Tag: How

Communications Guide: How to Improve Your Communication Skills #business #accounting #software

#business communication skills

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A Crash Course in Communication Need a quick refresher on effective interpersonal interaction? Two communication experts offer 12 steps to smoother conversations. Lost in Translation Thanks to e-mail, BlackBerrys, and text messaging, the face-to-face encounter is becoming a dying art. Here’s why you should revive it. The Power of Listening How does an old-line manufacturer in a stagnant industry manage to grow 25% a year for 10 years? By taking its employees seriously. Do as I Say: Quick Tips for Masterful Communication Tired of doing all the talking and not having your message get through to your staff? Try these suggestions to improve your leadership communication skills. Just Listen to Yourself Tape yourself to better understand your communications style. Powerful Questions Can Have a Powerful Effect Questions can be one of the most effective communication tools available to us. Do you use questions enough in your day-to-day interactions? When Do You Lie? Strategies For More Authentic, Respectful Communication Lies come in all shapes, sizes and colors. (Ever heard of flat-out, teensy or white lies?) This article focuses on when it’s appropriate, if at all, to lie. 10 Tips for Communicating Change Transition is inevitable, but exactly what you say and how you say it can make a major impact on how change is handled in your company. How to Motivate Employees Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armour, says it is vital to maintain regular face-to-face communication with employees even as a company expands. The 4-1-1 On Constructive Criticism Being critical is easy, and offering criticism seems easier still. Yet constructive criticism – – the more refined and effective brand of critical feedback – – is like an art. Lost in the Translation Tips on communicating with employees who don’t speak English.
How to Say You’re Sorry Apologizing is part of doing business. But do it wrong, and you’ll really be sorry. Tips on Becoming a Good Conversationalist In this excerpt from How to Work a Room: The Ultimate Guide to Savvy Socializing in Person and Online learn tips for becoming a talk target — someone with whom it is easy to make conversation.
10 Tips for Successful Networking Keith Ferrazzi needs two PalmPilots to keep track of all his contacts, people like Bill Clinton and Michael Milken. But there’s far more to cracking the inner circle of the power elite than just taking names.

Powerful Presentations Small-business columnist Rhonda Abrams shares nine strategies for giving powerful presentations. Reinventing the PowerPoint New tech tools to liven your tired old PowerPoint presentations–and give your online marketing efforts a boost. Perfecting Your Pitch Check out these tips from entrepreneurs and business experts on creating pitches that can help you raise capital. More Power Than Point PowerPoint (or “presentation software”) has become the lingua franca of American business. It’s also become the problem with American business. Best of the Net: Power Brokers When it comes to presentation software, most users agree there’s one clear standard. We’ve found some Web-based resources to help you make your point. Captivate Audiences with Powerful Presentations Do you want your speeches to pack a punch? Professional speaker and speech consultant Patricia Fripp offers ideas on humor, movement, and vocal techniques. Short and Sweet: Mastering Quick Presentations Called on to make a brief speech? Professional speaker and speech coach Patricia Fripp offers tips for saying what you want, short and sweet. Present Before You Propose Improve your presentation by saving handouts until the end. Finding the Perfect Pitch Watch three rookies gear up for the investor presentation of a lifetime. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Presenters Entrepreneurs learn pretty quickly that making a verbal pitch to investors is very different from submitting a written business plan. Here are seven good practices gleaned from a venture-capital boot camp. Elements of a Winning Pitch A presentation to potential investors in your business — to family, friends, or angels — should include most of these elements.

Escape From Meeting Hell It’s time for another soul-sapping, oxygen-depriving, time-wasting, mind-numbing company meeting. Or is it? We offer 15 clever solutions to the problems with most meetings. Meetings Go Virtual Web conferencing and other collaboration technologies — tools that help people work with one another through their computers — have become more available and affordable. This is a boon for smaller companies whose only previous collaboration option was to gather workers in a room with coffee, donuts and a whiteboard. Meetings 101: Was That a Good Meeting, or a Bad One? Five simple factors that help ensure every meeting is a good meeting. Tools for Boosting Communication Effectiveness Tips on how to boost the effectiveness of communication in meetings, during change initiatives, and in interviews. Advice on Getting the Most Out of Meetings Keith Lamb shares some advice on getting the most out of your meetings. Cure the Sick-Meeting Ills Ineffective meetings may be wasting time and lowering morale. Two communication experts offer seven strategies for dramatically improving your meetings. How to Manage Meetings More Effectively A look at companies that hold unique meetings for developing products, building camaraderie, generating ideas, and reviewing employees’ needs and achievements.

