Month: April 2017

How to Start a Business Online and Ecommerce #business #proposal

#online business

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How to Start a Business Online

There is a proven sequence of steps you can follow to guarantee your success when you re starting a small business online. I ve seen thousands of people start and grow successful businesses by doing the following:

  1. Find a need and fill it.
  2. Write copy that sells.
  3. Design and build an easy-to-use website.
  4. Use search engines to drive traffic to your site.
  5. Establish an expert reputation for yourself.
  6. Follow up with your customers and subscribers with e-mail.
  7. Increase your income through back-end sales and upselling.

Anyone, from newbie to seasoned online entrepreneur, can benefit from this process in learning how to start a business online.

Step 1: Find a need and fill it

Most people who are just starting out make the mistake of looking for a product first, and a market second.

To boost your chances of success, start with a market. The trick is to find a group of people who are searching for a solution to a problem, but not finding many results. The internet makes this kind of market research easy:

  • Visit online forums to see what questions people ask and what problems they re trying to solve.
  • Do keyword research to find keywords that a lot of people are searching, but for which not many sites are competing.
  • Check out your potential competitors by visiting their sites and taking note of what they re doing to fill the demand. Then you can use what you ve learned and create a product for a market that already exists–and do it better than the competition.

Step 2: Write copy that sells

There s a proven sales copy formula that takes visitors through the selling process from the moment they arrive to the moment they make a purchase:

  1. Arouse interest with a compelling headline.
  2. Describe the problem your product solves.
  3. Establish your credibility as a solver of this problem.
  4. Add testimonials from people who have used your product.
  5. Talk about the product and how it benefits the user.
  6. Make an offer.
  7. Make a strong guarantee.
  8. Create urgency.
  9. Ask for the sale.

Throughout your copy, you need to focus on how your product or service is uniquely able solve people s problems or make their lives better. Think like a customer and ask What s in it for me?

Step 3: Design and build your website

Once you ve got your market and product, and you ve nailed down your selling process, now you re ready for your small-business web design. Remember to keep it simple. You have fewer than five seconds to grab someone s attention–otherwise they re gone, never to be seen again. Some important tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose one or two plain fonts on a white background.
  • Make your navigation clear and simple, and the same on every page.
  • Only use graphics, audio or video if they enhance your message.
  • Include an opt-in offer so you can collect e-mail addresses.
  • Make it easy to buy–no more than two clicks between potential customer and checkout.
  • Your website is your online storefront, so make it customer-friendly.

Step 4: Use search engines to drive targeted buyers to your site

Pay-per-click advertising is the easiest way to get traffic to a brand-new site. It has two advantages over waiting for the traffic to come to you organically. First, PPC ads show up on the search pages immediately, and second, PPC ads allow you to test different keywords, as well as headlines, prices and selling approaches. Not only do you get immediate traffic, but you can also use PPC ads to discover your best, highest-converting keywords. Then you can distribute the keywords throughout your site in your copy and code, which will help your rankings in the organic search results.

Step 5: Establish an expert reputation for yourself

People use the internet to find information. Provide that information for free to other sites, and you ll see more traffic and better search engine rankings. The secret is to always include a link to your site with each tidbit of information.

  • Give away free, expert content. Create articles, videos or any other content that people will find useful. Distribute that content through online article directories or social media sites.
  • Include send to a friend links on valuable content on your website.
  • Become an active expert in industry forums and social networking sites where your target market hangs out.

You ll reach new readers. But even better, every site that posts your content will link back to yours. Search engines love links from relevant sites and will reward you in the rankings.

Step 6: Use the power of e-mail marketing to turn visitors into buyers.

When you build an opt-in list, you re creating one of the most valuable assets of your online business. Your customers and subscribers have given you permission to send them e-mail. That means:

  • You re giving them something they ve asked for.
  • You re developing lifetime relationships with them.
  • The response is 100 percent measurable.
  • E-mail marketing is cheaper and more effective than print, TV or radio because it s highly targeted.

Anyone who visits your site and opts in to your list is a very hot lead. And there s no better tool than e-mail for following up with those leads.

