Tag: Do

Start Your Own Business: 50 Things You – ll Need to Do #register #your #business

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Start Your Own Business: 50 Things You ll Need to Do

Thinking about starting a business? You’re not alone. Every year, thousands of Americans catch the entrepreneurial spirit, launching small businesses to sell their products or services. Some businesses thrive; many fail. The more you know about starting a business, the more power you have to form an organization that develops into a lasting source of income and satisfaction. For help with the beginning stages of operating a business, the following checklist is a great place to start.

Evaluate and Develop Your Business Idea

Determine if the type of business suits you.

Use a break-even analysis to determine if your idea can make money.

Write a business plan, including a profit/loss forecast and a cash flow analysis.

Find sources of start-up financing.

Set up a basic marketing plan.

Decide on a Legal Structure for Your Business

Identify the number of owners of your business.

Decide how much protection from personal liability you’ll need, which depends on your business’s risks.

Decide how you’d like the business to be taxed.

Consider whether your business would benefit from being able to sell stock.

Research the various types of ownership structures.

Get more in-depth information from a self-help resource before you settle on a structure. If you are unsure, talk to a lawyer.

Choose a Name for Your Business

Think of several business names that might suit your company and its products or services.

If you will do business online, check if your proposed business names are available as domain names.

Check with your county clerk’s office to see whether your proposed names are on the list of fictitious or assumed business names in your county.

For corporations and LLCs: check the availability of your proposed names with the Secretary of State or other corporate filing office.

Do a federal or state trademark search of the proposed names still on your list. If a proposed name is being used as a trademark, eliminate it if your use of the name would confuse customers or if the name is already famous.

Choose between the proposed names that are still on your list.





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

#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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How Do I Know If I – m Qualified to Be a Business Analyst? #business #plan #template

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How Do I Know If I m Qualified to Be a Business Analyst?

Are you exploring a career in as a business analyst? Do you find yourself wondering if your skills and experience are relevant to a business analyst role? Would you be interested in learning about how qualified you are to be a business analyst?

We re going to talk about how to know if you are qualified to be a business analyst, but first I m going to share a funny story with you.

(Before I forget, I want to be sure you know about my step-by-step BA career planning course (it’s free) that’s designed to help you, the mid-career professional, kick-start your business analysis career. The course will help you dig deeper into each of the concepts outlined below.)

Just last week, the night before my birthday, I walked down the short flight of stairs after putting our daughter to bed. I smiled at my husband. He was making an odd expression. I continued to look more deeply at him to figure out why.

I walked over to where he was sitting and said, What s that goofy face for?

He says, You didn t see it, did you?

Me: See what?

He shifts his eyes back toward the stairs. On the ledge we have right in front of our stairway were a dozen yellow roses laying out in plain sight.

I couldn t believe I had completely missed them. For a split second, I even starting thinking that just maybe my husband tele-ported them there, but then I remembered the laws of physics and found my own eyes to be the culprit.

I was looking at my husband and his funny expression instead of what was right in front of me.

This same sort of thing happens to all of us, all of the time. We often don t see what can be obvious to other people or even what other people expect we should obviously be seeing. In all the work I do with professionals transitioning into the BA profession, the most prevalent problem I see is that they overlook significant relevant and transferable skills from their own career background.

As a result, their answer to the question, Am I qualified to be a business analyst? is a resounding no when it should be a yes or at least a some of the time . (And as we ll see in a bit, some of the time can be a very effective path to business analysis.)

Today, I d like to help you see the bouquet of roses waiting for you on the ledge at the bottom of the stairs. And to do that we need to look at the concept of transferable skills.

What are Transferable Business Analyst Skills?

Transferable skills are skills that you’ve built through experiences in your past roles. In the context of business analysis, transferable skills are BA techniques you’ve used in non-BA jobs or soft skills you’ve developed in perhaps unrelated roles.

Transferable skills can help you skip past entry-level business analyst positions. This is especially important because there tend to be very few entry-level business analyst positions. And those savored few entry-level positions tend to favor recent college graduates without the salary requirements of an experienced professional.