Writing and Organizing a Winning Speech Public speaker and speech consultant Patricia Fripp suggests following one of two basic outlines for your speech. She also offers speechwriting tips. Polishing and Rehearsing for a Perfect Presentation You’ve written a speech, but there’s still work to do before delivering it. Patricia Fripp gives six suggestions for making sure your speech hits home along with several ideas on effective rehearsing. Deliver a Stellar Speech Powerful presentations happen when you check out the room in advance and work to connect with the audience when talking. Patricia Fripp offers ideas for ensuring that what you say is a smashing success. No More Pre-Speech Jitters From virtual reality therapy to positive visualization, we’ve got relaxation techniques to help offset your fears of public speaking. Free Speech Preparing for a big speech? Resources on the Web can help.

Work through Writer’s Block Need help working through some written projects? Two communication experts offer eight tips for clear and effective writing. Writing Well on the Web Content is king. Here are easy ways to make your website more reader-friendly. Polish Your Prose Poor grammar and punctuation in proposals and reports could cost you business. How to Blog The trick, say experts and longtime bloggers, is restraint. “For marketers, it’s about being more authentic, which is so ironic,” says one analyst.
How to Drive Traffic to Your Company’s Blog Driving traffic to your small business’ corporate blog takes equal parts old-fashioned marketing and contemporary Web tools.

Troubleshooting

Are You Assertive or Aggressive? Assertiveness is the skill that tops the list for success or failure in any workplace situation. Learn how to be more assertive — not aggressive — and apply it to your interactions. Get Your Point Across without Being Rude Is your communication style a little rough around the edges? Here are five techniques for saying what you mean without making enemies in the process. Communicating When People Leave You Speechless Improved communication is a nice idea, but can it work in the real world? Take a look at these real-life business issues and suggestions for better communication that may lead to better business.





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How to Become a Dog Walker – Wacky Hounds, brightening up your dog s day #small #business #crm

#dog walking business

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How to start a dog walking business.

Become a professional Dog Walker – The ultimate dog walking job – Dog walker opportunity

This short guide has been written with a view to explaining what is required to start up a professional dog walking business. It should give you a good idea about what you need to consider in your pursuit of becoming a full time Dog Walker. This guide is designed to give you an idea as to what is involved in starting up a professional dog walking business to run on a commercial full time basis. There are many adverts out there offering “dog walking jobs” but there is no need to look for employment as a dog walker or indeed to apply for dog walking jobs, when you can run your very own successful dog walking business.

There are many people, many dog loving people, who are in jobs that they dislike and would give their right arm for an opportunity to make a successful career in some form of dog care. Imagine keeping fit whilst being out in the fresh air and countryside. Could you think of a better way to make a living than keeping fit in the fresh air, whilst working with loads of different dogs every day? The list below will give you a good idea about how to become a self employed dog walker, so that you don’t have to apply for so called “dog walking jobs” or “dog walking opportunities”.

When starting a dog walking/pet sitting business, there is a lot of things to take into consideration:

Business Insurance – You will need quality business insurance which should include the likes of Public Liability, Care Custody & Control/Animal Liability, Professional Indemnity, Equipment Insurance, Personal Accident Cover, Vet Fees Extension, Loss of Key Cover, Glass Cover & Holiday Emergency Cover.

A professionally equipped van – For the transportation of dogs, your van should be professionally kitted out in the inside, be fitted with a moisture extraction system and your livery should be undertaken by professional Sign Writers.

Van Insurance – Suitable cover for a self-employed Dog Walker.

Relevant Local Council Licences – Depending on your local authority, there may be a variety of licences which you must hold, if you wish to operate as a Dog Walker in your local parks or you plan to offer dog home boarding services.

DBS/Disclosure Scotland – Undertake relevant police checks to inspire confidence in your future clients and to demonstrate trustworthiness.

Website – A modern, vibrant website is a must to convey professionalism and to allow prospective clients to find you easily.

Dog Walking/Boarding/Sitting – There is a variety of services that you can offer.

Branding/Trademark – In order to distinguish yourself from your peers, a great deal of thought should go into your brand and the protection of it.

Stationery – Your stationery should be consistent with your brand, and cover the likes of business cards, letterheads & envelopes.

Marketing – It is important to keep your advertising costs to a minimum when starting up any business, yet vital to find clients. Keeping your overheads as low as possible yet effective is advised.

