Reprinted without permission from WSJ.
I had my second shot today.
Over the years, I have read countless newspapers, magazines, books, blogs, and postings. I have been inspired, confused, dismayed, educated, informed, outraged, misled, disappointed, relieved, encouraged, assured, influenced, stimulated, transported, convinced, and energized in one way or another by everything I have come across for the past 60 years. And still standing at the top of my favorite books is Will Durant’s Mansions of Philosophy.
But at the top of my list of newspaper articles sits Janan Ganesh’s The Devil and Roger Federer. Published in 2017 in London’s Financial Times, Janan exquisitely elucidates what I agree are the essentials of preparing for the world we are living in.
“To prosper in life, or just to withstand its vicissitudes, a person has to possess some dark traits in controlled doses: aggression, swagger, ruthlessness verging on chicanery, an ability to block out other people and their judgments.” – Janan Ganesh
Admittedly, I had a hard time writing after reading this article. What fascinated me most was that it was a throw-away article by Janan. No Pulitzer Prize ambitions here, no scoops, and certainly not front-page news – just everyday journalism with terrific insight, written in a cadence that challenges my writing rhythm every time I have a go at the keyboard. It is this kind of brilliance I admire most. It’s not only having the intuition, but, more importantly, the ability to transport it succinctly and convincingly while entertaining and enthralling with every phrase – and to do it all so effortlessly.
I continue to read the Devil and Roger Federer on occasion and I recommend it often.
“There is such a thing as the optimal amount of devil in a person, and it is not zero. Call it the Federer Quotient.” Janan Ganesh
Posted by: Tony
Date: October 24, 2020
UGA Capital Ventures
Although we have spent over four decades cultivating and honing our resources to enable and grow our B2C businesses and partnerships, our focus has changed dramatically over the past several years. As we aggressively invest in the future, our growth strategy is now increasingly being based on enhancing and expanding our support and development resources for our international B2B ambitions.
Advantage Global Resources*, Advantage Brands Group, Lifetime Service & Solutions, Black Progress Matters, Advantage Professionals, c1 Resources, Zovy Cloud, Zantaz EAS [formerly Capax Discovery] and PremCloud Resources headline our growing lineup of outstanding B2B resources. Each of these independent operations has enormous potential, and I am excited to be a part of their future.
Although each operation can lay claim to the most promising future, PremCloud Resources certainly has the edge when it comes to having an international base to build on [although Black Progress Matters is currently building an impressive national network of its own].
UnBiasIt Data Stack
Recently, via Black Progress Matters, UnBiasIt has been engaged with UGA Capital Management in the development of its business offerings. Our Black Progress Resources Network will provide a trusted venue for all of our potential commercial, institutional, and government clients by enabling direct access to UnBiasIt’s premium IT resources in order to facilitate and enhance all of our customers’ various IT, business, and compliance needs. All of our capabilities, software, services, programs, solutions, and products will be fully vetted for our customers’’ assurance that they are receiving the finest resources befitting their specific needs.
By identifying, certifying, and making available the key IT resources of our companies and affiliates in our Black Progress Resources Network, we will be able to support a worldwide association of sales agents, as well as provide more universally accessible IT, business, and compliance resources to our global customers.
UnBiasIt Racial Bias Alert, UnBiasIt Data Detect, UnBiasIt Connect, UnBiasIt Archive Solutions, and UnBiasIt Sentinel are all products that have already been fully developed, activated, and supported by PremCloud Resources, Zovy Cloud, and c1 Secure. UnBiasIt will be able to bring these offerings to market within a matter of weeks.
Growing Our Business
At UGA Capital Management, we focus on three different ways to grow our independently owned and operated businesses:
- Sell more of what we have to the customers we already have.
If we are going to continuously grow our business, we must first identify everything we have available to sell and make it more accessible, desirable, and consumable. Next, we need to identify all of our customers, get to know them better, make them accessible, and then effectively connect with them [this is where the rubber meets the road]. We facilitate this connection by building a better conduit between all we have to offer and all of our customers. This is the foundation of our success and essential to growing our business. It’s organic.
- Create more customers.