If you do have even a few years of professional experience, and a fair amount of the 42 reasons to become a business analyst resonate with you, then you have transferable skills. Getting clear and confident about them is part of your path to success as a business analyst and figuring out what roles you qualify for.

But What Business Analyst Qualifications Are Transferable?

When transitioning to business analysis, there are many areas in which to look for your business analyst qualifications. A good first step is to review our list of core business analysis skills that are important for a new business analyst and start mapping your experience to these skill areas.

Here s a rundown of what you can expect to find during this process:

  • The core business analyst skills. those you might find mapped out in the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK®). will help you get past the screening process for a business analyst role. Any given hiring manager tends to have a checklist of key qualifications they absolutely want to have met by a potential candidate. And even if your experience is informal. it s likely that you can map it to a more formal deliverable or analysis technique. Use the BA terms (appropriately) in your resume and in a job interview and you ll increase your chances of qualifying yourself for a business analyst role.
  • Although managers screen for a specific set of core business analyst skills, they often hire for soft skills. such as relationship-building and the ability to communicate with a diverse set of stakeholders from the business and technical communities. Understanding the key soft skills you bring to the table is critical. Being able to speak to specific experiences where you used those soft skills in a BA context (or close to BA context) can increase the number of BA jobs you ll qualify for.
  • Then there will be skills that set you apart as a candidate and qualify you for specific types of BA positions. These vary widely from technical skills, to specific business domain knowledge, to experience with specific types of business applications.

What Do I Do with My List of Business Analyst Qualifications?

Even with a list of transferable business analyst qualifications in hand, a transitioning BA can get understandably frustrated. What business analyst roles do these skills qualify you for? It can often seem as if the grass is greener on the other side of the proverbial fence .

  • If you don t have an IT background, it can seem as if every possible BA job you look at requires some obscure technical skill you have no interest in building.
  • If you do have an IT background, but no business experience, it can see as if every possible BA job you look at requires business domain experience.

While you will most likely find that the number of roles you aren t qualified for outweigh the number of roles you do qualify for, your career background will qualify you very strongly for a specific set business analyst jobs .

  • If you have a technical background. consider BA roles that include systems analysis responsibilities or blend selected IT duties with a business analyst role. Your experience with specific technologies could qualify you for specific BA roles.
  • If you have a business background from a specific functional area (such as customer service, human resources, or finance), consider BA roles working on the business applications with which you are familiar or supporting this area of the company. Your familiarity with the terminology and processes for that functional area could qualify you for specific BA roles.
  • If you have deep experience in a specific industry. consider business analyst roles in that industry. Your understanding of the industry environment, terminology, and core processes could qualify you for specific BA roles.

To sum things up, the answer to the question about whether or not you are qualified to be a business analyst requires a bit of analysis. First, you must discover your business analyst skills. Then you want to map them to the types of roles you see in your local job market. Most likely, you will find yourself to be very qualified for some roles, partially qualified for others, and not at all qualified for still others (and this last set will most likely be the biggest, and that s true even for BAs with formal experience).

With this information in hand, you can decide how and if to move forward in your BA career. And keep in mind, just like those I work with on their career transitions, it s quite possible and actually very likely that you have more relevant experience than you think, and you won t realize what those qualifications are until you go through a skills discovery process .

Find Your Path Into a Business Analyst Career

After reading and working through the exercises in How to Start a Business Analyst Career. you’ll know how to assess and expand your business analysis skills and experience.

This book will help you find your best path forward into a business analyst career. More than that, you will know exactly what to do next to expand your business analysis opportunities.

Click here to learn more about How to Start a Business Analyst Career

Stay informed about new articles and course offerings.




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When Do I Need a Business Lawyer for My Small Business? #business #proposal

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When Do I Need a Business Lawyer for My Small Business?

Among the countless worries for entrepreneurs who are starting or are already running a small business is the question of whether they need a business lawyer. The perception is that attorneys charge high rates and many small businesses don’t have much, if any, extra capital with which to pay lawyers. As a result, most small business owners only hire an attorney experienced with business matters when confronted with a serious legal problem (e.g. you’re sued by a customer). However, legal help is a cost of doing business that often saves you money and helps your business in the long run.

