Am I the Only One Talking About Outsourcing?

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By: Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

20 years ago I was concerned for the safety of the Information Technology (IT) industry. Not too long before, the manufacturing industry went overseas to various countries. The IT industry was on the same path but what made it so easy no matter how transparent the process was – was the fact that there was no union to put up a fight. Now, there was never really a chance to unionize the IT industry but at least at one point there were talks or a desire of some groups on Wall Street which at least spawned some conversations of the idea.

The IT movement overseas (ie. outsourcing) has been surprisingly slow compared to other industries, especially considering that it’s all about computers and automation. Int he last 20 year or so I was surprised to see certain industries completely outsourced overseas before at a faster rate than the IT industry. Financial back office and the medical field both come to mind. Someone very close to me (ie. related) worked for a very large financial industry in New York, they managed an entire back office team for a very large retirement fund for a Union. It was well known within the company that they worked for that they had to keep it secret that they were moving their entire team to India. The Union would have pulled it’s multi-billion dollar account on the spot. The person I’m speaking about was responsible for transferring all functions to the team in India which although was a tough process – the kinks worked themselves out over time.

The second thing that comes to mind is in the medical field. Look up ‘zocdoc.com’ on Google and you’ll see that they were expected to be the next billion dollar startup company. The fastest rising startup in a long time – the idea behind them was that you would use your webcam to have a face to fact ‘appointment’ with a doctor overseas an they could write you basic subscriptions. Now, this could be an extremely amazing ‘technology’ it becomes amazingly disturbing the more you think about it.

I won’t even go into the accounting industry which is also being unwillingly outsourced overseas but what I will leave you with is a question and a thought – “is there anything that the American people won’t sell out on?” To answer this question you have to define “American People who drive these industries”. These are primarily the multi-billionaire investors that drive Capitalism.. I’ve always said that “the principles that have built America” (ie. Capitalism) are the very same principles that are tearing it down. Investors are too greedy to make an extra dime instead of re-investing into America.

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Why Amazon and Ebay are so Bad for the U.S.

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By: Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

Simply explained:

  • Manufacturers reside in China, India and beyond
  • Historically, manufacturers would wholesale to U.S. retailers who would then retail those products to consumers
  • As the internet grows, China, India and the likes are implanting their countrymen in the U.S. as “preferred sellers” who undercut American retailers or “sellers” (as called by Amazon and eBay)

The implanted “preferred sellers” in the U.S. are relatives, employees and in some cases simply “acquaintances” of the manufacturers – it’s a full blown monopoly. Herein lies the problem, those acquaintances get true wholesale prices and are able to sell at the narrowest profit margins (via Amazon and Ebay) while American retailers who sell the same products have to sell at a lower¬†margin (ie. lose $billions in sales) because they’re paying more for the same products. The margin of difference is the control point on eBay and Amazon which catapults the “preferred resellers” (of the Manufacturer) to “Top Seller” status on these sites (BTW, Top Seller status spells success which snowballs over and over as the more they sell, the cheaper it is to ship more products in bulk).

Here’s a real life example, search for ‘watchbox’ on Amazon.com and see if you can find this product or similar:

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This is a nice watchbox made in China. Now, before getting into the quality, shipping expenses (from China, to Amazon etc.) and Amazon service charges take a look at the price of this item, $6.17. This is not Alibaba.com or Aliexpress.com, this is direct to Consumer via Amazon. There is no way an American retailer is selling this product, this is purely a direct transaction from Manufacturer (via “preferred reseller”) to Consumer. The question becomes, is it even possible to prevent China from selling the bulk of it’s exports directly (or indirectly via “preferred reseller) to Consumers and how will that impact retailers in the U.S.? I do believe U.S. retailers are now on the path of being outsourced, the same as manufacturing jobs as well as with technology (India) and other markets.

