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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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21 places to find the best free images for your business #business #studies

#business images

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21 places to find the best free images for your business

In the age of content marketing. high quality images are becoming increasingly important.

But for many small business owners, taking top-notch photos, or even paying someone else to take them, is too costly.

One alternative is to find beautiful images that can be used without a fee and that’s where the numerous online collections of free images come in.

We’ve rounded up 21 places to find free images to give your business’s marketing an edge.

But first a quick reminder: always check to make sure that the image you are downloading is available to use and whether you need to attribute the source.

If the photo is in the public domain, it is no longer under copyright and free for public use. Alternatively, if an artist has shared their photos under a Creative Commons license, there may be restrictions on how you can use the image, for what purposes and if you need to provide attribution.

Unsplash has one of the best collections of free, high-resolution images going around and 10 new photos are added every day. On Unsplash you’ll find beautiful photos of architecture, landscapes and flora and fauna.

All photos and videos on Pixabay are available under a Creative Commons licence and can be used for commercial projects. The database is searchable by category or content type.

At Crow the Stone, you’ll have access to beautiful images that wouldn’t be out of place in an exhibition at an art gallery. No attribution is required for these images and you can sign up to receive new images in your inbox each week.

If it’s culinary imagery you’re after, try FoodiesFeed, a database of realistic images of a wide variety of food. Paid subscriptions to premium images are available and you can sign up to receive 20 foodie photos a month.

For businesses in the professional services field, Startup Stock Photos could be worth a look. This database is made up of completely free technology and startup themed photos.

Death of the Stock Photo is a membership-based photo library that aims to be “just like coffee for the modern creative”. Once a member, you’ll have access to high-quality photos that you can do with whatever you please.

Cupcake is the creation of photographer Jonas Wimmerstrom and all the images on the site are available under a Creative Commons licence, including for commercial projects. No attribution is required, although this talented photographer says people are welcome to let him know where his images are being used.

Does your marketing project have a particular colour scheme? Negative Space is one of a number of free image databases that can be searched by colour. All images are available under a Creative Commons licence with no copyright restrictions.

Find A Photo combines free images from a range of other photo libraries, including Unsplash and Startup Stock Photos. Similar to Negative Space, this database is also searchable by colour.

The images available from Freerange Stock are created by an in-house team as well as contributing photographers, who can earn income from advertising on the site. All images are free to use, however, you must sign up to the site to get access.

Get Refe’s aim is to “help organisations and individuals bring ideas to life in a memorable way” by providing high-quality, natural images of people interacting with technology. You can browse through the site’s collection of free images or pay a small fee to receive monthly packs of curated images.

A favourite in the SmartCompany office, Pexels offers more than 5000 free images under a Creative Commons Zero license – which means all images are completely free for personal and commercial use. Around 600 new images a month are added to the database, which includes high-quality images of work environments, people, animals and nature – and just about everything in between.

Does your project need a vintage image? Try New Old Stock. This site is a collection of vintage photos that are in the public domain and therefore free of copyright restrictions.

Another great source for free historical images are public libraries. For example, the State Library of Victoria maintains a pool of around 200,000 photos, illustrations and maps that are either out of copyright or available for use.

For free colourful and quirky images, try Gratisography. All of the photos on this site were taken by photographer Ryan McGuire and are free to use. However, McGuire says he takes better photos when he is caffeinated and so will happily take PayPal donations to his Creative Coffee Fund.

ImageFinder started out as a search engine for images on Flickr that are licensed under Creative Commons, however, the site now also searches Creative Commons licensed images from other stock sites. Think of ImageFinder as directory for free images; you’ll need to download the photos from their original source and check if attribution is required.

PicJumbo is home to 15 categories of completely free images that can be used for both personal and commercial projects. Like many sites that provide free images, you can sign up to receive notifications when new images are available or pay to access premium image collections.

IM Creator not only provides a curated selection of free images – you’ll also find other free marketing tools on this site, including website templates, icons and buttons.

MMT is a collection of vibrant photos from photographer Jeffrey Betts, which are all available for commercial use under a Creative Commons Zero license.

If you’re looking for high-quality, creative images of a New York street scape or European landmarks, Picography may be for you. All photos are available under a Creative Commons Public Domain license.

As its name suggests, Public Domain Archive is a repository for public domain photos. The photos are divided into modern and vintage photos and new images are added each week.





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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

#business analyst

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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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10 Places to Get a Free Business Education Online #business #loans #bad #credit

#online business courses

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10 Places to Get a Free Business Education Online

Getting a business education doesn’t have to be expensive. An increasing number of colleges, universities and even nonprofit organizations offer free business courses online. Find out how you can sign up for these courses and what you can get from them.