While you certainly don’t need an attorney for every step of running your business, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure. This article will explain when you can cover legal issues on your own or with minimal attorney assistance and when you will definitely need a business lawyer.

Issues You Can Handle on Your Own

There are certain matters that are fairly straightforward and/or not unduly difficult to learn and therefore do not require the services of an attorney who charges at least $200 per hour. There are enough expenses associated with running a business, why not save yourself a load of money and do it yourself if you can?

The following is a list of some tasks that business owners should consider taking on themselves (with the aid of self-help resources, online and in print):

  • Writing a business plan
  • Researching and picking a name for your business (previously trademarked business names can be researched online)
  • Reserving a domain name for your website
  • Creating a legal partnership agreement, limited liability company (LLC) operating agreement, or shareholder’s agreement (see Choosing a Legal Structure )
  • Applying for an employer identification number (EIN), which you will need for employee tax purposes
  • Applying for any licenses and permits the business requires
  • Interviewing and hiring employees (there are federal and state antidiscrimination laws which regulate the hiring of employees)
  • Submitting necessary IRS forms
  • Documenting LLC meetings
  • Hiring independent contractors and contracting with vendors
  • Creating contracts for use with customers or clients
  • Creating a buy-sell agreement with partners
  • Updating any partnership, LLC, or shareholder’s agreements under which you are currently operating
  • Handling audits initiated by the IRS

The above is not an exhaustive list of legal tasks which small business owners can do on their own. It should be stated that if your business is well-funded or you feel that you need the assistance of an attorney, you can always retain a lawyer to help you with everything listed above.

Issues Where You Will Need a Business Lawyer

Most of the issues outlined above can be handled by any intelligent business owner (if you can run a business, you can certainly fill out IRS forms or fill in boilerplate business forms). There are times, however, when a business faces issues that are too complex, too time consuming, or fraught with liability issues. At that point,the wisest move is to retain a business lawyer.

A few examples include:

  • Former, current, or prospective employees suing on the grounds of discrimination in hiring, firing, or hostile work environment
  • Local, state, or federal government entities filing complaints or investigating your business for violation of any laws.
  • You want to make a special allocation of profits and losses or you want to contribute appreciated property to your partnership or LLC agreement
  • An environmental issue arises and your business is involved (even if your business didn’t cause the environmental problem, you may be penalized)
  • Negotiating for the sale or your company or for the acquisition of another company or its assets

An Ounce of Prevention

While you certainly need to retain an attorney for the serious issues above, your emphasis should be placed on preventing such occurrences in the first place. Prevention does not necessarily involve hiring an attorney, though consulting with one wouldn’t hurt. By the time you or your business is sued, the preventable damage has been done and the only question that remains is how much you’ll be paying in attorney’s fees, court fees, and damages.

For example, by the time a prospective employee files a lawsuit claiming gender discrimination based in part upon questions posed at the job interview, all you can do is hire an attorney to defend the lawsuit. If, on the other hand, you had done your own research on anti-discrimination laws, or you had consulted an attorney beforehand, you would have known not to inquire as to whether the applicant was pregnant or planned on becoming pregnant. The small effort at the beginning of the process would save you an enormous headache later.

To prevent unnecessary attorney costs at the inception of your business as well as tremendous costs after a lawsuit has been filed, you might consider a consultation arrangement with an attorney. Such an arrangement would entail you doing most of the legwork of research and the attorney providing legal review or guidance.

For example, you might use self help and online sources to create a contract with a vendor and ask an attorney to simply review and offer suggestions. Or from the previous example, you might research types of questions to ask during an interview and then send the list to an attorney for his or her approval. This way, you prevent the potential headache later and the cost to you is minimal because you’ve already done most of the work and the attorney simply reviews the document.

Find the Right Attorney for Your Business Needs

You won’t need a lawyer for each and every legal issue that comes up in your business. But when you do, it’s good to know where to find the right one. Check FindLaw’s legal directory for a business and commercial law attorney near you.