At UGA Capital Management, we always start with word-of-mouth referrals because we know nothing is more critical to our success. Until a customer refers us, we haven’t maximized the relationship. In addition to referrals, we must seek out new customers through a comprehensive marketing program. Effective marketing makes selling easy. In addition to referrals and marketing, our most opportune way of creating more customers will now be through an international network of resellers and strategic partners. With the recent launch of our new strategic partner, UnBiasIt, we will be able to organize our IT partnerships as a potent provider of products, solutions, and services to a growing base of international customers.
- Create more to sell.
At PremCloud Resources, it has been six years of dedicated development, and we are now ready to show what PremCloud can really do with the market-leading launch of PremCloud Services, PremCloud Unified Data Stack, PremCloud Archive 1.0. data Connect+Detect, and PremCloud Supervisor as our core offerings. Add in CISO Sentinel and other products and solutions that we continue to create and outsource in order to extend our brand and market reach – and our future looks brighter than ever.
There are five key ways to grow our offerings:
Currently, most of our UGA Capital Management portfolio of independently owned and operated businesses are built on providing, enhancing, and servicing our exceptional licensed products, especially our archive solutions. PremCloud Resources has been built primarily to enhance and support licensed product. Going forward, we will always be looking to license and enhance new products, solutions, and services from third-party providers.
- In-House Development
This is often the most expensive way to develop a new product, solution, or service, but it is the most likely to provide the most proprietary, reliable, secure, inclusive, and sustainable offering. Our Unified Data Stack is our first in-house development, and it is just the start of what Sceven can create.
- Outsourced Development
This is often a less expensive route to development. By outsourcing to a developer who already has a core competency in creating a desired product or solution, you can save money while sacrificing some IP security and sustainability [this is very different from outsourcing a service or product for internal operations].
This is even less expensive than outsourced development because you are building on a current product or solution. Once again, you can save money while minimizing your flexibility in design and sacrificing even more IP security and sustainability. Private-Labeling, however, in addition to being less expensive, provides a much quicker path to market.
This is decidedly the least expensive of the four routes to development, and along with being the least expensive, it is also the fastest way to get a new offering to market. By simply taking an existing product, solution, or service and placing your brand name on it, you can readily have an offering that is market-ready and good to go. PremCloud Sentinel – created, provided, and supported by c1 Secure – is an example of white-labeling a great solution.
For UGA Capital Management, we believe that our greatest opportunity lies in our ability to provide our offerings to our strategic partners and customers through our new Proprietary Product Program.
The UGA Capital Management White Label Program
What Is White-Labeling?
White-labeling is a legal protocol that allows one product or service to be sold and rebranded under another company’s brand. The term “white-labeling” is used based on the manual process of whiting out something previously written to write over it again.
White-label products and services are re-brandable, re-sellable items produced by one company to be rebranded and resold by another company. White-label providers create a product or service to be rebranded by a reseller company so they can resell it as their own product to their end consumers.
White-labeled products and services are sold by resellers with their own branding and logo, but the products and services themselves are produced or provided by a third party. The end product or service appears as though it has been produced by the purchaser. Firms can use white label products and services to expand their offerings and target customers strategically; in turn, this could bolster their competitive advantage.
White-labeled products and services are manufactured or provided by a third party, not the company that sells or markets it. The advantage is that a single company does not have to go through the entire process of creating and selling a product or service. One firm can concentrate on producing or providing the product or service, and another can focus on selling it, each according to its expertise and preference. A major benefit of white-label branding is that it saves companies time, energy, and money in terms of development, sourcing, production, and delivery costs. Across the Advantage Co, we can readily provide white-labeled products, solutions, and services to all our B2B customers worldwide.
White-Labeling vs Private-Labeling
Utilizing white-labeling or private-labeling is in contrast to buying and selling products or services from other companies with their brand names on them. However, white-labeling or private-labeling are terms that are often used interchangeably, when in reality, they are somewhat different. Private-Labeling, like white-labeling, starts with buying a product or service from one manufacturer to put your brand on, but with Private-Labeling, you can specify nearly everything about the product – what goes in it, how it’s packaged, what the label looks like – and pay to have it produced and delivered to you.