Registration Forms – You will need an easily managed system to sign up new clients and will need well designed forms to cover the likes of Information Form, Terms and Conditions, Veterinary Authorisation, Walking Off the Lead and Customer Satisfaction Surveys.

Cover Letters – Easily edited to cover a wide range of scenarios, to save on administration time.

Charging Structure – The importance of this cannot be understated as there is a fine line between competitiveness and profitability.

Uniform – In accordance with your brand, you must be seen to be smart and professional at all times.

Key Management – It is extremely important that your key management systems are infallible.

Rota Management – In order to run an efficient operation, good time-management is essential.

Accounts – Not only is there a legal requirement for tax purposes, but tidy book keeping will save you a lot of time and expense.

Filing – You should have a tidy and appropriate system in place that complies with all relevant data protection rules and regulations.

Equipment – The types of equipment that you will need on a day to day business will include; Leads, Couplers, nail clippers, tick-removers, waterproof camera and phone, good boots and waterproof trousers and jacket.

Branded Dog I.D tags – Essential that all of your dogs wear these on every walk.

Training – It is not easy to take out a group of dogs for an hour’s walk. The practicalities of being a Dog Walker are far reaching, and you need to consider things like: basic group formation, collection of dogs, positioning of dogs in van, safe release of dogs from van, your walks, photo and video taking, using a dog whistle, potential hazards, safely getting your dogs back in the van and a suitable procedure for returning your dogs. With all of this in mind, you should undertake suitable before commencing with commercial dog walking.

Clients – Last but not least, you need to build and look after your client bank.

As you can see with this brief guide to becoming a dog walker, there is a lot of things to give consideration to. It may seem like a lot, but starting up a professional dog walking service requires a lot of planning.If, however, you would like the backing and help from an already successful and established dog walking company, then please take a look at our franchise page and download a free copy of our prospectus. Also, why not pop in to say hello to us on our facebook page, we won’t bite!

Have a Wacky day!

Join us at Wacky Hounds





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How to Write a Business Profile: 10 Steps (with Pictures) #online #business #loans

#business profile

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How to Write a Business Profile

A business profile is like a résumé for your company. It lists basic company details and gives you a chance to highlight your strengths. Just like a résumé, you should write each business profile with a purpose in mind. Use it as an opportunity to briefly state why potential clients should work with you, but give thorough and precise details.

Steps Edit

Part One of Two:
Getting Down Company Information Edit

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Talk about your company’s ideas. If you have a mission statement, put it here. Otherwise, write out your company vision, guiding ethos, and a little about your history. Telling who you are and what drives you gives your company a human element. It also gives you a chance to do some subtle advertising early on.

  • This is a place you can afford to be a little vague. Mission statements are legally necessary for some businesses, and may need to be specific. For everyone else, try to state what you do without limiting yourself. You don’t want to scare away potential business that thinks you wouldn’t consider expanding into adjacent industries. But it is easy to overdo vague language.
  • A bad example: “XYZ Semantics is a company driven by the pursuit of its dreams. We want to bring you with us on this journey. Our dedication to solutions and innovation make us the leading marketing consultants west of the Mississippi.”
  • A good example: “XYZ Semantics is seasoned and talented team of marketing consultants. Since 1975 we have helped our clients grow their business and profits. Though our methods are complex, our goal is simple: we want to help you sell your product to more customers.”

Find out more specific details. Check with your secretarial or human resource staff to find out up-to-date details in several areas. You may not need to use all these, but having them on hand will make it easier when you sit down to craft the profile. Set up a way to streamline this process in the future, as you will want to update this information in your profile regularly.

  • Number of employees
  • Turnover. Low turnover can indicate stability, but either way it’s a good statistic to have on-hand.
  • List of all business activities. What are all the areas you work in?
  • Unique equipment or specialties. If you are the only company that produces, say, a rare machine part, you need to mention that.
  • Certifications
  • Imports/exports
  • Your methodology and/or what software you use.
  • Volume of output you can handle. Prospective clients need to know if you are prepared to meet their needs.
  • Delivery stats. How many units do you ship in a given period?
  • Major accounts or clients. This is a way to show prospective clients whether or not you are used to doing business with companies like theirs. It’s also another chance for subtle advertising.

Sift through all this information. Since you want to keep the profile short, you can’t include every possible detail. Also, not all of them might be strengths. Pick out what might be relevant to include in your profile in various contexts. Keep the other information on hand for future reference, but put the important stuff in one place for easy access.