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Start Your Own Business: 50 Things You – ll Need to Do #business #lookup

#start your own business

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Start Your Own Business: 50 Things You ll Need to Do

Thinking about starting a business? You’re not alone. Every year, thousands of Americans catch the entrepreneurial spirit, launching small businesses to sell their products or services. Some businesses thrive; many fail. The more you know about starting a business, the more power you have to form an organization that develops into a lasting source of income and satisfaction. For help with the beginning stages of operating a business, the following checklist is a great place to start.

Evaluate and Develop Your Business Idea

Determine if the type of business suits you.

Use a break-even analysis to determine if your idea can make money.

Write a business plan, including a profit/loss forecast and a cash flow analysis.

Find sources of start-up financing.

Set up a basic marketing plan.

Decide on a Legal Structure for Your Business

Identify the number of owners of your business.

Decide how much protection from personal liability you’ll need, which depends on your business’s risks.

Decide how you’d like the business to be taxed.

Consider whether your business would benefit from being able to sell stock.

Research the various types of ownership structures.

Get more in-depth information from a self-help resource before you settle on a structure. If you are unsure, talk to a lawyer.

Choose a Name for Your Business

Think of several business names that might suit your company and its products or services.

If you will do business online, check if your proposed business names are available as domain names.

Check with your county clerk’s office to see whether your proposed names are on the list of fictitious or assumed business names in your county.

For corporations and LLCs: check the availability of your proposed names with the Secretary of State or other corporate filing office.

Do a federal or state trademark search of the proposed names still on your list. If a proposed name is being used as a trademark, eliminate it if your use of the name would confuse customers or if the name is already famous.

Choose between the proposed names that are still on your list.





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What Can You Do with a Business Management Degree? #business #web #hosting

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What Can You Do with a Business Management Degree?

Sometimes taking care of your family means taking care of yourself. Your decision to earn your degree is as much for you as it is for them. This is why you want to choose a career that will not only support your family, but also allow you to enjoy going to work everyday.

Considering a degree in business management is a great place to start! It is understandable, though, to have questions the most obvious of them being: what can you do with a business management degree?

The answer isn t as simple as you might think. It is important to note that business management isn t only for professionals who desire to supervise a team. The education you ll receive while earning a business management degree is versatile and can prepare you for a wide variety of roles in the business world.

We used real-time job analysis software from Burning-Glass.com to examine more than 540,000 positions requiring a business management degree over the past year.* We then identified the five jobs in highest demand based on degree level.

Most common business management jobs with an associate degree

The chart above illustrates a large gap between employers desiring applicants with an associate degree and those with a bachelor s degree. The difference between the two might seem harrowing, but keep in mind that employers often list their preferred level of education in job postings. Often times they are willing to hire qualified applicants with slightly varying education levels.

Earning your associate degree in business management can take less than two years and wouldn t burden your family as much financially. Learn about the job descriptions and earning potential for positions requiring an associate degree:**

1. Sales representatives: $24,970 – $110,690/year

Sales representatives work with both a company and its potential and existing customers to promote the sale of company products. This can include working behind the scenes for small businesses as well as representing the front lines at a local.

2. Stock clerks: $17,040 – $37,540/year

A stock clerk s duties include receiving store products, maintaining and stocking merchandise displays, monitoring inventory and assisting customers in their buying experiences. Working as a stock clerk requires a healthy balance of people skills and independent productivity.

3. Administrative assistants: $20,370 – $49,370/year

Workers in this field are expected to perform routine clerical duties such as database management, updating and filing necessary paperwork, scheduling and confirming appointments with clients and directly assisting supervisors when asked.

4. Human resources specialists: $33,240 – $96,470/year

Human resources (HR) specialists are responsible for an array of tasks, including maintaining, hiring and employment records, scheduling new employee orientations and updating important HR documents such as performance evaluation forms and employee directories.

5. Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks: $22,020 – $55,170/year

Workers in these realms focus on monitoring and maintaining a company s financial records. Duties typically include coding documents according to procedure, recording and summarizing numerical data on behalf of the company and reconciling any financial discrepancies found all while complying to federal, state and company policies.