Step 7: Increase your income through back-end sales and upselling

One of the most important internet marketing strategies is to develop every customer s lifetime value. At least 36 percent of people who have purchased from you once will buy from you again if you follow up with them. Closing that first sale is by far the most difficult part–not to mention the most expensive. So use back-end selling and upselling to get them to buy again:

  • Offer products that complement their original purchase.
  • Send out electronic loyalty coupons they can redeem on their next visit.
  • Offer related products on your Thank You page after they purchase.

Reward your customers for their loyalty and they ll become even more loyal.

The internet changes so fast that one year online equals about five years in the real world. But the principles of how to start and grow a successful online business haven t changed at all. If you re just starting a small business online, stick to this sequence. If you ve been online awhile, do a quick review and see if there s a step you re neglecting, or never got around to doing in the first place. You can t go wrong with the basics.





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Writing a business plan #start #up #business #ideas

#business plan

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Writing a business plan

Define your business

It s important that you define what type of small business you are so that everyone you work with understands what you re trying to achieve. A comprehensive business plan is the best way to go about defining your business.

Your plan should include:

  • What your business will do
  • The products or services it will provide
  • How customers will access your products or services (eg in a shop, online or by phone)
  • Your approach to pricing
  • Your long and short-term objectives including a series of benchmarks if possible that you can check your progress against

Know your customers

Make sure you know as much as possible about who will be buying from you. For example, if you re marketing to consumers, here are some questions you might want to ask. Knowing the answers will help you promote your business much more effectively:

  • How old are they?
  • What do they do for a living?
  • What are their lifestyles like?
  • Do they already buy the product or service?
  • Why will they buy from you and no one else?
  • How will you tell them about your business?

Naming your business

The name you choose for your business should reflect the image you want to project to your market. Pick one that s easy to pronounce and remember, but do some research first. Make sure your chosen name is not already in use, it s available as a web address and will work on your business stationery. You may also consider looking into the name s meaning in different countries and languages especially if you see yourself expanding internationally in the future.

If you have the facilities, you could test various names to see how people from your proposed customer base react. There are companies that provide this service, or you could do it informally by asking friends and family.

Taking on staff

If you take on employees even part-time you ll need to familiarise yourself with employment law and know how to get the best out of your staff. There are plenty of guides that will help you to understand the law and make decisions to suit your business, such as the number of employees you need, what you should offer them and if they will be contractors or permanent.

Here are some key things to consider

  • What are my responsibilities and what do I need to provide them with?
  • How will I make sure they are properly managed and trained?
  • What should I pay them and does it match with the pay offered for similar roles in the area?
  • Does it comply with the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage?
  • How will they benefit my business and help me to achieve my goals?

Writing it all down

When you write your business plan, remember to be clear, realistic and concise. It s important to consider that someone reading it in the future might not be familiar with jargon or more technical terms, so writing it in plain English is advisable.

You should use research and, if possible, evidence, to support your conclusions and include an action plan. Nothing needs to be set in stone, however; business plans are dynamic documents meaning that you should adjust your plan as your business develops.





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Free Business Card Templates: Design Cards for Free #what #is #the #stock #market

#business cards templates

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The Budapest Business Journal on the web #business #directory

#business journal

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Are you sure?

Samsung will start manufacturing batteries for electric cars for the European market in Göd, northeast of Budapest, creating some 600 new jobs in a project worth HUF 100 billion, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at a press conference Tuesday.

Amnesty International Hungary will launch its own information campaign in the lead-up to the October 2 referendum on EU quotas for accepting refugees. The goal of the campaign will be to provide voting citizens with information on the referendum and refugees, Amnesty told Hungarian news agency MTI today.

The upward trend in visitor numbers and revenue are driving growth, but officials say the industry’s impact on the economy can be even greater.

The government has designated the insolvent owner of the property at Ajtósi Dürer sor 19–21 a company of high strategic importance, clearing the way for the site and buildings to be taken over by the Capital Circus of Budapest, according to a report yesterday on City Park information site varosliget.info.