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How Business Intelligence Helps Small Businesses Make Better Decisions #business #jobs

#business intelligence

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How Business Intelligence Helps Small Businesses Make Better Decisions


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We often talk about the benefits of business intelligence, but we rarely explain what business intelligence is and why you should even consider it. More often than not, we are faced with this dilemma as we find ourselves excited at the “prospect” of what our business intelligence (BI) tools should offer, without knowing what it really can do.

In a recent blog post published by Panorama, they tackled an important yet simple business question, “What is Business Intelligence ?”

BI is a tool that helps organizations improve decision making by tracking, processing, storing and analyzing data and transforming it into insights. Business users can in turn use these insights to make the right decisions in the right time, cutting costs, identifying new business opportunities and improving their organization’s performance.

Do we need business intelligence?

Today we live in a world where organizations collect and store huge amounts of data. If that data is not put to good use to serve the company for a specific purpose, it becomes a heavy and expensive burden for the organization. It is very easy to get lost in all the data as the analysis process can be long and tedious; but with BI, the process becomes optimized plus with solutions like panorama NECTO 16. it has become almost automatic! Users can get knowledge that will improve their decision making in just two clicks!


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Not only large corporations need BI. Small businesses do too!

When most of us started our businesses, business intelligence (BI) was a special treat only the big-chip companies could enjoy, because well, employing analytics software required building data centers and hiring IT specialists and consultants.

If it helps big organizations make better business decisions, then it should be able to help small business make sound and effective decisions for their businesses too!

Times have changed, and today, small business BI is a booming industry. The same technological explosion that made the whole world fit into our pockets; in the shape of a smartphone or a tablet, also drastically reduced the size and cost of analytical solutions. For the first time, it is possible for small businesses to deploy BI to fulfill different needs, analyze their performance, predict their future, and make better decisions.

For small businesses where one person is a jack of all trades, it means that your employees can pull out the particular piece of information they need even if it exceeds their immediate area of expertise.

Through this, members of your team are empowered to view the same data from multiple locations and make data-driven decisions together. Business intelligence for small business doesn’t require any programming knowledge; neither need you to invest in trainings. All you need to do is to create a dashboard that will make everybody, from the top of the ladder to the bottom, understand that regular data analysis pays off. Gathering high-quality data is not a one-time effort and you must re-evaluate your goals periodically to determine whether your BI setup is helping you achieve them. The more you empower individuals to use and share data, the better their access to vital customer and financial information, then the more effective they will be in contributing to the achievement of your goal.

Also, getting visual is one of the best ways to explore and understand data, particularly when presenting it to customers, investors or other stakeholders. To present data in a digestible and persuasive way and not to lose your audience’s attention, it’s advisable to use infographics – best choice of BI for small businesses. With this smart solution you can display business data on compelling charts without spending too much time on chart formatting and design.

Furthermore, it helps you to grow your business. How is it possible? BI tools are smart and will help you reveal some trends in your past performance that could otherwise go unnoticed. You can identify crucial trends in your data with the potential to unlock new growth opportunities. By analyzing your past performance in context and trying to understand the factors that influenced the best or worst results, you can discover the key to the future growth.

However, please note.

When small businesses go shopping for BI and analytics solutions. the tendency can be to take a giant leap. The prospect of having all your data integrated and available to end users sounds exciting.
Also, management may think the system they buy should accommodate any future needs that may arise as the business grows. This may make many of them to lose sight of the fact that the solution must be simple and easy to manage in order to be successful in the long term.

Of course, the sweet talking salesmen from different solution providers also play a role in confusing the decision makers and making them sway from their immediate needs, and they sell a complicated system that’s far too expansive for a small business that basically only needs to analyze little data.

Therefore, the best approach for a small business is to consider a BI suite that provides the best data connectors for their most important data. Business intelligence solutions with straight-forward incorporation requirements and immediate impact, is a much better alternative for small companies.

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How Hard Is It to Be a Small Business Owner? Small Business Blog #cheap #business #insurance

#small business owner

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How Hard Is It to Be a Small Business Owner?

There are a lot of misconceptions about being a small business owner. Like…

People often think that being a small business owner is easy because you get to be your own boss and set your own hours.

The Reality : Most small business owners work harder than they used to work when they had a corporate job.

People think that being a small business owner is glamorous – you get to make big decisions, make big money, and have a carefree lifestyle.

The Reality . Most small business owners have to wear many hats – sometimes getting to be a strategic visionary, but other times having to serve as a front-line customer service person, amateur psychologist, or office janitor.