Most common business management jobs with a bachelor s degree

The career opportunities are exponentially higher for those with a bachelor s degree in business management. The good news is that you can earn your bachelor’s in as little as 18 months! Here s a look at what your career options and salary ranges could look:

1. Sales representatives: $37,300 – $145,730/year

The primary responsibilities of sales representatives include identifying prospective customers based on research conducted and business-related events attended, maintaining customer records and contacting new and existing customers to both discuss and meet their business needs this can consist of everything from negotiating prices to preparing contracts.

2. Sales managers: $53,770 – $155,090/year

Sales managers are responsible for what happens behind the scenes. This includes planning, directing or coordinating the actual distribution of a product to the customer. Sales managers are also responsible for establishing sales territories, analyzing sales statistics and assisting in the training programs for new sales representatives.

3. Human resources specialists: $33,240 – $96,470/year

The general duties of an HR specialist include hiring new employees, interpreting HR policies and procedures, maintaining employment-related records and often conferring with management in both developing and implementing policies and procedures.

4. Financial analysts: $48,100 – $152,420/year

Financial analysts conduct qualitative analyses concerning a company s finances and investments. This is done by composing charts, graphs and spreadsheets; forecasting business, industry and economic conditions through analysis of financial information; determining the prices at which a company should offer its product to the public market; and recommending and preparing investment plans through use of financial analysis.

5. Management analysts: $45,200 – $145,920/year

Management analysts spend their work days gathering data concerning problems or procedures within a company. They then analyze the collected information to conclude possible solutions or alterations. New procedures are designed based on interviews conducted with employees, on-site observation and close study of company documents.

What this means for you

Exploring your options before making a final decision is important. If you still have some lingering questions about which path you should take, check out this guide to a career in business management.

If you re confident that business management is the right path for you, head over to the Rasmussen College business management degree page for more information. Better yet, if you have an associate s degree you may be able to complete your bachelor s degree for as little as $9,900. If you d like to learn more about how you can potentially save time and money while providing yourself a chance at new business opportunities visit our Flex Choice Degrees Page .

*Burning-Glass.com (Analysis of 542,738 job postings requiring business management major AND bachelor s degree OR an associate degree, June 13, 2013 June 12, 2014)

**Job descriptions and salary ranges courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition. Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.

External links provided on Rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced.

Jess is a Content Marketing Specialist at Collegis Education. She researches and writes student-focused content on behalf of Rasmussen College. As a trained and published poet, she loves discovering new ways to use her writing as a tool to further the education of others.

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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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Chris Brogan says the Most Successful Small Businesses Do THIS #investor #business #daily

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Chris Brogan says the Most Successful Small Businesses Do THIS

Many people work 9-to-5 jobs for 30 years — praying only for the day they can retire.

And they complain the whole time on Facebook about how much they hate their jobs.

Yuck! I can’t fathom that.

I love working for successful small businesses. And luckily, I don’t have a regular job.

But what does it take to REALLY succeed as an entrepreneur?

Chris Brogan says the Most Successful Small Businesses Do This

And during a recent interview with MSNBC, Chris dropped some serious knowledge about staying weird making your customers feel like they belong to your tribe.

Pay attention here:

One of Brogan’s best small business tips is that you’ll attract opportunities by standing out being different.

Follow outgoing examples from free-spirited entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, he says.

Here are 4 other juicy nuggets from this stellar interview:

1. Business is About Belonging

People want to be part of a tribe or community.

2. Share the Passion Not Just the Product

Passion drives folks to do what they love. How can you leverage that passion for your business?

3. Make Your Buyer the Hero

Discuss how your product or service makes your customers heroes — not too promotional, though.

4. Tell Their Story, Not Yours

Our product helped Johnny make $100k this year.





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How Do I Know If I – m Qualified to Be a Business Analyst? #entrepreneur #ideas

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How Do I Know If I m Qualified to Be a Business Analyst?

Are you exploring a career in as a business analyst? Do you find yourself wondering if your skills and experience are relevant to a business analyst role? Would you be interested in learning about how qualified you are to be a business analyst?

We re going to talk about how to know if you are qualified to be a business analyst, but first I m going to share a funny story with you.