Pretend you wanted to source the product above in bulk and retail it directly in the U.S., go to Alibaba.com (this is a direct Manufacturer to Retailer site) and see how much you can find the same product for.. 90% of the results will cost you $10 or more.. This is the evidence that proves this article. When Amazon (reseller price) is selling individual products cheaper than bulk pricing on Alibaba.com (wholesale price) it is proof that China, India and the like are creating a monopoly and cutting out the American retailer!

How does the American retailer compete directly with manufacturers from China when eBay and Amazon are in play? I don’t think it’s possible. How can an import tax solve this problem? It cannot when resellers and “preferred resellers” aka “implanted resellers” are being taxed the same. The only thing that the American retail market can hope for is to bring back manufacturing to the U.S. and the one thing China better be aware of is that Automation will wipe them out at some point.

 

China owns U.S. Retail

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By: Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

We’ll keep this one quick. All I can say is that if you’re looking to sell a “box of rocks”, all you have to do is check on aliexpress.com and or alibaba.com and you’ll find it for say $1.99 as an example.. After shipping to the U.S. (assuming you buy 200 boxes as an example) it will cost you approximately $2.49 per box.

 

Here lies the problem, typically a retailer or reseller would sell that box for $5.00 and earn 100% profit (ie. 2x purchase price). Unfortunately, nowadays – China has satellite connections throughout the U.S. and their hooks are buried in the likes of Amazon.com and Ebay.com. What does this mean for us?

Well, here is the sad reality.. As a retailer I search Aliexpress.com, Alibaba.com and several other online sites (all brokers for Chinese, Indian as well as other manufacturers) for that “box of rocks” and that box that I wanted to sell in America now wholesales for $4.00 a box on Amazon. (try it for yourself with any product)
What does this mean? ¬†At the moment I’ve only seen this problem with China which is why the title of this article is what is is (subject to change). It really means that the U.S.A. is being penetrated by immigrants that are receiving really cheap products from different countries which enable them to monopolize Amazon and all U.S. Retail companies because it enables a direct connection from foreign manufacturer to local consumer! Let’s pay attention to how the current Administration will handle this issue.

 

I’m done giving Facebook money for Ads

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By: Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

Well well well.. I’ve briefly touched on this topic in the past but my recent experiences have driven me to post at least an update with perhaps a new or different perspective. As mentioned in a previous article, paying close to $1 per click (or visit) is pretty much what it comes down to on most mainstream ocial Media sites. Given the fact that a very small percentage of click through traffic actually turn into a sale, well – what does that man to you? Let’s dig deeper!

Let’s assume that 3 percent of the click through traffic (which may be a high assumption depending on the topic of interest) actually buys something. Well then, a little reverse engineering will tell you that it costs you $100 to make 3 sales. This in turn means that you better be making $33.33 profit per sale just to break even. As you can see (or calculate), mainstream advertising on the Internet is not for every product!

As I’ve always said, if you want to remove all risks with this equation – just sell mortgages because even if it costs $100 for a click on average (which I don’t think is even possible) – if you even made 1 sale per 100 clicks ($10,000 per 100 clicks) you would make a fortune (multiply the loan amount approximately by 2 to estimate your profit margins).

Let’s get back to reality.. I’m not here to tell you which business opportunities work – I’m here to point you in the right direction based on your business to understand if Facebook Ads will work for you. I could be wrong but based on my experience and many discussions with other Advertisers, unless your profit margins are above $100 per sale then you really, REALLY need to proceed with Internet Ads with Extreme Caution!

We’re currently working on an article which discusses “What are the Best options for Website Advertising” which you may find surprising, with all of the non-technical recommended solutions! We’ll post the update here for those that are interested.

How to boost my SEO rankings – Relevance and Dynamic Content for My Homepage

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By: Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

How to boost my SEO rankings – Relevance and Dynamic Content for My Homepage

Just to be clear, the content in this article is a subset of what you should follow in order to help your Search Engine Optimization rankings (SEO). We will publish other topics and perhaps at some point provide more of a ‘Table of Contents’ overview but for those who are specifically interested in SEO Relevance this article is for you.