Two new types of vocational training schools, which will offer students both a technical path and an academic path, will open in Hungary as the semester begins next month, Economy Minister Mihály Varga said during a visit to Kecskemét today, according to state news agency MTI.

PwC CEO Survey

Innovation





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Defining Business Acumen #business #plan #software

#business acumen

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Defining Business Acumen

In today’s complex global business environment, organizations can survive or fail, and individual’s careers can stall or excel, based on the level and proficiency of business acumen skills within their company. Just ask any c-suite executive if having a strong business skill set has been critical for their own success and we guarantee they will say yes! With this being such an important competency, defining Business Acumen and getting everyone on the same page about what it means is critical.

Advantexe is a training and consulting firm that specializes in the design, development, and delivery of simulation-centric talent development engagements that focus on Business Acumen develop ment. Based our work with cross functional teams, new hires, emerging leaders, and some of the top business leaders around the world, here is how we are defining business acumen.

Business Acumen Definition

Business Acumen is the deep and applicable understanding of the system of how a business achieves its goals and objectives. It includes a thorough understanding of the levers that create and position a value proposition to customers and it drives profitability, cash flow, and shareholder value. Specifically, the definition is an understanding and awareness of how to think about and successfully make the right business decisions. The term business acumen should be broken down into two primary areas:

  1. Industry-specific knowledge and skills
  2. Strategic thinking tools and skills.

Industry knowledge skills include:

  • Understanding and impacting the Profit Loss statement, the Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow Statement,
  • Comprehending the industry ecosystem and local market (customers),
  • Analyzing and using data.

Strategic thinking skills include using sound business judgment, having a general manager mindset (assessing a market and setting direction), and being able to predict contingent outcomes from both customer and competitive perspectives.

Taking an even deeper dive into the definition, let’s focus on three primary characteristics that comprise the series of Business Acumen competencies in today’s business leaders:

  • A General Manager Mindset
  • Financial Acumen
  • Ability to Lead and Support Strategic Execution

A General Manager Mindset

  • Understands the complete business ecosystem including developing and executing strategy, the integration of internal operations to deliver the value proposition, the supply chain, market trends, customer needs and segments, and competitive analysis.
  • Knowledgeable in current and possible future trends, policies, practices, innovations, and information affecting his / her business and organization.
  • Understands the global marketplace and can function globally and locally at the same time.
  • Is able to think strategically and tactically with a focus on business results.
  • Understand company and client financial metrics and performance and the impact business decisions have on the P L, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow statements.
  • Understands and communicates the drivers of shareholder value and the key decisions that drive it in the short and long-term.
  • Is aware how strategies and tactics work in the marketplace and in regards to your company business.

Ability to Lead Strategic Execution

  • Is able to develop and execute a competitive analysis and lead the changes that create differentiation and growth.
  • Is able to execute strategies through people by providing leadership, feedback, coaching, utilizing influence, managing conflict, and developing talent for long-term success.

The Last Word: Overusing Business Acumen

As with most competency models and discussions, sometimes they can be overused to the detriment of the individual and organization. With any acumen develop ment process, an individual or leader may overdevelop, or depend too heavily upon industry and business knowledge skills at the expense of personal, interpersonal, managerial, and leadership skills.





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Perfect Business Card Size #carpet #cleaning #business

#business card dimensions

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Business Card Size

Is there an ideal business card size?

When considering everything you need to promote your company, details are important. Even down to what’s the best business card size?

When it comes to business cards, size counts

A business card is a marketing piece and it needs to be durable, feel good to touch and be stored where you want it to be. If it’s in the wallet or cardholder of a potential client, it needs to be a standard size. If you want to be a bit more flexible and creative, it can be long and thin or big and bold.

But mostly, a standard business card size is:

  • 85 mm wide by 55 mm in height. This fits easily in any wallet or cardholder.
  • Easily readable. The important information – your company name, your name and contact details should fit in a space that’s uncluttered and easy to find.
  • Is properly trimmed to ensure it fits where it’s tailored to be stored.

If you don’t absolutely need your card to fit in a wallet but want to stand out from your competition you’re only limited by your imagination. Or, the imagination of your local Snap Centre .