But one of the biggest misconceptions about being a small business owner is that it’s too “hard.” I recently read an article on the Naked Capitalism blog entitled Tech Titans Promoting Basic Income Guarantee as a Way to Shrink Government, Kill Social Programs , which suggested that being an entrepreneur is a raw deal for most people:

But who wants to be an entrepreneur? Seriously. If you can hold a job with any stability and you don’t mind the work and get on with your boss and co-workers, it’s a vastly better deal than running your own show…being in business for yourself is almost a roll-back for the whole rationale of advanced economies: that of specialization. In a larger organization, the really good sales guy can mainly do sales, plus the unavoidable internal politics and bureaucratic tasks. The accountant can mainly do accounting, and so on.

By contrast, starting a business requires lots of skills, including selling, negotiating, having common sense about priorities, being able to size up potential backers and employees, being able to budget and manage funds. It’s a drag if you are really good at one particular thing to have to do all that other stuff, even if you are capable of it.

The payoff curve for entrepreneurship looks a lot like that of lines of employment that most parents would tell their kids to avoid: acting, playing sports, writing novels. Remember, 90% of all new businesses fail within three years. And like J.K. Rowling, A-list Hollywood stars, and football pros, the lure of the huge payoffs at the top end masks the steep falloff after that.

First of all, it’s not true that “90% of all new businesses fail within three years” – according to statistics from the Small Business Administration. about half of small businesses survive for five years or more, and one-third survive for 10 years or more. That’s a lot longer than I’ve lasted at any corporate job.

This article also makes it sound like entrepreneurship only offers rewards to the people at the top – as if most small business owners are a bunch of low-paid losers who would be better off trying to make it as actors in Hollywood. But even if we’re not going to be the next Bill Gates, most small business owners make a decent living – according to an American Express OPEN survey on the average entrepreneur’s salary. as of 2013, small business owners paid themselves an average annual salary of $68,000 – which is significantly more than the 2013 U.S. median household income of $52,250.

But more broadly, I disagree with the premise of the argument that it’s “too hard” to be a small business owner because you don’t get to specialize in what you do best.

It’s true that when you work for a big company, there are certain “economies of scale” that enable the big company to do things faster, cheaper, and perhaps better than a smaller company could. This is a basic principle of economics. However, for small business owners today, in the age of the Internet, there are so many great online small business tools and resources that can help you be more productive! You don’t have to be a big company to get big results in 2015 – you can use business-grade tools and resources to outsource, automate, and delegate various business tasks and daily operations, whether it’s basic back-office functions like simple accounting, invoicing, or payment processing, or more advanced skills like marketing, building customer relationships, and business inventory management .

As a small business owner today, you’re in business “for” yourself, but not “by” yourself. You can get help with almost any business topic imaginable online. You can connect with other entrepreneurs on LinkedIn for advice and ideas. You can get free business mentoring from SCORE, the Small Business Administration’s mentoring program. Even if you’re a solo entrepreneur or small business owner with only a few employees, there are many ways to make your business seem “bigger” without the bigger costs.

It’s simplistic (and wrong) to think that it’s too hard to be an entrepreneur, so no one should want to do it. I think it s actually the opposite – while it s never easy to run your own business – there are always financial risks and stresses, and lots of hard work – the Internet is making it easier than ever before to run a business. Not everyone has the right combination of ambition, hustle, vision, and sheer willpower that makes for a successful small business owner – but if you do, the rewards (and the daily sense of freedom) make it all worthwhile.

Ideally, as a small business owner, you should get to specialize more than ever before in doing what you do best every day. Use some of these cheap (or free) online business tools and mobile apps to outsource or automate the daily tasks that you don t like to do or aren t as good at. Being an entrepreneur helps you unleash your productive, creative potential like nothing else!





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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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How to Form a Corporation or LLC – Start Incorporating a Company #grants #for #small #businesses

#incorporating a business

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How to Incorporate or Form an LLC

incorporate.com makes it easy for you to form a corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC ) in any state. Most small business owners decide to incorporate to protect personal assets, gain credibility, and save on taxes.

How Do I Incorporate?