(Before I forget, I want to be sure you know about my step-by-step BA career planning course (it’s free) that’s designed to help you, the mid-career professional, kick-start your business analysis career. The course will help you dig deeper into each of the concepts outlined below.)

Just last week, the night before my birthday, I walked down the short flight of stairs after putting our daughter to bed. I smiled at my husband. He was making an odd expression. I continued to look more deeply at him to figure out why.

I walked over to where he was sitting and said, What s that goofy face for?

He says, You didn t see it, did you?

Me: See what?

He shifts his eyes back toward the stairs. On the ledge we have right in front of our stairway were a dozen yellow roses laying out in plain sight.

I couldn t believe I had completely missed them. For a split second, I even starting thinking that just maybe my husband tele-ported them there, but then I remembered the laws of physics and found my own eyes to be the culprit.

I was looking at my husband and his funny expression instead of what was right in front of me.

This same sort of thing happens to all of us, all of the time. We often don t see what can be obvious to other people or even what other people expect we should obviously be seeing. In all the work I do with professionals transitioning into the BA profession, the most prevalent problem I see is that they overlook significant relevant and transferable skills from their own career background.

As a result, their answer to the question, Am I qualified to be a business analyst? is a resounding no when it should be a yes or at least a some of the time . (And as we ll see in a bit, some of the time can be a very effective path to business analysis.)

Today, I d like to help you see the bouquet of roses waiting for you on the ledge at the bottom of the stairs. And to do that we need to look at the concept of transferable skills.

What are Transferable Business Analyst Skills?

Transferable skills are skills that you’ve built through experiences in your past roles. In the context of business analysis, transferable skills are BA techniques you’ve used in non-BA jobs or soft skills you’ve developed in perhaps unrelated roles.

Transferable skills can help you skip past entry-level business analyst positions. This is especially important because there tend to be very few entry-level business analyst positions. And those savored few entry-level positions tend to favor recent college graduates without the salary requirements of an experienced professional.

If you do have even a few years of professional experience, and a fair amount of the 42 reasons to become a business analyst resonate with you, then you have transferable skills. Getting clear and confident about them is part of your path to success as a business analyst and figuring out what roles you qualify for.

But What Business Analyst Qualifications Are Transferable?

When transitioning to business analysis, there are many areas in which to look for your business analyst qualifications. A good first step is to review our list of core business analysis skills that are important for a new business analyst and start mapping your experience to these skill areas.

Here s a rundown of what you can expect to find during this process:

  • The core business analyst skills. those you might find mapped out in the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK®). will help you get past the screening process for a business analyst role. Any given hiring manager tends to have a checklist of key qualifications they absolutely want to have met by a potential candidate. And even if your experience is informal. it s likely that you can map it to a more formal deliverable or analysis technique. Use the BA terms (appropriately) in your resume and in a job interview and you ll increase your chances of qualifying yourself for a business analyst role.
  • Although managers screen for a specific set of core business analyst skills, they often hire for soft skills. such as relationship-building and the ability to communicate with a diverse set of stakeholders from the business and technical communities. Understanding the key soft skills you bring to the table is critical. Being able to speak to specific experiences where you used those soft skills in a BA context (or close to BA context) can increase the number of BA jobs you ll qualify for.
  • Then there will be skills that set you apart as a candidate and qualify you for specific types of BA positions. These vary widely from technical skills, to specific business domain knowledge, to experience with specific types of business applications.

What Do I Do with My List of Business Analyst Qualifications?

Even with a list of transferable business analyst qualifications in hand, a transitioning BA can get understandably frustrated. What business analyst roles do these skills qualify you for? It can often seem as if the grass is greener on the other side of the proverbial fence .

  • If you don t have an IT background, it can seem as if every possible BA job you look at requires some obscure technical skill you have no interest in building.
  • If you do have an IT background, but no business experience, it can see as if every possible BA job you look at requires business domain experience.

While you will most likely find that the number of roles you aren t qualified for outweigh the number of roles you do qualify for, your career background will qualify you very strongly for a specific set business analyst jobs .