There, you’ll find business card specialists who know exactly what size, style and finish is perfect for your company. Our graphic designers can help you capture the essence of your business, while our print specialists will ensure you are delivered a professional finished product.

So, whether you want a standard business card or one that stands out . talk to your local Snap Centre now.





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5 Unique Online Business Ideas, Small But Successful #better #business #bureau

#online business ideas

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5 Unique Online Business Ideas, Small But Successful

Entrepreneurship has always fascinated me. I m amazed by the pride and sense of accomplishment that comes with building your own business. and I respect the risks that come with working for yourself. Even if your venture fails, as a business leader you still learn valuable lessons that you can use to make your next attempt more successful.

Taking a successful business model from someone else and building on it is no crime. In fact, it is how most leaders build businesses. It doesn t always take a stroke of genius to get to the top. But when those once-in-a-lifetime ideas strike, your window to act may be small. I don t accept the idea that all of the good ideas have been taken. These five unique businesses are proof that you can find prosperity, even in a market that may not have even existed when you first had your idea.

1. Santa Mail

When I first heard about Santa Mail. I had one of those Why didn t I think of that? moments. The premise couldn t be simpler: Parents order letters for children, and Santa Claus himself puts a note in the mail. For just under $10, your kids will get a personalized letter from Santa that is (genuinely) postmarked from the North Pole in Alaska. The site isn t flashy, but it s simple and effective.

Santa Mail has been around since 2003, and as far as I can tell, it was the first company of its kind. Since then, at least four sites offering the same service have popped up. Even though someone may come along and offer something better, for now, Santa Mail is at the top of its niche.

2. Alchemy Goods

Though recycling has been popular for years, practical-use items made from recyclable items and materials are quickly becoming more desirable. From clothes and bags to water bottles and wallets, these unique items are high-quality goods that let people show off the positive difference they re making for the environment. Alchemy Goods was originally born not out of ingenuity, but of necessity.

When Alchemy owner Eli Reich s messenger bag was stolen, he decided that instead of buying another, he would make one himself. With plenty of bicycle inner tubes lying around, he decided to make it the primary material for his new bag. Long story short, the completed product was a huge hit at the office, and Eli began to make them on a much larger scale. Today, Alchemy products are carried in many stores across the country.

3. Fetal Greetings

The greeting card business has been huge for years, and it seems to get bigger with every passing holiday. Fetal Greetings offers a special opportunity for expecting mothers: To have their baby greet the world in the form of a card! Holly Nill-McKay started the company in 1999, and while the idea may sound strange, I love it. It s a great example of a unique and clever idea that builds on an existing industry. The cards themselves are cute, and they make wonderful surprises to send to family and friends to announce a pregnancy.

4. Something Store

Do you love the feeling of waiting for something in the mail? I know I do, and that s why I tried out Something Store. A few years ago, I saw a piece in a popular magazine about an online store that sells mystery objects. I was intrigued. For $10 (no shipping cost), they send you a random item. It could be anything in the world. Since 2007, they ve shipped over 50,000 somethings to customers who wait with anxious anticipation.

I tried it and received an unusual, metal, spider-like object. It winds up and moves along the floor or tabletop. I looked it up and found that it usually retails for about $28. While I wouldn t necessarily have bought it in the first place, for $10 I got a pretty good deal.

5. I Do Now I Don t

Every day, couples in love get engaged. And every day, couples who have fallen out of love separate or break an engagement. When the latter happened to Josh Opperman, his fiancee was kind enough to return the engagement ring. and he didn t know what to do with it. Since the wholesale markup on engagement rings is insanely high, he would have taken a huge loss in returning it. So instead, he started his business, I Do Now I Don t. an online marketplace for unwanted engagement rings. Customers can buy rings at prices far cheaper than you d find at a traditional store, and you can sell at rates that are better than you d get if you tried to return the ring. Business started booming, and now you can buy and sell other jewelry items there too.