To get started incorporating a company, follow these simple steps below:

  1. Decide to incorporate. Before you set up a corporation, it’s important to understand the benefits of incorporating or forming an LLC. Knowing just what incorporating entails for you as a business owner – including financial and administrative expectations which may need to be reported periodically – can help you decide if incorporating is the right move for your company right now.
  • Select incorporate.com. It’s simple to form a corporation online. Rather than sift through endless piles of complicated paperwork and confusing terminology, we have helped countless businesses through the process of incorporation. Our thorough understanding of incorporation practices nationwide can assist you with making the process of forming a corporation as painless as possible.Learn why we think you will benefit from our services.
  • Choose a business structure. If you’re wondering, “Just how do I incorporate my business,” we will help guide you through the process and let you know what sort of business structure may best suit your needs of your corporation start up. C Corps, S Corps, and LLCs all provide different benefits. We can describe the differences which may help you choose the best structure for your company’s current needs and anything that arises in the future. Need more information about the differences between business structures? Check out our Business Comparison Chart .
  • Choose a state. Once you’ve decided that it’s time to start your own corporation, depending upon your company’s needs, you may want to incorporate in a state other than the one where your business currently resides. Additionally, some states have strict guidelines around unique names for corporations. When registering your corporation, we can help with naming that follows state guidelines. Get more information about choosing a state in which to start a corporation.
  • Choose a package. With a firm grasp of the options various company structures and states provide when forming or setting up a corporation, you’re well on your way to carving out a well-planned future for your new business. View our package options and begin incorporating a business online today.
  • Place your order. You can incorporate or form an LLC online or by phone with a Business Specialist at 800-818-6082 (toll-free) or 302-636-5440.
  • What Happens After You Place an Incorporation Order?

    Once you submit an order to start a corporation, we take care of the paperwork for you:

    • We assign your order to a Business Specialist, who will contact you if there are any problems with the preliminary name search.
    • We complete Articles of Incorporation (for a corporation) or Articles of Organization (for an LLC) on your behalf. A few states require us to get your signature on the completed documents before submission. Normally, we submit documents directly to the state.
    • We file your documents with the state in which you wish to start a corporation or an LLC.
    • We forward the state approval notice to you (generally within 5-10 business days, although turnaround times vary by state).

    Ready to Incorporate or Form an LLC? Check Pricing





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    How to Sell a Small Business Fast #online #business #schools

    #sell my business

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    How to Sell a Small Business Fast

    Continue Reading Below

    How should business owners prepare for this big event?

    How to Sell a Small Business Fast

    Matt Kelly, managing director of North Point Advisors, a San Francisco-based mergers and acquisitions advisory firm that specializes in restaurant and consumer brand transactions, says that the best way for business owners to achieve a successful outcome is to first be really clear on transaction objectives.

    “No two transactions are alike. For some owners, success is selling 100% of a business and heading for the beach. Other owners want to sell a portion of their company but remain involved in helping the company achieve even bigger goals. When you know what you want to achieve, it’s easier to line up the right prospective partners,” commented Kelly.

    Kelly also says that part of the process of preparing a company for a sale is for business owners to be honest about company weaknesses long before potential buyers ask tough questions.

    Continue Reading Below

    “Investors will spend several months pouring over a company’s business records and market position. They will find the problems. If business owners don’t have good answers, buyers can walk away or substantially lower deal pricin,” says Kelly.

    Of course, when looking to sell a small business fast, the key to a lucrative sale is attracting interest from a number of potential business buyers or investors. There are two types of buyers for prosperous businesses: financial buyers and strategic buyers.

    Financial buyers include private equity or buy-out funds that like to take controlling interests in companies that have the potential for another good growth spurt. Their typical investment horizon is three to five years, with IRR financial return objectives in the mid 20 range.

    Strategic buyers tend to be longer-term investors and can include any business that would benefit operationally from owning all or a significant stake of a business. Often, strategic buyers are competitors, large customers or other businesses that need to expand their operating capabilities, intellectual property portfolio or customer relationships.

    Here are four more recommendations to help sell your company fast:

    Develop a target list of acquirers. Even if your company will be represented by an investment banker, it’s helpful to think about likely candidates to buy your business long before you want to sell your business.

    The purpose of developing this target list is to start thinking like a buyer. What attributes of your business will make it more or less valuable to potential buyers? Is it your operating facilities, know-how, ability to serve varied types of customers, or financial performance? All buyers tend to bid up businesses with industry leading profitability and a narrow range of competitors.

    Visit your accountant. Every business in America has Uncle Sam as a business partner. Before negotiating any deal with prospective buyers, it’s important to learn what types of transactions may boost your tax obligations. Ask your accountant if it is more advantageous for you to sell the assets of your company (often a preference of business buyers to reduce the risk of buying hidden liabilities) or sell shares of company stock.

    Prep your company for sale. In the same way home owners spruce up their homes before talking to rental agents, business owners benefit when they have the opportunity to unload unprofitable customers, cut unnecessary expenses, and build up areas of perceived business value. Do everything you can to build consistency into your company’s financial and operating performance. Also make sure all tax obligations and filings are current and your accounting records are clean for potential buyer review.