  • If you have a technical background. consider BA roles that include systems analysis responsibilities or blend selected IT duties with a business analyst role. Your experience with specific technologies could qualify you for specific BA roles.
  • If you have a business background from a specific functional area (such as customer service, human resources, or finance), consider BA roles working on the business applications with which you are familiar or supporting this area of the company. Your familiarity with the terminology and processes for that functional area could qualify you for specific BA roles.
  • If you have deep experience in a specific industry. consider business analyst roles in that industry. Your understanding of the industry environment, terminology, and core processes could qualify you for specific BA roles.

To sum things up, the answer to the question about whether or not you are qualified to be a business analyst requires a bit of analysis. First, you must discover your business analyst skills. Then you want to map them to the types of roles you see in your local job market. Most likely, you will find yourself to be very qualified for some roles, partially qualified for others, and not at all qualified for still others (and this last set will most likely be the biggest, and that s true even for BAs with formal experience).

With this information in hand, you can decide how and if to move forward in your BA career. And keep in mind, just like those I work with on their career transitions, it s quite possible and actually very likely that you have more relevant experience than you think, and you won t realize what those qualifications are until you go through a skills discovery process .

Find Your Path Into a Business Analyst Career

After reading and working through the exercises in How to Start a Business Analyst Career. you’ll know how to assess and expand your business analysis skills and experience.

This book will help you find your best path forward into a business analyst career. More than that, you will know exactly what to do next to expand your business analysis opportunities.

Click here to learn more about How to Start a Business Analyst Career

Stay informed about new articles and course offerings.




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5 Things to Do Before Saying I Do to a Business Partner #stock #market #news

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5 Things to Do Before Saying ‘I Do’ to a Business Partner

CEO Founder, Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

September 24, 2014

As an entrepreneur, you may at some point consider getting a business partner or co-founder. Maybe you miss working with a larger team that complements your skills, or perhaps you are trying to broaden your market or expand your clientele. Whatever your motive, you should know that business partnerships always start with excitement, but have the potential to end tumultuously. When forming a business partnership — just like a marriage — there are certain key steps to take at the beginning that will help in the transition if your professional relationship should end.

1. Perform due diligence. Yes, everyone is fun over cocktails, but when the time comes to sign contracts and do business, you d better be sober and confident you re shaking the right hand. Asking for referrals about a potential partner goes beyond contacting common friends and asking their opinions. Call former partners and business associates, inquire with clients, read comments on their social media pages and look them up on Google. (Keep reading way past page one of the search results.)

By the time you re done, you should be able to name anyone who dislikes them — from their first high-school enemy to their latest unhappy client. Only then will you be able to either take a calculated risk or a major step back.

2. Make sure you lawyer up. If the legal fees in the beginning of a business relationship don t make you wince, then you re doing something wrong. When you partner with other people, every aspect of the business relationship should be put down in writing — including the goals for the company, duties and responsibilities of the partners and an exit strategy. Every sentence of a contract — no matter how innocuous — should be looked at by a lawyer. Since tax laws can be tricky, have your accounts receivable/payable arrangements scrutinized by an accountant.

3. Ensure you have exit strategy. Ending your business partnership is the last thing you want to think about when you are beginning one. It is similar to thinking about divorce on your wedding day, but you should have a plan. The business exit strategy should include several legal points including the division of the business assets and how the partner s portion of the business will be handled in case of death.

4. Protect yourself. One of the smartest moves you can make is to protect your personal assets in case of a lawsuit. Whether you choose to incorporate or become an LLC, the top benefit will be shielding your savings, home, car and even your favorite pair of Louboutins from any liabilities associated with the business.

5. Protect your brand. Joining forces with a partner takes a lot of energy, and chances are that somewhere down the line you will lose your focus. Working for a common goal within a new team is really exciting but merging forces does not necessarily mean merging identities. Don t lose sight of who you are. If part of the original business plan is to maintain your brand, make sure it doesn t suffer while you re giving all your time and energy to your new endeavor.

When you meet a potential partner, your personalities may click and your goals may be identical but to have a successful relationship, clarity is key. The more precautions you take in the beginning, the happier and more productive you will be later on. And the day you see that the team you ve tried to build has become nothing more that a group of people looking in different directions, then it s time to part ways and move on.





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