Final Word

This short list of examples just goes to show that not all of the good business ideas are taken just yet. It seems to me that when I get one of those genius ideas, I m always in the shower. By the time I get out and try to remember what was on my mind, it s gone. I hope it is not just me that this happens to.

How do you get inspiration to strike? And what do you do to remember your ideas and put them into action? Share your ideas, or any other unique sites or businesses you ve found. I m always looking for strange and intriguing things.

You are looking at Matthew Breed. He is a 30 year old sports nerd who lives in North Florida with his fiancee, Sarah. Originally in school for a Business degree that did not work out due to capricious youth and irresponsibility, he is currently “getting past” his Peter Pan syndrome and attends classes for a degree in Information Technology while working full time. His care for personal finance stems from a modest upbringing with fiscally responsible parents who highly value education and frown upon frivolity.

I believe in the importance of selecting a type of bussiness thats not very popular or well know When someone thinks about starting a business the things that come to mind are vending machines limo services daycare services and so forth. When in fact its the less well know small business ideas that can often be the right pick. Very often the type of businesses like limo services vending machines daycare are much more closely monitored by local state and the federal goverment. Their may be strict licensing and permit processing requirements strict zoning ordinances may apply. For example If you have a limo service you may not be able to operate from your house. And daycare forget about it their are a mermaid of regulations regarding this type of business. If you pick a business thats not well know or new its most likely less regulated. Take the internet a home based internet business it is likely to be less regulated not because federal state and local busy body bureaucrats do not want to regulate it but because its so new their have not been a lot of laws and regulations passed regarding this type of business. Just give those do nothing busy body bureaucrats twenty years or so and they will take care of that.

http://www.InternetNetworkMarketingTraining.com Corrisa Malone

Yes Internet-based business are less regulated however there is still the FTC regulations that companies and individual have to abide by.

FINAL WORD, put a child s crayon in the shower to write your idea with on the back of shower wall. It wont wash off if you look for the right crayon.





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How to Invest in Stocks – Stock Investing 101 #carpet #cleaning #business

#investing in stocks

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How to Invest in Stocks – Stock Investing 101 – TheStreet

Stocks are an equity investment that represents part ownership in a corporation and entitles you to part of that corporation’s earnings and assets.

Common stock gives shareholders voting rights but no guarantee of dividend payments. Preferred stocks provides no voting rights but usually guarantees a dividend payment.

In the past, shareholders received a paper stock certificate — called a security — verifying the number of shares they owned. Today, share ownership is usually recorded electronically, and the shares are held in street name by your brokerage firm.

Investing in stocks can be tricky business. In fact, it’s best to treat all of your investment pursuits as a business. Heck, that’s what Benjamin Graham (Warren Buffett’s stock market mentor) recommended.

Before you buy your first stock, you should master the basics of stock investing. This won’t make you a great investor overnight, but only when you understand the fundamentals of investing can you learn how to invest in stocks with confidence.

If you found this content useful, please share it. This will help us create more educational guides for investors.

RESOURCES FOR INVESTORS:

Jim Cramer and 30+ Wall Street professionals provide actionable guidance ranging from technical analysis to momentum trading and fundamental stock picking. Every trading day, Real Money offers a wealth of insight, analysis and strategies for all styles of investing.

  • Access to Jim Cramer’s daily blog
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Business Liability Insurance from Nationwide #small #business #finance

#business insurance quotes

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Liability Insurance Can Help Protect Your Business from the Unknown

With the day-to-day uncertainties of business management, liability insurance is something you cannot do without. Accidents happen – on site, off site, with employees and with customers – no matter how much you’ve planned. It is a critical part of any insurance portfolio, regardless of your industry.

Liability insurance can help cover medical expenses, attorney fees and damages you are legally responsible for. It can also offer protection against situations that may not have even crossed your mind. For example, any individual or business providing an opinion, making recommendations, designing products/solutions or offering a service is at risk for a professional liability lawsuit. Nationwide can help with defense costs, regardless of fault, as well as protection for judgments, court costs and more.

Nationwide offers great basic plans that can be easily customized with a wide variety of options so you can select the coverage you need. We understand that you need complete business protection, not one-size-fits-all coverage. Our agents will work with you to determine the right type of commercial liability insurance you need for every stage of your business.