    Select your support team. Take good care interviewing law firms that will represent your company during sale negotiations. Also if you decide to hire an investment banker to solicit potential buyers, make sure the intermediary has the prestige and expertise to represent your company well. The key to a good intermediary is smart deal positioning and the ability to get return phone calls.

    Well-respected investment bankers also help owners sort through their options without any pressure to make fast decisions. “The decision to sell a company or enter into long-term relationships with financial investors or strategic buyers is very personal. It can’t be rushed,” commented Kelly.





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    How to Find the Right Business Partner for Your Startup #sba #financing

    #business partner

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    How to Find the Right Business Partner for Your Startup

    Starting a business is notoriously difficult, and going it alone can make those challenges even harder to overcome. That s why many entrepreneurs choose to launch their company with one or more business partners who can help lighten the load.

    Finding good business partners is critical to success, said Sherry Fox, co-founder and chairman of LumiWave. There are many different types of partners, from someone who works with you side by side to build your business, to individuals or companies who contribute in specific areas, such as marketing, engineering, etc. Every person or entity that interacts with your business is a partner in some way and affects your ability to succeed.

    I believe there is strength in numbers, added Carlo Ruggiero, co-founder of the U.S. branch of European pizza franchise Kono Pizza. When multiple partners share the same vision, the result is a stronger and more unified team.

    But you can t just choose anyone to be your partner; you need to be able to work with that person day in, day out, and both of you must be able to focus on the business s objectives.

    Sabrina Parsons, CEO of Palo Alto Software. likened a business partnership to a marriage. Your partner is such an important piece of [your] success, and many times, bad partnerships lead to bad business, she said.

    If you need a partner but aren t sure where to start, here s how to find, evaluate and work with a prospective business partner. [See Related Story:Choosing a Business Partner? 4 Qualities to Look For]

    Look to your network first

    Our expert sources agreed that an entrepreneur s connections are the best candidates for potential business partners.

    Reaching out to your professional network can provide a rich list, said Jon Weston, CEO of LumiWave and Fox s business partner. I ve received good information and direction from the diaspora of my [previous] companies. General networks or online community groups are too anonymous to find good feedback.

    Referrals from trusted colleagues also can be helpful, Fox added. However, Weston cautioned that you should gauge the person making the referral before considering his or her recommendation.

    Evaluating a business partner

    Once you ve found someone who could be a great potential business partner, how do you evaluate whether that person is truly the right fit? One of your first considerations should be how your personalities, backgrounds, values and experiences complement each other.

    While you want a partner that will work well with your culture and style, you don t want a clone, either you want a partner who can fill in the gaps, Weston said. That is the tension you need to look for.

    Similarly, Ruggiero said he and his co-founders, David Ragosa and Greg Kinlaw, needed the right combination of personalities and skills to succeed.

    [Our] differences allow us to approach each situation in multiple ways, he told Business News Daily. David and I are the go-getters. Greg provides a great balance he is an expert at taking our crazy ideas and making sure we have the numbers to back them. We are constantly learning from each other and are able to use these exchanges to positively influence our business.

    However, getting along well isn t enough to ensure a successful partnership. No matter how well you know your potential partner, you re still running a business and thus need to take the appropriate precautions to ensure that any partnership is a smart decision. Weston noted that thoroughly researching your partner is an important part of this process.

    Do your due diligence, Weston said. You can do a lot [by] just Googling. Most people and organizations leave a digital trail. Dive into the legal databases. Ask for references, but also research any clients they have worked with or been associated with, and contact them.

    Fox agreed, noting that you should vet a partner carefully with all sources available, such as LinkedIn, company websites and former partners. Parsons also advised formally interviewing a prospective partner to better understand his or her skill set.

    Finally, before you sign any legal agreements, you must understand how you and your partner will handle a variety of business situations. This is something to discuss at length during your evaluation phase.

    Make very clear [written] agreements that take into consideration what happens when things go well and when things go poorly, Parsons said.

    Talk openly and frankly about who you are and what you want, Fox added. Spend significant time exchanging ideas and concepts, [and] understand their. short-term and long-term [goals]. Do you agree on the end game?

    Making a partnership work

    Think you ve found the perfect business partner? Based on their experiences, our sources offered a few pieces of advice for a fruitful and productive partnership.