Search Engines have evolved over the years and are constantly updating their algorithms to keep up with the times. There are currently about 200 variables that factor into how a Search Engine ranks a website but we’re going to focus on Relevance which is one of the most important variables in the equation.

Relevance is an indicator of how two things are alike or not alike. Search Engines succeed if they deliver search results that keep visitors coming back for more searches. To bring more visitors back, Search Engines give higher rankings to those sites with:

Up to date content
Search Engines are smart enough to know when your content has been updated so whether it’s publishing blogs, updating stale content, posting images or adding new content you need to continually keep your content fresh. After all, how relevant can you be if your content is a few years old? We know that staying relevant isn’t easy which is the basis of why we wrote this article. We will jump into some solutions further down.

Content related to the Search Parameters
Yes, Search Engines (SE) are also smart enough to know which sites contents are a best match for a given Search Phrase. Nowadays, SE’s are using more and more Artificial Intelligence (AI) to match Search Phrases to sites with relevant content. Ever type a typo into the search box of a Search Engine and they somehow know what you’re searching for as results appear even before you finish typing? The suggested solutions below will help you move up in Search Engine rankings.

Popularity
That’s right, SE’s know how popular your site is by counting the number of backlinks to your site. They also know how many Followers and Likes you have on other Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. so as important it is to keep your content up to date on your website, in many cases is just as important if not more important to have a Social Media accounts with regular content (ie. posts) as well.

Let’s cut to the chase, here are 3 ways to keep your website up to date:

1. Update it as you do today – in most cases this is very time consuming, tedious and not preferred which is probably why you’re reading this article. We listed this as an option so people appreciate option 3 below.

2. Pay someone to update it – in many cases this isn’t even possible or it can be very expensive which often times isn’t the preferred choice. Most hosting companies do offer Blogging capabilities which is one of the best ways to ensure fresh content for your site. If you don’t have a blog you should look into it and at least consider it. A blog can be used for any topic and is a great way to expose your site further to the world.

3. For this option we’re going to focus on your Homepage because the statistics say that this is the most indexed page on a site by far, but you don’t have to limit this option to your homepage – you can certainly apply the same concept to any of your pages. The option we’re talking about is an RSS feed. An RSS feed is an easy way to display Titles with links to content – whether its new articles that you post on your blog and you want to put those articles names in a streaming format on your homepage – OR – perhaps you want to put Related Content with links to other sites on your homepage it can all pretty much be automated.

We first recommend that you look into what RSS is and figure out if it applies to your own website. If it does then there are plenty of free RSS scripts out there that can easily be integrated with most sites. If an RSS feed doesn’t apply to your site for some reason then you should consider pulling in an external RSS feed an putting it on your homepage.

Let’s look at an example of how an RSS feed can increase visits and revisits to your site. If for example you had a website about Birthday Gifts, perhaps you didn’t even have much content (text) because you were really only selling products and not information or ideas. What if you placed an RSS feed for ‘Famous Peoples Birthdays today’ on your homepage. This way when a visitor is on your homepage they may glance over the Famous Peoples Birthdays today list and either share it with a friend or perhaps it simply makes them smile. Small experiences like this are sure to increase revisits to your site, in many cases people will link their blog to your site (ie. backlink) simple because you’re offering a cool feature or something that your competitors aren’t offering. Over time those revisits and backlinks will cross the threshold of the SEO algorithms and pay off 10 fold.

Summary
There is no formula that will guarantee anyone the first spot on any Search Engines Results Page (SERP) but good practice and implementing tips as mentioned above is sure to improve your rankings. We strongly suggest that if you don’t already have a Google/Webmaster account and if you don’t know the details of your current rankings that you open an Google/Webmaster account so that you can measure the impact of keeping your site up to date.