You can enhance a basic policy with additional commercial liability insurance options, known as endorsements, that meet the specific needs of your business.

Hired and Non-owned Auto Liability Insurance

Provides auto liability coverage for short-term auto rental or for employees using their personal auto during the course of business.

Umbrella Policies

Extends coverage over and above your other liability coverage. Designed to protect against unusually high losses when the policy limits of one of the underlying policies have been used up.

Product and Completed Operations Liability Insurance

Provides protection for bodily injury and property damage that occurs away from your premises that are caused by your products or your work. The amount of coverage and the level of risk depend on your business type.

Employment-Related Practices Liability Insurance

Covers wrongful termination, wrongful refusal to employ, invasion of privacy or defamation claims made by your employee against you, the employer.

Directors and Officers Liability Insurance

Provides coverage for situations where a poor decision was made by a company’s board of directors or officers resulting in a claim for damage. Coverage can be provided for condominium associations, golf courses and churches.

Liquor Liability Insurance

Protects you against claims for injury sustained by reason of you selling, serving or furnishing any alcoholic beverage during the course of your business operations.

Fire Legal Liability

Provides coverage for fire damage to premises you rent or occupy with the landlord’s permission. You must have been negligent in causing the fire for this coverage to respond.

Understanding Business Liability Insurance – Additional Resources

Ask your agent about Medical Payments, Premises Liability, Employer’s Liability and Employee Benefits Liability.

In addition to the above, please review these additional resources, based on frequently asked questions (FAQs) about business liability:

Prevent Common Business Liability Claims

Learn a few simple things you can do to help prevent many of the most common loss events from happening to you.

Choose Nationwide as Your Business Liability Company

Learn why Nationwide is the #1 Total Small Business Insurer and the right company to protect your small business.

Commercial Auto Liability

Business auto liability insurance is an important safeguard for your business.

Product, coverage, discounts, insurance terms, definitions, and other descriptions are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in your individual insurance contracts, policies, and/or declaration pages from Nationwide-affiliated underwriting companies, which are controlling. Such products, coverages, terms, and discounts may vary by state and exclusions may apply.

Business Safety and Loss Prevention

Get disaster and safety planning support from Nationwide, a trusted business insurance company.

Accident Medical Insurance

Protect your organization and its participants during group events.

Medical Stop Loss Insurance

Limit your risk while keeping your employees safe and healthy.

Business Interruption Insurance

Keep your business running when the power, gas or other utility goes out.

Businessowners Policy

Find the right BOP insurance for your medium to small business.

Disaster Planning and Recovery

Prepare your business for natural or manmade emergencies.

Agriculture Insurance

Find solutions, resources and products for your agribusiness.

Commercial Business Insurance Discounts

Get up to 10% off uniforms and workplace safety products.

Business Banking

Find banking solutions that suit the needs of your business.

Business Alerts Insights

Keep on top of safety issues that can affect your bottom line.





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What is business acumen and how do you get it? Practically Perfect PA #business #link

#business acumen

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What is business acumen and how do you get it?

September 9, 2013 December 29, 2015

Over the last few weeks I have been developing a twitter strategy for one of my company s clients. They are an online events business and we are helping them with their marketing so I have been learning about hybrid and online events. I already know how to market via social media, I understand the world of events and I can create content fairly easily but prior to. oh I don t know a few weeks ago I knew very little about hybrid events. I would be able to tell you what a hybrid event was but very little else, now I have online event information seeping out of every pore (it isn t very pleasant!)

The reason I can bring myself up to speed so quickly is because I have spent 10 years working as an assistant and I have become very good at developing business acumen! I also hopped from one industry to another so I had to constantly learn how these business were run, the jargon that was used and the different codes of conduct each industry sector had. I had to understand all of this to support my boss effectively.

I think it is so very important for assistants to have good business acumen because without it I don t see how we can support our managers or move up the career ladder.

So what is business acumen?