White-Labeling is often cheaper than private labeling because it doesn’t take as much time to produce and plan. With White-Labeling, ultimately, the only thing you worry about is the brand name. The product is already made and all you have to do is put your name on it and sell it. White-Labeling overall is a much faster process, but on the downside, you don’t have much flexibility with your product.
B2B White-Label: Products or services provided by a white-labeling company that sells its products or services to a reseller that resells it to the end-user, another company.
SaaS White-Label: Re-brandable software that is licensed on a subscription basis and is hosted by the provider. Resellers brand the SaaS as their own and sell it to their clients.
White Label in the Form of Services
White-label products don’t always need to be tangible items. Service offerings also have adopted white-labeling. Some banks, for example, use white label services like credit card processing when they do not have these services in-house. Furthermore, businesses that have no banking operations often extend branded credit cards to their customers, which is also a form of white-labeling. For example, L.L. Bean Inc. offers its consumers a branded credit card, though the card is actually provided by Barclays Bank (BCS).
UGA Capital Management’s White Label Offerings
Our UGA white-labeled products, solutions, and services are ready-made, fully tailored offerings that make rebranding very simple. By using an already-polished product from one of UGA Capital Management’s portfolio companies, resellers save on research and development. Our white-labeling program enables resellers to expand their offerings without producing goods or services from scratch, which allows them to quickly scale their offerings, costs, and revenue.
“Through a proprietary product partnership with UGA Capital Management’s portfolio of independent companies, resellers get to market faster and can extend their brand and provide their customers with a new or complementary solution immediately.”
– JJ Contessa, PremCloud Services Chief Products Officer
Our white label solutions are not a raw script that needs to be retouched or finalized with no guarantee that they will work in the end. UGA’s Proprietary Product Program is a ready-to-use platform that can generate income right away. Our partners rebrand our products, solutions, and services with their name and logo, set their pricing strategy, and sell it to their business customers. Additionally, our proprietary products continue to undergo revisions, tests, and if something goes wrong, one of UGA Capital Management’s portfolio of companies takes full responsibility for fixing it.
Whether our UGA Capital Management Proprietary Product Partners want to attract new customers, keep the ones they have (reduce churn), or increase their basket size from their current customers, our white-label program allows them to increase the scope of their current offerings. Our partners’ clients come to them because they trust them, and putting their trusted brand name on a white-labeled product or service not only puts their brand name out there more it further enhances their reputation as a trusted industry player.
Pros of White-Labeling
- Diversify and cross-promote product and service offerings to become a full-service agency.
- Expand into more markets/add new revenue streams.
- Differentiate/get ahead of your competition (if they aren’t already doing something similar).
- Faster speed to market with new products than developing yourself.
- More cost-effective than developing or implementing yourself.
- Bypass all the extra legwork and resources required to develop your own software and services.
- Cross-promote your products (ex. reputation management and social marketing).
- Easy to brand.
- Increase your stickiness factor—the more you do for customers, the more customers become dependent on you.
- Sales and support materials are often provided.
- Partner with industry experts (white label supplier).
- More time to focus on core competency.
- The white-labeling supplier is always updating and improving product/service.
- White Label reporting/proof of performance.
- The white-labeling supplier is always updating and improving product/service.
- Incremental (monthly recurring) revenue with the SaaS model.
- Adding value for your clients by bundling products/services (they can reach their goals faster with you) and reduces the need for them to have vendor clutter.
- Expand your brand, build trust and your reputation. Solidifies you as an expert on that system or service.
- Easy entry, especially for startups.
- Access to big data and end-user reporting, offer advanced branded reports to customers using full data set of the white label provider.
- Minimal risk of trying a new product.
- Many white label marketing solutions already available (service fulfillment and software), no need to recreate the wheel.
- Your success is your provider’s success. They want to see you succeed.
* Advantage Global Resources
Advantage Global Resources provides the essential backend resources for the origination, design, structure, financing, development, growth, reporting, monitoring, analytics, compliance, security, accounting, legal, HR, and governance for all our local, national, and international business operations. The full development of these backend support services has positioned us to realize our potential as a fully functional resource for a variety of business operations.