Online Business Courses for Credit

Online business courses that don’t require students to register or pay tuition are plentiful, but these courses don’t lead to college credit. Students who would rather earn credit for the courses they take online might want to consider resources that charge a fee in exchange for access to online course materials.Study.com offers this form of distance learning through its quick and informative video lessons and corresponding self-assessment quizzes. Students also have access to free transcripts for the video lessons.

Students can start with Business 101: Principles of Management which include chapters like:

  • Management Basics – Study different managers’ roles and examine the four functions of management.
  • Leading in Organizations – This chapter explores the difference between leadership and management and how the two work together. Various leadership styles are also covered.
  • Marketing Philosophies and Ethics – Learn about marketing versus sales, corporate responsibility and cause-related marketing.
  • Consumer Decision Making – Topics include consumer behavior theory, the purchase process, cognitive dissonance and consumer buying influences.
  • Network Systems Technology – Examine client/server systems, network operating systems and wireless computing devices in this chapter.
  • Systems Development – Subjects include life cycles, graphical user interfaces, application development processes and project management tools.

Free Online Non-Credit Business Courses

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT OpenCourseWare might be the next best thing to getting an MIT education for free. Through these free online publication, students can find bachelor-level and master-level courses business courses offered by MIT’s Sloan School of Management

  • Undergraduate and Graduate Business Courses include online lecture notes, videos, labs demonstrations and more. No registration is required and more than 150 courses are available.

The U.S. Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration has one of the best selections of business courses on the web. Topics include everything from starting a business and business management to government contracting and international trade. Most courses take only 30 minutes to complete.

  • Financing Options for Small Businesses centers around determining financial needs, loans, grants, venture capital, angel investors, crowd funding and more.
  • Strategic Planning looks at the significance of strategic planning while breaking down the steps of the process.

Free Management Library

  • The Free Nonprofit Micro-eMBA(SM) Program is a great resource for students wishing to learn more about nonprofit management. Completion of this program will not result in an MBA degree, but enrollment is free. The amount of time it takes to complete the program will depend on how fast you learn, but you may expect to spend at least 200 hours on coursework.

University of California Irvine

The University of California Irvine offers several free business courses in English and Spanish through their OpenCourseWare site. Courses are broken down into lessons, and include optional reading lists for students who want to dig deeper into the course subjects.

  • Fundamentals of Business Analysis focuses on the function of a business analyst within the operating of an organization.
  • Training and Human Resource Development breaks down the information and experience needed to pick out an organization’s training and development needs while looking into the related processes.

Financial Management Training Center Courses

The Financial Management Training Center provides 20 free downloadable business courses for people who need to learn the finer points of financial management. All courses can be taken online. They include full exams as well as evaluation forms for people seeking Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits.

  • The Management of Capital provides a basic overview of navigating a company’s financial structure.
  • Creating Value through Financial Management serves as an introduction to concepts related to Value Based Finance.
  • Project Management introduces the concept and components of project management.

Kutztown University – Small Business Development Center

  • Strategic Planning and Execution Course presents strategies for crafting and executing business visions, mission statements and goals. The SBDC also provides strategic planning software free to all course participants.

University of California Berkeley

The University of California Berkeley offers a new selection of business courses each semester. Courses are lecture-based and typically include either audio or video or both.

  • Business Administration Videos are uploaded to the school’s YouTube page often. Videos are presented by leading business experts such and cover topics like leadership, investment strategies and behavioral economics.
  • Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Business teaches students about descriptive statistics, probability models, confidence intervals, controlled experiments vs. observational studies, tests of significance, correlation and regression.

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

An admission advisor from each school can provide more info about:

  • programs curriculum
  • career opportunities
  • tuition financial aid
  • admissions starting dates

1 Southern New Hampshire University

Minimum eligibility requirements:
  • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED

Get Started with Southern New Hampshire University

2 Kaplan University

Minimum eligibility requirements:
  • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
  • Graduate faster & save money with Study.com transfer credit

  • Doctor of Management in Organizational Development and Change
  • Doctor of Management in Project Management
  • Doctor of Management (DM) – General Concentration (Executive Format)
  • Doctor of Management in Leadership
  • Doctor of Management – Nonprofit Leadership (Executive Format)
  • Master of Business Administration
  • MBA in Entrepreneurship
  • MBA in Project Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – International Business
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Marketing
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Human Resource Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Organizational Behavior
  • Associate of Science in Business Administration
    • (BS) Accounting
    • (BS) Business Administration
    • (BS) Business Admin – Asset Management
    • (BS) Business Admin – Human Resources
    • (BS) Business Admin – New Media Marketing
    • (BS) Business Admin – Technology
    • (AAS) Business Management & Accounting




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  • Kids can pitch business ideas to Warren Buffett #business #venture #ideas

    #business ideas for kids

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    Kids can pitch business ideas to Warren Buffett

    Warren Buffett voices his own cartoon character for the Secret Millionaire’s Club. (Photo: The Hub)

    Story Highlights

    • Contest lets winners pitch business ideas to billionaire Warren Buffett
    • Eligible ages are 7 through 16
    • Grand prize winners get $5,000

    OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An online contest is again offering a few young entrepreneurs the chance to present their business ideas to billionaire Warren Buffett.

