Times are changing with postal services around the world thanks to people's reliance on smartphones and email.
New Zealand recently agreed to cut its mail delivery to three days a week in urban areas and five days a week in rural areas, since they're more reliant on mail, by 2015. Normally, mail is delivered six days a week.
The New Zealand Post fought for the change since it currently barely breaks even. If the normal delivery schedule continue, the service would be put it in the red, according to the Telegraph.
During the last 10 years, the amount of mail sent has dropped by a quarter and it's expected to continue rapidly dropping. The nation continues to lose another eight per cent each year, the communications minister told the Telegraph.
Anyone looking for daily mail deliveries can sign up for a premium courier-type service, but it will be interesting to see how businesses and newspapers adjust to this change.
Women are known to be the decision makers in the home, which is why many advertisers cater ads for household goods toward them, but times are changing.
Food makers are revamping their packaging towards men in reaction to a growing trend that males are doing more grocery shopping and meal preparation, according to a recent article by the Wall Street Journal.
Companies such as General Mills and Kraft Foods redesigned their product packaging in hopes of attracting a new customer for products they might not normally buy, such as yogurt. They're selling larger portion sizes, using darker-schemed designs with red and black and also using words, such as "ultimate," for the product to appear more manly.
Apparently, many products in grocery stores don't appeal to men, the head of research at Innova Market Insights told the WSJ. "A beer or soda in a long-necked, brown bottle makes a man feel like a man. Drinking out of a straw does not—puckered lips and sunken cheeks are not a good guy look," she says.
Walmart Canada is foraying into a new retail sphere, the world of selling food online.
The discount store quietly added food options to its website, which include items such as canned soups, pancake mix and gluten-free cereals, according to the Globe and Mail. The store typically has free shipping, except in the territories, and it's testing same-day shipping in Toronto. They could even offer fresh and frozen product options in the future, a spokesperson told the newspaper.
Many stores have shifted their businesses towards creating a robust shopping website as consumers have taken to showrooming, which means they check out the item at a brick and mortar store and then research on the Internet, sometimes even while in the store, for the best price.
While Canadians aren't as likely to shop online as other nations with 22 per cent of Canadians having never bought anything online, which is a stark contrast compared to four per cent of residents in China never buying anything online, more and more retailers are realizing that they need to grow their brands on the Internet.
Ninety-three per cent of Canadian women business leaders feel they're paid less than their male counterparts and that image has more to do with their possible advancement compared to men, according to a new Randstad Canada survey.
Despite any recent gains, more than three quarters (77 per cent) believe women still need to work harder and put in longer hours than men to prove themselves, particularly in management and executive roles.
And while there's always lots of talk about family-friendly workplaces, 49 per cent feel that employers are increasingly leery of family-related absences among women employees and this has a significant impact on their advancement.
Crowdfunding has become a legitimate avenue for entrepreneurs and artists to raise money for their unique ideas or projects, but anyone crowdfunding needs to know that the CRA can tax you on the money raised.
If a person received money for their business or project, such as a movie, and they receive the completed product or a promotional item, but not equity or a cut of the profits, then that's considered to be business income. But whether those crowdfunding expenses are deductible or not depends on whether they follow the Income Tax Act.
There continues to be debate in Canada about the pros and cons of crowdfunding, but the latest statistics by research firm Massolution show that $2.7 billion was raised worldwide for more than one million campaigns in 2012.
Meanwhile, both the Ontario and Saskatchewan governments are looking into equity crowdfunding, which would let startups and small businesses attract potential investors through crowdfunding.
The telecom company announced it would sell the latest BlackBerry after social media furor to news that Rogers wouldn't sell the BlackBerry Z30.
A week ago, the Rogers said it wouldn't offer BlackBerry's flagship phone, but many Canadians were upset that the company wouldn't support another Canadian company. Many users threatened to cancel services with one of the country's largest carriers.
The company has now said that the Z30 can be bought on its website and national reservation system.
Let's be real. BlackBerry is facing a dire situation. It looks like the company's future in smartphones is over with a possible $1 billion write off in unsold touchscreen phones, along with the possible sale and breakup of the company.
Oops. That's probably what some investors thought when they accidentally purchased stock in TWTRQ, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, an electronics chain that liquidated in 2008.
With investors buzzing about the latest news on the upcoming Twitter IPO, some silly traders helped the defunct company's stock rise to a value of about 1,400 per cent. On Thursday, the stock closed at one cent, but on Friday it rose to as much as 15 cents. The OTC finally head to step in and halted trading on the stock at 12:42 p.m. on Friday. This is after details about Twitter's financial situation was revealed through a prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Unfortunately, investors were over eager and it turns out that the Q behind the stock means that the company is bankrupt, but can continue to be traded, according to CNN.
In my book, Looptail: How One Company Changed the World by Reinventing Business (a New York Times and Globe & Mail bestseller and available now at all book retailers and at www.looptail.com), I write about the importance of community, culture and karma in business and challenge entrepreneurs and companies to look at how they are doing business through a different lens. It is possible to be profitable and purposeful in business today. The only companies and brands that will matter in the future are those that make people’s lives better.
After announcing that it would lay off close to half of its workforce and getting killed by last week’s whopper of an earnings warning, struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry may soon be acquired by a consortium led by its biggest shareholder, Fairfax Financial.
The going-in price? $9 a share -- way way below BlackBerry's price in the years before the iPhone ate its lunch.
The company's shares closed below that number, however, suggesting that investors don't see much upside just yet despite trading volume that was close to triple the daily average.
Fairfax CEO Prem Watsa, who has a longstanding reputation as a value investor, plans to take a page out of Dell's book by taking the company private and refocussing it on the business market.
But that's not going to be easy.
A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...