Our comprehensive service and solution offerings for our clients are nothing short of incredible. The services that we now currently deliver to all our in-house clients [e.g. PremCloud Resources, Zovy Cloud, Zantaz EAS, Data Connect + Detect, CISO Sentinel, c1 Advantage, iWolrd Professionals, The AP Group, UnBiasIt, Black Progress Matters, Advantage Brands Group, iWorld Fundraising, Giancarlo’s, LTS, etc.] are indeed world-class.
CARES Act ADVISORY Services
On March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act or the Act) (P.L. 116-136) to provide emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families, and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The Small Business Administration (SBA) received funding and authority through the Act to modify existing loan programs and establish a new loan program to assist small businesses nationwide adversely impacted by the COVID-19 emergency.
CARES Act Advisory has brought together a remarkable array of personnel and services to facilitate the rapid response necessary to maximize the full benefits of the CARES Act for the relief and ongoing stimulus of every business, sole proprietor, independent contractor, and organization negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our response team includes experts in accounting, law, finance, lending, human resources, insurance, compliance, and government regulations.
As this COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt our daily lives and nearly every business and organization, our consulting team will provide you with detailed strategies to meet and satisfy every possible contingency which threatens your business, organization, or you.
Note: All of our CARES Act Application Assistance Services are Pro Bono [all application assistance expenses are covered by our Emergency Relief Fund, Advantage Global Resources, and Unified Global Archiving].
One of the most critical factors in gaining full relief and ongoing stimulus support during this crisis is the ability to gain instant access to vital information. Our CARES Act Advisory team has access to all of the information that you will need during this crisis, but, more importantly, it will be available to you as part of our rapid response program.
Every business and organization can potentially benefit from the wide array of programs, loans, and grants made available for immediate access from the federal government. Our CARES Act Advisory team will make certain that the documentation necessary for all and any access is properly prepared.
CARES Act SBA Loan Application
One of the main features of the CARES Act is the SBA loan provision that provides up to $10M in an SBA guaranteed low-interest loan to eligible businesses and organizations. Our CARES Act Advisory team can help you accelerate the application process by providing you with step by step assistance throughout the entire loan application procedure, and, most importantly, help you to maximize the appropriate forgiveness of your PPP loan.
Here are some of the services* that are immediately available to your business or organization and you:
1. Instant Information
One of the most critical factors in gaining full relief and ongoing stimulus during this crisis is the ability to gain instant access to vital information. Our CARES Act ADVISORY team has access to all of the information that you will need during this crisis, but, more importantly, it will be available to you as part of our rapid response program.
Official Final Version of the CARES Act:
2. CARES Act Preparedness
Every business and organization can potentially benefit from the wide array of programs, loans, and grants made available for immediate access from the federal government. Our CARES Act ADVISORY team will make certain that the documentation necessary for all and any access is properly prepared.
3. CARES Act SBA Loan Application
One of the main features of the CARES Act is the SBA loan provision that provides up to $10M in an SBA guaranteed low-interest loan to eligible businesses and organizations. Our CARES Act ADVISORY team can help you accelerate the application process by providing you with step by step assistance throughout the entire loan application procedure.
4. Emergency Response Ongoing Strategy
As this COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt our daily lives and nearly every business and organization, the CARES Act ADVISORY team will provide you with detailed strategies to meet and satisfy every possible contingency which threatens your business, organization, or you.
5. CARES Act Loan Forgiveness
One of the key features of the CARES Act is the provision allowing forgiveness of your SBA loan based on certain criteria. We can assist in your efforts to maximize your eligible forgiveness. Substantiating any and all claims for forgiveness must be fully documented and available for a full audit.
6. Business Interruption Insurance
At this time, NY State is working on a law that would require insurance companies to include business interruption coverage for all of their insured customers. Our CARES Act ADVISORY team will help you prepare and apply for your full business interruption coverage.
7. Stimulus Consulting
The federal government has said that it is just getting started with its stimulus program and that the CARES Act will soon be followed by an even more aggressive stimulus program.
For more information contact Tracy Allen, HR Director, CARES Act ADVISORY at 716.866.6425 or Tracy@theAdvantage.com