    Students age 7 through 16 can submit their ideas until Feb. 15. Four individuals and two teams will be flown to Omaha to present the ideas to Buffett in person next May.

    Berkshire Hathaway’s chairman and CEO says he was impressed with the ideas last year’s finalists presented.

    The single prize winner’s idea was Shine So Bright, a kit for creating light-up designs on clothing; the team winner’s idea was Deals on Wheels, a portable school store that could sell school supplies and healthy snacks.

    The contest, which is sponsored by the Fairholme Foundation, is affiliated with the “Secret Millionaire’s Club” cartoon that teaches kids financial principles. Buffett voices the animated version of himself that offers advice in the cartoon.

    Grand prize individual and team winners will each receive $5,000 after the ideas are judged. Details are available online at smckids.com .

    Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/120PzMP





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    Top 10 Online Business Opportunities to Make Money #loans #for #business

    #online business opportunities

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    Top 10 Online Business Opportunities to Make Money

    Great ways to increase your income directly from your private computer

    Money makes the web go around. Whether you’re on a mission to find a new source of income or just looking to increase your paycheck with a side gig, the internet can offer a variety of solutions for you to choose from.

    With such a great selection it’s easy to get lost. And although trial and error is a method we usually would recommend, it’s probably not a good idea to invest time and resources on experimentation when something so crucial as your income is at stake.

    The solution? Research, and fortunately for you we can save you time with that. Below is a list of 10 online business opportunities that have a high potential for generating profit. Read through and consider which of these options might work for you.

    1. Teach Online Classes:
    Your expertise and knowledge can be very useful to you when you start your online business. Whether you’re a certified chemistry teacher or a knitting master, you can create an online course and charge students for access to the study material.

    2. Do Affiliate Marketing:
    On the web, affiliate marketers are people who promote various online services and receive a commission for making sales. Many online services have an affiliate program Wix.com has one as well! This type of business is especially worthwhile if you already have a blog or a website set up and can simply start working on promoting your affiliate goods.

    3. Write for Pay:
    If you happen to be a gifted writer, your skills could be valuable to a huge variety of target audiences, from companies that need tech manuals, to college applicants who need help writing their resumes, or small businesses looking for good newsletter content.

    4. Design Wix Websites:
    You have no idea how many times we’ve seen this pattern a person in need of a website creates one using Wix’s web publishing platform, is very pleased with the process and the outcome, publishes the website and then receives offers from friends and acquaintances to design a site for them as well. The idea behind Wix is that everyone can create websites, but not everyone has the time or the will to do it, so why don’t you step in and fill the need? Check out WixEd. our very own online course where Wix users can become certified web designers and start their own business in web design.

    5. Open an Online Consulting Agency:
    Provide professional and specialized observations based on your field of expertise health and wellness, finances, law and more. Here you can choose whether you want to work solely online or combine face-to-face service with your digital one.

    6. Use Your Research Skills:
    The internet created a neverending source of data. Companies searching for business intel, an individual interested in family genealogy or an author in need of background material do not always have the ability to search this vast pool of knowledge with a fine-tooth comb. In these examples and others, they would prefer to hire someone to perform online research. Might that someone be yourself?

    7. Get with the Retail Program:
    With online sales continuously on the rise, selling products to web shoppers is definitely a worthwhile path to follow for business purposes. Using Wix to create your own online store. you can set up a retail business with minimum effort and costs. We even have a guide that can help you choose the best products for your online store.

    8. Offer Text Editing Translation Services:
    It’s the most straightforward process you can imagine. A customer sends you a text for proofreading, literary editing or translation purposes, you do your work and send them a document back. This kind of hassle-free operation will leave you plenty of time to focus on promoting your service.

    9. Become a Social Media Marketer:
    Small business brands and professional freelancers often require help with promoting their work on social media platforms. You can train yourself to understand the fine art of social media marketing and offer to either take over their social marketing efforts or to provide consulting services on the matter. The Wix Blog will provide you with an abundance of reading material on how to market on social media .

    10. Create Custom-Made Art or Music:
    If you want to support yourself as an independent artist without having to take on an office job or wait tables, why don’t you use your talent to make extra money? You can offer people from all over the world the option to commission illustrations, caricatures, sculptures, video art, designed candles, custom-ordered songs or anything that your creative force is able to produce.

    Other Cool Stuff





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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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