesy of Prosperity Market

Related: Black Women Entrepreneurs, Not Banks, Helped Me Keep My Company Going During the Pandemic

“It takes something to be able to pull yourself up every day, no matter how things are going.”

As the co-founders look to Prosperity Market’s exciting future, they consider capacity one of the greatest hurdles they’ll have to overcome.

“We have all the ideas in the world,'” Dianne says. “There’s so much we want to do, but then [we] have to execute it, and we just need more operating capital.”

“Because everything takes time,” Still adds. “You write it down, plan it out, strategize and then [it takes] time to actually execute, and there’s always things that come up, and with such a small team, we can only do so much at once.”

The road to Prosperity Market has had its twists and turns, teaching the co-founders the value of practicing patience every day in all areas of their lives.

“You’ll need patience with that vision, patience with all of the different types of people that you’ll be working with and patience with yourself,” Still explains, “because it is not an easy process. It takes something to be able to pull yourself up every day, no matter how things are going, because no one makes your schedule but you.”

It also underscored the importance of having a solid support system along the way.

“We have great mentors and advisors and people we can go to when we get stumped with something,” Dianne says. “We have a supportive community of people who want to see us win. And if it was not for that, I don’t know that we would be continuing this.”

Prosperity Market will hold its next market on Saturday, February 25, 2023, its second anniversary, at the California African American Museum. Its virtual market will be open the week before the pop-up to provide an opportunity to pre-order online and schedule a pick-up at the market or satellite location.

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