I really like this definition of business acumen, it is from the Financial Times Lexicon :

In practice, people with business acumen are thought of as having business sense or business smarts . They are able to obtain essential information about a situation, focus on the key objectives, recognise the relevant options available for a solution, select an appropriate course of action and set in motion an implementation plan to get the job done.

So that sounds easy to achieve right? Erm no, I didn t think so either! Developing business acumen takes time, it has to be achieved through learning and training and ultimately it has to be part of your ongoing development plan. Expanding your business acumen has to be constant.

Having strong business sense isn t easy to develop but it is incredibly important for an assistant to have. We support people that have very strong business acumen, they wouldn t be in the position they are in without it! How can we support them if we do not have an understanding of their business, their strategic objectives and the pressures they face on a daily basis? The difficulty is that a lot of organisations don t understand this need and do not offer assistants the opportunity to attend training courses or take time out of their day to build their business acumen. Many bosses do not see the potential in their assistants or the added bonus of having an assistant with a good knowledge of the business and what that means in terms of the extra support they would receive.

So how do we develop business acumen?

There are of course ways around this problem but it does mean that assistants will have to be particularly proactive in developing their own business acumen. Trust me though it is totally worth the effort!

Firstly, is your manager supportive of your training needs? If so, well done! Ask that you attend training courses on the areas that you could improve, for example business finance or process management. If your manager is supportive then build business acumen improvement into your overall development plan and ensure you have an objective based on the wider business such as working on a cross departmental project.

Does your organisation have a graduate programme? If it does then ask to attend their initial training sessions on the industry. I did this when I first started working in insurance. There was so much jargon and codes of conduct, especially when working with Lloyd s of London that I asked to attend an Introduction to Insurance course which was in-house and specifically for the new graduates. I was the only EA on the course but it was so helpful and didn t cost my company a penny.

Does your manager subscribe to business magazines? If they do, this is great because you open their post and can read the magazines before giving it to them! Don t worry I don t think they will be offended that you are reading their magazine they will probably be in total shock that you are taking an interest! Not only does this help with your business knowledge it also gives you something to talk to your boss about, which is great when you don t have a lot in common.

This brings me to a really important point! Read everything. I love Julie Perrin s blog on business acumen for administrative professionals because it really goes into detail on what assistants should be reading and how to actually create the time to read. This is well worth the read, once you ve finished reading my blog obviously! Reading business material does not cost your company anything and I honestly think it helps enormously.

Do you take minutes at meetings? Again this is another fantastic way to increase your business acumen. In a previous role I managed 12 Committees all of which had a special interest in different areas of accountancy. I attended all of the Committee meetings and took all of the minutes. During the meetings I would really listen to what everyone was saying and take notes on anything I didn t understand so that I could research it later. I would also talk to the members during refreshment breaks and read all of the supporting documents along with their regular newsletters. Oh my goodness, by the end of the 4 years I worked in that role my knowledge of accountancy was extraordinary! I once attended a networking event for one of the Committees and talked to a new member for half an hour before he realised I wasn t actually an accountant (thank God!)

Lastly do you attend meetings with your manager? This task will bring you into contact with the company’s decision makers and you will be privy to their conversations and how they come to make decisions. Ensure you listen to these people. If you know why decisions are made in the company then you can start to make choices about your everyday work following the same strategy as the executive team. This will massively increase your knowledge and keep you focussed on improving your business acumen. When it comes to your review you can demonstrate to your manager that not only do you understand the company’s strategy but you are also implementing it into your own work by thinking strategically. This depth of knowledge will be impressive because they might not think you consider the bigger picture.

Understanding the bigger picture, where your boss fits into it and in turn how you can help support their goals is a fundamental requirement of a great assistant. Developing your business acumen will also give you a fantastic foundation and allow you to move up the career ladder and gain a well deserved promotion.

And the ability for both of you to exchange information easily online
makes your being in-house less of a need. Audit-ready books
also enable a company to make more knowledgeable decisions on a time-sensitive basis.
If you are an employee of such a company, you need
to preserve the company. On the grounds that clerk services are
frequently served on an hourly groundwork, people who work snappier will permit you to
recover more.





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