    Define your respective roles. Clearly defining your roles within the company ensures that each partner s time is spent effectively, Ruggiero said. This will prevent partners from stepping on each other s toes and will ultimately save the company money.

    Measure your success. Fox recommended that potential business partners work together on a trial basis to test out how well the partnership might work.Set up some parameters and milestones, and make sure what you thought about the potential partner is reality, she said. From there, conduct frequent reviews to make sure you are still on the same page.

    Communication is key. Constant honest and open communication is a must. When problems arise, they need to be solved by both (or all) business partners. Ruggiero reminded entrepreneurs that at some point, each partner will make a mistake, and you cannot be afraid to bring it up. Each partner needs to do what s best for the business, he said, and part of doing this is eliminating any negative emotions to avoid a dispute if someone points out a mistake.

    Trust your gut. If something doesn t feel right, it probably isn t. Weston recalled little red flags that popped up in conversations with potential partners.

    Some things don t quite mesh or add up in the back of your mind. Trust this, he said. It is easier to walk away and be picky than pick up the pieces later.

    Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

    Nicole Fallon Taylor

    Nicole received her Bachelor s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the managing editor. Reach her by email. or follow her on Twitter .

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  • How to Start a Photography Business – How Nigeria #business #credit #cards

    #photography business

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    How to Start a Photography Business

    by Philip September 22, 2015, 1:09 pm

    If you are a lover of pets then you may want to consider making some money with your passion. This means that you do not only have to stop at keeping pets around you. However, it is important that you know the type of pet business to do, so that you can be guaranteed good returns on your investment.

    What type of pet business can that be, given that there are various business surrounding pets? Businesses like the pet spa, pet treat business and what have you. One of the pet businesses that you may want to consider is the pet photography business.What really does it mean to run a pet photography business? Simply put, it is a fun and profitable business that you can be combined with your photography skills.

    In a survey conducted in 2011 by the American Pet Products Association, pets are a significant part of 79.2 million U.S Times are changing with rapid astonishment and it is for this reason that some pet owners are interested in paying a photographer to show their pets through quality images.

    If you are decided to embark on this business, then you have got to put adequate measure to make sure that you take all the necessary steps needed in starting this venture on a right footing. This article has gathered a few tips that can help in the actualization of your dreams to own a pet photography business. Here below are some of the tips.

    1. Market Survey

    A market survey helps you to lay your hands on information about a thing that you ordinarily may not come across. That is why it is very important to do some market survey. What does this entail? Market survey in this regard has to do with knowing who your competitors in the industry are, how much those who have started this business used to set it up, the right type of places to site this type of business and all what not. Here’s a sample photography business plan template you can use for FREE.

    If you love pets and like to start a pet photography business with no prior knowledge, then you may want to consider getting trained. When you get trained in this trade, you can be sure to set up your business well. It is worthy to note that you need to get some hands-on experience in this venture before you get started.

    If enrolling to take some few classes might not work out for you because of time constraint, then you may want to consider getting a mentor in the field. Do make sure that this person is a photographer who has a good track record.

    ALSO READ Lagos Signs Historic Smart City Deal With Dubai

    4. Register Your Business

    It is okay if you want to start this type of business from the comfort of your home. It is equally well to start out with your busine4ss registered. Do check at the corporate affairs commission in your country, or the chamber of commerce office. There, you would be required to complete some forms and provider some documents before you are fully certified to run either as a sole proprietorship.

    You would a space to start this business of yours. If you are starting from your house, make sure you have enough space for the business. On the other hand, if you are looking to start on the corporate level, then you can consider getting a rented space.

    6. Purchase Equipment Needed

    Purchasing photography equipment means that you must have enough capital to do so. Some photography equipment is expensive and there are lots of components you may need to purchase. You need several digital cameras and back up cameras. You would also need treats and toys for capturing your pet’s attention.

    Some pet photographers make it compulsory to charge a sitting fee or session fee, but the bulk of their income tends to come from donating high photograph quality prints or digital images for sale. Also it would be important that for you to arrive at the final fee, you may want to consider asking what those who have the business say.

    8. Commence Business

    After you might have done every things stated in the last few steps, then you can look at commencing your business. As a way to gain more grounds, you can start by giving some free services to people’s pet so that you can attract new customers

    Now that things have really looked up, then you may start the advertisement of business. How can you get works out to the people about your business? You can start by blogging about pet photography, printing pliers, and brochures, as well as through word of, mouth and the various social networking sites.

    You need to know that starting this kind of business takes a lot of hard work, as you have got to come up with wonderful pet images that would help promote what you do to a large extent.





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